Hardcore Sledder banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Update - Communicators - Scala Rider QZ with Motorola Talkabout MU350R Bluetooth

Update 02/22/15. I have run this setup for about a month now and unfortunately can no longer recommend. It really depends on your use case. The setup works. However the issue I have is the delay created using the bluetooth. There was at least a 2 second delay once you push the PTT button before you can talk as the Motorola to headset needs time to activate the Bluetooth link. I was also getting a little noise over the link and sporadic Bluetooth connectivity issues when placing the radio in my windshield bag. I went ahead and bought the Motorola wireless ptt button and it did fix both the noise and connectivity issue and worked perfectly but added another 2 seconds before you could talk. It takes 4 or 5 seconds to open the link between the wireless ptt to Motorola to the other riders Motorola to the other riders headset. If you are only trying to extend the range of an existing communicator this would work but the overall delay makes it a no go for instantly warning riders of a hazard etc. Regarding the noise I'm pretty sure the Motorola being placed in the windshield bag is the problem as it is picking up too much noise from the engine messing with the Bluetooth link. I had the unshielded cable running from the handlebar under the motor and up the hood essentially wrapping the motor. When the radio is placed in your jacket with the wireless ptt all issues went away but the cost of the $80 wireless ptt button is prohibitive and the delay was too much. I'm thinking putting the radio in your trunk and running the cable under your seat would likely fix the static and connectivity issue (without the need for the wireless ptt button) but I'm done screwing with this.

***********************************


I was looking for a reasonable priced communicator setup that had decent range for our group. I did not like the intercom technology with the majority of the communicators out there. It may be okay for bikes but I wanted to talk to everyone at once (one way) vs to a single sled or only 2 or 3 simultaneously. The chatterbox Slim looked okay for range but at $300 plus a $50 Bluetooth button seemed insane. VOX never worked right for us as the engines always kicked off the Mics and we wanted push to talk. The higher end communicators seem way too complex for what we were trying to do.

I purchased the New long range FRS/GRMS Motorola Bluetooth walkie talkie mu350r for about $55 each. Then I bought the new Cardo Scala QZ helmet communicator for $109 shipped. It is marketed as a headset for no communications other than for cell phone calls. However the long range Motorola pairs through Bluetooth perfectly with the QZ and it works great. I put the Motorola in the windshield bag on my sled and ran a wired push to talk button to the handlebar ($14 bucks). PTT connects to the headset port on the Motorola. Motorola is smart enough to know if you are Bluetooth paired to a helmet headset the physical Motorola headset port is only for PTT (even if there is a mic built into the ptt)

The Scala rider QZ works great and accepts 2 Bluetooth connections. I have my iPhone paired to the 1st connection and stream music. I then paired the Motorola to the second connection for sled communications. While listening to music, if someone keys the Motorola the Scala QZ turns off the music, switches to the sled communications automatically. When the sled communications are complete it immediately goes right back to the music.

I'm here to tell you this is exactly what we were looking for. Long range communications (couple miles) and no wires and relatively simple. Also anyone with a Walkie Talkie can communicate to us.

There is a really thorough review of this setup on YouTube. I opted to buy a chatterbox ptt button and put a different connector on the end and mounted to handlebar. Note that Motorola uses a non standard single pin and wired different. You need to select a ptt and wire one side to the mic and other side to the ring on the Motorola connector. Motorolas ptt functionality works by grounding the mic (ring) to ground (sleeve) on the connector. Or you could simply buy one on eBay meant for a talkabout and just cut the earpiece wiring off. It sounds more complicated than it is

For those that don't like the wired ptt Motorola makes a Bluetooth ptt button but it's $80 which I felt was rediculous.

Below is how I connected my PTT button. Remember to use heatshrink tubing over all your connections when complete for a watertight seal.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I bought the scala G4 a few yrs ago, it was one of the biggest mistakes of my snowmobiling career. Purchased the Uclear this year, and wow what a difference. Is the Uclear perfect NO, but its 100x better than Scala, and Scala has horrible customer service IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,767 Posts
I bought the scala G4 a few yrs ago, it was one of the biggest mistakes of my snowmobiling career. Purchased the Uclear this year, and wow what a difference. Is the Uclear perfect NO, but its 100x better than Scala, and Scala has horrible customer service IMO.
What is the range of the U-clear?
Is it VOX or PTT?
Cost?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
vox, I bought them lightly used on ebay, so i dont know list. Not sure what the rated range is, but there alot better than the Scala Rider range. Most of them are line of sight, and these are similiar. They dround out the background/engine noise alot better than the scala, and are much easier to use IMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The QZ Scala Rider is nothing more than a smart Bluetooth headset - not a communicator. When mated with the Motorola it becomes a communicator. You will never get better range than with a FRS/GMRS radio (short of using higher watt radios requiring licenses) AND it's not an intercom.

