If you guys can't help me, I'm gonna have to build this thing :( - Page 2

If you guys can't help me, I'm gonna have to build this thing :(

This is a discussion on If you guys can't help me, I'm gonna have to build this thing :( within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I have looked into them , and appreciate the "push" in the various options. I guess, in a nutshell, small ...

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Thread: If you guys can't help me, I'm gonna have to build this thing :(

  1. #16
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I have looked into them , and appreciate the "push" in the various options.

    I guess, in a nutshell, small things, i.e. ear plug type hearing aids, etc. would be a bit over his head. He does pretty well, but he has some mental and dexterity limitations. He has a flip phone and that's about all the technology he can manage.

    A headset I ordered for the project is due to arrive today, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and in case all else fails, I'll give these a try and see it they will produce enough sound to do the job. If not, it looks like over-the-ear type would be necessary. If they do, I'll probably build the power amp section and see what happens.

    In the mean time, if you discover something that might work, please let me know.
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    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
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  2. #17
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    About those nasty waveform pics...

    I changed the background color and recaptured them - just to clear up any confusion. Here's the input waveform, scale on the right axis and the output waveform, scale on the left axis. Clearly they are "out of phase" but that's a good thing - less chance of unintended feedback causing oscillations.



    I'm sure you noticed that little notch on the red (output) waveform. That's partly due to crossover distortion, the bootstrap circuit, and transistor gain. I have had some concern that the PNP and NPN output transistors might not have enough "oomph" to properly drive the load, so this morning, I looked at some different transistors with high gains and they produced this waveform - notice the notch is completely gone!

    We can all sleep better tonight, now that we don't have to worry about that pesky notch in the middle of a waveform



    Distortion was a concern and I used negative feedback in all amplifier stages to not only set and stabilize the gain, but to minimize distortion. Because the input and output are 180 out of phase it's hard to see if there's much difference in the waves' shapes, so I introduced an offset in the input waveform to superficially put it in phase with the output waveform. I was lucky that the two waveforms auto scaled to the exact same dimensions, here's how closely the two match up - this was made with the "notch" version. The significance here is that the input is a true sine wave. If the output matches it closely, there's little distortion. To go from 5 thousandths of a volt to 1.5 volts with almost no distortion, for me, is quite gratifying!

    Let me give this some perspective: this is like hitting a dime-sized target at 100 yards 10 times in a row!



    And just for thoroughness sake, here's the frequency plot with a white background.

    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  3. #18
    Distinguished Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Losing one's hearing sucks.
    It does limit social interaction.
    I have a wicked case of tinnitus. Hard to distinguish single conversations in a noisy room.
    About the only upside I have found is that I can't hear my wife yelling at me to do stuff anymore.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    I suggest that you look into a plastic case in which to put it, that might hang about your brother-in-law's neck (or go into his shirt pocket), with a twisted-pair wire to a small in-the-ear 'phone such as the older hearing aids and mini-radios used.
    Maybe you could give him two separate circuits (perhaps on one power supply), one for each ear, with two separate ear-plugs. Each circuit could be tuned differently.

    In any case, a smallish plastic box could probably contain the circuit board(s) and a couple of batteries without much fiddling.
    Flipping the box lid open to change batteries would not necessarily imperil the circuit board(s).

    Helpful?
    I thought this would be attached to either side of the Tin Foil Hat that comes with it....

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by xXxHeavy View Post
    I thought this would be attached to either side of the Tin Foil Hat that comes with it....
    I have a difficult situation here. My brother in law needs something to help him hear; his hearing is really diminished. He has mental and dexterity limitations, so options are few. It's looking like the only options are to hope the small headphones work, and if not then maybe over the ear types.

    But it you have some other thoughts for a better solution, I could use the help.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    Losing one's hearing sucks.
    It does limit social interaction.
    I have a wicked case of tinnitus. Hard to distinguish single conversations in a noisy room...
    Me too - even with good hearing aids.
    montejames likes this.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    I suggest that you look into a plastic case in which to put it, that might hang about your brother-in-law's neck (or go into his shirt pocket), with a twisted-pair wire to a small in-the-ear 'phone such as the older hearing aids and mini-radios used.
    Maybe you could give him two separate circuits (perhaps on one power supply), one for each ear, with two separate ear-plugs. Each circuit could be tuned differently.

    In any case, a smallish plastic box could probably contain the circuit board(s) and a couple of batteries without much fiddling.
    Flipping the box lid open to change batteries would not necessarily imperil the circuit board(s).

    Helpful?
    @M1911A1 , I meant to respond to this and forgot, but...

    That's pretty much the concept. That's what I've been seeing with commercially available "sound amplifiers" too. I'm hoping I can put a clear plastic cover on the box to show off the electronics .

    The headsets will have the wiring and a 3.5mm plug so that solves the wiring problem nicely.

    Good point about the stereo configuration. It's been on my mind that with just one mic and one amp circuit, he would have no sense of sound direction. OTOH, two separate circuits, left and right, would drain twice as much power from the battery. Haven't done the calculations yet to see if that would be a problem, but it would be a bit more bulky.

