Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Mandalorian Armor => Equipment & Accessories => Electronics => Topic started by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 15, 2014, 12:41 AM

Title: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 15, 2014, 12:41 AM
My question is: What is the generally preferred model of voice amplifier? I know some people use Aker amps (particularly the MR1506 or MR1505), so would this be a solid choice worth my money?

Also, my second question is: Should I buy an amp from somewhere in the U.S., or should I order from a Hong Kong-based seller? I ask because out of all the listings on eBay, the amps from Hong Kong are far and away cheaper than the U.S.-based ones.

Opinions?
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Vix on Jul 15, 2014, 10:06 AM
Go with the ones from Hong Kong if you do not mind waiting. It's the exact same amp.

Also, I mounted the whole headset inside my helmet and bundled the cable in there too. Then I bought this coupler (http://www.amazon.com/CableWholesale-Stereo-Coupler-Female-30ST-STFF/dp/B000I963FE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1405432902&sr=8-3&keywords=3.5mm+connector) and an extra cable (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004G3UK5C/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1) so that the amp plugs into the headset inside the helmet. I did this because the headset kept moving around inside the helmet during troops and I had to constantly stop to readjust. Now the headset and mic are fixed, and I can take the helmet off with headset and not worry about the voicebox.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Vraeden on Jul 15, 2014, 10:54 AM
Mando Claus brought me an Aker 1505 for Christmas and it works like a champ.

I think Mrs. Vraeden bought it on Amazon for something like $65 with "free" shipping.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 15, 2014, 02:05 PM
Go with the ones from Hong Kong if you do not mind waiting. It's the exact same amp.

Also, I mounted the whole headset inside my helmet and bundled the cable in there too. Then I bought this coupler (http://www.amazon.com/CableWholesale-Stereo-Coupler-Female-30ST-STFF/dp/B000I963FE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1405432902&sr=8-3&keywords=3.5mm+connector) and an extra cable (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004G3UK5C/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1) so that the amp plugs into the headset inside the helmet. I did this because the headset kept moving around inside the helmet during troops and I had to constantly stop to readjust. Now the headset and mic are fixed, and I can take the helmet off with headset and not worry about the voicebox.

Sounds like I'll be placing my order tonight then. I know these amps are manufactured in Hong Kong, so Hong Kong it is :P

And that setup sounds awesome, I'll probably make an attempt at something like that when I get mine!

Mando Claus brought me an Aker 1505 for Christmas and it works like a champ.

I think Mrs. Vraeden bought it on Amazon for something like $65 with "free" shipping.

I found a seller that is $35 plus free shipping, but $65 isn't too bad for a U.S.-origin one.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Vix on Jul 17, 2014, 03:20 PM
If you look closely in this picture, you can see that I only used the mic part of the headset (I took off the metal head band) and hot glued it to the helmet. I hotglued a female end of a button above it. I then made a "band" out of elastic with the male end of a button on it and stuffed the excess cable and 3.5 mm female/female adapter into it.
(http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag42/thelegendofvix/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-07/42858449-C33F-40DD-9D6D-D28F0CF36E6E_zpssctn8idg.jpg)

Here it is all snapped in place. I now take a 3.5 mm male/male cable and plug one end into the voice box and one end into the adapter in the helmet and run everything under my flightsuit.
(http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag42/thelegendofvix/2014-07/7EA864B8-0C4C-4789-82E7-04263A664648_zpstmwn8qzk.jpg)
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 17, 2014, 03:25 PM
Mic setup looks good! I'll probably end up doing something like that with mine.

