Need a wireless amplified voice solution? Step inside...

DogWizard

Well-Known Member
Greetings fellow 405th members,

I wanted to post a brief (but thorough) review of the voice amplifier setup offered by TK6294 (Jim) as I have been very impressed with not only his products but his exemplary service.



Some background:
I tend to run a fairly heavy electronics load in my MkVI armor – between the LED’s, dedicated speakers for music, and dedicated voice amp/microphone system it can be a bit much. I have had a traditional wired headset/voiceamp setup for a couple of years now but very rarely ever used it. Why? Because it was one more cable to keep track of and plug in. It was also irritating because the mic cable was always connected from my helmet to my chest piece, not very convenient when you want to pop your lid to chat or cool down. While my old system worked, it wasn’t optimal by any means and because it was always on, you were constantly broadcasting – not always a good thing.

Old Setup:
IMG_1096.jpg



Enter TK6294:
I initially saw his information over at the RPF but lost track of it. Then his gear showed up in a recent thread about voice amplification and I figured it was time to see what his gear could do. He and I exchanged several emails about his products and based on our conversations, I decided to give it a try. This was all on the Friday before the Reach Launch so I was pressed for time if I wanted to complete the upgrade for the release. Luckily I noticed that Jim is located only about an hour from me and he graciously agreed to let me come down over the weekend and pick up the new equipment (thanks, Jim!)


I drove down and met him in person and we talked shop for a while. I showed him my existing setup and he pulled everything out and personally tested it and gave me a crash-course before I loaded everything up and headed home. I can’t say enough positive things about how friendly and helpful he was – he even pulled out his TK helmet so show me his cooling setup. Overall a great experience!


The Install:
It was a very simple install. If fact, it took more time to pull out my old setup then it did to install the new. I had already measured the space inside my helmet so I know that the mic and transmitter would fit – did I mention that I opted for the WIRELESS headset – WOOT!

New Setup - Amp:
IMG_1099.jpg


Wireless Mic:
IMG_1103.jpg


PTT Cable:
IMG_1100.jpg



I used hot glue to mount the mic boom (it is directional, which is a huge help when trying to avoid fan noise bleeding through) and Velcro for the transmitter (making sure to leave the on/off switch accessible. The receiver for the wireless mic system went in the back of the torso, once again using Velcro. The amplifier itself simply replaced the old one in the front left pectoral of the chest armor. I was especially pleased with the amplifier – it is rated at 10W and is easily the smallest (yet loudest) amp that I have seen. It also has a secondary line-in which you could use for background music or amplified sound effects (like an AR or Energy Sword). Because every component was designed around a voice application, the feedback rejection is quite good and at reasonable levels (plus) I had no issues.

Helmet Mic:
IMG_1109.jpg


Helmet Transmitter:
IMG_1107.jpg


Amplifier in Chest:
IMG_1112.jpg


Wireless Receiver in Back:
IMG_1111.jpg



The wiring itself can be done either as a straight-through connection (wireless receiver to amp) or using one of Jim’s PTT (push-to-talk) cables. I opted for the PTT cable, as it allows me to keep radio silence unless I choose to switch it on. The PTT cable basically has a remote microswitch designed to slide inside your glove and activate when pressed. It also adds a small “click/pop” when engaged so it gives you that whole “comms engaged” sound – it’s a nice effect. I simply tacked the wiring in place with hot glue just to keep it from snagging. You do need to keep track of the switch end of the PTT cable as you suit up but I found the switch easy to place in the glove and manipulate.


In the interest of full disclosure, I did have an issue with my first PTT cable. There was a loud “crackle/scratchy” sound when the switch was depressed. I believe that it was simply a bad microswitch and as anyone who works with electronics knows, these things do happen. What impressed me is the way Jim handled it – he simply sent me a new PTT cable THE NEXT DAY and refused any offers to pay for it. It’s this kind of customer service that is sometimes missing in this hobby and it was refreshing to say the least. Needless to say, the replacement cable has been perfect so far!


Overall I have to say that I am impressed with both Jim and his products (and that’s generally not an easy thing to do when I’m involved). It’s a huge relief to have a wireless voice amp system that works and works well and Jim was as professional and courteous as anyone could wish for. I would wholeheartedly recommend trying his gear and while I have only been using it for a short time, he has hundreds of other satisfied customers out there. I would suggest that anyone looking for an amplification solution contact Jim directly or through one of his forum classifieds at the RPF or The Dented Helmet as his “in-hobby” prices are better than the prices on Ebay or Amazon.


