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Author Topic: Hard to hear radio in truck, need help with mobile setup.  (Read 2790 times)
KK6HLM
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Posts: 7




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« on: January 24, 2014, 07:56:54 AM »

I have a 1988 Toyota Landcruiser lifted as a rock crawler and on highways there are lots of vibrations and road noise.

I recently installed a Kenwood D710a and an external speaker under the passenger side dash. The dash has a bunch of holes in it as there is an option outside the US to put a speaker there. I thought this would be the best place to put mine.

Turns out when driving that I can barely make out people when there transmissions are coming in weak or garbled.

What have people done to increase their ability to hear ham radios in noisy environments?

Options I am considering:
Line cabin with Dynamat sound dampening sheets.
Install a louder/better speaker (may require an amplifier).

So what has the community done?
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12770




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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 08:38:03 AM »

I got a small communications speaker in an enclosure and mounted it to the door post which is about a foot away from my left ear while driving.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5981




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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 09:09:41 AM »

A steel panel that is part of the truck is a poor speaker enclosure, especially if it actually does not enclose the speaker.  Also, the amount of metal between the speaker and the outside of the dash blocks the sound to a great degree.

You'll find that an enclosure put in front of the dash at the location the speaker is will sound a lot louder and clearer.  For a vehicle like yours, however, 'PB's suggestion is probably best.
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M6GOM
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Posts: 884




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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 09:57:28 AM »



What have people done to increase their ability to hear ham radios in noisy environments?


I put in a speaker pointing at me on the top of the dash.
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WA9CFK
Member

Posts: 87




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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 07:52:54 PM »

In my old truck I used a cassette tape adapter from a Walkman CD player and played my rig out of the truck radio.

On my new truck I can come in on the radios axillary line.

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KK4LGR
Member

Posts: 53




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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 01:07:01 AM »

I would look into piping the audio through the vehicle's stereo speakers.
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"Well I'm sure glad we've got these ham radios to talk on."
--Unidentified station heard on 2 meters
KD4LLA
Member

Posts: 454




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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 09:06:41 AM »

I got a small communications speaker in an enclosure and mounted it to the door post which is about a foot away from my left ear while driving.

I knew I had some hearing loss.  So I mounted (2) speakers on the door post area years ago, great idea at the time.  Since then the real answer has been (in-the-ear) hearing aids.

Mike
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KC6UNF
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 02:58:57 PM »

20 or so years ago, Radio Shack carried a amplified communication speaker. Its about 4" square and has a 4 watt (if memory serves me) built in amp.
It made the audio on my mobile 2 meter loud and clear. I wish I had bought a bunch of them.
You could try making one and moving the speaker closer to your head.
Be careful with placement, if you're offroading and roll, you don't want to smack your melon into the speaker.
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ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1738




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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 03:15:32 PM »

I occasionally drive my '69 Camaro with a big block engine, and it makes a lot of noise!  Aircraft headphones solved my problem.
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12770




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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 03:20:50 PM »

The problem with using headphones while mobile is that it blocks out the traffic noise, which may impair your driving ability. I once used a boom mike headset (with VOX on SSB) but it only had one earpiece so I could still hear what was going on around me.
 
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VK5CQ
Member

Posts: 105




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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 05:45:02 PM »

If earphones don't suit, or laws forbid them while driving,
you might consider mounting speakers on either / both
sides of your driving position, eg, above head-level, hang-
ing from the top, inside the cab.

Be sure to run 2 pairs of audio leads, as if you were wiring
up 2 stereo speakers, since TM-710's are dual-receive,
so you can use R & L sound sources to indicate which
band & side of the radio (A or B) the caller is on.

Also, on the earlier TM-D700A, the 2 radio sides had
noticably different tone characteristics. Maybe switch
radio side to try the other tone, ie, if your model also
gives 2 tones, for the 2 speakers, resp.

PS I assume you haven't connected the audios from
2 radio sides together, ie, without also changing the
audio setting so that radio is prepared for that way
of connecting speakers...?
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WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13120




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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 09:48:29 PM »

I mounted the speaker on the back of the driver's headrest, facing forward between
the headrest and the seat.  That provides plenty of audio, though it does depend a lot
on the exact design of your seat.  In one case I could just turn the speaker mounting
bracket around so it was in the front of the speaker and put it around the post that
holds up the headrest.

Otherwise the approach we used in a Rescue truck was to install a headliner with
stereo speakers for the two front seat occupants.  We had VHF on one speaker
and UHF on the other.
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 482




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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 09:36:37 AM »

AMPLIFIED SPEAKER! {:>)   Grin   Wink

Clayton
W4KVW
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KQ6Q
Member

Posts: 968




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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 09:51:10 PM »

what WB6BYU said - MFJ makes a dandy little extension speaker that goes for about $15, available at HRO stores or mail order.
If your headrest sits on two chrome posts, clip the mounting bracket for the speaker in half, reverse the halves, and wrap them around the chrome posts.
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