Author Topic: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system  (Read 4514 times)

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OfflineKGR

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    Hi folks this is my first posting and concerns the autocom system. To say I'm not impressed with it would be an understatement. Set up is:- K1600 GT has Spa 2 + Kenwood TK3301 powered from the autocom. Spa-2 is under the top box rack above the alarm, the Radio is just behind the Alpine unit. Bike 2 - V-Strom with Spa solo + TK 3301 again powered by the bike. Both located under the tail fairing. Communications between both bikes is fairly none existent. My wife picks up some coms from me but gradually it turns to squelch noise. When she transmits...I receive squelch. Repositioning radios has made no difference. Auto com suggest putting radio in a tank bag for higher position which is not possible. A total of £800 spent on what can only be described as not fit for purpose. Autocom can't solve the problem so will probably remove and go back to BT systems. If anyone has got any suggestions to improve it I'd appreciate them.

    OfflineSTeinar

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    Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
    « Reply #1 on: 2014-05-19 21:37:23 »
    Well - first - I have used Bike2Bike for many years, and also the Autocom systems for many years.

    Autocom system are well made and are working very well.

    At the frequency this radio is working , it very importand that the antenna is pointing straight up , and NOT horizontal.

    And that the radio has a free sight in the direction of the other radio - and no human body or other metal parts between.

    The best position for me and my friends is to be on the inside sidewall of the top box.

    And - be absolutely sure that IF you are using pilot-tones - that both radios uses the same one.
    If not - the range will be meters and not kilometers :-)

    Normal range should be 1-5km.

    STeinar
    ** Wired and Bluetooth intercom from shop.ake-electronic.com **

    OfflineFP-NLD

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      Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
      « Reply #2 on: 2014-05-19 21:43:02 »
      That's odd. The Autocom SPA-2 is a good system and the Kenwood is a good radio. You would expect the combination to be good as well. AFAIK some people here are using that combination and so far I haven't read about any complaints. I have no first hand experience, but I would experiment a bit with the antenna position.
      Frank (NLD),             BMW K1600 GT Red (2011); top case w/brakelight, comfort package, safety package, F2P, black Wunderlich bars, PDM60, Autocom SPA  |  Other bike: Moto Guzzi V7 850 California (1975)

      OfflineKGR

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        Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
        « Reply #3 on: 2014-05-20 00:32:55 »
        Thanks Steinar and FP-NLD. The antennas are in fact horizontal and that was the only way they could be mounted. I usually ride with the top box removed and there's no connection for elecs, radio etc as it was removed from my RT. Do you know if it's at all possible to open the radio and connect in a stealth antenna? The antenna on these radios are fixed, unlike previous ones. I've tried several ways to get them to work but usually ending in no improvement. I'm determined to give it a try but am slowly running out of patience with it.

        OfflineSTeinar

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        Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
        « Reply #4 on: 2014-05-20 07:22:21 »
        First of all - try one time mounting them temporary vertical (tape them somewhere) and then try the range - to see how they work.

        I have mounted a BNC chassis contact on other radios - and then used an car type antenna for 450MHZ.
        But they need ground potential for working - so at least find an 3/4 or 5/8 antenna and not an 1/4 wave length.
        And the antenna cable has to be as short as possible.

        Again - check that you are using the same pilot tone - on both radios !

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAlyTXZGWeM

        https://www.renair.co.uk/Mobile-antenna/42j.html
        « Last Edit: 2014-05-20 07:30:57 by STeinar »
        ** Wired and Bluetooth intercom from shop.ake-electronic.com **

        OfflineKGR

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          Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
          « Reply #5 on: 2014-05-20 15:05:09 »
          By Pilot tones do you mean the channels?, both are set on the same channel. Both radios are out from under the seats and now about to test ride.

          OfflineSTeinar

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          Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
          « Reply #6 on: 2014-05-20 15:26:41 »
          No - the pilot-tone is NOT the channel  ;)

          More or less all types of PMR radios has the possibility to also use a pilot-tone/QT/DOT encoder/ in addition to the channel.

