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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Electronic ear muffs info wanted
Organization: Dixie Communications, The South's First Commercial Public Access Unix (Patrick U. Hsieh   x3145) writes:

#I'm interested in hearing what
#experiences all you net-folks have with the electronic muffs, such as the
#Wolf's Ears, Peltors, etc., particularly how well they cut out noise and how
#well they work in sustained fire environments.

I use Silencio RangeSafe amplified muffs in silhouette competition and
have shot with Action Ears.  The Action Ears are big and gross and bulky
and pretty much unsuitable for serious sustained use unless you have the
neck of a football player.

The Silencio muffs are great.  The mechanism is built into a standard
set of muffs.  A microphone is mounted in the muff body.  It has a 
volume control knob for each ear.  They are available in either
stereo or mono.  The squelch is fast enough to catch all of the muzzle
blast with no trouble.

The trick to making these work well for competition is to wear them 
so that the microphone faces rearward.  That greatly lessens the 
sensitivity of the unit to adjacent muzzle blast.  I've also modified the
circuit to decrease the squelch decay time constant which makes the 
muff recover from muzzle blast faster.  It is also trivial to add 
an LED to indicate when the squelch is activated so your spotter can
tell when you're able to hear him.

It is wonderful to be able to hear my spotter speak in a normal voice.
I'd go back to unamplified muffs only as a last resort.  They would be 
equally effective for home defence assuming one had the opportunity to
mount them.  You'd have to get the stereo model so that you could 
DF sound sources.  The stereo separation is great and the image is 
very sharp because the microphones are further separated than your ears.
Highly recommended.


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Amplified ear protectors
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access

rutgers!!hollombe@cs.UMD.EDU (The Polymath) writes:

#I asked Silencio about this.  They refused to be pinned down, but, off
#the record, told me the amplified models are made from the same cups and
#padding as their Navy Flight Deck model.  The Navy Flight Deck model
#has an attenuation rating of 25.  How the microphones and such might
#affect that I don't know, and Silencio's not telling.

Silencio is not telling because they are not allowed to.  Currently
OSHA in their infinite wisdom, does not allow active hearing protection
to be rated.  Note on the package that the OSHA rating for the amplified
phones is zero.

That is correct about the Flight Deck model.  My local store sell 'em
both side by side.   The passive ones are rated at 25 db.  From having
had mine apart in order to change the recovery time constant, I'd imagine
that the electronics have no effect on this rating.


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Active Hearing Protectors (eg. "silencio" )
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access.  The Mouth of the South.

mtxinu!sybase!bulldog!joe@ucbvax.Berkeley.EDU (Joseph Weinstein) writes:

#My gunshop will give me a deal on some Silencio electronic
#hearing protectors. What are the best brands? Is this one
#any good?

I have the Silencio ones.  I'm quite satisfied with them.  Be sure
to get the stereo ones.  Sometimes you see the mono ones sold
as "bargans".  They work but you get no indication of a sound's source.

One nifty feature is you can stand around and hear conversations
going on several stalls away.


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