Can I use my Android phone as a hands-free megaphone?

StewartR

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#1
I have an Android phone. I have a Bluetooth loudspeaker and I can use that to play music etc from the phone. I also have a Bluetooth hands free headset and I can use that to make calls without speaking directly into the phone.

So can I link all that up and use the phone as a hands-free megaphone? I'd like to be able to speak into the headset and have my voice come out of the loudspeaker. If it's possible, how do I do it?

(Why? I'm a rower and I want to find an easy way for the person giving the instructions to the crew to get his/her voice heard. If you're in a coxed boat, it's easy - the boat is wired with loudspeakers under each seat or under every other seat, and the cox has an audio box and a headset to speak into, which plugs into the boat's wiring. But in a coxless boat, typically a coxless four at our club, the person in the bow seat has to steer and give the commands as well as rowing, and there's no technological support. When you're going fast, or when you're passing a motorised craft, it can be very difficult for the cox to make him/herself heard. Ironically the person who is most likely to not be able to hear the commands is the stoke, furthest away at the other end of the boat, who is the one person who really needs to hear the commands as all the others take their cues from the stroke.)
 
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#2
I have an Android phone. I have a Bluetooth loudspeaker and I can use that to play music etc from the phone. I also have a Bluetooth hands free headset and I can use that to make calls without speaking directly into the phone.

So can I link all that up and use the phone as a hands-free megaphone? I'd like to be able to speak into the headset and have my voice come out of the loudspeaker. If it's possible, how do I do it?

(Why? I'm a rower and I want to find an easy way for the person giving the instructions to the crew to get his/her voice heard. If you're in a coxed boat, it's easy - the boat is wired with loudspeakers under each seat or under every other seat, and the cox has an audio box and a headset to speak into, which plugs into the boat's wiring. But in a coxless boat, typically a coxless four at our club, the person in the bow seat has to steer and give the commands as well as rowing, and there's no technological support. When you're going fast, or when you're passing a motorised craft, it can be very difficult for the cox to make him/herself heard. Ironically the person who is most likely to not be able to hear the commands is the stoke, furthest away at the other end of the boat, who is the one person who really needs to hear the commands as all the others take their cues from the stroke.)
Screenshot_20180810-165551.png
 

Nod

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#3
Having almost deafened myself (and Mrs Nod!) when testing that her phone was properly paired with her fresh car (by calling her using my phone while sat in the car... :banghead:) and getting horrendous feedback, I'd be a bit careful having the phone anywhere close to an external speaker. I'd see if I could find a cheap, light and waterproof system to communicate with your stroke (and 2 & 3) if necessary. There are also a few cheapish walkie-talkie systems on the market that should do the job.
 
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StewartR

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I'd be a bit careful having the phone anywhere close to an external speaker.
Thanks for the warning. Hopefully I'll be OK - phone in a waterproof bag underneath bow seat, speaker between seats 3 and 4, separation about 3 metres. But I can experiment on dry land first.
I'd see if I could find a cheap, light and waterproof system to communicate with your stroke (and 2 & 3) if necessary. There are also a few cheapish walkie-talkie systems on the market that should do the job.
Any suggestions or links? I'm not sure what kind of thing you're talking about. Remember I need it to be hands-free and always on, no push-to-talk nonsense.
 
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#7
I think you might have missed the bit about wanting a hands-free megaphone? That app says it can send the phone mic to an external speaker, but I can't hold the phone whilst rowing.
As a free download it's worth a try to see if it can pick up your hands free mic when connected.
 

Nod

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Thanks for the warning. Hopefully I'll be OK - phone in a waterproof bag underneath bow seat, speaker between seats 3 and 4, separation about 3 metres. But I can experiment on dry land first.

Any suggestions or links? I'm not sure what kind of thing you're talking about. Remember I need it to be hands-free and always on, no push-to-talk nonsense.

If the phone's microphone can pick up your voice from there, I would think that you should be safe! Try at low volume settings to start though, just in case.

THIS is the sort of thing and I THINK it comes with boom microphones and is reasonably water resistant. (Amazon link - other suppliers are available... [Might even be claimable as a business expense should you ever need to communicate with employees in your warehouse... ;) ])
 
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#10
This one though "push to talk" uses a button you could likely attach to the oars, would that 'do the job'???

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ridingtoo-...2woq2u9hn96w_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&s=electronics
That's a very neat looking unit and I can absolutely see how one could use that on a bike with the push-to-talk button fixed to the handlebars.

But I guess you've probably never rowed. The big issue here is that the oar has to rotate by 90° at the start and finish of each stroke. So it's not possible to fix the push-to-talk button in a position which is constantly accessible throughout the stroke: the part of the oar handle which is under your thumb on the drive phase is not conveniently reachable during the recovery phase, and vice versa.
 
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#11
That's a very neat looking unit and I can absolutely see how one could use that on a bike with the push-to-talk button fixed to the handlebars.

But I guess you've probably never rowed. The big issue here is that the oar has to rotate by 90° at the start and finish of each stroke. So it's not possible to fix the push-to-talk button in a position which is constantly accessible throughout the stroke: the part of the oar handle which is under your thumb on the drive phase is not conveniently reachable during the recovery phase, and vice versa.
Re: oar rotation ~ penny drops! Thinking out loud ~ can you buy ex military two way radios that have throat mikes and can operate 'open channel' ???
 
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#12
Found this so in haste, because no time now, to dig deeper to see if they or more modern version exists.
https://www.networkworld.com/articl...ragon-offers-two-way-voice-via-bluetooth.html

It says this
"Why it’s cool: What takes this device beyond a normal Bluetooth headset is its proprietary two-way communication feature. If you have a second Dragon headset, you can create a full duplex, two-way audio channel between the two Dragon headsets, creating walkie-talkie communications between the two headsets. Once the two headsets are paired, you can push a button to create the audio channel (just like a walkie-talkie or push-to-talk cell phone), and then leave the channel open or push the button again to close the channel. As long as the two headsets are paired and within 250,000 square feet of open space, two people can carry on a conversation with each other hands-free and without having to use a cell phone network as an intermediary."

Sounds to me like the sort of solution you need ;)


PS OK I kept digging ....................not sure if this does the duplex between headsets but does mention it
http://www.motorcycleintercoms.net/cardo-scala-rider-g9-powerset-motorcycle-intercom-review/

https://www.gearbest.com/other-motorcycle-accessories/pp_589298.html?wid=1527929

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-Interphone-Waterproof-bluetooth-Motorcycle/dp/B0722KDTDK

Lots more similar that mention "Full Duplex" headset to headset comms.
 
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#13
Thanks for all the hardware suggestions folks, but I don't think they're really what I'm looking for. My requirements here are:
1. Totally hands free
2. Waterproof
3. One person speaking, three listening
4. Inexpensive

I don't want to force people to wear earpieces. I really really don't want to force them to wear crash helmets, which seems to be a requirement of these motorbike comms systems.

And I don't want to spend a serious amount of money when it seems to me that I already have all the hardware I need (headset, phone, speaker) if I can only get it to work....
 
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