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Author Topic: One headset to multiple rigs  (Read 8506 times)
KD8TZC
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Posts: 67




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« on: May 24, 2013, 12:41:55 PM »

Okay, I'm not sure this can be done, but I figure it's worth asking.

I have a Heil headset with mic and a foot switch that I use to listen and to talk with.  Right now I have it hooked up to my Kenwood TS440, but I would also like to be able to use it with my Yaesu FT2900R.  The 2900R has a DTMF handset, but honestly, I have never used the DTMF feature with it.

Is there a way, with a mixer or something, that I could use the one headset to talk on, but feed it to the radio of my choice?  Could I also use that same mixer to receive the audio outputs from each rig, and play/mix it on the headset?  I'm not very familiar with mixers, so I hope you all call help me out and set me straight.

Thanks,

John - KD8TZC
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John - KD8TZC
K0JEG
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Posts: 679




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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 09:22:32 AM »

Ideally, you'll want a distribution amp for you mic audio:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LPB-S-1-Ten-Channel-Audio-Distribution-Amplifier-Rackmount-/221230867555?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item3382632463

A DA isolates the outputs from each other so they don't interact. You could do the same thing by building an amplifier circuit and using transformers for as many outputs you need, but the audio might not be all that great.

However, if you don't mind switching, you could just get a multipole switch:

http://www.amazon.com/Rotary-Switch-Pole-Position-Non-Shorting/dp/B005CRLWJ4/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1

For the headphones, again, either a rotary switch (more poles could get you one switch that does everything), or a get a small mixer. That way you could monitor multiple radios, if you wanted:

http://www.mackie.com/products/402vlz3/

If you want to add more radios, plan ahead and get more inputs. The cost of these small mixers is very low and they sound great. In many cases, the shelving EQs can help punch up receive audio faster than going to the rig's DSP settings, and with the stereo outputs you can pan radios around and help keep track of what radio is which.
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KD8TZC
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 01:04:24 PM »

So how would I hook the two radios up to the mixer though so I could use the one headset?
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John - KD8TZC
K0JEG
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Posts: 679




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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 06:07:50 AM »

So how would I hook the two radios up to the mixer though so I could use the one headset?

Take the headphone output (not the external speaker, which will be high level and be distorted), and run it into an input. Most mixers have mic/line switches or a wide adjustment on the pre-amp to keep from overloading the input channel. Do the same thing for all your radios, one for each channel. Then you can use the headphone jack on the mixer to listen. If you have stereo headphones you can get creative and pan radios around the sound stage to help keep track of what radio is active. There's lots of infomation online or find a local music store (Guitar Center is OK, but don't go on a weekend when they're real busy, and you'll likely get blank stares while you try to explain). A small store (with older I mean experienced employees) might understand what you're trying to do and help you out.
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KD8TZC
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 05:37:03 AM »

Thanks JEG...

Also, I received an email off the forum from someone who mentioned that MFJ has something that will do exactly what I am looking to do.  Only limitation to this is it can only do up to two radios (and is more expensive than a good mixer).  The MFJ 1263 is the device for anyone who may be interested or who stumbles across this later on.  It looks like it can do both 8pin round and 8pin modular inputs and has a complex jumper setting in the directions.
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John - KD8TZC
W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 07:56:05 PM »

For just switching that headset between radios, the simplest way would be by using a switch with the appropriate number of outputs for the number of radios.
If you want to hear all of them at the same time then it gets more complicated because of the 'mixing' of impedance from the various radio outputs.  That usually involves some slight amplification, impedance matching, and isolation and isn't really that 'plug-n-play', sort of.  I remember seeing several building articles about doing that, but it's been some time ago.  It isn't impossible by any means but it does get complicated.
 - 'Doc
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 1050




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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 08:09:09 AM »

just get a bunch of op-amps and build a distribution amp, already, for the mic.  ideally use a bunch of 1:1 cheapo transformers to each mic input to prevent any ground loop issues.  if you want to waste money on a mixer, do it on the headphone side.

the trick is keying the right radio at the right time.  for that, you want a bunch of momentary/off/on flip switches going to each radio's PTT and return leads.
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W4CKR
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 03:40:38 AM »

Dunno if you've seen this yet, but N7TFP has a decent video on how his audio controls are setup - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dER-WJPWXI8

May at least give you an idea as to what possibilities are out there. 
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KG4PES
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 05:52:29 PM »

W2IHY has some great product that do just this.  Multiple Mike's, multiple radios, and you get to really boost your output sound quality to boot.  Check out the 8 band EQ and EQ plus.  I run both and really love the setup.  I have my Heil heaset, Heil Fin to several radios.  http://www.w2ihy.com/

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NZ0T
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »

I built a version of this to switch my HM-10 mic between two rigs.  It would be easy to also include the audio out for earphones.   

http://mysite.verizon.net/cpthaines/id19.html

I also built a switchbox using a 2 pole rotary switch to switch my Bencher paddles between 5 rigs.    Got the idea for that here:

http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/keySwitch/
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