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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently working with Sena Support on an issue and am seeking information from other SM10 users.

I know a number of people have added a Sena SM10 to their K1600 to stream the bike’s audio, but it would seem that many ride solo and my question relates specifically, and only, to those who ride with a pillion and are streaming music to both rider and passenger headsets simultaneously from the SM10.

If you are doing this, could you please share the make / model of headset(s) you are using, precisely where you have the SM10 mounted on the bike, and whether or not the music streaming is 100% reliable.

TIA!
 

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Hi

Sena SRL + Sena 20S Evo. SM10 mounted in starboard canoe.

Some dropout and poor quality on SRL but mostly workable, 20S, occasional poor quality, but not to the same degree as the SRL. When it gets too bad, then rebooting the SM10 helps.

Joe
 

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Running SM-10 mounted in left canoe. Did have it in right canoe for awhile. Moving to left side has helped some. I also mounted a switch in power supply so that I could cycle the unit when it wouldn't connect, or lost connection. Helmet 1 has 90% connection rate, but doesn't drop once connected. Helmet 2 (pillion) as same 90% connection rate, but drops connection about 40-50% of the time. This was with using Sena 20S headsets.

Switched to Cardo Packtalk Bold recently and so far connection and retention are both up in reliability.

By the way, replacing my SM-10 did not change any of the issues with the 20's.

It would be nice if Sena would update this device with one running Bluetooth 4.1. This connects better and is more stable. The current unit is using 2.1 bluetooth.

Mike

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Discussion Starter #4
Helmet 1 has 90% connection rate, but doesn't drop once connected. Helmet 2 (pillion) as same 90% connection rate, but drops connection about 40-50% of the time. This was with using Sena 20S headsets.
Thanks for the input, Mike.

When you mention "dropping connection", do you mean a hard drop with all streaming ceasing until a re-start of the device, or do you mean sporadic breakup of the audio like a bad Skype call, similar to the audio break-up effect if you were to walk away from the bike a few paces and be at the edge of transmission range for the SM10?
 

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Thanks for the input, Mike.

When you mention "dropping connection", do you mean a hard drop with all streaming ceasing until a re-start of the device, or do you mean sporadic breakup of the audio like a bad Skype call, similar to the audio break-up effect if you were to walk away from the bike a few paces and be at the edge of transmission range for the SM10?
I have a similar situation. SM10 with two 20s'.

Helmet 1 connects and stays connected 99% of the time for me.

Helmet 2 generally connects normally but not nearly as well as helmet 1. It also drops the connection sometimes...just going silent. After a while, my wife asks why/if i turned the music off. We power cycle her Sena 20S and that usually fixes it. Sometimes, I have to power cycle the SM10.


When I had the SM10 under my seat or in a canoe, it had frequent dropouts...choppy sound like a bad Skype call, and mostly only with 2-up. When 1-up, it was generally fine. The problem is that the BT signal was just too weak to go through two bodies. It is really the same as one of the issues the native BMW BT has....its antenna is under the seat and the signal is too weak to reliably go through two bodies (it may depend on the weight of the riders...how much mass it must get through).

I moved the SM10 to my dash where the radio signal has a largely unobstructed path to the helmets and I no longer have any dropouts.
 

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I have a similar situation. SM10 with two 20s'.
Also, music sharing is awful on the 20's. It only works a small percentage of the time. I press the buttons, it then says "Music sharing on" and she still hears nothing. I try it over and over and it just doesn't work. We have to turn off both devices and then it works, sometimes.

Then, if I get a GPS update or a phone call, it goes dead and doesn't come back until we cycle them off again.

The reality is that the 20s' are very marginal once you get past the most basic functions of intercom and single rider music listening.

Oh, and I returned my first set after experiencing these issues on them only to have the 2nd set do the same things. That tells me it is design flaw, not a broken unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@RefCat – thanks for sharing your experiences, which largely correlate with mine.

My wife and I are using SRL’s (which are based on the 20s Evo) in Shoei Neotech II’s. If I ride solo then the initial connection to the SM10 is fast and reliable and music streaming is uninterrupted. As soon as we ride two-up, occasionally one of the headsets doesn’t connect to the SM10 requiring a re-start, but the music streaming only very occasionally works well, mostly suffering a choppy sound like a bad Skype call.

