VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

  #1  
Old 11-22-2007, 07:00 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,872
Default DIY Ear Buds for your Halo....

It's no secret that I absolutely love my Qt Halo headset - unless I am wearing a parachute and helmet, you won't catch me flying my plane without it - so comfortable and convenient, with excellent hearing protection. The only "problem" that I have found is that the ear buds last me about three weeks before losing their resiliency and therefore their sealing and noise protection properties. Perhaps it's just that I put them on a good ten times a week that causes it.....

I settle on the yellow buds as my favorites, and traded with a few folks on the forums to get a few more and let the other styles I wouldn't be using end up in the hands of folks where they would be. The yellow buds are basically the standard foam ear plug with an attaching tube installed in the middle. I try and get as much use out of each pair as I can, but can tell a huge difference when I put a new pair in place - the loss of protection is gradual, and you only notice when there is a change. The QT web site does say that you can buy more, and in fact, when I was at Oshkosh this year, I stopped by their booth and told them I need some more, and why, and they gave me a dozen or so for free. They told me that they are normally 75 cents a pair, and that they be washed so I shouldn't need that many.

I finally had a handful of used one, and ran them through the wash, and while they came out clean, they still had lost their ability to expand properly, so rather than sink a lot of money into ordering a bunch, I decided that I should give a little DIY a try. (I can't expect them to keep handing me freebies at every airshow where I find them!) I happened to be standing at my workbench with a pair of yellow foam ear plugs in my hand, and some heat shrink lying in front of me. I drilled holes in the plugs, cut a couple of pieces of tubing, used a dab of super glue, and voila' - perfect duplicates! A quick trip to the airport and short flight confirmed that worked great.

The next stop was the internet, searching for "foam ear plugs". I found a supplier that sold them in any quantity that you want, and ordered a box of 200 pairs for $15. 3/32" heat shrink is four feet for a dollar at my local electronics house, so that was my next step. Super glue I have.

the manufacturing process is simple. Take a handful of ear plugs, and put them in a small cooler with some ice packs. chuck up a #43 drill in a Dremel tool - you need a really high speed to do this right. When the ear plugs are frozen hard, take them out one at a time, ad drill holes in the centers, from the end of the plug with the "skin". I found that clamping the Dremel in place and moving the foam worked best. Cut the heat shrink into 1.25" pieces. Slide a piece in each hole, put just a drop of super glue on the tube, and slide it into the foam so it is flush on one end.


Repeat for as many as you think you might want to have......


I've flown with my home-mades twice, and they seal great! I'll see how long they give good performance - hope they last as long as the QT ones - but even if they don't, they are only about $0.12 per pair, so i can change them much more often. there's something nice about a fresh set of ear buds - kind of like putting a new, sharp bit in your drill after a couple hundred holes....
__________________
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-22-2007, 07:56 PM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,443
Default

Hi Paul I see you were getting careless with your drilling the holes they aren't all in the centre.lol
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-22-2007, 08:31 PM
JimmyBob JimmyBob is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 14
Default Supplier name?

Paul,

This is great info. Can you tell us the name of the supplier you used to get the earplugs (and the part number)?

Thanks,

Jim
__________________
Jim Caufield
RV-4, Got as far as the wing kit, sold
Cessna 120 N90077, destroyed in a crash
Mooney M-10 Cadet N52WT, flying
RV-12, Seriously considering
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-22-2007, 08:43 PM
tc1234c's Avatar
tc1234c tc1234c is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Port Orange, FL
Posts: 1,020
Default

Paul,

I just ordered a box (200 pairs) through Amazon.com for $29 (including shipping). Although not $15, it is still cheap.

One question, what is the purpose of the extra length of tube outside the plug? I have been cutting it off before inserting the end of the tubephone to the plug.
__________________
Ted Chang, VAF #681
RV-9A #91048, flying since 8/2006. 2,050 hrs.

2018 Due paid
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-22-2007, 09:35 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,872
Default

The extra length? I hadn't thought of cutting it off Ted - I guess I use it to hang on to when I install it. I guess whatever works best for you ...works!

