I have a bunch of the Moto HMN9026 speaker/mics and while they are robust and decent quality, the sound is not great and they don’t go loud at all. Radios are set to volume of 14 which is really loud without the speaker/mics.
Anyone found a decent quality speaker/mic for the DTR series that goes louder and sounds as clear as the speaker in the DTR itself?
The DTR uses an independent volume setting for headsets/speaker mics. A setting of 14 on the internal speaker would be VERY loud, and very distorted. I run mine 9 to 10, depending on conditions.
Set your internal speaker volume to where you want it, using the side volume adjustment buttons, and then once you plug in the headset or speaker mic, set the volume AGAIN. If the speaker mic is close to my ear, I may run it at 8 to 9.
When you turn the radio off, unplug the speaker mic, turn it back on and you will see your volume is now back to the setting you used for the internal speaker. Turn it off again, plug in the speaker mic, and turn it back on. You will now find the volume will return to the setting you used for the external speaker/headset setting.
The easiest way to check the volume number is of course to hit the volume button on the side and read what it says. When you hit the button though, the volume will change up or down one increment, depending on which button you hit, but it is easy to return it back to the original setting with a click in the opposite direction.
There is no way a speaker mic should ever need 14 on the volume scale. As I suggested on the other forum, it could also be a pin length issue. The older Motorola two-pin connector uses shorter pins than the newer version, and I have found some older two-pin connectors work and some don’t. To check for sure, the exposed length of the long 3.5mm pin measures about .610-inches from base to tip. The older two-pin measures about .575-inches. If the pin does not measure .6-inches, this could be where the problem is.
I run the speaker/mics at 14 and they are not very loud. The speakers in the DTR radios are very loud however.
Have you tried the HMN9026c with your DTR? I’d be curious to know if you find that they go as loud as the internal speaker for you. Perhaps I have some defective ones (I have about 35 of them though, so I’d be surprised…)
Since the pin is only a 2-conductor, I don’t see how the length would make any difference. It would either connect or not, correct? Also, the HMN9026c is the specified speaker/mic for the DTR as per Motorola, in their literature and when I contacted them.
I have never tried those Motorola speaker mics. But the DTR has almost double the audio output of many other walkies, and this is why the internal speaker is very loud. I am speculating - although you would know far better than me - that the external speaker/headset audio output uses different circuitry from the internal speaker, and thus will never be as loud. Just for fun, I pulled out two radios and compared the actual volume. There is no question that the speaker mic runs quieter than the internal speaker.
Speaker mics are designed to be placed much closer to your ear of course. That is what makes them sound louder and clearer. But when I say they are quieter, I am not talking by a huge amount. Are you saying there is a significant difference in volume, or a subtle difference in volume? Subtle differences could be explained by the different output of the headset circuitry versus the internal mic circuitry. Hugely significant differences could be the mic or the pins.
As for pin length, it works the same as when you don’t push the connector deep enough into your iPod. There is sound, but it is very low. I am guessing that it makes contact but with the wrong part of the connector.
I also just reconfirmed what I said about pin length. The older two-pin has a 3.5mm pin that is .570 inches in length, while the newer two-pin is .610 inches in length. I have found through experience that SOME older two-pins work in the DTR and some don’t.
I actually took a knife and shaved some rubber off the pin base, and that worked. At least, it might be an option if you need just one to work. If you need all 35 to work, that would be way too much work … at least for me.
Several days ago I found a speaker mic on amazon that also incorporated the antenna in the mic body. At my insistence, all of our DTR radios are used with a speaker mic. The reason is two fold. Using a speaker mic takes wear and tear off the actual radio, but it also protects the PTT switch in the radio. Should a mic PTT problem occur with a speaker mic, simply replace the speaker mic and your back in business. The DTR is a very nice radio, but quite expensive compared to speaker mic’s.
