New Sena 20S Intercom announced at AIMExpo

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by El Gato, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    As a ham radio guy, I'm familiar with the range of UHF radios and that's certainly an advantage that I don't think BT will ever be able to meet no matter how good the technology gets. On the other hand, the full duplex of BT communicators for me far outweighs the slight range distance compromise.

    I've always been pretty happy with the the BT communicator range including the early Scala Q2's, the SMH10's and the 20's. For the most part its line of sight, sometimes more, sometimes less, but for the most part its plenty of distance for my wife and I and our friends. New certainly there are times range becomes an issue, especially when we are dual sport riding in heavy wooded areas, but we've learned to live with it. Now coming the other direction you have from UHF to BT, I certainly understand not wanting to compromise on distance.

    Not sure if you are aware, but if you already own the UHF radio's you were using with the autocomm's have you thought about complementing your Sena 20s setup with a pair of Sena SR10's which allow you add 2 way radio's to the mix to each of your headsets. They basically allow any 2 way radio to sync up to your Sena headset via BT, so you are still staying wireless. This gives you the best of both worlds with both BT communication and UHF communication right at your fingertips.

    Basically, you would use your 20s for the majority of your communication which gives you wireless communication, full duplex intercom, etc. However, if you got out of sight of each other or maybe you are in town and one of you takes a wrong turn where the BT won't reach, then you could easily use your PTT button to fire up the UHF radio and bingo, you have a great backup system to fall back to that integrates flawlessly with your 20s headsets. Best of all, its all wireless and the only thing you'd be adding is the SR10's + the necessary cables to your UHF radios.

    I've spent a lot of time talking on Ham Radio on my Vstrom using my Sena SMH10 + Sena SR10 + Yaesu FTM10-SR and this setup works awesome. Several of us have tried lots of different setups that involve VHF/UHF radios and this is pretty much near the top. Now I've never used an autocomm, so I can't compare there, but other ham guys are pretty happy talking to us on the air which says a lot. I actually got my wife to get her ham license and have a 2nd setup for her bike, but I could just never get her used to talking on the ham radio, so we don't use that as much as I would like, but it does work.

    BTW, what frequency range are you talking on on the Kenwood UHF radios? Ham 440, MURS, FRS, GMRS?
  2. MadChild

    MadChild Adventurer

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    My set does the exact same thing.
  3. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    Did the cutting out happen after you upgraded the Sena's or Phone's software?

    When you upgrade the Sena Firmware, make sure to go into the Sena settings AND phone settings to remote the Bluetooth pairing. Then pair them again.
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    +1.

    So many people introduce their own issues by not falling this simple rule. When you do a firmware upgrade, clear all your pairings and start over or you most likely will have issues that you will then blame on the device even though you failed to follow the directions provided.
  5. S.Bartfast

    S.Bartfast n00b

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    Been milling over these for a while, trying to decide...

    Myself and a few others are planning an adventure through Nepal in a few months and I'm considering trying to convince the group to spring for these. My main reason for selecting these units in particular would be for the group chat functionality. Can anyone confirm how well this feature works? Were looking at probably having 5 or so people connected continuously. None of us have used comms equipment on a bike before and it's an awful lot of coin to drop on a whim so we want to be confident before placing an order.

    In particular I'd like to hear of people's experiences using the group chat feature. As in are there issues with signals/reception, any slight delays or lag when people at the 'ends' speak, or are there any issues with people talking simultaneously that cause the communication to be kind of disjointed, or is it like a group of mates swapping stories around the fire. Is it weird to have say 5 people speaking freely whilst on motorbikes? It seems odd to imagine to have everyone in free chat while riding through the Himalayas but tell you what, if it works well it sure seems like a great way to spend a holiday!
  6. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Keep in mind there are 2 ways to do group chat on the 20S. The first way which was the only way to do group chats on the SMH10 model is a manual daisy chain method where rider A connects to rider B, Rider B to Rider C etc. Even though they claim 4 is the limit for group intercom on the 10's, you can actually go way beyond this if you use the daisy chain method of connecting headsets together. Although, sometimes its a test of patience to get everyone connected in the correct order, especially if some people don't understand the process. The more people you add, the more patience you need. :D With that said, once everyone is connected it's easy to stay connected, plus having 4-5 riders all connected at once is pretty cool. It's really just like being on a big conference call. Everyone's voice is instantaneous with no lag and you can hear everyone or you can hear no one if too many people try talking at once. :lol3 The nice thing about the daisy chaining is if you connect in the order you are riding, you can actually expand the distance between the lead rider and the end rider pretty significantly. Each rider is basically bridging the connection between the rider in front of them and behind them. The one main downside though is if your daisy chain breaks somewhere in the middle (you got too far apart) you lose basically anyone connected through that person and have to start all over again. Also if riders start swapping places and getting out of order, you are more likely to run into the issue of disconnecting since your distance is compromised by being out of order.