I have experimented with the SM10 in different positions on the bike: under the seat (completely hopeless); in the top box, laid on top of the seat behind me and in front of my wife, and in the right-hand canoe (varying degrees of streaming stability but all ultimately unacceptable). I haven’t tried it lashed to the handlebars or dash panel as I live / ride in an area where rain is common, and someone is likely to liberate it if I were to leave it on the bike at a stop or overnight :rolleyes: I also found that using the inbuilt BMW Bluetooth was generally fine if I was riding solo, but the Sena Music Sharing was very unstable and ultimately unlistenable due to the choppy sound like a bad Skype call. Which is why I went to the effort of installing an SM10.

What’s intriguing about the Music Sharing is that last year when we had our Honda ST1300, we rode for many hours streaming music from a Zumo 660 to my SRL and then sharing it with my wife's headset and the audio was faultless. Reliable connections, no drops, no interruptions, and no bad Skype call choppiness. We have friends who ride a YZ8 Yam and use 20s Evo’s who also use Music Sharing (music source is a Samsung phone paired to the rider’s headset) with absolutely no performance problems. Hold that thought a while.

I’ve carried out many tests and experiments with the SRL’s and SM10 away from the bike in free air. With just one headset (let’s call it ‘A’) paired to it and operating, I can successfully stream audio from the SM10 with the headset up to 50 or 60 feet away. If I pair the second headset (let’s call that ‘B’) to the SM10, then the range collapses to a handful of feet. Even with ‘A’ just a couple of feet from the SM10, if ‘B’ is moved more than about 10 feet from the SM10 then you get the bad Skype call choppiness on both headsets. When the SM10 is on the bike, this range collapse with two headsets connected is even more dramatic.

Clearly the SRL / SM10 performance is compromised when streaming to two headsets simultaneously, but I’m becoming inclined to the view that that may not be the whole story. Leading me to that position is my own experience and that of my friends with Music Sharing when on different bikes, compared to that experienced on a K1600. An obvious test to make would be to use a mobile phone or other music source connected directly to my SRL and share that with my wife’s headset using Sena Music Sharing while riding my K1600 and then a different bike. For a variety of reasons I don’t have the opportunity to do that at the moment, but if anyone else is in a position to try it ( @joe-r ?) it may be illuminating.
 

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I have been fighting 20S issues for 4 years. In the beginning (pre SM10) I used music sharing with the satellite radio as the source. Intercom always on, music sharing always on. I was dropping the musing to my wife every hour or so and it took a reset of her 20S to bring it back. I replaced my 20S with a newer 20S EVO in hopes that it would fix the problem. Nope. Then there was a firmware update last year that mostly resolved the issues. This year I added a radar detector and SM10 into the mix. Back to square 1 with Sena stability issues. I mounted the SM10 under the seat and much like what is being reported the audio connection was not stable. I then moved it to the handgrip on the side of the seat. Much better but not perfect. There are the initial connection issues when everything power up (dosn't always connect) and then the audio connection drops randomly but it usually is up for a few hours. When it drops the SM10 LEDs indicate it is still connected but there is no music. One thing to note. If your phone is paired to your 20S and you get an android alert (text message received, some app has a notification) the phone overrides the music but for some reason the 20S never goes back to music. It is almost like the alert is too short and the 210S misses the signal to go back to music. You have to power cycle the 20S to get the music back. I solved/avoided that problem by pairing the phone to the nav.
 

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If your phone is paired to your 20S and you get an android alert (text message received, some app has a notification) the phone overrides the music but for some reason the 20S never goes back to music. It is almost like the alert is too short and the 210S misses the signal to go back to music.
Mine does that occasionally, disconnecting the pillion and reconnecting it often works. Also you might see 5.3 of the Manual. See attached

Joe
 

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Thanks for the input, Mike.



When you mention "dropping connection", do you mean a hard drop with all streaming ceasing until a re-start of the device, or do you mean sporadic breakup of the audio like a bad Skype call, similar to the audio break-up effect if you were to walk away from the bike a few paces and be at the edge of transmission range for the SM10?
It is a hard disconnect. On my ST1300 I had the SM-10 mounted out in the open and the drops were less frequent.

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My SM10 is mounted under the seat and connected to two Sena 20S EVO's and I experience the same audio dropout/chopiness issue. I tried relocating the SM10 to the left canoe which seemed to work for a while but then it started with the same audio dropouts. I have also tried connecting the SM10 to two Cardo Packtalk Bold's to see if that would be better, but its exactly the same.

