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Thread: More Cardo Questions!

  1. #1
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    More Cardo Questions!

    I have a 2018 R1200RT, that is why I am asking here.

    I bought a pair of Cardo Palktalk Bold headsets.

    First problem. The RT will link one headset, but not the other. The information I see in the manual from the bike is the first, or rider's headset needs to be a BMW Communicator before it will accept a second, passenger, headset. If anyone knows anything different I would love to hear it!

    Second issue. Only one volume control? The Bluetooth output from the RT is loud and once the Bluetooth connection is made the Wonder wheel will not adjust the radio volume. It relies on the Cardo to set the volume, BUT, the intercom level is low, the radio level is way high. If I turn down the headset volume to listen to the Sirius radio from the RT I can not hear my wife talk to me, so I shut off the radio and turn up the volume on the headset, and back and forth. Am I missing something on either the RT radio controls, or the Cardo?

    I have probably 5 hours into trying to figure this out and so far not very happy.

    I don't ever care to connect to the GPS. I just want to listen to the bike's radio, and intercom with my wife and talk to another rider.

    One other thing that irks me is Cardo advertises you can talk to your passenger on one frequency and to other riders on a second frequency. From what I see you need to run this from and app on your phone. Not very user friendly on a motorcycle. I can see I may end up with a RAM mount for my phone so I can easily access my phone while rolling down the road.

    Another thing I have looked into a a aftermarket Bluetooth transmitter. They are cheap enough to try and should fit into the glove box. I already have a device wired into the RT's speakers that gives me a low level output. I should be able to plug that into the RT and connect the Cardos to it. It would give me volume adjustment with the wonder wheel, (at least I as sume soo.) It also has dual Bluetooth outputs so we can share music easier. The Packtalks will only share music in Bluetooth mode and the rider or passenger has to hit a button to stop the music and switch over to intercom and hit the button to go back to music.

    So far I have $450 into this and am not very happy. Also trying to talk to Cardo is about impossible. Customer service is busy and I have waited on hold for 45 minutes a couple times and gave up as I had other stuff to do.

    My buddy talked about just giving in and buying the BMW communicators, but I asked him if he could say for certain they would work like we hoped? They certainly will connect and function to the motorcycle easier but I doubt the intercom and bike to bike communication is better or different than Cado. Plus the helmet selection is poor.

    Guys can criticize Harley Davidson all they want, but for not being a technical company they had the intercom and bike to bike communication handled well. The only possible criticism was they used CB radios so whoever you roade with needed a CB too. The intercom was VOX operated and adjustable so the intercom would shut down until you started talking. They had inputs for a MP3 player and have Sirius radio available. Sound quality was good.
    Last edited by PoorUB; 08-28-2021 at 10:05 PM.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  2. #2
    I think you should connect just your rider headset to the RT. Then, link your passenger with mesh.

    At that point, you can use the phone app to set up different "groups" that you can switch between. One group might be everyone you are riding with, and another group could be just you and your passenger.

    You can share your music with the group (i.e. you passenger). And you can adjust the volume of the sources. I have mine set to reduce the volume of the music source while someone is talking.

    Cap

  3. #3
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    This is an older video by now, but still relevant to connect all the stuff on the bike. It is long but the relevant bits are there.. Some things may not apply but it is the order in which things are connected. Hope it helps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzPoILCj-aU
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, 17 R1200RT

  4. #4
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    Wow! That video was and eye opener! I am not sure if it answers my questions, but I will do as it says and see what I find.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  5. #5
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    Well, I spent a couple more hours reading, and watching video and I still can't listen to Sirius radio from my RT. It will do it, but at an objectional volume. The app for the Cardo Packtalk was of no use. It has sound level adjustments, but the music level does nothing.

    I ordered a dual output Bluetooth transmitter. I am going to try hook it up to the speaker outputs. I mentioned before I have a low level output converter wired in already. If that doesn't work I will mount my cell phone on the handlebars and stream music from my phone.

    The intercom functions fine, the music from the bike just sucks.

    I am going to try one more call to Cardo Mondy and see if I can get through.

    I am still rather disappointed that I spent $450 and it does not function as I thought it would.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  6. #6
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    I use https://www.motochello.com/shop/spea...87121582031250 it connects to a Sena SM10 (I have a Sena 20s EVO) but since you have the Cardo setup and getting a Cardo Bluetooth transmitter you may want to consider the Motochello.

    This is why I'm suggesting: The Speaker Bridge provides an isolation loop (both left and right channels) for your audio system amp and transformers for balanced impedance to correctly step down voltage for a 3.5mm jack. It includes built in load resistors to protect your system so the audio unit assumes a speaker is connected at all times.
    Last edited by strataj; 07-25-2021 at 02:15 PM. Reason: added content

  7. #7
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    I already have a similar unit wired in that was $10 instead of $110!
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  8. #8
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    Well, I spent a couple more hours reading, and watching video and I still can't listen to Sirius radio from my RT. It will do it, but at an objectional volume. The app for the Cardo Packtalk was of no use. It has sound level adjustments, but the music level does nothing.

    I ordered a dual output Bluetooth transmitter. I am going to try hook it up to the speaker outputs. I mentioned before I have a low level output converter wired in already. If that doesn't work I will mount my cell phone on the handlebars and stream music from my phone.

    The intercom functions fine, the music from the bike just sucks.

    I am going to try one more call to Cardo Mondy and see if I can get through.

