Has anyone installed the CB Communicator? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Apr 16th, 2010, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

I posted this also in the CB forum, but I know that many read this more frequently so I am duplicating the post here. Hopefully, this isn't a violation of protocol!

My CB arrived from Chicago today and came pretty quickly. I was expecting longer after the many comments about their slow shipping, but I got it less than two weeks after placing the order and they had said to expect 3 weeks.

As others have mentioned, the installation instructions are meager at best. I have a couple of questions for anyone who has done the installation:

1. The power relay box has a connection that has a wire that goes to what appears to be a "T" in a cable (item R one the diagram). The note beside it says to connect to pin 5 on the stereo. Does anyone have a picture of where this pin 5 is? I assume it is on a connector, but no detail is given in the instructions. Also, no note is made about the other end of the short "T" segment and where it might attach. It almost looks like it is made to be placed inline with something that already connects to pin 5.

2. I bought the PTT kit so I could have a passenger PTT, but the kit has just two switches and a mounting bracket, but no cables. I see that the driver's PTT cable is apparently already in place as part of the VOICE II installation, but I see no such cable on the diagram for the passenger PTT. Can anyone tell me if this cable is already in place as part of the VOICE II? If not, any idea what part(s) I need to order so as to add this capability?

3. The instructions say to connect the A.A.W.D. plug (auxiliary audio) if desired (item M on the diagram), but it does not show on the diagram where this should be connected. Does anyone know?

Thanks,
Matt

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #2 of 20 Old Apr 16th, 2010, 11:40 pm
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Smile Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

In case you didn't know this system is made by J&m out of Tucson AZ. Their very good about helping with questions and if needed you could get the need parts your missing. Good luck with your install,sorry I couldn't be more help on the install.

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post #3 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2010, 8:01 am
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Thumbs up Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Matt, The 5-pin is on the back of your radio unit. You will have to get from the dealer a Pin removal tool to make the connection.I only have the ptt for the driver. The wires are in the left handle bar cover. The extra wire for audio is for you to use for playing a system through the cb unit if need be. I did not use mine.

Good luck on install
Tim
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post #4 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2010, 10:02 am Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton
In case you didn't know this system is made by J&m out of Tucson AZ. Their very good about helping with questions and if needed you could get the need parts your missing. Good luck with your install,sorry I couldn't be more help on the install.
Yes, I was aware that J&M was the maker, but I didn't think they would support a BMW branded unit. I will give them a call. Thanks for the suggestion.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #5 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2010, 10:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking04
Matt, The 5-pin is on the back of your radio unit. You will have to get from the dealer a Pin removal tool to make the connection.I only have the ptt for the driver. The wires are in the left handle bar cover. The extra wire for audio is for you to use for playing a system through the cb unit if need be. I did not use mine.

Good luck on install
Tim
Thanks, Tim. I kept searching the archives last night and finally found a disgram that someone had posted that shows the back of radio connectors. There appear to be three of them and the pin 5 needed is on the lower right connector. The diagram is all in German, but fortunately I work with several engineers originally from Germany so I may have them see if they can confirm that I have the right pin #5 (there appear to be three different pin 5s on the radio in the various connectors!).

I'm still searching the archives and hopefully will come across some pictures of an installation that someone has done.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #6 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2010, 10:52 am
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking04
Matt, The 5-pin is on the back of your radio unit. You will have to get from the dealer a Pin removal tool to make the connection.I only have the ptt for the driver. The wires are in the left handle bar cover. The extra wire for audio is for you to use for playing a system through the cb unit if need be. I did not use mine.

Good luck on install
Tim
Matt- I was able to remove the Pin with a pair of needle nose pliers, so the Pin removal tool really isn't necessary. I also only have the driver PTT, so no help on the passenger switch.

