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post #1 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 2:23 am Thread Starter
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Question GTL intercom

Happy Easter to all of you out there. A little issue with 1600GTL comms system. Does anyone know if there is a way of having both "music" and "intercom" functions working at the same time? That is while listening to music to be able to talk to your pillion at the same time. Starcom fades the music when either rider speaks. It is a pain to have to lean over and press the button to switch between music and intercom. Cheers!!
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post #2 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 5:06 am
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Re: GTL intercom

Using the BMW factory radio and the BMW Bluetooth Com System, no.

You get Intercom, or Music, but not both together. I know, it bugs me, too.

You may want to look at the Sena offerings if you want to stay with Bluetooth, or one of the corded systems (Autocom, Baehr, J&M, Starcom, etc.).

Ken
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post #3 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 5:34 am
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Re: GTL intercom

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese View Post
Using the BMW factory radio and the BMW Bluetooth Com System, no.

You get Intercom, or Music, but not both together. I know, it bugs me, too.

You may want to look at the Sena offerings if you want to stay with Bluetooth, or one of the corded systems (Autocom, Baehr, J&M, Starcom, etc.).
That is interesting. I assumed the GTL would be like the LT VOICE II and have a priority mute scheme for the multiple inputs. Do you have to be in intercom mode to hear a cell call come in?

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post #4 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 8:07 am
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Re: GTL intercom

The GT/GTL does not have an intercom. It only has a blue-tooth transmitter. The transmitter will transmit the audio from the bike's sound system.

Enter the blue-tooth head sets.

BMW allows intercom connection to a second head set and a streaming music mode. Two BMW headsets can connect to the K1600 audio. BMW headsets do not multitask ie they have to switch between the intercom and audio modes.

Sena allows intercom connection to a second head set and a streaming music mode. Sena can not have two headsets attach to the K1600 but they have a music sharing mode Sena headsets do not multitask ie they have to switch between the intercom and audio modes. Sena is working on a new multi-tasking headset that will allow multi-tasking or audio mixing. Is supposed to be available real soon now. Real soon date keeps gettng pushed back.

Cardo offers the same as the current Sena headsets but no multi-tasking. Changing modes is simple enough either wait for default time outs, push a button, and/or use voice commands.

Wired intercoms and headsets work much better with audio mixers and audio management software. The only advantage wireless head sets have over wired headsets is that they are wireless.

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post #5 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 8:15 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by mwnahas View Post
The GT/GTL does not have an intercom. It only has a blue-tooth transmitter. The transmitter will transmit the audio from the bike's sound system.

Enter the blue-tooth head sets.

BMW allows intercom connection to a second head set and a streaming music mode. Two BMW headsets can connect to the K1600 audio. BMW headsets do not multitask ie they have to switch between the intercom and audio modes.

Sena allows intercom connection to a second head set and a streaming music mode. Sena can not have two headsets attach to the K1600 but they have a music sharing mode Sena headsets do not multitask ie they have to switch between the intercom and audio modes. Sena is working on a new multi-tasking headset that will allow multi-tasking or audio mixing. Is supposed to be available real soon now. Real soon date keeps gettng pushed back.

Cardo offers the same as the current Sena headsets but no multi-tasking. Changing modes is simple enough either wait for default time outs, push a button, and/or use voice commands.

Wired intercoms and headsets work much better with audio mixers and audio management software. The only advantage wireless head sets have over wired headsets is that they are wireless.
I agree on the only advantage. I can see the convenience for short trips, but for long tours I don't find it terribly bothersome to have the cord. Generally, leave my helmet on the seat and don't even unplug it at most stops. Only if in what appears to be a high crime area.

I wish the GTL offered a wired option, but then I guess that wouldn't leave anything for J&M to do!

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post #6 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 9:49 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
That is interesting. I assumed the GTL would be like the LT VOICE II and have a priority mute scheme for the multiple inputs. Do you have to be in intercom mode to hear a cell call come in?
I had the same expectations - notably - VOX for intercom. They "cheerfully" forgot to mention this when assuring me that the BMW Comm system was everything and more (when buying the bike).

