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Old 01-22-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
stickfigure OP
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Autocom PTT question

I've read pretty much every Autocom-related thread and all the published documentation, but I can't find an answer to this question:

How do the three Autocom PTT modes work?

Let's say we have rider, passenger, and radio attached.

In VOX mode: Presumably this means that everything is VOX; when activated, the rider and passenger can hear each other and so can the radio?

In PTT mode: Does this mean that VOX is still enabled for rider-passenger communication, but nothing is broadcast on radio unless the button is pressed? Ie, a "privacy" mode? Or does this mean that VOX is disabled and the rider/passenger can't hear each other unless the PTT button is pressed. What does the PTT button do in this mode if there is no radio attached?

In Continuous mode: Presumably this means rider and passenger are now always talking to each other, no VOX or button required. What about the radio? I've never seen a handheld radio built for a 100% duty cycle, this seems pretty dangerous...

I notice there are two PTT buttons in the Autocom catalog, one which includes an "M4" power lead and plugs into the power connector, and one which splices between the radio and the unit. Do these buttons work differently?

I have an Autocom which I've been using for rider-passenger comm, but I haven't hardwired it or bought the PTT button yet. I'd like to be sure I know what I'm doing before I buy more parts and break out the soldering iron.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:20 AM   #2
gav03
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The three modes on the PTT button relate only to the operation of the radio. The speech between you and your pillion will not be affected.

VOX - this will make the radio transmit when it has an input to the helmet mic. It can be very fiddly to set the autocom up to get the right levels - too high and the mic will not open up, too low and the mic will open once wind or engine noise become apparant. If you have a pillion and the switch is set to VOX, your conversation will be transmitted over the radio. (Not always a good thing!

PTT - the radio will only transmit when the button is pressed. Saves having to worry about setting up the VOX level and keeps your on-bike conversations private. This is the position that I would use 99% of the time.

ON - This has the radio is transmit mode all the time. It's a function an instructor (for example) might use when he is coaching a trainee rider and saves him having to keep pressing the PTT button.

It should be remembered that the radio can be heard by both rider and pillion. Likewise, when transmitting on the radio both mics are open.

I would recommend using the PTT button for most set-ups. It makes the whole thing much easier. Just remember to pause for a second before talking after you have pressed the button to prevent any 'clipping' of the first word of your transmission.

Hope this helps,

Gav
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:48 AM   #3
stickfigure OP
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Thanks, this is the information I was looking for.

I have an Active-PLUS and a rather noisy helmet (a Shoei Multitech). I have found that for rider-passenger, getting the VOX level right is pretty hard; what I have now is a compromise which tends to trip every few seconds at 70+ mph and be a little hard to speak through at slow speeds.

It sounds like the PTT button will help prevent the radio from irritating everyone else, but I still have a rider-passenger problem. I will pick up a wind sock to see if it helps, but it seems that there are two options:

1) Try replacing the Active-PLUS with a Super-Pro-Avi, which includes the background noise sensor and theoretically changes the volume & VOX levels to compensate.

2) Buy a quieter helmet.

While I'm tempted to try #2, #1 ends up cheaper if I ebay the old Active-PLUS. Especially while the kit is currently on sale for $300. Does the background noise sensor really work all that much better?

Thanks!

Jeff
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
I have found that for rider-passenger, getting the VOX level right is pretty hard; what I have now is a compromise which tends to trip every few seconds at 70+ mph and be a little hard to speak through at slow speeds.
I have the AVI-Pro and I found the VOX setting to be a bit twiddly, especially with an XD helmet.

The solution I found was to take a neoprene cover from one of my Platypus hydration tube bite valves and put it over the mic. I secured it with a tiny wire tie.

Works a charm at over 100 mph now.

-jeff
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:11 AM   #5
cruisincruzan
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If you frequently ride with a passenger you can buy the less expensive PTT cable and splice it into the more expensive cable that way both you and your passenger have PTT switches. For me it took care of the "Honey push the switch I want to talk to.... (whichever friends we happened to be riding with)". The three position switches have to be the same on both switches, for us they are always on the PTT. If I ride solo with friends who are also riding solo then we put our switches on VOX.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:51 AM   #6
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I found the wind sock made a huge difference with getting the VOX to work correctly. Before the wind sock I was getting false triggers with any side gust of wind or almost any extra noise. These completely dissappeared after I fitted the wind sock.

..Tom
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