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Tandem-Com Digital Wireless 

USER INSTRUCTIONS


The headsets are designed for adults but they work perfectly fine for children, too.  They come with foam tubes over the wire ear arches.  Most remove or slide the foam rearward allowing the speaker to sit closer to the ear.  Put the headset on as if it were a ball cap with the wire hoop behind your head.   See pictures above for a visual.

Pull BOTH sides or the entire unit rearward so the speaker is near the auditory canal for optimal hearing.  

Adjust the microphone so it is kissing close to the mouth.  Please note that the microphones are not ideally positioned at the time of the photo.

Make sure the actual microphone under the foam wind screen points towards the mouth and not into the wind. Pull the foam cover back one time to visualize which way the microphone faces after which you will be able to tell by feeling its shape through the foam.   The microphone is directional and noise canceling and works considerably better pointed towards the mouth than into the wind!

With some helmets it works better to put the headset on prior to the helmet and with others it is best to put it on after.  

You may find it beneficial to slightly bend and shape the hoop of the headset to optimize fit and hearing ability.  Before bending, we recommend finding the optimal speaker position for your ear.  Visually look at the speaker and then with the aid of a mirror see where it rests in relation to the auditory canal.    A second way to determine optimal positioning is to find the position that provides maximum volume by moving the unit around on your ear while the microphone from the other unit is positioned near a constant sound source, such as a stereo speaker.  Once the loudest position is found, hold it in place and go to a mirror where you can shape and bend the hoop to hold it at that level and flat on your ear.

After the ear and microphone positions are optimized, with the unit "OFF", plug both headsets into the mic /earphone jacks on the right side of the unit.  Be mindful not to try inserting it into the charging jack as forceful entry WILL cause damage that is NOT covered under warranty.  If you have trouble reading the port labels, we recommend marking them for easier reference.

Turn on both units by rotating the Volume/On/Off switch downward.  The Master Radio has a black antenna and the Remote Radio has a gray antenna.   Push the 'Talk' buttons one time on both radios.  Both 'Talk' lights will change to and remain Amber, a must for duplex communication between the radios.  

There are forty privacy channels available.  The dip switches are located beneath the battery.  They MUST be set to identical positions on both radios.

Adjust each volume control.  Pushing the rotary volume dial up lowers the volume and turns the radio off.  Raise the volume by pushing the rotary dial downward while saying test words like the commercial, "Can you hear me now?" or like our 4 year old got us to doing, "Blah, blah blah!", in a normal voice as if speaking to someone in the same room.  Strive for low but satisfactory volume settings which will reduce or eliminate wind and traffic noise except during extreme conditions.

The captain and stoker generally carry their respective units in a jersey pocket.  Single bike riders often carry them the same way.  However, when riding single bikes, if one person seems to always be out in front and increased range is desired, it would be best for the 'leader' to carry the unit in their rear jersey pocket with the 'follower' carrying the unit in a small handlebar bag.  This provides for a line of sight antenna signal between radios that will provide up to .5 miles of range, in our experience, far exceeding the advertised .25 mile range.


Charging Instructions

1) If your unit is 'brand new', plug in the batteries.  They fit rather tightly.  These photos provide a visual for optimal wire placement.

2) Make sure the unit is turned 'Off' by rotating the dial upward with your thumb until it clicks.

3) Carefully plug the charger into 'Charger Jack' (NOT THE HEADSET JACK!) making sure the connector aligns with the pin.  Use caution when aligning the plug so as to not bend the pin.  

4) Plug charger into an AC outlet.  Make sure the outlet has power.  

5) A red light next to the antenna should come on.  If it does not, check to make sure the charger is not plugged into the headset port!!

6) Charge depleted NiMH batteries for 7 hours but no more than 12 to prevent battery damage.  A good rule of thumb is to charge them 1.5 - 2.0 hours for every hour they have been on.  A wall timer works well to prevent over-charging.

It is normal for the radios to feel warm to the touch during the rapid charge process.

If your questions are not answered in the Troubleshooting section and solutions not discovered or learned, you may send us a note describing your the difficulty.

Thank you for using the Tandem-Com.

Optimizing Your System & Troubleshooting

The Tandem-Com Digital Wireless is very easy to use and intuitive thanks to the simplicity of the unit and comfort of the Ultra Headsets.

 

Is it normal to experience extra noise, garbled sound and difficulty hearing when going down a hill at 30 mph into a 20 mph headwind with heavy traffic going by?

Any intercom system open to the environment that amplifies sound is prone to picking up a combination of ambient sound and wind noise.  To minimize the potential and or eliminate it, check the following in this order:

  • The noise canceling microphones are directional.  Make sure the mic faces your lips and does not point in any other direction.  To determine the directionality, slip the windscreen back one time to see where the mic points.  Now that you have seen the shape you will be able to tell its position by feeling through the foam.  You may also want to mark it in some way for easy future visual reference. 

  • Eliminate unnecessarily high volume settings with optimal headset positioning.  Make sure the headsets are pulled back on BOTH sides so the speaker is as close as possible to the auditory canal and position the microphones kissing close.  Moving the wire hoop foam tubes back out of the way should move the speaker in closer to the ear.  It may work better to put on the headset after the helmet than before.  Once headset positioning is optimized, the volume can be on a low setting providing clear clean sound.  You may find it beneficial to slightly bend and shape the hoop of the headset to optimize the fit.  Before bending, we recommend finding the optimal speaker position for your ear.  Visually look at the speaker and then with the aid of a mirror see where it rests in relation to the auditory canal.  The wire loop for most is shaped for the optimal position.   A second way to determine the optimal positioning is to find the position that provides maximum volume by moving the unit around on your ear while the microphone from the other unit is positioned near a constant sound source such as a stereo speaker.  Once the loudest position is found, hold it in place and go to a mirror where you can slightly shape and bend the hoop to hold it level and flat on your ear.  Also try moving the hoop down where it loops behind your head as this will rotate the speaker changing its position.

  • Low battery voltage may also cause this problem.  Try recharging  your batteries.

We are now getting pops, snaps and crackle sounds in our system.  What causes this?

99% of the time this is resultant of a poor connection from either dirty contacts or a broken headset wire.  Clean the plug on each headset with rubbing alcohol and see if this solves the problem.  A bit of dielectric or "bulb" grease helps maintain a good connection available from any auto parts store.  The most vulnerable components of any intercom system are the  headset wires as they are handled a great deal over time and receive numerous inadvertent tugs and pulls.   With durability in mind we use a special sheathed wire with reinforced ends.  If the wire has been broken, the headset needs to be replaced unless you are handy with a soldering iron.  Headsets are subjected to a harsh environment in our application and sometimes take a beating until folks go through the learning curve of not catching them on everything in sight and out of sight.

Why has my volume dropped even though it is turned up all of the way?

If your headset and microphones are properly positioned, suspect low battery voltage.  You may recharge your batteries.

Why don't our units communicate with each other?

If the Red power light does not illuminate on either radio, the switch is either off, the battery needs to be charged, or the battery needs to be plugged in.

The first things to check are:
1) Make sure the batteries are plugged in and fully charged.
2)  You are within a reasonable range of each other.
3)  A Red Power LED and an Amber Talk LED (after both Talk buttons have been pushed) are illuminated on each radio.

If you are unable to get an Amber color LED to remain illuminated on both radios (a must for duplex communication), you should turn the radios off and start over allowing everything to reset.

1) Turn the radios on by rotating the switches downward.  You should feel a click and see 2 LEDs illuminate on each radio.
     
Radio with Black Antenna should now have 2 LEDs lit.
           
Radio with Gray Antenna should now have 2 LEDs lit.

2)  Press the Talk button on each radio one time.  The radio with the Black antenna should have the "Talk" LED change to Amber.   The radio with the Gray antenna should also have the "Talk" LED change to Amber after pressing the "Talk" button one time.  BOTH radios should now have one Red LED and one Amber LED illuminated, a must for full duplex communication.  

(If a 'Talk' LED does not change and remain Amber, press the 'Talk' button one more time and see if it changes and remains Amber.  If it does not, shut both radios off again and start the power up process over again.)


3)  Turn the volume up to a satisfactory level by rotating the thumb dial downward on both radios.

Lastly, there are dip switches below the battery that must be set to the exact same sequence on both radios, something necessary for both radios to communicate and for both 'Talk' LEDs to remain Amber.

Why won't one or both of our batteries charge? 

1)  Make sure the battery is plugged into the radio.  New units are often shipped with the batteries unplugged as is common with new electrical devices.

2)  Check to see if the charger is plugged into a "live" outlet.  You can imagine the 'true' stories we have heard over the years!

3)  Verify that the charger is plugged into the port on the left side of the unit.  More than one person has plugged their charger into the headset jack.  

4)  Rotate the Volume / ON-OFF switch downward all the way to make sure it is in the OFF position.  The charger cannot get ahead of the battery drain if the radio is left ON.

5)  On the outside chance a charger has failed, try charging with the 2nd charger that came with the system.

Our batteries don't last very long.  Why?

The most common cause of this situation is not having the batteries fully charged before starting to use them.  Fully charged batteries do not stay charged when allowed to sit without use.  Charge the batteries within 48 hours of use.  If your batteries have been dormant and off of the charger for more than a day or two, top them off by plugging them in for an hour or so before your ride, longer if it has been a few days.  You should get ~4.5 - 5.0 hours out of new fully charged batteries while in the full duplex mode.  

We ride single bikes and get intermittent bleep outs when getting close to .2 miles apart.  Is this normal?

Yes, especially when carrying both units in rear pockets given line of sight is lost between antennas .  To increase your range it would be best for the 'leader' to carry the unit in their rear jersey pocket with the 'follower' attaching their unit to the handlebar via a small handlebar bag.  This provides for a line of sight situation between radios.  The radios essentially work like a home cordless phone in that certain objects, bodies, high tension lines, etc. will all interfere with the signal.  A 1/4" range advertised by the manufacturer is under ideal conditions.  We have attained an unbelievable near 1 mile range with two radios being on top of hills across an open valley.  It is NOT supposed to work that well!

I hear strange rhythmic sounds at times coming from the speaker.

Cell phones that are in close proximity to the radio will produce sounds as the phone switches from one tower to another.

   

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BUY TANDEM-COM DIGITAL WIRELESS NOW ONLY! $369

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