    We may have to settle for bulk to gain some hearing anyway though. If I have to build this thing, it will have to be on a small solderless breadboard, initially at least. If I find it works for him, I may layout a printed circuit board and have a PCB made. Before i retired, I could make PCBs at school, but it requires some nasty chemicals and equipment and I just don't want to get into that. But, it seems pretty reasonable to have a PCB made these days.

    Probably gonna use rechargeable batteries - I expect alkaline AAs, etc. would drain pretty frequently with every day use.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  8. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Novarider's Avatar
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    What about just regular rechargeable hearing aids? Nothing that would be over his head. Take them off each night and put them in the charger.
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  9. #24
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    Isn't there a type of small battery that holds it's voltage as it weakens and then the power suddenly drops off - rather than AA which taper down? Doesn't a hearing aid battery work that way or maybe a camera battery? I can't remember all the terminology of battery construction and types.

    Way back in the 80's, Radio Shack sold simple hearing amplifiers but every time you moved the case you picked up and amplified that movement as it brushed up against something or moved in your pocket and it was pretty bothersome.

    I've had both digital and analog hearing aids and both have quit working. Sounds like I need to take a trip to the VA as everyone keeps urging me to do. The digital had two channels and some now come with many more. Most likely to do what you are attempting here. If you come up with something probably everyone here could benefit.
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  10. #25
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    Darn it @Tangle . This is America...please do the project in English!
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  11. #26
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    I am so thankful that you are doing that. I lost 79% of my hearing in my left ear in 1980 and it had progressed to 99%. It is so frustrating to not be able to triangulate where a sound comes from due to only one functioning ear and the hearing aide for that ear is suppose to send the info to my right hearing aide....but it is far from perfect and quite annoying....I am very interested and I pray that you are going to succeed for you brother in law!
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novarider View Post
    What about just regular rechargeable hearing aids? Nothing that would be over his head. Take them off each night and put them in the charger.
    Many thanks! That's certainly an option, and I'd love to take that route, but there are some problems that discourage it.

    First, is the cost; they aren't cheap by any means, especially the ones with frequency adjustment.

    Next, all hearing aids have tiny filters to protect the transducer from getting contaminated with ear wax, etc. These tiny little filters have to either be changed out or cleaned frequently. He just can't do that.

    Next, being pretty small, they would be easy to misplace and lose and he would likely lose one or both. He can't find his second pair of glasses.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly2 View Post
    Isn't there a type of small battery that holds it's voltage as it weakens and then the power suddenly drops off - rather than AA which taper down? Doesn't a hearing aid battery work that way or maybe a camera battery? I can't remember all the terminology of battery construction and types.
    You are 'xactly right!

    NiCads and Ni-hydroxide act that way. But, there's always a "but" isn't there alkaline batteries have a "new" voltage of 1.5 volts. So two together would provide 3 V. But, in short time of usage, that voltage drops dramatically and then kinda settles down to a much slower rate of decline.

    Rechargeables aren't as bad as alkalines, but they do drop in voltage a bit with use. The "but" is, the rechargeables have a lower voltage from the start, about 1.2 volts as opposed to alkalines 1.5 volts. So two rechargeables together would give about 2.4 volts when fresh. Already very close to that 2 volt target I'm shooting for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly2 View Post
    ...Way back in the 80's, Radio Shack sold simple hearing amplifiers but every time you moved the case you picked up and amplified that movement as it brushed up against something or moved in your pocket and it was pretty bothersome.
    I am concerned about that very thing. Also, it could be that the mic(s) pic up his voice louder than those talking to him. There are certainly going to be some issues, but I'm hoping they are less of a problem than not being able to hear.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly2 View Post

    Way back in the 80's, Radio Shack sold simple hearing amplifiers but every time you moved the case you picked up and amplified that movement as it brushed up against something or moved in your pocket and it was pretty bothersome.
    With as much gain as you've designed into this he has a good point.

    Also if it works as well as you hope you might want to make a spare and keep an extra headset on hand.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by montejames View Post
    With as much gain as you've designed into this he has a good point.

    Also if it works as well as you hope you might want to make a spare and keep an extra headset on hand.
    Yeah, hearing aids typically have a gain of about 40 dB or so, currently my design is set at 48 dB - that's way too high, but fortunately very easy to change.

    Even at 40 dB the extraneous sounds can be a problem. Unfortunately, you have to have that much gain to improve hearing

    It looks like rechargeable hearing aids would be the best "hearing" solution, but the ones with frequency control are EXPENSIVE and they have to be tuned by an audiologist - more expense.

    I'll probably just give my design a try and how it goes. If it works - great, if it doesn't, maybe adjustments will help; if that doesn't work, it's back to square one.
    M1911A1 likes this.
    We don't have a gun problem in the US, We have a people problem.
    The problem we have is people that want to kill large numbers innocent people
    in Gun Free Zones.

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