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MyCrowFonie Maybe?

The idea of a wireless headset that can be used for contesting is one that I have discussed with several folks over time.  Kicking around ideas, none of the Bluetooth sets seemed suitable.  Battery life and charging options with most Bluetooth headsets seem too limited for use in a contest setting.

So, where might something more suitable be found?

It would appear that the online gamerz have a similar need, and at least one vendor is going to scratch their itch.  Creative Labs has a headset being marketed to the “WoW” crowd*. It is called the Creative Sound Blaster Wireless WoW Headset”.  The “Tom’s Hardware” computer site has a short review.

The review indicates it is a comfortable headset, uses USB for computer interface/charging, and is 2.4Ghz wireless technology rather than Bluetooth.  The Creative spec sheet shows a 112db SPL in the cans, and there is a volume control on the headset itself.  It would probably make an ideal wireless set for the contest operator – except for the $160USD price tag(listed$159 @TigerDirect).  But these gaming headsets have a tendency to drop in price over time, and if another vendor follows suit that price will likely drop.

I’m assuming that many “WoW”  gamers remain attached to their entertainment nearly as long as a contest operator keeps his Butt.In.Chair. The features description indicates the headset can operate while attached to the USB charger.  It should be a trivial hack for a ham to rig an outboard battery pack to supply the same 5v that would be supplied by a USB dongle.  Then it would also be simple to use with a logging program in a station set up to voice key via the computer.  There is also a dongle for a PTT footkey, that can be mapped to the keyboard.

It even has runes inscribed into the sides of the cans for that bit of supernatural DX’r mysticism, guaranteed to have that rare DX hear your 5w SSB signal when fed to the bedsprings.

*NOTE: For all you old geezers, “WoW” is an acronym for World of Warcraft, an online video game played by millions of gamerz world wide.

1 comment to MyCrowFonie Maybe?

  • Communicamating without wires! What will they think of next?

    Looks like an interesting possibility for the Big Gun shack (although seems it might be problematic for the M/M’s).

    A couple of things from the Tom’s Guide review. Apparently the manufacturer’s stated battery life is 8 hours, so some sort of recharge would be required, except for perhaps the 10m contest these days.

    There’s really cool LED’s behind the interchangeable disks on each ear piece. Clipping those wires is a mod that will probably give you an extra hour or two of battery life.

    Lastly, the review states: “In nearly every case, the implemented standard is Bluetooth or RF wireless. Bluetooth can murder battery life, and RF can be very temperamental and often relies on line-of-sight. Even the $200 X41’s from Turtle Beach use RF, so the 2.4 GHz wireless tech is probably a first for the gaming headset market (let us know in the comments if you know of another gaming headset that uses 2.4 GHz).”

    So, 2.4 GHz isn’t RF? Ok, they’re computer nerds, not radio nerds like us’ins. It’s just a funny (mis-)statement.

    I suggest you start re-selling these to the ham market and claim the runes on the side are the mystical incantations used by the Palo Verde Sundancers to bring back the sunspots.

    DX be!

    Cousin QRM

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