AS far as buying them - I just searched for EAR foam ear plugs and got a bunch of places - just picked the first one that had a good deal.

Paul
__________________
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-23-2007, 12:07 AM
RVAddict's Avatar
RVAddict RVAddict is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sedalia,KY
Posts: 252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman CYYJ View Post
Hi Paul I see you were getting careless with your drilling the holes they aren't all in the centre.lol

That one single solitary earplug drew my attention too. I'm gonna chalk it up to being one of the very first, or very last ones he did!!

Thanks for posting this, Paul. I just got a Halo and love it so far. (I've got about 3 hours with it) I had thought about rolling my own ear plugs for it, but you beat me to the punch!! I wrote the instructions you posted in the other thread down for future refrence.

Great job!

Thanks,
Josh
__________________
"Shake the hand that shook the world" - Walter O'Dim

Last edited by RVAddict : 11-23-2007 at 12:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-23-2007, 07:55 AM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,872
Default

Ahh yes....a few off-center holes. QA experts will be happy to know that I did qualification testing (I stuck them in my ears!) of foamies with "less than perfectly centered" holes, and they appeared to perform equally as well as their better-formed brethren. Besides, it is kind of daunting to hold that little 1/2" diameter cylinder and slide it onto a drill bit spinning at 20,000 rpm on a DREMEL. Some of them get away from you...

Scott - give the Halo's a try! I have flown with all sorts of contraptions on my head over the decades, and while I sometimes like the secure feeling I get with a full-pressure helmet, nothing has felt as free as the Halo - I forget I have it on. AS to hearing protection, I had my Flight Surgeons check it out, and they said I'd get as good of protection as if I was using an ear cup ANR headset....so how's that arm feeling now?

Paul
__________________
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-23-2007, 08:22 AM
Guy Prevost's Avatar
Guy Prevost Guy Prevost is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: albuquerque, nm
Posts: 1,189
Default

On the way to LOE in my father-in-law's 182, I swapped my QT Halos for my wife's non ANR lightspeed headset and my father-in-law's ANR David Clarks. All 3 of us agreed that the Halos were the quietest. They're also the most comfortable headset I've ever worn. YMMV.
G
__________________
Guy Prevost
Albuquerque, NM
RV-8a Built, Enjoyed, Sold
Two Kids: Built, Enjoying
RV-10, Bought, Rebuilt, Enjoying
Build / First Flight Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f9HXzZT1dE

Arguing on the internet is like having a competition to see who can hit a brick wall the hardest. You may win, but you're still an idiot.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-23-2007, 11:24 AM
rv8bldr's Avatar
rv8bldr rv8bldr is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pakenham, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 620
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Chastain View Post
Twisted! Guess I'll give Halo a whirl!

Scott
Hey Scott

I wasn't sure either, but decided to take a chance and try them out. Result? Awesome. I'm going to sell my Lightspeed 20XLC (which I really like)

Cheers
__________________
Mark

RV-8 C-GURV (Flying since Nov 2004) - Sold
Scratch building 4pl Bearhawk (C-GPFG reserved)
Flying a '79 Maule M5-235C
Ex-military : Donated anyway (it's worth it)

President EAA 245 Ottawa, ON
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-23-2007, 07:52 PM
videobobk's Avatar
videobobk videobobk is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Near Scipio, in Southern Indiana
Posts: 1,779
Default

One thing I don't see mentioned about the Halos that I really like is the clarity. They are quieter than my Sennheiser ANR's, and much more comfortable. But they are also way clearer. Maybe it's just me, but the "Say again's" have dropped to zero with Halos. I think the speakers are better. Love 'em. And thanks for the hint on making your own, Paul. Think I'll make a little holder and drill them on my lathe. That should keep all those holes centered (and not through my finger.)

Bob Kelly
__________________
Bob Kelly, Scipio, Indiana
Tech Counselor
Founder, Eagle's Nest Projects
President, AviationNation, Inc
RV-9A N908BL, Flying

Last edited by videobobk : 11-23-2007 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Spelling
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:00 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.