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Author Topic: Headset for mobile (car) ops?  (Read 1286 times)

Posts: 269

« on: January 09, 2003, 03:15:34 AM »

(posted in Elmers, too) I'm seeking an ultralight single ear headset with mini boom mic for use with a VHF/UHF mobile radio in my car. I don't like the bulky Heil units that are common in ham radio. Something along the lines of a Plantronics aviation/NASA style earset with tube-style mic. I'd like to place a remote PTT on my car's gearshift. This would make mobile amateur ops in a manual transmission vehicle much easier. Any ideas? How about modifiying a Plantronics cell phone headset to work with a mobile ham rig?

Posts: 10248


« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2003, 09:41:52 AM »

The Heil I use with my Icom 706 is not what I'd call "bulky". The only part of this you need to be aware of, is some state forbid the use of headsets of any kind. New Mexico's law only covers the use of cell phones, but yours may be more strict. Best check first.

Alan, KØBG


Posts: 16

« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2003, 05:00:59 PM »

I went through this exercise while driving a Toyota Tercel with manual transmission.  I ended up creating a hybrid solution.

Initially I used an earbud/small boom mic solution with a home brewed connector going to the rig.  The earbud/mic had a PTT inline and that worked alright.

Then I used a "sun-visor" mic (made by Pryme or Premier) for awhile and was very pleased with that...though their adapter cable was crap and didn't work.  This is a omnidirectional mic on a thin gooseneck that is mounted onto the bracket holding on the driver's side sun visor.  Then you snake the wire down to a control box with PTT that you rubber band onto your four-on-the-floor.  Then another cable runs to your rig.  That's the cable that was crap.  Mounting the PTT on the gear shift also became more and more a lousy idea.

I used the mic's pinout and my rig's pinout diagram and made my own cable...and I made a control box with a flip switch on it instead of a toggle switch.  This control box was put on the console near the gear shift.  This allowed hands-free operation after the switch was thrown...very useful in a car w/ manual transmission...shifting while holding a switch in stop-and-go Chicago expressway traffic requires practice...this was totally hands-free.

Here's the catch with this sun-visor mic and with some other boom mics:  If you have your car window open the wind noise is going to play hell on these omnidirectional mic...especially if they're any distance away from your mouth.  It made my sun-visor mic unusable.  So in the summertime I had to go back to using the hand mic since I didn't have air conditioning in that car and had to open the window.  I tried several methods to trick the mic into being more uni-directional, but to no avail...just resulted in distortion.  One effort was at the suggestion of N9MDR who advised taping a cardboard toilet paper roll over the mic to narrow the field...this one made more than one ham listening on the W9DUP 70cm machine laugh!

My experiment ended when I bought a vehicle with air conditioning and automatic transmission.  That sun visor mic, incidentally, was a pretty decent mic and got great audio reports--consider it an option or alternative to a headset.

Here's a poor-man's solution to hearing your rig over the wind noise from an open window:  use a stereo cassette deck adapter and plug the 1/8" stereo plug into a 1/8" mono adapter and into your rig's speaker output.  Turn your rig audio up just a tad and you'll hear your rig through your car's stereo.

Happy mobiling!  73 DE K9NYO/M9

Posts: 0

« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2003, 03:27:36 PM »

I'm also facing the same issue.  I home brew my mobile mic/ear bud set and the operation is fine.  But I feel very clumsy everytime I use the set with my HT.  I have a bunch of cables with it so it always tangled up.  The ear bud will easily fell off too.  I have been looking for something more easy to use.  I have bought a cheap cellphone hang-over-the-ear mic set from Walmart for $3.  The set basically has a small speaker and a condensor mic.  I am planning to work on it over the weekend by putting a PTT on the connector and solder one 3.5mm (speaker) and one 2.5mm (mic) jack for it.  This will give me very quick connect/disconnect everytime I use it.

Alex, KG4VJD

Posts: 2

« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2003, 12:36:22 AM »

I have a Kenwood thf6-a and bought a Kenwood headset/mic that works superb!

Posts: 9

« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2003, 08:59:20 PM »

I've used the Heil for over 2 years with my '706 as well in the winter here in Western NY.  Definitely a safety improvement which allows two hands on the wheel.  I don't know if they make a set as light as this compatible with basic 2M rigs, though.  I've been very pleased with it and had fine reports on the audio.



Posts: 0

« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2003, 05:14:00 PM »

Update here.  I went the HAMFest over the weekend and found new cheap ear plug/mic set for $5 each so I brought 2 of them.  They work great.  You may want to try the flea market side of a HAMfest for the surprises !


p.s. I still haven't finished my over the ear mic set as mentioned in my previous posting above.
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