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 Post subject: Intercom system
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Location: West Canaveral Groves - Cocoa, Fl
I was out looking for an VOX intercom system for the boat... On a tight budget.

Here's a quick review of what I purchased. It's not in the piratecom league for performance, but also doesn't come with the piratecom price either!

Basically it's a Pilot Avionics/AVCOM knock off (read that as made in China). 2 year warranty, 12 volt. About $90 on ebay.
VOX and manual squelch.

Also purchased 2 headsets with noise canceling mics. About $75 each on ebay. URL with the specs at http://www.worldwideproductinc.com. Can't purchase directly, at least I don't think so. If someone wants the seller's id on ebay, PM me.

Today the wife and I tried it out. Vox worked great. The only complaint, well not really a complaint, is that the squelch is manually adjusted. So, if you set the unit at cruise and nail it, it breaks squelch. I can live with that. The headsets I purchased are only 21db noise reduction. After I ordered I noticed they have sets which which are in 28-31db range.

Here's a pic of the intercom and headset.


Dan


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Head Set.JPG
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Avix Box.JPG
Avix Box.JPG [ 50.41 KiB | Viewed 1788 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Location: Palm Bay, Fl
Price is great !

Did the intercom come with a schematic diagram?

I have tried to design a cost effective intercom and so far I cant come close to building one for what "I" think they are worth. Would love to see their schematic and see how they did it.

Is it battery powered or does it get power from the boat?

Looks sweet

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Nice man.. I have the avcom original stuff and have put it all on my boat with the rerig I just did. Havent got to try it but hopefully it is as good as yours... I can live with the squelch thing..

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:45 am 
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Location: West Canaveral Groves - Cocoa, Fl
Whitebear,

No schematics. :( I could take some pictures of the circuit board when I take it apart to remove the 2 cables that would go to the transmitter. It doesn't look like there's a lot of components in the circuit. Did a quick glace at the bottom of the circuit board, looks like 2 or 3 ICs. Most likely op amps. I'll tear it apart tonight if I get time.

Powered by either 2 9 volt batteries or off the boat's 12 volt. I only used the 12 v.

BTW, if you check ebay from time to time you can find the AVCOM units for $20-$40 used.


Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:53 am 
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Location: Loxahatchee, Fl.
Sounds like a good deal, I just recently found a steal on ebay for Piratecom equipment and ran it yesterday for the first time. I don't have any experience with any of it, but the Extreme system we ran yesterday was nothing short of awesome. The Piratecom rep Trevor Luce has been very accomadating with technical support even though the system was used and I did not buy it from him. (support like that is becoming a very uncommon) My family and I could not be happier with our Piratecom.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:57 pm 
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scorbin wrote:
Whitebear,

No schematics. :( I could take some pictures of the circuit board when I take it apart to remove the 2 cables that would go to the transmitter. It doesn't look like there's a lot of components in the circuit. Did a quick glace at the bottom of the circuit board, looks like 2 or 3 ICs. Most likely op amps. I'll tear it apart tonight if I get time.

Powered by either 2 9 volt batteries or off the boat's 12 volt. I only used the 12 v.

BTW, if you check ebay from time to time you can find the AVCOM units for $20-$40 used.


Dan


Thanks man, I would love to see the pictures. I had used nearly a dozen op amps (741s I believe) in various configurations and quite a few pots for setting levels. The thing was getting expensive, but was going to be expandable to 8 in/outs. I'm intrigued by this one now. I'll keep an eye on Ebay for a used one. Hell I would nearly pay that much just to know what chips they used. LOL :)

Scotty

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:09 am 
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Whitebear,

Bad news... This thing has alot more components in it than I thought. See crappy (cellphone) photo below. About 10 diodes, 30 resistors, caps etc. 2 op amps (Dumba$$ me forgot to write the numbers down before closing it up). The 2 pots are very high quality. To be honest, I think after you bought all the parts (connectors & electronics) you would have $30-40 invested.

