Bike-to-Bike Comms - Tame the Dragon - Page 7 - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #61 of 74 Old 11-30-2017, 06:22 AM
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Kevin, my Kenwood and several others I have know up here are programmed the same as per RL's posting. I too have gone to the 30K. Range in the open mesh is no better then 20S intercom mode. Closed Mesh group is suppose to have better range.

GMRS Radio Primary Channel: 11
Secondary Channel: 12

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post #62 of 74 Old 11-30-2017, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TarkusNY View Post
Since the Sena 30K came out with its mesh technology, do you guys still feel the need for the GMRS radios? I realize that the higher powered units will probably give better performance (distance and perhaps clarity...) but is it worth all the extra expense and work? I guess I'm looking at this from a return of investment point of view. I know we don't typically buy our bikes from an ROI point of view, but I'm curious for your point of views.
I have a 30K and because of my question/concern below (rider/passenger comms vs group comms), I don't think it will fully accomplish what I need it to do. I've discussed it with Duane and he's of the same opinion (and has posted the same).

For background, I'm in the middle of a shift from a Motochello MC-200 to a Sena bluetooth setup.

I haven't seen a solution to the issue I raise below:
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@Richardrka Richard - While the 30k's mesh is certainly nice, the affect on battery life is one issue (and I'll avoid sticking a battery pack to my helmet and just charge it at a stop), but I don't think I see it as a true replacement for a GMRS radio.

When Marie is on the bike with me, we enjoy having the ability to use the intercom to talk about all manner of topics as we go - and I don't see how the 30K (or 20s for that matter) will allow you to (1) have a private intercom session between rider and passenger; and at the same time (2) use mesh to talk to the rest of the group. My requirement for a private rider/pillion conversation will keep me from using mesh when she's on the bike, but will instead use the Kenwood to talk to others as I know a few will keep the GMRS radios.

If accomplishing (1) and (2) above at the same time is possible with the 30K, please let me know how...

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2016 S1000R

Last edited by Chop96; 11-30-2017 at 08:01 AM.
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post #63 of 74 Old 11-30-2017, 10:40 AM
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CQ, CQ, CQDX...

I think we need a round table discussion on these GMRS radios at TTD 2018.

So how about one of the nights (prior to intoxication) we do a show and tell?.
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post #64 of 74 Old 02-11-2019, 09:16 AM
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I realize that I am resurrecting an old thread but I plan to get a GMRS setup before TTD and I have a question. There has been a lot of discussion about radio choices. The general concensus seems to be more power is better, i.e 5 watts vs. 0.5 watts. Intuitively this makes sense but is this a tested conclusion. I was talking with one of our fellow forum members, Richard Battles (RKA) and he said he has compared them. Basically he says that his experience is that due to the short line-of-sight in curvy roads the low power Motorola radio works equally as well as the 5 Watt Kenwood when riding curvy roads. I am inclined to try the MUCH less expensive Motorola radio. Has anyone else been in a ride were both radios were used and the higher power radio performed better?

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post #65 of 74 Old 02-11-2019, 09:31 AM
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I'm not using any bike to bike at this time, but might add it soon... Just an FYI and this is from my career in wireless communication ...

There are three things that determine a radios range, Power of the unit, Frequency and Antenna height. There are lots of other sub categories like sensitivity, selectivity, length of cable, it's thickness, etc... but of the three biggies, the height of the antenna tip is the most critical. Terrain and type of terrain, i.e., dessert vs forest will also make a big difference in frequency selection.....
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post #66 of 74 Old 02-12-2019, 04:43 PM
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@DanDiver makes good points. I've had good luck with a Baofeng GMRS ~5w radio and a 15" WHIP antenna. The only time this doesn't work well is when we're too *close* together... aka testing parked next to each other before a ride.

In the mountains, I've tested with with @Gunnert to about 2mi. He has a Kenwood 3400 2W radio, same antenna. Beyond the ~2mi, he could hear me, I could not hear him. As a result... not exactly sure how far it'll go, but 2 mi in foliaged mountains was helpful.

@Chop96 borrowed my antenna at TTD last year when he was having range issues and it improved his comms. Since my radio wasn't working, he'll have to comment on setup/range.

All that said, like @ DanDiver said - power, frequency, antenna, terrain, height, etc.

radio (buy the official cable to program):
antenna

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post #67 of 74 Old 02-12-2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 6xGrins View Post


In the mountains, I've tested with with @Gunnert to about 2mi. He has a Kenwood 3400 2W radio, same antenna. Beyond the ~2mi, he could hear me, I could not hear him. As a result... not exactly sure how far it'll go, but 2 mi in foliaged mountains was helpful.
There are several reasons why one radio can hear but the other can't. Were both radios the same? If not, one probably had better sensitivity and selectivity. Back to antenna..... one might have been higher or possible directional with less gain. Put a repeater in there and everyone is happy...

If both are the same, it might be a component variance. Inexpensive radios, under $1,000 are not all the same, even if they both look alike. My guess would be a receiver issue.

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Last edited by DanDiver; 02-12-2019 at 05:22 PM.
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post #68 of 74 Old 02-12-2019, 06:06 PM
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There are several reasons why one radio can hear but the other can't. Were both radios the same? If not, one probably had better sensitivity and selectivity. Back to antenna..... one might have been higher or possible directional with less gain. Put a repeater in there and everyone is happy...
In this case, it was 2W vs 5W.

More watts will not get you through a mountain, but will always carry farther than fewer watts before the signal becomes too low to be received.

All else equal (same antenna, same terrain contour in both directions, etc.), the 5W radio will be able to transmit about 60% farther than the 2W radio. (Transmission distance increase is proportional to the square root of the power increase).

Both need higher wattage in order to have 2-way coms as the distance increases (all else equal).
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post #69 of 74 Old 02-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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Taking everyones input I have decided to get a Kenwood NX-340U16P Digital/Analog 5 watt radio. Before I invest in an external antenna I am going to try it out at TTD with the antenna on the radio. Thanks for all the advice.

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post #70 of 74 Old 02-13-2019, 10:55 AM
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Taking everyones input I have decided to get a Kenwood NX-340U16P Digital/Analog 5 watt radio. Before I invest in an external antenna I am going to try it out at TTD with the antenna on the radio. Thanks for all the advice.

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Make sure you have it programmed to Channels according to forum or know the mapping.


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