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toybiz

My experience using a throat mic and source for a mic only version

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Everyone,

 

There appears to be some interest in finding alternative microphones for use with our armor amp systems. The few users who stated they have used a throat mic did not give too much feedback as to their success, impressions of said microphones or what did they do to make it work. There is a thread on how to rewire a throat mic so it would work with a personal amplifier like an Acker. (thank you for that)

 

I too was one of these people looking for another solution as fitting the unidirectional headset mic that comes the Acker amp worked great for me if the following conditions are met:

 

1) it actually fits the user's head shape AND inside the helmet comfortably. (I had to rebend the right side of my headset metal holder because the Acker one is TOO big and when I put on my helmet it pushes the mic forward off my ears.)

2) the directional mic doesn't move around or is of the correct proximity to one's mouth. (I used a bandaid to hold the mic to my cheek)

3) when using an iComm, the sound effect level is not user adjustable so if the mic signal to noise ratio is low or inconsistent the squelch noise can be quite a bit louder than the user's voice. :huh:

 

Solution?

 

I had a few throat mics that I used with FRS walkie talkies when I used to play airsoft and thought why not try to make them work. Problem was they were all 2.5mm 3 conductor male pin type.

 

Digging through my box of miscellaneous electronics junk and I found a female 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter I used to use for a wired cell headset back in the day before speakerphones or Bluetooth. ^_^

 

A07R_129640303908338245rOs917cKuG.jpg

 

I plugged in my 2.5mm pin throat mic into this adapter and then into the Acker and I was in business! I didn't need to wire in a 1.5v power source as mentioned in the other post but that could be beause the Acker supplies power through the mic input port. Of course in this application the ear piece of the throat mic was useless but at least the mic worked. I thought why doesn't someone make a throat mic without the earphone? :0Lighten:

There would be plenty of other applications for a mic only use right? Since I still had the packaging of the maker of my throat mic, there was the URL of their company and punched up the web browser.

 

post-19720-0-92617400-1412913787_thumb.jpg

 

Check out the different ones that they offer here at http://www.ixradio.com/shop/computer-accessory/

 

This vendor seems to change their website every so often. If the above link goes dead just go to their home page http://www.ixradio.com/ and look for the mic only tab.

 

post-19720-0-18714700-1412812336_thumb.jpg

 

Since it is the same company that makes the one I have and I emailed them about Aker compatibility, they responded shouldn't be any problems. I think we have a viable solution for those looking for an alternative to using an acustic mic. With these no adapters are required since they are 3.5mm male pin. Note that they also carry a few personal amplifiers (albeit pricy) as well, but I could not tell you if they are iComm compatible since the iComm draws some of its power from the Acker.

 

My observations:

 

Using the throat mic with the Acker directly was great. There wasn't any background noise (not that there were any previously using the headset) But the sound level was consistent and I can take off and put on my helmet without any interference or visible wires coming down from my head. :smiley-sw013:

 

The sound quality was a tiny bit hollow sounding so this added some electronic muffled effect to my speech. Not bad and I was pleased.

But I'm a Stormtrooper and there should be a squelch click at the beginning and end of my transmission right? Since I also owned the iComm, I plugged it in and gave it another try.

 

Again, I had to experiment a little with the optimum volume level where the squelch effect kind of matched my spoken voice. Here the solution was placement of the mic on my throat as that greatly affected my voice volume. Once I found the sweet spot, I knew I was in business. :jc_doublethumbup:

 

Now everyone's mileage will vary but for me, I think I found my microphone solution and will try it this weekend at two local Golden Gate Garrison troops and provide additional information.

 

 

Thanks for your interest.

Edited by toybiz
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This is of high value.  Thank-you for sharing!

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I am eager to read about your experience trooping with this setup.

 

 

Sent from my iTricorder using Tapatalk

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Nice post Adam. Giving the space limitation on my new bucket I may be forced to change my voice input method. Great tips here. Let us know how the trial and error goes.   

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I will post up a video later today with partial armor suited up.

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Nice work Adam. I still haven't pursued the voice amp set up fully, so this info will be invaluable for me. Appreciate it!

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OK, I normally work behind the camera at work so please excuse the unflattering single camera angle. :P

 

To answer Dizzy's question about feedback. I don't get any unless the speaker is turned and faced directly at my throat. However with normal positioning of the throat mic and with my Acker / iComm mounted behind my chest armor, I had the amp at 100% (this was off camera) with only a tiny hint of feedback. So I would say this works well in terms of controlling feedback. Plus it does NOT pick up any breathing. :)

 

I just wish the iComm squelch effect level was user adjustable, but that is a different story. :D

 

Personally, I like the sound quality from the headset mic better but after having to fumble with the mic position relative to my mouth by grabbing the end of the headset with my lips and twisting it into position inside the helmet and then not sure if it is correct or not was kind of frustrating while trooping.

 

I couldn't make the youtube embedding code work here so here is the link instead to the video. So without further delay...

 

http://youtu.be/KWtsmFSF0Xg

 

I am scheduled for two troops this weekend and I will provide an update of my results.

 

Of course while filming the video, I received in the mail, a promising self-contained battery powered, 2.4ghz wireless point to point set up that would work for those who are still interested in using a headset mic and perhaps not satisfied with the Memorex wireless solution. The transmitter/receiver units are about the size of two match stick boxes side by side each and accept a normal 3.5mm stereo male plug for input/output. Range is up to 20 feet.

 

I'm thinking this may work for someone to remotely control sound pumped through the Acker's line in port or two way scripted or adlib conversation  :0Lighten:  Stay tuned for my testing of this unit.

