22 Mar

The Hytera Radios are starting to take some of the digital market from Motorola, what makes them so good?

The PD782, PD785 and PD702 Hytera radios are affordable, as well as being easy to use and providing high quality audio. This is a good combination when it comes to two-way radios, a technology that, by definition, needs to be durable, easily replaceable and effortlessly useable in case of emergency.

The parent company, Hytera, have been operating since 1993 and in that time they have developed a strong reputation as an industry leader. In short, they are in the process of cultivating a trusted international brand. Hytera are an emerging brand with a considerable track record for producing quality technology at premium prices.

Another likely source of Hytera’s recent success is the effectiveness of the Hytera earpiece. The Hytera multi-pin earpiece is designed for use with the PD702 and PD782 radio models. It features excellent playback, as well as being solid and durable. This Hytera earpiece is available for around £25.00 and is a professional level model, proving highly effective for many modern surveillance exercises.

Returning to the two-way radio discussion, Hytera radios include a number of advanced features, including a robust design, as well as a full colour LCD display, something that is a rarity in today’s market. There are also a high number of messaging options.

The PD785 is IP57 rated. This means that it can even be completely submerged for up to 30 minutes without obtaining any significant damage. It can also switch between analogue and digital mode and features full digital encryption.

Hytera have received a boost in sales because they have created a series of products that are up-to-date, hardwearing and professional. Two-way radios need to be reliable as a matter of fact, which is why these products are selling so well.

15 Mar

Natural History Museum Replaces Dippy Dinosaur With Blue Whale Skeleton

Directors of the Natural History Museum in London have announced that ‘Dippy’ – the famous diplodocus skeleton that greets visitors in the museum’s iconic Hintze Hall – will be replaced by the skeleton of a blue whale by 2017.

The idea is to better convey a more modern feel to the museum, one that reflects the cutting-edge science being conducted by the institution.

“Everyone loves ‘Dippy’, but it’s just a copy,” NHM director Sir Michael Dixon told BBC News, “what makes this museum special is that we have real objects from the natural world – over 80 million of them – and they enable our scientists and thousands like them from around the world to do real research.”

At present, the 25m-long blue whale is hanging –in a flat position- in the ‘mammals’ gallery and is accompanied by a life size reconstruction of the animal.

The skeleton was acquired by the museum in 1891 and it originally cost curators £250. The massive animal was beached at Wexford in Southeast Ireland and its remains were immaculately processed and preserved. To date, it is one of the biggest – and best-preserved – whale skeletons in the world.

Over the coming two years, the entire skeleton will be taken down and each individual bone will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully catalogued before it is re-structured and placed in a dramatic new pose, ready to better symbolize the new science of the 21st century.

The massive remains will be placed in a graceful diving posture designed to impress visitors to the hall.

By virtue of being the largest animal to ever exist on our planet, the blue whale skeleton will likely present an even more impressive sight to behold than Dippy presently does. Its presence could also help to raise awareness for whale conservation and preservation of our natural heritage in general.

The conservation aspect of this move is an especially relevant point, as it was NHM scientists that first demonstrated that hunting of the blue whales needed to be stopped in the first place.

This move, whilst surprising, is not without precedent. In the past, the Hintze Hall has also featured a complete sperm whale skeleton as its main attraction, as well as carefully preserved African elephants – and other displays as well.

So where will Dippy be going once his replacement arrives? At present, there is talk about taking the iconic dinosaur on tour in order to bring the Natural History Museum to the people, by housing him in regional museums throughout the UK.

Before that happens though, he will likely still have pride of place in a dinosaur-themed exhibit elsewhere in the museum, so we’ll still be able to stop by and say “hi”..

15 Mar

Natural History Museum Replaces Dippy Dinosaur With Blue Whale Skeleton

Directors of the Natural History Museum in London have announced that ‘Dippy’ – the famous diplodocus skeleton that greets visitors in the museum’s iconic Hintze Hall – will be replaced by the skeleton of a blue whale by 2017.

The idea is to better convey a more modern feel to the museum, one that reflects the cutting-edge science being conducted by the institution.

“Everyone loves ‘Dippy’, but it’s just a copy,” NHM director Sir Michael Dixon told BBC News, “what makes this museum special is that we have real objects from the natural world – over 80 million of them – and they enable our scientists and thousands like them from around the world to do real research.”

At present, the 25m-long blue whale is hanging –in a flat position- in the ‘mammals’ gallery and is accompanied by a life size reconstruction of the animal.

The skeleton was acquired by the museum in 1891 and it originally cost curators £250. The massive animal was beached at Wexford in Southeast Ireland and its remains were immaculately processed and preserved. To date, it is one of the biggest – and best-preserved – whale skeletons in the world.

Over the coming two years, the entire skeleton will be taken down and each individual bone will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully catalogued before it is re-structured and placed in a dramatic new pose, ready to better symbolize the new science of the 21st century.

The massive remains will be placed in a graceful diving posture designed to impress visitors to the hall.

By virtue of being the largest animal to ever exist on our planet, the blue whale skeleton will likely present an even more impressive sight to behold than Dippy presently does. Its presence could also help to raise awareness for whale conservation and preservation of our natural heritage in general.

The conservation aspect of this move is an especially relevant point, as it was NHM scientists that first demonstrated that hunting of the blue whales needed to be stopped in the first place.

This move, whilst surprising, is not without precedent. In the past, the Hintze Hall has also featured a complete sperm whale skeleton as its main attraction, as well as carefully preserved African elephants – and other displays as well.

So where will Dippy be going once his replacement arrives? At present, there is talk about taking the iconic dinosaur on tour in order to bring the Natural History Museum to the people, by housing him in regional museums throughout the UK.

Before that happens though, he will likely still have pride of place in a dinosaur-themed exhibit elsewhere in the museum, so we’ll still be able to stop by and say “hi”..

15 Mar

New Sighting Suggests That Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Yet Live

The Thylacine, an odd, chimera-esque carnivore native to Tasmania, was officially declared extinct in 1986. By that time, no one had seen a live one in 40 years, so it seemed reasonable enough to conclude that a virulent, century-long concoction of wholly barbarous (yet officially sanctioned) hunting methods, disease, deforestation and competition from other predators had wiped the creature from the face of the earth.

However, that may not actually be the case, as recent sightings, including one reported in January of this year, seem to attest.

So convincing are such regular sightings to scientists, cryptozoologists and other interested parties, that a new expedition was launched at around the same time, with the hope of finally capturing proof of the animals long-rumoured survival.

An elusive predator last seen alive in the mid 1930’s, the thylacine, colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of conservationists, explorers, cryptozoologists and, just possibly, a handful of lucky eyewitnesses, for three successive generations.

Dog-like in both size and form, but with an oddly angular head, an enormous gape and chocolate brown stripes running across its tail and back, the thylacine was Tasmania’s apex predator. It was the marsupial equivalent of a wolf, or wild dog (an example of what biologists call convergent evolution) and it existed in Australia and Tasmania for around 23 million years.

The last officially recognised wild Thylacine was shot and killed by a farmer named Wilf Batty in 1930. Six years later, Benjamin, the last captive specimen kept in Hobart zoo, died from a cruel combination of neglect and exposure.

Derided as a pest and a sheep stealer, the extermination of these beautiful, shy and enigmatic twilight hunters was seen, at the time, as a positive step towards the taming of the Tasmanian wilderness.

