One way of giving yourself more mounting options is if you can seperate the speaker from the amp. you can then put the amp in a side pouch, but run a couple of wires up the inside of your j/suit and put the speaker behind your chest armour etc.
I am shortly getting my amp (already ripped apart) and will be doing this.
I took the whole thing apart, installed the amp in my helmet, and used flat, compact speakers instead of the bulky one that came with it. I'm still toying around with the best place to get maximum volume as fiberglass sucks for transmitting sound clearly. I am thinking of mounting the speakers in my neckpiece with a quick connect/disconnect plug.
I took the RS model apart and wired it to run on 1 9V instead of 6 AA's. I then mounted the speaker to a frame/baffle made out of 3mm thick Sintra. The speaker and frame are as wide as my hip pouches are deep, so I mounted the frame in my right hip pouch facing forward. The guts to the amp are also in the right pouch.
My FRS radio is mounted in my left hip pouch.
I have a SPDT momentary switch mounted in my leftmost ammo pouch.
When I talk through my FRS headset/mic, my voice comes through my amp and I can monitor FRS communications through the headset. If someone radios me, I simply take my left hand off my blaster, press and hold the top of my leftmost ammo pouch (where I mounted the momentary switch), reply, then release it and move my hand back to my blaster. No one ever realizes what I'm doing.
Thanks. I'd be happy to post a wiring diagram (not schematics, just general wire routing) if anyone wants it. It ONLY works with FRS radios that have the VOX (voice activation) function and headset. I use a Motorola Talkabout with VOX, and a Motorola headset/mic with the Radio Shack voice amp.
I have my radio shack amp installed in my ESB stormtrooper helmet. I took the headset apart and installed the mic into the inside of my faceplate and the circuit board sits on the inside cheek on the right side. I no longer had the housing to set the six AA batteries in series so I purchased 3 small AA housings at radio shack that hold 2 batteries each. I wired them in series and placed them evenly around the inside rim of my helmet. There is barely enough room to do this in my screen accurate helmet, but he AFX helmets would do it with EASE. I can still fit into my helmet even with the three small compartments around the head to distribute the weight of the AA's. I can still get the rotary switch on using my finger and I cut some tiny enlongated incisions in my center mouth area on my helmet and the speaker sits firmly against the mouth piece on the inside, between the aerators. The end result was a totally self containted amplification system in a screen accurate helmet and the illusion is very convincing and cool.
I love some of these ideas, guys! I never thought about converting the AA's down to a single 9V. How long is the battery life, after the conversion? About the same? Any loss in volume?
Here's a diagram of my system:
I used the Radio Shack amp system. Since the system didn't come with a mute switch, I made one from RS materials and Velcro-ed it to the inside of the vest, just inside the arm hole.
I also drilled a small hole in the amp, and wired another female jack to the existing speaker leads. This allows me to place an extra speaker inside the vest, under the abdomen plate. I'll draw up another diagram to break this down if needed.
Well, I got the same amp, which now I have both versions (the black/long one, and the white/short one) Reason is that I'm thinking about customize the helmet in such a way, that I could install a collar mic (which I have also, and only one to work with the small amp) to run it like batninja did, somehow.
our of curiosity...does anyone have any kind of sound reciever that sends what's happening outside back to your ear inside your helmet? I always have trouble hearing what's being said when I have my bucket on.
That's what I did for my DP '95 a few years back, and it worked like a charm.
Cut the keyholes out on the back. Cut the long slit on the left side, and the small rectangular area under the right range-finder base. You can even drill into those three little holes if you like. Just hot-glue screening to the backs of the holes.
Even in a crowded area like a convention or a night-club, I was able to hear everything, as well as tell what direction the sound came from.
I have the Big Black Shack Amp too and I just hide it in one of the extra belt pouches. It works great! The amp is loud enough that it doesn't appear to be coming from anywhere else on you. No extra wiring or anything. You can hear me using the amp in a short (800k) video clip below. No special effects or voice overs here - just Mrs. TK-409 shooting the video. Click below: