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Berzins said:
I am sure you can't answer these but I'm going to ask anyway. B*)

1. CB or FRS. To each their own, but I'm an FRS guy.

2. Will it integrate into the existing system? So you can continue to use the BMW BT audio integration for mobile phone, GPS, audio, etc, but add int the use of FRS?

It just seems to me that depending on who you ask at BMW vs the dealers vs trade shows, the answers seem to be different. Of course that adds to the frustration I think we all have on this.

Dave...
Unfortunatly I have no good answer for you at this time. Hopefully everything will become clearer as we get closer to the delivery dates. Many systems may mostly work, a few may work very well. I currently have 3 different systems and will go with the one that works the best even if I have to add a new system and or a new helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
A CB or FRS is no different than a cellphone.

I'm working on a Bluetooth dongle where you could connect a CB or FRS - and then pairing the dongle to the Bluetooth headsets like a cellphone.

I will write about my project on my new intercom site ...

regards
STeinar
 

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flint350 said:
It most surely is not a technical issue, but a marketing strategy.
I've heard this exact comment before, and I must say as an engineer and life-long rider I disagree. It is clearly a technical issue foremost, and a marketing strategy secondary. Let's call it the "Apple" syndrome, if you will.

Every product is a combination of a million design choices and technical decisions. And yes, marketing has its say, too. After all, the whole point is to sell product and make a profit.

But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem.

Many technical folks (usually those working on competing platforms) bitch about the "walled garden" that is Apple, yet the vast majority of consumers have faith that the Apple logo means that their shiny new toy will do exactly what it's advertised to do. Download something from the App Store and you know it'll just plain work. Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .

BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station.

So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .
 

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meese said:
I've heard this exact comment before, and I must say as an engineer and life-long rider I disagree. It is clearly a technical issue foremost, and a marketing strategy secondary. Let's call it the "Apple" syndrome, if you will.

Every product is a combination of a million design choices and technical decisions. And yes, marketing has its say, too. After all, the whole point is to sell product and make a profit.

But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem.

Many technical folks (usually those working on competing platforms) bitch about the "walled garden" that is Apple, yet the vast majority of consumers have faith that the Apple logo means that their shiny new toy will do exactly what it's advertised to do. Download something from the App Store and you know it'll just plain work. Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .

BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station.

So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .
Well said Ken. However, if I want to join the "Apple closed technology system," and enjoy the benefits of knowing everything will work as presented, I will only suffer monetary pain. If I want to enjoy the benefits of the BMW "closed system" I will have to endure the physical pain of a helmet that does not fit my head. I think that BMW should offer options to those that do not fit the Schuberth mold. To force one to ride in pain is not realistic and is just plain unsafe. So, it's not just about dollars.
 

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BEhrler said:
If I want to enjoy the benefits of the BMW "closed system" I will have to endure the physical pain of a helmet that does not fit my head. I think that BMW should offer options to those that do not fit the Schuberth mold. To force one to ride in pain is not realistic and is just plain unsafe. So, it's not just about dollars.
My thoughts exactly. Tried Schubert (among some others) some years ago and it was not a fit. Arai is the only helmet that fits to my head.
 

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The bmw kit is an extra that is fitted to the system 5+6 helmets by dealers but I am sure there will be a part number for the kit.If you purchase the kit maybe you could make it fit your helmet's.
I had bmw's earlier attemp at bluetooth the ws1 I think it was called and this would easily have fitted inside many helmets without much modifiaction.
 

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meese said:
...But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem....
I agree to a point - Apple is usually bulletproof and I am willing to pay for that just as I would with the BMW, it is not about frugality at all. It is about choice and available technology. Apple, for example, refuses to use Adobe Flash and has partly crippled the iPad because of that refusal - not because of a tech issue. BMW is doing the same thing - this refusal to allow a wired connection is one example, not a tech issue.

meese said:
...Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .
Again true, but still not the point. BMW would love to have Apple's rep for quality and peace of mind, but this is not about that. Making everything so proprietary is a business decision, not a tech one in many instances. Adding a simple wired outlet to allow other helmets and headsets is not difficult. Using proprietary Bluetooth only connection to one very limited helmet maker and interfacing with only one specific Garmin model (an outdated one at that) is business, not tech.

