Author Topic: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?  (Read 1064 times)

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Offline howlindawg

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My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:01:02 pm »
So my Zumo 550 has finally given up the ghost after over 10 years of year round use.
My Autocom is also starting to suffer from crackles and dropouts, probably due to the wiring harness starting to fail from age.

I've had great value from both so no complaints on that front.
So a decade later and I've now no idea what's good for GPS and comms.

I'd like satnav prompts, phone and clear rider pillion comms at motorweay speeds.
Wireless would be nice but I'm not averse to a wired option.

I no longer use bike to bike.
I don't generally listen to music while riding as I find it distracting but it would be nice if the pillion could could do so.

So; what's worth taking a look at?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 09:28:03 pm by howlindawg »
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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 09:11:08 pm »
The Tomtom Rider 550 and the Sena 20S Evo or the Cardo Packtalk Bold.

Offline Costas

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 10:28:01 am »
Cardo packtalk slim. Zumo can repair it of you have the extended warranty at 120 USD.
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Offline sudolea

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 11:02:05 am »
Cardo packtalk slim. Zumo can repair it of you have the extended warranty at 120 USD.

Mmm.... Not convinced, you know. That one looks overshoot to me, for sure if you don't necessarily want bike-to-bike comms (let alone you'd need a 'pack' - of up to 15 riders - to talk to ...

At the time my Cardo Scala G4 was to be replaced, last year, I bought the Cardo Freecom 4, the old Scala G4's more recent, but nearly 1-to-1 replacement. I (still) wanted bike-to-bike communication. If you don't want any bike-to-bike communication (i.e. only rider-to-passenger), the Cardo Freecom 2 could do for your needs IIRC. Because as far as I remember when I was looking out for the replacement (of my G4), the Freecom 4 and the Freecom 2 were functionally quite close to each other, if it weren't the bike-to-bike feature limitation (of the Freecom 2).

I'm nearly sure the Freecom 4 could do what the topic starter wants (I don't ever use the pillion's separate music possibility, as I never ride with a pillion), but I even suspect the Freecom 2 does everything what the topic starter needs. That is : in combination with a Garmin Zümo 595 (= my use case) - not sure about the separate music possibility, though...

Some useful links : https://www.cardosystems.com/wp-content/uploads/guides/manual/en/freecom2.pdf and https://www.cardosystems.com/wp-content/uploads/guides/manual/en/freecom4.pdf
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Offline howlindawg

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 07:29:04 am »
Thanks for the feedback Gents.

I'll check out the Cardo range for Comms, you've collectively given me a few good options to start my search.

I like the look of the TomTom, the user interface looks more modern and intuitive than the Garmin.

What's the TomTom touch screen like in sunlight?
Some reviews mention that it's very reflective.
I'm not sure whether that's just internet exageration. :)





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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 09:41:46 am »
Having had both Tomtom and Garmin (660LM) I am definitely in the Tomtom camp having had the Rider V3, V5, 400 and now the 550.
I don't have any trouble seeing the display in bright sunlight (remember that?  ;D)
The Sena 20S Evo is the first headset I have had to turn the volume down and the range between myself and Brian on last years Wrinklies trip was very impressive. I could hear Brian even though he was nowhere to be seen in my mirrors.

I have no personal experience of the Cardo Packtalk Bold but it gets good reviews.
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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 12:01:17 pm »
My two-pennorth, for what it is worth and I am only ever a solo rider who never listens to music or radio, bike or car.

Wired Autocom...
Simplest of all intercomms I have used, plug in, turn on, forget.
Brilliant reliability, functionality and performance.
A little wind noise in the helmet causes the Autocom to transmit noise.
Excellent customer service (used to be...)


However...
When cables and connectors go bad they can cost more to replace than a new unit.
I have lost count of the number of times I have had to stop a mile after a fuel stop to reconnect my intercom cable.

Sena 20S...
Brilliant range, much, much greater than Autocom.
No bloody cables to trip over.
You can't forget to reconnect after a fuel stop etc. etc.
Many more features than old wired Autocom.
Instructions for use are 'odd' - does 'Tap the jog dial' mean just tap it or are you supposed to press it till the switch operates? I can ride along tapping my horn button all day long but the horn never sounds...unless I 'Press' it.
App connectivity for set up.
A little wind noise in the helmet causes the Sena to keep yapping 'Say a commaaaand' into your ear, but it does take a lot more noise to trigger.
Like Rae, great volume with either ear buds or in-helmet speakers.

However...
Change your helmet, you have to change the fitment.
Have more than one helmet, you need more than one fitment (not including the clip-on head unit).
Can be fiendishly tricky to fit to modern helmets with neck skirts etc.
Can be pernickety when it comes to how and in which sequence you connect your devices.
Way too many 'features' which no-one can fully understand.

Also, and this may just be 'me'...

I find the unit VERY difficult to operate with even summer gloves on and the finger contortions to access phone, ambient noise feature and even volume, to be almost beyond my physical ability.

There are two possible reasons for this...
Firstly I could just be a klutz (OK, three reasons). I am more dextrous than most so don't think it is this.

The mounting position on the Schuberth C3 is a long way to the rear (to clear the chin-bar and visor mechanism) and this makes for a 'weird' arm position trying to get to the controls. It's easy with no jacket on but the normal restrictions of heavy/bulky clothing make this arm bend very awkward for me but I could just have weird arms.