With the thinking that an antenna higher up on the body could possible be of benefit, especially during the winter months when wearing a heavy jacket, I orderd two of these speaker mic/antenna combinations at this link:
The mics came early yesterday morning, and I put them through some tests in the afternoon and evening. Number one, the range with this mic was not any better than simply using the 6.5" 1/2 wave whip on the radio. The range is also not any worse. Clarity of this mic was on par with Motorola’s mic. All in all this is a nice mic/antenna system, and I can see some value here for some occasions. If you were operating in a fringe area, you might see a slight improvement having the antenna higher up on the body, especially when wearing heavy winter clothing. With that being said, I noticed two things almost immediately that raised a red flag. The PTT actuator on the speaker mic is not as pronounced as on the Motorola models leading me to feel when using heavy winter gloves, you may have trouble pushing the PTT switch. I tried using the mic with my winter gloves on, and really did not have any issues. The 2nd thing I was alarmed about was the extra length of the antenna wire as opposed to the mic wire as evidenced in one of the pictures. I could envision a case where you may catch the antenna wire on something, pulling it out of the antenna/radio connector. Doing this may destroy your radio, if the PTT switch was pressed with no antenna attached. This would actually be the case should this antenna wire become dislodged from it’s connector. What I did as seen in the 2nd photo was to stretch the mic wire slightly to match the length of antenna wire, and tape them together. Doing this will keep the excess antenna wire from possibly getting hooked on something. Taping the two together securely also eliminates the wiggley play on the antenna wire at the radio connector possibly loosing it and or allowing it to become detached from the connector. I may as time permits play with this and see, if I can come up with a better solution.
The antenna on the mic unscrews just like the antenna on the radio. The mic antenna is about five inches in length compared to the 6.5" length of the 1/2 wave antenna used on the radios. I do not believe one should interchange the two antennas. I did screw the radio antenna onto the mic, but in doing so s small band of metal was left exposed on top of the mic that may or may not be an issue, but I would believe that this is not the best thing to do. An inch and a half more antenna length is probably not going to help anyway. My guess here is that the five inch antenna that comes with the mic is matched to the length of antenna wire for maximum preformance.
For the money, the mics are well worth the cost, but probably will only be used during the winter months when we are in winter gear. Which is exactly what I purchased them for anyway.
Interesting! Thank you for the review, Lonny, and I guess for being the guinea pig!
It sounds like in the end there’s no real advantage to that setup unfortunately. I have yet to encounter a problem with the PTT switches on the radio so I wouldn’t be too concerned about that either.
Our group use the speaker/mics for convenience. Pulling the radios on and off your belts constantly is a PIA. But, these radios were really made to have you looking at the screen to use them normally. It’s something they really could improve on with another firmware update if they cared!
I’m still looking for louder speaker/mics and once I get some time this summer I’m going to do some more research into that.
The DTR series doesn’t seem to have any auto gain on the mic itself. If someone yells into the mic the radio blasts. I don’t remember off the top of my head, but is there a manual gain setting in the programming software for the mic? Other option is to talk louder or have the mic closer to your mouth. I know it sounds like novice advise, but with the lack of auto gain on the mic it might be a workaround solution??
The lack of auto-gain on the mic is always a problem when new people here (that are not use to radios) use the DTR. Either we can barely hear the transmissions or risk going deaf. (ear pieces used).
There is an “ambient noise” adjustment in the latest software which basically increases or decreases the gain of the mic.
I’m planning to do some tests this summer to better document how this works as the manual is unclear.
My expectation is that setting this setting to “high” is the lowest mic gain, and “low” is the highest mic gain.
I think you are correct Andy. Based on my experimentation with ambient noise settings, in a high wind environment, I set it to HIGH and that lowered the mic gain enough to be clearly understood. So in a low noise environment, the person is liable to need to talk much quieter, so the gain will go up when set to LOW. And, yes the manual is both confusing and contradictory. (It is wrong in one place; right in another.)
I think I will also play with the gain this summer and see what happens. But if it is even a bit windy, LOW setting may be too much gain to work properly.