Time for a change? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 4 Old Jan 1st, 2012, 1:56 am Thread Starter
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Location: Eugene, OR, USA
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Time for a change?

Hello,

My ride is a 2007 R12RT with an Autocom Pro Active and a Zumo 550 GPS. I have been thinking about going wireless for a long time and since my wife and I recently got new helmets (Arai RX-Q's), I decided now would be a logical time to make a decision.

I have read enough material that my head hurts and find my self leaning towards staying with what I have and trying to improve on the things that I am less than 100% satisfied with.

Most of my frustration with the system has to do with not getting enough volume through the speakers which seems to be a very common complaint. Voice communication between the rider and passenger is good to about 35 or 40 mph at which time we need to raise our voices as speed increases. Navigation voice prompts and music via the Garmin SD card are also insufficient in my opinion. I have tried repositioning the speakers many times and had my dealership check the overall operation of the set up but the problem persists.
Question: Can anyone tell me if going to in-ear custom monitors would help? If yes, what do they plug into (the Autocom unit itself or...)? I don't like the idea of yet more wires but it may be worth it if it works.

My old helmet was an Arai also and the old installation was sloppy so I intended to do the new install myself.
Question: Is it common practice to lay the speaker and microphone on top of the helmet liners and tape them in place? I have read several instances where people talk about creating space inside the helmet so these parts are flush with the foam linings. I love neat and tidy but equally dispise the thought of trying to hollow out room for this stuff.

Thank you,
Brad
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post #2 of 4 Old Jan 1st, 2012, 7:26 am
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Re: Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freetime
Hello,

My ride is a 2007 R12RT with an Autocom Pro Active and a Zumo 550 GPS. I have been thinking about going wireless for a long time and since my wife and I recently got new helmets (Arai RX-Q's), I decided now would be a logical time to make a decision.

I have read enough material that my head hurts and find my self leaning towards staying with what I have and trying to improve on the things that I am less than 100% satisfied with.

Most of my frustration with the system has to do with not getting enough volume through the speakers which seems to be a very common complaint. Voice communication between the rider and passenger is good to about 35 or 40 mph at which time we need to raise our voices as speed increases. Navigation voice prompts and music via the Garmin SD card are also insufficient in my opinion. I have tried repositioning the speakers many times and had my dealership check the overall operation of the set up but the problem persists.
Question: Can anyone tell me if going to in-ear custom monitors would help? If yes, what do they plug into (the Autocom unit itself or...)? I don't like the idea of yet more wires but it may be worth it if it works.

My old helmet was an Arai also and the old installation was sloppy so I intended to do the new install myself.
Question: Is it common practice to lay the speaker and microphone on top of the helmet liners and tape them in place? I have read several instances where people talk about creating space inside the helmet so these parts are flush with the foam linings. I love neat and tidy but equally dispise the thought of trying to hollow out room for this stuff.

Thank you,
Brad
Brad,

I've thought many a times about going wireless but there was always something that wasn't going to work the way it does now. If your a single rider than it's a no brainer to switch to wireless, however riding two up and going wireless you have to give up something. We have the Starcom1 Digital unit and it works very good with plenty of volume and yes I did hollow out the cavity for the speakers. I used a dremel tool and it was very easy to do. When we ride my wife and I both listen to the XM from our Garmin 665 and are able to talk to each other at the same time. This is something that can't be done via bluetooth at this time, at least completely wireless. There is someone that makes a system where this can happen but you have to have a cable between you and your passenger. If I have to have a cable between us I might as well stay with what I got. Starcom has recently come out with a bluetooth system that works in conjunction with what I have and it would be completely wireless, but for now I'm sticking with what we have, it works very good and very good volume. I've heard about the in ear speakers but haven't the need to pursue it since what we have works well.

Stephen
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2006 R1200RT
2010 Unigo Trailer w/Dauntless Hitch
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post #3 of 4 Old Jan 1st, 2012, 5:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Time for a change?

I agree, staying wired is probalby the best way to go for me. I should have camped out at the Autocom booth at the Redmond rally until I got an audience with one of the reps. I am sure they would have some ideas for me but frankly, they seemed much more interested in selling new systems than helping folks like me with fixing problems. I will keep looking and hope someone else replies to my plea for help.

I actually have plenty of room for the speakers without modifying the helmet, its the wiring and "harness" that I am trying to figure out. I can get everyting laid out and taped or tucked in place but when I put the pads back in they do not lay as flat as I would like and that stuff will require a relatively long shallow groove and I just can't bring myself to canabilize the new lids.

I am screwed...kind of...
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post #4 of 4 Old Jan 1st, 2012, 7:27 pm
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Re: Time for a change?

Bluetooth is very tricky to get working depending on what equipment you have. If you had a ZUMO 660 I would suggest that you could use Scala G4. You could have a BT session with your pillion and a separate session with the 660 and they work together. Your pillion would not hear the ZUMO because that BT could establish another session with the ZUMO. I believe that Garmin GPS will only allow one session at a time.

The 550 that you have will not establish a stereo session to give you stereo tunes via BT. I have a Schuberth C3 (same as the Scala G4) and I can get a stereo session to my iPhone or a non-stereo session to my 550. Both establish sessions at the same time but as soon as the 550 speaks while the stereo session is running everything goes away.

Bottom line is before you invest in new methods find someone that has the exact equipment running that you want with pillion support. That way you know it can actually work. My BT sounds great has enough volume and there is no wind noise with the iPhone. I have answered some calls on non complex roadways and the callers do not know I am riding until I tell then I can't chat because I am riding. I would imagine that rider to pillion would be same. If your pillion gets tunes from another source than the 550 you could then work as you want. Again like Brad said something won't work exactly like you have now and it really depends on your equipment and firmware.

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
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