I knew going in that connection to my iComm radio wouldn't happen with the BMW system - and had a work around ready - the VOX part really pissed me off!

That being said, I am now used to pushing the Intercom button to initiate conversation with my pillion.

The Intercom Mode does NOT have to be on to be alerted that you have a phone call (Nav V), and be able to answer.

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post #7 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 9:55 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by hallzee View Post
I had the same expectations - notably - VOX for intercom. They "cheerfully" forgot to mention this when assuring me that the BMW Comm system was everything and more (when buying the bike).

I knew going in that connection to my iComm radio wouldn't happen with the BMW system - and had a work around ready - the VOX part really pissed me off!

That being said, I am now used to pushing the Intercom button to initiate conversation with my pillion.

The Intercom Mode does NOT have to be on to be alerted that you have a phone call (Nav V), and be able to answer.
How does your passenger initiate intercom mode?

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post #8 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 11:24 am
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Re: GTL intercom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I assumed the GTL would be like the LT VOICE II and have a priority mute scheme for the multiple inputs.
Nope. None of the current Bluetooth setups can mix signals like that.

On the BMW system, when a GPS prompt comes in the music cuts down by about half, but I think that's being done inside the radio box and not at the headset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Do you have to be in intercom mode to hear a cell call come in?
No. The call rings through even when music is playing. And if you have the phone paired to the GPS, and then the GPS paired to the helmet, then you can see the call come in on the GPS screen and answer or end it there, or look up your address book, recent calls, etc. on the GPS screen.

Quote:
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How does your passenger initiate intercom mode?
The driver initiates Intercom mode by tapping the Radio ON button (down by your left knee), or by double-tapping the On (center) button on the BMW helmet headset. The passenger can also initiate Intercom mode by double-tapping the On button on their BMW helmet headset. Same to end Intercom mode and return to Music, although I think maybe the driver has to double-tap as well.

You have to think of it more like a Bluetooth phone headset that takes calls and plays music, rather than a full-on intercom system. For a basic wireless headset, it works fine. For the full intercom/audio mixer like we're used to with the wired systems, it's just not quite there yet.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
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BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #9 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 12:07 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

Sena's next Bluetooth headset is supposed to give the ability to have music and intercom.

The SMH 20S from all their current marketing claims will allow music and conversation at the same time. It was supposed to be released any day now, but knowing SENA and their delays in products, look for it around June or July.

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post #10 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 12:13 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
Nope. None of the current Bluetooth setups can mix signals like that.

On the BMW system, when a GPS prompt comes in the music cuts down by about half, but I think that's being done inside the radio box and not at the headset.

No. The call rings through even when music is playing. And if you have the phone paired to the GPS, and then the GPS paired to the helmet, then you can see the call come in on the GPS screen and answer or end it there, or look up your address book, recent calls, etc. on the GPS screen.

The driver initiates iIntercom mode by tapping the Radio ON button (down by your left knee), or by double-tapping the On button on the BMW helmet headset. The passenger can also initiate Intercom mode by double-tapping the On button on their BMW helmet headset. Same to end Intercom mode and return to music, although I think maybe the driver has to double-tap as well.

You have to think of it more like a Bluetooth phone headset that takes calls and plays music, rather than a full-on intercom system. For a basic wireless headset, it works fine. For the full intercom/audio mixer like we're used to with the wired systems, it's just not quite there yet.
I admit to not being a big Bluetooth user yet. Use it to talk through my Chevy Equinox with my iPhone and to have my iPhone ring through my wireless home phone system, but not much else. Never too impressed with BT headsets and don't use one regularly.

I am glad to keep learning about the GTL and Bluetooth here through others experience. I will stay on the sidelines a while longer as I still see too many drawbacks compared to a wired helmet intercom system.

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post #11 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 12:16 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by timgray View Post
Sena's next Bluetooth headset is supposed to give the ability to have music and intercom.

The SMH 20S from all their current marketing claims will allow music and conversation at the same time. It was supposed to be released any day now, but knowing SENA and their delays in products, look for it around June or July.
I also wish they would make BT headsets with replaceable batteries. Still can't figure that one out given the relatively short life of LiIon batteries. Then again, the iPhone is the same way, which is just stupid.

