Wireless microphone switch

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A bit of background first. Tugboat skipper operating two joysticks (port and
starboard propellers) communicates with the harbour pilot using VHF radio;
microphone with pushbutton to talk on a flexible rod mounted to the console.
This skipper is new and is finding it difficult to keep control of the tug
when he lets go of the starboard joystick to talk to the pilot.
The joysticks are a combo engine speed and azimuth thruster rotater. ie, the
propulsion systems are azimuth thrusters rotating through 360 degrees as do
the joystick/hand controllers.
I'm thinking or wondering, if it's possible to have a wireless battery
powered push button on the joystick so that the skipper can maintain control
of the propulsion and still talk easily to the pilot.
Appreciate it if any of you more electronically minded than me people have
any ideas.

TR.



Re: Wireless microphone switch
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  GOOGLE for a 'VOX' circuit (voice-operated relay) - this operates the
transmitter as soon as the microphone hears audio. The device will need
to be set up to avoid extraneous noises tripping the transmitter, and
the skipper will have to learn to avoid cursing...a 'disable' switch may
be handy.

I use such a system in my car but with a boom microphone for totally
'hands-free' operation and it works perfectly, but I must refrain from
cursing idiots on the highway.

The choice of microphone can deal with the extraneous noise problem
to a degree, a 'goose-neck' can be used for the skipper's microphone
to get the element near his mouth.

Re: Wireless microphone switch
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You can buy a mobile mic which could be strapped on one of the joysticks
and would be easy to control the transceiver. Try a ham radio dealer.
They are quite common in ham mobile radio installations. I can give you
a brand if necessary

Re: Wireless microphone switch

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Thanks Ken. The joystick is at waist level. Would the mic pick up voice from
the skipper without bending over close to it?

TR.



Re: Wireless microphone switch

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Thanks for the reply clanker. We had thought of 'VOX'. But difficult for the
skipper, engineer and the deckhand to have general conversation and friendly
critisism of the pilot while we're working.

TR.



Re: Wireless microphone switch

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There's most likely a good reason why you can't do this, but what about
simply attaching the button to one of the joysticks and connecting it to the
radio with a long and slack enough cable that movement isn't impeded?
Wireless may work fine, but things like radar pulses could be troublesome
and hard to eradicate.



Re: Wireless microphone switch

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Thanks for your suggestion Bruce. A wired button on the stick would be no
good as the stick is as I said rotatable. 360, 720 whatever degrees. However
many times the skipper wants to turn it around. A wire would get a bit
messy.
A sketch here of what we have and need.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v61/marbig/joystick.jpg

TR.



Re: Wireless microphone switch

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However

What about a simple foot switch then?

MrT.



Re: Wireless microphone switch
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I was about to suggest adding slip rings for the switch
but then realised it's a marine environment, and so gave that away.

but how about a switch wired to a loop of wire that runs parallel with
the perimeter of the rotating part and then outside and close to
that loop of wire you have another loop of wire that's connected to an
inductive proximity sensor circuit

push the button and the sensor sees the loop and ebnergises a relay that
closes the PTT circuit on the radio.

of-course if the whole thing's made of metal that's not going to work well.

Re: Wireless microphone switch
Sketch of what I'm talking about.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v61/marbig/joystick.jpg

TR.



Re: Wireless microphone switch
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How about a foot switch?

Keith

Re: Wireless microphone switch

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As a matter of fact there is a foot switch. But none of our skippers like
using it. They have to keep one foot in the same position all the time. and
when manouevering the tugs they like to be moving around about.

TR



Re: Wireless microphone switch
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A keyfob wireless 433MHz switch may work.
Something like Oatley's ones, and use the receiver module relay across the PTT
switch on the mic.

www.oatleyelectronics.com


Re: Wireless microphone switch

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Thanks swanny, looks like this maybe what might help. I'll look into it.

TR



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