The area that most people have trouble with is ensuring there is a good ground for the antennae. You'll get a howl when transmitting from the unit if the antennae is not sufficiently grounded. In addition to scraping the paint from the frame mounting point, I also ran a wire direct to ground. Once installed, I rode it "naked" (the bike, not me ) over to a local CB install place and had them tune the antennae before reinstalling the tupperware. The unit has worked perfectly.

Good luck. Installing it is a real PITA, but I saved the $500 quote from the dealer to install it (which of course was spent on other farkles!)

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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post #7 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2010, 10:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickerbiker
Matt- I was able to remove the Pin with a pair of needle nose pliers, so the Pin removal tool really isn't necessary. I also only have the driver PTT, so no help on the passenger switch.

The area that most people have trouble with is ensuring there is a good ground for the antennae. You'll get a howl when transmitting from the unit if the antennae is not sufficiently grounded. In addition to scraping the paint from the frame mounting point, I also ran a wire direct to ground. Once installed, I rode it "naked" (the bike, not me ) over to a local CB install place and had them tune the antennae before reinstalling the tupperware. The unit has worked perfectly.

Good luck. Installing it is a real PITA, but I saved the $500 quote from the dealer to install it (which of course was spent on other farkles!)
Good tip on removing the pin. Did you just pull it out from the back of hte connector or work the nose of the pliers along both sides of the pin from the front of the connector?

Yes, the apparently wised up to the ground problem as the antenna now comes with two ground wires that are connected to the antenna mounting bolts and run to two of the relays. One of the grounding wires as another pigtail that appears to bridge across a couple of the relays.

They also have two other ground wires, one which runs directly to the battery and another than runs to the FM radio chassis. So, it appears they have learned and made some improvements to ensure adequate grounding.

Any other tips you learned from your installation? What SWR ranges were you able to achive from channels 1 to 40? Do you get decent range with the relatively small BMW antenna?

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #8 of 20 Old May 27th, 2010, 10:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Well, I started the installation of the CB and NavIII on my 2007 LT two weeks ago. Fortunately, the weather was crappy until just two days ago so I haven't missed much riding. Most of the time has been waiting for tools and parts. The good news is that tonight I got most things buttoned up (still need to finish the passenger PTT wiring and install the trunk) and decided to power it up and see what smoked!

The good news is that nothing smoked. That bad news is that nothing worked. The ON light on the radio control wouldn't even light. I checked a few things and figured I'd either blown the radio fuse or had missed a connector. I checked all of the stingray connectors as I removed them again (I think there are now 11 counting the two new ones for the CB) and they all appeared to have been seated correctly. I then remembered that the connector on the cable that goes to the radio control unit on top of the Stingray hadn't felt right when I installed it. I had tried it a couple of times and figured it had to be right. So, I removed it again and put just a smear of dielectric grease on the connector and installed it agian. I removed it and looked for grease on the pins. There was none! Aha, I was on to something. I got looking at the connector and playing with the swing lock and noticed that in the fully removed position it clicks ifyou move it far enough. I had not done that on my prior attempts. This time is seated and felt right so and when I removed it the pins were covered in grease.

I reassembled the Stingray and re-installed it. Turned on the key and I had the On light lit. Hit On and the CB lit up! I then tried the GPS and it too now fired right up. It was getting late so I stopped for the night, but a couple more hours to wire the passenger PTT, tune the SWR and reinstall the tupperware and I should be good to go. I have taken a gazillion pictures of the installation. If I find time and anyone here has interest to see it, I may write up a little Word document installation procedure with pictures which may help anyone else who wants to tackle this. It really wasn't that hard, but it is tedious. The biggest problem I had was that I didn't have the right pin extractor for pin 5 on the radio connector. I had hoped my dealer would pop the socket for me, but when I asked they told me if I wanted to work on my own bike I should do as they do and buy all of the special tools. You'd think spending nearlyf 24 grand there over the last 3 years would have gained me a 5 minute favor, but no. So, I ended up pulling off the wire trying to finagle out the socket (it is a very small gauge wire) so I had to drill off the flange on the socket to get it out. This wasn't such a big deal as the CB kit comes with a new socket that goes back into that hole in the connector. It just meant though that I now didn't have a socket on the wire to hook onto the pin provided on the new "y" cable. So, I just cut off the pin on the Y cable and did a direct splice to the original wire that went to pin 5. Not quite what the original designers intended, but it will certainly work fine.

