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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I want to be able to communicate with our nephew and his wife while riding. We are planning to buy 4 matching headsets. We want to be able to use headsets with Bluetooth intercom for private conversations and occasionally include them. It doesn't make sense to us to have all 4 of us hearing everything everyone says. I can't tell from the various communicator descriptions exactly how that works.

We both ride Goldwing trikes, but we want to go wireless.

Here's what we would like to have:


  • All communications are wireless
  • Private rider/passenger intercom
  • Include the second bike rider and passenger when desired
  • 1/2 mile or so bike 2 bike range
  • GPS Bluetooth connectivity
  • iPhone Bluetooth connectivity

Do any of the currently available helmet communicators do all of that?
Any recommendations on brands, features, and price?

Thanks!
 

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OMG, it's been a half hour and Srobak hasn't jumped on this one yet. Wait. He will be here.
 

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Check out the Sena SMH10. I love them and blue tooth on iphone is great. You can listen to your music on your phone or make calls. Only connect to one person at a time. Two button and a knob to control what you need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPziNT8dhz4
 

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Been riding with the Cardo Scalas G4 for the past two years and have been extremely happy with them. They do all that you are asking and an important factor, the software updates are all done via a USB cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. We are checking put the recommended systems now.
 

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Scala

LOL never fear I am here!

Scala G4. Does it all and more - and well! Been a scala user for 5 years and LOVE them...

If you want end user details - just ask!

http://www.cardosystems.com/scala-rider/scala-rider-g4
:agree:

There are a total of 5 G4 units in my usual riding group. They all work as advertised for the past three years. I can usually answer an incoming cell call and not have the caller know that I am cruising down the freeway. We found that the distance of a clear connection to another bike will vary with heavy city traffic or around a couple of curves in the woods. If you think you want to have more than a 4-way hook-up (I know, that doesn't sound right.), look at their latest model, the G9. Our units will get a full charge - good for a very long day - in a little over an hour using the same cord that charges my phone. I charged during lunch and dinner stops and completed a 26 hour run, including 4 hours of heavy rain without issue. I listened to music coming from my phone the entire way. My phone is an EVO Android and my son uses an I-phone. Both phones sync fine. We can start, pause or change songs on the phone with buttons on the headset. So, a happy G4 user here.

Good luck.
 

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Get the SMH10 programmable units..
..better and cheaper than anything else out there.
...and they WILL connect with more than one at a time if you want to.
You can also patch in a phone call as though it was another intercom.

The Scala antiques are like the Garmin antiques..over priced and outdated..
..sure they were ok back in the days when we had no choices, but now there is better and cheaper stuff to choose from

You can purchase all four (4) SMH10 units that you need for about $520
(that is "total", not "each").

Dennis
 

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The sena smh10 will do all of it. It does allow you to connect and disconnect up to 4 headsets at a time. They also allow you to connect to the
GL's audio system with an adapter.

Stay away from the BlueAnt/Cellone Interphone systems. They are great when they work but BlueAnt support is bad and getting replacement
headsets is imposable.
 

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The Scala antiques are like the Garmin antiques..over priced and outdated..
..sure they were ok back in the days when we had no choices, but now there is better and cheaper stuff to choose from
You can purchase all four (4) SMH10 units that you need for about $520
Holy hatorade, batman. You do know the G4's have been out for only 2 or 3 years, and the G9 with 9-way conferencing is new for this riding season, right?

I think you are confusing Scala with Chatterbox - which is quite overpriced and outdated. The G4 teamsets can be had at about $250 a pair.

That being said - there are still a lot of folks running around with Scala Q2's - and that is because they work and keep on working. If they aren't broke - then no need to fix em.
 

