Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bike to Bike Radios

Due to us going touring to Catalunya in June this year, Helen decided that we needed to keep in touch even when we are out of sight of each other. The only way to do this without the cost of mobile phones charges is via bike to bike radios.

Cobra 975 Radios So my task was to find a decent set of radios and headsets to do the job. I went for a set of Cobra 975 PMR radios from Bike to Bike. They have a decent range, rechargeable batteries with a charger unit, plenty of privacy codes and channels and most importantly Vox. Can't be doing with push to talk buttons.

I initially looked at Bluetooth units so we didn't need the problem of wires and I also wanted to integrate my phone and sound from TomTom. Alas after looking at various reviews it seems Bluetooth is more trouble than it is worth. So I looked into the hardwire version instead, I was recommended Autocom units. So after a brief visit to their website I came across one of their old 2008 products that would do the job, the Active-Plus Kit 200. What is even better is that they are currently half price due to new 2009 models coming out soon.

Autocom 200The unit has 4 Aux inputs and leads for a rider and pillon headsets.  So I can use my phone while riding, listen to navigation instructions from TomTom and talk to Helen via the Cobra radios. I could also listen to our Ipod as well, but I think it might make me concentrate less. Besides when you have a V4 do you really need to listen to anything else.

Initial tests are very good and I really like how I can hear my own voice though my own speakers, helps you gauge correct volume and lets you know you are transmitting. Just need to get out and the bike and test them out for real, initial tests with the blast of a hairdryer would suggest that they will not be affected by wind noise, fingers crossed.

Autocomm Helmet Install The earphones and mic fitted really well into my helmet and when not in use it is a virtual stealth install. Due to Helen not having one of these units I have installed the headset that came from Bike to Bike, that also installed very nicely and discretely and also passed the hairdryer test.