Intercom Squelch


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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cbx4evr
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Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Wed May 02, 2012 1:56 pm



Over the winter I broke open the piggy bank and invested in new helmets and a helmet intercom/speaker system. I purchased two Nolan helmets and the Nolan MCS, Goldwing specific, mic and speaker system.

Everything works great and as it should but I'm having issues with the intercom side.

After about ten minutes starting out for the first time of the day the intercom starts, what I will call, making a 'squelch" sound in the speakers. At first it starts cutting in and out defeating the radio but eventually it becomes constant and I have to shut off the Intercom using the switch. When I turn it back on again after a couple of minutes, sometimes I am lucky to get a sentence in before it starts again.

I have tried turning everything else off except the intercom with no difference. Disconnected my FM MP3 transmitter too with no difference.

I'm confused and frustrated. My main motivation for the purchase was to be able to use the intercom system. Anybody got any ideas, suggestions for fixing this issue??

Thanks in advance for your anticipated response.

.


"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 02, 2012 2:30 pm

Any chance you could post a recording of the sound? Is it a high-pitched squeal, or more like white noise? I assume this is your 2000 SE, correct?

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Wed May 02, 2012 2:42 pm

Hmmmm. How can I record that. Will give that some thought.

Yes, it's on my 2000 Goldwing. The sound is not white noise/static, it is high pitched. I have to be careful how high I set the intercom volume because it hurts the ears when it kicks in.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 02, 2012 3:05 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhere that grounding the mic and headset grounds together on the 1500 (or was that the 1800?) can cause a squeal like this. It's not audio feedback is it? Can you stop it by covering the mic and/or headset speakers?

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Wed May 02, 2012 7:44 pm

I have the helmet on my head so the speakers are pretty well covered by my big ears. Didn't try covering the mike.

UPDATE:

I went out to the garage and maybe confused the issue even more. I hooked up a helmet and turned on the sound system, ignition OFF. Spent 30 minutes and couldn't replicate the noise. Haven't tried it with both helmets hooked up which may be the next step.


I'm wondering if it could be cable strain??? I find that the supplied cable from Nolan is a little on the short side for the driver position. I was actually thinking about trying to find a short jumper cable. I posted a picture of the Nolan cable below. Is it possible to use a standard 5 pin DIN cable as an extension? Where would a person find one 6" - 12" long?? Alternately it would probably be easier to find a headphone extension cable however was thinking that this end may be Nolan specific and that it has to fit tight into the helmet.

I am soooooo confused.




.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 02, 2012 8:00 pm

That 3.5mm jack is a 4-conductor, it's not a standard 3.5mm 3-conductor TRS jack that an extension cable would work with.

You might find a DIN extension, but it would have to have the correct shielding in it to avoid picking up stray microphone noise.

OK, let's do process of elimination. Does the noise happen only when both headsets are connected? If so, does it go away if one of them is disconnected?

If it's not related to the number of headsets, run it until you get the noise, then disconnect the DIN cable(s). Wait, and reconnect. Does this get rid of the noise the same way as turning it off? What about disconnecting the 3.5mm Nolan end?

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Wed May 02, 2012 9:24 pm

Thanks for the help. What you suggest is where I am heading. Next time we are out, maybe tomorrow, the process of unplugging will be done. I did go back out to the garage and hooked up both helmets. I was able to replicate the noise for a moment when I was playing with the cables on the wife's helmet. I'm suspecting that the cable may not have been fully seated into the helmet but a road test will hopefully narrow it down.

I checked with EdSets and they have a 5 din cable but looks like it has two male ends and I would need male - female.


Is an iPhone headphone cable 4 conductor?? I saw one of those and was wondering if I could use that.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 03, 2012 8:32 am

cbx4evr wrote:Thanks for the help. What you suggest is where I am heading. Next time we are out, maybe tomorrow, the process of unplugging will be done. I did go back out to the garage and hooked up both helmets. I was able to replicate the noise for a moment when I was playing with the cables on the wife's helmet. I'm suspecting that the cable may not have been fully seated into the helmet but a road test will hopefully narrow it down.

