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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-16-12, 10:59 AM   #1
Retro Grouch 
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Intercoms

Who uses a Tandem Talk or similar intercom device? What made you decide you needed one? How well do you like it?
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Old 09-16-12, 07:54 PM   #2
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We've got a 1st gen digital Simultalk 24G. We saw a team with one at our first Georgia Tandem Rallye (2006). Saw another 2-3 over the next couple of years at various charity rides. We liked the idea of chatting without yelling. Sometimes at speed or in windy conditions, I was unable to hear map instructions and/or gear calls. So we bought a set from Precision Tandems. We elected to go the wireless route so that we could use them on our then-single bikes as well. We really like them, but generally reserve them for tandem rallyes and long club- or charity rides. Most of our local routes we just leave them at home. With a cordless, battery life & power line interference are the only drawbacks. In addition to what we have, a brand new system was showcased in the latest issue of RTR (#40). That one featured the Cardo BK-1 Duo.
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Old 09-16-12, 08:13 PM   #3
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There are some long threads on this subject. We're using an Interphone F5 and really like it. I use it on my single to listen to internet radio or podcasts and to answer the rare phone call.
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Old 09-16-12, 11:25 PM   #4
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Old 09-18-12, 01:12 PM   #5
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The Cardo Bk-1 system is in Road bike Action for September. Looks promising. anyone using it?
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Old 09-18-12, 04:56 PM   #6
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I tried the Cardo Bk-1 in ~July. I really wanted to like it. The promise was wireless connectivity between the two riders and an iphone or other device.

The reality is that the system has to be voice activated to open up the line. Its very unnatural. Also, when the voice line opens up, the music playing in the background on your iphone or mp3 is cut out and will not turn back on until 30 seconds of silence.

We ended up going with the very low cost ~$35 system being sold on Amazon. Its a wired system but I was able to run headset connectors to the back of both seats. We've got the intercom box zip tied to the stokers handlebar stem. Right next to it we have an iPod Nano. Its a great setup. We play the music in the background and talk over the music whenever we want very naturally. We've had this setup since August and I haven't thought about going to anything else. In the end, a wireless system is still going to need batteries, charging, etc. so there is give and take between both systems but for $35 it is hard to beat.

I did do one minor modification to the $35 system - it took me an hour. After conferring with some of my elec engineering friends I added an external battery pack (a few $ from Radio Shack). The reason I did this was to increase the voltage of the system. This raised the volume capability and also reduced the total harmonic distortion of the system. The device in the intercom will operate safely to 15volts so its not a reliability issue. It turned out to be a great improvement in the quality of sound.

Here is the link to the intercom system sold on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00

Last edited by kpmnd85; 09-19-12 at 08:41 AM. Reason: adding link
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Old 09-18-12, 06:02 PM   #7
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Linky?
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Old 09-18-12, 06:38 PM   #8
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Aren't intercoms a little modern for a Retro Grouch??
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Old 09-19-12, 08:42 AM   #9
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Linky?

Here is the link to the Amazon intercom system

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00
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Old 09-19-12, 09:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmnd85 View Post
I tried the Cardo Bk-1 in ~July. I really wanted to like it. The promise was wireless connectivity between the two riders and an iphone or other device.

The reality is that the system has to be voice activated to open up the line. Its very unnatural. Also, when the voice line opens up, the music playing in the background on your iphone or mp3 is cut out and will not turn back on until 30 seconds of silence.


Is the voice activation issue a problem if you're not also running an MP3 player? Is there anyway to change a setting to keep the line open constantly? It's supposed to have 7 hours of talk time, so it wouldn't be an issue for most rides to have it constantly "talking".
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Old 09-19-12, 11:53 AM   #11
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Here is the link to the Amazon intercom system

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00
There are actually two GSI intercoms on Amazon --

original --
http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Waterproof.../dp/B0034JD2CM

"Upgraded Model" --
http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Waterproof.../dp/B003JU9ST2

The original has earbud-with-a-boom headphones, while the upgraded model has separate microphones and earpieces.

The link you posted was for the upgraded mpodel. Is this actually what you purchased?

original:


upgraded:
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Old 09-19-12, 08:47 PM   #12
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When J & I ride busy highways, we wish we had an intercom. Then we ride on quieter roads and forget the need! Both of us suffer hearing loss, I have given in to aids, she hasn't yet. We will someday get an intercom, but the prices are from cheap to pricey and we haven't figured out which to chose, just biding time!
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Old 09-27-12, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Is the voice activation issue a problem if you're not also running an MP3 player? Is there anyway to change a setting to keep the line open constantly? It's supposed to have 7 hours of talk time, so it wouldn't be an issue for most rides to have it constantly "talking".
I believe there is a way to keep the line open but if you run in this mode, I am not sure if you get any of the additional bluetooth wireless features - i.e. music, incoming call, etc. $500 is a lot to spend for basically a two way wireless comm set.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:09 PM   #14
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There are actually two GSI intercoms on Amazon --

original --
http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Waterproof.../dp/B0034JD2CM

"Upgraded Model" --
http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Waterproof.../dp/B003JU9ST2

The original has earbud-with-a-boom headphones, while the upgraded model has separate microphones and earpieces.

The link you posted was for the upgraded mpodel. Is this actually what you purchased?

original:


upgraded:
Yes, the upgraded is actually what we purchased. You will need to find a way to attach the ear pieces to your bike helmets. I strung a piece of clothes hanger (thick wire) shaped in a semi circle with loops on each end. I then used velcro to attach the earpieces to the hanger. Pretty quick and it works extremely well. Very easy to adjust for comfort.
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