However, by the time the creature’s numbers had almost completely diminished (if not actually expired entirely), it had become the first poster-child for conservation, an idea practically unheard of before the early 20th century. The Tasmanian tiger was even among was the first animals to be classified as an endangered species.

Concordantly, there is a suggestion that a collection of individuals were shipped over to the Australian mainland and secretly released into the wild there, as an act of conservation.

However, despite the aforementioned declaration of the thylacine’s extinction, evidence occasionally comes to light which suggests that rumours of the Tasmanian tiger’s death may be somewhat exaggerated.

In South Australia, 1973, a very compelling piece of footage was taken on 8mm film stock. The footage appears to show a thylacine running across a rural campsite. The gait and running style are entirely unlike a dog or dingo’s and the animal’s lithe, slender form and bony, tapering tail, potentially offer us a tantalising glimpse of a creature that just may have survived extinction.

In 1985, yet more photographic evidence was offered, this time by Australian Aboriginal tracker Kevin Cameron, who photographed what appears to be a thylacine digging in the ground behind a rock.

In 1982, Parks and Wildlife Service researcher Hans Naarding was gifted with an opportunity to observe a thylacine up close for several minutes, even going as far as to count the stripes across its back (12, in case you wondered). A similar account, also filed by a Parks and Wildlife Service employee, emerged in 1995.

Eyewitness accounts of the creature are both numerous and, for the most part, highly consistent. Although some reports are obviously mistaken accounts of dogs afflicted with mange, or even foxes, others still are surprisingly credible.

The most recent sighting of this incredibly rare creature occurred in January of 2014. It was reported to the Thylacine Research Unit (T.R.U), via the organization’s official website.

The eyewitness, named as Jeremy by the site, revealed that he had seen a 40-50CM tall creature that was about the same length as a small dog (defined as 1metre), whilst out walking in the Landsborough area of Queensland, Australia, not far from the Dularcha National Park. According to Jeremy, the creature had light, sandy coloured skin and faint stripes across its back and tail.

Jeremy says, “As I watched it from the side angle, I saw its head appear and thought, oh its a wallaby, but as it emerged I saw it was on four legs, so thought it was a wild dog. But as it went away into the next thick bush, I noticed light coloured stripes at the rear near its tail”.

Once the animal had retreated into a more heavily forested area, Jeremy decided to “let it be” and tell his friends about what he’d witnessed. Apparently, Jeremy’s girlfriend later revealed that she had also seen the creature in the area.

Emphatic that neither of them had seen a dog, or a dingo, Jeremy searched exhaustively online for any kind of striped, dog-like marsupial, but came up empty handed. There was only one logical conclusion.

Proponents of the thylacine’s continued survival often argue that sightings are increasing because the animal’s population may be enjoying a recovery. It has been estimated that if a breeding population of tigers did survive the 1930’s extinction, that it would take them a reasonably long time to return to sufficient numbers. If that is indeed the case, then 70+ years ought to do nicely.

Hopefully, it should now start to get easier to spot, and conclusively document, a living, breathing 21st century thylacine.

15 Mar

Martian Homes Could Be Built In Just 24 Hours

By the end of this century, it seems highly likely that people will be living on Mars. It sounds utterly mad, until you consider that there were only 66 years between the first powered and sustained Human flight and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon…

However, a major problem with this idea (aside from the fact that no Human being has ever actually set foot on the red planet) is the difficulty posed by building habitation in such a hostile and extremely remote environment.

At the moment, even landing an unmanned rover on Mars represents a major scientific achievement, which makes Elon Musk’s plans to build a city there seem especially far fetched and ambitious.

Besides, at current costs, taking one kilogram of material to the moon costs between £61,000 and £122,000. That’s a lot of money, even for bare essentials like building materials and water reserves.

Now, however, one man thinks he may have the answer…

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is working on a groundbreaking new method of building that, if applied to lunar or Martian colonisation, could bring us all that much closer to seeing cities on Mars or the moon in our lifetimes.

Essentially, Dr. Khoshnevis has come up with a way to ‘print’ buildings.

The construction technology, called Contour Crafting, fashions an entire building, layer by layer, according to a predetermined outline. Khoshnevis initially created the technology in order to provide cheap, quick and safe housing for emerging nations, or victims of natural disasters.

It is hoped that such building methods will also lower the demand for wood, thus having a beneficial effect on the rainforests and other areas that are being aggressively deforested for timber.

In addition, the concrete walls built by the Countour Crafter are three times stronger than a brick wall.

Writing for Nasa, Dr. Khoshnevis said, “Automated building technologies will revolutionize the way structures are built on Earth, in dense urban environments, in difficult-to-build and difficult-to-service sites, or in remote and hostile regions of the globe. The technologies under development by our group have the potential to simplify construction logistics, reduce the need for hard physical labor by assigning humans to a strictly supervisory role, eliminate issues relating to human safety and produce intricate, aesthetically refined designs and structures at significantly reduced construction cost”.

Theoretically, these buildings could be described via a computer model and built remotely, using the Martian landscape in lieu of bricks and mortar. The buildings could be ‘printed’ in around 24 hours and would be every bit as strong, (or stronger) than the building you are currently living in.

15 Mar

Here Are More AM Suggestion

This can be found on this internet site, please enjoy

I thought you should know that the FCC has just licensed a digital TV station with an ancillary service in the form of an analog FM radio station. This new service can create thousands of powerful FM radio stations, which can be leased to current AM radio stations now struggling with broadcast difficulties.

Recent studies have shown that the 0.62 MHz now unused by DTV stations can be efficiently employed for other services, with no interference to or from either the DTV reception or, for example, FM radio reception. No new spectrum, or change in current spectrum use, is required. FM receivers, which can receive all VHF and UHF TV stations’ analog audio, were readily available since the 1980s from many manufacturers, and could easily be again.

The first DTV station licensed to broadcast this added analog FM is W26DC-D in New York. No interference of any kind has been observed. It uses the upper 200 kHz of the digital channel for monaural analog FM, and is well received by the older FM radios mentioned above. (Stereo FM analog, and digital radio, could also be broadcast.)

The FCC had previously shown concern that this added ancillary service might adversely affect new cochannels, but this has been disproved for the specific conditions employed.

This extended use of DTV spectrum could solve the problems of current AM radio stations by allowing them all to migrate to this new FM band, with no need to disturb any existing service. All that is needed is an FM transmitter output injected into the antenna line of a full- or low-power digital television station.

I hope advantage can be taken by the radio and television industry of this novel spectrum use.

Richard D. Bogner

Retired, Former President and Owner

Island Broadcasting Co.

Roslyn, N.Y.

ENFORCE THE RULES

As a major player in the world of AM radio and as one who is vested deeply, I am continually amazed at people who are not invested trying to tell us how to live.

AM radio in itself needs no improvement!! It works just fine. The problem is simple: The FCC has dropped the ball and fails to recognize the problem is the environment surrounding it. It is man-made interference that has caused the problem, and if the commission had enforced the incidental radiation rules, we would not be compromised as we are today.

All these hearings and meetings always attack the AM spectrum itself. It is just plain wrong! Enforce the rules and make sure radio manufacturers build good radios.

I listen to AM with my Icom Ham Radio with its digital noise blanker and love every moment of it.

Tom King’s article (“King Lays Out ‘Critical Steps’”) in the Sept. 24 Radio World was right on — except for C-Quam, which was a disaster.