meese said:
BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station....
Do you honestly believe that there is something special about the Bluetooth profile used to connect only to the Schuberth helmet that couldn't work with other Bluetooth helmets that may fit more people? They couldn't make the controller work with the nearly identical Zumo 665, just the 660? I would bet they had to work harder at making it proprietary than just to interface at all. I don't care about cheaper, I care about function - I'm not trying to save pennies. If I were, I wouldn't be looking at BMW at all. I'm looking for a full featured operation that they have purposefully (IMO) crippled in order to preserve a closed market. I don't want a discounted nuvi, I already use a top of the line (expensive) Garmin 665 on my Victory that connects via Bluetooth or wire and - yes, just imagine the shock - can read my bike's miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station. Does this mean - horror - that Victory and Garmin can easily do something technical that BMW just can't manage? Really? So, since in your view it's about tech possibilities, the fully functioning system I have now is somehow beyond the scope of BMW engineers working with the same Garmin people. I doubt that. I maintain it is (mostly) a marketing strategy. Do you really think the Garmin 660 is so "special" that they can't allow the system to work with the 665 and its better features?

meese said:
So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .
Great summation and example of missing the point. Again, it has nothing to do with my being "frugal", but more to do with BMW being the opposite. They are forcing everyone to use a Bluetooth only connection, when adding a simple wired outlet would be fairly simple (I'm not an engineer, but I'm tech savvy enough to know this is true). Not only do they force a BT-only connection, they force it on a single, proprietary helmet maker that they have long been in bed with.

Many people don't like the provably inferior wireless sound and battery requirements and extra gear you have to carry. Many don't like the fit of a Schuberth (although I like my C3 a lot and have had it for 2 years, before it was even legally available in the US - there's my "frugality" again I suppose). Many don't like the overall quality of sound and available volume from the Schuberth system. I maintain it would have been relatively simple to address this with no loss of functionality at all and certainly not an "inferior or incomplete system" but one that would be much improved and more popular. Of course, all IMO and YMMV.
 

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flint350 said:
Great summation and example of missing the point. Again, it has nothing to do with my being "frugal", but more to do with BMW being the opposite. They are forcing everyone to use a Bluetooth only connection, when adding a simple wired outlet would be fairly simple (I'm not an engineer, but I'm tech savvy enough to know this is true). Not only do they force a BT-only connection, they force it on a single, proprietary helmet maker that they have long been in bed with.
.
What a great simple approach. Just add the regular wired BMW connection and it allows all of us that have been happy with the wired connection for years and have a helmet that fits, continue to use that helmet with the new system. Perfect.
 

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Apple's stance on flash is most definitely a tech issue first, and a stubbornness/ego issue second. Flash simply sucks battery life and crashes the system. In fact, the only time my Mac crashes is on flash websites or when using Office (with decade-old code that is bloated and buggy). There's a reason the iPad is exceptionally stable and gets 11 hours on a charge.

In contrast, Motorola was so confident that the website for their Xoom tablet is completely flash-only. Except the Xoom is shipping without flash support, so it can't even render its own website. Motorola promises that a fix is coming soon . . .

And I maintain that BMW's stance is technical first and marketing second. Sure, they want you to buy their branded products first. But by limiting the specific pieces involved, they have a more thorough control over the exact interface specifications. And it allows BMW to standardize on a specific model, limiting their local inventory costs. So it is better for BMW from a technical standpoint, and it happens to make them more money. :)

That doesn't stop a rider from using their own gps, albeit with somewhat reduced functionality. Or from buying a different helmet and using a different Bluetooth setup or fitting the Schuberth/BMW kit into it. You still have options if you really want them.

Personally, I'd prefer a wired option as well. I haven't found a Bluetooth setup yet that will run for 24 hours straight. And I imagine that J&M or somebody will off we that option soon enough.

I'm simply not going to bitch at BMW for making the choices that they did for the reasons that they did. Not that that would help at all . . .

There are other options though.
 