    The 20S can be daisy chained the same way as the 10's and they have an advantage over the 10 in that a rider already connected to a single intercom can connect out which gives it a little more flexibility to get connected in the correct order. On the 10, you always had to connect into a group chat which really meant to get a daisy chain to work, you basically start at one end and connect forward or backwards from one end to the other end.

    So with that said, the new way 20S added group chat I think is by an app that allows you to identify all the riders you are riding with and then the ability to basically connect everyone at once either via the app or I think a voice command. I have no experience how this actually works, but I would assume its basically doing a similar thing like the daisy chaining where it tells each unit to connect to another unit. My only concern here would be in what order they connect and could you feasibly extend the range? Maybe the units are able to dynamically switch to keep you connected regardless of what order you ride? That would be really cool if it did do that. I have no real world experience with this new 20S group chat feature though, but at least you know as a fall back, you could always use the manual daisy chain method if it doesn't work. I think you have to all have 20S's though to make this new group chat work via the app/voice control. And while mixing 10's & 20's together does work, we've had a few growing pains like a 20S not always able to connect out to a 10 unit and a 10 unit not able to connect into a 20S unit when you start trying to daisy chain them. Not sure why that happens. I think if everyone had a 20S, you would have less issues for sure.
    Perkio likes this.
  7. gwhis

    gwhis Let's ride

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    I'm trying to stream music from an IPod Touch ver. 6.1.6 and also pair my IPhone 5s ver.8.2.

    I can pair the IPod Touch and stream music fine till I also pair the IPhone 5. The IPod becomes unpaired when I pair the IPhone 5 most times. If I am able to get both to pair at the same time, I lose my music from the IPod. The IPhone seems to work great as long as I don't try to pair the IPod at the same time, but I don't want to play music from the IPhone.

    Has anyone figured this out? :dunno I'm running the latest firmware 1.3
  8. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    You need to do a selective phone only pairing on the iphone. Both devices are fighting over the single a2dp media connection
  9. gwhis

    gwhis Let's ride

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    Not sure what you are telling me. Am I fighting a loosing battle or just going about it wrong? What is selective phone only pairing and how is it done?

    OK ! I got it, page 19 in the User Guide explains it. Thanks, BlueLghtning for pointing me down the right path.
  10. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Yeah, I was responding on my phone or I would have typed more. For the sake of your sanity, clear all the pairings and start over too. This should fix your issue.
  11. ReefSmacker

    ReefSmacker n00b

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    Hi,

    Has anybody had any experience with torrential rain using the SENA devices. Does really heavy rain not affect the unit or do SENA replace drowned units?
    My last BT headset was "water resistance" too but always caused problems.

    The Interphone F5 is certified as IP67, so I'm wondering if this would be a better option ?

    thanks
  12. YesRush

    YesRush Long timer

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    Is it true a A2DP transmitter dongle will play XM on 20s from zumo 550?
    edit
    Found info that confirms it works.Ordered Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter.Didnt see a lot to choose from with 4.0 and not sure if it matters if it was 2.1.
    Edit ,it works!
  13. Minnesota

    Minnesota Conform or be cast out

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    I don't own one (yet) but from what I've read the unit will shut down if it gets too wet. This is to protect the circuitry from damage. When things dry off the unit is supposed to fire back up.
  14. GrumpyOne

    GrumpyOne Been here awhile Supporter

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    That's been my experience.

    -jw
  15. F650Dakar_Norway

    F650Dakar_Norway What off-season?

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    I've done riding in thunderstorm showers and my 20S has still functioned right through it. Still happy with my unit, now 2 months after purchase.

    Sent fra min C6903 via Tapatalk
  16. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    In middle of a multi week ride and sena is occasionally chirping, partners 20s doing the same. We can't figure out why? Batteries have good charge, phones are in airplane mode, we have good open comm connection. Seems to be new thing with latest firmware

    Any clues?
  17. antirich5

    antirich5 Long timer

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    I purchased a Scala G1 set for my wife and I's first trip. Wasn't sure if we'd like the whole communicator thing, but it turned out to be a Godsend.

    But relaibility has been another story. When it pairs and works, it's great. But all too often, they don't pair. Wasted a lot of time on our last trip trying ot get them to work; typically a dead battery or something will break the connection, then its a crap shoot to see if they pair up. No real rime or reason.

    Wondering, would a more advanced unit like the 20s be better at pairing and overall reliability with passenger/rider communication? We only use it for that, as well as iPhone nav directions.
  18. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    You're going to get a lot of variation in answers because some people report problems. I will say that in something like a year of use as an intercom, mine has been terrific. I also use it to hear audio directions from my GPS. I have a Sena SM10 set up in the tank bag to send radar detector output and music from an iPod to my 20S. That also works very well. I have used it to speak with other riders, too, which also works well, although in hilly terrain you don't get as much range as they claim. Still pretty good.
    F650Dakar_Norway likes this.
  19. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I see the 20S EVO is now announced for pre-order w/ delivery in early August? :type
  20. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    I am getting the EVO this week. Will report back on testing results ASAP.
    JRWooden likes this.