If anyone wants to see any pictures of particular aspects of the installation or has real interest in seeing an installation procedure, just reply here or drop me a PM. I probably have 16 hours into the project counting research time and parts ordering, but I am an EE and get pretty picky how how I do my wiring. I bought Weatherpack connectors and the proper tools for them so that I could put in disconnects in several places to make it easy to remove the Stingray int the future and the trunk. I also wanted to match the color code for the PTT so I had to order green TCXL wire, etc. So, I spent a lot more time that was absolutely necessary, but I will have a pretty clean installation when done.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #9 of 20 Old Jun 11th, 2010, 10:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Well, I started the installation of the CB and NavIII on my 2007 LT two weeks ago. Fortunately, the weather was crappy until just two days ago so I haven't missed much riding. Most of the time has been waiting for tools and parts. The good news is that tonight I got most things buttoned up (still need to finish the passenger PTT wiring and install the trunk) and decided to power it up and see what smoked!

The good news is that nothing smoked. That bad news is that nothing worked. The ON light on the radio control wouldn't even light. I checked a few things and figured I'd either blown the radio fuse or had missed a connector. I checked all of the stingray connectors as I removed them again (I think there are now 11 counting the two new ones for the CB) and they all appeared to have been seated correctly. I then remembered that the connector on the cable that goes to the radio control unit on top of the Stingray hadn't felt right when I installed it. I had tried it a couple of times and figured it had to be right. So, I removed it again and put just a smear of dielectric grease on the connector and installed it agian. I removed it and looked for grease on the pins. There was none! Aha, I was on to something. I got looking at the connector and playing with the swing lock and noticed that in the fully removed position it clicks ifyou move it far enough. I had not done that on my prior attempts. This time is seated and felt right so and when I removed it the pins were covered in grease.

I reassembled the Stingray and re-installed it. Turned on the key and I had the On light lit. Hit On and the CB lit up! I then tried the GPS and it too now fired right up. It was getting late so I stopped for the night, but a couple more hours to wire the passenger PTT, tune the SWR and reinstall the tupperware and I should be good to go. I have taken a gazillion pictures of the installation. If I find time and anyone here has interest to see it, I may write up a little Word document installation procedure with pictures which may help anyone else who wants to tackle this. It really wasn't that hard, but it is tedious. The biggest problem I had was that I didn't have the right pin extractor for pin 5 on the radio connector. I had hoped my dealer would pop the socket for me, but when I asked they told me if I wanted to work on my own bike I should do as they do and buy all of the special tools. You'd think spending nearlyf 24 grand there over the last 3 years would have gained me a 5 minute favor, but no. So, I ended up pulling off the wire trying to finagle out the socket (it is a very small gauge wire) so I had to drill off the flange on the socket to get it out. This wasn't such a big deal as the CB kit comes with a new socket that goes back into that hole in the connector. It just meant though that I now didn't have a socket on the wire to hook onto the pin provided on the new "y" cable. So, I just cut off the pin on the Y cable and did a direct splice to the original wire that went to pin 5. Not quite what the original designers intended, but it will certainly work fine.