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fremme said:
A CB or FRS is no different than a cellphone.

I'm working on a Bluetooth dongle where you could connect a CB or FRS - and then pairing the dongle to the Bluetooth headsets like a cellphone.

I will write about my project on my new intercom site ...

STeinar

Nice. Keep us posted!

Dave...
 

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fluffy said:
BMW Touring USA has posted this on the K1600 forum:

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/2239-post41.html

Basically, the Schuberth helmet neckroll communicator will be BMW's own, and not Schuberth's.

Now what they need is to make a Cardo G4 type of unit available so you don't have to buy a new helmet...

But for those who want a wired solution, we'll have to see what J&M comes up with.
We should all chill out on this. There's a lot of bad information out there. The new communicator has features available only on their equipment, but is is NOT a proprietary system. It uses standard bluetooth protocols, and will work fine with any compliant phone or headset. This guy, Todd, who says he is from BMW, is incorrect about their source. All Schuberth and BMW bluetooth headset systems are made by Scala, and any Scala system will work fine with the bike. I have this direct from Scala support and a BMW engineer at the NY show.

I have the Schuberth helmet with their communicator, but am switching to Scala (glued to the side of the Schuberth helmet instead) because I need to be able to switch out main units with the battery because I ride longer than the 9-hour charge limit (with music/Sirius or XM running). That's the biggest flaw that I see with all the bluetooth systems - a problem if you do multi-day or 24-hour Iron Butt-style rallies. This is because none of the bluetooth systems can be charged while being used (they all go into suspend mode whil plugged in), so there is no way to charge on the fly. In the Iron Butt rally this June I will take three Scala 4 headset main units, and swap while charging the backups.

To anyone worried about or wedded to FRS - it is dinosaur technology - the BMW/Scala/Schuberth systems makes it obsolete - it has at least a quarter mile 3-bike communication capability built-in. I use it all the time with my wife, who is sometimes 1/2 mile back on her 650GS twin.

The full integration and STANDARDIZED use of the bluetooth 2 protocol is ANYTHING BUT proprietary - it is an open standard, just enhanced by BMW if you choose to use their version of it. I, for one, will appreciate the full integration with the handlbar wheel, onboard sound system. ipod, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Well, a lot of vise words written !

"Sorry for my English"



But, I personal think that we all are so used to implement what we have chosen to implement.

I mean - We have all different needs - and preferences.

Some would like to include "everything" and some only the basics, and we all starts to wonder when someone "seems" to try to force special versions of helmets or devises on us.

Then the personal choice starts to be limited.


I personal don't like this "big" thing on the outside of the helmet, and the "FRS - it is a dinosaur technology" is for me a strange saying.

1/2 mile is for my use total useless - two buses and a building in between- and you communication is gone.

I'm using 3W (not 0.5W) FRS with external antenna - and still should like to have longer distance capability.

Why - You need that when you travel with 10-20 bikes in a group - and I and the last bike has radio communication to organize the whole thing.

What I mean is - that we are all different - and have different needs - and therefor like to have all the possibilities to choose what we personal think fit my needs best.



So also with this Bluetooth thing. I also see this battery capacity as a problem - but in steed of changing the whole unit - I'm able to change into 1000mAh batteries, and only change the battery after 10-15 hour use. (By using AKE system)



The Bluetooth technology is in start bed for motorbike use, and it will be better in short time. Give it a year or two - and we will all laugh about it!

Remember the first cellphones - compared to one you have today ?



But agree in that if you would like to secure that you set up is working as best it possible can - stick with whatever BMW is telling you to use.

They have tested that the base-unit on the bike will work as planned with the headsets.


I don’t find the iPhone to be a good telephone - maybe the worst telephone I ever had - but the software included or found on App store IS working - and of that reason - I'm willing to sacrifice some of the call quality and range.

So also with Bluetooth technology - and specially now in the beginning. Not all devices are working together, and some devises is working better than others - as long as you stick to units build to work together.



All producers of Bluetooth modules are still working to get more and more out of the rather limited frequency band.

Only for a few months ago it was not possible to transfer sound in stereo to the helmet and in the same time transfer voice back on the same channel.

