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Flushmount Weatherproof on/off switch


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#1 CopB8

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:30 AM

The windnoise through the Starcom Advanced at speed is tiresome so we frequently unplug the helmet wires to give our ears a break. Then if we want to talk we have to fumble with the wires again. We've messed and messed with the setting with no joy so I'm going to go simple. I want to mount a nice looking, flush-mounted, weatherproof, on/off switch somewhere on the dash or topside of the fairling to simply turn the unit off when not needed.

Anyone have some specific recommendations for the switch and where I can pick one up?

Thanks.

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#2 LDRydr

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

Or you could buy this from me: Starcom1 Bulkhead Fitting
Dennis - The Long Distance Rider IBA #24916
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#3 Fred W

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

Or you could try just cranking down the volume with a remote volume control? I don't have one, so I'm not sure that it will go all the way to zero.

But back to your noise problem, I have a couple of questions:
Do you use the helmet headsets with helmet speakers or the ones that you plug some ear buds into?
If the helmet speakers, do you both wear earplugs?
Do you have the Digital or the Advance unit?
And finally, do you have the side tone feature turned on or off, and VOX turned on of off?


I'll make some settings recommendations based on your responses


edit - Ooops! I forgot to answer your original question. Doh!

Eastern Beaver has some weatherproof switch options.

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#4 LDRydr

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

He probably has the same issue I had with my Starcom1 Digital (and duplicated on the Advance). Everything works great when you plug in the rider headset only. But add in the passenger headset and the passenger mic is on ALL THE TIME no matter how you try to configure it. I even had Jeff at Bike Effects replicate this on his demo unit at NAFO one year, and we even replaced the unit to no avail (the replacement did the same thing). I ended up keeping it but we gave up on having my wife use a unit in her helmet. I've moved on to a Sena Bluetooth unit on my new bike and it works flawlessly for music, phone, and intercom.
Dennis - The Long Distance Rider IBA #24916
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
As a matter of fact, yes, I have been everywhere...
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” -- Helen Keller

#5 Fred W

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

Well, I have (2 copies of) the Starcom1 Advance and do not think that I experience this particular problem.

I can hear her headset cutting in and out sometimes if it is particularly windy. But most of the time it's nice and quiet. I do keep the volume set only to half way and we both use highly attenuating 33 dB earplugs while riding, but since I have both the sidetone and the VOX features disabled I can't even hear the wind or cutting in/out whenever we are playing some music. And when there is no music it's low enough not to be bothersome.

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#6 k1oj

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

Don't know about compatibility with the Starcom but I have used these on other systems and they function nicely.

Mic-Mutes

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#7 Neil San Diego

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

...I have both the sidetone and the VOX features disabled I can't even hear the wind or cutting in/out whenever we are playing some music...


^ this, and the remote volume control that FredW mentioned.
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#8 UselessPickles

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:40 PM

I like this button:

Posted Image

Google "latching vandal switch". Lots of options for the color of the LED.

Some details on my installation here (although, I didn't use it as a power switch for something): http://www.fjrforum....ndpost&p=670917
<-- Go ahead... click it!

#9 CopB8

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:47 AM

Or you could try just cranking down the volume with a remote volume control? I don't have one, so I'm not sure that it will go all the way to zero.

But back to your noise problem, I have a couple of questions:
Do you use the helmet headsets with helmet speakers or the ones that you plug some ear buds into?
If the helmet speakers, do you both wear earplugs?
Do you have the Digital or the Advance unit?
And finally, do you have the side tone feature turned on or off, and VOX turned on of off?


I'll make some settings recommendations based on your responses


edit - Ooops! I forgot to answer your original question. Doh!

Eastern Beaver has some weatherproof switch options.


We use helmet headsets with permanently mounted speakers in microphones. No earplugs.
We have the Advance Unit.
The VOX is on and I'm not sure about the 'side tone' feature. Hate to admit it but I'm not even sure what that is. I'll check.

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#10 CopB8

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:00 AM

He probably has the same issue I had with my Starcom1 Digital (and duplicated on the Advance). Everything works great when you plug in the rider headset only. But add in the passenger headset and the passenger mic is on ALL THE TIME no matter how you try to configure it. I even had Jeff at Bike Effects replicate this on his demo unit at NAFO one year, and we even replaced the unit to no avail (the replacement did the same thing). I ended up keeping it but we gave up on having my wife use a unit in her helmet. I've moved on to a Sena Bluetooth unit on my new bike and it works flawlessly for music, phone, and intercom.


Wind noise is only a problem at high speeds, not cruising around.

I'm going to take a hit for this, but I primarily want it so that my wife and I can talk. We use the music feature infrequently.

Do you have a link to the Sena BT unit? I've spent hours and hours on this site and others looking for an alternative to the Starcom that works flawlessly. It seems when I find something the forums are full of 'issues' with that unit.