I just don't do the miles with other users to ever get the muscle memory locked-in. I don't even know how to connect to another user. I mean, it's not rocket science and every time I read the manual it's like 'OK, easy!'. Then the next time, a few months later, I can't remember.

In summary, the performance of the Sena is way better than any wired Autocom I have ever experienced.

In their defence, Autocoms are simple tools which you fit and forget whereas the Sena is way too complex for almost every user's needs. The controls remind me of the left handlebar of an R1200GS or K1600...cluttered!

Offline TurboBevy

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 05:30:12 pm »
When it comes to fitting the likes of a Sena or Cardo system bracket to your helmet. Take my advice and use https://sugru.com/

Did that the last time with my C3 Pro and it worked brilliantly and it stuck like dried weetabix to a blanket.
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Offline sudolea

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 05:46:06 pm »
I can confirm Sugru is very good indeed, I fixed a dashcam with it on my GSX-S1000, a while ago. Not too cheap, though...
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Offline richtea

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 08:06:11 pm »
I can confirm Sugru is very good indeed, I fixed a dashcam with it on my GSX-S1000, a while ago. Not too cheap, though...

Oooo. Perfect Xmas pressie for duct tape and Araldite* enthusiasts. I didn't know I needed Sugru until just then!

Also, it's 25% off all orders over £15 if you order before tomorrow 2pm UK time.
Happy Christmas, me.

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Offline howlindawg

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 09:59:30 pm »
Wired Autocom...
Simplest of all intercomms I have used, plug in, turn on, forget.
Brilliant reliability, functionality and performance.
A little wind noise in the helmet causes the Autocom to transmit noise.
Excellent customer service (used to be...)

I first bought Autocom when I became an instructor. That's almost 20 years ago and it's still the same unit fitted to the K1300. It was absolutely brilliant, crystal clear comms whether rider to pillion, bike to bike on the road or bike to bike on the track. The one time I did have problems I emailed Doug Sant and a complete new wiring loom was shipped to me - "no charge - we service what we sell". Awesome service!

20 years on and the market has evolved but sadly the Autocom lineup doesn't appear to have moved with the times.

Surprisingly it seems a somewhat similar story with Garmin, their UI/UX looks surprisingly behind the times when compared to TomTom and even Google. This replacement will be my 4th GPS and all the previous ones have been Garmin, this time I'm really not so sure.

These days technology has changed, expectations have changed and my needs have changed and it's looking like the solution I'll go for this time around will be completely different from my previous setup.

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Offline Phmode

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 12:16:42 am »
I think Doug's attitude to customer service was the main downfall of Autocom and their take-over by, er, whoever their main rival was. i.e. he gave customer service.

I bought my unit second hand off fleabay and fitted it myself. When I had some noise issues, I rode up to their workshop on spec. Doug gave me a coffee and said he would be able to look at the bike in about half an hour. A couple of new cables and a different fuse-holder and it was like magic. On a second-hand unit I hadn't even bought from them. I always swore I would be a customer for life...

Offline howlindawg

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2018, 11:57:36 pm »
A couple of questions for those in the know;

Does the TomTom 550 have the lane assist feature at junctions?

Is it possible to have VOX activated rider pillion comms on the Cardo units or do I always have to press a button to initiate a conversation?
If the latter, when does the conversation terminate and require me to press the button again?
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Offline sudolea

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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2018, 08:42:10 am »
A couple of questions for those in the know;
...
Is it possible to have VOX activated rider pillion comms on the Cardo units or do I always have to press a button to initiate a conversation?
If the latter, when does the conversation terminate and require me to press the button again?

You don't necessarily have to press a button to initiate every conversation, but you have to be connected (i.e. both units have to be aware that they had been paired "some time in the past" - which is remembered across turn off/turn on sequence).

Once having been paired ... Then when you power on, both units will try to find each other. If they're successful in this, you're "connected". Doesn't mean you are "in a conversation", though. Because at that time (= right after powering up), you either have to have "Vox enabled" AND start talking loud enough, either you have to press a button to start the conversation. It happens that the conversation shuts off, and that you consequently have to re-start the conversation, but there are settings where this isn't necessary, and where you stay connected. I used this setting when learning my son to ride and where the couple of seconds to build a new conversation is untolerable - it's of no use to try to say there's a street with priority (from the right, "on the continent") while your units are still re-building up a new (e.g. Vox-initiated) conversation and you have passed the street by that time.

I'm speaking of Scala-to-Scala (the G4-to-G4 scenario to be more specific). When setting up my Freecom 4, I used the G4's to test this scenario with, and I have been able to "reproduce" the scenario here above (i.e. both can stay connected). However, on my summer holiday, I've been riding where I was connected to a Sena (don't know which type). And there, every now and then, we lost connection for reasons which we didn't make the effort of finding out why that was. We suspect GPS instructions from the other rider's GPS to his Sena were the cause of this.

Hope this helps.
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Re: My Zumo 550 is dead - what next?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2018, 08:42:43 am »
Tomtom does have lane assist. Most of the newer intercom systems have a push to connect and disconnect function. So once connected will stay connected until you push to disconnect, this is true for Sena and Cardo.