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I just purchased 2 sena headsets when I bought my new to me 2013 vision tour I keep reading about a "dongle" what is it ? where would I find it on my bike and what happens if I don't have it ?
 

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View attachment 410169 View attachment 410177

It's available on Amazon.

Victory Motorcycles Sena Bluetooth Dongle pt# 2878916 Amazon.com: Victory Motorcycles Sena Bluetooth Dongle pt# 2878916: Automotive

I've never found a need for it. I just pair my phone and GPS to me headsets. I don't care about sources to the bike.
View attachment 410169 View attachment 410177

It's available on Amazon.

Victory Motorcycles Sena Bluetooth Dongle pt# 2878916 Amazon.com: Victory Motorcycles Sena Bluetooth Dongle pt# 2878916: Automotive

I've never found a need for it. I just pair my phone and GPS to me headsets. I don't care about sources to the bike.
So if I understand it ties me to the bikes audio. If I want to use the headset as an intercom with my passenger or connect me to my phone the dongle is not necessary. Correct?
 

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Yes, that is my understanding as well. Just allows you to hear the bike radio in your headset. Not needed to pair your phone to your Sena or to pair with another Sena device.
 

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Yes, that is my understanding as well. Just allows you to hear the bike radio in your headset. Not needed to pair your phone to your Sena or to pair with another Sena device.
Thanks for the response. I have the bike registered clean and insured just waiting for warmer weather it's 20 in Atlanta right now. Need at least 40 to take my first ride
 

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So if I understand it ties me to the bikes audio. If I want to use the headset as an intercom with my passenger or connect me to my phone the dongle is not necessary. Correct?
Yes, that's how mine is so I have no need for the dongle.
 
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The SENA headsets have at least 4 channels they can use so you can directly connect to your passenger through one of them, connect to the radio through a second, connect to your GPS with a third one and still have a channel left over to connect to your phone. I understand the newer SENA headsets have more than the 4 channels I have on my antique one so they will be even more flexible. The only thing you need the dongle for is to connect to the built-in Victory radio that is physically located right behind the buttons on your center console.
There is a DIY dongle install here Vision-Riders
 

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I just purchased 2 sena headsets when I bought my new to me 2013 vision tour I keep reading about a "dongle" what is it ? where would I find it on my bike and what happens if I don't have it ?
A dongle, literally, is: "a small device able to be connected to and used with a computer, especially to allow access to wireless broadband or use of protected software" or "a small piece of hardware that connects to another device to provide it with additional functionality."

If ya don't want to use a dongle then use the Sena SM-10 for Bluetooth streaming and GPS integration. Ya plug the bike's audio and/or GPS audio into the Bluetooth stereo converter to listen to: music, conversation, or GPS in yer helmet.

That's what I use.
 

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I have been thinking about trying one of these Sena units for a while now. I had a helmet that had a comms unit integrated into it, and though I liked it, the sound quality was bad and the helmet was basically ****e, so that really took away from the whole experience. I ended up throwing it away and have not revisited a comms solution since. But I think it's time to give it another try with a good quality unit on a premium lid. I'm just not sure which of my helmets I want to put it in. My first thought was the GT-Air, but I don't know. It will either be this or the Neotech. I still think this would be a better solution to listen to music etc. than trying to upgrade the stereo on the bike. Maybe next month, I have a birthday coming up, so we will see...
 

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I have been thinking about trying one of these Sena units for a while now. I had a helmet that had a comms unit integrated into it, and though I liked it, the sound quality was bad and the helmet was basically ****e, so that really took away from the whole experience. I ended up throwing it away and have not revisited a comms solution since. But I think it's time to give it another try with a good quality unit on a premium lid. I'm just not sure which of my helmets I want to put it in. My first thought was the GT-Air, but I don't know. It will either be this or the Neotech. I still think this would be a better solution to listen to music etc. than trying to upgrade the stereo on the bike. Maybe next month, I have a birthday coming up, so we will see...
I went with UClear Pro for a headset. Has great speakers and supposed to be better than Sena for music quality. (I have not used a Sena, so I personally cannot say)...but, I will say I am very happy with my purchase.
 

