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Plainsrunner

Nagging FRUSTRATING problems with audio and Helmet

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I wasn't sure which sub section this belongs in because it has to do with both helmet configuration AND audio.     

Man I continue to struggle with my helmet and electronics.    I mean it bothers me enough to take away the enjoyment of trooping to some degree.

1.  I have zero control over my helmet.   in order to see out of the eyes at least a little the helmet gets jammed up against the pauldron and my shoulders which renders it immobile completely.    I've noticed other troopers being able to at least turn their helmet a little -- it just doesn't happen for me.   I have to turn my shoulders to look to the side.  I pulled the pads out and installed a helmet harness which does keep the helmet fixed to my head, but again there is no clearance between helmet and pauldron for me to be able to swivel it.    I'm not sure this is a problem I can remedy.  

2.  I have my radio chatter working fine with TKTalkie.    My voice audio?   I still haven't been able to get this working.    It's usually WAY too low for anyone to hear it.    If I turn it up so that people can hear it, I get a terrible feedback loop that requires me to shut it down completely.   The last two troops I've just completely ditched the voice, which is a massive bummer and I think pretty lame.   

3.  Even for my weak audio -- it's proving next to impossible to get my head into my bucket without dislodging my wireless headset.   Every single time it gets knocked around to where the mic isn't in the right position and you all know too well how it's impossible to get your hands in there to readjust your mic positioning with armor on and helmet on.   

I'm pulling my hair out here!!!!    I have a couple weeks until my next troop and I *have* to figure something out so that these things aren't making me miserable!

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I know a few people that have trouble with not being able to move their helmet. Unfortunately, we're not all born with long necks. With all of the stuff jammed on your shoulders, you need a neck like a giraffe to still have clearance to move your helmet. If you pad the top of the helmet to lift it up, then you're looking through the bottom of the lenses. Perhaps neck stretching exercises? Wasn't there an African tribe that uses plates to stretch out their necks?

Where do you have the speakers for your audio? The aerator mounted speakers seem like a great idea, and would put your voice where your mouth is, but since that's right next to the microphone, it usually doesn't work out well. I've got my speaker behind my chest plate. It's a little muffled, but that's a nice effect for our communication. It's certainly not as bad as the Death Troopers! You might try putting the speaker in one of the leather pouches.

My microphone is on a wrap around headband (Aker amp system) and frequently gets out of position. I'll do a shoulder shrug to lift the helmet and mic, then grab the foam windscreen with my mouth to get it back into place. Are you wearing it headset style, or is your mic mounted in the helmet? Can you post a picture of the inside of your helmet?

Visibility and comms have always been a weakness for the Imperial issued equipment. Even that Rebel terrorist complained "I can't see a thing in this helmet!"

Charlie

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I was wondering if anyone has figured out a way to mount the wireless headset INSIDE the helmet in such a way that you can remove it to charge and place it back into position when trooping?

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Scott, check out this video and focus on the app portion of the video. He does walk through some of the adjustments. If I had to choose, I'd pick voice over chatter. BUT, I also run chatter through a mp3 board and Pyle amp in my radio.

I have a wireless headset. I removed the little metal over the head bracket and applied velcro on the back of the transmitter. It velcros in place and I bend the mic arm and position the mic dead center around the frown. I've done an all day  long con with no issues. I use the Aker 1506 with the mic receiver in the line in spot behind my chest plate.

As far as mobility goes, I have a short neck. My whole body is short though lol. I'm short and round. Sometimes I take the wood block out of my shoulder pouch closest to my head and that helps a little. My helmet basically sits on top of my pauldron. I have my wife make sure everything is pushed down and tucked in like it should be after I put on my helmet. Some people have the perfect body types and mobility is not an issue. But for the 95% of the rest of us, we all have some issue where mobility is a hindrance at least at one spot.

 

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I haven’t gotten back to working on this yet.   I’m going try to do some work tonight.   I think I’ve found a spot to move both the mic and the lipstick charger.   Into the area below the teeth on he inside — right in front of the chin.    If it works that could resolve the helmet on/off issues and the dislodging of the headset.

one thing at a time!    After I finish the above I’ll work on the audio issues.

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Ok so I'm playing around with the concept of getting that battery and headset out of my way when putting on the helmet.   This is what I've come up with tentatively:

 

x13Ahg3.jpg

I put some velcro on the back side of the chin area.   I then wrapped a piece of foam in velcro to form a flat square with enough of a surface to then stick the headset and battery to.     This moves them from the side of the helmet (in the case of the battery) and from my head (in the case of the headset) to the area below the inside of the frown.

Below is a shot looking down into the helmet showing how clear of an area I have to move my head in now:

CBJ4XVF.jpg

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I love looking inside trooper buckets - that's where the real innovation happens!

Does your microphone tip line up with your mouth?

My Aker mic is very picky - if it's not right in front of my mouth, then the sound drops off significantly. It looks like you should have plenty of room when putting on or taking off your helmet without banging up the fancy electronics. Do you have enough cable to mount the battery in the back of the helmet, in the "tumblehome?"

Charlie

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Mounting the battery on the sides or in the back has presented two obstacles for me:

1.   The helmet is curved so getting it attached in a place that is flat enough to keep it in place is difficult

2.   The battery gets in the way of putting the helmet on.   

The position I have it in the photos above addresses the 2nd issue.   To overcome the first issue I made a little Velcro block to create a flat surface.

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Also:   My mic is super picky too.   It has to be real close to your mouth.   I wish we had another option that picked up better.

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I'd put some velcro on the battery and mount it behind the fan bracket so it's out the way. I have that same microphone, What I do is take it out the helmet and do a test to check my levels. Most the time I have to hit the + on the mic itself to up it a few notches as well as get the volume right on the Aker speaker too. To make it more sensitive, check your settings on the TKTalkie app for your profile. You can make it very sensitive if  you dial it in right. Don't breathe out your mouth or you'll make a static burst. I have mine where as soon as I say something at normal volume it activates.

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Ok... I think I have my audio issues sorted out.    I'm going to do further testing this afternoon but I think I finally have it licked.   HUGE test coming this Friday as it's Star Wars Night at the local minor league baseball team game.    

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A throat mic is also a good solution against feedback. Specially super with a tktalkie because you can adjust the noise discrimination level. Have a 60/70 Dollar one from Singapor.

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Ok...so I did Birmingham Barons Star Wars night with my new configuration inside my helmet.    Worked GREAT!   I had no trouble putting on and removing my bucket and the mic worked.   Now I just have to overcome some feedback in order to get it loud enough for a busy event like that.     I think I've done that in the settings over the past 24 hours.   I can (at least in an ideal environment of one of the quiet rooms of my house) talk very loudly right near the speaker without feedback.    So I think I've found the magic mix.

Also worthy of note --  I ditched the RS Propmasters neck seal that has the leather-like material for a cloth neck seal that some here said they used.    This did wonders for my neck not being stiff.    The hard hat strap inside my helmet also gives me control of the bucket while it's on my head.    Trooping is becoming MUCH more enjoyable.  :) 

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Glad it's all worked out, Scott. Trooping is one of those things you get more comfortable with by experience. I still make adjustments and have been in for over 2 years now.

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