ChatterBox Xbi

Discussion in 'Communications And Radio' started by USMCCWO5, Jul 6, 2008.


    USMCCWO5 Junior Member

    I have purchased two ChatterBox XBi units so that my wife and I can talk to each other on the way to Sturgis from San Diego, CA.

    Installed one of them in my half shell; no problems
    Installed the other in my wife's 3/4 shell helmet; no problems. Both helmets have the wires tucked neatly under the liner. Boom mike reaches just far enough on hers. Mine has plenty of reach.

    Paired them to each other (a bit of a hassle). Programmed them to each of our cell phones (very simple).
    Hooked up my iPod with accessory CB cable (again, very simple). All sounds were clear and readable, but this was in my family room.

    So far:
    1. Look good
    2. Easy to mount
    3. Fairly easy to program (hold the button long enough)

    Road report to follow.

    Is anyone else using them? Can I hook them to my bike battery to extend the life over a four day ride? Only comes with an A/C charger, which will not work while camping without electricity!
  2. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Have a great trip. Can't wait to read your road review!
  3. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

    I can't wait to hear how they are on the open road. :D Have a great trip.
  4. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    If there are no 12v dc to 12v dc adapters available by Xbi , there is an alternate solution.

    Get a 12v DC to 110v AC inverter. You need less than 150 watts . Problem is you need at least a 10amp 12v dc line for each bike if you using a device that requires 150 watts AC.

    Google "12v DC to 110v AC inverter" . There is lots of info and some research will have to be done.

    Check out that AC adapter for voltage and amps.. Power = v*A . That will provide you with a rough estimate of the inverter power equirements.

    Good luck on your trip.

    USMCCWO5 Junior Member

    I was thinking more along the lines of a cigarette lighter type plug; just need to find a charger that puts out 6V DC at 500mA, then figure out how to splice a four-connector miniplug.

    Update on performance:
    Last two days riding with iPod has been problem free.
    Wearing ear plugs
    iPod and XBi volumn to highest setting.

    Still haven't tried with passenger intercom yet!
  6. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    If your intension is to run this from your cigar lighter on your bike , that wont work. This may exist but I have not seen a charger that converts input 12v dc from your bike to 6v dc output.

    You need to drop the 12v dc to 6 vdc with a voltage divider which will always maintain that 6 v drop as the amps increases or decreases when you charge the Xbi.

    Its worth the extra cost to get the correct adapter from Xbi for this application if its availble.


    USMCCWO5 Junior Member

    Road Report:
    Well, my wife and I got very used to communicating during our ride to Sturgis and back to CA; almost 5000 miles.
    - Batteries last a whole day. We stayed at RV camps and sometimes National Parks and charged them in the restrooms.
    - Clarity is average (although I can only compare it to USMC ordnance vehicles) easy to talk, but no side tone. With my windsheild in place we could talk easy until over 70 miles an hour. Then it took putting my hand over the mic and getting behind the windsheild. Wife has a 3/4 with a wind screen on her helmet. I think that helps.
    - Volumn, I am slightly deaf, and with ear plugs I could only hear with the volumn all the way up.
    - Could sometimes hear my exhaust through her mic. We started to put them in stand-by, then when we needed to talk we would push the intercom button. Easy to do.
    - At speeds over 75 mph the boom holding the mic on my helmet would start to move around, depending on where my feet and legs were directing the air from below, the mic would move up towards my nose or blow out to the side. A minor inconvenience at the most.
    - iPod hooked to one device cannot be heard by the other. (could use two iPods and listen to different music?)

    Overall, I am satisfied, but if I could I would
    - keep the small form-factor (roll of quarters)
    - add sidetone (like a telephone, so you can hear your own voice when you speak)
    - add cigar style charging capability or AA battery use
    - more rigid boom
    - adjustable VOX mic (to remove some road static)