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The Scala antiques are like the Garmin antiques..over priced and outdated..
..sure they were ok back in the days when we had no choices, but now there is better and cheaper stuff to choose from
You can purchase all four (4) SMH10 units that you need for about $520
(that is "total", not "each"). Dennis
Holy hatorade, batman. You do know the G4's have been out for only 2 or 3 years, and the G9 with 9-way conferencing is new for this riding season, right?
I think you are confusing Scala with Chatterbox - which is quite overpriced and outdated. The G4 teamsets can be had at about $250 a pair.
That being said - there are still a lot of folks running around with Scala Q2's - and that is because they work and keep on working. If they aren't broke - then no need to fix em.
Well, we agree on one thing.. the Chatterbox is junk.
and "Holy hatorade"?.. that is funny.. but it makes me think you think I hate them,(because you love them?)..
.. rational thinking often goes out the window when we become emotionally attached to inanimate objects.
I don't hate the scala (or the garmin).. it's just they've been surpassed..
..so why would any thinking individual advise someone to spend several hundred dollars on "old" technology?

ok... briefly (could write LOTS more):
>> price wise.. you compare the obsolete G4 from several years ago to the newest offering from SENA?
.. where is the logic in that? Why not compare apples to apples?.. The NEW scala G9 is almost 300 bucks a pop compared to the new SENA at only 130 dollars... makes no sense to me. The G4 is only now getting cheap in order to dump their backlog of old inventory (and they still can't sell them) .. no thanks.

>> technology
.. Even the "newest" G9 units are still using Bluetooth® version 2.1 class 1 ... huh?.. that IS ancient too.. Again, you'd advise someone to use 8 year old technology?.. the SMH10 is using BT 3.0
(briefly: much faster, better freq management, MUCH less battery drain etc etc.. you're smart, you can look it up if interested)
bottom line... if you're in the market for a "new" BT device, you'd be well advised to get current technology not ancient technology.

>> Features
.. ok the G9 now says it supports up to 9 concurrent intercom connections.. that sounds pretty good.
.. but, did you know that feature is not compatible with the OLD G4 units? .. so are you going to buy new units for all your buddies too?.. or wait for everyone to catch up (by then, the "new" unit will be G15 and then you'll be outdated).
bottom line... go buy a new G9 and you'll still mostly be talking to yourself.. let's see 9 new scalas at 300 each is $2700 dollars before tax and shipping .. too rich for my blood..
..and, even if everyone had a "new" G9 I'd be very suspect of the range claims ..
ALL these units (both scala and SENA) are typically a quarter to a half mile reliably
(that "one mile" is stuff is under IDEAL conditions... and no, I don't really like riding across "ideal" Kansas very much).
OK.. so now picture 9 guys "linked" together with their G9's.. from the front to the back is going to be over a half mile... I'll bet you lunch the back guy can't hear the front guy most of the time.. and get in town and around buildings.. forget it.. the back guy will NEVER hear the front guy.
With the SENA units you CAN link more than 4, just not quite so conveniently. The front guy would link to 3 others and the middle guy would link to the front guy and the two guys behind him.. and so on for about as many as you can imagine. .. but the REAL benefit is that the middle guys are repeaters.. so the last guy would never be out of range.. every few bikes the "message" gets re-amplified.
In the real world.. I doubt if anyone would ever be connected to more than 5 or 6 bikes.. so most of this "mega-connective" stuff is just marketing hype. (might be ok in parade mode side by side?)

>> Looks
.. ok, now for the funny part.. it's hard enough keeping the these wireless headsets "safe".. it's a radio transmitter stuck to the side of your head.. drop the helmet once and "murphy" demands it's going to land on the headset.. so, imho, the lower the profile the better off you'll be in the long run.
What is scala thinking??.. they already know that.. but in order to gain "greatest range" bragging rights you have to raise the built in pop up antenna... THAT, is nuts... that's going to survive about ONE trip... haha.. that's a joke:



>>Bottom line.. it's not about love or hate.. it's about getting the most for my hard earned money.
.. that's still important to me... sorry but it ain't Scala anymore..

No, the scala is not "broke".. it's just an antique.. might as well stick with CB, they work reliabley too.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, Wingwing convinced me to go with the higher tech Sena units (Bluetooth v3.0, less expensive, external antenna-less).

