Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Got any questions about Audio, Headsets and Earplugs then please use this section.
carolinarider09
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Re: Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Post by carolinarider09 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:07 pm

I have only used the Autocom system on my bikes (since 2007). I have considered using a bluetooth system but they always seem to have limitations and issues.

Last week I was talking with an Autocom dealer in the US (Rocket Moto) who has sort of scaled back his inventory of items. During our discussion we talked about bluetooth and Autocom and he said he had been using a bluetooth system for the past year or so and was seriously considering going back to Autocom because of all the issues with pairing and button pushing and battery life.

My system is the Autocom Super Pro Automatic. I don't use the in the helmet speakers but opted to use earphones. They offer noise suppression and much better audio. Initially I used the in the helmet speakers but they were just ok and had to be positioned just right.

One other benefit of the Autocom system is the noise sensor that allows the volume to be changed as speed changes (noise increases). This also raised the level needed to break the system's squelch (i.e. you don't hear noise on the mics until the squelch level is broken). Therefore there is no wind noise on the audio channel until someone talks into the mic.

Autocom makes a special connection system for using earphones that eliminates the connectors for the speakers.

I have spoken with Chainspeed on the phone but have not ordered anything from them yet. They seemed to be very knowledgeable about the Autocom system.

An Autocom system is pricey but I still have it on my ST1300 which was originally installed in 2007. It still works.

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dave726
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Re: Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Post by dave726 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:34 am

I've got a pair of Sena 20S BT headsets and have never had a problem with battery life. The battery lasts for 12 hours, though I never ride that long anymore. The Sena has an easy access cover if you want to remove the speakers and has an external jack for earphones. I stopped using earphones after I switched from a half helmet to a flip-up full face one. Earphones did make my ear canals sore and I'm glad to be rid of them and the shorting out of the wires after continued use.

My one and only experience with Autocom was before BT was popular. It was a 3"x2"x1" box that looked like it was manufactured in someone's garage. I threw it out after something better came along. I've used other wired setups and they are a pain in the butt. I was continually pulling the earphones out whenever I stopped for fuel or biobreaks. And try to plug things back in when you forget after a stop while at highway speed; it's harder than fastening your helmet strap when moving! With a full helmet, not only do I protect my chin from reconstruction in a disaster, but the noise level is cut down where my music and pillion intercom work well as does music sharing. My pillion can also use music and make phone calls on her BT headset while keeping the intercom available.

Besides my GPS and SiriusXM use, I rode a friend's bike to a dropoff for shipping and it was easy to connect to my smartphone and have music for that ride. All that without wires going everywhere.

BT can be a little tricky. It seems like there is a specific order on turning the two Senas and the GPS on in order for the Sena to connect to the GPS in A2DP mode. But it's also very easy to factory reset and repair the devices. But that's a different forum topic to compare notes on BT. But my days of hunting for an electronics store while on a cross country ride to find a replacement cord for one that's broken are over. I'll never go back to a wired setup.

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Sleuth
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Re: Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Post by Sleuth » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:49 am

carolinarider09 wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:07 pm
... An Autocom system is pricey but I still have it on my ST1300 which was originally installed in 2007. It still works.
Yes it is pricey, they always have been. Over 25 years ago I bought an Autocom unit that was battery powered. My then girlfriend had the bad to mount it, and we had to be very careful when mounting or dismounting. Under speeds of 30 mph (50kph) it was easier to scream at the helmet than use the Autocom. At highway speeds however, the Autocom unit came into its own - crystal clear communication. It cost me £100, I shudder to think how much that would be now. Having said that their flagship model (SPA) is comparative with the Flagship models of Sena (20S & 30K)

Based upon the Belgian dealer prices an SPA Autocom unit would set me back €450 (410 SPA rider & Pillion plus €40 power)
The cheapest place I could see the 20S dual headset is €490, and the 30K dual headset is €530.

Obviously fitting is additional for the Autocom, but it is not as bad as I had thought.

There are a number of disadvantages of wired, as well as advantages.

I think based upon the discussion here (and the lesser postings elsewhere) Wired / Wireless is the same as Windows/Mac or VHS/Betamax. You love one or the other, but rarely both.

It has given me much to think about and ponder - I am still contemplating wired, as it is dependable.

Thank you for the comments, and if anyone has anymore - feel free to pipe up.
GPS: Garmin Zumo 595 & BMW Navigator IV
Maps: Europe NTU 2019.20 & Europe NT 2019.20
Software: Basecamp (4.7.0) & Mapsource (6.16.3)
Computer: PC (Windows 10 Pro)
Motorcycle: BMW R1200RT (2010)

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kernowing
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Re: Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Post by kernowing » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:22 am

Just for information-- Chainspeed do have a fitting service, would mean a trip to UK :(
http://chainspeed.co.uk/pages/workshop.html
http://chainspeed.co.uk/products/autoco ... spa-2.html
Cheers, Pete.

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Re: Wired / Wireless Intercoms?

Post by Sleuth » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:45 pm

Hi Pete,

Thanks for the additional information.

I would seriously consider Chainspeed, however the cost of getting there and back which has to be included within the calculation probably does not allow me to order the unit from them. I would want it fitted professionally.

The Belgian distributor (https://starcom1.eu/) is the only one in Belgium that is authorised to handle Autocom & Starcom systems. He was the Starcom distributor before Tecstar bought Autocom. My local BMW dealer recommended him when I asked them about wired intercoms. They said he would provide good information, and had the relevant knowledge for installation.) I had used him before when I bought the Sena as he was then the only distributor in Benelux.

Also with Brexit looming, I am not sure if I will be able to include costs incurred for accessories from the UK for my tax claim. It all depends on the agreements made.

In Belgium, you can claim all motorcycle expenses as a tax deductible expense to the proportion you use it for commuting to/from work.

For myself that works out between 90-95% of all costs I can claim back from the taxes, (about 50% of the cost is repaid.) Costs include Bike purchase, insurance, maintenance, clothing accessories, etc. (I am not a high-flyer earning lots of money, taxes in Belgium are higher than in the UK due to money going to Education, Healthcare, and Politicians)

However, I will contact them to see what the options are, and if they can advise me.
GPS: Garmin Zumo 595 & BMW Navigator IV
Maps: Europe NTU 2019.20 & Europe NT 2019.20
Software: Basecamp (4.7.0) & Mapsource (6.16.3)
Computer: PC (Windows 10 Pro)
Motorcycle: BMW R1200RT (2010)

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