Thread at the RPF:

http://www.therpf.com/f13/fs-small-...-wireless-headset-mic-push-talk-cables-80127/


I hope that this review helps some of you out – Thanks!
-DW
 
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Liq

Well-Known Member
I ordered an Aker 1506 voice amp setup from him a couple weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I didn't go wireless because I feared it would not fit in my helmet, but I might check into it later.
 

DogWizard

Well-Known Member
Thats awfully high praise coming from you DW! I will have to check it out for sure!

I calls 'em like I sees 'em! :D


It's great having a system that just works when it should and is silent when it's supposed to be. There are a lot of "meh" solutions out there and I have tried more than one - this is the first that I've been happy with, at least thus far (and especially for the price).
 

DogWizard

Well-Known Member
I ordered an Aker 1506 voice amp setup from him a couple weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I didn't go wireless because I feared it would not fit in my helmet, but I might check into it later.

I think that Loess picked up a set as well - actually it was that thread that pushed me over the edge. Jim has the dimensions for all the components listed at the RPF link - I just cut a piece of cardboard to those dimensions to doublecheck the fit. I do need to move my battery pack as the weight is off just a bit off and my helmet tilts a bit to the left now... ;)
 

PsHWilliam043

Member
Wow, I literally just found Jim's thread a couple of days ago while searching for this EXACT setup. Now that you have one, and have tested it out, I'm definitely sold. As soon as I get a little bit farther along on me and my fiance's suits, we'll be ordering a couple of these setups.

I do have one question for you DogWizard, on the wireless headset transceiver thingy... Does it have like a frequency setting? Or are each of them unique? I would hate to have two of them and have interference from each other coming through if we were standing too close together.

Other than that possible issue, this looks like the perfect setup for me and her. Thank you for sharing this with us! I bet a lot of our users here will love this when they read about it.
 

DogWizard

Well-Known Member
Wow, I literally just found Jim's thread a couple of days ago while searching for this EXACT setup. Now that you have one, and have tested it out, I'm definitely sold. As soon as I get a little bit farther along on me and my fiance's suits, we'll be ordering a couple of these setups.

I do have one question for you DogWizard, on the wireless headset transceiver thingy... Does it have like a frequency setting? Or are each of them unique? I would hate to have two of them and have interference from each other coming through if we were standing too close together.

Other than that possible issue, this looks like the perfect setup for me and her. Thank you for sharing this with us! I bet a lot of our users here will love this when they read about it.

You're quite welcome - I know that this is something that people are always looking for... :)


As far as the frequency goes, unfortunately these (the Memorex) are all fixed single frequency units. This could be a bit of an issue but for the most part it is addressed using the PTT cable (hopefully not everyone is taling at once anyway and even if there is some overlap, it could be a cool effect). There certainly are other selectable frequency wireless solutions available but for the money this is hard to beat.
 

TK6294

New Member
Darin,
Thank you for the great review and for the pictures. It is always good to see how someone installed inside their armor. Sure are a lot of good ideas out there.

The wireless interference can be issue. If further than 10' away there is not problem. at 10feet you get some static. Then closer then 10 feet you hear the other person's voice. That issue is one reason I developed the PTT cable (the other reason can be found here, I use them in my BFG
). Many of the guys in my local squad run the wireless so I outfitted them all with PTT and that takes care of the problem.

I am working on finding a new supply of the wireless headset. I have a couple of models that i will testing soon. One is supposed to have some sort of frequency adjustment. We will see. They will be just like the memorex wireless headset kits.

As Darin mentioned, you can find my thread at RPF or any 501st forum. I have ebay and amazon stores but you can buy it cheaper from me direct. Feel free to email with questions. FamilyJim72@yahoo.com

Jim, TK6294
 
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PsHWilliam043

Member
Thanks guys, that is really helpful information. I do plan on ordering directly from you Jim. My wedding is in just under 2 weeks, so it will definitely have to wait until after the honeymoon lol. I might wait to see how those new headsets work out. Though I do believe the PTT solution would work fine for me. I doubt it would be a huge issue anyways. But thank you both for the really helpful info!
 
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