IMC Camos BTS 300 System
Configuration and Specifications
Part II: BTS 300 System
by HBC for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below) | wBW
As stated in Part I, the original
wBW IMC Camos BHS 600 review from September
2007 invoked a lot of comments and feedback.
Most of the comments involved issues related to configuration and interface issues.
Accordingly, some further technical insight into
this new system, the BTS 300, will be provided in this section, along with all
of the configurations activities conducted, and technical specifications of the
BTS 300 itself.
In comparing the information provided in the original article and subsequently
posted by many in the Owner Comments section, conducting my own research and
then reviewing the BTS 300, I think the experience that most people had
regarding the BHS 600 was a lesson learned for everyone to varying degrees.
It is evident that IMC Camos has done some serious
engineering in developing both the BHS and BTS series systems. Both systems
represent a big step forward in moving the Bluetooth system market segment
along, but by the same token, introduce some further complexities, which must be
Both the BHS 600 and the BTS 300 offer up a
multi-channel Bluetooth architecture, but while the BHS 600 had two discrete
Bluetooth chips, one dedicated to Channel 2, the newer BTS 300 has a more
advanced single chip that supports the Intercom profile (Channel 2).
explains why the BHS 600 provides more flexibility in configuring and in the use
of both discrete channels.
Even though later versions of Bluetooth are more
adept at handling multiple device synchronization requirements, the fundamental
one to one relationship must still be appreciated even in a multi-chip or
multi-channel system. In any modern Bluetooth system, this condition must be
understood in order understand just how multiple or ‘simultaneous’ connections
With the BTS 300 you can have two Bluetooth devices
or profiles simultaneously but the fundamental condition still applies. One
profile could be A2DP for a stereo music player connection, while the other can
be a simpler profile, like the hands-free profile for connecting a cell phone or
the head set profile as typically used with a GPS.
If the connectivity limitations are appreciated and
if all the peripherals are functioning properly, the pairings made on Channel 1
will be reliably maintained. Of course the programmed priority will come in to
play: if the A2DP player is in use, it will be pre-empted for any incoming
activity via the headset or cell phone profile.
One situation that can cause problems is if the
mobile device, such as the HTC Touch PDA is also connected to or supporting
another device via its multiple profile support configuration menu. This can
result in more than one device trying to connect under the same profile – this
will cause problems in the overall mix.
System Configuration and Functionality
As noted earlier, it is obvious that a lot of thought went into the design of
the BTS 300, especially regarding features and overall functionality. Based on
the original BHS 600 article and resultant feedback, the BTS 300 system would
seem to be much (much) simpler to configure, easier to use and extremely
Each channel is treated as a separate entity and
both channels can be operated alone or in tandem. Setup, including peripheral
pairing or intercom setup, channel use and volume adjustments can be done for
each individual channel.
For more information on interfacing the following
Bluetooth accessories with the BTS 300 Intercom,
see Part III
and Part IV of our
The following configurations, while not exhaustive,
should provide a good insight into the how the BTS 300 is configured and what it
can be interfaced with.
IMC Camos BTS 300 Speakers and Microphone
Configuration One – BTS 300 With HTC Touch PDA
The first configuration completed was to setup an initial pairing or partnership
with the HTC Touch PDA that is Bluetooth 2.0 enabled and supports all current
protocols. The BTS 300 module is turned off and the HTC Touch is readied to look
for a new Bluetooth device.
Holding down the ‘-‘ key for about six seconds will
activate and put Channel 1 into its pairing mode indicated by the Red LED
flashing quickly. Starting the PDA search resulted in the ‘BTS-300’ being
offered up for a new partnership in about ten seconds.
In this instance, no other input was required,
although depending on the security protocols implemented by the devices, a
pass-code may be requested. If so the typical Bluetooth defaults used by
industry are ‘0000’ or ‘1111’ or ‘1234’. If none of these sequences work, then
the applicable device manual will need to be consulted.
