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Push To Talk Circuit and Mounting Box

I'm not electrician but managed to design this little gem myself. I bought the parts at the local electronics store and Radio Shack for about $20 Canadian. I designed, purchased the parts, built, and tested two boxes in one day. Version 2 will take much less time due to the fiddling with the fitting on the bike for the mount. None of this is rocket science. Coincidentally, Wes Cameron must have built his box just before I did but we came up with nearly identical solutions. He mounts his on the clutch fluid reservoir so is less convenient. But he also include the ability to play a Walkman stereo through his and included a switch to kill the music. I like his idea and will add it to my Version 2.
Since I already had a J & M headset, I have not provided any instructions in making up your own headset although Wes Cameron does. His design is probably an awful lot cheaper than J & M to boot.

I wanted the smallest box possible. Since I wanted the button close to my thumb, and I wanted the DIN jack facing my helmet, they both had to be on the same side so the box sits upright. My preference would have been to keep it sitting flat to keep the profile low. My supplier had various sizes of metal and plastic. I liked the metal.

I wanted the button as close to my thumb as possible and made sure that it didn't interfere with anything. My old J & M setup had the button on a Velcro strip attached to the handlebar grip which I didn't like. I also wanted to be able to activate the switch without removing my hand from the grip. In a fast tight corner, I wanted to be able to warn riders behind me of problems ahead without endangering myself. I think this setup satisfied all of my requirements.

Once it was designed, the rest was easy. Just drill the holes being careful to leave clearance room for mounting hold and the other parts. Like I said, it's not rocket science. All of the parts are readily available. I haven't listed the detail part numbers as they may vary depending on where you buy yours. Also, your FRS or CB radio may have different jacks than mine but that's unlikely as they seem to be pretty standard. Take your FRS or CB with you when parts shopping as well as your helmet with headset cord attached. Print the diagram below as well. I've taken some photo's and will add them later. Paint the box after drilling and test fitting all the parts but before final assembly. Let it try overnight. I didn't have the patience and it shows where I wore the paint off or left finger prints in it. I sealed everything with a tube of marine silicon sealer.

Version 2 will include the ability to add music with a kill switch or a relay. I'd like to make the jacks that plug into the radio a single unit with dual plugs. They're readily available but I haven't investigated the spacing of the plugs yet.

Parts:

  • 1 - Project box. Mine is cast aluminum or pot metal and it about 2" x 2" x 1 1/4"
  • 1- 5 pin DIN plug (panel mount)
  • 1- Mono (not stereo) speaker jack
  • 1- Microphone jack
  • 1- Momentary switch
  • 2- 1/8" I.D. rubber grommets
  • 2- #8 machine screws and nylock nuts to mount DIN plug. The fit here is a problem; you may prefer self tapping screws instead so be careful how big you drill the mounting holes.
  • 1- 2"x 4"x 1/4"~ Plexiglas
  • 1-10mm bolt to mount Plexiglass to handlebars
  • 2- #10 machine screws & nylock nuts to mount box to Plexiglass
  • Silicon sealer
  • Spray paint
Tools:
  • Basic hand tools, screwdrivers, wrenches
  • Solder iron, solder, soldering paste
  • Electric drill and drill bits ( I have a small drill press which is ideal)

I had some small sheets of clear 1/4 " Plexiglas which I used to make the mount. It's about 1.5" x 3.5" and has one hole drilled which allows it to bolt down to the threaded hole on the left side of the handle bars just back of the clutch master cylinder reservoir. You just have to remove the black plastic plug to expose it.

Article By: David J. Morrow

August 2001 

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