Just because the inventor of the best stereo for AM was a eccentric old man and didn’t have a ton of money to spread around in the propaganda war The Commission selected C Quam. They said it was in the public interest… The Washington bureaucrats wouldn’t know public interest if it hit them in the backside. Face it — AM broadcasters, we have been screwed by the government. Maybe if some of these high-test consultants would get their heads out of their backsides we could salvage AM.

God bless you, Mr. King, but the Kahn system rules.

Ed De La Hunt

Owner

De La Hunt Broadcasting

Kelliher, Minn.

LATE TO THE PARTY

The problem with NextRadio and iHeartRadio (“Coleman Says Demand ‘Strong’ for NextRadio,” radioworld.com, Aug. 1) is that they are a few years too late to the party.

All of the college kids I know (and I work for a college radio station) use the free app from TuneIn Radio.     If you’re not on represented on TuneIn, you’re not really streaming anyway.

Students don’t like to have a separate app for every station they listen to. That just causes clutter on their device … and TuneIn even has some AM stations represented.

Bart Jones

Chief Engineer

KFKX(FM)

Hastings College

Hastings, Neb.

http://www.radioworld.com/article/here-are-more-am-suggestions/273542

11 Mar

Who invented the walkie talkie?

The original inventor of that walkie-talkie is actually the focus of some disputes. A similar 3 names come up again and again, but how many of those names deserves the foremost credit? I’ve to confess, I had a tough time deciding.

The first name to emerge is Canadian inventor Donald L. Hings. Reported by his blog,

“The “walkie-talkie” is Don Hings’ most well-known invention. The earliest versions of this device were designed as portable field radios for the bush pilots of Consolidated Mining and Smelting (now Cominco), who had to fly their planes between remote sites in the far north of Canada. The first true walkie-talkie was built by Hings in 1937, but it was not called a walkie-talkie at the time. In Hings’ notes, it was simply a two-way field radio. They were also called wireless sets, or “pack sets”. The term “walkie-talkie” (sometimes “talkie-walkie”) was coined by journalists reporting on these new inventions during the war”.

The site maintains (fittingly, I think) that walkie-talkies were not particularly recognized until the occurrence of the 2nd World War in 1939.

An additional name which is frequently mentioned is United states inventor Al Gross. Gross seemingly patented the term ‘walkie talkie’ in 1938, after which, the term was actually used by the media as a ‘catch all’ name for just about any/all lightweight 2 way radios. Undoubtedly, Gross worked on the technology and was instrumental in its plan, but did he devise the walkie-talkie? Lemelson-MIT appears to think so, as their blog says of Gross:

“The pioneer nonpareil of wireless telecommunications is Al Gross. In 1938, he invented the walkie-talkie. In 1948, he pioneered Citizens’ Band (CB) radio. In 1949, he invented the telephone pager. His other inventions include the basics of cordless and cellular telephony. (…) Determined to exploit the unexplored frequencies above 100 MHz, Gross set about inventing a mobile, lightweight, hand-held two-way radio. In two years, Gross had invented and patented the “walkie-talkie” (1938)”.

If Hings invented the walkie talkie back in 1937, then that signifies that Gross basically re-invented the identical device in 1938. If that is undeniably true, then certainly Hings is the chap most responsible, right?

Well, before you make your minds up, let Wiki Replies present some more names; their account of that walkie-talkie’s creation states that,

“The first radio receiver/transmitter to be nicknamed “Walkie-Talkie” was the backpacked Motorola SCR-300, created by an engineering team in 1940 at the Galvin Manufacturing Company (forerunner of Motorola). The team consisted of Dan Noble, who conceived of the design using FM technology, Henryk Magnuski who was the principal RF engineer, Bill Vogel, Lloyd Morris, and Marion Bond”. 

This Motorola team, headed up by Dan Noble, actually made the walkie-talkie in 1940, a full three years after Hings allegedly created it and 2 years after Gross apparently patented it. Ugh. This is giving me a headache!

So, perhaps we can clear this up a little now. The name ‘walkie-talkie’ was commonly applied to WW2-era Motorola radio, which led to Dan Noble’s staff being accredited with its creation. That is true, Noble and co DID create that particular model, however the technology itself had clearly existed before.

Now, Hings’ model was noticeably more portable, and pretty different to the Motorola model. Hings named his invention a ‘packset’ so it was consequently entirely probable for Gross to have patented the same invention (under the term ‘walkie-talkie’) in 1938 and for that name to migrate over to the Motorola adaptation, via the wartime press (1939 – 1945 was not a well-known era of journalistic accuracy, lest we forget).

Reported by Wikipedia, Hings’ model did not get used by the forces until 1942, the results of which would be Don Noble and co being credited with the invention, with Hings being relegated to the spot of just another engineer (Hings was employed by the allies during WW2) who was working on armed forces gear.

Largely, I’d say that Hings is likely the likeliest inventor of the initial technology and definitely of the portable system we understand today. Still, with so many talented inventors functioning at around the same time, this indicates as possible to claim Gross as inventor of the walkie-talkie as well. Hings pioneered it, Gross patented it and Noble’s team brought it into mass manufacture and normal usage. There. Simple, right?

07 Mar

New Sighting Suggests That Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Yet Live

The Thylacine, an odd, chimera-esque carnivore native to Tasmania, was officially declared extinct in 1986. By that time, no one had seen a live one in 40 years, so it seemed reasonable enough to conclude that a virulent, century-long concoction of wholly barbarous (yet officially sanctioned) hunting methods, disease, deforestation and competition from other predators had wiped the creature from the face of the earth.

However, that may not actually be the case, as recent sightings, including one reported in January of this year, seem to attest.

So convincing are such regular sightings to scientists, cryptozoologists and other interested parties, that a new expedition was launched at around the same time, with the hope of finally capturing proof of the animals long-rumoured survival.

An elusive predator last seen alive in the mid 1930’s, the thylacine, colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of conservationists, explorers, cryptozoologists and, just possibly, a handful of lucky eyewitnesses, for three successive generations.

Dog-like in both size and form, but with an oddly angular head, an enormous gape and chocolate brown stripes running across its tail and back, the thylacine was Tasmania’s apex predator. It was the marsupial equivalent of a wolf, or wild dog (an example of what biologists call convergent evolution) and it existed in Australia and Tasmania for around 23 million years.

The last officially recognised wild Thylacine was shot and killed by a farmer named Wilf Batty in 1930. Six years later, Benjamin, the last captive specimen kept in Hobart zoo, died from a cruel combination of neglect and exposure.

Derided as a pest and a sheep stealer, the extermination of these beautiful, shy and enigmatic twilight hunters was seen, at the time, as a positive step towards the taming of the Tasmanian wilderness.

However, by the time the creature’s numbers had almost completely diminished (if not actually expired entirely), it had become the first poster-child for conservation, an idea practically unheard of before the early 20th century. The Tasmanian tiger was even among was the first animals to be classified as an endangered species.

Concordantly, there is a suggestion that a collection of individuals were shipped over to the Australian mainland and secretly released into the wild there, as an act of conservation.

However, despite the aforementioned declaration of the thylacine’s extinction, evidence occasionally comes to light which suggests that rumours of the Tasmanian tiger’s death may be somewhat exaggerated.

