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Author Topic: An HT microphone question  (Read 1232 times)

Posts: 7

« on: January 01, 2007, 06:09:23 PM »

I've been wondering about getting a speaker mike for my FT-60, and I was wondering whether anyone had opinions about whether it or an earpiece mike would be a better idea.

Thanks, and Happy New Year.

73, John

Posts: 1045


« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 08:26:16 AM »

In most EmCom and public service environments the ambient noise level is already fairly high. So having one more squalking HT speaker mic blaring, especially indoors, is a distraction for everyone else, and increases the ambient noise level even more. I use a boom mic / headset combination with PT switch (no VOX) but an ear bud / headset with a bone conductive mic would be even better in high noise environments, and would let you monitor the radio discreetly without disturbing others.  My two cents.  

Posts: 0

« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 10:31:21 PM »

I've done this: Take a Nintendo backpack used for holding Gameboys etc in, you can get this for about $15 at any gaming store (I got mine at fry's) poke a hole in the bottom and one in the top, with your soldering iron. One hole for a longer aftermarket antenna to stick out the top, the bottom hole for a 19" rat-tail you've attached to the radio to hang out the bottom. Then, you use an "earbud" mike, one little earbud in your ear and a little switch on the cable to press to talk, this works GREAT in ambient noise situations, the antenna's up higher than the "armpit-mount" I see a lot of hams using, so you can keep the radio on medium power instead of using high power, and your hands are free the 99% of the time you're not talking on the radio - then when you do, it's just one hand to press the PTT switch. I set this up with my VX-170 and it's Muy Excellente!

I agree, blaring radios are a huge PITA. Not only do they annoy people but they're often still not loud enough to hear well, and think about the audio amplifier section in your radio, that's sucking some juice to play that loud. The audio section driving an earbud mic is nothing by comparison, more battery power can go into sending RF.

Get the earbud mic for the FT60R and try this out, the little Nindendo backpack has enough room for a spare charged up batt pack, little odds and ends also. You can even take the "NINTENDO" off of there and sew an ARRL patch on there ore something if you want to be highspeed/lowdrag :-)

Posts: 1897

« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 03:23:02 PM »

I'm partial to a speaker mic personally, but agree that in many situations the quiet that an earbud/mic offers to the supported parties is much preferable to those around me, so will use one or the other depending on the situation.

Posts: 3153


« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 04:04:59 AM »

The best of two worlds - Find a Speaker/Mike with an earphone jack.  Use the earphone when the conditions warrant.

Posts: 1003

« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2007, 09:34:14 PM »

From much experience using HT's in hospital support environments, use an earphone directly. Speak into the HT mike directly. Better ransmitted fidelity, and the earphone will keep from distracting everyone around you. Do not put the HT into a pouch or on your belt, your body will absorb the RF, and you won't communicate as well. The rat tail (counterpoise) can help on 2m, but you'll rarely need it. 440 gets around inside buildings much better than 2m does, and the counterpoise doesn't make as much difference on 440 as it does on 2m. If you use a really long antenna on the HT, you're likely to poke someone in the eye with it. Go with something under a foot long if indoors!
If you need to monitor two frequencies, use a separate HT for each frequency, with separate earphones, or use earphone on busiest channel, leave the other channel on speaker. With an HT that can receive two freqs at once, if one channel is busy, you won't hear ANY calls on the secondary channel. If you need to tie into an antenna outside the building, bring a diplexer so you can connect both HT's to the external antenna.
(lessons learned from training by and experience with the Hospital Disaster Support Communications System (
Fred Wagner, KQ6Q
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