1. Forum membership has its advantages....
    Dismiss Notice

50w Radio for bike, quad or anything running a battery - Yaesu makes this happen!

Discussion in 'Bikes' started by JohnnyAirtime, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I have to pass on the great news for some of you desert racers....

    A lot of racers/chasers/pit crews...etc use radios to communicate with each other... and when on a bike, or quad... we all are used to using portable radios. Limited to many things... but more importantly ... power.

    I've recently (within the last 8 months) been testing a new Yaesu radio that was built for the motorcycle rider. Not dirt rider persay, but the street rider who has a passenger (intercom feature) or is on his Gull-Wing. I adapted this radio to work with the elements of Desert, trail riding, racing, etc and found it works amazingly well on my CRF450X. And is adaptable to any bike or quad with a battery and suitable charging system.

    The radio is a Yeasu FTM-10R.

    I could go on and on about the features of this radio, it's capabilities...etc.etc. But it would be best for you to read up on it... and understand what it can do, and what it can do for you. Pretty amazing actually... I'll highlight things I liked about it;

    • Your able to connect an MP3 player (iPod..etc) to it, and listen to tunes when monitoring your radio freq.
    • It's an AM/FM radio as well. If your within signal... listen to the radio while also monitoring a radio freq.
    • The head unit is remote mountable and waterproof, with a built in speaker.
    • I can use my "helmet kit" with it, so it's clear and audible when receiving or transmitting
    • Auto volume control... the more wind noise (picked up by the remote head unit), the louder the headset will be. No more coming to a stop and having your radio volume up so loud your ears get blown out when your buddy transmits
    • Obtain Push-to-talk (PTT) button on your handlebars/lever perch for transmitting. Same PTT used on most high-end helmet-kits.

    I'm not sure this is for everyone as it's very costly to purchase and "make ready" for install on a bike/quad. But, if your all about being heard and safety... what's a few extra bucks right?! haha

    I had to change quite a few things to make this work perfectly, but now I have a remote head unit that is RAM mounted up on my triple clamp. A base of the unit mounted below my seat. An antenna mounted to my fork tubes. And a normal helmet kit with quick release connectors that tie me into the bike. ....lots of trial and error to get me to this point, but now it's all worth it.

    I can even pull up, disconnect from the bike, and listen to tunes through the remote head units speaker while I sit and enjoy the scenery. No more having to keep the helmet on to listen to radio transmissions, or disconnect the harness so the radio's output is heard. Kind of like having a mini PA for your radio on your bike/quad.

    I started putting some of the pictures and info as I was trial and erroring it last year on Thumpertalk...
    http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=494244
    and...
    http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=552859

    If your interested in the parts and how-to... let me know, I'd be happy to help anyone out on getting this rolling. I'm not here to sell it, just to let anyone know there is a great solution to getting "better" radio comm on your vehicle, whatever that vehicle of choice may be.

    (thanks to Rob DiCarlo for his great idea of 'under seat mounting the base' and his CNC work to the Yaesu base... he was a big help!)

    I also have had the 'harness' made by a third party for the helmet kit connections. And I bought and installed the other connectors/couplers for head unit quick disconnects and handlebar PTT components.

    And a couple pictures so you see the remote head unit installed (you don't "see" much else when all said and done)
     

    Attached Files:

    (+1) 1 person likes this.
  2. partybarge_pilot

    partybarge_pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Location:
    Easton, KS
  3. J Caster

    J Caster Honda TRX700XX Pilot

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, CA
    This is very cool. I have been thinking of ways to mount a better radio system on my quad for our trips to Mexico. I didn't want to spend the money on the handhelds because they don't work unless your right next to the other guy.

    What was the cost for everything?
    What does everything weigh?
    How much power does it use?
    Does it wear the battery down fast when not riding?
     
  4. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Your absolutely right.... it'd be Super sweet! However... don't waiste your time or money just yet.

    We've tested many... and thus far, they just don't work in a noisy environment. Unless the high-end mic of a quality helmet kit is fab'd into a bluetooth option... it's just not worth the time as of yet.

    I've got one company working on a possible blue tooth solution... but it's on a low-priority schedule. I'll keep ya all posted. ;) First thing I can say is... It won't be cheap.
     