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@md2420 Many thanks for the info. I will look into the UClear Pro as well. I have heard of this brand but that is about it! It's always good to look at a couple different types and see what the trade-offs etc. are.
 

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Just a note on using the Dongle to stream music.

I've done some multiday trips with others and another rider streamed XM radio while I only used mine for communications. I got through a 12 hr ride with it working. The person streaming music ran out of power mid afternoon. Streaming is a continuous drain. After our last ride, I suggested the other rider plug in and recharge during the lunch break and maybe it would last the full day. I haven't asked since if that worked, but it would have to help depending on the length of the break.
 
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Just a note on using the Dongle to stream music.

I've done some multiday trips with others and another rider streamed XM radio while I only used mine for communications. I got through a 12 hr ride with it working. The person streaming music ran out of power mid afternoon. Streaming is a continuous drain. After our last ride, I suggested the other rider plug in and recharge during the lunch break and maybe it would last the full day. I haven't asked since if that worked, but it would have to help depending on the length of the break.
The dongle has to be charged? That doesn't seem right. I thought it plugged in under the seat somewhere. and is powered by the bike. I don't have one but I thought about it at one time. I just use my phone to stream music to my Sena so really don't know.

If you mean the Sena headset itself, I have done some all day rides streaming music to it and it has pretty good battery life. The best way to handle it, if you're going to be riding a long time is to get one of those external battery devices you can use to charge a device. I have a small one I keep on my bike and if the sena battery gets low I can plug the Sena into it and you can use it while plugged in. The battery will fit in my jacket pocket and I can run the micro USB cable up to my helmet.
 

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Sorry I wasn't clear......
I meant that her Sena ran out of juice
 

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There is a DIY dongle install here Vision-Riders
Can someone copy over the complete post (and images) linked above over to this forum? Please? :)

I'm concerned that Vision-Riders is no longer actively administered. I tried registering myself a couple times (once in Oct and again this month) and not having any luck. When I try to log in I get an error saying "pending authorization". Anyone know the status of that forum? I just picked up a used '12 Vision and am in love with it!
 

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Can someone copy over the complete post (and images) linked above over to this forum? Please? :)

I'm concerned that Vision-Riders is no longer actively administered. I tried registering myself a couple times (once in Oct and again this month) and not having any luck. When I try to log in I get an error saying "pending authorization". Anyone know the status of that forum? I just picked up a used '12 Vision and am in love with it!
See if this works.

OK, I finally finished making my Bluetooth Dongle. (pictures below)

Thanks to Radioteacher, I didn't have to wait for the plug I ordered to arrive. He just happened to have one, and graciously let me use it. Thanks Paul!

The good news first.......

It works. I can now listen to everything that is coming through my stereo (AM/FM/WX/Ipod) using my bluetooth headset. (I have a Cardo Scala G4 but any bluetooth headset should work)

Compared to the Victory version, it's cheap. As best as I'm able to tell, the Victory Dongle and required harness is going to run about $200.00 or so. Mine is between 30 and 40 including S&H. I'm sure you can get it done for quite a bit less.

You can run a set of plug in earbuds with it, but they need to be fairly good quality as the line out connection just doesn't push much wattage. They will also need to have their own volume control.

The only bad new so far as I can tell is......
You have to build it yourself which means that you have to source your parts and spend a little time putting it together. I've done the hard part of that, and I'll put the sourcing info at the bottom of this. The actual assembly is pretty easy, but you will need to make three solder joints to wire in the audio plug.

You can't control the volume with the stereo. I'm not sure you're going to be able to do that with the Victory dongle either. You do have control over your bass and treble controls.

Obviously, you're going to need a bluetooth capable headset. I know it works with the Cardo system. Bluetooth is a standard, so it should work with any bluetooth headset out there that complies with the A2DP (stereo) standard. You can find bluetooth headsets with noise reducing earbuds on ebay for less than $20.00 if you don't want the full blown intercom system.

There are a LOT of words here but the project is actually pretty simple. Really, all you're doing is putting two plugs on the ends of a group of three wires. From there, it's basically just plug and play.

