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Author Topic: Base Station External Speakers  (Read 2722 times)
K6LDX
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Posts: 20




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« on: March 13, 2003, 01:31:44 PM »

When I bought my first base transceiver, I wanted better audio than the internal speaker provided.  I splurged on the OEM "matching speaker" even though it was pricey.  I was very disappointed to find that the audio was no better than the internal speaker.  I've seen other similar comments on various manufacturers since.

For my new rig, I bought a pair of RCA bookshelf speakers from Radio Shack for $20 each, plugged them into a splitter jack and now have "stereo" audio.  The sound quality is much better than the expensive OEM speakers.

My advice:  Don't buy the manufacturers' OEM speakers.  They're not worth it.
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W5CPT
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Posts: 557




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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2003, 04:58:25 PM »

Yah, but they look nice.

de W5CPT
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2003, 05:42:23 PM »

Good observation, and good advice.

But: Serious operators *never* use speakers!

(Hint: Try a good set of headphones.  You will hear stations, and signals, that you absolutely cannot even tell are there with any sort of speaker.  A well known "secret" of most all serious DXers, contesters and CW operators.)

WB2WIK/6
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2003, 10:17:49 PM »

Well, NO you don't have "Stereo" audio.  You still have monaural audio from two speakers.
    But the speaker selection (if you decide to use a speaker; I agree for REALLY, really serious work headphones can't be beat) is entirely subjective; you use what sounds most pleasing to you.
    (And I know I'll get static for this, but the best results I've had are with a set of Superex Stereo headphones, ca. 1973, that [STILL]sound GOOD, and block out the external sounds really well.  Especially on Field Day with other operators shoulder to shoulder.)
    We all have different hearing abilities and preferences, which change over time.  (I hate to say it, but that means as we get older!) So use what sounds best to YOU.  
    The speakers "matched" to specific Radios are designed to a "baseline" response AND for cosmetic reasons.  You may require (and deserve!) different speaker response requirements than the baseline, for your use.  There's nothing wrong with that.
     Just use what sounds the best to YOU!
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N2OBY
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2003, 10:40:18 AM »

Thanks to all who've posted here for the timely discussion!  I'm planning to purchase my first "high end" base transceiver by the end of the month, and had been planning to include the external speaker (with AF filter) along with the other accessories.

However, based on the comments here, I'm thinking about getting leaving the speaker out, and using the $$ for something else.

Thanks again, and 73!

Ken Gross, N2OBY
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2003, 11:57:37 AM »

Good decision.

A set of $29 Radio Shack Pro-4 headphones sound about 1000 times better than the matching speaker (with filters!) sold for any transceiver.

WB2WIK/6
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K8AG
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2003, 12:55:35 PM »

I agree with WB2WIK.  The best audio is headphones.  If possible, get a pair that encloses the ears to eliminate ambient noise as well.  When the going gets tough, I get headphones.
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K6LDX
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2003, 05:41:52 PM »

I surrender!!  Lighten up, guys!  Of course I realize that headphones are needed for serious hamming and that two monaural speakers don't make "stereo" (it was tongue in cheek).

My point, apparently not made too well, was that IF you want an external speaker (for casual rag chewing, net monitoring, BC listening, etc.), consider low-cost alternates to the OEM accessories.  My apologies if I was unclear.
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N2IK
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Posts: 220




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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2003, 11:11:43 PM »

I agree with W2WIK and the original poster. I also use a Radio Shack speaker and headphones with my VHF/UHF and HF rigs. The speaker I like best is a R-S metal cased speaker 4 1/4 by 7 1/4 by 4 deep. I got it used for $5.00 but they sell new on sale for about $30.00. This sounds much better than the one that is a little smaller 4 by 6 1/2 by 4 deep. Both are much clearer than the typical 5 inch commercial mobile speaker. I have two sets of phones, one is the Radio Shack hard cup mono phones sold for auto racing fans. These attenuate room noise a lot and have a volume control in one cup. They cost about $50.00. Invaluable at Field Day and Parades or in a noisy room at home.

I also have a cheap set of Radio shack mono phones sold for SWL listening that block some room noise but you can still hear speech and the telephone ringing.These are $19.95 new but often available used cheap. Even a less than $10.00 stereo headset used with CD players converted to mono sounds better than the best speakers.

By all means use a good compact audio speaker and put the money saved into the antenna fund.

73 de Walt N2IK formerly KC2GFS
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2003, 11:30:48 AM »

For both VHF and HF I use old style Motorola "metal can" mobile speakers which came from old Mastr-II low-band rigs.  I got these at ham fests for only a few bucks apiece and wired new connectors onto them.

While "communications" and not "studio" quality, they are far superior to the inexpensive Radio Shack type mobile speakers, very rugged and almost indestructible.

I also have Gregoire aviation-type headsets for use when wanted, and find the Clear Speech DSP base unit a real benefit both for VHF weak signals, and for use on the HF bands when there is high atmospheric noise.
 
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2003, 11:34:22 AM »

Duuhhhhhh, the Mastr-II speakers of course, are GE,
I have some of those too.  Just to save all you nit pickers out there from the need to reply.  My fumble fiungers got ahead of the brain. 73
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K8BBE
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2003, 05:48:33 PM »

I have to say you are correct...  Years ago, I picked up several 12 in Bud speaker boxes, and took some
old speakers out of an old stereo...  I remember the sound.  Well, a few years ago, I bought a radio, and
thinking 45 years down the way, speakers MUST be better now in the little speaker box. Well, I have to say you can't teach an old dog new tricks... I went back to the old speakers... A pair of them, sounds
GREAT even on CW.  To those who commented about Earphones, Yes, this is better all the way around,
but take it from an old guy, 45 years later, I have to turn up the radio to hear the dots, and dashes
because my ears have changed if frequency.  When I use Earphones, I'm hurting my ears because I tend
to turn up the radio to hear the higher frequencies.  The two BIG ones set up as “Stereo” (Yes, it’s mono
out of the radio), but it defiantly sounds much better..  You can’t beat a LARGE speaker…

Thanks for your listing on this…  Se you can teach an old Ham dog new tricks..  Hi Hi

Chuck K8BBE
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AE9L
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2003, 02:40:02 PM »

I use Mobile speakers designed for cell-phone hands free kits. They are designed for normal voice response and you can usually find them pretty cheap.

Jerry AE9L
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N7PTM
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2003, 11:03:06 PM »

Regardless of what speaker you get, get yourself a ClearSpeech DSP unit for it!  I had the ClearSpeech 2 speaker and didn't care for the sound of the speaker (the speaker, not the DSP output), but when I got the CS 2 base unit plugged into my usual speaker it sounded great.
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WB2TPS
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2003, 07:57:31 AM »

Most OEM speakers are terrible.  (And the microphones, but that is another topic)
My favorites are the Motorola "Taxicab" speaker for VHF-UHF FM and the Collins 312B-4 speaker console for HF.  The 312B-4 also includes a watt-meter, PTT switch and a phone patch (remember those?)
Both speakers provide good room filling communications audio.

I don't like to wear headphones,  I've tried all types.  My favorite (or least objectionable) is a fleamarket  "language-lab" set with voice range audio.  The included microphone was replaced with a RS $2 electret element.

Jim
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