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post #12 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 4:10 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

There is a separate part number for the BMW Com System battery, but it's tucked up inside the helmet so you wouldn't change it on the road (to increase hours), but you could change it if the battery fails or loses charge without replacing the whole system.

I believe Sena has units with replaceable batteries that can be easily swapped while out on tour, but those units are larger and heavier.

As for standard phone Bluetooth headsets and the iPhone, those are specific design decisions. Everybody wants thinner/lighter/smaller, and replaceable batteries (and battery doors) add to cost and complexity.

My iPhone 4 still has the factory battery well over 3 years later and it works just fine. And it if did fail, I know I can get a replacement battery and a special screwdriver and do the swap myself, but mine hasn't failed yet so it's just not something I ever worry about.

Ken
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post #13 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 6:00 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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There is a separate part number for the BMW Com System battery, but it's tucked up inside the helmet so you wouldn't change it on the road (to increase hours), but you could change it if the battery fails or loses charge without replacing the whole system.

I believe Sena has units with replaceable batteries that can be easily swapped while out on tour, but those units are larger and heavier.

As for standard phone Bluetooth headsets and the iPhone, those are specific design decisions. Everybody wants thinner/lighter/smaller, and replaceable batteries (and battery doors) add to cost and complexity.

My iPhone 4 still has the factory battery well over 3 years later and it works just fine. And it if did fail, I know I can get a replacement battery and a special screwdriver and do the swap myself, but mine hasn't failed yet so it's just not something I ever worry about.
I have not seen the Sena units with replaceable batteries. When I looked at BT headsets a couple of years ago, I did not find a single one with user replaceable batteries.

The batteries seldom fail as in stop working. They are like old soldiers, they just fade away. Your iphone battery likely has only 50-60% of its original capacity assuming that you use it daily. Mine is nearly two years old and its daily life is not even 8 hours when used regularly. It would last 10+ when new.

I don't want a $400 headset that is disposable because of batteries not easily replaced. Yes, it takes a little more ingenuity to design a slim package with replaceable batteries, but it is hardly impossible. I know that most consider cell phones to be disposable, but I don't consider a headset to be disposable. My current BMW corded set is nearly 7 years old now and my former Kawasaki set lasted 17 years. No Li-Ion battery will be useful after 7 years and definitely not 17 years!

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post #14 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 6:09 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

Depends on what you mean by "replaceable". Do you want a battery that can pop in and out in seconds, or a battery that is available as a separate part that can be replaced when it has reached the end of its useful life?

I'm not sure which brand/model bike headset had the pop out battery. I just remember a guy on the IBR that had three batteries for his helmet headset. He'd use one, and leave the other two in the trunk plugged in and charging. Every 8 hours or so, he'd just swap out for a different battery and keep on riding . . .

Yeah, wired still works, but honestly, I've remember having so much trouble with the early days of wired intercoms with poor sound quality, internal batteries dying, engine whine, shitty speakers, mics failing, cords coming apart etc. The newer units are much better now (and cost a lot more), but Bluetooth will catch up and surpass that.

Whether we've already reached that point for you is something only you can answer . . .

Ken
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'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #15 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
Depends on what you mean by "replaceable". Do you want a battery that can pop in and out in seconds, or a battery that is available as a separate part that can be replaced when it has reached the end of its useful life?

I'm not sure which brand/model bike headset had the pop out battery. I just remember a guy on the IBR that had three batteries for his helmet headset. He'd use one, and leave the other two in the trunk plugged in and charging. Every 8 hours or so, he'd just swap out for a different battery and keep on riding . . .

Yeah, wired still works, but honestly, I've remember having so much trouble with the early days of wired intercoms with poor sound quality, internal batteries dying, engine whine, shitty speakers, mics failing, cords coming apart etc. The newer units are much better now (and cost a lot more), but Bluetooth will catch up and surpass that.

Whether we've already reached that point for you is something only you can answer . . .
If you come across the brand/model, drop a note here as I'd like to see that. That is the main reason I haven't tried a BT headset. Main concern is replacing a 3+ year old tired battery, but being able to swap for extended use is certainly attractive also.

