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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, :D

I'm thinking of getting a bike intercom, rider to pillion and sat nav compat.

But doing the research has come up with two makes at similar prices first one is STARCOM and the second is AUTOCOM and I can't make my mind up which one to choose. :shock:

Has anybody got one of these units and if so what is your view on it ?

Thanks for your time,

Alltorque 8)
 

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Alltorque, lots of guys have got either, but very few have both. Do searches using both the words and you'll get a wealth of info. I am an Autocom man, and you'll find others who are happy with Starcom. Like many things, people who have bought one and find it good and meets their needs tend to become brand-buyers. Keith (or is it Kieth) on the site is an Autocom supplier and does great deals for 'mercans, so we hear.
 

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And just to even up the balance, I'm a Starcom man. :wink:

It's great for two up, or if on your own, good for listening to music and plugging your phone into.
 

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Like David says, most people end up with either one of those two makes, but often only after trying 'cheaper' makes first. At least your research has saved you that waste of time and money.


+1 for Autocom
 

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Auto com Auto com & so say my pillion. Thats changed the balance .
Back up after sales the lot.
 

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I've used a Starcom for two years. I have had no problems what so ever. It's used for rider/pillion, Phone & GPS. Does what it says on the tin. 10 out of 10.

I've never used an Autocom, so can't comment directly, but I do know people who have had both, and from what I can gather, there is little to choose between them. some will buy on price, some on what a friend has, or on a mag review.

The Starcom currently has a far superior bluetooth module, but as it is totaly independent of the intercom it can also be used with any other intercom that accepts an audio input (I.e. the autocom).

To be honest I don't think you'd be dissapointed with either of these two.

If you want to muddy the waters even more, then you could also consider the 'Sonic' system used by Police and several round the world travelers (Charlie & Ewan, Kevin & Julia Sanders).

Decisions, decisions, decisions... It's good to have competition and choice, but it's a bugger when you have to make the choice.

Regards,

Glenn
 

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Autocom vs Starcom

Just to muddy the waters, I have an Autocom and it's been such a pain (literally) that I barely use it.

In order to get enough volume out of it, I have the earpieces really tight. I also wear earplugs because of the roadnoise. The consequence is that I have to give up after about 1.5 hours and take it out of my helmet.

I have now taken off the velcro backing and put the earpieces behind the lining of my lid so will try one last time to see if I will persevere.

The other pain I experience is getting my Nokia to connect - the adapters on the bottom of the phone are so poor that they are always jiggling about during a ride or they break in 3 weeks.

Trying to play MP3 tunes via my iPaq is OK upto 60 but after that it gets too noisy - what is the point of adding 100 deciBels of music to 105 dB of wind noise? Oh and the automatic Volume control kicks in if you turn the volume up on the iPaq which means it goes quiet just as a loud passage starts.

And all this whilst ducked behind the screen.

I know it's not the point but sometimes it is easier to just get on the bike and ride without farting about connecting wires everywhere - it takes 10 minutes to get dressed without another 10 to wire up..

Allan DD
p.s. either that or I'm just deaf :wink:
 

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Allan,

Apologies if this is teaching you to suck eggs, but some may find it usefull.

Regardless of which intercom you use, it is essential to ensure you have the headset installed correctly.

Before I start, it is obvious but worth repeating that we all have different shaped heads, and helmets from different manufacturers differ in their ability to accept speakers etc.

I always wear ear plugs, and I only have my Starcom set to about 25% volume. This is perfect at zero/slow speed. Once you get moving the system has an auto volume control where it increases the volume to counter any background noise. For this to work efficiently it is important to install the microphone so that it is as close as possible/comfortable to your lips. If I recall correctly, both the Starcom and Autocom installation manuals make a BIG thing of this.

In addition, the speakers need to be aligned to your ears (i know it's obvious, but it's amazing how many people think there ears are on top of their head). The best way to do this is to don your helmet and insert your finger up inside and place the finger tip on the lining right beside your earole. Now without moving your finger, remove the helmet, and note the position of your finger tip. This is where the centre of the speaker needs to go. It does not have to be pressing or touching your ear, but it does have to be in that aligned position (I.e it's OK to place it behind some lining as long as it is still in the same alignment with your ear hole).