With the HTC Touch, once the connection is made, the
PDA partnership settings menu offers up both ‘Wireless Stereo’ and ‘Headset’
check boxes. Checking both profiles and saving the partnership off results in a
tone being generated in the headset, indicating an active link and successful
Starting the PDA MP3 player will result in stereo
audio being streamed to the BTS 300 and great sound emanating from the stereo
headset in the helmet. Either the PDA controls or the module
‘+’ or ‘-‘ keys can be used to adjust volume.
Pressing the ‘M’ key on the face of the module for
about 3 to 5 seconds will mute the incoming audio stream without pausing the
player. If the Intercom is active, it can also be muted by using the ‘M’ key,
but a single quick push will suffice.
For phone activities, the default system setting is
automatic, which means that if the mobile phone supports auto answering,
incoming calls are automatically answered after two to three rings and the audio
sent directly to the headset.
If the BTS 300 system settings are changed to manual
mode, the ‘T’ key is used to accept, reject or end calls. If left in the
automatic mode, pressing the ‘T’ key will also call the last number dialed. All
the phone features detailed in the manual work well with the HTC Touch.
An incoming call has priority over everything else,
so this will cause the stereo to be muted. Typically if the call is terminated
by the caller, the stereo stream will resume automatically within a few seconds. But if the rider ends the call by pressing the ‘T’ key, the stereo stream will
likely have to be resumed manually, which was the case for this configuration.
IMC Camos Bluetooth Adapter (See
Configuration Two - BTS 300 With HTC Touch PDA and
Garmin zumo 550 GPS
To set up a second device on Channel 1, turn off the phone or disable its
Bluetooth. Turn off Channel 1 of the BTS 300 and then put it into pairing mode
as done previously. Initiate the zumo 550 Bluetooth ‘add device’ search.
After three passes the BTS-300 was found and a
partnership established, again without having to enter a pass-code. With the
‘navigation, MP3 & phone’ option selected under the zumo Bluetooth headset audio
menu, audio generated from the GPS was heard in the headset, in mono of course.
Enabling the Bluetooth on the HTC Touch and making
sure the connection had refreshed allowed its MP3 player to send a stereo stream
into the headset. If any audio was generated from the GPS, the music was muted
instantly and then resumed once the audio session from the GPS had stopped.
What did get frustrating is that one or both of the
two devices configured on Channel 1 would have to be restarted, the connection
refreshed, or a new connection initiated in order to get both working with the
headset again, even when all the pairing activity was done within a 15 to 30
According to the manual, a pairing should
automatically renew within a 30 minute window if the devices are within range,
but the documentation is also quite clear in stating that re-initialization
procedures might be necessary with the devices. I just wasn’t expecting this
amount of fiddling with some of the configurations.
For what its worth, I have pairings with the scala-rider
Q2 and Midland BT2 systems that will initiate within seconds of the devices
being turned on and brought within range, all after sitting for considerable
periods of time.
Configuration Three - BTS 300 With Garmin zumo 550
With Mobile Phone
In what is pretty much a standard configuration for many users of Bluetooth
systems, a mobile phone was added to the mix, with the zumo acting as host for
the phone rather than the headset.
In order to minimize profile conflicts
between the devices, the zumo and HTC are paired first by putting both into
their respective pairing modes. The default pass-key to be entered on the phone
for the zumo is ‘1234’ (the zumo will actually offer this information up during
pairing). With this pairing done, the zumo’s phone menu plays host for phone
The second pairing done is between the zumo and the
BTS 300 on Channel 1 using the pairing procedure described previously. If the
pairing is good (no pass-key needed), all audio from the zumo will be passed via
the Bluetooth link, in mono, to the headset.
If a phone call comes in, the zumo will offer up the
phone menu and with my configuration, pushing the ‘T’ button on the BTS 300
allowed me to manually answer, reject or end a call. The zumo phone menu does
not support all the features that the HTC device provides or supports, so the
phone services are pretty basic compared to a direct BTS 300 and HTC pairing.
