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 What microphone to use?

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
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PostSubject: What microphone to use?   What microphone to use? Icon_minitimeThu Feb 17, 2022 11:12 am

Hi All,

I hope you're keeping well and most of all enjoying your radio. What microphone to use? 1f44d 


I was in conversation on air with a good old Ham friend of mine recently, (got a 2m antenna up again now!), and he noted that my audio always sounds good no matter what band or mode we've conversed on. I explained that everyone of my radios are hooked up to the standard manufacturer handheld or 'fist' microphone with nothing else fancy. This led us on to a maybe comedic view of things we've heard whilst on air.....


Television - Nothing more annoying than struggling in a QSO with such 'background' noise.

Dog passing wind - The funniest of all, normally apparently emanating from an otherwise silent dog.

XYL noises - "You on that radio again?!", washing up noises, vacuum cleaning, etc.

Children - The wonderful sound of children's antics in the background whilst you're on air.

Echo - whether intentionally added or not but sounding like you're in a bathroom with awful reverberation.

Microphone 'pop' - Every plosive sound and syllable, P's, B's, T's, etc. crashing through.

Breathing - We've all got to breathe sure enough but not amplified more than your voice(!)

Probably the worst mentioned was having a coughing fit whilst on air with every splutter, gargle, bits of phlegm hitting the mic and generally sounding like your lungs will pop through the radio speaker at any moment! (For God's sake, de-key that PTT for a moment until after the event even if you lose your place in a net!)

(Before anyone jumps on the 'sexist' bandwagon regards XYL's I will admit my wife does more household chores than I but only because she has one more working leg than I do! Very Happy )


I've never experienced any of these 'noise' issues, luckily having the spare room for my radios but more than likely because I'm only using a standard handheld mic. I'm pretty sure that the fashion for hooking up boom mic's or otherwise expensive microphone setups to transceivers has a lot to do with it.

Now, now, before some of you get your knickers in a twist about your expensive microphone setups this is a general observation.

If you've managed to get an elaborate microphone set up without any of these issues then very well done. But it might be worth asking for 'honest' audio reports or better still recording yourself on the many webSDR services that facilitate such functions to reliably check that is the case.....

It might just save on that 'embarrassing' dog fart moment. Wink


I'm not the only one to have such views on microphone setups that pick up every other sound going on outside of your vocal audio for transmission. My old Ham friend agrees but there's also a very good write up by VU2NSB on his website :-

https://vu2nsb.com/radio-systems/amateur-radio-station-ham-shack/radio-communication-microphones/


It's given me enough incentive to keep with my 'standard' mics but also take another look at headset setups, my wife having such a 'spare' unit after her work with the NHS Test & Trace service. Handy, because it won't cost me a penny. What microphone to use? 1f44d 


Anyway, give us your views and please, please, (I'll say that again), please keep it civil.

A difference of opinion is one thing but there is never an excuse to be nasty about things. Remember the forum rules and be respectful to each other. 

Look forward to hearing from you.


All the best,
Victor
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NoMad
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Equipment Used : CRT SS6900N, RTL-SDR Blog V3, Baofeng UV5R-3.

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PostSubject: Re: What microphone to use?   What microphone to use? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 22, 2022 5:38 pm

Ok, so Victor has started this post related to Microphones, and with many buying Power Mic's to boost performance, here is something you might want to try first as it will [at least on the ss6900 and other radios akin] boost your audio by 50% [made up figure] , but it will improve audio.
 You have probably removed the Foam from the mic, but have you thought about opening up the very small holes on the mic cartridge itself ?
   No, I didn't think so, but why not, it's much cheaper than buying a new mic.  
Use a 3.5 / 4mm drill bit and BY HAND, for goodness sake don't use that power drill as you'll end up going straight through the diaphram and out the other side, then you will have a reason to buy a new mic, and gently enlarge the holes.  
                  Pic shows new larger holes and a standard small one for reference.
You're welcome. What microphone to use? Img_2015

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
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PostSubject: Re: What microphone to use?   What microphone to use? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 22, 2022 6:47 pm

Hi Andy,

It seems commonplace nowadays to remove baffling and enlarge piping holes on many microphone systems, I suppose as it's fairly easy to do. With everything from stock mics, to handheld transceivers and I've even seen people drilling holes into their mobile phones too! Shocked

If it's works for your situation then who am I to argue, (especially as it is so commonplace), but worth bearing in mind some of the audio engineered design principles.

The world leading microphone element manufacturer Knowles has some good publicly available papers on the subject one such example at the following link :-

Knowles - Effects of Sound Inlet Variations

It's also worth knowing that removing audio baffling, (the foam), not only increases the volume response but increases susceptibility to 'pop' and also wind noise. Similarly increasing the piping holes diameter has an equal effect and in some extreme circumstances can produce wind piping oscillation. (Think of blowing across the top of an empty bottle.)

But I suppose it all comes down to how you're using the microphone and perceived effect remembering that we usually transmit 'blind' not hearing our own transmissions. Some talk 'across' the mic, (I've even seen reviews where they do this - God knows why as I usually talk 'into' the mic?!?), and others move their head around whilst talking but keep the mic in one place with that 'coming and going' audio effect. Wink

Drilling holes in Baofengs is a common 'mod' with the inevitable wind rush sound should they feign to use it outdoors.

But then again I removed the audio filtering circuitry from my Leixen VV-898 to make it more practical for home base use.......which has probably completely ruined it for mobile use!


Power mic's etc. never did make much sense to me but then I hear much wide banded FM transmissions even on the Ham repeater systems. Wink

If it keeps you happy then all's good. What microphone to use? 1f44d 

....and if it all goes wrong you just don't tell anybody. Very Happy



All the best,
Victor

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NoMad
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NoMad


Call Sign : 26-CT-4253
Posts : 61
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Join date : 2021-09-15
QTH or Location : Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Equipment Used : CRT SS6900N, RTL-SDR Blog V3, Baofeng UV5R-3.

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PostSubject: Re: What microphone to use?   What microphone to use? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 22, 2022 7:14 pm

Victor,

After my 'mod' , if I recieve bad reports of the 'popping' effect, I can always put the foam back in front of the mic to soften the audio.

I shall see how it goes. 
Interesting link and info as always.

73's

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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
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Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.
Age : 149

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PostSubject: Re: What microphone to use?   What microphone to use? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 22, 2022 8:56 pm

I was just going to suggest putting the foam back in after making the holes bigger.

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