I have seen posts from some people who have had to send their helmets to Autocom for 'modification' to allow the speakers to fit (amaizingly, Schuberth's seem to suffer), but in my Nolan and my other half's AVG and Daughters Airoh, I can honestly say we have had no problems and the quality of sound is excellent (considering the environment it has to work in) at all speeds.

I have had 7-8 hour (coffe/pee/petrol stops excepted) rides in comfort with GPS instructions being received loud and clear.

With regards to phone connectors. I used to connect my Nokia with a connector like you (supplied by Starcom) and never had any issues, always worked fine. However, I was always walking away leaving the phone on the bike. I now use a bluetooth adapter which makes life much easier. As soon as I turn on the ignition, the intercom discovers my phone (in my pocket) and creates a bluetooth connection. If anyone calls me, thephone auto answers and I can take the call. Once I park the bike and walk away, the connection is dropped and the phone reverts back to normal operation.

So the only connection I have to make when I mount the bike, is a single plug to my helmet (oo-er).

Regards,

Glenn
 

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Realy dont know what you been playing at dearnla. Once set up there is never a problem.
We wear ear plugs, hear plenty loud enough , never no VOX set off from wind noise. Like many others have no problem. You need to spend bit time setting up like all things , trial and error.
Cant remember who on this site , but they had a problem with VOX and Caberg Helmets. We did have Cabergs. We had no problem . Now have Aria , no problem. Just bit careful setting up. Phone works a treat. Wife has conversations with family and friends as we ride along.

Like you Kennelg , but tother way around , me never had starcom so cant comment. It is good that there are by all acounts two dam good products out there . Keeps them all on there toes eh!
 

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Thanks for the tips fellas and I guess the problem is having the time to fiddle. My latest installation is actually pain free but I haven't connected up yet.

By the way, what is the bluetooth connection you are using? Both my Nokia and Sony Ericsson have BT so if I can connect via that I would be happier than using all the wires.

Then it would simply be a case of connecting the headset (quick and simple) and off I go. :D

Allan DD
 

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The Starcom has a specific (Starcom) bluetooth module that it hooks up to. Makes for pain free bluetooth connections and no need for wires to the bottom of your phone.
 

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The Starcom Bluetooth connector also works with Autocom and is a bit less expensive.
 

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knnelg said:
Allan,
In addition, the speakers need to be aligned to your ears.....
+1

Before we got the custom moulded ear monitors this was the bit that made the most diference to the volume and quality of the sound. Initially I just fitted the speakers in the middle of the ear pocket in the lining of my old HJC helmet, and although it was roughly in the right place, the centres of the speakers were a bit displaced relative to my earholes (for want of a better word). Was only by a centimetre or so, but when I took the time to set it up properly it made all the difference.[/img]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone, :D

Great feed back as usual.

I think that I'll get the cheapest of the two that has the same features as the other.

Doing the research as a write this.

I'll let you lot know which one gets my hard earned CASH. :twisted:

Thanks Again,

Alltorque 8)
 

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Autocom set-up

For all those who utilize this intercom system:

I am expecting my '06 in April (like many of you) and have made my decision to purchase an Autocom system. Since I have never used a system like this before and hate the idea of wires hanging - do you have any recommendations as to where to have the wires run to minimize "the wire look" and to give the best freedom of movement while riding? Additionally, since I will use an iPod would you recommend running the lead wire to the compartment in the front next to the power supply so it can be charged? Or is that inconvenient when you want to change songs, etc.

Any info or helpful hints you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Gordon
 

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Gdahl,

I had my autocom system hardwired into my first FJR, with jacks installed into the bodywork. It was pretty slick. When wifey came along, we just plugged the helmets into the side of the bike.

Then after taking longer trips, we became dissatisfied with using the helmet speakers over earplugs, and wanted to run ear buds that isolated sound, but had quality audio. And for us... hearing protection is manditory. It's nothing for us to rap out 450 miles of twisties, at high speeds... and without earplugs, the wind noise would have us deaf in no time. *HUH?*

Two adapters later, and two more wires to the helmets, and we had CD-quality audio directy into the ear canal, with great isolation from wind noise. The in-ear speakers we use are Etymotic ER-6s. We can whisper to each other at any speed, and the tunes sound phenominal.