If anyone wants to see any pictures of particular aspects of the installation or has real interest in seeing an installation procedure, just reply here or drop me a PM. I probably have 16 hours into the project counting research time and parts ordering, but I am an EE and get pretty picky how how I do my wiring. I bought Weatherpack connectors and the proper tools for them so that I could put in disconnects in several places to make it easy to remove the Stingray int the future and the trunk. I also wanted to match the color code for the PTT so I had to order green TCXL wire, etc. So, I spent a lot more time that was absolutely necessary, but I will have a pretty clean installation when done.
Here is an update on my progress. I took two shortcuts during installation (connected both ground wires and the power wire to my Fuzeblock). Since my radio has a fair bit of engine noise, a loud ticking noise when the auxiliary volume is turned up and a loud squeal when transmitting, I have embarked on a noise elimination odyssey.

My first step was to connect the one ground wire to the FM radio chassis per the schematic. I could not find a screw on the chassis so I put a very smal and short sheet metal screw through one of the chassis vent holes in a area where I could see noting inside the chassis that would be shorted by the screw. This one change made a huge difference. The noise from the auxiiary volume control is now quite faint, and the engine noise (not sure if it was spark plugs or maybe the FI solenoids) is nearly gone. Unfortunately, the radio still squealed loudly when transmitting.

So, I took the next step and connected the power and main ground directly to the battery. This made no detectable difference. I then started placing ferrite RF clamp-ons on various wires in turn: power leads, antenna coax, etc., but nothing helped the squeal.

So, some progress, but the most annoying problem remains. At least now I can hear CB chatter pretty well and also the weather radio reception is much improved.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #10 of 20 Old Jun 13th, 2010, 7:50 pm
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

On the bottom of the "installation instructions" you will find a list of "other required items". Do you have the correct lower cords for your headsets? The CB requires a different lower that has a built in choke which eliminates the transmit squeel.

Jim
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post #11 of 20 Old Jun 13th, 2010, 9:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by javandyke
On the bottom of the "installation instructions" you will find a list of "other required items". Do you have the correct lower cords for your headsets? The CB requires a different lower that has a built in choke which eliminates the transmit squeel.
I don't have the BMW/J&M headsets or cords. I have ordered the BMW branded units, but they haven't arrived yet. I tried putting ferrite cores on my headset cables, but that didn't seem to help. I am guessing the interference frequency is far too low for an RF choke and likely needs an LC filter.

I will soon know if this is the problem, but I strongly suspect it is as I can eliminate most of the squeal by manipulating my headset cord.

I finished buttoning up my LT this evening and did twist the power leads to the extent possible, but it was a little tricky. However, I think I now have a pretty clean installation other than the headset issue. I can pick up at least one and often two or three of the 10 weather channels, and at least one is usually very crisp and clear. I had the CB this evening as I was putting the tupperware back on and I could hear transmissions on channel 19 through my headset speakers and that was with the helmet sitting on the motorcycle seat. The nearest highway is probably at least 2 miles away as the crow flies and there is one mountain between my house and that road. And I was inside my garage with metal garage door closed.

So, once the transmit squeal is addressed, and I share your view that the proper headset cables will fix this, I think I will have a decent CB installation.

I was somewhat nervouse about buying one given the generally unfavorable history on the forum, but I was encouraged by a few folks who seem to have successfully installed one. I am of the opinion now that if you follow the instructions precisely and use the recommended headsets and cords, there is a very good chance of having a sound installation. However, any shortcuts and your chances of success drop quickly. The single most damaging short-cut I initially took was in not running the smaller ground wire to the FM radio chassis. That one change made a huge difference in reception clarity and I suspect in range also. I haven't yet had the bike on the highway to test that, but before I could not get a thing while in my garage and tonight I picked up both weather channel reports and a number of CB calls.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #12 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 8:09 am
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

I had a nasty squeal when transmitting too. The solution for me was to install a longer antenna. Picked up a new mast at a local truck stop/CB shop for about $12, and it worked great. You can read all about in my posts in this thread Tuning CB Antenna (need longer antenna?)

