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  1. #1
    Newbie walkie's Avatar
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    Biking and Walkie Talkies

    Hello everyone,

    I'm an industrial design student and our current mission is to develop new Walkie Talkies. Right now I need to ask myself, and yourself, who uses Walkie Talkies anymore and why. Below are some questions, you can answer any of them and of course just give your opinion. What I want to know is how you and your hobby (or lifestyle) of biking makes use of Walkie Talkies.

    1. Do you use Walkie Talkies, if so why? Why not?

    2. Explain how and when do you use them?
    - example: 'First we decide on a channel, then I turn the volume way down... only use them if I lost the gang'

    3. Where do you keep the Walkie Talkie while riding?

    4. What functions do you like? Dislike?

    5. Anything you might like to share and add?

    You can share anything you like on the subject of Walkie Talkies, everything helps . Wish you all a great day, and thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    If you take it to the market, be prepared to explain how it is better than the various cell and smart phones everybody seems to be carrying around.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  3. #3
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use them on a bicycle, as even the best microphone headsets are push to talk and we can't be bothered to push buttons on our shoulder mike while riding. Wind noise would be horrendous.

    I use them while skiing with my family. Powerful ones. We can stay coordinated on a mountain when four people are going in potentially different directions. We choose an obscure channel and subchannel, employ call signs, and have set times to radio back in. Works pretty well, except when a battery fails, or when line of sight is obscured by a mountain or ridge line.

    For bicycling? Cell phones are generally better. What technology does the pro peleton employ?

    PG

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    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    If you take it to the market, be prepared to explain how it is better than the various cell and smart phones everybody seems to be carrying around.
    Well, one advantage right off the top, service is free. My wife and I carry a set on our rides and other places for times we get separated. Usually work great up to a couple of miles if there are not too many obstructions.
    They are supposed to have 18km range, which may be true over open water or flat, featureless ground.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    I wouldn't use them on a bicycle, as even the best microphone headsets are push to talk and we can't be bothered to push buttons on our shoulder mike while riding. Wind noise would be horrendous.

    I use them while skiing with my family. Powerful ones. We can stay coordinated on a mountain when four people are going in potentially different directions. We choose an obscure channel and subchannel, employ call signs, and have set times to radio back in. Works pretty well, except when a battery fails, or when line of sight is obscured by a mountain or ridge line.

    For bicycling? Cell phones are generally better. What technology does the pro peleton employ?

    PG
    Our walkie talkies have voice actuated transmit option.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  6. #6
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Our walkie talkies have voice actuated transmit option.
    Do you find that the noise from wind turns them on?
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member SpeshulEd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'm an industrial design student and our current mission is to develop new Walkie Talkies. Right now I need to ask myself, and yourself, who uses Walkie Talkies anymore and why. Below are some questions, you can answer any of them and of course just give your opinion. What I want to know is how you and your hobby (or lifestyle) of biking makes use of Walkie Talkies.

    1. Do you use Walkie Talkies, if so why? Why not?

    2. Explain how and when do you use them?
    - example: 'First we decide on a channel, then I turn the volume way down... only use them if I lost the gang'

    3. Where do you keep the Walkie Talkie while riding?

    4. What functions do you like? Dislike?

    5. Anything you might like to share and add?

    You can share anything you like on the subject of Walkie Talkies, everything helps . Wish you all a great day, and thanks for any help!
    Although I've never used them on a bike, I have used them while offroading in the desert. It's a cheap alternative to a CB or a Ham Radio. Get farther than 50' from the truck in front of you and the thing would break up. Hit a bump and it'd fly off the dash. After awhile, most people just went to a CB radio for convenience. Now most of the group has ham licenses and use those.

    If you want to make them better, I'd say improving their range and battery life would be goal #1.
    Hey guys, lets go play bikes!

    Strava

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm an industrial design student
    good luck with that , weapons is where the money is, those that suppress dissent
    are bought with your money and used against you , so dont complain.

    I used a marine hand held transceiver when a Small group from a small town
    joined a much larger demonstration march in the state's largest city.

    others also had one, so we could find each other later..

    industrial design ? dynamo powered . you squeeze it to charge a bank of capacitors
    to make it work without external chargers.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-04-13 at 12:14 AM.

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    I just want a little morse code light button so my riding buddy can rapidly blink it if he wants to stop or slow down.

    Currently I have one of those audio-baby leashes, the ones where it makes a noise if you get too far...

  10. #10
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    A group I ride with uses walkie talkies for the leader and tailgunner. Since we ride at night and in the city, often some of the group will get caught at lights, or there's a flat, or a new rider is having trouble keeping up. Stuff like that. Walkie talkies are kept clipped to their vests and provide instant communication to keep the group together. There might be some benefit to having something designed for the purpose, but it couldn't be expensive.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    The only time I've ever ridden with a walkie-talkie is during the race my team puts on each year. I was the head course marshall and needed to keep tabs on all the corner and intersection marshalls, so I kept my radio on in my jersey pocket even when I was racing.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Do you find that the noise from wind turns them on?
    Can't say. We don't have headsets for them yet, but that's on the list. I'm assuming the vox function will still work with a headset.
    You can adjust the sensitivity of it I think.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  13. #13
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I used to use them running soap box derby races. Mostly to communicate between the top and the bottom of the track.

