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post #1 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 12:17 am Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Having a bad day!

Well, my Zumo 550 work flawlessly for 5 days, then the Bluetooth quit working and would no longer pair with my phone or any other phone for that matter. I spent most of the weekend trying to get them to pair( at least 50 times). The phone would always see the Zumo and the Zumo would sometimes see the phone but they would not pair. I tried my wife's phone and the same thing happened. I spent 2+ hours on the phone with Garmin today. Deleted the Bluetooth software and reinstalled the software that they emailed to me. Still wouldn't work. Reloaded and updated the software on my Sony Ericson W5801 and still would not pair. Went to AT&T and tried to sync with several different brands of cellphone, no luck. Garmin guy said it is kaput and to sent it back to GetFeetWet Navigation for an exchange. After several tries I finally got someone there and they said to send it back and they'd exchange it. UPS'ed to them (5 days by ground), probably will have 2-3 days turn around at GetFeetWet then 5-6 days back depending how they send it. Great, I just had it over one week, got everything installed, then had to send it back. Everything else on the Zumo seemed to work fine.

I just completed the installation of my StarCom last week and install the StarCom headset into my new HJC helmet (this one fits by the way. My new wrong sized Nolan N102 and J&M headset are in the garage (Anyone want to buy it or them?).). I spent most of the rest weekend trying to figure out how to get my MPEG4 Itunes files onto the SD card for the Zumo. I finally purchase software last night which allowed me to easily convert them and protected files to MP3 files. Finally I could get the songs on the SD card to try in the Zumo. I just installed the XM30 and haven't had time to subscribe to the XM service. Anyway, I thought, well before I send the Zumo back, I'll at least see how th StarCom works with the MP3 player. Sos, I puts my foam ear plugs in and my new helmet on and tries it out. Shit! With the StarCom full volume and the Zumo full volume, I can just barely hear the music (crappy quality at that -distorted due to the high volume setting). Crap! Sos I take my ear plugs out and it's even worse, with the engine and wind noise reverberating inside the flip face helmet. I'm afraid to even try my FRS radio with it. I doubt that I'll be able to hear the cellphone if I ever get it to pair again. Man this sucks, I've spent almost $1,500.00 on GPS and Com system and don't have anything that works right. I do have a hearing problem, but with the BMW Com II on my LT and the J&M headset, I could really hear good quality music better than in my car or living room. I'm so depressed and disgusted, I don't know what to do.

I have a new bike which I love, but crappy audio set up for which I don't really see a good alternative. This is going to make long distance riding much less enjoyable.

Dick Wood
2014 R1200RTW Quartz Blue Metallic
Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
Previous 1995 HD FXDL
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post #2 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 6:32 am
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Re: Having a bad day!

Hey Dick,

Although I am not yet trying to do the same thing, I can empathize and relate to your frustration. Bluetooth has unfortunately not turned out to be what the developers envisioned, at least not yet anyway. I do think it is an emerging technology with potential that is improving with each version, but frankly it just doesn't appear as if it is quite "there" yet. I read somewhere that Bluetooth is about to "takeoff" within the motorcycle equipment community to allow complete integration of GPS, stereo audio, phone, FRS, CB, etc., but the fact that only a handful of manufacturers are even trying their hand at it is quite revealing of the state of the art right now. I think what you and I are victim of, is that our expectations for state of the art is outpacing the ability of the manufacturers to keep up!

Al Hennigan
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post #3 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 9:08 am Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger6
Hey Dick,

Although I am not yet trying to do the same thing, I can empathize and relate to your frustration. Bluetooth has unfortunately not turned out to be what the developers envisioned, at least not yet anyway. I do think it is an emerging technology with potential that is improving with each version, but frankly it just doesn't appear as if it is quite "there" yet. I read somewhere that Bluetooth is about to "takeoff" within the motorcycle equipment community to allow complete integration of GPS, stereo audio, phone, FRS, CB, etc., but the fact that only a handful of manufacturers are even trying their hand at it is quite revealing of the state of the art right now. I think what you and I are victim of, is that our expectations for state of the art is outpacing the ability of the manufacturers to keep up!
Well, the Bluetooth worked very well with the cellphone until it quit. I didn't get a chance to use it on the GT, but in the truck, it was great. Worked just like is was supposed to until it quit. The sound quality through the Zumo speaker was excellent and the Garmin external mic worked flawlessly, THEN, the damn thing just quit. Until then, I could access the address book in my phone, prior calls, missed calls, etc all through the GPS.

