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SENA - Rider to Rider Communications

Discussion in 'Australia' started by nevgriff64, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 .

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,784
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Does anyone have good/bad feedback on the SENA communication systems?

    I'd like something I could use on any bike rather than the more permanent Uniden/Autocom system i've been using.

    I know they make different models ( 10 S/R/C and the 20 S ) but I really don't know much about them. :dunno
    #1
  2. bully1

    bully1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,985
    Location:
    Perth west aussie
    I have a set of the 10s.... used it when riding in Tassie with another mate, was really handy.

    Use it in the bush with my sons as well, excellent bit of kit, good for music and can be charged whilst using it. They hook up to most other brands of Bluetooth gear as well.

    I have an Autocom set up on the sidecar, but find myself turning to the Sena more often.
    #2
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  3. itsgunnahurt

    itsgunnahurt Gravity Enhanced!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,187
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    Hi Nev,
    I have a 20s with sr10 adaptor and cable for the uniden uhf.
    My current setup (i have tried a few different setups)
    Headset primary channel paired to gps. gps paired to phone.
    Secondary channel pair to sr10.
    Works well.
    As per Bullys' comments, they will pair with other brands too.

    I used to run a scala and it worked ok. The main reason for going the 20s is this can handle simultaneous bt connections, where as the old scala had a 4 second delay when switching between devices.
    #3
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  4. Dukehunt

    Dukehunt Lost in Translation Nev 2.0 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,732
    Location:
    Melbourne North
    Same gear as Geoff above, but set up differently, works well if you take the time to set it up and learn how to use it..
    SR10 paired as GPS to Headset.
    Phone paired to headset as Phone.
    GPS cable to SR10
    UHF cable to SR10
    #4
  5. Kiwirich

    Kiwirich Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Toowoomba Australia
    The 20s is even better than the 10s.
    Seamless connection after you set it up correctly and just works all day.
    Not perfect but pretty close. I certainly don't miss the cable to the helmet, etc.
    Richard
    #5
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  6. dunc

    dunc Hodophile - Coddiwompler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,156
    Location:
    NSW--OZ
    have the smh10 unit and works fine
    gps/music ph/and have a bluetooth uhf set up as well
    even bike to bike --rider -rider lol
    they even bluetooth to other sena models and diff brand devices now [with the new firmware]

    main thing is keep it updated with there online updates so you have the latest firmware going

    some i have heard of dont and wonder why they cant get them doing stuff
    #6
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  7. neilc

    neilc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    GEELONG
    Had mine for about 10 years I think only use it as a bike to bike or intercom it has been completely trouble free I have tried to connect to my GPS but will not stay connected to Passenger and GPS but after much discussion on this forum I think the problem is with the NAVMAN GPS so all in all very happy
    #7
    nevgriff64 likes this.
  8. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,699
    Location:
    Body's back home, but soul is in Central America
    We have SMH10s and they are okay-ish. Only okay-ish. For eg: Sena claim 900 metres range which is an utter lie - 500m tops and the only line-of-sight: go round a corner or if there's a car in the way and the distortion makes comms impossible.
    Also, one bike to another is fine, but subsequent sets suffer poorer audio quality.
    They are very susceptible to wind noise - the mics pick it up; this is probably bike/fairing/screen and helmet dependent and you won't know until you've tried them on your particular set-up.
    Also, when the teenager was listening to what she calls music on her eyepod, talking to her on the intercom caused the music to stop and needed a manual restart - pull up, stop, gloves off, dig out instrument, resume play. With grumpy teenager.
    That said, the voice-command software on my (Android) phone means I can make and receive calls and even txts while riding, entirely handsfree via the Sena.
    Battery life of the SMH10 is excellent - standby lasts weeks, but recharging takes a while; also, when the battery does go flat, you get about 30 seconds warning. Don't know if there's anything better with the newer sets - oh, and the firmware update process is a living nightmare: even IT professionals complain about it. It's not so much orientating the computer to the rising moon, or using the correctly-scented candles, but the hopping backwards on one leg is quite tiring for the hours the process takes.
    HTH.
    #8
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  9. Spots

    Spots Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    231
    Location:
    Now in Brislantis, QLD
    I was running a StarCom1 Digital (and before that, Advance) for the longest time but eventually all my helmet-to-bike cables wore out/broke/had bent pins/etc, so I figured that was a good time to take the jump to the Sena 20S, as I managed to get a pretty good price for a dual pack.

    As with everything there are Pros and Cons to the 20S and blootoof things in general.
    Pros...
    * SENA seems pretty popular amongst my friends, so we get the benefits of greater interoperability (e.g. up to 4 or up to 8 riders in a group intercom rather than only 1-1 comms)
    * It's wireless! Can get off the bike and wander around without connecting/disconnecting cables.
    * No eavesdropping like with UHF, for better or worse.
    * No busy UHF channels to avoid.
    * Can be used while charging, so no concerns about "what if riding for 16 hours in a day?"
    * The phone app for the 20S and 10S etc (but not the older ones) makes it a lot easier to set up group intercoms and adjust settings/update firmware/etc.
    * Generally found the noise cancellation to be pretty good provided someone doesn't have their visor open or is wailing on the throttle with an aftermarket exhaust.
    * FM radio!