I checked with EdSets and they have a 5 din cable but looks like it has two male ends and I would need male - female.

Is an iPhone headphone cable 4 conductor?? I saw one of those and was wondering if I could use that.


That's right any 3.5mm cell phone headset cable has four conductors: ground, left, right and mic.

A 3.5mm TRS cable not seated fully can possibly ground out something that isn't supposed to be grounded, which in some circuits can cause a loud squeal, so definitely look at that.

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cbx4evr
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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Sun May 06, 2012 7:56 pm

By process of elimination I am optimistic that I may have my helmet intercom problem resolved.

We went out to today and although it took longer to happen eventually we were getting the squeal through the intercom system. My wife ended up pulling the plug out of her helmet and thereafter I never heard the squeal. So as I suspected the problem was at the rear connection.

We stopped and I got off the bike. We decided to switch cables to determine if it was a cable problem or a helmet one. My wife hooked up and as I was getting on the bike I looked at how the cable ran. She had it on the front of her arm and it ran over her shoulder to the helmet. The Nolan plug seems to be a little further back on the helmet than what I have seen from J&M. Anyway as she sat the plug was rubbing on the shoulder of her jacket so that any head movement could move the plug. Actually Nolan should have a 45 degree plug but that's a design issue in my opinion. I rerouted the cable up her back and the issue of shoulder contact was gone. From there we set off and had no more squeal. The cable swap made no difference so it looks like it was a fairly simple fix.

Now if I could just figure out a way to not have wind gusts cancel out the radio ........

Thanks
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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WingAdmin
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2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby WingAdmin » Sun May 06, 2012 8:09 pm

That's great! Glad to hear you got it solved.

A product called "mic mutes" http://www.mic-mutes.com would likely solve your gust of wind problem.

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cbx4evr
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Re: Intercom Squelch

Postby cbx4evr » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:27 am

I'm kicking this back to the top with another update. Hopefully if someone is considering a Nolan system it will save them the problems I am experiencing.

Wife and I finally got out for a day long trip last week. I hadn't got a mile from home when the music started coming in and out on the speakers. After 30 minutes of fiddling with the cable into my helmet I couldn't stand it any longer. I pulled over and we removed the cables and went back to speakers and hand signals. My wife was having no issues and I had none using the cable she had, so again, narrowed down to a cable problem. I'm convinced that there is a wire broken just below the jack. With this setup there just seems to be too much wire strain and the jack gets rubbed by the shoulder of my jacket.

So the process of trying to get this rectified with no cost to me begins. I bought the system from Powersport Superstore in Texas, via Amazon in the USA which isn't making it easy to get an exchange. They are very slow answering emails. We plan on taking a vacation soon but at this point it looks like we will not have the communication enabled. To me the right thing to do would be for the vendor to send me a replacement cable and I'll return the faulty one but things aren't that simple apparently. I tried contacting CIMA International in the USA which is the Nolan distributor. No response from them at all. Didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy for buying Nolan.

Yesterday I came across the name of the distributor for Nolan in Canada. I sent an email to them and before I could log out I received a reply with a phone number and contact. I called that person and had a 20 minute conversation with him. What a difference in customer service attitude.

To make a long story short the system I bought "shouldn't even have been sold to me". I'm thinking that it is old stock that the vendors are trying to clear. The person I was talking to described it as "junk". The cable is the downfall of the system. He said even if he sent me a new cable I would be back again with the same problem. Apparently Nolan has come out with an entirely new system for the Goldwing application. The cable now has a micro USB connector on the helmet end set at 90 degrees. Great news but how does that help me now!!??, I asked. He told me to remove the comm systems from the helmets and send them in for warranty assessment. My understanding is that they will replace these for me with the new system. I am hopeful that will be the case.

So a warning to anyone considering a Nolan system and if you happen to come across this post by Googling. If the vendor is supplying a system with the cable I show in the post above, DO NOT buy it.

Final note. I am in no way not satisfied with the Nolan system. When it was working properly the sound clarity was very good. I really like the install of the system as everything is integrated. No clamps projecting from the helmet. Until you open up the helmet and see the mic you don't even know a comm system is in there.

.


"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "


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