If I ride one up then I never seem to have a problem, its only when we are 2 up and streaming. What I have noticed, is that when the audio breakup occurs, if my passenger switches to the internal radio on the 20S EVO or on the Packtalk Bold then the audio returns to normal on my headset. As soon as the pillion returns back to the audio streaming channel then the audio breakup returns

Gordon
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have also tried connecting the SM10 to two Cardo Packtalk Bold's to see if that would be better, but its exactly the same.
That's interesting as it points the finger more towards the SM10 than the headsets.
What I have noticed, is that when the audio breakup occurs, if my passenger switches to the internal radio on the 20S EVO or on the Packtalk Bold then the audio returns to normal on my headset. As soon as the pillion returns back to the audio streaming channel then the audio breakup returns
Once again, that's pointing to the root of the problem being the SM10.

Thank you for your input.
 

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SM10 mounted to the handle bar using the OEM base with the rubber strap paired to two SMH-10s. Never an issue unless we wander too far from the bike and the connection drops (~100 feet or so). I have it mounted on the bars rather than tucked away somewhere because if you do wander away and the connection gets dropped, the easiest way to reestablish the connection is by a single tap of the big button on the SM10. (Double-tapping toggles the audio boost)


 

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2019 K1600GT
SM10 connected via MotoChello
We've used Sena 20s and Cardo PackTalk Bold's and netted similar issues with both. Currently running the Cardo's



1st in 5000mi neither the Sena not the Cardo units have ever failed to connect or failed to stay connected to the SM10. Knock on wood!



With the SM10 mounted under the seat we experienced cutouts in the audio when both units were on though never when riding Solo and the cutouts were far more common with the passenger.



I then moved the SM10 to a spot on top of the intake tube on the left side under the tank plastic. It resolved the cutout issue 100% for me but probably only 50% better for the passenger


One of my winter projects is to remove the left speaker and place the SM10 there so I have an unrestricted line of site to both headsets to see if that helps. Next would be to add a second SM10 in the rear somewhere for the Passenger and put mine back under the seat.
 

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I posted this on a similar forum thread here a while ago..........

"Just thought I'd share my experiences. I haven't got a Sena but initially used one of these....

https://avantree.com/privaiii-bluetooth-auido-transmitter-for-tv

On the basis that it could connect to 2 headsets (we have Packtalk Bolds). Initial connections worked well but after about 5 minutes one headset would lose connection. After much fiddling about I bought a second unit..... Connected it up in parallel with the first one (power supply and music source) with one helmet connected to each unit. Works flawlessly now. Tucked both units in under the seat.

Hope this helps someone."
 

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...
If you are doing this, could you please share the make / model of headset(s) you are using, precisely where you have the SM10 mounted on the bike, and whether or not the music streaming is 100% reliable.

TIA!
Works fine for me although, sometimes, it does not synchronise straight away for rider or the pillion.

I'm using the Cardo Scarla Rider G4, with SM10 mounted under the rider seat, just behind the battery (to the right) and I had to tap into the audio outputs so as to ensure the wonder wheel worked.

Switching off/on the headset units, SM10 or switching between intercom and mp3, usually, sorts the problem.

Personally, speaking, I think bmw's 2nd helmet Bluetooth facility is a an absolute joke as I thought it would work with the Cardo and it did not!

BMW should make 2nd helmet functionally better so that users don't have to turn to alternative options such as SM10.
 

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Personally, speaking, I think bmw's 2nd helmet Bluetooth facility is a an absolute joke as I thought it would work with the Cardo and it did not!

BMW should make 2nd helmet functionally better so that users don't have to turn to alternative options such as SM10.
It isn't that they can't. It is to make you buy their stuff.
 

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I've run a SM10 in a tankbag since 2013, connected to a pair of Sena SMH10, 20S, and now 30K headsets. In that time, I've had very few issues (bike audio quality is a whole other story). I'd say the under-seat location is your problem. Try moving it to an open air location as a test - all you need is a 3.5mm stereo extension.
 

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I run the SM10 (mounted next to the magic wheel), Motochello bridge with the 20S' for both me and the wife and had no issues; now I have the SRL and the wife still has the 20S. Just updated the SRL last week and on our last trip this past weekend my SRL was cutting out (albeit infrequent) when I had a notification on my phone which is paired to the SRL and not the NAV VI. Wife's 20S had no drop issues. This was not a problem till I updated the firmware on my SRL. I did change the notification settings on my phone so I will see if that works!
 
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