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View Full Version : Helmet communications (Chatterbox)



fitzhugh
02-16-2008, 04:15 PM
As we all must have headsets to communicate with our instructors (or you guys to talk with your boneheaded students :redface:), who has installed the Chatterbox headset (two earpieces & microphone) into their helmet?

It seems that this approach would be preferable to jamming the student headset the (single earpiece / microphone your instructor lets you use) into your helmet every time. Yet, I’ve heard that the Velcro attachments for the installed earpieces don’t hold well, and that they are uncomfortable because the earpieces lack any padding. Any truth to this?

What are your experiences and preferences?

1996 328ti
02-16-2008, 09:27 PM
I have the chatterbox in my helmet.
It works fine, although the week link seems to be the plug of the headphones and jack of the chatterbox.

white911
02-16-2008, 09:52 PM
It seems that this approach would be preferable to jamming the student headset the (single earpiece / microphone your instructor lets you use) into your helmet every time. Yet, I’ve heard that the Velcro attachments for the installed earpieces don’t hold well, and that they are uncomfortable because the earpieces lack any padding. Any truth to this?

What are your experiences and preferences?

Unfortunately the weak link in this scenario is the jumper cable from the helmet without the com system box to the other helmet. This is called the instructor cord. The connector fails after only a few uses. I permanently mounted the headset and mike in my finaces helmet and it worked fine for a few events. I bought another cord for her and it probably made another 3 or 4 events before failing. I purchased another helmet system for her and that also performed poorly when used with the instructor cord. It worked great when plugged directly into the com system. I eventually cut off the cable and spliced in the instructor cord and this worked reliably; but had the down side of a whole bunch of extra cord attached to her helmet permanently.

Another problem is that the ear pieces go behind the padding which attenuates the sound. If you just remove them there is air space between the ear pieces and the ear which also degrades the sound quality. The student ear/mike in one piece works much better and is more reliable.

Despite all the problems with the Chatterbox, they are still vastly superior to the Nady.

fitzhugh
02-17-2008, 08:05 PM
Thanks. The fine folks at OG Racing also suggested the student one-piece headset was the better choice. I see the pattern here.

woodym3
02-18-2008, 10:02 AM
Adhesive for the Velcro absolutely will not stick to the lining of my Bell M2.

jhm5
02-19-2008, 12:47 PM
Chatterbox is probably better than the Nady things. Students probably would prefer having their own earpiece, even the one-ear student piece, to sharing an instructor's well-used shared student pieces. Be careful with the wires pulling them out of the helmet.
The two ear "instructor" set can be used with varying ease depending on the helmet. Basically you have to figure out what works with your head and helmet. In the old Bell M3, two small pad inserts could be removed, with the earpieces placed there instead. In the new M3, that isn't possible. I use just one of the two earpieces, tuck the other under some of the padding somewhere. It's not bad.
The plugs don't fit tight enough, but with some pliers you can make the round plug oblong - that helps.
No matter the brand, the communicators are a bit of trouble, but far preferable to SHOUTING.

Dave M
02-19-2008, 10:33 PM
I did a custom install of the chatterbox in my Bell helmet. I did not use the velcro but carved out a small location for the ear piece and the mic underneath the liner. I then hot-glued the stuff in place and replaced the liner material. Wasn't that difficult and I haven't had any problems with the connections. I do carry a couple of extra extension cables and I set the extension up so there is no tension on the connection itself.

fitzhugh
02-24-2008, 09:35 AM
Something I learned here… people are placing the earpiece behind the padding. I would have thought that the sound would be too muffled to hear well. But what I think I hear you saying is “No, the sound is fine”.

Jenson Button
02-26-2008, 08:29 AM
Often an instructor is running from one student to the next. Once in the student's car, there is barely time to hand them a communicator and belt up before it is time to go. If the student wants to use the wire to link the helmets, it is more time consuming. I have found that I need to let the student do the wiring while I turn my head so they can see the connectors on the chatter box. Usually by the end of the weekend, I find students are willing to just use the ear piece because it is easier and faster.