The only drawback we have is wires, they are a pain.

When I traded for the '05 FJR, I didn't hardwire the autocom into the bike, but dedicated one of my Bagster tank bags to keeping all of the autocom stuff. Then, when we'd go for a 2up ride, I'd just throw on the tank bag and plug it in, but there's still the wires.

I'm still using that set-up on the Ducati, and I still love the sound quality, but hate the wires. Wife is good at keeping them from tangling up (her job, you know) but when we get on and off the bike, it's a hassle to keep them straight.

The best setup I've seen is David1300's. He has in-ear speakers, but they plug in at the helmet, rather than down at the autocom unit... which means he and his pillion have but one wire going to each helmet. When I get around to it, I'd like to have my setup done like his.

Too bad wireless stuff isn't good or available for this application.

Oh, and with respect to rider-to-passenger communication... before I got it, I thought I'd hate it. I have to listen to her talk enough anyway, right? Once I tried it, I found it was the best thing in 2up riding since the sport-touring bike. Before I do the 2nd gear double yellow pass, she's ready. And before I decide to hit a twisty spot with alacrity, she knows to press 'em into my back and follow my lead.

It comes in handy in other ways, too. We had a very short ride, Saturday... boring, ride into the city... I didn't bother throwing the audio on. It was in the high-30s on an urban interstate, and she starts tapping me on the shoulder. What did she want? I had no way to know. "Maybe she's freezing to death," I thought, so I took an exit. When I got stopped, she was fine, but just trying to indicate which exit to use. Dang!

So I get ready to get back on the freeway on one of those outer roads, and here comes the siren. I was in one of those [email protected]#^*ing banana republic municipalities that writes tickets for a living. The J/O wrote me a ticket for 45 in a 35. I've never been even winked at for doing 10-over in the midwest. So I do the polite, remove the helmet and be very friendly thing, but I can tell, he's on a mission, he's just a tax collector. So, he has my license and insurance card in his car, my record is SPOTLESS... and I'm thinking, "lets just get it overwith." When he comes back, he gives me my insurance card, but informs me that he keeps my license until the fine is paid. WTF!!!!!!!!!! According to the paperwork, it is kept in lieu of BOND. Bitches!!!! I kept it cool and together, but WTF are you supposed to use for a photo ID to travel or use a friggin credit card??? I bit the snit out of my tongue and rode away. This morning I'll be having a little chat with the banana court about what kind of cotton-pickin' right they think they have to confiscate the license of someone with a perfect f'in record. Please say a prayer I don't hit somebody.

Did I mention, I like having rider-to-passenger communication? :roll:




:)
 

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Gordon. On the old site . Not sure if this can be got into any more. But there were loads of pictures un stuff about instalation. Some pics I posted as I used the live break feed . It's not hard to do , belive you me I am no electrician.
Autocom are very helpful. If you e mail them , you get a reply within the day. That's why I personaly go for Automcom. Customer care.
Given more time I will see if can dig up old thread. Sure one of the old boys can tell you where tiz.

Is that the only people left on this site. Those waiting for 06's.
How much are they costing in £ please. Dont want another just yet . Gona wait year or so . See how this new one turns out.
 

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Thanks for the help. I would be very interested in the photos if they can be drummed up. I like the idea of a flush mounted plug. How about the iPod in the glove compartment up front? Any ideas?

In addition, do those ear buds get uncomfortable after a longer trip?

Gordon
 

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GDahl said:
do those ear buds get uncomfortable after a longer trip?
I've been wearing them so long, no. But they did require some getting used to. The custom molded ones are said to be supremely comfortable... and not that much more costly than the ER6s.

I visited the 'court.' Friggn' kangaroos, alright. Bastards. I'm taking it to court. They wouldn't even give me my license back when I offered XXXX amount for bond.

Time to call some cop buddies. At least they can give me testimony of how you can shoot a motorcycle with a radar gun and get the speed reading from the car 200 yards behind it. Oh, for the record, I was nothing but totally polite with the LEO. I don't blame him for this. The kangaroo-closed-on-Wednesday court, yes.

:)
 

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Thanks for the help. Let me know how you make out in court. Its a funny world isn't it? Used to be a clean license was considered a sign of an honorable person - one who should get a brake on occasion.

Gordon
 
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