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#11 gixxerjasen

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:03 AM

I like this button:

Google "latching vandal switch". Lots of options for the color of the LED.

Some details on my installation here (although, I didn't use it as a power switch for something): http://www.fjrforum....ndpost&p=670917

If it were made by Microsoft, the ring would be red. :D

#12 CopB8

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:04 AM

Don't know about compatibility with the Starcom but I have used these on other systems and they function nicely.

Mic-Mutes

Owen


THanks, I've sent them an email asking if it works with Starcom.

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#13 CopB8

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:15 AM

I like this button:

Google "latching vandal switch". Lots of options for the color of the LED.


I like that button as well. I'm assuming it's completely weatherproof.

So, can it be wired so that one-click turns it on (closed), and another click turn it off (open)? Would I just be able to run my existing Starcom power lead to one pin and then another wire from another pin on the switch to my power block?

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#14 BikerGeek99

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:49 AM

For my FF50's, I used one of THESE <clicky> from West Marine.

While the location I chose - next to the hazard light switch - isn't the most convenient at times, the switch itself has lasted through some hellacious rain over the years.
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#15 Fred W

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

We use helmet headsets with permanently mounted speakers in microphones. No earplugs.
We have the Advance Unit.
The VOX is on and I'm not sure about the 'side tone' feature. Hate to admit it but I'm not even sure what that is. I'll check.


OK, one problem is the VOX. It sucks on the Starcom1 advance and it really makes life miserable because it keeps cutting any background noise or music on and off. Try turning that off completely. You accomplish that just by adjusting the VOX control knob CCW to the minimum setting.

Sidetone is the feature that allows you to hear yourself in your own ear speakers when you speak. It also allows you to hear any wind noise that your own microphone picks up, as well as your pillion's. It is enabled or disabled via the dip switches inside the starcom1 advance case. You'll have to slide the circuit board out of the case to get at them. The default is off, so if you've never played with them it should already be off. There is a separate VOX disable switch for the sidetone, also a dip switch, also factory defaults to off.

Next issue is going to be that you aren't wearing any earplugs, so the wind noise inside of your helmets (even without the starcom1) is approaching the hearing damaging threshold. You probably have to have the volume control set relatively high just to hear each other over the helmet wind noise. I know that this may seem counter-intuitive, but when you wear a good set of earplugs you can actually hear the intercom (and any other sounds coming through the Starcom) much better over the helemt wind noise. By attenuating all of the low frequency wind noise your hearing will better be able to perceive the higher frequencies of voices and music. I know wearing earplugs is a PITA, but it really does work that way. You might want to give that a try.

We wear the maximum available attenuating foam earplugs religiously (Howard Leight Max 33dBa). I have my starcom1 volume set to the half way mark, and I can easily carry on a conversation with my passenger at any speed, even with the music playing. With the VOX turned off the music, GPS or phone call just keeps right on playing and you hear the passenger intercom right over it.

Nearly forgot one more important setting: Microphone sensitivity. Setting it to mid scale usually works best. The microphones each have an automatic gain circuit that reduces the volume of anything that is picked up until it reaches a certain threshold. Think of this like a squelch control on a CB radio. Increasing the sensitivity actually lowers the squelch threshold, so if the sensitivity is set too high the mikes will unsquelched all the time and you'll hear a lot of wind noise.

If you are still hearing a lot of wind noise all of the time from your passenger, try lowering the passenger mike sensitivity. When you lower the sensitivty too much when your passenger speaks you won't be able to hear them very well as it will stay squelched. Also need to adjust the driver's sensitivity based on how much noise your passenger is hearing from you.

Which reminds me... make sure that your microphones are located properly, out of any wind flow, etc. other wise you might not be able to find a point in the sensitivity where her voice will unsquelch the AGC, but the wind noise will not.

Good luck on making it all work.

The reason I am still using a Starcom and not some fancy bluetooth headsets is that there are still (and probably always will be) issues with all bluetooth intercoms. For one thing, bluetooth is completely priority based and will not mix sounds from the various connected devices. So, as an example, if I want to talk to my passenger I won't hear the GPS. Or if you manage to get a radar detector paired to your headset and the thing starts beeping, you won't hear the other sounds.


>>>> Correction!! Thanks to Niehart for pointing this out to me.

There has been some breakthrough changes in how the Sena SMH10 operates on it's latest 4.0 firmware update. It appears that these headsets can now pair to multiple devices and mix the audio to some extent. This could be a big game changer IMO. Now I need to go off and do some studying on these new changes.

Here's a link

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#16 CopB8

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:09 AM


We use helmet headsets with permanently mounted speakers in microphones. No earplugs.
We have the Advance Unit.
The VOX is on and I'm not sure about the 'side tone' feature. Hate to admit it but I'm not even sure what that is. I'll check.