  5. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Let me see if I can answer your questions Josh... if I don't, you can always come find me this Sunday at the D38 National. I'll be on my bike, working check one until the Pros/Experts Bikes come through, then heading off to sweep the B loop. I'll be using this radio setup, so you can see it first hand. (I ride a red CRF450X, no headlight/bezel only, 17x on numberplates but should be covered with orange cards come Sunday, blue/white Arai helmet, and red/white/blue gear - needle in a haystack right?!)


    What was the cost for everything? - Haven't totalled it up yet. About $600 or so.

    What does everything weigh? - The radio is 3lbs. Nothing else really "weighs".

    How much power does it use? - at 50W transmit 8.3amps - 20W transmit 6amps - 5W transmit 2amps - or .5 amps receive

    Does it wear the battery down fast when not riding? Only if your transmitting.


    Hope that helps.
     
  6. J Caster

    J Caster Honda TRX700XX Pilot

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, CA
    Thanks! I'm sure if you told me what color boots, gloves and googles you are going to be wearing it would help! haha

    I will be racing my quad but plan on heading out there Friday night after work. I will see if I can find you so I can check it out.

    $600 is very reasonable, heck I spend that in one weekend on gas! :eek: When you said expensive I was thinking over a grand.
     
  7. dr shaw6

    dr shaw6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    el cajon
    :DOhh, Of course! I just bought the old Yeasu and whole bike kit from Radio Bob and now your telling me theres somthing better out...never fails! :D
     
  8. dArkside

    dArkside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Newport Beach, Ca.
    yea, 600 is well worth it. I would love to get any other info you have on this set up. Oh yea, and THANKS for the R&D.....
     
  9. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Josh... I won't be out there until Sunday am.
    Attending the riders meeting, and then heading out to Check 1.
    "Johnnyairtime" on the front fender. And parked somewhere near RoadRunner camp.

    Dave... how's it?!
    Hopefully you bought a portable VX170. Great portable radio. What I use too. Only re-usable item is your helmet mic, earphones and connector. It all remains in your helmet as if you were using a portable.

    Sean...
    I'd be happy to divulge more info. I can start by listing the parts that make it happen. However, with the custom stuff as the R&D secrets I can't put a $$ figure to it just yet. But I'll do my best to share the info.
     
  10. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    An example list of parts, items, costs for this to work on a bike.

    First assumptions;
    - Bike has a battery
    - You have minimal electrical knowledge
    - You have a small soldering iron

    Main components;
    - FTM-10R radio ($300)
    - CT-M10 ext. cable ($30)
    - MEK-M10 mic jack ($15)
    - Comet SBB-1 Dual Band flexible ant. ($40)
    - 6ft RG8X cable w/PL259 ends ($16)
    - (2) RAM comp. mt. and 1" arm ($50)
    - Helmet Kit (mic and earphone kit) ($80)
    (standard Baja Designs kit w/PTT - less main harness)
    - PTT from above BajaD kit ($30)

    - (2) Inline 7pin mini waterproof locking connectors ($40)
    - CTM-11 headset adapter ($35)
    - (4) connectors m/f for custom harness ($50)
    - Custom Harness - connects PTT, FTM-10R remote, and Helmet ($100)

    (Optional)
    - Custom CNC to Yaesu main unit (??)
    - Pelican case for mounting main unit on rear fender (??)

    With the above... I'm at about $795
    This is including you can solder the tiny connectors, convert and program the radio, and literally need no outside assistance to complete the project. It all adds up.

    Now, I'll post some better installed pictures for you all when I get time.
    There's not much to see, but a clean, working, 50W radio that utilizes your helmet headset (mic and speakers) and has loads of options and features.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  11. dArkside

    dArkside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Newport Beach, Ca.
    very cool...thanks again!
     
  12. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Anytime Sean.


    And FYI...

    I used the radio again in our AMA National as a sweep rider on the B loop (the harder of the loops, most technical and bike beating terrain). The radio works flawlessly, and I even listened to some FM (El Centro Stations) while I was on course.