In South Australia, 1973, a very compelling piece of footage was taken on 8mm film stock. The footage appears to show a thylacine running across a rural campsite. The gait and running style are entirely unlike a dog or dingo’s and the animal’s lithe, slender form and bony, tapering tail, potentially offer us a tantalising glimpse of a creature that just may have survived extinction.

In 1985, yet more photographic evidence was offered, this time by Australian Aboriginal tracker Kevin Cameron, who photographed what appears to be a thylacine digging in the ground behind a rock.

In 1982, Parks and Wildlife Service researcher Hans Naarding was gifted with an opportunity to observe a thylacine up close for several minutes, even going as far as to count the stripes across its back (12, in case you wondered). A similar account, also filed by a Parks and Wildlife Service employee, emerged in 1995.

Eyewitness accounts of the creature are both numerous and, for the most part, highly consistent. Although some reports are obviously mistaken accounts of dogs afflicted with mange, or even foxes, others still are surprisingly credible.

The most recent sighting of this incredibly rare creature occurred in January of 2014. It was reported to the Thylacine Research Unit (T.R.U), via the organization’s official website.

The eyewitness, named as Jeremy by the site, revealed that he had seen a 40-50CM tall creature that was about the same length as a small dog (defined as 1metre), whilst out walking in the Landsborough area of Queensland, Australia, not far from the Dularcha National Park. According to Jeremy, the creature had light, sandy coloured skin and faint stripes across its back and tail.

Jeremy says, “As I watched it from the side angle, I saw its head appear and thought, oh its a wallaby, but as it emerged I saw it was on four legs, so thought it was a wild dog. But as it went away into the next thick bush, I noticed light coloured stripes at the rear near its tail”.

Once the animal had retreated into a more heavily forested area, Jeremy decided to “let it be” and tell his friends about what he’d witnessed. Apparently, Jeremy’s girlfriend later revealed that she had also seen the creature in the area.

Emphatic that neither of them had seen a dog, or a dingo, Jeremy searched exhaustively online for any kind of striped, dog-like marsupial, but came up empty handed. There was only one logical conclusion.

Proponents of the thylacine’s continued survival often argue that sightings are increasing because the animal’s population may be enjoying a recovery. It has been estimated that if a breeding population of tigers did survive the 1930’s extinction, that it would take them a reasonably long time to return to sufficient numbers. If that is indeed the case, then 70+ years ought to do nicely.

Hopefully, it should now start to get easier to spot, and conclusively document, a living, breathing 21st century thylacine.

26 Feb

TURTLE BEACH ELITE 800 REVIEW

Turtle Beach’s Elite 800 wireless headset for PlayStation 4 screams “flagship.” It’s a gorgeous piece of kit, all shiny black with lush earpads and rounded edges. Set the free-standing headset on its charge base, which doubles as the wireless transmitter, and it’s an eye-catching addition to an entertainment center. Pop ‘em on your head, and the feeling of quality carries over. Save for a handful of notable flaws, this is perhaps the best headset that Turtle Beach has ever produced.

We’ll start with the form factor. The Elite 800 feels solid from the moment that you first pick it up. It’s not so heavy that it’s uncomfortable resting on your head, but nothing about it feels flimsy or poorly put together. The thick plastic is also adorned with flourishes of metal and blue plastic, and the thick earcup padding looks eminently comfortable even from a distance. There isn’t even a visible mic jutting out from the thing, though there are actually two — they’re invisible, built directly into the unit.

If you wanted to describe the headset in one word, that word would be “sleek.”

The stylish design sensibilities carry over to the charging base as well. The oval-shaped unit is topped by two small depressions, one of which is fitted with magnets and charging contacts. In charge mode, the headset sits upright, with each earcup slotting into its own shallow well.

The magnets do a good enough job of sliding the contacts into place, but it’s relatively easy to set the headset down in the charging bay incorrectly. Improper placement prevents the Elite 800 from charging, so it’s important to be careful when setting it into the cradle. One handy tip that Turtle Beach’s documentation doesn’t mention: If you hear the headset’s power cycle on, then off, after you set it down, you know it’s charging.

TurtleBeach Elite 800 review hinge macro

The base station connects to a PlayStation 4 (it also works with PlayStation 3, and with mobile devices using Bluetooth) via a USB cord, for power, and an optical audio cable, both of which are included. The optical audio is expected, but the fact that the base station/transmitter draws power from the console isn’t ideal.

The PS4 has only two USB ports located on the front of the machine, and one of them always has to be occupied if you’re using an Elite 800. Couple that with the fact that the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller already doesn’t have the best battery life, and you can see where problems might start to crop up.

That’s not the only problem with the base station, however. The PS4 doesn’t provide a charge to the transmitter when the console is completely powered down. Sony does offer a “Rest Mode” that continues to send a charge through connected cables, but it’s all too easy to shut the whole thing off and stop charging the headset. It’s possible to wire the Elite 800 directly into another power source, such as a computer, but this problem could just as easily have been solved by including a wall plug power adapter for the unit. As is, you’ll probably want to go grab one for yourself.

Power is also sometimes a problem with the headset itself. Turtle Beach promises 10 hours of life on a full charge, but that number comes down when features like Active Noise Cancelling are used. If you’re prone to participate in marathon gaming sessions, it might be a good idea to keep a backup pair of headphones handy. The headset also does a terrible job of communicating when low on battery power; instead of simply shutting down, the audio starts to crackle and fade in/out, giving the impression that there’s signal interference.

Despite these issues, the Elite 800 makes a strong case for itself in the realm of overall performance. It’s comfortable to wear thanks to the thick, padded earcups and additional padding up top. The material is surprisingly breathable, keeping ear sweats at bay, but discomfort sometimes crops up during especially lengthy sessions thanks to a snug fit that presses the inside of the headphones against the tips of your ears.

In terms of sound, the Elite 800 delivers dynamite performance. Positional audio, enabled by DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround technology, is among the best we’ve heard in a two-driver headset. It’s easy to pick up on an audio source by both location and distance, even when you’ve got heavily layered audio blasting through the headphones. For multiplayer games like Destiny or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there’s a definite advantage in being able to tell where potential threats are coming from.

TurtleBeach Elite 800 review controls

The Elite 800 also has a multitude of settings to fiddle with. The earcups and snug fit go a long way toward providing passive noise cancellation, but there’s also an Active Noise Cancellation mode and a range of mic monitor settings for different environments. Active Noise Cancellation definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s handy – as is the variable mic monitor – in all different types of playing spaces.

As usual, Turtle Beach’s own “Signature Sound” setting provides the best overall virtual surround experience. There are four categories of EQ settings, for Games, Movies, Music, and Stereo, and multiple tuning options in each, with more available to program into the headset using a Windows-connected Elite 800 and the Ear Force Audio Hub app.

It’s a lot like the company’s Xbox One-friendly flagship, the 500x, but with a very important difference. The Xbox cans communicate which setting is active using high/low beeps that practically require the user to have a cheat sheet on hand. The Elite 800 addresses this problem, using a pre-recorded voice that communicates settings changes as you make them.

While it’s very handy, cycling through the headset’s various settings can also be a pain. Everything from EQ settings to power to mic monitor to Bluetooth on/off (the Elite 800 can pair with mobile devices) is managed using four-way touchpads on both the right and left earcups. It’s convenient, but the controls are also extremely sensitive, to the point that an errant brush along the side of your head can too easily change things up.