Bluetooth reliability is the main reason I bought the StarCom for hardwired music, GPS voice, XM radio, MP3, etc. The problem is that the speakers and amplifier on the StarCom are apparently marginal, which really pisses me off, after I spent two days installing everything to look like it came from the factory. Jeff from CycleEffects is supposed to call me today to talk about what I can do. All this is just bumming me out. When I first got the LT, everything worked just like it was supposed to until my NAV I got so old it was not able to keep up. Then, nothing out there would work with my BMW Com. I tell you, I'm about to become anti-technology. There should be some sort of regulation over all this stuff, so the consumer doesn't keep getting screwed. $1,500.00 so far!

Dick Wood
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Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
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post #4 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 9:25 am
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Re: Having a bad day!

Music audio via bluetooth will not sound good if your hardware (Zumo and Helmet headset) doesn't support stereo. The Zumo bluetooth does not, but what you can do is get a bluetooth dongle (like the WiRevo 1000 that you plug into the 3.5mm audio output jack on the Zumo. You then pair the dongle with your helmet mounted bluetooth and you will experience much better music quality. I also noted much better volume and clarity. Music was useless for me until I did this. That said, the volume was still not great, and I had to add a small amplifier to get it to where I wanted it. I used a boosteroo amp (cheap but not high quality) to try it out, but there are other amps out their like AmpliRider and MixIt2 (Google for details).

Hope this helps you. It did me, but now I have a cable from the Zumo to my tankbag where I store the WiRevo dongle and the boosteroo amp, both battery powered. I get a days worth of riding from both no problem, and charge them all up when I do the headset bluetooth recharge ( I use the Camos BTS200 ).

Larry

Laurence Hendrick

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post #5 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 9:48 am Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrick
Music audio via bluetooth will not sound good if your hardware (Zumo and Helmet headset) doesn't support stereo. The Zumo bluetooth does not, but what you can do is get a bluetooth dongle (like the WiRevo 1000 that you plug into the 3.5mm audio output jack on the Zumo. You then pair the dongle with your helmet mounted bluetooth and you will experience much better music quality. I also noted much better volume and clarity. Music was useless for me until I did this. That said, the volume was still not great, and I had to add a small amplifier to get it to where I wanted it. I used a boosteroo amp (cheap but not high quality) to try it out, but there are other amps out their like AmpliRider and MixIt2 (Google for details).

Hope this helps you. It did me, but now I have a cable from the Zumo to my tankbag where I store the WiRevo dongle and the boosteroo amp, both battery powered. I get a days worth of riding from both no problem, and charge them all up when I do the headset bluetooth recharge ( I use the Camos BTS200 ).

Larry
Thanks Larry, I'll check with CycleGadgets to see if an amp will help, as I am not using Bluetooth for audio, just for cellphone pairing. Part of the problem is that I have a sgnificant hearing deficit, but had no problems at all the the BMW J&M Com system. Sound quality was loud and excellent. J&M just doesn't make anything that will install in the GT and provide all the connections I want. The AutoCom does but the amp is just not strong enough.

Dick Wood
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Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
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post #6 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 7:09 pm
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Re: Having a bad day!

Dick I have a different set-up, but had the same problem. I hard wired the Zumo non-phone audio to the BMW audio system and the volume -both XM and MP3- was wholly insufficient. The simple fix was an amplifier between the Zumo output and the audio system.

I tried a Boosteroo and it worked. Ultimately, in order to integrate things better I bought an Amplirider (It's bike powered rather than battery and has an adjustable output level) and installed that. Problme completely solved.
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post #7 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 7:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmyrrh
Dick I have a different set-up, but had the same problem. I hard wired the Zumo non-phone audio to the BMW audio system and the volume -both XM and MP3- was wholly insufficient. The simple fix was an amplifier between the Zumo output and the audio system.

I tried a Boosteroo and it worked. Ultimately, in order to integrate things better I bought an Amplirider (It's bike powered rather than battery and has an adjustable output level) and installed that. Problme completely solved.
Can you send me a link to the Amplirider? Jeff at Bike Effects, who sold me the StarCom, states that he has had problems with the Zumos before. We are going to wait for my new replacement Zumo to arrive and start over trying to figure out what's wrong.

Dick Wood
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post #8 of 20 Old Sep 30th, 2008, 7:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Amplirider

Found it on Google:

http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplirider.html

I'm not sure I can place this between the Zumo and the StarCom, though. Looks as if the headset is supposed to attach to the Amplirider.

Dick Wood
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post #9 of 20 Old Oct 1st, 2008, 5:14 am
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Re: Having a bad day!