I am not sure what the early days of wired intercoms were. My first one was on my Kawasaki Voyager XII in 1987. It worked great for 17 years. Never had a problem with functionality, cables or connectors. And I have never had a wired headset with an internal battery ... at least not to my knowledge! I have not used an intercom prior to 1987 so can't speak for their quality or capability then.

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post #16 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 7:05 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

http://www.sena.com/product/intercom...tab-in-the-box

Sena SMH-10R has an external battery that you can order replacements. It is also one of the few BT helmet sets that can be used while being charged from the bike.

I really hope the SMH 20S will come as a R version with the replaceable battery.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #17 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 8:45 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by timgray View Post
http://www.sena.com/product/intercom...tab-in-the-box

Sena SMH-10R has an external battery that you can order replacements. It is also one of the few BT helmet sets that can be used while being charged from the bike.

I really hope the SMH 20S will come as a R version with the replaceable battery.
Hard to tell length of the power cord from their schematic. Any idea where the battery pack is normally mounted? I'm assuming on the helmet somewhere?

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post #18 of 33 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 11:19 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

I believe that the BMW system can be used while charging. I haven't tried it myself as the 8-10 hour battery life has been enough for the wife and I.

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post #19 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 2:04 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by sgreen0313 View Post
I believe that the BMW system can be used while charging.
Yes, it can.

I bought a coiled USB-to-Mini-USB cable and can charge it while riding.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #20 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 5:27 am
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Re: GTL intercom

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese View Post
Nope. None of the current Bluetooth setups can mix signals like that.

On the BMW system, when a GPS prompt comes in the music cuts down by about half, but I think that's being done inside the radio box and not at the headset.

No. The call rings through even when music is playing. And if you have the phone paired to the GPS, and then the GPS paired to the helmet, then you can see the call come in on the GPS screen and answer or end it there, or look up your address book, recent calls, etc. on the GPS screen.

The driver initiates Intercom mode by tapping the Radio ON button (down by your left knee), or by double-tapping the On (center) button on the BMW helmet headset. The passenger can also initiate Intercom mode by double-tapping the On button on their BMW helmet headset. Same to end Intercom mode and return to Music, although I think maybe the driver has to double-tap as well.

You have to think of it more like a Bluetooth phone headset that takes calls and plays music, rather than a full-on intercom system. For a basic wireless headset, it works fine. For the full intercom/audio mixer like we're used to with the wired systems, it's just not quite there yet.
Ken great information. I am in the learning curve process . Tested the C-3 pro yesterday with the BMW comm system .Problem where do I end the phone call ?
From what you say I need to pair the GPS to helmit to see the options on the Nav 5. I paired Bike to helmit, GPS to Bike then Phone to GPS

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post #21 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 6:33 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Yes, it can.

I bought a coiled USB-to-Mini-USB cable and can charge it while riding.
So your cordless headset has a cord?

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post #22 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 7:15 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Hard to tell length of the power cord from their schematic. Any idea where the battery pack is normally mounted? I'm assuming on the helmet somewhere?
Typically on the back of the helmet is where the battery goes, Buddy of mine has this and he was able to insert the battery between the helmet and padding so it was not visible. I have no idea how long the charging cord is, but it's a standard USB plug so I bet you can use any USB charging cord.

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post #23 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 7:37 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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So your cordless headset has a cord?
Only if you are an Iron Butt Rider like Ken and surpass the 10-12 hour battery life and need to charge on the fly.

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post #24 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 8:57 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Only if you are an Iron Butt Rider like Ken and surpass the 10-12 hour battery life and need to charge on the fly.
I'm no IBR, but my wife and I frequently ride 12 hour days. 7 AM to 7 PM is not an unusual day for us.

And the few "real world" headset tests I have read never show battery life exceeding 8 hours. Maybe the remote battery SENA is the exception, but others I've read are 6-8 hours. And that is brand new. 4 years of use and the battery life will be much less than when new ... Probably at best 60% of new, so your 8 hours becomes 5.