Every communicator out there seems to have some issue and have bad reviews - range is lousy, setup too hard, pairing to other riders difficult, VOX sucks, speaker volume too low etc.

I'm hoping using this simple setup will work out. The dirtbike guys have implemented this solution and used it since April 14 with very positive reviews - time will tell. I know the Motorola radio works fantastic for range and battery life. We just needed a simple Bluetooth headset to make it wireless. You should be able to use any Bluetooth headset with the Motorola ( I read somewhere the scala G9 had a problem but the g9x pairing was okay). I picked the QZ as it came out in 2014 and had good reviews with the ATV and dirtbike guys. Speaker volume is really good and did NOT have intercom limiting the number of riders or the complexity. It seems that as these manufacturers add more and more functionality/compexity - the products start to fall apart. I researched them ALL to death.

The bottom line is the Motorola MR350r with Bluetooth is the game changer here. Now all that needs to happen is the rider selects the simple inexpensive low end Bluetooth headset. Anyone who already has a communicator can extend their range by adding a $55 Motorola mu350r. Note the MU350r and Mu354r are the same Bluetooth radio - one is for (2 radios) and the other for a single.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I was talking to a friend who said he uses a throat mic (Fore Fox Vanquish(?)) with Motorola VOX and he loves it. any feedbacK?
thx
BM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I can't comment on that specific throat mic but all the reviews on throat mics in general were not good. Mainly because the placement needs to be perfect on the neck and moving around on a sled created issues as it would move off the sweet spot. I had purchased a cheap throat mic on eBay and it was a joke. I ended up using the connector to make my ptt :)

The other problem is all the wires which I was trying to get away from in the first place. However if you could find a throat mic that actually works you could buy the Motorola mt352 (no Bluetooth) for about $35 bucks a radio. You can set the vox sensitivity on these motorolas. I initially tried to use the walkie talkie with the Motorola vox headset and even at its lowest sensitivity the mic activated when we took off. This is when I went the Bluetooth route with a wired PTT.

Let me know if anyone finds a throat mic that works while snowmobiling as some of our group may like the cheaper solution.

I know it sounds like I'm selling for Motorola but you can't beat the price points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
I have the scala g4's and a g9. I have had great luck with them. Range isn't the best but it does the trick to be able to communicate while riding and not have to stop. I've been looking at the mu350r's to be able to pair them to the g4's and g9 for so larger group communication. I haven't seen anyone try this yet, wondering if it eorks like the other model stated above. I don't think you are going to find a perfect communicator out there that meets all the needs and has a lack of wires. I had thought about the uclear when I made the scala purchase and ultimately purchased the scala based on guys I ride eith liking them and having them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I have the scala g4's and a g9. I have had great luck with them. Range isn't the best but it does the trick to be able to communicate while riding and not have to stop. I've been looking at the mu350r's to be able to pair them to the g4's and g9 for so larger group communication. I haven't seen anyone try this yet, wondering if it eorks like the other model stated above. I don't think you are going to find a perfect communicator out there that meets all the needs and has a lack of wires. I had thought about the uclear when I made the scala purchase and ultimately purchased the scala based on guys I ride eith liking them and having them.
to be honest I have never found any complaints about the G4's other than me, I guess maybe I got the GOOD set LOL I did have alot of issues with the customer service trying to get them fixed, but I do see a fair amount of people using them when riding in the UP, but for me the Uclear has been much better. But like was said earlier, they all have there faults and none of them are perfect!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
Brim what I understand there is a bluetooth ptt that motorola sells but your looking at $80 for that piece. That's almost as much as the radios!!

I would mount it to the handle bars somewhere, and only use it from a stop.n
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You can not use VOX with this setup (at least with the QZ). I just tried it. The only way it seems to open the Bluetooth channel to Motorola is by the external wired PTT or pressing the button on the walkie talkie itself. VOX itself will not activate and requires the PTT. I have to believe operating this way would conserve battery life on both devices as the Bluetooth connection is in standby mode until the PTT is pressed. Of course if you have a different headset with intercom it would still work with VOX as usual, its just the Motorola Bluetooth connection that needs the PTT.

The Motorola Bluetooth wireless ptt would work but I feel it's WAY overpriced and just another device with a battery that will die while on the trail. I have no faith with VOX in general with snowmobiles but maybe you guys are having better luck with the newer devices.

Combing the internet I found the following success stories. Use the info at your own risk.

*Smh10 - some got it to work others were unsuccessful. One guy said it was imperative that the smh10 had all previous Bluetooth pairings erased prior to trying the Motorola pairing.
*Cardo Scala Rider G9 apparently will not work. Someone stated the G9 was looking for a password from Motorola which will not happen
*Cardo Scala Rider QZ, Q2, Q3 - all work
*Cardo Scala G9x - I read somewhere it works but I can't find the page again to validate so you will have to research.

