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Author Topic: Use of Single Earphone/Boom Mic Headset While Driving?  (Read 3013 times)
AC8SW
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« on: July 29, 2016, 04:23:58 AM »

I drive a vehicle with very loud wind/road noise that seems to increase exponentially for speeds above 55 mph.  Is it legal for licensed amateur radio operators to drive while using a single earphone/boom mic headset, similar to the Yaesu SSM-63A?  This style of headphone covers only one ear, leaving the other ear unencumbered for situational awareness.  Thanks.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 04:44:30 AM »

You need to check your local laws. Here in New Mexico, the answer is yes. In other states, you cannot.
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K9YLI
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 06:47:24 AM »

mount a small external speaker  on the head liner just above the drivers door, next to your head. Its with in 6 to 8 inches of your ear. .
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WB4IVF
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 08:10:23 AM »

.... or between the seat and adjustable headrest.
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K6JH
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 07:28:50 PM »

At one time I used a headset mic (without the headphone speaker), although here in California headphones are OK as long as you only cover one ear.

But in the case of Michigan, it looks like you lucked out.

http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/headsets/
http://travelskills.com/2015/06/29/illegal-to-wear-headsets-when-driving/
http://lifehacker.com/5902802/ever-wonder-if-its-actually-legal-to-wear-headphones-when-youre-driving
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73
Jim K6JH
WA7PRC
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2016, 08:04:35 PM »

When I first tried mobile HF, I found road noise interfered with not only receiving but also with transmitting. I solved the problem of transmitting noise by changing modes from SSB to Morse. My keyer paddle fit nicely in the center console behind the shifter. Instead of an over-the-ear dynamic headphone, I used an in-the-ear crystal earphone. It has a nice frequency response peak around 1000 Hz.

vy 73,
Bryan WA7PRC
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AD0LR
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2016, 09:37:43 PM »

With my Yeasu FTM-400 I use this via bluetooth

http://www.vxicorp.com/solutions/mobile/vxi-blueparrott-b350-xt/

Works very well in my noisy diesel suburban.

Brian
AD0LR
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 11:18:35 AM »

With my Yeasu FTM-400 I use this via bluetooth

http://www.vxicorp.com/solutions/mobile/vxi-blueparrott-b350-xt/

Works very well in my noisy diesel suburban.

Brian
AD0LR
Brian, how do you implement PTT?
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AD0LR
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 12:49:12 PM »

PTT is easy, you can use VOX which I do not recommend.  This headset has 4 large buttons, after the blutooth connection I click the power button and I am transmitting, another click and the transmission stops.

This headset was made for truckers with noisy trucks and has excellent noise reduction.  You can have the AC on full blast and the other person will not hear it.  I have even driven with the window open and did not get noisy reports.

Works well with a cell phone too, just looks dorky.

Brian
AD0LR
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AC8SW
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 05:50:06 PM »

My sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to provide guidance on this topic.
73
Ted
AC8SW
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AA4HA
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 06:57:50 PM »

It would be crazy-illegal because it blocks both ears but you could always get a David Clark headset, like an H10-76. I have one that is leftover from my days when I had to fly offshore to platforms and it works great in a high noise environment. It does require an impedance match as the mic element is a low impedance output (David Clark also sells those).

It has two PTT switches, one that mounts on the chest belt or at your hip.

There is even a newer model that is stereo so you could put different radios in each ear and if you made an A/B switch you could toggle between the two radios to transmit.

Sometimes I use it at home but the headset kinda puts "the crush" on your skull and gives me a migraine.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
NK7Z
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 07:13:04 PM »

You need to check your local laws. Here in New Mexico, the answer is yes. In other states, you cannot.
In Oregon the answer would be yes as well...  As long as one ear is free...  I think it is silly, and no matter what I would not do it, but it is legal.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
NEVBEN
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2016, 07:59:28 AM »

For receive, get a bluetooth transmitter dongle and feed the receiver output into your stereo receiver's BT audio so the receive audio comes over the vehicle's stereo.  That will be plenty loud and you won't have to locate a 5W speaker or wire an aux input.  

I don't see how a headset frees your hands unless you're using full duplex or voice-activated transmit.  So I don't have a good alternative suggestion for transmit.  The handheld is proven to work (like for more than 50 years by millions of mobile users), or you could use the headsets as suggested.  Personally, I do 99% listening, so I haven't had to find a handsfree PTT solution that's better than VOX.  I just use the handheld mic and PTT button.  I suppose you could try a dash mounted microphone (like any of the popular handsfree kits for phones), and add a PTT button on stem from the steering column.  You could get tricky and rewire one of the horn buttons on your steering wheel.  But if you really talk a lot, it could still be hard to hold it down and drive.  If you drive an automatic, then maybe a floor-mounted foot-operated button like the old-style high-beam switch?

Legal considerations are valid, but if your cab is noisy, leaving an ear uncovered doesn't improve situational awareness.  Motorcyclists routinely use ear-plugs in both ears because the SPL is at levels that damage hearing.  Plugging both ears does not decrease their situational awareness.  It actually improves it because the result is a better signal to noise ratio.  To be sure, I'm not suggesting blasting music or radio chatter into both ears.  But lowering your cab noise will improve your situational awareness more than just leaving half your ears exposed to it.  CLD tiles like Dynamat Xtreme or KnoKnoise can reduce vibration, structure-borne, and resonant noise.  Closed-cell foam used to isolate limp-mass barriers like mass-loaded vinyl and acoustic lead can reduce airborne noise.  It's also worth maintaining or replacing damaged or defective door seals, and eliminating wind noise from horizontal overhead racks.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 08:09:57 AM by NEVBEN » Logged
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