Edited by toybiz
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Alright... The weekend has passed and so has my two troops. One indoors for Star Wars Reads Day at my local main library and outdoors for United Airlines Family Day out on the San Francisco airport air field.

 

So on to my throat mic findings

 

First troop:

 

Indoors

Acker 1506

 

During the 3 hours of the troop with my Acker set to about 50% on the volume dial,I did not experience any feedback unless I tried to tilt my helmet as far as I could to look down. Nothing to report otherwise.

 

Second troop:

 

Outdoors

Acker 1506

Icomm

 

During this 4 hour outdoor troop at the airport maintenance hanger area with a live band playing and airplanes taking off in the background, it was challenging to hear one another with helmets on even with amps. However all the guests were able to hear me just fine. The Acker was set to about 80% on the volume dial.

 

Again feedback was only ocurred when I tried to bend over and pointed my neck towards my chest. Nothing to report problem wise.

 

Overall:

 

No problem with fitment or needing to reposition my throat mic during the entire time on either troop. Plus my voice level stayed consistent and I never gave my mic position a second thought which allowed me to focus on the reason I was there, people who love Star Wars and the kids who have just became fans.

 

Now nothing against anyone using a headset or an in helmet mounted mic, this review is for my set up that proved convenient, simple to set up and worked for me. Hopefully it will provide an alternative solution for those who invested in an amp and/or sound effect adapter. For me, if/when this throat mic wears out or breaks, I'll probably get one from above as that will eliminate the need for an adapter. :D

Edited by toybiz

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I want to hug you right now brother!
I have been looking for a solution to my mic issues and could never find anything good on thoat mics. I wanted to try one or see someone else's setup and your video sold me on the idea.

Looking forward to just putting my helmet on and not spending time trying to adjust the mic in the helmet.

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Mines on the way, I'll post my feedback on it too...great idea!

 

When you do, could you post your feedback in this thread. I would be interested in hearing multiple opinions on these mic's.

 

 

Sent from my iTricorder using Tapatalk

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I found one more throat mic in my airsoft load out and this one has a PTT type 2 where it runs inline with the mic wire not separate like the one that comes with the iComm sound generator.

Verdict? Works also like a charm so when going in PTT mode with or without the iComm, there is total silence in between transmissions. However, I'm still not so sold on running a wire down my arm. I may run the button somewhere behind the ammo belt but that would force me to have to put my hand in that spot to activate.

Maybe two micro magnetic switches running parallel could do the trick. One near the belt and another under the ab plate on the opposite side. This way, I will only need to put the magnets on the finger tip of both gloves. We'll see.

 

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They have many types of throat mics on that website, is there one that is more recommended then another?  I'm thinking of getting one with a neck strap just to make it stays on the neck better.    Obviously the gaming ones wont work for us, as they look to have USB connectors.  I had purchased a cell phone one previously (from a different company) that didn't work, so I'm steering clear from that group.  That then leaves the "vibration microphones" which to me looks like they are just mics and dont have the ear pieces, and the "two way radio mics." 

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Hi Eric,

 

The one I would recommend on this website are the mic only ones. I have yet to source any other company other these on ixradio and one made by Califone that makes a mic only version.

 

Let us know what you decide on!

 

Adam

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Did you encounter any sound pickup issues when you have the neck seal on?

 

UPDATE: NVM saw your YT video :D

Edited by themacalu

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I received one of those from the website you linked...it's pretty awesome!

 

I had decided to go that route when, at a troop, my memorex started getting feedback from another guy's wireless.  That, and I never felt comfortable with a radio transmitter blasting waves into my forehead.

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Thanks for sharing Kevin! Good to know members are finding success and another option for microphones. Any problems with finding the "sweet spot" for sound pick up? How about feedback when leaning forward, assuming your amp is mounted behind the chest armor.

What is your set up?

 

Edited by toybiz

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No issues at all. I just put it on and plugged it in. I couldn't get feedback unless I took it off and literally set it against my Aker. I haven't tried it fully kitted up, but had my Aker hanging around my neck in the proper location. I also have an ICOMM. It beats my Memorex hands down. Highly recommend!

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ADAM! 

I watched your youtube after weeks of trying all sorts of sound fx/amplifier techniques. 

Ended up with a go-pro chest mount with a modified adapter screwed into the AKER and and i-Comm velcro-ed to it. 

Bought a cheap one-way throat mic and everything works like a charm! No feedback whatsoever and have tried it with full armour on. 

Here is a pic. I can do a vid too if anyone is interested. 

Thanks for the inspiration! :)

 

woyokR.jpg

Edited by HansDC

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Thanks for sharing HansDC. Please post a link to the throat mic you chose so that our readers can have an idea of what may work for them too. :)

 

 

ADAM!

 

I watched your youtube after weeks of trying all sorts of sound fx/amplifier techniques.

 

Ended up with a go-pro chest mount with a modified adapter screwed into the AKER and and i-Comm velcro-ed to it.

 

Bought a cheap one-way throat mic and everything works like a charm! No feedback whatsoever and have tried it with full armour on.

 

Here is a pic. I can do a vid too if anyone is interested.

 

Thanks for the inspiration! :)

 

woyokR.jpg

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Sorry bout that! Here is a pic of the mic. 

It cost me about AUD$20 from Jaycar. One way with a stereo 3.5mm plug. 

Just be careful when buying 3.5mm connectors.....make sure they are stereo ones and not iPhone, or ones with three bands on the plug. They won't work with your i-Comm or Aker. :)

 

pAweeY.jpg

Edited by HansDC

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