Overall, the Elite 800 is one of the best headset solutions available for PlayStation 4. The build quality, the audio quality, and the added features – particularly Bluetooth pairing (take calls while you game!) and membership to Turtle Beach’s Elite program (mainly for the two-year warranty) – amount to a superb package overall. It’s not without its shortcomings, but in the inconsistent market of wireless headsets for next-gen consoles, the Elite 800 is a standout option. For a premium price, of course.

Highs

  • Fantastic, powerful sound
  • Stylish design
  • Lots of handy features
  • Extremely comfortable to wear

Lows

  • That quality comes at a premium price
  • Charging issues if you use power save with your PS4
  • Headset-mounted controls are less than ideal

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/headphone-reviews/turtle-beach-elite-800-review/#ixzz3Qb7dL1Nz

18 Feb

Do 2 Way Radios Work on Cruise Ships?

Yes, 2 way radios DO work on cruise ships. However, because the same channels tend to be a bit overused, passengers can expect a fair amount of chatter and signal interference when using their radios.

I suppose the 2 way radios/walkie talkies would be the best option. But, how important is being in constant communication with the rest of your family anyway? A ship, while large, isn’t huge. If you know the general area where people will be, you could walk over and find them. Preset arranged meeting times and places would work as well. People were able to get along fairly well without being able to directly communicate with each other at every moment of the day

So, aside from the option of setting pre-arranged meeting times, a 2 way radio isn’t a terrible idea, especially if you have kids. Many people reading this might simply ask why they can’t use their mobile phones. That is a very good question, after all…

If you’re going on a cruise this summer (or anytime, really), you need to be aware that your mobile phone is going to cause some problems.

Many cruise passengers are unaware and/or totally ill prepared for this fact and the cruise companies themselves are at least partly to blame for the lack of information in this area. So, will your mobile phone work at sea?

The answer is most often always “You can subscribe to our cruise line cell phone network.” What they won’t tell you is the rates you will be paying. You certainly won’t be able to find them online, and to get a proper answer, you’ll have to call the cruise line to get a full break down of what they charge for access to their cell networks. As a company that sets their own international calling rates for the Talk Abroad SIM Card, we can see the cruise ship networks in our list, and it does not look good. If you subscribe to their network, you’ll be paying anything from $4 ~ $8 per minute, depending on your location and who you are calling. Don’t forget also that they’ll be charging you for receiving inbound calls

As we’ll soon see, taking a mobile phone on a cruise can represent a logistical nightmare. At the same time, however, many of us feel naked without a phone?

More problems are presented in the form of scheduled stops (although these can also represent opportunities for a higher – and cheaper – level of connectivity).

If the ship is close to the coastline, and has multiple port of call stops, you’ll typically be able to get a terrestrial signal from the nearest land cell phone tower – up to a mile from the coast. It’s highly unlikely that you will be connected with 3G speed signals, as evidenced in my previous blog, you will need to have a low-wave 3G frequency like 800 or 900 Mhz – frequencies not typically associated with phones manufactured for North American consumers. So what can be done? You can rent an international cell phone that works in port, and a short way out to sea. If you really must stay connected on your boat, get in touch with your cruise travel agency and request information about the on-board cell phone rates and subscription fees

So, using mobile phones on a cruise is both difficult and supremely costly, but arranging a meeting time is also likely to cause more than a few headaches. two way radios have their problems, but may in fact be the best way to keep in contact, depending, of course, on how important a factor this is for you.

The size of modern cruise ships are such that they are usually measured against small cities, this means that communications are even more important than before. Experts in two way radio communication are2wayradionline.co.uk

30 Jan

A Look At The Different Motorola Radio Earpieces

When it comes to discreet affairs, there definitely must be a discreet communication. Whether it is a security personnel or just a private group of designated people. Radios are used for communication between compatible devices within a specified location. Nevertheless, it would be less comfortable if someone talks via the radio and everyone hear the entire communication. Given the different types of two-way radios in the market, they usually come with a compatible earpiece. Among the most common radios are the Motorola radios. It would be super discreet and stylish if you had a Motorola radio earpiece to accompany your device. Some of the ideal Motorola 2-way radio earpiece connectors at EarpieceOnline include the following;

CP040 & DP4400 2-Pin Connector

This Motorola 2-pin connector can work with a number of Motorola 2-way radios. It can also support some of the old version radios such as the GP040 and the GP300. Some of the novel version of radios that are compatible to this earpiece include the DP1400 and the DP1000.

Features of the connector

• It has a changeable Foam sock so that you can replace if it has worn out.

• The earpiece also has a comfortable and flexible C-shaped earpiece.

• There is a secure moulded ear hook, for holding firm on the ear.

• It provides high quality audio.

• It comes with a noise reducing microphone for enhanced reception of incoming voice messages.

• The earpiece has a plastic that is covered by a label clip PTT button. The wire PTT is separated from the microphone and an ear hangar earpiece.

• It has a RoHS compliant feature and comes with Motorola earpiece 2-pin connector GP300/CP040/XTN and GP340 adapters.

DP3400 & DP3600 Multi Connector

This is a multi pin connector works with all DP3000 & DP4000 range of radios, with a 12-pin connector, it slots perfect onto the side of the DP radio and is securely screwed in so that the earpiece is securely locked in.

Features

• It is incorporated with Kevlar Reinforced for better surveillance and security.

• It has a secure fit tube connector, to avoid accidents of it cut from rough encounters.

• It offers a high quality audio.

• The earpiece has a Lapel clip PTT button and a separate wire PTT. That is separated from a noise reduction microphone and an acoustic tube. The acoustic tube runs over the ear, the FBI style.

• There is a changeable connector for flexible modification and flexible mushroom plugs that you can replace whenever.

DP2400 & DP2600 multi connector

This is yet another different multi-pin connector that lets you connect to the DP2000 range of radios. This 8-pin connector fits on to the side of the radio and is locked in with a ‘pull out and slot-in’ connector, reducing the risk of broken screws or damage to the radio.

Features

• The acoustic tube runs over the ear and it has a secure fit connector for super surveillance and comfort.

• It has a separate wire PPT different from the acoustic tube and a microphone that reduces noise from the surrounding.

• The mushroom plugs are changeable and you can simply remove them when they are loose or worn out.

• It produces a high quality audio that reduces strain even when in a noisy environment.

GP340 & GP680

This multi connector is compatible the GP range of radios, including the GP340 and GP680. The Connector is a 13-pin connector and is secured on the side of the radio, with a screw-in to secure the earpiece to the radio.

Features

• This multi connector has a high quality audio reception. That makes it comfortable to use anywhere, even in a crowded, noisy place.

• There is a microphone, which is separate from a wire PTT and an acoustic tube. The microphone is a noise reducing microphone, that helps to make the other end-user be comfortable.

• It has a RoHS compliant and an over the ear acoustic tube that holds firm to the ear.

• There is an adjustable connector that is versatile to other devices.

An elegant and well fitted earpiece will not only promote surveillance, but it will also be comfortable on the ear. That will ensure it is safe from damages in rough situations. A Motorola radio earpiece will be beneficial if you want a comfortable communication without having to speak loudly over the radio. Some of the radios are also slightly heavy, which makes them more comfortable when using an earpiece, that is worn beneath the clothing.