It amplifies the output the device it's used with -in this case the Zumo, but the output signal is otherwise unchanged. you should have no problem using the amplified output through the amp as the input to your audio system.
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post #10 of 20 Old Oct 1st, 2008, 7:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmyrrh
It amplifies the output the device it's used with -in this case the Zumo, but the output signal is otherwise unchanged. you should have no problem using the amplified output through the amp as the input to your audio system.
Thanks, I've sent the link to Jeff (Bike Effects) and will keep it in mind if problem persists when I get the new Zumo back. It looks very promising. I'd have to figure out how to get the two volume cable to the front, though, since I've just about filed up all the space on the left side of the frame with the 5 cables I've already run to the handle bars and battery. I didn't look, but maybe there is room along the right side of the frame. If I get all this working, I'll need to run a coaxal cable to the bars for my FRS radio, too.

Dick Wood
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Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
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post #11 of 20 Old Oct 14th, 2008, 7:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Having a slightly better day!

Well, I received my new replacement Zumo 550 yesterday and it appears to be working well. The only problem I am having now is that I can not get enough volume from the StarCom system to hear well above 50 mph. Below 50 mph, it's adequate with about 95% volume setting on the Zumo and the StarCom. If I go above that the sound quality becomes distorted.

I've tried a few things. I moved the StarCom Speaker from behind the cheek pad lining to the front (on the other side closer to my ears). I switched the balance on the StarCom all the way toward the rider's position. This helped some. Sitting still the sound is decent. As the mph increases the sound volume become worse. It's OK up to 50 mph, but I can barely hear it above 75 mph. I wear soft earplugs to decrease wind noise and the engine sound resonating inside my flip face helmet. I tried riding without the plugs and it was much worse. Not only could I not hear as well as with the plugs, the wind and engine noise were painful. I do have a significant hearing deficit, but with the BMW J&M system on the LT, I had no problems at all. In fact, I could hear and enjoy music on the LT better than I could sitting in my living room with my Bose System.

Someone suggested the Amplirider( http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplirider.html ) and I am considering trying it. Does anyone have experience with placing it in-line between the Zumo and the Com system? Any suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Dick Wood
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post #12 of 20 Old Oct 14th, 2008, 10:17 pm
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Smile Re: Having a bad day!

You do know that the zumo has a volume control? I had mine for a month before one of the guys at cycle gadgets pointed it out to me. Push the lower button on the left front of the zumo, then use the + and - buttons to adjust the volume. It does get loud.
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post #13 of 20 Old Oct 14th, 2008, 10:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSuz
You do know that the zumo has a volume control? I had mine for a month before one of the guys at cycle gadgets pointed it out to me. Push the lower button on the left front of the zumo, then use the + and - buttons to adjust the volume. It does get loud.
Yep, that's the one that I have set one bar below maximum. On the system volume settings I have the GPS and MP3 at 100%. I have the StarCom volume set at about 95%. Anything louder than that causes distortion of the sound.

Dick Wood
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post #14 of 20 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 5:37 am
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Re: Having a bad day!

Dick, I've got an Amplirider in-line between a Zumo 550 and the built-in audio system on my LT. With out it I had about the same problem you're getting: it simply wasn't loud enough to be useful at speed. It will boost the output level of the Zumo pretty dramatically -I don't use anything like max volume settings on the bike's volume control even at highway speeds. It's a good product that works.

The two cables going to the volume control is a little odd, but not a problem. I've got the main unit under the tupperware behind the radio on my LT, with the volume control in oddments box. I simple set that volume control to a level that doesn't provide any distortion and leave it alone. works well.

If you want a simpler solution I have a boosteroo -battery operated, no volume control- that solves the problem as well, although it won't amplify quite as much. I used it while trying to figure out what would work -about a week. One of these days I'm going to put it in Ebay, but meanwhile $15 and it's yours. PM me if you want to try it.
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post #15 of 20 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 6:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmyrrh
Dick, I've got an Amplirider in-line between a Zumo 550 and the built-in audio system on my LT. With out it I had about the same problem you're getting: it simply wasn't loud enough to be useful at speed. It will boost the output level of the Zumo pretty dramatically -I don't use anything like max volume settings on the bike's volume control even at highway speeds. It's a good product that works.

The two cables going to the volume control is a little odd, but not a problem. I've got the main unit under the tupperware behind the radio on my LT, with the volume control in oddments box. I simple set that volume control to a level that doesn't provide any distortion and leave it alone. works well.