    What I didn't like was the weight, and clipping options for the mike were minimal. The ear buds didn't always stay in when sweating.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  14. #14
    Hi, folks sdold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    our current mission is to develop new Walkie Talkies.
    Please be more specific, are you talking about FRS? Public safety? Or something else? There is a big difference, for example a bike cop would need something completely different operationally than a guy keeping track of his kids.
    -----
    "Some people canít tandem. It doesnít make them bad people, just not quite as fortunate"
    --Rick Jorgensen, davistandems.com

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Got a group, ? hand held transceivers let the sweep rider stay in touch with the lead rider..
    with no phone company billing to do so

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    This is a topic that I've been researching.

    My wife and I own a pair of recumbent trikes that we link together as a tandem. We would like to be able to converse normally as we ride.

    There is a commercially available product called "Tandem Talk". It comes in a wired or wireless version. We personally know 2 teams who own the wired version. Neither use it because it's too awkward to connect and disconnect every time they get on or off the bike. The wireless version retails for about $350. It uses voice activated microphones so it should be pretty user friendly, but I don't know anybody who has one that I can ask how well they like it.

    I wonder about battery life too. Ideally I'd like rechargable batteries that last 6 hours. Less than that would be a deal killer for me.

    For now, we've decided to do nothing. We're able to talk to one another but have to use a slightly louder than normal conversational voice. Consequently, we share less than we'd like. Convenience is everything. We can get along now. Before we spend a significant amount of money, we'd have to be assured it will significantly enhance our cycling experience.

    Requirements:
    1. Body wearable and wireless.
    2. Voice activated microphone.
    3. 6 hr. battery life, rechargable.
    4. Only need about 8' of range.
    5. $350 is the absolute upper limit on price.

    For us to buy your product you will have to at least match "Tandem Talk" in every area of performance and beat it significantly in at least one.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 05-04-13 at 10:28 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    You might get better luck asking construction workers or security guards/police officers...

    But if I used one I would use it to keep track of weather.

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Don't motorcycle riders have headsets with microphones they use?

  19. #19
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    There are sever threads on the topic of headsets in the tandem forum. The currents designs have excellent battery life, work of longish distances and are compatible with the latest bluetooth specs - interface with Smartphones, etc. I have an interphone F5 and am very satisfied. Cardo makes a number of such headsets, some specific to bicycles. The noise canceling is now really excellent.

    I would start by looking at these various websets. The use of the term Walkie-Talkie is a bit different and sounds like something handheld which is a completely different paradigm.
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  20. #20
    Resident smartass. Fargo Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
    Don't motorcycle riders have headsets with microphones they use?
    Yup. CB setup. Usually used by touring motorcyclists.

    Interesting. I've never seen any cyclist using a hand held CB, 2-Way radio (non CB frequencies) around where I live. I don't see why cyclists couldn't use such a setup. A vest with a spot to clip/or a pocket for the radio would be needed. Many hi-vis vests have these.

    My advice would to be to visit a business that specifically deals in two way communications. They will be better able to help you.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
    My advice would to be to visit a business that specifically deals in two way communications. They will be better able to help you.
    They don't know jack about cycling though.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    1. Do you use Walkie Talkies, if so why? Why not?
    No, I have no one to talk to on it. Its a handheld and hard to ride and talk on it/hear at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    2. Explain how and when do you use them?
    N/A

    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    3. Where do you keep the Walkie Talkie while riding?
    N/A

    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    4. What functions do you like? Dislike?
    N/A

    Quote Originally Posted by walkie View Post
    5. Anything you might like to share and add?

    Last time I ever used walkie talkies was when my brother and I moved from Georgia to Michigan. Well I moved, my brother helped by helping me load the truck and drove my car for me. We used the walkie talkies to communicate while on the road. Unless you count for work. I've used walkie talkies at work to communicate between management and our lead/boss while working out on the flightline. To call an inspector, or what not. Sometimes just to play a churck norris or peewee herman sounds when no one is looking.
    Being that this is a bicycle forum, it's given unless stated otherwise that you're refering to useing walkie talkies while bikeing.

  23. #23
    Newbie walkie's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies so far! This turned out way better then I expected so far, you guys are really helping me get ahead on my project!

    sdold:
    Please be more specific, are you talking about FRS?
    The Walkie Talkie is meant for private use. Nothing for official uses like Police or Security. It will probably have to run on license free frequencies specifically PMR. Which is the European equal to FRS. But keep in mind that this is a student project, I'm still learning the ropes.

    Retro Grouch:
    Before we spend a significant amount of money, we'd have to be assured it will significantly enhance our cycling experience.
    From all the replies I'm getting the feeling that there is a need, although a small one, for a good and affordable communication system for Cyclists. I think the Tandem Talk system is way too overpriced, and can be done better . Plus you can't use it for a larger group of people, right? I think that flexibility is important, you should be able to use it for all types of cycle activities, tandem, mountain, large groups, as well as off the road when you take a break or a wait.

    SpeshulEd:

    Although I've never used them on a bike, I have used them while offroading in the desert.
    I especially like these stories, it's very difficult to find out who still finds uses for walkie talkies these days. Keep 'em coming!

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