I ended up ordering an Aker MR1506 from a seller in the US for $42, and it should be here tomorrow or Saturday. :)
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Mandalore the Uniter on Jul 23, 2014, 09:11 AM
I cobbled together a bluetooth voice amp to save helmet space and cut down on electronically generated heat in the helmet.  It ran just under $100 to put together. 
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Mandalore the Uniter on Jul 23, 2014, 11:09 AM
For those of you interested in building your own stereo voice amp, here's what you'll need:

1) 20W stereo amp: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1752 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1752)

2) 9v battery clip w/ power nib: https://www.adafruit.com/products/80 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/80) (You may be able to scavenge for this, but finding one with a nib is difficult)

3) Amplified adjustable gain mic: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063)

4) 20mm button-cell battery holder: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1870 (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1870)  (If your into savaging for parts like me, you can de-solder one of these from an old PC motherboard to save $)

5) 20mm 3.5v battery (similar to what is used on computer motherboards.  If you have a volt meter, you may be able to re-use PC mobo batteries if enough voltage exists on the battery)

6) 4/8 ohm speakers (scavenge for these.)

7) *Optional* on/off switch. (You can scavenge for this as well)

8.) *Optional* Bluetooth receiver/transmitter.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQUNODQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQUNODQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) (Makes your voice amp wireless)

Wiring it up is pretty straight-forward, and instructions are available on the parts pages.  If you scavenge for the battery holder, speakers, and on/off switch then your looking at around $30 to build a powerful voice amp that will fit in just about every helmet.  You can also spend an additional $60 for a pair of bluetooth transmitters/receivers to build your own wireless bluetooth voice amp. :)     
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 23, 2014, 01:02 PM
For those of you interested in building your own stereo voice amp, here's what you'll need:

1) 20W stereo amp: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1752 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1752)

2) 9v battery clip w/ power nib: https://www.adafruit.com/products/80 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/80) (You may be able to scavenge for this, but finding one with a nib is difficult)

3) Amplified adjustable gain mic: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063)

4) 20mm button-cell battery holder: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1870 (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1870)  (If your into savaging for parts like me, you can de-solder one of these from an old PC motherboard to save $)

5) 20mm 3.5v battery (similar to what is used on computer motherboards.  If you have a volt meter, you may be able to re-use PC mobo batteries if enough voltage exists on the battery)

6) 4/8 ohm speakers (scavenge for these.)

7) *Optional* on/off switch. (You can scavenge for this as well)

8.) *Optional* Bluetooth receiver/transmitter.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQUNODQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQUNODQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) (Makes your voice amp wireless)

Wiring it up is pretty straight-forward, and instructions are available on the parts pages.  If you scavenge for the battery holder, speakers, and on/off switch then your looking at around $30 to build a powerful voice amp that will fit in just about every helmet.  You can also spend an additional $60 for a pair of bluetooth transmitters/receivers to build your own wireless bluetooth voice amp. :)   

Wow, thank you for the detailed writeup! I might just put one of these together, as I have the majority of the difficult-to-find parts sitting around. :D
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Vix on Jul 23, 2014, 02:03 PM
Wow, thank you for the detailed writeup! I might just put one of these together, as I have the majority of the difficult-to-find parts sitting around. :D

Mandalore 1, Vix 0

Lol
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Welkin on Jul 23, 2014, 04:45 PM
Makes me upset that I just junked some computers (in the middle of a move, didn't want to transfer junk from old to new)!!!

Time to see if I have any of the other stuff to scavenge.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Kuu on Jul 24, 2014, 04:47 AM
Regarding the Hong Kong amp, wouldn't the savings be offset by the need to get a 110v compatible power supply to recharge it?
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 24, 2014, 12:46 PM
Regarding the Hong Kong amp, wouldn't the savings be offset by the need to get a 110v compatible power supply to recharge it?

