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Status 2009-09-29: Ham Radio on Motorcycle Integration

I wasn't really planning on banging out this project so quickly, but it turns out there is a triathlon this weekend that I volunteer for every year (Scott Tinley's Not-Dirty-But-I-Still-Call-It-Dirty Aventure) that's at Lopez Lake, spitting distance from my house. I thought about how far the radio integration project was and realized that if I took the iPhone part of it out of scope, it was nearly done. So I banged nearly all of it out last night, and finished up just a little bit tonight (had to solder 4 more wires).

I just got back from my test ride, and the audio reports are pretty universally positive. There's a little bit of wind noise at freeway speeds, but all things considered, very readable. The GPS is getting signal and broadcasting updates every few minutes on APRS, as KR6ZY-2.

A few things I'd like to fix as time allows, but not blockers for this weekend:

  • The PTT is a little flaky. It's spent a lot of time in the elements and can stand to be replaced.
  • Audio is only in one ear. I know why and its easy to fix. I just need to bridge two pairs together.
  • I still need a UHF antenna (Ok, I lied. This IS a blocker for this weekend, but I think there's one waiting for me at the shack at Cal Poly)
  • The audio is a bit tinny, always has been. I think there some caps in the audio path that are too small, making a high-pass filter. I'd like to increase these some to drop the frequency response a bit.
  • Make the whole radio system switched with accessory power. Right now, it pulls directly from the battery; if I forget to flip the switch in the luggage, it'll kill the battery pretty quickly.
  • Integrate iPhone audio. This is the much larger project, involving mixing and audio amps, and microcontrollers so I can hit the big stop/start button and what-not. Being able to charge the iPhone while riding is a plus.

So, yeah. Just a few things... ;-)

Thanks to Nick, KF6UZB, for helping me out with the audio checks this evening.

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