    I am still rather disappointed that I spent $450 and it does not function as I thought it would.
    The music from the bike sucks because BMW uses an old version of Bluetooth. I pulled my speakers out and store my tire pump and other tools in the spot where the speakers were. I use music from my phone. Either streaming, or stored. It is so much better quality.
    John.
    Atwater, CA
    2015 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstrube View Post
    The music from the bike sucks because BMW uses an old version of Bluetooth. I pulled my speakers out and store my tire pump and other tools in the spot where the speakers were. I use music from my phone. Either streaming, or stored. It is so much better quality.
    You could also install a Motochello Audio Bridge, which pulls the sound directly out of the Alpine unit and avoids the outdated Bluetooth completely. Works fantastic and the music fidelity is dramatically improved.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  10. #10
    Regarding the OP issue: "Only one volume control? The Bluetooth output from the RT is loud and once the Bluetooth connection is made the Wonder wheel will not adjust the radio volume. It relies on the Cardo to set the volume, BUT, the intercom level is low, the radio level is way high. If I turn down the headset volume to listen to the Sirius radio from the RT I can not hear my wife talk to me, so I shut off the radio and turn up the volume on the headset, and back and forth."

    I had exactly the same issue on my 2021 K1600GA and it was resolved when I lowered the volume on the bike speakers to the lowest setting (1 I think it was) and then turned the bikes bluetooth on. The Cardo then had a lower music volume for the XM radio and I could hear my wife (she is connected on mesh not BT). The Cardo volume control (roll knob) works for both XM and wife but does not change volume for one over the other. Thankfully the speaker level 1 lowered the volume going to bluetooth on the Cardo sufficiently for me anyway.

  11. #11
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    I didn't call Cardo today, I got busy with some other stuff, but Amazon dropped off my Bluetooth transmitter and I went out and jerry rigged it to try it out. It worked fine. I disabled all the Bluetooth on the bike. The transmitter plugged into a line to low level speaker adaptor, similar to the Motochello, but 1/10th the price! The transmitter has dual outputs to connect to two bluetooth headsets so my wife and I can both listen to the bike's audio. I ordered a micro USB, 12 volt power cable that should show on Thursday and then I can get it wired in properly.

    On a side note, I looked all over for my USB drive with a bunch of music on it, looked everywhere, except on the bike! It was plugged into the USB port on the RT! I wanted it for a trip, just in case, but gave up looking. When I was messing around on the RT today I changed the source and the USB started to play music. I opened the glove box and there was my long lost USB drive!
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  12. #12
    Vintage User nevada72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powwow View Post
    You could also install a Motochello Audio Bridge, which pulls the sound directly out of the Alpine unit and avoids the outdated Bluetooth completely. Works fantastic and the music fidelity is dramatically improved.
    So what does the radio play? Is it still connected to the phone/ipod?

    Any more info would be appreciated. I have yet to use my stereo.
    2016 R1200 RT, 1971 R75/5

  13. #13
    I have a simple Cardo question. Voni and I have not used any bike-to-bike communication other than hand signals since trying a pair of FRS radios during the 2003 Iron Butt Rally. But we are considering getting a system for talking to each other while we ride. I have no desire to hook in a GPS. We have no desire to connect to phones. We have no desire to listen to music. We just want simple, no hassle, reliable, easy to use, easy to hear bike-to-bike communication for us.

    So is the Cardo Packtalk a good system for this??
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #14
    '14 R1200 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I have a simple Cardo question. Voni and I have not used any bike-to-bike communication other than hand signals since trying a pair of FRS radios during the 2003 Iron Butt Rally. But we are considering getting a system for talking to each other while we ride. I have no desire to hook in a GPS. We have no desire to connect to phones. We have no desire to listen to music. We just want simple, no-hassle, reliable, easy to use, easy to hear bike-to-bike communication for us.

    So is the Cardo Packtalk a good system for this??
    Yes!

    I've had several other systems, started with Cardo G-9 (Bluetooth)
    Then a SENA 20 (Bluetooth)
    before trying and acquiring a set of Cardo Packtalk Bold units (Mesh Technology).

    My Aussie Buddy and I have ridden 50,000 miles with our PT Bolds and they simply work, crystal clear communication at ranges up to a mile on the flat with line-of-sight. Once paired, which takes ten seconds, they automatically repair when turned on and in proximity to any other PT Bold they have been paired with previously. I have a loaner unit which I've installed in too many helmets to count when people ride with me that don't have a PT Bold. Invariably those folks purchase a PT Bold.

    The big advantage of the PT Bold is that it is waterproof rather than "Water Resistant" like their chief competitor the SENA 50 which uses its own "Mesh" network not compatible with the PT Bold.

    The real driver in making this purchase is "What do your friends use?" If you only plan on riding with Voni, and you don't care about ever talking to anyone else then that issue becomes moot.

    For an unbiased opinion, ask KHuddy, he tried my loaner and he and Annie seem to like their setup.

    I can't recommend the PT Bold highly enough!

    Edit: In addition, I have been quite pleased with customer service, my unit, well out of warranty, was replaced when the charging port failed, likely due to me dismounting my bike with the unit plugged in to charge while riding.
    The only dumb question is the unasked question!

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  15. #15
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Paul, Annie and I have used the PackTalk Bold for two years after using Senas for 8 or so years. We use them just as you described; just bike to bike commo; and we like them a great deal. John described them very well.
    Kevin Huddy
    Silver City, Montana
    MOA# 24,790 Ambassador

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