Bluetooth VHF headset, coming soon

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

5 Responses

  1. OldSailor says:

    Hi Ben,
    Great development.Very useful to mariners.

  2. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Now that looks really nifty !!
    The best part is that my crew won’t be asking me to turn down my vhf radio volume so they don’t have to hear it.
    I have some thoughts as to how such a gadget could be even more attractive:
    1. Avoid interference from bluetooth phones. E.g. don’t play telephone conversations, don’t allow telephone conversations to disrupt VHF.
    2. Multi user mode – Allow two or more headsets to be “on” listening to the same radio, and whoever talks first gets to transmit while the other headsets listen.
    3. Intercom – Have a button on each headset to toggle all headsets between simplex VHF and duplex intercom private conversation and back (e.g. allow crew to talk to the helmsman while docking, etc.). If any one person hits the toggle button, all the headsets will behave as intercom or switch back to VHF at once. While in intercom mode, for safety, allow the base radio and it’s direct connected microphone/speaker to stay in vhf mode.
    3. Given that a headset doesn’t allow for many buttons, also ship battery operated bluetooth remotes that have the following features:
    a. Battery or 12vdc operated. Place 12vdc jack under unit so it’s invisible when in use.
    b. Extremely small form factor and priced under $50 each, to allow a couple to easily be placed in a boat, like some of those stereo remotes that are out there. For example I would have one at the helm, and another on my companionway where I normally hang out when I let someone else helm.
    c. A belt buckle attached version might be useful too.
    d. Have similar display and buttons to the ICOM Commander II, e.g. very few buttons to keep the small form factor. Although, it would be useful to have a rotary control rather then up/down buttons. It would also be nice to have a button to jump between two or three selected channels (e.g. 16 + one or two channels I preprogram)
    e. No button necessary to switch between vhf and intercom on the headsets, button on headset is sufficient.
    f. To keep the size small consider not having a DSC button, instead have yet another bluetooth remote with a DSC button only, with flip up cover to prevent accidental press.
    g. Auto turn-off remote on no activity (no button pressed). Press any button (or rotary) to wake
    h. On low battery, operate in power saver mode. The buttons work when pressed, but the display only appears for 10 seconds at a time.
    … so I picture having my headset have a big transmit button, big intercom toggle button, volume control, a small on/off switch, a VOX on/off switch, maybe also a button as in (d) above that toggles between channel 16 and another channel I select, and not much else.
    BONUS: Support a music-on-hold capability, e.g. when there is not transmit/receive, the headset can play music. Rather then build the feature into the radios, have a bluetooth transmitter molded into a 12vdc plug with a mini connector on the other end to accept a music source such as an ipod. The headsets would then switch between playing music and playing vhf. However on low battery a headset could ignore the music.
    BONUS: Offer this functionality in a handheld vhf radio, so I can optionally get all this without replacing my existing radio just yet, and/or I can take this with me when I charter boats.

  3. Terry says:

    Looks neat, I wonder if in their specs they made a provision for that one speaker to have a noise cancelling circuit built in – this would eliminate a nice chunk of constant noises, like wind, engine drone, ect., and allow for a lower overall volume. That would save your ear (read: hearing), no one wants to be great granpa…”talk to his right ear – it’s the good one.” 🙂
    Smart product that appears to have a place on the boat, or the boaters head.

  4. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Why didn’t this device get at least as many posts as the N2K ?
    Is there some way today to get VHF piped into your ear like this, without being tethered to a handheld VHF ???

  5. Dan (b393capt) says:

    I see this is on sale now, called the BH-2, packaged with the HX760S handheld radio.
    Has any one given this a try ?

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