    Not too much radio noise (electrical/coil whine), or not enough to suppress it anyway. And great distance for receive and transmit. All in all... no battery problems or issues with the setup. I was also running my GPS off of my battery (which is nearly nill battery drain), but no lighting as I have all that removed for day riding.

    I'm sure with all the lights (front HID and rear LEDs) it might be a bit much if transmitting is heavy. But, so far so good!! Very convenient.

    So cool to stop and sit while others listen in to the radio as well. Being when the headset is connected, it does not kill the output to the speakers. Unless you connect to "ext speaker" on the base. But the tiny speaker in the remote head unit will still play. VERY cool. Many people could listen in to the radio while we sat and watched the race this past weekend. A nice touch.
     
  13. scurrie

    scurrie New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    Hi Gang,
    I hate to be the one to mention this, but I have not seen any one else mention it in this thread. The FTM-10R is indeed a great radio and I have one installed on my street bike and use it both for bike to bike comms and also general chat with other folks on the air. However, this is a Amateur radio (Ham radio) transceiver, and use of the transmitter requires the operator hold an Amateur Radio License from the FCC. Operation of the transmitter without a license is a violation of Federal law, and unlike CB and GMRS, the FCC does do regular enforcement action on the Ham bands.

    While you may get away with unlicensed operation way out in the sticks, if you are in a urban area, someone will hear you, document the operation, and alert the FCC. Us Hams are pretty nasty that way.

    Using this radio in Mexico without a US Amateur license, and without the required reciprocal operating permit for Mexico (a document that takes months to get and a bunch of money) is a real no-no. I can't imagine what the Mexican Federal Police might do with you if they caught you, better have a lot of bribe money along.

    So, get the license, get the radio, and join the rest of us having fun with both riding and radio. Information on Amateur radio licensing can be found at the American Radio Relay League on the web, they have set up a special site for folks getting started:
    http://www.hello-radio.org/

    If you choose to operate unlicensed, please stay off the repeater channels and consider the following recent enforcement action:
    On March 6, the FCC announced that it has issued a "Forfeiture Order"
    <http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-498A1.pdf> in
    the amount of $4300 to Ronald Mondgock, KA3OMZ, of Honeybrook,
    Pennsylvania, "for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the
    "Communications Act of 1934, as amended" (Act), by operating radio
    transmitting equipment on the frequencies 439.850 MHz and 147.560 MHz
    without a license." Section 301 states a federal license is required to
    "operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications
    or signals by radio." Mondgock's Amateur Radio license expired in
    December 2005.


    -Scurrie
     
  14. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA


    Scurrie,

    Thanks for the note.
    Most of the racers/riders/drivers on this site are aware of the 2meter radios and use of them on mod'd radios, as well as needing a HAM license to operate the FTM-10R.

    Here's more on that; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=6145367#post6145367

    I'm sure there are MANY people (in the USA) who are using HAM radios illegally. And many that simply don't care. I care... and I am in process of obtaining a HAM license. However, that doesn't help the mod'd radio issue. What helps the issue, is knowing how to use a radio... and how to NOT abuse the radio, or the people that enjoy them as a first and foremost priority. With the ability to obtain an amateur banded radio by simply walking in and buying one... the FCC and NTIA have their hands full of catching the abusers or simply the unlicensed users. And in Baja... if you saw the amount of antennas on vehicles, and heard the abuse... it'll make your toes curl. I think being caught in Mex is less of an issue than in the states. Or better, I don't think they care to catch you. (visit a race event in Baja... you'll see what I mean)

    Not downplaying your post, but for your first real post on RDC... and it's a "get your license or get in trouble" message to RDC readers... it sounds like your not aware of the racing community, and the amount of these radios in use today. I think most users do pretty well, with or without a license. And most are smart enough to stay off the repeaters, or at minimum to not transmit on them. Give them a little more credit. ;)

    I think you'd find that most of these users are "in the sticks" and not using them as they drive to work. The fact that most racers have these radios in their chase trucks, chase buggies, and race vehicles is a tell-tale sign of use in the open deserts where signal doesn't reach to the local citys. Again, not excusing the use of amateur radios with unlicensed users... just explaining it a bit more for your understanding of their use.

