Noise Amplifier for Helmet.


Tfett40

Active Hunter
I finally got my helmet rigged up the way I like it with padding and fans. I quickly learned how little you could hear, especially with the fans and air flow really silencing outside noise. This is a bit of a concern to me especially if someone is yelling at you stop or a kid in his excitement comes running at your from behind. I looked on the forums and could not find out how most of you deal with this. Well I think I found a solution. My Girlfriend who is currently working on her TK ran across a thread over on the white armor message boards. Apparently, the TK guys have been installing this Environmental Audio System (EAS) into their helmet which basically picks up outside helmet noise and feeds it to them through a mini speaker. Guys over there are raving about it. Here is the thread:
Error - 1st Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment

So we went ahead and picked up a his and her set:
EAS%20Kit.jpg

The kit comes with the amplification board, battery holder, 2 microphones (to pick up noise) and 1 speaker.

Compared to the TK Helmet, Boba Fett helmet is much smaller. If you already have fans and a servo kit, there is no way you are squeezing this audio set up inside your bucket. I attempted to and failed.

But I did have a thought and here it is. Instead of using the speaker that is included with the kit, I decided to use plain old ear buds that I use for working out at the gym and then tape the battery pack and board together:
SMP_2677.jpg


Next, I opted not to set it up in my helmet, but rather my hip pouches. I cut out a piece of foam from my pouch and stuffed the system inside with the microphones sticking out towards the top
SMP_2676.jpg


SMP_2674.jpg


SMP_2667.jpg


I figured if my headphone can tolerate all my sweat from working out under my gym shirt, why not do the same with Boba Fett? I snaked the headphones underneath the belt, under the vest and up through the neckseal.
SMP_2670.jpg


SMP_2671.jpg


This is how I tested it out at home. First I put the tv volume on and put on my helmet without the fans. I could still hear the tv. I then put the fans and could not hear anything, only lips moving on the tv set.
I then put on my earbuds, put the fan on and then turned on the amplier unit and boom! The microphones picked up not only the tv noise but my bulldog breathing next to me. There is a volume knob on the unit to control
how loud you want it. Since I am used to working out with ear buds, this set up is not odd for me. The ear buds also muffed the sound of the fan as opposed to using the included speaker. I truly think this is going to come in real handy come my first troop in a crowded room.

Here where I got it from:
http://www.activearmor.ca/?page_id=4

The guys also sells a beacon light, which I might be looking into as well.
 
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crumdum

Active Hunter
TAguirre,

Two points

1) Microphone placement - a better place for the microphones (which is where I plan on placing mine) is under the shoulder armor bells. This will allow the microphones to be invisible to people talking to you and provide you with accurate stereo sound reception (so you know if someone is talking to you from your left or right side). It allows for much more situational awareness when in costume.

2) Aker/Headset usage - since you are already running up some earbuds, you might as well get a simple headset to wear so you can more easily talk to the people talking to you. You'll find people can't understand you, especially your friendly spotter whose sole purpose is to keep you safe and out of trouble. Aker's are pretty cheap as are headsets, I have one that allows me to accept phone calls too rather easily and with shipping it was 9$ (it also loops around the back, bottom of your neck so there is no helmet room used), but there are plenty of options out there. I am only throwing this out there because you seem to be halfway across this bridge...might as well drive completely across.
 

crumdum

Active Hunter
Woah nice setup. Have you thought about noise cancelling headphones to dampen the sound of the fans even more?

Most noise canceling headphones are rather bulky that I have seen. Space is a premium in our buckets. Have you seen a thin set of noise canceling headphones?
 

polarcupz

New Hunter
Most noise canceling headphones are rather bulky that I have seen. Space is a premium in our buckets. Have you seen a thin set of noise canceling headphones?

There are some noise cancelling earbuds, but I believe they are a lot pricier than regular ones. You are talking $50-300 for a good pair.
I have regular ones personally, not for a build-just for personal use. They are large though, and would not fit in a bucket.
 

polarcupz

New Hunter
Okay, question. I looked more into this, because I want something so I can hear out of my trooper helmet initially, then a Boba when I can get to that.

