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Request for help

  • Ian D Midgley
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  • 11 comments

Mark Deavin of the Taunton panel  would like to ask for help with the following:

We have a client with Parkinsons whose speech is nearing unintelligible as he talks very quietly, almost mumbles, and has difficulty forming words.

We have found that the combination of a headset microphone and amplifier significantly increases his intelligibility, but he has problems with the wires.

I am seeking a supplier of a kit consisting of a wireless headset microphone together with a wearable receiver/amplifier/speaker module; it would help if the amplifier frequency response were adjustable.

We thought it possible that other REMAP volunteers have encountered this problem and could suggest a solution.

If you can help, please leave a comment below or contact Mark at c.m.deavin@btinternet.com.

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11 responses to “Request for help”

  1. Derek Hayes says:

    Hi
    How about a water sensor – cheap circuits from Maplin (or I could send a cct diagram. You could link this to a timer device which could make a loud noise!
    Regards
    Derek

  2. Chris Dale says:

    Hi Mark.
    OK. I had thought that the small transmitter with inbuilt microphone and it’s associated receiver that can hang round the neck like these: http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/shop/conversorpro-product-l343.aspx would avoid the need for wires. It can work with a modern hearing aid. I just happened to have an earlier version of the Conversor that I don’t have a use for although the rechargeable batteries would need to be replaced.
    Chris Dale, West Midlands panel.

  3. Tom Bradley says:

    Mark,

    I had a voice reinforcement system installed about ten years ago as part of a boardroom refurb & was surprised how well it worked. I think the choice of a directional microphone was important, providing amplification without feedback. The microphone was mounted on a lectern so probably a couple
    of feet from the presenter. Assuming your client is not very mobile could a directional microphone be aimed towards him without the inconvenience of wires?
    The microphone we used was, from memory a sennheiser shotgun model which would probably have cost about £1500 but there are cheap directional mikes which might be worth a try.

    For example
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SG-108-Stereo-Video-Shotgun-Mic-Microphone-for-Nikon-Canon-Camera-DV-Camcorder-/110944435840?pt=UK_Photography_Microphones&hash=item19d4cdbe80
    My role was getting the builders works done, the audio & electronics were installed by a specialist contractor, Pendax.

    Tom

  4. Mark Deavin says:

    Hello Ashley,
    Thanks for your suggestion, but as you say that sort of kit is primarily for intercoms. It is the combination of a wireless connected headset and a small amplifier/speaker assembly that is difficult to find.
    Regards, Mark Deavin, Sherborne.

  5. Mark Deavin says:

    Malcolm, thank you for your reply.
    Our client already has a small amplifier with built-in speaker (made by AKAR) that would be ideal but it needs a wire connection to the microphone, this he finds cumbersome. It is the combination of the wireless connection and built-in speaker that is proving difficult to find.
    I have looked at QEDonline but there appears to be nothing that quite fits the spec. (regardless of expense), particularly as the kit needs to small and wearable.
    Regards, Mark Deavin, Sherborne

  6. Mark Deavin says:

    Hello Jim, thank you for your reply.
    Our client still has some speech ability and would wish to use this as long as possible, however your suggestion for a communication board is a good one that I shall certainly consider when he is no longer able to vocalise.
    Regards, Mark Deavin, Sherborne

  7. Mark Deavin says:

    Hello Chris, thanks for your reply.
    Our client already has a small amplifier with built-in speaker (made by AKAR) which would be ideal but it needs a wire connection to the microphone, this he finds cumbersome. It is the combination of the wireless connection and a built-in speaker that is proving difficult to find.
    I have looked at the ‘actiononhearingloss’ web site but they do not appear to offer anything quite suitable.
    Regards, Mark Deavin, Sherborne

  8. Chris Dale says:

    Hi Mark. Although your client isn’t deaf, he may benefit from a hearing aid.
    Althernatively, I have a couple of small amplifiers intended for use by deaf people, that I don’t presently have use for. Both have headphone sockets and one has an internal microphone. The other one has a socket for the microphone. Also available is an induction loop that plugs into the headphone socket and is lanyard that hangs round the neck. It would work with a hearing aid switched to the ‘T’ postion.
    Also there are various similar gadgets available from: http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/shop .
    Regards, Chris Dale, West Midlands panel.

  9. Jim Allen says:

    Suggest using a communication board – The board is in plastic double sided and the size is approx 42cm x 30cm and 1cm thick, they work out at about £50.00 and can be made up to any number of words numbers and data such as telephone number and address – just had one made at Fast Signs for a chap with ceribal plasey, His previous one he had been using for 15 years… pictues available on request. Noting clients speech will worsen to the point his ability to vocalise will deminish to near zero. so ‘sound devices’ will only work for a short period..

  10. Malcolm Logan says:

    Mark,
    There are lots of options out there.
    There are cordless speech amplifiers systems, speech enhancement units mostly running wireless at 2.4 ghz.
    go to QEDonline.co.uk and have a look at their options for ideas.
    I am not suggesting that you buy from them but you may get a clearer idea of wheat you are trying to achieve.
    I can suggest many ways of meeting your clients needs but what you need to do is describe exactly what you want. The wireless option is easy the frequency range and audio level requirements are what you need to establish.
    Malcolm.
    Derby, Burton & District Remap

  11. Ashley says:

    Hi. I would go and look at the intercoms/headsets worn by motorcyclists.
    Hope this is food for thought
    Ashley

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