Wired The WirelessPosted: April 7, 2011
Mr. Slow wants us to communicate when we are riding together. I want my tunes when we’re cruising. The two don’t intermix well. Helmet speakers make your tunes sound like they are being broadcast from the local bar’s urinal; BT helmets are expensive and the ChatterBoxes have proprietary plugs, which could be modified with the pinout I have acquired, but the whole mess just seemed to be not worth it. I have a GPS mounted to my bike, because I do get lost more often than not and I like to ride with it, since my speedo is off and it tells me my actual speed. I am also a curious kitten. I like statistics and modal averages. And my GPS fulfills that need for numbers, when I feel the urge.
My Droid X can do all of these things, with the right adapters and software. It also takes care of the switching between incoming phone calls (which in my case will be sent straight to VM). The Droid X does this very well, by pausing your playback and crossfading the volume (as you have it set for the individual sources) to the call.
My chosen setup consists of the Trident Kraken, a ruggedized two-part case (hard shell split case with a soft silicone skin/bumper) which is weather resistant and keeps dust and grime out of my phone; and the RAM Mount Adjustable Rugged Universal Finger Grip Holder Cradle (part number: RAM-HOL-UN4U).
All I need now is a USB-to-Powerlet coiled cable in just the right length (so it won’t touch the bike’s painted tank cover or put unnecessary pressure on the plug) or maybe I’ll just go with a battery harness instead and leave the Powerlet outlet free for charging, tire inflation or powering/charging the occasionally carried gadget.
The whisper-capable, sniper-grade throat mic has shipped on Monday and I am waiting impatiently for it to come in. Mr. Slow wants to see how well my chosen option works and if it turns out to be satisfactory to his picky standards, he will want one, too.
I already have the signal splitter to use separate devices for audio and microphone, which work great, according to Mr. Slow’s recent test. This will take care of three major issues I’ve been having with bike-to-bike communication setups: The speakers are crap for anything other than voice or gadget announcements (think GPS routing or radar detector warning beeps); I can’t wear hearing protection; and the microphones are practically useless over anything but the most relaxed of cruising speeds.
Fortunately, I talked Mr. Slow out of buying another set of communicators or two Bluetooth enabled helmets, which leaves me with the same problem of crappy sound, unless the setup lets me use my Big Ears stereo plugs, which most of them don’t. The ones that do (think StarCom, for example) are hideously expensive (but I know, eventually the hubby will want the StarCom unit, for a more technophile-esque integration of all of our must-have gadget needs and I am cool with that, but not at this time, where so much other stuff has priority).