****Before going to the trouble of putting this together, disassembling your dash, and so on, I highly recommend that you test your bluetooth dongle with the headset(s) you plan to use. Make sure they sync. To test, I just plugged it directly into an Ipod to make sure it synced and worked with my helmet headset. Once you sync it, you generally don't have to do it again.****

Here's what you'll need if you want to put it together.
1. Bluetooth stereo transmitter dongle. I bought mine fromhttp://www.bearworkscorp.com/ through ebay but there are quite a few other versions available.

2. A 26 pin automotive grade plug. You can order from http://www.mouser.com
a. 1 ea. part number: 571-3-1437290-7 TE Connectivity Automotive Connectors 26P PLUG 4 ROW
b. 5 ea. part number: 571-3-1447221-3 TE Connectivity Automotive Connectors S-SEAL SKT 18-16

3. 1/8" in line stereo jack from Radio Shack. You could order it from Mouser too, and it would probably be cheaper, but I don't have the part number.

4. 3 28" pieces of 20 or 22gauge wire. You can get it at radio shack in a three roll bundle of red, green, and black. Doesn't really matter what color though. You could get away with just about any 20 or 22 gauge wire you have laying around. Stranded wire is going to be more durable, but you could get away with solid wire like they use for telephone and thermostat wiring.

5. Various bits of heat shrink tubing. Optional, but I like to use it as strain relieve and to keep the harness neat.

So, here's what you do.........

Decide where you want the blue tooth dongle to live. Mine is going to live under the cover directly in front of the seat. It's easy enough to get to if I need to. I can also run a wired headset from there if I want. I built a little power supply for the dongle that will live there too. Building the power supply is fairly easy if you're fairly good at precision soldering. If you're not, or just don't want to be bothered, you'll either have to periodically recharge the dongle, or buy a cigarette lighter USB power supply adapter and figure out where to plug it in. You could put the dongle in the trunk and use that supply if you want. Of course, you would have to run the wiring there. It's up to you.
If you want to know how to make a power supply for it shoot me a PM and I'll share that with you too. It will cost less than $10.00 in parts but fits under the cover. It draws power through the same plug that hooks up to the radio so you never have to worry about charging or turning on the dongle. Power is supplied when you turn the ignition key to run or accessory.

1. Build your harness.
A. Put on the connectors.
B. Strip about 1/8" of insulation from the end of each wire.
1. Remove one of the little silver connectors from the strip, lay the wire in until the insulation touches the crimp wings. Unless you have a professional crimper (not the little yellow handle plier looking POS you got at Autozone) you're better off using your thumbnail or a small diagnal cutter to start the crimp. fold one side over all the way, then using a very small screwdriver, push down on the end of the wing, trying to get it to dig in to the wire strands a little. Be gentle, it's her first time! Don't overdo it. Use the same technique to fold the other side over on top. Now you can use your little yellow handled autozone crimper. Be very gently, but work around the crimp trying to get it as reasonably round as you can. Make sure that when you're done, you have closed the crimper all the way, using the 22 gauge position.

2. Use the same technigue for the set of wings closest to the top. If you look at them closely, you'll notice that these are not supposed to lay on top of each other. They lay side by side. Other than that, do it the same way you did the first crimp. These crimps have to be pretty round because the need to fit in to the small holes in the plug.
3. 1 down, 2 more to go!
C. Put on the audio jack.
1. Strip about 1/8" - 1/4" inch from the other ends of the wires.
2. Tin the wires (touch the end of the wire with your iron, touch your solder to the wire near the insulation. The solder should wick up to the iron. don't overdo it.

3. If you are going to use heat shrink as a stress relief, slide it over the wire now. I used two different diameters. A smaller one that fits over the skinny part of the audio plug cover, and a bigger one that fits over the larger part of it.

4. Slide the wire through the audio plug cover. Don't forget to do this or you'll have to unsolder everything and do it all over!

5. Thread the tinned tip of the ground wire (I used black) through the little hole on the bottom center of the plug. Make sure that the insulation goes all the way to the hole so that you can crimp it later.

