Autocom & Kenwood TK-3201 radio

#1
Hi all,

When i bought the bike a couple months ago it came with an Autocom Super Pro Automatic installed, and came with a Kenwood Protalk TK-3201 radio too.

My old man's new to him bike by conincidence came with the same setup so we want to get them set up for when we go to europe in Sept.

My question is around the radio battery (for now, im sure I'll have more questions! ).

It has the normally battery with it, but also what I assume is a battery eliminator. Pics:






I have had a look under the seat, where the autocom is, and I can't see an equivalent male connector to plug the radio into.

Now its possible the previous (and only) owner didn't use it, but I'd assume it would be an extra purchase rather than coming in the box?

I've tried to google for the other half of the lead i need but I'm struggling.

Any help gratefully received!!
 

Bumpkin

Formerly VFRChas
Site Sponsor
#2
You need to open up the Autocom unit and replace the lead that has the grey 5 pin connector. The plug on the lead from the radio will connect to the circuit board in place of that.

The version you have seems to be an evolution of this which plugged into that grey socket on the trailing lead.

EDIT: In fact the above item is for the SuperPro Avi (what I had prior to getting a Sena system) and Active Plus units that pre-date the SPA. Looking at this there is no fly-lead for radio connection as standard. I bet your bottom dollar that there's a suitable connector inside the case and an opening for the lead.

EDIT 2: Confirmed, it's all in the manual, pages 14 & 15.

I must say that the reliance on VOX for the radio is a retrograde step with a non-duplex system like a PMR radio. Maybe the SPA does this better than the SuperPro Avi did but press to talk prevents you from transmitting anything other than what is relevant. You can still use the grey socket lead with a radio and the SPA, just not power the radio from the unit. This would allow for the fitting of the Autocom press to talk (PTT) switch.

Also be aware that unless you can get the radios vertical, in a top box for example, range will be considerably compromised. Lain down under a bike seat they're going to be crap and directional. Using the BO antenna kit and adapting the radios to accept an SMA or BNC connector means that the radio can go anywhere. This is a whole new subject though, a search will yield some relevant threads if you have the time. At the least try to mount them with the radio's antenna vertical if you can.
 
#3
You need to open up the Autocom unit and replace the lead that has the grey 5 pin connector. The plug on the lead from the radio will connect to the circuit board in place of that.

The version you have seems to be an evolution of this which plugged into that grey socket on the trailing lead.

EDIT: In fact the above item is maybe for the SuperPro Avi and Active Plus units that pre-date the SPA. Looking at this there is no fly-lead for radio connection as standard. I bet your bottom dollar that there's a suitable connector inside the case and an opening for the lead.
Thank you so much!

Looks like i don't have the grey lead fitted in the autocom (i assume removed by previous owner to plug this in, then just removed this when not using).



Thanks again!

Now i just need to work out where to power the autocom from.
I am a complete novice with electrics.

It was scotch locked into the brake light but I didnt think I wanted it so i removed it to sell. Then booked this tour! Doesn't look like there is enough spare wire to do it again in the same place! Doh!
 
#4
EDIT 2: Confirmed, it's all in the manual, pages 14 & 15.

I must say that the reliance on VOX for the radio is a retrograde step with a non-duplex system like a PMR radio. Maybe the SPA does this better than the SuperPro Avi did but press to talk prevents you from transmitting anything other than what is relevant. You can still use the grey socket lead with a radio and the SPA, just not power the radio from the unit. This would allow for the fitting of the Autocom press to talk (PTT) switch.

Also be aware that unless you can get the radios vertical, in a top box for example, range will be considerably compromised. Lain down under a bike seat they're going to be crap and directional. Using the BO antenna kit and adapting the radios to accept an SMA or BNC connector means that the radio can go anywhere. This is a whole new subject though, a search will yield some relevant threads if you have the time. At the least try to mount them with the radio's antenna vertical if you can.
Thank you that is very interesting.
The only thing that was missing was the riders headset with ambient noise sensor which I'd need to purchase. But at ?55 thats a fair lump.

If the vox is going to be iffy, and the range not great (as you assumed, it would need to go under the seat on its side) I'll need to have a think about if its worth it.

Thanks for your input, really helpful!
 

fink

living up to the name
Site Sponsor
#5
You will need to open the case and insert the cable for the radio as Bumpkin said.
Another point make sure the battery eliminator is a new one ( the previous models were 9v to work with the pro avi models)

If your intending to use the Bluetooth module make sure it's stuck down as if it's not the power plug will move and you will have intermittent blue tooth. Another option is to snip the plug off and power it from your power source.

What else are you intending running music , twat nav , phone?
 
#6
You will need to open the case and insert the cable for the radio as Bumpkin said.
Another point make sure the battery eliminator is a new one ( the previous models were 9v to work with the pro avi models)

If your intending to use the Bluetooth module make sure it's stuck down as if it's not the power plug will move and you will have intermittent blue tooth. Another option is to snip the plug off and power it from your power source.

What else are you intending running music , twat nav , phone?
I have music on my phone, so would look at connecting my phone. Other than that nothing else. :)

So wondering if its easier to wire the phone in with the supplied cable rather than bother with the bluetooth?
 

Bob

One screw Bob
Staff member
Site Sponsor
#7
You can still use the grey socket lead with a radio and the SPA, just not power the radio from the unit. This would allow for the fitting of the Autocom press to talk (PTT) switch.
You can use the grey socket lead and still power the radio from the AVI, but you'd have to buy the Battery eliminator for this unit that had the corresponding grey socket. You could then purchase the PTT switch which would greatly improve the use of the radios. I have yet to ride with others that use VOX and not be constantly interrupted by their radios cutting in all the time due to wind noise.