If you want a simpler solution I have a boosteroo -battery operated, no volume control- that solves the problem as well, although it won't amplify quite as much. I used it while trying to figure out what would work -about a week. One of these days I'm going to put it in Ebay, but meanwhile $15 and it's yours. PM me if you want to try it.
Thanks, Byrrh (? name),

I talked with Gary at Electric-Avenues.com and he told me the same thing, that a lot of people using the Zumo as their main audio source were having output problems and that the AmpliRider would solve them. He said that I could install in in-line like you did and set the volume one time, then use the volume control on the Zumo to control the volume while riding. He also has shorter 18" volume control cables, if I did not want to remotely mount the volume control for the AmpliRider.

I don't want to have to use the ear plug speaker, as I think it would be more trouble every time I take my helmet off, but with my hearing problems, I eventually may not have a choice. I'm not sure how well they work for suppressing ambient noise inside the helmet.

Thanks for the offer on the battery operated unit, but I think I'll go with the AmpliRider, as I commonly ride 12-16 hour days and the battery would give out daily. Thanks for telling me about the AmpliRider in the first place.

I'm leaving this morning to head up to the Smokeys to try out my new GT on the twisties. I probably run the Gap while I'm up there. Post your name, sos we can call you by your real name.

Thanks again,
Dick

Dick Wood
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post #16 of 20 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 8:15 am
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Re: Having a bad day!

Another amplifier that I have had success with is the Mix-It2:

http://www.mixitproducts.com/mixit2.html

I have this in line between my Zumo (and Valentine 1 and iPod) and the WiRevo BT dongle. It has 4 inputs (2 stereo, 2 mono) and one is prioritized too (like for radar alerts!). I has an integral volume control. It runs off 12v bike power or 9v battery. It works great. Cost is high at $179 plus shipping. It works. No distortion at volume boost levels necessary to hear with ear plugs at 75mph.

I keep the mix it2 in a tank bag with short wires to the zumo and valentine 1 and set the volume once, then control volume using the Zumo controls only.

This solution works fine, but I am increasingly thinking that earplug speakers, which can block out mush more outside noise are the way to go for long/all day rides. The wind and engine noise really wear one down. With the earplug speakers the volume levels for audio are reduced dramatically and the Zumo has more than enough volume, un-boosted.

I'll probably use my Camos BTS200 headsets for local driving and go to earplug speakers for the long hauls.
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Laurence Hendrick

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2005 LT Ocean Blue (Sold and comfort will be missed, but not the weight)

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post #17 of 20 Old Oct 15th, 2008, 1:01 pm
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Re: Having a bad day!

Hope it works out well for you, Dick

Name is Mark, btw.
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post #18 of 20 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 4:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day - Think I discovered the problem.

There is a short or loose connection in the GPS cradle on my bike. Figured this out during my trip to the mountains over the past 3 days. Garmin is sending me a new cradle and we'll see. The new GPS is working GREAT!

Dick Wood
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post #19 of 20 Old Oct 17th, 2008, 10:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Having a bad day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrick
Another amplifier that I have had success with is the Mix-It2:

http://www.mixitproducts.com/mixit2.html

I have this in line between my Zumo (and Valentine 1 and iPod) and the WiRevo BT dongle. It has 4 inputs (2 stereo, 2 mono) and one is prioritized too (like for radar alerts!). I has an integral volume control. It runs off 12v bike power or 9v battery. It works great. Cost is high at $179 plus shipping. It works. No distortion at volume boost levels necessary to hear with ear plugs at 75mph.

I keep the mix it2 in a tank bag with short wires to the zumo and valentine 1 and set the volume once, then control volume using the Zumo controls only.

This solution works fine, but I am increasingly thinking that earplug speakers, which can block out mush more outside noise are the way to go for long/all day rides. The wind and engine noise really wear one down. With the earplug speakers the volume levels for audio are reduced dramatically and the Zumo has more than enough volume, un-boosted.

I'll probably use my Camos BTS200 headsets for local driving and go to earplug speakers for the long hauls.
Thanks Laurence,

Rick Mayer told me about this at the CCR. He said it's all he uses since he doesn't require a mic. I just couldn't remember the name of it.

Dick Wood
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post #20 of 20 Old Feb 14th, 2009, 9:23 am Thread Starter
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Smile Re: Having a better day!

Welp, I've finally got things working well. Everything on the Zumo works like it's supposed to. Jeff at BikeEffects sent a new StarCom headset which help the volume tremendously. Still not as loud as the J&M unit on the LT, but acceptable. It addition, the new headset he sent me has speakers and a cable for ear buds.

The AmpliRider did not help at all, but the owner of the company gave me a full refund.

So it seems, I'm back in business. Now, if I can just find the time for another long ride!

Dick Wood
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