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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Bluetooth and VHF radio
|Author||Topic: Bluetooth and VHF radio|
posted 04-06-2009 05:00 PM ET (US)
I need to be able to hear my VHF radio in an open boat at 30 + MPH. I am looking for a way to pair a bluetooth headset with a VHF radio with "speaker out" wires. There are many USB transmitters, but I can't find bluetooth transmitters with a 2 wire input. Anybody have any ideas?
posted 04-06-2009 05:45 PM ET (US)
If you just want to have your radio's audio sent to a wireless headset, just look for a wireless headset, not necessarily Bluetooth. You can get some designed to plug into a computer, so the audio can be sent to them via the usual 1/8-inch stereo phone plug. The problem with this approach is finding a base unit for the headset that runs off 12-volts DC.
It might be simpler to get a VHF Marine Band radio that has a built-in Bluetooth interface. That way you will get both receive audio and transmit audio. Usually the Bluetooth devices expect to connect to a device which had the Bluetooth communication built into it, so there are not external inputs for audio input or output.
posted 04-06-2009 05:48 PM ET (US)
Here's a wireless headset:
posted 04-06-2009 06:27 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the reply Jim. I was really looking for the ability to hear both the radio and all the ambient sounds that a single ear bluetooth earpiece would provide, as well as the light weight. Voice transmission is not an issue as I will just slow down and reply via the microphone. I have read that some manufactures are offering handheld VHF's with bluetooth capability, however I am looking for a method to retrofit my existing DSC VHF radio.
posted 04-06-2009 06:30 PM ET (US)
Here is a Bluetooth transceiver with inputs and outputs. This could be converted for your application:
I linked to a vendor because I couldn't find much on the manufacturer's website. Again, the problem here will be powering the base unit.
posted 04-06-2009 07:45 PM ET (US)
At first look this seems just what I was looking for, however, take a look at this review. It seems there is a problem [in establishing a Bluetooth pairing to other devices that lack a] keyboard [which is needed to enter the passkey for Bluetooth pairing]. Why this is a problem with a hard wired input I am not sure. What do you think?
posted 04-07-2009 12:00 AM ET (US)
I am not endorsing the Motorola device as I don't have any experience with it. Motorola is usually a reliable manufacturer. It also appears to be the only Bluetooth transceiver base unit of its kind. After reading that review, it appears that using the Motorola Bluetooth transceiver might be problematic with some other Bluetooth devices which can't pair well with it.
As I suggested in my initial response, if you really want to integrate your VHF marine radio with a Bluetooth headset, it is probably easiest to get a VHF radio that already has a Bluetooth interface.
posted 04-07-2009 10:35 AM ET (US)
How about a remote speaker on the console rail? I hose clamped
a little 2" (if it's even that big) West Marine speaker to
the top of the console rail. I have no problem hearing it
Also, do be sure that bluetooth base unit is compatible with
posted 04-07-2009 01:03 PM ET (US)
Some of us don't require any headset for the sounds of silence out on big blue.
Turn off the non-safety related crapola technology and you'd be amazed at what you don't hear.
posted 04-08-2009 08:19 AM ET (US)
SONY makes a Bluetooth transceiver unit:
posted 04-12-2009 11:33 PM ET (US)
I use Standard Horizon's powered external speaker mounted on my helm box for listening to radio trnsmissions at speed. The main radio is mounted in the cabin. The speaker is quite loud and clear-toned. I also found that the SH RAM mic has a speaker which is very loud as well. Both can be heard over all ambient noise on my boat. This might be the solution to yet another ancillary device.
posted 04-13-2009 08:00 PM ET (US)
Another approach is to carry a portable VHF marine radio on your hip, with an external speaker/microphone clipped to your collar. Police officers and firefighters operate in high noise environments this way.
posted 04-13-2009 08:30 PM ET (US)
This particular discussion is focused on finding a solution to the problem of hearing a radio receiver's audio over ambient noise on a boat moving at high speed that involves listening to the radio audio on a Bluetooth headset. I am sure the advice to find other ways to listen to a radio is well intentioned, but it is really not of much help in solving the problem of connecting an existing radio to a Bluetooth transceiver so that its audio can be received on a Bluetooth headset.
posted 04-13-2009 08:54 PM ET (US)
But the discussion of alternatives demonstrates that you don't
need a bunch of (relatively) expensive, non-marine-grade,
bluetooth HW to accomplish the task at hand.
Anybody seen a bluetooth headset rated JIS-7?
posted 04-23-2009 10:41 AM ET (US)
I could only find one VHF radio with bluetooth capability, and it was a handheld.
I have been wondering myself about a one-ear bluetooth (or other wireless) headset that would allow me to listen to the radio quietly on my 36' trawler so that my guests and companions can chat, listen to music, and generally enjoy themselves, while I monitor VTS and Channel 16.
posted 04-23-2009 01:22 PM ET (US)
Standard-Horizon has the model GX5000S which is compatible with their BU-1 Bluetooth unit, BH-2 headset and CAB-2 charger, creating a Bluetooth option for a fixed mount radio.
You can also get the Bluetooth option on the GX5500S radio, an even more feature-packed model.
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