I do have a few more technical question:

As I understand Bluetooth from Wikipedia, it's got a range of 100m for BT 1.0, 10M for BT 2.0, and 5m for BT 3.0. If that's true, how the heck do these headsets get the claimed range of up to 900 meters? I realize that the stated range is probably under ideal conditions, but even at 25% of that you are going over a long distance.

I first thought they might be using FRS or some other radio protocol, but they clearly state it is long range BT. Even if BT can go that far, how do they manage the power difference requirement between the passenger who is only 2 feet away and a buddy who might be a quarter mile away? Is there some ability in the protocols to adjust the output power (battery drain) as needed?

Mike
 

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Well, Wingwing convinced me to go with the higher tech Sena units (Bluetooth v3.0, less expensive, external antenna-less).

I do have a few more technical question:

As I understand Bluetooth from Wikipedia, it's got a range of 100m for BT 1.0, 10M for BT 2.0, and 5m for BT 3.0. If that's true, how the heck do these headsets get the claimed range of up to 900 meters? I realize that the stated range is probably under ideal conditions, but even at 25% of that you are going over a long distance.

I first thought they might be using FRS or some other radio protocol, but they clearly state it is long range BT. Even if BT can go that far, how do they manage the power difference requirement between the passenger who is only 2 feet away and a buddy who might be a quarter mile away? Is there some ability in the protocols to adjust the output power (battery drain) as needed?

Mike
I don't have answers to your questions.
I do know we used ours for bike to bike communications for over 2500 miles out to Rogers, AR and back.. (rider to passenger, I don't have much experience with).
.. they work as advertised or better.. rain or shine.
I'm hard of hearing and the volume "gain" on these is better than anything else I own..
they are LOUD.
When I use them to talk on the phone, people never know I'm on the bike
(pm me your phone number and I'll call you next time I'm out)

re the spec..
.. remember it's an overall guideline to be adhered to when connecting device "A" from company "A" to device "B" from company "B".. but, where the "but" comes in is when both ends are from the same company and the devices are "tweaked" to talk to each other (as in the intercom mode).
Within the BT spec is buried:
"While the Bluetooth Core Specification does mandate minimums for range, the range of the technology is application specific and is not limited. Manufacturers may tune their implementations to the range needed for individual use cases."
I suspect when they control both ends (as with two SMH10's) they probably tweak the range or number of simultaneous channels used.
.. or maybe it's just magic ... :)

Talk to Steve on the AdvRider board.. he's really knowledgeable and has the best prices I've found anywhere..
.. in addition, when one of mine quit working due to a bent pin while we are vacation, he over-nighted a replacement to the hotel where we were staying.. I kept it until mine got fixed and returned.
.. don't get no better than that imho..

Dennis
 

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Well, Wingwing convinced me to go with the higher tech Sena units (Bluetooth v3.0, less expensive, external antenna-less).

I do have a few more technical question:

As I understand Bluetooth from Wikipedia, it's got a range of 100m for BT 1.0, 10M for BT 2.0, and 5m for BT 3.0. If that's true, how the heck do these headsets get the claimed range of up to 900 meters? I realize that the stated range is probably under ideal conditions, but even at 25% of that you are going over a long distance.

I first thought they might be using FRS or some other radio protocol, but they clearly state it is long range BT. Even if BT can go that far, how do they manage the power difference requirement between the passenger who is only 2 feet away and a buddy who might be a quarter mile away? Is there some ability in the protocols to adjust the output power (battery drain) as needed?

Mike

I think the range you are seeing is the range between the headset and the item you are bluetoothed to...

ps wikedopia is usless as far as truth goes
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mudbug,

The range I am talking about is the intercom connection between two bikes equipped with the same headsets and separated by 900 Meters. Not just rider to passenger or rider to cellphone. The product description says you can communicate over 900 meters or 980 yards. That is more than a half mile.

I think you are being too hard on Wikipedia. Its a pretty good source of general information but it gets pretty squirrely on political stuff because it lists to the left.

Mike
 
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