One of the tandem accessories we’ve had for a couple of years is our Tandem-Com wireless intercom set. We don’t use it all the time, but when we do, I really enjoy it. It makes communication really effortless, and I think we tend to be more “chatty” when we use it.
Unless we are heading into a strong headwind, we can literally whisper into the microphone and the other person can hear what is being said. Sometimes, that’s too much of a good thing, however, especially for Pam. When I’m working hard, she can hear me panting for breath if I’ve got the mike too close to my mouth, and when we ride with someone, they do kind of get loud when one of us is talking to a third person because we tend to raise our voices a little.
Her biggest complaint about them, though, is that the headset is uncomfortable to wear. Between that, glasses, and helmet straps, it doesn’t take long before her ear is hurting from the pressure points. I’ve thought a couple of times about trying to hack something together, and finally got around to trying it a couple of weeks ago.
We have a spare pair of headsets from an older unit that stopped working after getting doused in a good rainstorm once, so I figured if I cut one apart and couldn’t get something to work, it wasn’t really any skin off our noses. I grabbed a pair of clippers, some super glue, velcro, electrician’s tape, and the vinyl binder off an old notebook and started hacking!
This is the result:
I clipped the wire that makes up the band that goes around your head, straightened it out, then glued and taped it to a strip of vinyl from the notebook. Then, I used velcro tape to fasten it to the inside of Pam’s helmet. When we don’t want to use the headset, we simply pull the velcro apart and leave it at home.
Here’s what it looks like when she’s wearing it:
You can see that the speaker is held in just the right spot by her hear, and when she has the helmet on, there are no bulges or contact points against her head. She’s worn the microphone inside that strap as in the picture and outside with equally effective results. I think she prefers to wear it inside the strap to keep it from flapping when the wind is strong.
In total, it took me about 10 minutes to round up the supplies and put it together. I called this a prototype, thinking it would probably require some tweaks, and that I could eventually find a piece of black vinyl so it would look better. This works so well, however, that I’m probably not going to bother.
Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a little black tape and velcro?
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