Feb 18, 2005, 8:36 AM
Post #1 of 9
I'm sure everyone read the article on the RareDynamic.com communicators. Has anyone every used one? From reading the article, it appears to use a traditional microphone to handle the communication. Their website states that it has a noise canceling feature, but couldn't find any additional spec info. Having used many communicators (almost everything) in other high-noise sports, I'm a little skeptical.
The only system I've found to actually work in a high-sound environment is the throat mic rigs. Here is a link. http://helmetharbor.com/...earercom/opening.htm While even this system isn't perfect, it's leaps ahead of any traditional mic system we've used. Also, both of these systems have a ton of wires running from the radio. How would these be routed, to stay away from the important item on your back..?? I'm guessing inside your suit, and a ton of zip, or other ties holding everything in place. The Terminator I mention above even makes more sense, since the mic isn't attached to the helmet. One less wire flailing about to deal with.
Also, with several companies coming out with Blue-Tooth systems, I think wired systems will be dead in about two years. Motorola states that they will have a Blue-Tooth system by years end. They're working with Burton Inc. (The Snow Board company) which will have a system including iPod, and cell phone. I was told that a communication application is also in the works. Now this will be perfect, since it will be wireless. Stuff the radio anywhere you want, and grab your helmet...
billvon (D 16479)
Feb 18, 2005, 8:46 AM
Post #2 of 9
>The only system I've found to actually work in a high-sound environment is the throat mic rigs.
The problem with them is wind noise. Take a look at a picture of someone doing serious 4-way in cold weather. What's the only part of their body exposed to the wind? Their neck. While throat mikes work well, they do need to be protected from the wind.
Two different groups of military colleagues recently demo'd several sets of the 1-on-1, 1-way coaching systems in a military student training environment. The resulkts were very successful - the only comment I heard was fine-tuning personal volume settings for the receiving units, but that's a small learning curve item.
We found the same to be true on the race bikes, but it's easily solved by using a cover band. The throat mic goes inside this sleeve, and the ends are attached by velcro. Not only does it stop most of the wind, but it keeps it in place. The only time we've ever had trouble with wind noise is when we didn't use this sleeve. The transmitters lifted off the skin, allowing the wind to contact the pick-up. Keep it snug, no issue.
Also keep in mind, on the bike, you're not just battling the wind, but the sound of a very noisy engine... I would think that if it works ok in this enviroment, it would work great in the air. The traditonal mics always seen to fall short when these two eliments are combined.
(This post was edited by 360daysofsun on Feb 18, 2005, 10:09 AM)
I just graduated AFF at Perris and I believe that we used this system, I will have to verify this weekend and make sure it was the same brand. Looked the same as what I saw on the website.
What ever the system was it was great, the earphones were comfortable. As soon as the radios were turned on all the outside noise seemed to be gone. I could hear my instructor as clear as when we were talking on the ground and didn't notice any freefall noise at all.
The only negative that I found was that the earphone jack came unplugged too easy. Just a little tug if you didn't leave enough slack and it is unplugged. At least we discovered that in the plane and not after we left the plane.
Also, both of these systems have a ton of wires running from the radio. How would these be routed, to stay away from the important item on your back..?? I'm guessing inside your suit, and a ton of zip, or other ties holding everything in place.
Why not embed the radio into the helmet itself. You might not like the idea of having a transmitter that close to your head, but most people have no problem holding a fairly high powered transceiver against their heads for long periods every day - cell phones. In fact given the range that these things are expected to work over the transmittter wouldn't need to be that powerful at all say 500mW or less.
Just when I say I've used "almost" everything.. I guess this would be the "almost..." I haven't, but have contacted the company and they are going to send me out some additonal information, and a demo unit. I will know more in a few weeks.
I've used simular products, but it's been a few years. There was a company manufacturing a headset which transmitted sound to the ear, without actually being inside. It was called "The Bone Phone". Worked great, not sure if the company survived. A quick Google search found that other companies have since aquired the name..
When I get them in, I'll have my crew give them a brisk test. The concept sounds interesting, thanks for pointing it out.
The Terminator I posted above also comes in a single ear piece version, which we actually like better. The single ear piece attaches to the throat mic, so you don't need to install the speakers into your helmet, or run any additional wire/s. Very clean. The down side of being smaller is that it only has a single transmitter, while the other version has two. The transmittion quality isn't greatly effected, and the smaller size makes up for this small downside.
Since I'm a Rookie to this sport, I haven't used any of these in freefall, but I would be interested in loaning out a set to someone to demo. If you jump out of Eloy, use a helmet, and have ton of jumps, let me know if you're interested in playing around with it one day. I would love the feedback.
(This post was edited by 360daysofsun on Feb 19, 2005, 11:44 AM)