    Thank you for your information and links - very informative, they'll be helpfull for the people who are interested in being licensed. And may even persuade a couple gear-heads to obtain a license and be legal.

    ... now what to do about the mod'd radios being used in the world today. :D (sorry, couldn't resist...)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  15. partybarge_pilot

    partybarge_pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Location:
    Easton, KS
    I have yet to meet a federally that knew anything about any laws concerning ham radios, let alone the need to enforce them. I wasn't even aware Mexico had such regulations and I have asked before. Stop the scare tactics man........

    Also, the majority of people here use there radios in very remote areas I.E. the desert. This has almost 0 impact on the technogeek sitting in his garage. We also do not use repeaters.

    The laws you quoted were written in the 30's and seriously need to be updated to keep pace with current technology.
     
  16. DanDan

    DanDan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    Oceanside, Calif.
    Operating one of these radios in "remote" areas of the desert on the ham freqs. is not a good idea. I have sat in the pits at PCW and talked on ham repeaters in Riverside county. A 50W radio will carry long distances. Anyone hear the guy in Yuma talking to Weatherman at the last 1000? If you mod the radio and talk on the accepted race freqs., you will probably be OK. That is breaking a different FCC law but enforcement isn't likely. I do have a ham licence so that I can use the repeaters if needed in an emergency.
     
  17. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Key word once again... you used your radio on a repeater... to obtain the distance out off the desert floor. MOST (99%) of racers don't use repeaters for at any of the races. MOST don't know how. MOST don't need to.

    And using a MOD'd radio on race freqs is "probably okay"?! Uhhh... that's being hypocritical as it's more "against the law" than using without a license. Odd comment coming from a HAM'er.

    And it's not the FCC that enforces the MOD'd radio use... it's the NTIA.

    HOW about taking this "how to use a HAM/2 Meter Radio legally" discussion to another thread and don't pollute this one. Like I've said... ask some racers what they do, or don't know. And take it up with them, on your own thread about the issue. I'd like to keep this thread on topic.

    .
     
  18. scurrie

    scurrie New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    Hi Guys,
    True, I have not been off road for many years, and have never participated in the race circuit. I also know the rules are abused on a regular basis (and regardless if they were written in the 30's, there are still in enforcement today). I just wanted to make sure your community understood the requirement and potential for enforcement.

    When I was in So Cal, a group of commercial fishermen picked up some Amateur transceivers and started operating unlicensed in support of their business. They ended up on my repeater, a 50W radio goes a lot further than you might think. They had no idea they were being repeated for hundreds of miles, they had no understanding of the band plan and where the repeaters were. I didn't turn them in to the FCC. I informed them of their error (over the radio, a violation itself) and never heard them again. I know many other folks who would have immediately turned them in.

    I've been a Ham for over 25 years, I really like the hobby, I like merging my riding and radio interests, and I teach license classes, so yes, I'm pretty passionate about Amateur radio. I like to see new folks join our ranks and get their license.

    So that's all I am saying. I really didn't want my post to sound like I was a grumpy old fart telling everyone off. Unfortunately, there are plenty of folks like that in the Ham ranks though, so don't be too surprised if you hear some grumpy guy yelling at your unlicensed operation. :)

    -Scurrie
     
  19. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    No worries Scurrie, I could tell you have good intentions. But this isn't the place to preach'em. Not here on RDC anyway.

    I agree... there are some very "grumpy" (to say it nicely) HAM'ers out there and some that snivel instead of inform. Think of how much more we'd all know if HAM'ers in general were as nice and informative as yourself?! ...maybe that should be in the 'training manual'... :D

    And when the yelling begins, the knob is adjusted to "off". ;)

    Now... back to our regular programming :cool:
     
  20. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    on the road
    Thanks for the update Johnny. I subscribed to your other thread on TT. I'd really like to be able to talk to my riding buddies, as we're often spread out pretty far on long-distance DS rides. But I'm wondering if maybe this is something we should wait a little while longer before buying into. Is it reasonable to assume this kind of stuff is going to continue getting significantly smaller/simpler over the next year or two? Or are we getting close to the practical limits of what's going to fit into a small pelican box?
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page