However to do this you would need to purchase the following parts:

AUTOCOM G5 Interface Adapter For Bike to Bike 2356
AUTOCOM Power & Interface For Kenwood TK3301 2342
AUTOCOM Handlebar PTT With Switch Press To Talk For Bike To Bike 2388.

If you are going to use the radios it is worth doing. If you are not sure about anything give Sam at Chainspeed a ring (01926 678230), he used to work for Autocom and is very knowledgable, and very helpful.

Bob
 

fink

living up to the name
Site Sponsor
#8
I have music on my phone, so would look at connecting my phone. Other than that nothing else. :)

So wondering if its easier to wire the phone in with the supplied cable rather than bother with the bluetooth?
Bluetooth does use a fair bit of juice I have found.
I'm not sure where its searching for a signal but on a 250 journey up to where I live in the highlands my IPhone 5 will be at 30% by time I get to Tyndrum with 80 miles still to go if its in me pocket and paired with sat nav.

I usually keep phone plugged in charging on the bike.


If your still looking at powering your kit then have a look at one of my harnesses. http://www.bikersoracle.com/vfr/forum/showthread.php?t=103242 (If you would like one drop me a line at the email in post first).

Like Bob says Sam at Chainspeed is excellent if you have any autocom technical queries.
 
#9
Thanks to everyone for their input on this.

Just got off the phone with Sam at chainspeed and as you all said he was super helpful.

He said that he feels the vox can be very very good, but it does require proper setup which most people don't do and it therefore doesn't cut it.

He has said with my current setup my easiest option would be to got for a powered PTT, that way I can use the battery eliminator that i currently have.
So I'd need:
http://www.chainspeed.co.uk/products/AUTOCOM-Handlebar-Push-to-Talk-with-Power-2432/302.html?
http://www.chainspeed.co.uk/products/AUTOCOM-12-Volt-Remote-Powered-Bike-Power-Lead-2430/216.html

and as mentioned i need a riders headset too.

So the next decision for me is can i justify £120 for a 5 day tour just for bike to bike with my old man. (I have a cheapo chinese bluetooth install on my lid at the oment i can listen to my music through fine).

I have a young son with another on the way, so i can't see me doing much touring in the next few years... hmmmmm
 

Bumpkin

Formerly VFRChas
Site Sponsor
#10
The alternative is to flog both sets on eBay, or on here, and with the proceeds buy a decent set of Bluetooth headsets. I wouldn't have said that a year ago but am now a Bluetooth convert TBH. Forget the radios, riding as a pair BT bike-to-bike is fine. Have used this on two previous tours and it's been great. Full duplex comms bike to bike and my latest Sena 10U works well with both my sat nav (phone connected through that also works well) and PMR radio, via Sena SR10, for when riding with others similarly equipped. Not bike powered so you do need to remember to charge it overnight, lasts all day and handlebar remote lasts for weeks or even months on one charge.

You're passing the zenith for selling Autocom kit as it's usually start of the season when folks are planning their tours. Might catch some late ones if you sell now though.

Admittedly a decent Autocom set-up is still the best option but it does add up to a large chunk of cash, especially if bought new. The way my Super Pro Avi handled the various inputs was very logical and well thought out. Bike-to-bike radio does give better range when set-up properly but that will require more money in your case to both bike power with a PTT as well as, ideally, an external antenna. Great for bigger groups of riders and various brands of radio. Bluetooth bike-to-bike needs same brand kit to work, some manufacturers claim to have overcome this but with my experience with Sena this is a massively compromised fudge.

Agree with Bob's comment re Sam at Chainspeed, top bloke and Autocom guru.
 
#11
The alternative is to flog both sets on eBay, or on here, and with the proceeds buy a decent set of Bluetooth headsets. I wouldn't have said that a year ago but am now a Bluetooth convert TBH. Forget the radios, riding as a pair BT bike-to-bike is fine. Have used this on two previous tours and it's been great. Full duplex comms bike to bike and my latest Sena 10U works well with both my sat nav (phone connected through that also works well) and PMR radio, via Sena SR10, for when riding with others similarly equipped. Not bike powered so you do need to remember to charge it overnight, lasts all day and handlebar remote lasts for weeks or even months on one charge.

You're passing the zenith for selling Autocom kit as it's usually start of the season when folks are planning their tours. Might catch some late ones if you sell now though.

Admittedly a decent Autocom set-up is still the best option but it does add up to a large chunk of cash, especially if bought new. The way my Super Pro Avi handled the various inputs was very logical and well thought out. Bike-to-bike radio does give better range when set-up properly but that will require more money in your case to both bike power with a PTT as well as, ideally, an external antenna. Great for bigger groups of riders and various brands of radio (Bluetooth bike-to-bike needs same brand kit to work, some manufacturers claim to have overcome this but with my experience with Sena this is a massively compromised fudge.

Agree with Bob's comment re Sam at Chainspeed, top bloke and Autocom guru.
Thank you.
I was thinking similar to this. Sell the set up as it is and move on from there.
TBH my current cheapy bluetooth headset does for me, and I currently don't have a bike satnav, so I'm tempted to sell the autocom stuff and perhaps look at a satnav with the proceeds.
 
#12
Having slept on it I've decided I'm going to sell the whole setup.
My cheapo bluetooth headset works for me at the moment, and for he amount of touring I'm likely to do copes acceptable enough bike to bike.

I have wanted to satnav for the bike for ages, so will use the proceeds of the sale for that.

Thanks to everyone who has commented. Without your advice I would have blindly bought bits I didn't want!
 
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