18 Jan

Benefits of Two Way Radios to the Hotel Industry

Over the years, hotel communication has had to change and develop, becoming more and more efficient than it was. This is courtesy of the advancement in technology over these years. Passed are the days that two way radios were exclusively for police official use. Nowadays, these pieces of technology that have been improved and made even better are used for hotel communications. These state of the art technology have lots of benefits that any of us have been recipients of in one way or the other. Being in the hospitality industry, I can outline with ease some of the major benefits that these Two way radios have brought into hospitality.

First and foremost, the service offered to the customers in the hotels has been improved. When taking orders in the restaurants back in the day, the waiters had to go all the way back to the kitchen to request for the order. Okay, this was not much of a problem for the small establishments. However, as the hotel grew and the number of employees grew, the kitchen area would get so crowded that out was difficult to get the job done. With the new Two-way radio technology however, all the waitress have to do is call out the order through the gadget and it is received on the other end saving on the time.

Also, being in the hotel business, I can testify that just like in any other business, there are major up and downs. However, unlike many other businesses, there is no space for screwing up. A single mishaps can cost you millions. The best way to avoid this from happening, is by communicating with the manager and airing out issues that might be there. Communication is key in this business and the sooner an issue is sorted out the faster you can move on and provide quality service to your customers.

Security. Do we really have to spell out the benefits that 2 way radios have with regards to security in the hospitality industry. The hotel industry harbors people of different kinds and who have different intentions. As such, the necessary measures need to be taken to ensure the security of the staff as well as the other peaceable customers. The rate at which the security personnel react to distress calls can be the determining factor to how the security emergency turns out. The 2 way radios have greatly increased the speed in which the security personnel respond to security threats and also ensure that they are on top of every situation as every member in the hotel informs them when there is a security risk.

In addition to the above benefits, the Two way radios are cost effective and are also very easy to use. With the Two way radios, the management does not have to pay any network provider so that they can communicate. This reduces the cost of operation of the hotel by a great margin. To talk through to the other person on the other end of the line, all you have to do is press a button on the front and you will get through. It is as easy as that.

The benefits of the Two-way radios are numerous. This makes them a major asset to any hotel.

12 Aug

The robotics race has started and google have a big stake

Google has officially announced that it has acquired seven robotics companies in the last six months, with the ultimate aim of creating a Google robot.

As far-fetched as it might sound, the firm’s takeover of companies like ‘Bot & Dolly’, ‘Industrial Perception’, ‘Autofuss’ and ‘Redwood Robotics’ is a clear sign that Google has big plans in this area.

Andy Rubin, who (perhaps ironically) oversaw the development of the Android operating system, is in charge of the project. He has stated that Google has a “10-year vision” for its robotics interests.

“We’re building hardware, we’re building software. We’re building systems; so one team will be able to understand the whole stack”.

However, despite rumours to the contrary, Google has explicitly stated that it does not plan to create any kind of robot for consumer purchase, leading some to speculate that the resulting Google product will be used to handle deliveries, thus going head-to-head with Amazon’s proposed Prime Air Project (which would use unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers by air).

The company itself has remained cagey regarding details. The official word so far is that “Any description of what Andy and his team might actually create are speculations of the author and the people he interviewed”

That’s what we get for asking nicely.

The project will operate between offices in Palo Alto, California and Japan.

The companies taken over by Google specialize in an esoteric mixture of robotics-based sciences. For example, Japanese acquisition ‘Schaft’, taken over earlier this year, specialize in the creation and operation of humanoid robots, while American company ‘Holomni’ work mainly with caster wheel modules that can accelerate a vehicle’s motion in any direction.

At this point in time, despite lots of media interest, just what Google plan to do in the field of robotics is anybody’s guess, however it should be noted that the science of robotics has come along in great leaps over the past several decades. Perhaps it is time for a Google Android in every home?

During a recent interview with the New York Times, Mr. Rubin described robotics as “A green field” and it will certainly be interesting to see what grows from this.

05 Jul

World’s Largest Video Game Collection Nets £440,000 At Auction

A collection of over 11,000 video games – confirmed by The Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest in the world – has sold at auction for $750,250 (roughly £440,000).

Amazingly, the bidding began at just $1.

The auction, held via website Game Gavel.com, ended on 15th of June, leaving the collection’s (now former) owner Michael Thomasson a very happy man.

Thomasson, a lifelong gamer, operated seven different indie gaming outlets throughout the 1990’s and spent the last decade working at a chain store. During this time, he has also been running his own online business, Good Deal Games, since 1998.

“Whenever I purchased a game that did not directly come from the distributor I was able to look through all our inventory and pick out the nicest copy of a game, including grabbing the nicest box and manual”, he wrote on the item description for his mammoth collection.

According to Thomasson, over a quarter of his collection were still factory sealed at the time of listing.

“A few years ago, I supplied almost a thousand games to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (part of the Strong Museum) and Shannon Symonds (the Acquisitions Cataloger for the ICHEG) stated that the games I sold them were the nicest collection of games they had ever received. And those were duplicates that were not as nice as the copies that I held back for my personal collection”.

Thomasson also went out of his way to confirm that Guinness’ assessment did not count duplicates, meaning that there were no repeats in the sold-off collection, either.

Michael Thomasson’s item description bragged, “Win this auction and you will have the largest recorded collection of games in the world – or Universe, even! I’m handing over the baton and the winner will instantly become the new crown holder, without three plus decades of meticulous hunting”. He wasn’t kidding, either!

56 bids later and Thomasson was more than $750,000 better off. The money, he claims, is being used to help his family with “needs that need to be addressed”.

In 2012, when Guinness World Records initially appraised the collection, it numbered 10, 607 titles. However, in the time between the broken record and the sale, Thomasson had added a further 400 games to his collection.

He also chucked in a lifetime subscription to RETRO magazine, as well as a signed copy of the issue that featured his collection.

“While I do not wish to part with these games, I have responsibilities that I have made to others and this action is how I will help meet them”, wrote Thomasson, of the eventual sale.

25 Mar

Mars Rover Spots UFO…Or Does It?

After much global speculation, NASA has at last put out an official statement regarding the true identity of the ‘white spot’ or ‘UFO’ seen on Mars by the Curiosity Rover on June 20th.

…Sadly, the UFO in question turned out to be only as extraterrestrial as a camera glitch.

Interviewed by The Huffington Post, Justin Maki, the main camera operator for the rover, said, “This is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam (…)In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week, these can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”

As any photographer will tell you, ‘hot pixels’ sometimes occur during long exposure shots. Such glitches are usually caused by the camera’s sensors momentarily overheating (although they pose no danger to the camera equipment itself).

Amateur photographers occasionally mistake hot pixels for paranormal phenomena as well. In fact, the ghost website ‘Photographing The Paranormal.com’ actually has a section on these little buggers. It warns potential ghost hunters that,

“A perfectly symmetric small red dot in your picture is probably nothing paranormal, especially if it is at the same spot in most of your pictures. That’s actually called a hot pixel, if you spot one, don’t call the press!”

Older astronomy enthusiasts will no doubt be reminded of the discovery of the ‘Martian face’, a famous image captured by NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter in 1976.

Various theorists hurried to suggest that the ‘face’ was evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization (complete with ‘pyramids’ and everything), but it was actually just a large formation, captured by the relatively low-resolution cameras of the 1970’s, that looked a bit like a face.