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post #25 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 8:58 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by timgray View Post
Typically on the back of the helmet is where the battery goes, Buddy of mine has this and he was able to insert the battery between the helmet and padding so it was not visible. I have no idea how long the charging cord is, but it's a standard USB plug so I bet you can use any USB charging cord.
The SENA "R" model is the slickest solution I've seen to date. Will keep my eye out for the 20R release.

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 #26 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 10:31 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
So your cordless headset has a cord?
For maybe 2-3 hours in a straight 24-hour riding period, yes. Then again, somebody's got to play way out on the extreme edge of the bell curve . . .

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Originally Posted by sgreen0313 View Post
Only if you are an Iron Butt Rider like Ken and surpass the 10-12 hour battery life and need to charge on the fly.
Exactly.

Ken
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post #27 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 10:36 am
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Re: GTL intercom

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Where do I end the phone call?
Either from the GPS Screen (or the Scroll Wheel through the GPS menu), or from the Com System, by pressing and holding the On button for two seconds.

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post #28 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 12:42 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Either from the GPS Screen (or the Scroll Wheel through the GPS menu), or from the Com System, by pressing and holding the On button for two seconds.
Thanks I did not see end call from GPS screen. I have to play around a bit. Plus consult the manual's

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post #29 of 33 Old Apr 21st, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Thanks I did not see end call from GPS screen. I have to play around a bit. Plus consult the manual's
The phone has to be paired to the GPS for this to work, obviously. And then the helmet is also paired to the GPS, so the GPS acts as an intermediary and thus can display and control things.

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post #30 of 33 Old May 12th, 2014, 9:02 am
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Re: GTL intercom

Is there a way to answer my iPhone other than touching the "Answer" icon on the Nav-V? My wife touches the center button on the BMW hardware on her helmet to answer hers. I have tried that on mine but it didn't work so I have to reach forward to the Nav display screen to answer. I'll have to check out the I-Control wheel next but thought it would be easier and safer to just double tap the power button on helmet hardware. Hate to be so basic but I'm just becoming somewhat comfortable with the capabilities of the i-Control wheel.
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post #31 of 33 Old May 12th, 2014, 12:51 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

Push the Menu button until you get to the GPS menu. Then use the Scroll Wheel to select Zoom (+) and it will answer the incoming call.

I have my GPS menu set as a Favorite <> so I can go right there with one button push.

Ken
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post #32 of 33 Old May 18th, 2014, 7:27 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

Local dealer says the BMW Nav V is on back order and priced at $1100. Will a non BMW Nav V have the same functionality, and what would one cost? The Nav IV clips in the new larger opening, but can anyone advise what the differences between IV and V are?
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post #33 of 33 Old May 19th, 2014, 12:15 pm
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Re: GTL intercom

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Local dealer says the BMW Nav V is on back order and priced at $1100. Will a non BMW Nav V have the same functionality, and what would one cost? The Nav IV clips in the new larger opening, but can anyone advise what the differences between IV and V are?
I haven't figured out most of the changes yet, but the screen is slightly larger on the V vs IV, brighter, and has higher resolution (more detail on screen, finer detail). I have not set mine up with Garmin Link (to cell phone, via Bluetooth), but will soon, as having weather maps available might be handy.

I've only had mine for a few days, so lots to learn yet, but so far I like it better than the IV, although it still washes out bad with direct sunlight hitting it, especially with dark glasses or the flip down sun shield.

I do find that I have to have it zoomed in more than the IV, as the finer detail make the roads look so narrow that they are easy to miss, and the speed reading is still hard to read, especially when it switches to RED, I hate that! Although, It could just be my eyes, I'm an old fart.

I don't know about Pricing up there in the "51st state" , but if a US version will work for you, they're readily available down here, for a LOT less money than what you were quoted. I don't think there is any "non BMW branded" V (yet?) (Check the K1600 forum, I think one of the sponsors was offering a heavily discounted price to forum member, although I chose to support my local dealer. The Garmin 660 will fit, but you lose the wonder wheel connection, I think.

I suspect that a lot of IV's are/will be showing up on e-bay, as a lot of us have retired our IV's. I'm keeping my IV, will just move it over to my GS-A and retire the old street pilot (2620??) monster that's on it.

Ruben

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