It would, except the amp from Hong Kong was a made-for-US model. I ended up ordering one factory direct from a warehouse here in th states and it saved me more than $25.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Kuu on Jul 24, 2014, 01:50 PM
Right on! Got a link?  ;D
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Jul 24, 2014, 02:27 PM
Right on! Got a link?  ;D

Here's a link to the MR1505 I bought. http://www.ebay.com/itm/180915814278?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/180915814278?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649)
It came in really fast, and works amazingly. It's the same model you can find on Amazon or Voicebooster's website, except with international packaging and a US charging adapter.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Mandalore the Uniter on Sep 03, 2014, 10:32 AM
After using the bluetooth voice amp this past weekend, I have decided that it's not a good replacement for wired voice amps.  The very short delay because of wireless transmission creates a weird echo, and makes vocalization very difficult to understand.  With that said, I'll be putting my voice amp back in the helmet. :)

On a good side, at least I prototyped it for you guys...so you don't have to spend the money to find out it doesn't work well.  I'll be re-purposing my BT transceivers for another project. 
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Sep 03, 2014, 11:25 AM
After using the bluetooth voice amp this past weekend, I have decided that it's not a good replacement for wired voice amps.  The very short delay because of wireless transmission creates a weird echo, and makes vocalization very difficult to understand.  With that said, I'll be putting my voice amp back in the helmet. :)

On a good side, at least I prototyped it for you guys...so you don't have to spend the money to find out it doesn't work well.  I'll be re-purposing my BT transceivers for another project.

Thanks for coming back to let us know how it performed!
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Dresdon Acacin on Sep 03, 2014, 11:30 AM
I use a 10W MR1506 all in my helmet-I guess the trick to it is avoiding feeback, I lined my cheeks with EVA and hot glue to reduce feedback.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Thoranios Xast'or on Sep 03, 2014, 11:41 AM
I use a 10W MR1506 all in my helmet-I guess the trick to it is avoiding feeback, I lined my cheeks with EVA and hot glue to reduce feedback.

You can fit a 1506 unit IN your bucket? I must just have a huge head, because I barely have room for the two battery boxes I have in there right now.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Mandalore the Uniter on Sep 03, 2014, 01:50 PM
I use a 10W MR1506 all in my helmet-I guess the trick to it is avoiding feeback, I lined my cheeks with EVA and hot glue to reduce feedback.

I use a 20W class-D stereo amp: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1752 (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1752) with an adjustable gain mic https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063).  The only real feedback I'm getting is because the mic isn't properly noise-shielded, but that will be rectified when I pull out the bluetooth transceiver.  There's no way I line my helmet with anything that serves as heat insulation, that would only screw up my air conditioning system...which works like a champ. :) 
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Dresdon Acacin on Sep 03, 2014, 02:51 PM
Ive gota get a shielded mic...AND SPEAKING  OF AIR CONDITIONING.....pm inbound I made  a discovery
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Reneth Justalari on Sep 03, 2014, 03:56 PM
I use a 20W class-D stereo amp: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1752 (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1752) with an adjustable gain mic https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1063).  The only real feedback I'm getting is because the mic isn't properly noise-shielded, but that will be rectified when I pull out the bluetooth transceiver.  There's no way I line my helmet with anything that serves as heat insulation, that would only screw up my air conditioning system...which works like a champ. :)

Mandalore is my number 1 resource for anything Adafruit has to offer :P Cheers for the links. I may look into that option.
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Mandalore the Uniter on Sep 22, 2014, 03:26 PM
This weekend I was able to finish up and install the new 20W voice-amp upgrade.  Below is a picture of the amp in the 3D printed enclosure.

(https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/983814_731687946902198_8465778968960368411_n.jpg?oh=a33e6a9817907c941fbbb030de9c2669&oe=54BEFDCD)

It's roughly 2/3 the size of my previous in-helmet voice amp.  Audio input is plugged in the bottom, 9v plugged into the right side, speakers plugged in the top.  I ran the volume potentiometer to the front of my helmet via remote line, so I can adjust the volume with the helmet on now.  That's a big improvement over having to adjust volume with the helmet on. ;)
Title: Re: Choice of Voice Amp?
Post by: Reneth Justalari on Sep 22, 2014, 07:52 PM
Very awesome Mandalore, I'd love to get my hands on one of those! That enclosure turned out really nice from the printer. Someday I'll get one of those haha!