Modern images, of course, reveal nothing so grand. The ‘Martian Face’ fiasco is now seen as an example of paraeidolia, a psychological phenomenon that sees people finding recognizable patterns in otherwise random sounds and images, examples of which include The Man in the Moon, Rorschach tests and those times when people see the faces of religious figures in ordinary household objects.

So it seems that there was no reason for us to get excited after all (except that pictures of Mars are unassailably cool).

…Of course, the conspiracy nutters are never going to buy it, but hey, what can you do?

 

02 Dec

Scottish Spaceport Plans Announced

Scotland is being considered as the site of the UK’s first-ever spaceport, which could be here as early as 2018, it was reported this week.

The spaceport would be the first one ever built outside of the US.

What’s more, Scotland are definitely the odds-on favourite to be granted this prestigious (not to mention historic) prize, as eight UK aerodromes have been short listed as possibilities and six of them are located in Scotland.

It is thought that the spaceport would not only increase the country’s revenue by providing a site for satellite launches, but also through tourism, with ‘space tourism’ expected to increase in the next few decades.

Chief Secretary to The Treasury Danny Alexander (who was born in Edinborough), told BBC News, “I am delighted that the government is pushing forward with its ambitious plans to open a spaceport in the UK by 2018. Spaceports will be key to us opening up the final frontier of commercial space travel (…) Scotland has a proud association with space exploration. We celebrated Neil Armstrong’s Scottish ancestry when he became the first man on the Moon and only last week an amazing Scottish company was responsible for building the UK Space Agency’s first satellite (…) The UK space industry is one of our great success stories and I am sure there will be a role for Scotland to play in the future.”

UKube-1, a satellite designed and built by Glasgow-based firm Clyde Space, was launched earlier this week. It was the first ever spacecraft to be fully assembled in Scotland, but it may turn out to be the first of many.

According to the BBC, UK profits from the space industry are now exceeding £11bn a year and it provides employment for some 34,000 people. It is also a significant growth industry, with employment figures rising by 9% since 2011.

The recent interest in the development of UK-based, but more specifically Scottish, space exploration technologies has also become linked to the current debate over Scottish independence, with the Scottish government suggesting that a vote for independence on September 18th would only strengthen the space initiative.

A spokeswoman said, “Scotland is proving that it has the expertise to attract and support such a specialized, global industry, and as such an independent Scotland will be an attractive option for spaceport pioneers.”

However, it seems probable that the plans for a Scottish-based spaceport will go ahead either way, whether Scotland is declared an independent nation or not. In addition, doubts about the potential strength of an independent Scotland’s economy may also act to the detriment of its space research.

07 Oct

How Do 2 Way Radios Work

To put it simply, a two way radio is a device that can both receive and transmit voice messages. In broader terms, it can be said that most wireless communication, and it may include cellular systems, fall under the definition. However, these days, 2 way radio is a term to describe radio system for group call communication. The two way radio comes in several technical names such as Public Access Mobile Radio, Private Mobile Radio, Land Mobile Radio and Professional Mobile 2 Way Radio. These present times, 2 way radios are often called “walkie talkies”. There are several kinds of two way radio systems and some are able to make use of base and mobile configuration, while some re able to utilize a radio network infrastructure.

A typical 2 way radio includes a PTT button, also known as Push-To-Talk button. The button activates the transmitter and the user simply needs to talk to the device to start communicating. The user must release the PTT button in order to receive transmissions from the other line.

A two way radio is able to communicate with other radio devices. However, direct radio communication has very limited range. To overcome the problem, a radio network infrastructure may be used to extend the range of communications. The rest of the article is going to cover more details about how 2 way radios work and other useful information.

Receiving Radio Waves

Just like other forms of Wireless communications, a 2 way radio sends messages over the air. In order to achieve this, the antenna of a way radio contains a specific set of electrons. If the two way radio features multiple channels, then there is specific sets of electrons are each channel. Whenever a radio transmission is received by the 2 way radio, the electrons get excited. The electrons then create electrical impulses. Electrical impulses are then sent to a small processor, which will then convert the electrical impulses to words and sounds that can be understood by humans. The sounds are produced by the speakers within that the way radio.

Keep in mind that there are always radio waves are floating in the air. Because of it, there is always a nondescript sound that may be produced by the two way radios. To solve the issue, a lot of 2 way radios feature a “squelch” setting; and with it, the user can adjust the signal threshold for clearer communications.

Sending Transmissions

Two way radios can also send messages across the air. The main idea is to convert the sound to radio waves. However, the defining characteristic about the way radio is its ability the convert back the radio waves back to legible sounds.

Whenever a user speaks into a 2 way radio, a membrane within the device will vibrate as a response to the sounds. The vibrations are sent to the processor, which in turn converts them to electrical impulses and readies it for transmission.. Finally, the transmission is sent to the antenna which is then broadcasted in the form of radio waves. These radio waves are then received by another device and convert them back to a legible sound.

Multiple Channels

As two way radios are getting more and more popular, it is possible for more than one party communicating in the same line or frequency. This can cause a lot of confusion and interference. To solve the problem, modern 2 way radios are able to utilize multiple channels.

For a two way radio to broadcast on multiple channels, the device must be able to generate radio waves in multiple frequencies. Furthermore, the device must be able to send frequencies with very little fluctuations. These fluctuations are actually caused by the transmitted voices. The fluctuations can be minimized through “frequency modulation”. The modulated transmissions are then sent to the device’s antenna.

The device must also excite the proper electrons. Once the proper electrons are excited, an outgoing radio wave is then produced.

These radio waves may be picked up by another device tuning into the same frequency. Furthermore, the device must be within range of the transmitting device. The range of two way radio is usually determined by a couple of factors such as atmospheric conditions, radio’s battery power and the size of the two-radio’s antenna.

Whenever a device picks up the transmission, the receiving radio must filter the signals through an electronic filter known as a bandpass filter. Finally, the transmission is then converted back to sound.

Why Choose A 2 Way Radio

The two way radio is one of the earliest forms of wireless communication. However, in today’s modernized communication environment, a question arises – is the way radio a viable technology? The answer to that question is a yes. This is because the 2 way radio has its own unique advantages that may not be found in other forms of wireless communications. Below are two of them:

Instant Communication – the ability to communicate between two or more parties almost instantly is one of the most defining advantages of the two way radio. A user only needs to press the “Push-To-Talk” button and within seconds a receiver will be able to receive the audio messages. Furthermore, the entire system is set up around the idea of “quick call” and “quick receive”. This is the main reason why the organizations rely on the 2 way radio technology for operational and tactical communications. The system can also make use of encryption technology for a more secure communication.

Group Communications

Another unique advantage of two way radio is its ability to facilitate “group call” or “one-to-many” communications very efficiently. By efficient, it means that the user can communicate with one, hundreds or thousands at the same time. There is no need for a user to repeat the same message if he/she needs to communicate to more than one individual.

A 2 way radio is one of the earliest technologies used for wireless communications. Even though it is a bit outdated compared to other forms of wireless communications, but the usefulness is still very applicable today. The main idea of how 2 way radios work revolves around on sending and receiving radio waves, which in turn is converted to legible sounds. The idea and technology behind two way radio may be simple, but nevertheless it is still a very well-used form of communication in today’s world.