Configuration Four – BTS 300 With BMW Navigator III+
This configuration is basically a confirmation of the above arrangement but
using the Garmin 2820 GPS device dismounted from the BMW Navigator III+ cradle.
Unlike the pairing sequence above, adding a phone can be done at any time, just
remember to turn off the BTS 300 or other Bluetooth devices that could end up
being within range.
With the HTC Touch added to the 2820’s Bluetooth
device listing, after having to enter the ‘1234’ pass-key, the BTS 300 was
turned back on. The Auto Connect feature on the 2820 works really well -
disconnecting all devices and then using this feature, even after an hour,
resulted in both the HTC Touch and BTS 300 connecting to the Garmin and all
The auto-answer feature worked fine, but the ‘T’
button on the BTS 300 would not do anything to the phone but using the ‘hang up’
feature on the Garmin phone menu did the trick in ending a call. All the other
features found on the 2820 phone menu worked fine with this configuration.
wiREVO Bluetooth Adapter (See
Configuration Five - BTS 300 With wiRevo D1000 BT
Of the two Bluetooth Adapters (BTAs) on hand, the wiREVO D1000 is the simplest
to use (not that the other device isn’t as well). This handy little device comes
bundled with a wiREVO S300 Bluetooth Stereo headset – more on this kit later in
a companion article.
Put BTS 300 Channel 1 in pairing mode, then hold
down the Menu button on the D1000 while turning its power switch on (these two
controls are grouped together). This results in the BTA LEDs flashing for about
two seconds, followed by a slow pulsing Blue LED which indicates that the
pairing is completed – very fast and too easy.
Connect the 3.5mm audio jack plug of the D1000 into
the audio output of a handy MP3 player, like the zumo 550 or any other device
and enjoy the full stereo stream generated in the helmet headset. Sure beats the
heck out of that dull standard mono stream via the Garmin Bluetooth connection!
Performance and reliability of this device has been
outstanding. Over the course of two months, the D1000 only failed to sync up
twice with either of the BTS 300 systems or its companion S300 headset. In both
instances a quick re-pairing fixed the issue.
Configuration Six - BTS 300 With CAMOS Radio and
Stereo Bluetooth Adapter
As noted earlier neither of the two BTAs used are very complex. Outside of
understanding the LED sequences, the simple switches and charging them now and
then, use and maintenance is straight forward.
The advantage the CAMOS BTA (BH-200M) brings to the
table is that it can be switched between mono or stereo via a small dip-switch. For a single channel mono signal, like personal radios, the BTA is set to mono. When a stereo stream is needed, it’s a simple matter to turn the device off,
change the switch and turn it back on to use with an appropriately paired
device, like the zumo 550.
Pairing this adapter with the BTS 300 is the usual
routine. Put Channel 1 in pairing mode and then hold the small power button on
the BTA down for 7 to 8 seconds. Once its Red LED has started flashing rapidly,
pairing is underway. After 5 seconds or so both device LEDs will stop flashing
and settle into a double-flash-every-three seconds routine.
As identified above, another function of the
stereo/mono BTA allows it to be the Bluetooth host for FRS/GMRS/PMR class radio
devices. The kit I had came with two interface cables, one being the stereo
interface cable (2.5mm 4-contact plug to a 3.5mm 3-contact stereo plug) and the
second for use with Motorola radios (2.5mm 4-contact plug to a 2.5mm 3-contact
This ability to use a common radio peripheral on
Channel 1 adds further dimension to the BTS 300 system. If no other devices are
needed on Channel 1, then the stereo/mono BTA and a paired radio, along with the
supplied PTT switch can be used for longer range and group communications while
still maintaining the Intercom on Channel 2.