This is now possible - due to faster codecs etc.


Bluetooth was not intended for the more complex use that a full intercom on a motorbike requires, but it will get there - and I personal think - it will get there in relative short time.

I have been working for Salora/Mobira/Nokia for more than 13 years - and believe me - none of us could imagination how the cellphone could get this small and have all the functionality it has today - only a few years back.



Regards
STeinar
 

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Kind of like the weather in Central New York. If you don't like what you see, wait a little while. It will change, and there is a very good chance it will get better!
 

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fremme said:
Well, a lot of vise words written !

But, I personal think that we all are so used to implement what we have chosen to implement.

I mean - We have all different needs - and preferences.

Regards
STeinar
I am not going to quote your entire post but I could not have said it any better. I agree with you 110%. In the end we all have different needs and while I find CB technology to be "old and antiquated", I have friends that swear by them and won't use anyting else. Too each their own.

I think what I was trying to get across, was that as long as the system is able to be expanded upon, I think we would all be happy.

Dave...
 

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Berzins said:
...I think what I was trying to get across, was that as long as the system is able to be expanded upon, I think we would all be happy.

Dave...
But, only if you consider "expanded" to mean other ways of using Bluetooth as your communications 'choice'. The bike simply has no design to allow any type of wired connection, forcing you to use BT. And, if you want full built-in functionality of all features, you are further restricted to the single helmet (one size does NOT fit all) solution. It used to be that manufacturers were slow to accept wireless BT as an option and many (me included) clamored for it. And when it came, it was delivered as an add-on so you had true choice. BMW went the other way and made it the only choice.

There are many reasons why a lot of us don't like BT for its audio and hardware limitations and the fact that you have to carry extra gear and battery life, etc. I have a Scala G4 that I use when riding on trips with a friend and, while it works, I routinely prefer the wired setup for quality and reliability and switch to that as soon as bike-to-bike is not needed. BMW has removed that choice and, IMO, they didn't have to when they could have just provided a small plug wired to the audio out. It's really that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Flint 350!

Yes - but DO we know that there is no wired audio out ?
Non of us have seen what the "audio-box" do have of connections - yet ?

I have so far not been able to find any documentation on the audio system for the 1600, but if it is close to the RT version - well then it might have a connector for audio out.

But for sure - BMW will not make an intercom - that is not Bluetooth - so if needed - you have to integrate a non BMW version.

Like I'm going to do - exactly the same way I did for the K1200LT !
No big deal.

regards
STeinar
 

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Many folks here bemoaned the fact that the original LT radio wasn't expandable, until someone found the audio in pins and started making cables for it. And lots of folks had trouble with BMW's initial intercom offerings, and either had them upgraded several times or just went to an aftermarket solution.

Give it time, folks. The community and various aftermarket companies will work out reasonable solutions to all these little niggles. But first we gotta get our hands on an actual bike . . .
 

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fremme said:
Flint 350!

Yes - but DO we know that there is no wired audio out ?
Non of us have seen what the "audio-box" do have of connections - yet ?

STeinar
Yes that is already known. It has been posted elsewhere on this forum and supposedly confirmed by BMW that there is no option (outside a possible aftermarket solution) for wired audio. It is designed that way - requiring aftermarket intervention. That is the bottom line of what I object to as poor design/planning. Seems like I've read an awful lot of "the aftermarket will solve this problem" posts - too many for my taste on basic, predictable needs for a $25k luxury touring motorcycle that I would like to love. I've made my point on this and won't continue to pummel the room-temperature horse further. Sorry for the interruption to those who are content with this sort of thing.
 

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I might be confused (not the first time) but in talking to the parts person at my local BMW dealer, he said that they will be able to get and install the BMW communicator module in the new Schuberth helmet so that it will have all of the features.

I was under the impression that only BMW's system 6 helmet would be able to access all communication features. I did not read this entire thread and if that is pointed out elsewhere, please direct me....

Hope fully I'm asking the right question. I'd like to get the new Schuberth helmet and have it access all bluetooth communication feature and the GPS.
 
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