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Bicycle Mobile...headsets, box, and bluetooth questions?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by N9GSU, May 1, 2012.

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  1. N9GSU

    N9GSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all, Rick, N9GSU here. I've been experimenting with bicycle mobile...only on 2 meters so far, but I want to take my FT 100 and do HF also.

    Antennas are no problem. Power is no problem Mounting is no problem.

    But headsets and mics are driving me crazy!

    I've tried a headset with a vox, and no matter how low I set the sensitivity, I trip it too much for my liking. Plus, if someone pulls out in front of me, I might say something over the air that I don't intend to. :mad:

    I've considered something like a headset with a PTT switch, but then I have more wires running on the bike than I prefer.

    I've got a Yeasu FT530 and a Vertex VX-150. I'm don't THINK either of those are bluetooth compatible, but I'm not 100% sure.

    I'm not opposed to mounting a PTT on my handlebar that I can trigger with my thumb, but my preference would be that it be wireless.

    Looking for suggestions. Anyone? :)
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You won't like Bluetooth! I've tried every scheme you can think of, and none work well. The main problem is the Bluetooth transition time from Rx to Tx or visa versa is just too long. It is okay for listening, but that's about it.

    The best way is a PTT on the handlebars, and a frame-mounted jack. If by chance you fall off, the jack will just unplug.
  3. N5USR

    N5USR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have tried bluetooth with my FTM-10R, which has a BT option module you can install. It works "okay", as Alan said there's a noticeable delay in operation. I didn't have any trouble with it, except if I happened to have the loudspeaker enabled at the same time - the BT headset audio is delayed a fair bit behind the speaker's audio and drives me crazy! :)

    The other problem with BT headsets is if you hope to talk while moving or just in a very strong wind. I tried several different headsets, including Jawbone and Plantronics models that claimed good noise immunity, but as soon as I was moving more than 5MPH or so no one heard anything but wind noise. The only headset that worked well was the Yaesu BT headset. It has a foam windscreen over the mic on a boom, which is rather more noticeable (and heavy) than I wanted to wear. The method of hanging on the ear is also VERY uncomfortable for any length of time.

    When I was carrying the 10R, I simply used the mic in the control head (attached to the handlebars) and used the speaker in the control head. That meant I couldn't really hear or be heard if there was much wind noise.

    I've also taken my 857D along, again with the control head attached to the handlebars and a speaker attached to the back of my seat (I ride a recumbent, so that puts the speaker just below my shoulder). That also had issues - I could hear it, but then so could everyone else around me - possibly annoying and certainly surprising at times. I've not tried anything fancy for TX, just a basic mic on the handlebars as well. Haven't ridden with the setup enough to try anything else.

    If I were to take a radio along again, I would probably simply use a set of earbud headphones - of course only using one while moving. They pull out easily (annoyingly so at times, falling out when I swivel my head around looking at traffic!) which means I'm not tethering myself to the bike.

    For the mic, I wish I could use whatever system Apple uses in their iPhones and just use the mic in the phone headset. I'm amazed how well it works, I can talk to people on the phone with a ton of wind noise and they don't even notice.

    And yeah, I agree on the VOX. The same reasons I don't ever use it! Worse, I have a tendency to talk to myself, so even if nothing untoward is going on I'd probably be transmitting something others don't want to hear! :)
  4. N9GSU

    N9GSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the responses! The headset I found is actually pretty darn fits snugly but not TOO snugly, and the audio is good,and it only covers 1 ear. But it doesn't have a PTT, only VOX :(. I guess I'm going to go with a PTT mounted on the handlebar, as K0BG suggested.
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