Hi. We give rides to a variety of visually impaired folk,often they have not been on a bike for years and never a tandem.
We have been looking for an easy way of connunication to get over wind and traffic noise and allow normal conversation so the pilot can descibe things etc.
Ideally it would need to be blue tooth as two of our riders have bluetooth enabled hearing aids.
I can only see very expensive set ups in America,it is actually quite a problem for us,any thoughts please.
Depending upon the make of the hearing aids you might be able to use an iPhone as a remote microphone connected to the hearing aids by bluetooth. This would work for my Oticon aids.
For some aids you can also get a multipurpose device that connects to the hearing aids via bluetooth or magnetic loop that can be used as a remite microphone
in both cases the device acting as the microphone needs to be out of the wind We can acieve that because it is the stoker communicating with the captain who uses hearing aids. It might not be so easy the other way round. Unfortunately the hearing aid specific devices tend to be propritry for each make or even model series of hearing aid e.g. I have a Phonak device that connects ny magnetic loop that you can steam to via blutooth but it doesn’t work with other aids with their magnetic loop enabled so It is of no use to me since I changed hearing aids.
Anyway, I hope that gives you some pointers to follow up on
The streamer equipment that comes with wireless aids is manufacture specific so you would need an Oticon microphone for using with the Oticon Streamer Pro, or Phonac etc equivelent. If all your stokers are in the same NHS area they would probably all have the same make of aids.
Whatever system you go for would involve a microphone which could be placed just under the chin with reduced exposure to the wind.
2 possibilities...a loop system would be compatible with alll makes of hearing aids but is the equipment portable? Check out what Connevans offer....
Or how about a Bluetooth mike with a Bluetooth speaker attached to the stokers bars?
I will ask Addenbrooke's if they have any ideas when I have an appointment in 2 weeks.
Thanks Steven and Chris.
Theres a lot for me to understand.It looks trickier than I thought.
I need to get to grips with Bluetooth connectivity for a start.
More homework needed abound specific hearing aids.
Hearing aid streamer systems are not Bluetooth which limits you somewhat. However my cochlear implant system DOES have a Bluetooth link but this was newly launched this year and it is likely to be several years before ordinary hearing aids are genuine Bluetooth.
If your stokers are "profoundly" deaf they should be using their own streamers and you would use their mikes when they ride with you.
E-mail Connevans to see what they sugest.
Thanks again Chris. I'm a bit confused. One of our riders has a hearing aid which he says has Bluetooth connectivity,I suspect he may be misinformed by the sound of it.I'm unclear how the microphone supplied with hearing aid works now! As I said,need to educate myself!
The clue Mick is to what they are wearing round their neck (if anything) The Oticon and Phonac systems require a streamer (looks like a small mobile phone) hung from the neck with the neck loop acting as an aerial. The Bluetooth sygnal is picked up by the streamer which sends the signal to the aids. The aids themselves do not recognise a Bluetooth signal. So your stokers would need streamers that were compatible with their aids and you would need a Bluetooth microphone. The Oticon etc microphones are not Bluetooth and are manufacture specific.
Hi Mick and Chris
My Oticon hearing aids most definitely Bluetooth. In fact they don't even need a streaming device to connect directly to my iPhone. I should add that mine are privately sourced NOT National Health supplied. Indeed Chris is probably correct about hearing aids not haveing bluetooth if they are National Health supplied. I also have a streaming device which will connect the aids to any other sound source capable of streaming over bluetotth.
My previous hearing aids were Phonak and used a streaming device with a wire loop around the neck that utilised the hearing aids' loop capability (like you see in post offices and some theatres). The connection to the steaming device from the sound source was via Bluetooth.
I also had a set of National Health hearing aids for which I purchase a streaming device and wire connections from Connevans. The connection between the streaming device worn on a lanyard and the hearing aid was by hearing aid specific wires. The connection between the sound source and the streaming device was bluetooth.
The common theme here is that if the hearing aid user has a bluetooth streaming device, you should be able to get some sort of microphone that will connect to the streaming device via bluetooth.
Connevans would be a good source for that. They produce a big catalogue of kit for hearing aid users. and are very helpful if you phone them.
As Chris says, the first thing you need to do is find out whether they have a streaming device worn as a clip or on a landyard what make and model it is (often the same make as the hearing aid but not always).
The streaming device I have ((supplied by connevans) I am willing to donate to your cause but it will require a hearing aid specific wired connection to the hearing aids and I think only a certain makes and models of hearing aid will have that capability.I have just had a look and I am unable to lay my hands on it right now (it's in a box somewhere). As soon as I find it I will let you know what it is.
I did just find a leaflet which show that there is what is called an FM adaptor that will plug into Oticon hewaring aids which would then connect to a device or sound source that can transmit the relevant FM radio frequency. Connevans would be able to help with that,
I will be in touch again in the next few weeks as I am due a tidy up of my offic and will probably locate the streaming device and wires while doing that.
I also have the Phonak streaming device called an iCom which I was going to sell as I no longer have Phonak hearing aids but I think it is specific to only certain Phonak hearing aid models.
You are going to need a microphone so that could be your starting point.
Clearly my knowloge of "normal" hearing aids is out of date! When Addenbrooks did my implant I got all the toys with it...courtesy of the NHS.
Big thanks to you both.,and a very helpful tutorial from you both.I really appreciate your time.
i think I've got it nod,I'll check with the riders what make of hearing aids they have,which is a stating point,and the streamer device,and whether that is available for.the specific aid.i then need to find a microphone which can pair with the streamer device.
Even if this could work,this only really allows one way comms and not all the visually impaired stokers have hearing problems,but a reliable form of communication between pilot and stoker is the most important.
Thsnks again guys.
A possible solution for your communication problem.
These use Bluetooth I think but have a read.
You would need to use earbuds with microphone with both pilot and stoker phone
As far as I can see it would be like talking on the phone,it uses the data connection...LTE..sorry don't know what that is!
The app allows 1 touch opening of the line....at least that's what I think.
i talked to one of our group with a hearing aid and she said that using two phones in close proximity gave problems,I had wondered if we couldn't just have a prolonged phone call as it were,battery permitting,but apparently this doesn't really work.
At least I'm learning a lot!
Recently we bought - on a whim - a couple of Livall smart helmets in Lidl. They have many innovative features and it needs some practice to optimise for your riding styles.
For communications there are built in speakers and microphone and via an app, riders can join a "group" and communicate with everyone in the group.
For us this is ideal especially if stoker pops across road to check out cafe, or seek directions - I can hear and contribute to conversation.
I imagine with a large group there would be conflicts if more than one rider tried to speak simultaneously.
Helmets also have built in back lights, indicators, auto emergency call if high impact detected.
As far as actually "being a good helmet" - it complies with all regulations and is the most comfortable hat I've had for some time.
Control is via buttons on helmet (awkward) or handlebar control (easy). There might be control via the app too - but haven't investigated that, since we keep our phones packed whilst riding.