6. Thread the other two wires (I used red and green) through the little holes on the small terminals. These are your left and right audio wires. Pull them tight so the insulation is touching the terminals.

7. Solder your three wires to the audio plug. Be careful not to use too much heat, or take too much time or you can melt the insulator on the audio plug. My technique....make sure the iron is fully heated. Melt a small drop of solder on the tip of the iron. Touch the tip of the iron to the end of the wire. Touch the solder to the inside of the terminal and wire. The solder will flow towards the iron. As soon as you see the solder flow up the wire, stop!

8. Crimp the three wires into the audio plug. This isn't as critical as the other crimps, but you still want to get a good crimp or all your work will be for nothing when the jack falls off and bounces down the highway.

D. Assemble the connector.
1. Press fit the silver contacts into the plug.
a. The common wire (I used black) goes in to #11 Left goes in to #4 and Right goes in to #5. It doesn't really matter which is left or right unless your are very anal.

b. Push each wire in as far as it will go. It will seem to stop before it's all the way in. Keep pushing but don't break a wire. Go a little at a time. You will be able to clearly see the silver tip of the connector at the opening of the plug.

2. There are two little white buttons on one side of the plug and one long white button on the other side.. Once you have pushed the wires in all the way, push the little buttons in. If you have the wires in all the way, you will feel the buttons positively snap in to position. If it doesn't snap in, you don't have one or more wires in all the way.

E. Have a beer. I highly recommend Moose Drool, if you can find it. If not, I'm sorry for ya!

2. Remove the radio. There are links and manuals available that tell you how to do it. It takes about 5 minutes and is very simple. Just be careful when removing the gauge bevel. Also, it's a good idea to lay a towel or something on the left side of the fairing to keep from scratching anything. You don't have to completely remove the console. Just remove all the screws and allen bolts. Lay the console on it's left side, protecting it with a towel. Be careful that you don't accidentally unplug any of the switches at the front. They come off pretty easy. If they do, just remember to plug them back in later.

3. Install the harness.
A. Look under the radio and you'll see a big bunch of wires plugged in to the radio. Just beside it, there is a socket. It's might be covered with a rubber cover. Remove the cover.

B. The plug that you assemble will only fit one way. Install it with the little catch facing you. It should slide right in like it's been made to be there. (It was!)

C. Route your harness down to where you're dongle is going to be. For me, under the panel just in front of the seat. It's long enough so that I can run it up between the seat and cover if I ever want to plug in a wired headset.

4. Turn the key to ACC and turn the radio on, make sure it's all working to include your Ipod, XM, etc., then turn your speakers off. The magic is about to happen!

5. Plug your Bluetooth transmitter dongle in and turn it on.

6. Test it! Make sure the headset you are going to be using is on. You should have already synced it, so it should automatically connect. Make sure everything is working. If you have an Ipod, XM, CD, 8 Track, or whatever, try them all. Remember, the volume control is not going to work. It's probably best to just turn your speakers off.
a. Now is a good time to enjoy another of those Moose Drools while you're jamming to your favorite old music in high quality stereophonic sound. MORE COWBELL! And right in the center channel where cowbells are supposed to be!
b. Show it off to your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, kids, neighbor. She's going to ask if it works with hers. Right now, no. but you could probably install a "Y" and add another dongle. But really, she's better off with her own Ipod, right? Offer her a Moose Drool.

7. Almost done. Put everything back together and do another test. If everything is good, you're done!
 

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Like others I have a Sena SMH 5 (just replaced the batteries) and it's connected to my smart phone so I have all my tunes (over 2000) and my phones GPS blue toothed to my helmet and intercom with the wife on back. As my music is playing and a turn in coming up my phone's GPS cuts the music and tell me to turn. Music comes back on. Can answer a phone call if needed.
 
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See if this works.
Thank you, VVB. No images though? It's the images I couldn't see over on Vision-Riders because I had to be logged in. I appreciate the effort! Wanna try grabbing those also? :angel4:
 

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This has probably been asked/answered many times, but besides the intercom feature, what can sena (or equivalent) provide that a smartphone and Bluetooth earpiece/mic can't? I'm trying to justify the $$ - as I already have the phone and headset.
 
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