This is most useful when riding in a group, and when
there is a rider and passenger on the motorcycle as it allows both external and
internal communication environments to be maintained. The passenger is still
able to use their Channel 1 for connecting music and/or a phone.
With the adapter and BTS 300 paired via Channel 1,
plug the 4-contact radio wire into the BTA and the other end into the radio and
connect the PTT switch to the BTA via its mini-USB port.
Turn the radio on, press the PTT switch and communicate.
The only real issue here is to make sure that all
users are on the same channel and sub-channel as applicable (trust me it happens
all the time…).
Configuration Seven – BTS 300 and wiREVO Bluetooth
Adapter and CAMOS
The playing, er…testing continues. In this configuration the two Bluetooth
Adapters provide the interfaces to the peripherals. The wiREVO device hosts the
zumo 550 (with its Bluetooth disabled) for stereo music output and GPS audio,
while the Camos BTA is set to mono for hosting the Motorola FRS/GMRS radio.
This is a good configuration for those who aren’t or
don’t want to be tied to their phone and are more concerned with timely travel
guidance in the form of the GPS (you know, that solution to the male trait of
not wanting to ask for directions…) along with a longer range or group
communications capability and finally, at the risk of dating myself, some Doobie
Brothers and Santana tunes.
Intercom Setup – Channel 2
Setting up the Intercom feature is very simple - hold the ‘M’ and the ‘+’ keys
for about six seconds on the first system to initiate pairing mode, indicated by
the Green Led flashing rapidly.
Press the ‘+’ key on the second unit for six seconds
to put it in pairing mode - after a very brief period, both sets will flash and
sound a sequence in the headsets followed by the Green LEDs reverting to a
slower sequence of flashes indicating link activity.
The Intercom is now configured. The first system is
the Master headset and the second system is the Slave headset for link purposes. Speaking loudly into either of the headsets will typically activate the VOX and
establish a connection within 2 or 3 seconds.
By the same token, if there is no activity and noise
levels are low, the VOX is supposed to automatically mute after 30 seconds. The
Master headset gets a warning set of tones five seconds before muting while the
Slave headset gets another tone indicating that the session has been ended.
As noted in Part I, the VOX has an irritating
tendency to mute from time to time, even in the middle of a conversation or when
ambient noise levels are high. This was not a constant issue but it did make its
presence felt more than once.
Setting microphone sensitivity higher helps in one
way, but detracts in another, as it can keep the link open if ambient noise
levels are high when no direct voice conversations are taking place.
System Specifications: Bluetooth Module – BTS 300 Series, Rev A, 080603
Dimensions: 84 x 44.5 x 20.5mm or 3.30 x 1.75 x
Version 2.0 for enhanced data rates and
Power: Dual channel Class A (100mW) for a nominal
range of 100 metres.
System Supports: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution
Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile), Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
and Headset Profile (HSP).
The speaker housings measure 6 x 7
cm with a brushed surface and the hook half of hook-n-loop material. The
speakers are 6mm in depth and just under 4cm in circumference. They are marked
as 32 Ohm impedance and nominal (listed) output of 0.1 watts.
A one piece harness, the common
section (mini-USB plug to the microphone mini-connector) is 26cm or 10in long.
The right speaker lead is 38cm or 15in long and the left speaker lead is 18cm or
The boom microphone lead has a total
length of 43cm or 17in (the boom itself is 20cm or 8 in long, including the
globe-shaped sponge microphone sock). The thin wire microphone is 25cm or 10in
in length including the half-moon sponge sock.
Channel 1 can support two
simultaneous connections - an A2DP (stereo audio) connection and a
headset/hands-free (mobile phone, GPS, 2-way radio).
Battery: Li-Polymer (Li-ion) 3.7v, 650 mAh cell
Standard Charging Time:
Three (3) hours, slightly
more for the initial charge.
Standby of approximately 90 hours is
identified and depending on the number of devices connected and actual use,
approximately seven hours of use time is identified.
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.