20 Jun

Earpiece Online Asks What Is An Acoustic Tube Earpiece

Earphones play a huge role when it comes to communication privacy. When you want to personally get what is being communicated or listen to a favourite music. There are many types of earphone which serve different purposes altogether. Some earphones come with double microphone for both ears while others come in one piece for one year. There are earphones that are specifically meant for listening to music on devices. And there are some that are dedicated to special purposes like security functions. Among the dedicated earphones or earpiece is the acoustic tube earpiece. So what is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece?

What It Is
It is an exclusive type of hearing aid that is built with a thin tube. The tube assists in transmitting sound and the earpiece is mostly fitted behind the ear and attached to an ear bud. The ear bud is then inserted in the ear. They are usually fitted to a radio device that allows communication within a selected frequency.

For an acoustic earpiece to function, it should be connected to a wireless receiver. The receiver is mostly worn by the user beneath their clothing. Some have microphones which are either placed on the shoulder of the user, the tie, or chest area, or on the wrist.

Where Is It Mostly Used?
Being a special set of hearing device, it is not common to see it around with anyone. The most common people that you can expect to see with this type of earpiece include;

• Security Personnel
Like mentioned, they have only one piece for fitting in the ear and security personnel is the most common unit to be noted with such devices. The device of a security person could have an earpiece that is accompanied by a hidden microphone. The earpiece and microphone allows a 2-way communication. Some earpieces may not have a visible microphone, though some may include an incorporated microphone in the earpiece. The majority of the Acoustic Tube earpieces are designed to allow the tubing to comfortably fit behind the ear. This enhances furtive surveillance.

• Television Broadcasters
The new era of technology has allowed news anchors to use the Acoustic Tube Earpieces that are barely recognized. The TV broadcasters mostly use these earpieces for an improved communication between them and their producers. That is done so for privacy and to avoid the viewers to see the devices and the producers behind the cameras.

• Though not very common, some people use the acoustic tube earpiece for regular mobile usage. Some use it as a personal audio device while others use them with their mobile phones.

Advantages of The Acoustic Tube Earpiece
Like mentioned, it is not commonly used by civilians around and for that reason, they have their own benefits. Some of them include;
• Covert: having one earpiece with tubing that goes behind the ear, this earpiece promotes privacy. It is difficult for anyone to realize the earpiece since the tubing is clear, for that, it blends with the skin color.
• Reduces Background Noise: The earpiece is designed to give the user absolute hearing from the other end. They can be used in a noisy environment and deliver high quality sound that is audible enough.
• Durable: These earpieces are durable since they are sturdy compared to other hearing devices. The robust tube shields some vulnerable wiring that is important to the device. That ensures that the internal wiring system is not interfered in any way. Even when a user is engaged in a rough physical condition, the tough tubing will endure through it all.
• Comfortable to Wear: The ear bud of the devices is customized to comfortably fit in the users’ ear. It is also comfortable since the wiring passes behind the ear to give the user liberty in movement without worrying about the wiring. The wiring goes beneath the users’ clothing and cannot be interfered with easily.

EarpieceOnlines earpieces are exclusive in use and design altogether. Their wireless receiver is worn beneath the clothes and is usually lighter to enhance easy movement.

Some people call it a radio headset while others call it a tactical earpiece, most probably because it is a special device worn on one ear. Yet others call it a surveillance earpiece, but no matter the definition, you now know what is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece.

10 Jun

How Does A Virtual Reality Headset Work?

Virtual reality, which I’m going to define as ‘the creation of a computerized 3D environment that can be interacted with and manipulated in much the same was as the real world can’, is a pretty multi-faceted concept. There are quite a few ways to allow interaction with a virtual environment (VE), but the headset is perhaps the best known.

So, the key thing that a VR headset needs to be able to do is track the movements of the user’s head (and, where possible, their eyes) in order to allow for better interaction with the VE. After all, if I tilt my head from where I’m sitting and look at the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage action figure that stands on my desk, the positioning of my eye line will change my perspective of the figure. So VR, in order to be convincing, needs to work on the same principle.

A good follow-up question would be ‘why does a grown man have an action figure of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage on his desk? But frankly, that’s a story for another time…

Anyway, VR headsets commonly use two screens, one for each eye, in order to create a stereoscopic effect, which allows the illusion of depth perception to take place. A PC (or MAC) will then generate the 3D environment in response to the subject’s movements (this technology is not a million miles away from the design of free roaming 3D video game environments).

There’s a really cool scene in one of my favourite ‘guilty pleasure’ movies, which serves as a nice example. The scene appears in ‘Three To Tango’, starring Matthew Perry (of ‘Friends’ fame) and Neve Campbell. In the scene, Matthew Perry and Oliver Platt (who work as architects), compete with a rival team for an attempt to refurbish an old building. The rival team (for trivia buffs, they are played by Dr. Cox from ‘Scrubs’ and Phoebe’s Dad from ‘Friends’) create a lavish, all-encompassing, VR environment for their would-be employer to explore, whilst Perry & Platt use an old-timey optical illusion device to better explain theirs.

Essentially, despite appearances to the contrary, both technologies operate on the same principle. Both are, when all is said and done, optical illusions. The difference with VR is that is reacts to you as you react to it, whereas the old timey optical illusion stuff simply stays the same.

In terms of the headset, that’s pretty much all its doing. It is the program (being run from the PC or MAC) that is the really clever piece of design.

19 May

What are the Best Brands of Earphones?

Brand is no assurance of quality, nor is price within brand.

The Dr. Dre-endorsed ‘Beats’ headphones series are a great example of branding without substance. They cost the earth and whilst the sound is generally high quality, the materials used are cheap and the devices are generally very poorly manufactured/assembled. If you doubt this, go and look up the Amazon reviews, or just type in ‘Dr. Dre Beats Headphones are Rubbish’ into Google. You’ll be surprised (or not) at what shows up.

Industry leaders do not always offer the best products, so it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that any list of leading brands I could give you would be inherently misleading.

In fact, you’ll be far better off if you create a list of your individual needs, highlight the most important one and search from there. For example, if you want a headset that you can use in the gym or whilst jogging, I’d have to recommend a completely different pair than I might if you simply wanted to look cool.

Personally, I find that the Apple headphones that came with my iPod are more than good enough for my basic needs, but the best headphones I’ve ever used were a pair of Urbanista Copenhagen headphones that I reviewed for a site sometime last year. However, those headphones would be completely inappropriate for some uses such as jogging or running to catch a train.

For some advice about choosing the right pair, I went to Jamie Lendino’s PC Mag article, which was posted online earlier this year, the article is insightful and offers a comprehensive run-down of what different types of headphones can do for you. Lendino says,

“Some people happily spend more than half a grand on a new tablet or portable media device with an estimated lifespan of around three years, yet the question we’re asked often is still, “What’s the cheapest pair of headphones I can buy that don’t completely suck?” Headphones, earbuds, and earphones (we’ll describe the difference between them in a bit) are generally viewed as the least essential link in the musical chain—the part you can easily skimp on. In reality, your headphones are the most important link in that chain: A quality pair has a larger impact than the player itself on how your tunes will sound. Also, if well cared for, they will long outlive your planned-to-be-obsolete tablet, phone, or MP3 player. And you don’t have to break the bank, either”.

Whitson Gordon, at ‘Life Hacker.com’, also has a very useful article along the same lines, which you can read by clicking HERE.

So, to reiterate, brands like Sennheiser or Shure may have sterling reputations (and those reputations are certainly deserved for some of their products), but I strongly recommend being concerned more with the performance, function and price of your headphones, than with what the logo looks like.