In any case, I emailed the company asking for a schematic. Don't hold out much hope, but what the heck.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:14 pm 
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Thanks man, TI just introduced some low distortion very quiet OP Amps. Guess I'll go see how much they are. Looks like they broke each channel out with resistive dividers and diode isolation. Cheep but it works. Don't have to use so many op amps that way. That's a lot smaller than I was coming up with. Looks clean and neat as well.

If your into this stuff, check here:
http://www.electropages.com/viewArticle ... icle=13861

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"The Constitution is not so the government can restrain the people, it is so the people can restrain the government." Patrick Henry
The government cannot give anything --
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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Location: West Canaveral Groves - Cocoa, Fl
I had to take it back apart to plug up the holes from the cables I removed:

LM389 - Low-Voltage Audio Power Amplifier with NPN Transistor Array
LM386 - Low Voltage Audio Power Amplifier


Whitebear, I'm a 1's and 0's kind of guy. Analog never was my cup of tea. :)

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Thanks Dan, Ill check them out when I get back to the intercom project.

Seems like I have always had to dance back and forth between digital and analog. The surge of being a Jack instead of the Master.

Scotty

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"The Constitution is not so the government can restrain the people, it is so the people can restrain the government." Patrick Henry
The government cannot give anything --
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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Be carefule if you switch the op amps from TI to another brand, the grounding changes from chip to chip.

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Scorbin... What all did you have to do to the unit to get it usable... This is the exact unit I chose for my boat... Did not know I had to open it up and cut wires... How difficult is it and is it worth it. Before I spend the money on the box and 4 headsets........

Thanks for the reply...................

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:10 am 
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I have been using an intercom that came from small aviation stuff for several years and love it. Everyone that rides with me loves the idea of being able to talk while we ride. I like it becaure is adds safety to boat. I can direct riders what not to do as we ride along.

I did learn some lessons in getting started using this gear. Most any of the intercoms seem to work pretty good. The real deal is in the sound canceling mic's on the headsets. No amount of foam will help when you turn you head towards the rear. I keep mine in one of those orange water tight boxes. I am building a new boat now and thinking of putting the intercom into the console and having ports to plug into. Im just not sure if the jacks will hold up to the weather. I am also working on patching in the radio to the intercom so I can talk to my buddy as we ride in two boats. Most all of the parts I got came from Ebay also. I did find a good headset that comes for an ebay store.

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:47 pm 
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[quote="Southern Style"]Scorbin... What all did you have to do to the unit to get it usable... This is the exact unit I chose for my boat... Did not know I had to open it up and cut wires... How difficult is it and is it worth it. Before I spend the money on the box and 4 headsets........

Thanks for the reply...................[/quote]


You don't have to cut the wires. I removed the 2 cables that would normally go to the aircraft transmitter, just to make it neat. All I did was connect the cigarette adapter to my boat, plugged the headsets in, turned it on, adjusted the volume and squench. The wife and I use it everytime we take the boat out. Let me know if you need any more info.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:56 pm 
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Just thought of something... For the "pilot" and "co-pilot" connections, make sure you plug the the microphone jack (the smaller of the 2 on the head set) into the bottom socket. So:
Top socket is the head phone jack connector, the middle connector is the PUSH-TO-TALK connector (not used) and the bottom connector is the mike jack. Left side is the "pilot" connections, right the "co-pilot".

Hope this helps.
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:06 am 
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Gotcha... May give you a PM in about a week when they come in.. Might have some specific questions for you. You sound knowledgable in the wireing/diode/capasitor/thingie majigie bobbie things.......

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Pieced this system together. Only time I used it was in the back yard on the trailer. :lol:
I might actually use it one day.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Location: West Canaveral Groves - Cocoa, Fl
I would not go back to not having an intercom system. However, from time to time it gets a tad bit old hearing, "Look at that one (yet another gator)" or "did you see that? (something else that moved) coming from my wife. :)

I'm about to order 2 more headsets for passengers to use.

Dan


Last edited by scorbin on Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Intercom system
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:56 am 
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That is the ticket scorbin.... That is what I am ordering for the new boat.... Thanks and keep us posted....

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