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webBikeWorld Cardo Packtalk Review

Discussion in 'Motorcycling News' at netrider.net.au started by NetriderBot, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. The Cardo Scala Rider Packtalk is an advanced motorcycle communication system with many new features.

    The system is the first to include the Cardo "Dynamic Meshwork Communication" (DMC) feature, a wireless mesh network.

    This connects up to 10 Packtalk riders in full-duplex intercom mode (up to 4 can be heard simultaneously to avoid confusion).

    DMC is a variant of a mesh network, so it is "self-healing"; i.e., when a rider or riders are out of range, the system maintains integrity and seamlessly re-connects the riders when they're back in range.

    This is an improvement over the typical Bluetooth system (which is still included as the default in the Packtalk intercoms).

    The Scala Rider Packtalk system is absolutely brimming with options, so this is not a motorcycle communications system we'd recommend for beginners.

    You'll really want to have experience with motorcycle Bluetooth communications before you tackle a Packtalk system.

    And be prepared to spend a significant amount of time studying the 45-page User Guide and learning how every feature works before you head out on the road.

    But once you get it all figured out, you'll have what has to be the most advanced motorcycle communications system currently available.

    cardo-scala-rider-packtalk-intercom-module.


    Editor's Note
    The Cardo Packtalk system is so advanced and has so many options, it would be impossible to fully describe them all, even in a multi-page review. In fact, it would take us months just to fully evaluate them all.

    So let's do something different here: we'll describe the features, then some of our initial experiences.

    After that, we'll leave it up to you to ask specific questions, which we hope to answer. Anything we can't answer ourselves, we'll ask our contacts at Cardo.

    Since we typically end up getting roped into free owner support for motorcycle intercom systems anyway -- usually long after the intercom is released and our review is published -- we may as well see if a "Q&A" type of continuing informational process will be a better format to help answer everyone's questions.

    And surely there will be many of those for the Packtalk system.

    Burn and I have spent days thumbing through the (thankfully) printed Cardo Packtalk User Guide (link to the .pdf format) that thankfully comes with the system (and is printed in 5 languages).



    But even after all that, we're still learning how to use all the Packtalk features and it will be some time -- if ever -- that we actually use all of them on the road.


    In the Box
    The Cardo scala rider (yes, they use lower case) Packtalk is available either in single or dual kit. We have two of the dual kits here, which allows us to play with the DMC feature.

    The Packtalk systems are not inexpensive. The single kit lists for $329.95 and the "Duo Pack" has a list price of $579.95.

    That's a pile o' Greenbacks for sure.

    But it buys you just about every motorcycle intercom feature you could possibly imagine, including voice commands; a very nice FM radio with up to 8 presets; the ability to listen to music and talk on the intercom simultaneously; Bluetooth pairing in two channels and, of course, the unique Cardo DMC system.

    The kit includes a nice faux leather (it even smells like leather!) box that can be used for storing your Packtalk accessories.

    We can't find an online list of what's included in the Packtalk kit, so here's ours:
    • Cardo scala rider Packtalk module.
    • Metal "no screws" helmet mount.
    • Stick-on helmet mount.
    • Alcohol prep pad for above.
    • Speakers (connects via standard 3.5 mm jack).
    • Boom microphone.
    • Wired microphone.
    • Extra wind socks for mics.
    • Hook-and-loop stick-ums for mounting the speakers in the helmet.
    • USB cable and separate wall outlet charger.
    • Product brochure, helmet mounting instructions and warranty.
    • Printed User Guide in 5 languages (EN, DE, FR, ES, NL).
    Double all of that for the Duo Pack with the two Packtalk modules and all of this can be stored in the nice Packtalk box that contains the kit.

    cardo-packtalk-helmet-mount.
    Front side of the new one-piece no-screws helmet mount.



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