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post #13 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 2:55 pm
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by javandyke
On the bottom of the "installation instructions" you will find a list of "other required items". Do you have the correct lower cords for your headsets? The CB requires a different lower that has a built in choke which eliminates the transmit squeel.
Which lower J&M cord? I'm wondering as I can receive but not transmit with the "in the oddments box CB" on my '02 K12LT. At least now I've been told that there's the sound of an open mic but no voice.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #14 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 6:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

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Originally Posted by blueknightga6
Which lower J&M cord? I'm wondering as I can receive but not transmit with the "in the oddments box CB" on my '02 K12LT. At least now I've been told that there's the sound of an open mic but no voice.
I had this problem at first with my CB on the VOICE II. The problem was that I had forgotten to turn on the intercom. The intercom must be on to connect the mic to the CB. You have an older model LT so I am not sure which model intercom system you have, but if the intercom function can be turned on and off, check that first.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #15 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman
I had a nasty squeal when transmitting too. The solution for me was to install a longer antenna. Picked up a new mast at a local truck stop/CB shop for about $12, and it worked great. You can read all about in my posts in this thread Tuning CB Antenna (need longer antenna?)

Cheers, Toolman
Thanks, Toolman, for this reference. I just posted a question about the element that you bought if you get a chance to read it and answer.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #16 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 6:37 pm
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
I had this problem at first with my CB on the VOICE II. The problem was that I had forgotten to turn on the intercom. The intercom must be on to connect the mic to the CB. You have an older model LT so I am not sure which model intercom system you have, but if the intercom function can be turned on and off, check that first.
No joy. My intercom is on when I try and use it. The intercom is a BC3.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #17 of 20 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 7:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
No joy. My intercom is on when I try and use it. The intercom is a BC3.
I assume you have the Midland or similar hand-held CB since you said it was in the oddments box. Does it have a display that confirms it is transmitting? My BMW CB (the unit made by J&M) that mounts on the handlebar shows TX and power bars on the display when you push the PTT. I know you said others have said they heard a carrier, but no modulation, but can you confirm on your CB that the mic really has been keyed?

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #18 of 20 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 7:07 pm
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
I assume you have the Midland or similar hand-held CB since you said it was in the oddments box. Does it have a display that confirms it is transmitting? My BMW CB (the unit made by J&M) that mounts on the handlebar shows TX and power bars on the display when you push the PTT. I know you said others have said they heard a carrier, but no modulation, but can you confirm on your CB that the mic really has been keyed?
Yes I have the old Midland. Actually a replaced one as the old one would not work AT ALL. When I use the PTT the graph goes up that it transmits. A friend with an Ultra Classic tells me it sounds like an open mic is all but no voice. Now here's the funny part. I only try this when stopped, off the bike and in a parking lot. If I key the mic button on the Midland itself, (while still connected in the oddments box) everyone can here me.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #19 of 20 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 12:02 am Thread Starter
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
Yes I have the old Midland. Actually a replaced one as the old one would not work AT ALL. When I use the PTT the graph goes up that it transmits. A friend with an Ultra Classic tells me it sounds like an open mic is all but no voice. Now here's the funny part. I only try this when stopped, off the bike and in a parking lot. If I key the mic button on the Midland itself, (while still connected in the oddments box) everyone can here me.
Is your PTT the BMW PTT that connects to the intercom system or a PTT that connects to the cable between the Midland and the intercom? If the former, it sounds like the intercom interfaced PTT may only work for the CB Communicator rather than for the auxiliary handheld CB. I don't know, that is just a guess as I have the handlebar mounted unit and the BMW handle bar mounted PTT works fine with it. I haven't tried the handle bar mounted PTT with a CB plugged in through the auxiliary input to the VOICE intercome.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
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1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #20 of 20 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 6:23 pm
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Re: Has anyone installed the CB Communicator?

Yep, it's the stock BMW PTT for the intercom. But in 2002, the OEM CB was the Midland in the oddments box. So it should've worked at some point in time. Let's just say it's NOT keeping from riding the bike though!

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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