Sunday, September 13, 2015

How Easy Is It To Use Bluetooth Stuff?

Bluetooth enabled devices can communicate with each other. Supposedly. Sort of. I have a bunch of them and have been trying to use them the best way possible on my bikes, the 2011 and the 2015.

Here is the list of Equipment.

Cardo G9 + Samsung Galaxy S5 + Nav 5 + BMW Audio system: How to get them all working nicely is the target.

I have tried two setups:

1) G9 paired with GPS and Phone

This worked fine except before each ride I had to fiddle with the phone to start music and verify the GPS could see the contact list in the phone. Sometimes this got more than a little irritating, having to turn the phone off then on and so forth. I also noticed that when the GPS gave a series of messages in rapid succession the music would sometimes not come back on. This occurs with both the old Zumo 550 and the NAV V. Sometimes using the G9 voice command "Music On" would fix this, but sometimes it would not. I have had this happen with a Zumo 550 and an iPod arrangement I used to use. Same thing with the both GPSs and the NAV V. Don't know if this is a G9, Garmin, or S5 issue. I think it may be the G9 and have asked Cardo to fix it. No response yet. It prompted me to try ...

2) I found several hints on the MOA Gear forum and on other web sites about the RT Audio System. BMW wants $110 CAD for the cable to connect an iPod. My friend loaned me one and I had to buy a 30 pin to new lightning connector ($36) to fit my iPod Nano 7. All worked as advertised to allow me to see music and playlists. But, it's too much stuff in the little compartment on the right side of the bike.

So, I returned all the items except the Nano. Then I bought a 64 GB USB stick ($27 on sale at Staples!), put 15 GB of .mp3 files on it, plus some .mu3 playlists. If you put this into the USB receptacle on the cable in the bike's compartment, use the SRC button to find USB, you will be able to choose a playlist just as if the stick was an iPod.

  •  pair and connect the Audio System to the G9. Music under control and heard in the helmet.

  •  pair and connect the NAV V to the Audio system. GPS prompts go to the helmet.

  • pair the smartphone to the NAV V. Phonebook seen on the Nav. 

  • pair the smartphone to the G9. Phone calls heard in the helmet.

This is going to be my setup for a while. I have done this and checked it out only in the garage. Rainy days are preventing my going riding.

Questions as yet unanswered: When I start things up, will they all reconnect nicely without fiddling? They should. The G9 has told me before things like "GPS connected" and "Mobile phone 1 connected" without any fooling around.

Will advise.

Edit 11:15 Sunday (day of post)

Just browsed to the Cardo site and discovered there is a software update. With unspecified bug fixes. Well, I did the upgrade and will now have to re-pair the bluetooth devices for audio system and NAV V. Did the NAV V and now will have to do the audio system - in the morning. And test. And fix, likely.

As above, will advise.


  1. I love gadgets as long as they work the way I think they should and usually they don't - that's why I keep it simple. I only listen to the GPS and it has all of my music loaded on it should I want it. If you phone or text me you will just have to wait! I stopped using my bluetooth for the GPS because I found it usually ran out of juice just when I wanted it most; I use an earbud (hard wired) instead. Sometimes it's inconvenient but I work with it, saves my sanity.

  2. The phone is not a necessity, but it can be handy and I need to know if it works and how to use it.

    The GPS prompts can be very useful as one can use the audio only when you have to pay attention to the traffic and road.

    Music is so nice on really long rides. I really want to get it sorted out.

    But this stuff is difficult to get working and is very fiddely in my opinion.

    The Cardo G9 gets firmware updates from time to time and they seem to work well. I will kepp trying.

    Battery life on the Cardo is pretty good. I have a USB power pack to recharge it at lunch, but have never had to use it. One day, I will forget to charge it at night and will need the battery!

    1. A tiny ear bud, a one metre wire and no worries - music, GPS and to heck with the phone 'cause I'm probably on holiday (or if really lucky; retired!)

  3. BT is nice when it works. How do you set priority? I.e. will the GPS messages pause the music and interrupt a phone call?

    1. Yes, because GPS messages are so important, they do interrupt music and phone call audio. It can take a second or two (seems like a long time when you are waiting for it) to come back.

  4. Good luck with the pairings. I am lucky if i can manage to pair hubby's helmet with mine for the Senas. lol

    1. Did it! It works great! Can you tell I am excited? Yea!

      See today's post for details (assuming you actually want some).

      But there are pics too.