In looking this up, it would seem that the item can come as a kit:
Amazon.com: Super Ear Amplifier Kit - MK-136: Electronics

This link is for a kit, which you would have to solder completely by yourself, and I know many don't like going that route. Personally, I am going to pick up a couple to put together to try out.
 

zeroskillz

Jr Hunter
If you look further, you can find pre-built amp boards and the mics/speakers separately. I ordered a bunch of odds and ends to produce my own version of this which should have a much smaller form factor. I should get all the parts in th next few weeks, and if it works out, I'll post up a tutorial on it.
 

Tfett40

Active Hunter
polarcupz I do not think the noise cancelling earbuds are necessary. With the regular headphones you can still hear the humming of the fan, but it blocks the sound and flow of the air into your ears. Once the volume is put up you can only hear the audio. But it is purely your preference on how you want to set up or use. That kit you found on Amazon looks promising for someone who know how to put it together.
zeroskillz looking forward to seeing how you put it together, I am sure guys will find it helpful.
 
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TheZeroEffect

Active Hunter
I think this is a great idea and have often thought about this myself.... Though have never gotten to it.
i think the placement of the microphones need special care, the last thing you want is accidentally bumping, or covering them. I like Crum's idea using the shoulder bells to give a more stero sound. You just don't want someone tapping you on the shoulder to get your attention :rolleyes that wouldn't be fun on the ears especially if your heads set is up full :lol:
i have a set of noise cancelling headphones that my wife brought me ( and they're not cheap ones either) they work, but I've never been really convinced by them and always found that volume worked better... Though not so good for the ears...
 

zeroskillz

Jr Hunter
@TAguirre here's what I found for the amp with volume control... the mics and speakers should be here in the next couple weeks. It's smaller than I expected, which is awesome! I'm still looking at options for the battery to keep that small as well. I'm pretty excited to see if this will work.

ampboard.jpg



ampboard.jpg
 
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polarcupz

New Hunter
Okay, I wired up the kit that I posted from Amazon. Everything works like it should. Took about 45 minutes from start to finish, but that was because I wired the mics on extended cables and added quick disconnects.
zeroskillz looking forward to that tiny form factor amp working!
 
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zeroskillz

Jr Hunter
@zeroskillz looking forward to that tiny form factor amp working!

I just got the final parts in yesterday. I have two versions to make--one for earbuds and one for speakers. The amp board I posted above will only be needed if speakers are being used. If for earbuds, I can put it together at half that size--super tiny form factor. I just need to get on wiring it up and testing it.
 

polarcupz

New Hunter
I just got the final parts in yesterday. I have two versions to make--one for earbuds and one for speakers. The amp board I posted above will only be needed if speakers are being used. If for earbuds, I can put it together at half that size--super tiny form factor. I just need to get on wiring it up and testing it.

If it does end up working, let me know what parts and where you picked them up. That tiny of a form factor would be awesome in some of the projects I am working on. :D
 

zeroskillz

Jr Hunter
If it does end up working, let me know what parts and where you picked them up. That tiny of a form factor would be awesome in some of the projects I am working on. :D

Will do--if they do work well, I'll post up a tutorial for them. I'm also thinking about in-helmet video, because I'm a dork.
 

JosephWesthouse

New Hunter
Cool setup. If you wanted more sound isolation, but with the earbud form factor, getting a pair of in-ear monitors would do the trick. A reasonably nice set like Shure SE-215 runs around $100. You can go a lot cheaper buying from somewhere like Monoprice, but the noise isolation won't be as good. Good things about IEMs: more sound isolation means lower volume in your earbuds, which is better for your ears in the long run.
 

kelev

Hunter
TAguirre,

Two points

1) Microphone placement - a better place for the microphones (which is where I plan on placing mine) is under the shoulder armor bells. This will allow the microphones to be invisible to people talking to you and provide you with accurate stereo sound reception (so you know if someone is talking to you from your left or right side). It allows for much more situational awareness when in costume.

2) Aker/Headset usage - since you are already running up some earbuds, you might as well get a simple headset to wear so you can more easily talk to the people talking to you. You'll find people can't understand you, especially your friendly spotter whose sole purpose is to keep you safe and out of trouble. Aker's are pretty cheap as are headsets, I have one that allows me to accept phone calls too rather easily and with shipping it was 9$ (it also loops around the back, bottom of your neck so there is no helmet room used), but there are plenty of options out there. I am only throwing this out there because you seem to be halfway across this bridge...might as well drive completely across.

Do you know where the best places would be to get the Aker headset/amplifier?
 
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