    Cons:
    * 2.4GHz bluetooth is very much line-of-sight (though UHF is not much better)
    * Maximum group size is limited compared to (say) UHF.
    * The 20S's mount isn't totally waterproof, so rain can wet the terminals of the mount and temporarily cause false button pushes. Who knew motorcycle helmets might get wet? Apparently not Sena. :S It's only been an issue once or twice for me, but I'm not the only one.

    * In a group intercom with the 20S and earlier generations, the group intercom is actually a series of "string and tin can" connections in series established when the group connection is formed.
    e.g. Rider A <-> Rider B <-> Rider C <-> Rider D <-> Rider E <-> Rider F
    Messages from Rider A are automagically passed down the line from one 20S to the next until they reach Rider F

    Which means while each bike might only be 100 metres apart, if Rider F becomes the leader of the group and Rider E becomes the tail end charlie 500+ metres behind, distance between them will be huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge and the link might deteriorate. The new Sena 30K claims to fix this with 'mesh' networking between riders which will dynamically reorganise itself to avoid this issue.

    Overall, I think it's a nice replacement for a wired connection to the bike. In fact, there is a StarCom-style bluetooth bridge available from Sena ( http://www.sena.com/product/sr10/ ) to help tidy up the bike side of the communication/audio network and allow connection to UHF, GPS, etc like the StarCom/Autocom unit. The SR10 bluetooth bridge would address a lot of the idiosyncrasies I've found when it comes to pairing everything and getting it to play nice.
    #9
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  10. dunc

    dunc Hodophile - Coddiwompler

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    Location:
    NSW--OZ
    only thing i have found is to get the right hook up sequence with lots of devices sometimes to get it to work properly as well.
    #10
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  11. Tomdog

    Tomdog Mapaholic

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    649
    Location:
    Kiwi on the Gold Coast. Australia
    Id been reluctant to go the Bluetooth way for a long time due to experience with unreliable-finicky connections with other devices etc.
    Bit the bullet prior to this years OCR and bought a 20s. Love it .
    Connects to my phone instantly every time + SR10. Enjoy listening to local radio stations when near a town. Plays music from phone. Battery life is good. Not used for intercom.
    Answered phone at 100klm/hr with the caller totally oblivious to the fact I was on the bike at cruising speed, till I told them.
    Bit pricy but no regrets.
    #11
  12. dunc

    dunc Hodophile - Coddiwompler

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    Location:
    NSW--OZ
    i went the smh 10 as it was easy with thick gloves [in winter ] to operate the large jog dial for use
    the newer 10r low profile seemed harder to adjust with thicker gloves for feel

    also have 2 helmets and just bought another base and can now just swap the actual head piece between the 2 so is easy for that
    dont know if thats possible with the low profile 10r one at all
    #12
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  13. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6,729
    Location:
    Brisbane Northside, OZ
    I just use my $60 Aldi job and listen to music or pair with GPS . :1drink

    It's not Sena as per the title but may fit as a back up or cheaper second unit for Coms

    IMG_2427.JPG
    #13
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  14. SaAdvRider99

    SaAdvRider99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills South Australia
    I'm using the 20s for bike to bike. No problems.
    Sena will be at the motorcycle expo in Melbourne. Might pick up a special there.
    #14
    nevgriff64 likes this.
  15. Dave Ward

    Dave Ward Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,713
    Location:
    King River, Western Australia
    There are other riders who will talk to you?

    :confused
    #15
    Mouse likes this.
  16. Gasman_ADV

    Gasman_ADV Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    898
    I have the Sena 20
    Beautifully made bit of kit
    I had range issuse and send them off to Perth ..they reset and upgraded ...for me to try first before replacing them
    I havent had a chance to test them

    I think the thing is when you get them new you are all excited and want them up and running as quick as.

    Trying to update the unit to the latest software...install the app and update that quick as possible
    Discover their are a heap of settings on the app for each unit

    Try and pair each unit etcetcetc

    I think slowing the install down and update each thing slow and understand how all the buttons and knobs work will solve ALL the problems

    Imo
    #16
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  17. Rick001

    Rick001 Never too old

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    697
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Have the Sena. Love them. Would buy them again. Would recommend them to a friend.
    What more can I say.
    #17
    nevgriff64 likes this.
  18. Perentie

    Perentie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Slightly off topic but has anyone had any experience good or bad with the Iterphone Off Road head sets as advertised on the MXonline store. I'm looking at buying 2 off but not sure if they sinc ok with other brands like Sena. Cheers.
    #18
  19. Nudie

    Nudie Rusty not rusty

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    Naughty corner
    I see you've got the same helmet as me (and probably thousands of others). Did you need to modify the liner to fit the speakers in it? Why I ask is, my ears are touching the liner and I don't reckon there would be any room for speakers. It's so tight in there that my earphones get pushed into my ears causing quite some discomfort. The helmet fits fine other than the ear thing and I'd seriously consider spending up on a quality bluetooth system if I knew it would all fit OK.
    #19
  20. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Brisbane Northside, OZ
    Under the liner in the poly foam is some nice round ear size discs that pop out for the speaker to go. From memory they are on the little removable pieces of liner that come out
    #20
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