Should anyone have any success with other headsets please post and I'll update this list. I have to believe the majority of new Bluetooth communicators out there will work but who knows. If you are in the market for a communicator I recommend you replicate the combo solution with the QZ/MU350R with a PTT as it is proven for long range unlimited rider communications at a reasonable price point. At a minimum I would not purchase headsets with all this multi hopping helmet to helmet relay type communications technology. I read one product had an intercom range of 1.2 miles if 3 devices were spread out evenly at .40 mile distances - absolutely insane and unrealistic. Maybe if you are skiing but not riding sleds or bikes. The reality is these communicators are trying to get around the fact that the Bluetooth standard was NEVER designed for long range communications. Walkie Talkies utilizing FRS/GMRS frequencies were designed from the start for this purpose utilizing large batteries and 1 watt transmitters. The chatterbox slim does use the FRS/GRMS frequencies just a little pricey .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
You can not use VOX with this setup (at least with the QZ). I just tried it. The only way it seems to open the Bluetooth channel to Motorola is by the external wired PTT or pressing the button on the walkie talkie itself. VOX itself will not activate and requires the PTT.

The Motorola Bluetooth wireless ptt would work but I feel it's WAY overpriced and just another device with a battery. I have no faith with VOX in general with snowmobiles but maybe you guys are having better luck with the newer devices.

Combing the internet I found the following success stories. Use the info at your own risk.

Smh10 works (found procedure below on an atv forum)
Scala Rider G9 apparently will not work. Someone stated the G9 was looking for a password
Cardo Scala Rider QZ, Q2, Q3 - all work
G9x I read somewhere works but I can't find the page again to validate so you will have to research.

Should anyone have any success with other units please post
*********************************************
Sena Smh10 procedure
Using the following setup
Sena smh10 (latest firmware)
iPhone 5s (phone and music)
Mu350r

Pairing procedure:
Clear all pairings on all devices
Pair the sena and iPhone as a phone (hfp and a2dp)
Pair sena and mu350r using multi point pairing on hfp (this is key)
Pair other sena headsets
The g9x is the basically the same as the g9 and g4's, minus a couple software features. I don't see why it won't work with all the scalas since the mu350r should hook up just like a phone on bluetooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
TY for posting the info!

Keep us updated on how this combo works out on the the trail!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I might look at trying this on down the road with my Uclear setup, the VOX is really good on the Uclear so I wouldnt want to revert back to a PTT system. So If I could get it to work and gain the added range that would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,460 Posts
Because the helmets I use during the snowmobile holidays aren't mine, I did not want a build-in set. I looked for something else, and I bought radios/walkie talkies. I bought the Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme set. For headset I bought an in-ear piece with ear bone vibration and with PTT button. Means I don't need a mic and don't need to fix it to the interior of the helmet.
It works, but the ultimate test will be on the next snowmobile trip.
I am still thinking for the best place for the PTT button. VOX is not possible with this in-ear set up, but I think it will work better than throat mics (from what I've read). I was worried VOX wouldn't work well out on the snowmobile anyway (sensitivity set-up and all).
This is not a real communication system, because it is a radio. Can't speak all at once.

What part do you actually use the bluetooth for? Which cable replaces it? The cable from the ear-piece to the radio?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
The scala rider units can be installed in less than 5 min into a helmet and removed from one in the same amount of time. They aren't and don't have to be a fixed install. The scalas use the Bluetooth to conned the to each unit you are talking to and to other devices such as iPhones and GPS units. It eliminates all wires connecting you to the sled and is a very small contained unit on your helmet. They can be expensive but what I like is the telephone type of conversation you have with other riders and the ability to pump some music into my helmet while I ride and still be able to communicate while I do so. Battery life is excellent on the units also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The Bluetooth connection is for both microphone and earpiece connections. As indicated earlier you need the ptt button (wired or wireless) when you want to transmit. Trust me Walkie talkie VOX does not work for snowmobiles (at least with a 2 cycle). All you hear is the other guys sled when you take off down the trail even at the lowest sensitivity setting. I even put extra foam and duct tape on the Motorola headset - it looked fantastic :) - and it was still a no go. One of my buddies used your setup and just clipped the ptt to the outside of his jacket and it worked fine and cheap. I just didn't like all the wires and didn't think it was a good idea always taking my hand off the handlebar. Figured statistically I'd eventually run into a problem and not worth the chance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Bluetooth FRS radios

Hi jbonzey, Thanks for your comments on your communicator setup. I wanted to do this a couple of years but at that time, there were no FRS radios with bluetooth available in the US. I think Cobra made one, but it was only available in Europe...Anyway, we went withthe SENA SMH-10s. We are very pleased with them except their range is not that great. Glad to know that I can pair them with the Motorolas if we want more range. Thanks again...ride safe!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top