OK, one problem is the VOX. It sucks on the Starcom1 advance and it really makes life miserable because it keeps cutting any background noise or music on and off. Try turning that off completely. You accomplish that just by adjusting the VOX control knob CCW to the minimum setting.

Sidetone is the feature that allows you to hear yourself in your own ear speakers when you speak. It also allows you to hear any wind noise that your own microphone picks up, as well as your pillion's. It is enabled or disabled via the dip switches inside the starcom1 advance case. You'll have to slide the circuit board out of the case to get at them. The default is off, so if you've never played with them it should already be off. There is a separate VOX disable switch for the sidetone, also a dip switch, also factory defaults to off.

Next issue is going to be that you aren't wearing any earplugs, so the wind noise inside of your helmets (even without the starcom1) is approaching the hearing damaging threshold. You probably have to have the volume control set relatively high just to hear each other over the helmet wind noise. I know that this may seem counter-intuitive, but when you wear a good set of earplugs you can actually hear the intercom (and any other sounds coming through the Starcom) much better over the helemt wind noise. By attenuating all of the low frequency wind noise your hearing will better be able to perceive the higher frequencies of voices and music. I know wearing earplugs is a PITA, but it really does work that way. You might want to give that a try.

We wear the maximum available attenuating foam earplugs religiously (Howard Leight Max 33dBa). I have my starcom1 volume set to the half way mark, and I can easily carry on a conversation with my passenger at any speed, even with the music playing. With the VOX turned off the music, GPS or phone call just keeps right on playing and you hear the passenger intercom right over it.

Nearly forgot one more important setting: Microphone sensitivity. Setting it to mid scale usually works best. The microphones each have an automatic gain circuit that reduces the volume of anything that is picked up until it reaches a certain threshold. Think of this like a squelch control on a CB radio. Increasing the sensitivity actually lowers the squelch threshold, so if the sensitivity is set too high the mikes will unsquelched all the time and you'll hear a lot of wind noise.

If you are still hearing a lot of wind noise all of the time from your passenger, try lowering the passenger mike sensitivity. When you lower the sensitivty too much when your passenger speaks you won't be able to hear them very well as it will stay squelched. Also need to adjust the driver's sensitivity based on how much noise your passenger is hearing from you.

Which reminds me... make sure that your microphones are located properly, out of any wind flow, etc. other wise you might not be able to find a point in the sensitivity where her voice will unsquelch the AGC, but the wind noise will not.

Good luck on making it all work.

The reason I am still using a Starcom and not some fancy bluetooth headsets is that there are still (and probably always will be) issues with all bluetooth intercoms. For one thing, bluetooth is completely priority based and will not mix sounds from the various connected devices. So, as an example, if I want to talk to my passenger I won't hear the GPS. Or if you manage to get a radar detector paired to your headset and the thing starts beeping, you won't hear the other sounds.


>>>> Correction!! Thanks to Niehart for pointing this out to me.

There has been some breakthrough changes in how the Sena SMH10 operates on it's latest 4.0 firmware update. It appears that these headsets can now pair to multiple devices and mix the audio to some extent. This could be a big game changer IMO. Now I need to go off and do some studying on these new changes.

Here's a link


Fred, thank you for taking so much time to help me out and sorry for the delayed response. I was away from the boards for a bit.

You've given me a lot to try and consider. I understand about the earplugs and will definitely to give them a try. I just HATE how they feel in my ears!

I'll also look forward to hearing reviews of the Sena unit. I'm not inclined to spend a bunch more money on something else that just has its own set of issues.

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#17 Fred W

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:19 AM

You're welcome. And I fully agree with the last statement. It's the real reason I haven't gone bluetooth yet. That and I'm a cheap SOB. :P

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#18 CopB8

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:57 AM

You're welcome. And I fully agree with the last statement. It's the real reason I haven't gone bluetooth yet. That and I'm a cheap SOB. :P


You and me both.

BTW, can I just confirm that you are NOT using a PTT interface?

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#19 Fred W

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:18 AM


You're welcome. And I fully agree with the last statement. It's the real reason I haven't gone bluetooth yet. That and I'm a cheap SOB. :P


You and me both.

BTW, can I just confirm that you are NOT using a PTT interface?


Yes and no.

Not for the intercom functions, that is just run always open in full duplex.

But I do have PTT switches for the Bike to Bike (FRS/GMRS) radios whenever I use them.
That was a whole 'nother thing that had to be worked out. :rolleyes:

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#20 CopB8

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

Yes and no.

Not for the intercom functions, that is just run always open in full duplex.

But I do have PTT switches for the Bike to Bike (FRS/GMRS) radios whenever I use them.
That was a whole 'nother thing that had to be worked out. :rolleyes:


Ok, good, I don't have any friends so I don't need to worry about the bike-to-bike part. :biggrinsmiley:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bart

 

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