          From the manual:
          Quote
          Built-in QT/DQT Encoder/Decoder
          The Encoder/Decoder function uses QT/DQT to segregates talk groups, so users
          only hear calls from their own group.
          38 different QT/DQT tone settings are available to the TK-3301 and are compatible to
          the best seller of Kenwood TK-3201.


          https:/images.kenwood.eu/files/prod/1567/5/TK-3301_Instruction_Manual_B62-2154-20.pdf
          « Last Edit: 2014-05-20 15:28:45 by STeinar »
          ** Wired and Bluetooth intercom from shop.ake-electronic.com **

          OfflineKGR

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            Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
            « Reply #7 on: 2014-05-20 19:48:26 »
            Thanks Steinar. prior to installation a check was carried out using the standard batteries and coms between the 2 radios were good so I assumed that apart from changing channels they would be ok. The test ride started ok but the coms from my bike to the VStrom was intermittent. the reception from her bike was good. So at least I'm one step nearer. I tried reducing the sensitivity and carrying out the number test, and still found intermittent. Swopped radios for the known good one and similar experience. Disconnected radio and normal count test with good feedback heard in the helmet. It seems as though when the radio is connected it's blocking transmission. My next course after checking the radio QT/DOT will be to strip down the back end, remove the SPA 2, and check the connection of the radio lead out connection. If that's fine then Mr Autocom will get it back for bench test. There's nothing more I can do. It's a pain having to strip down the backend again and I'm wondering whether it's worth pursuing.

            OfflineKGR

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              Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
              « Reply #8 on: 2014-05-24 13:24:29 »
              Quick update, both radios' QT/DOT were checked and found to be correct. Back end stripped down , and radio lead connection into the box checked and found good connection to pcb. Continuity checks on the cable proved inconclusive but maybe on pin 5 sometimes difficult to get 0 reading. Both cable and Spa box have been sent off to Autocom. Autocom support have been very good and helpful.

              OfflineKGR

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                Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                « Reply #9 on: 2014-05-28 16:16:28 »
                So final result, unit on its way back from bench test. No fault found with SPA or output cable to radio. Now at a loss to know which way to go. I think unless I can get some thing out of them they're designed for the big Ebay sight. Not prepared to waste any more time

                OfflineGargy

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                  Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                  « Reply #10 on: 2014-05-28 22:26:30 »
                  Just a thought, but Sena are about to update the SMH10, and release the SMH20S, which has a 1.5Km range, can connect up to eight riders, built in radio, multitasking Bluetooth......etc etc...............


                  Just a thought.
                  R.I.P. Marco Simoncelli.

                  OfflineKGR

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                    Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                    « Reply #11 on: 2014-05-30 15:51:24 »
                    Thanks Gargy, I spoke to the local dealer this morning and the Senna SMH20 is due in in 2 weeks time, price unknown. Still waiting for the SPA 2 to arrive back and will give it one last chance. As a general question to the group where have you fitted your SPA box. Mine was under the tail cover below the rear rack, but has also been installed next to the Alpine Unit. I've 2 x 90cm radio extension leads ordered to get the radios out from under the seat and will see how they work....or not.

                    OfflineKGR

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                      Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                      « Reply #12 on: 2014-06-07 11:03:44 »
                      Autocom installed again, trialled with the 2 extension leads and works ok. Pleased that it works now but other half isn't happy and says she is fed up of the having to connect the cables every time we go out. Looks like they will be removed and sold.  :(

                      OfflineFP-NLD

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                        Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                        « Reply #13 on: 2014-06-07 12:46:16 »
                        Glad it all worked out.
                        My wife and I think connecting the cables is not a big deal. It only takes about 3 seconds. Small price to pay for a hassle free connection.
                        On the other hand, if the Missus isn't happy it will probably have to change  ;D.
                        Frank (NLD),             BMW K1600 GT Red (2011); top case w/brakelight, comfort package, safety package, F2P, black Wunderlich bars, PDM60, Autocom SPA  |  Other bike: Moto Guzzi V7 850 California (1975)

                        OfflineKGR

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                          Re: Autocom Spa 2 with Kenwood TK3301- Crap system
                          « Reply #14 on: 2014-06-14 22:49:22 »
                          Latest update. Both radios were temporarily installed on the outside of both top boxes. PTT switch installed on LH bar but find it very big and ugly. :-\ Can't disable VOX on the radio, as requested on installation leaflet. It works ok though and transmission and reception very good. Then I found the plug on the rider lead rubber flex split and the screen wiring showing. No problem though new one on order. My top box was transferred from my RT and colour matched. So now here's a question for the group. Has anyone cut a hole in their topbox and fed a radio cable into it. The dealer reckoned it would be easier to desolder the radio cable at the battery eliminator, drill a small hole, and use a waterproof grommet for the cable to fed into the box. Has anyone done this? Has anyone an alternative to this. The top box has to be removable, so the connect and disconnect has to be easy and waterproof.
                          On the PTT switch, I've acquired 2 PTT's from Ex police RT's and will slave these into the Autocom PTT Button. Does anyone know if there are brackets available or will I have to manufacture to fit? The wife has accepted the Autocom system  ;D

                           

                          anything