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Old 27-10-2017, 09:14   #16
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

there is a sailor that crossed the Atlantic that I believe is completely deaf. He has a cat, Skatty, that helps him with alarms and such, alerting him if they go off. I have no idea how he deals with the VHF and clearing in and out. I think the others had great ideas of the larger speakers. You may also try hooking up lights to the alarms so they go off all over the cabin, or putting something that vibrates under your pillow so that it wakes you up when you are sleeping. Just ideas I remember from reading about the deaf community.
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Old 27-10-2017, 09:15   #17
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I have another idea for you since in my case the in-built VHF at the chart table has much better and clearer sound quality than the handheld i might have in the cockpit. Surely most of us have cockpit speakers for our music? Make a selector switch that will switch from music to the VHF sound so that way you can get as much volume as you like for VHF in the cockpit.
I have to use behind the ear hearing aids and these have the advantage of being able to add an additional program that will cut out rear sound. That way in a restaurant (I agree it is one of the worst environments) you sit with your back to most of the people, preferable facing a wall and then switch to the forwards-only mikes. Your companion/friend sits with their back to the wall, gets the view, but you do not get so much background noise.
I have not yet found a solution to wind noise apart from pulling a woolly hat over my ears+aids. OK if it is cold but no good in the summer.
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Old 27-10-2017, 09:26   #18
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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I too have diminished hearing and my biggest concern is the alarm buzzers on the MFD and other instruments. If some one could tell me how to hook these up to a louder signal that would be great.
The MFD probably has a provision for an external alarm so you can either connect a louder (to a point) alarm or connect a relay so you can use a really loud alarm or a light.

Other alarms can be changed to louder alarms or as above, a relay to control a really loud alarm.

A local person with a background in electronics can do this pretty easily for you. I doubt anyone on a web forum can give specific directions for your boat and your equipment.

.

For anyone with a hearing impairment, the first step is to go to a doctor who specializes in hearing issues and find out what will work the best for you and your situation. Even if you end up with hearing aids, modern day hearing aids are way more advanced than they were just a couple years ago.
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Old 27-10-2017, 10:16   #19
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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The MFD probably has a provision for an external alarm so you can either connect a louder (to a point) alarm or connect a relay so you can use a really loud alarm or a light.

Other alarms can be changed to louder alarms or as above, a relay to control a really loud alarm.

A local person with a background in electronics can do this pretty easily for you. I doubt anyone on a web forum can give specific directions for your boat and your equipment.

.

For anyone with a hearing impairment, the first step is to go to a doctor who specializes in hearing issues and find out what will work the best for you and your situation. Even if you end up with hearing aids, modern day hearing aids are way more advanced than they were just a couple years ago.
With a lot of noise or with the engine running I cannot hear the VHF messages.

The solution was a remote receiver set from Phonak. Consisting of a small around the neck receiver, wireless connected to my hearing aids.

The sending part is connected to the speaker socket of the VHF set.

The sending part is wireless connected to the "around the neck" receiver.

Now I can hear the the VHF messages loud and clear through my hearing aids. Even when working on deck.

I have added a 12 volt loader for set for topping up the batteries.

Bram
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Old 27-10-2017, 10:31   #20
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I have a 50% high frequency hearing loss from my military service. I donít wear my hearing aids aboard because of wind noise and possible water damage. I have to let my crew know ahead of time of my hearing loss and ask for their patience.
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Old 27-10-2017, 10:38   #21
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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As baby boomers age, many are finding hearing loss an issue in cruising and sailing. To wit, I am fine with face-to-face communication, but the vagaries/ variability/quality/static/interference/distortion of electronic audio make radio work a challenge. Hearing impairment is the only disability that inspires frustration/lack of empathy in those not so afflicted. What does one do after asking a hearing person to repeat their electronic audio message three times, and you still can't understand what they've said? It's less about volume than word recognition. I have a handheld VHF that I can hear fine, better than my hard-wired panel VHF which more often than not is unintelligible to me despite appropriate squelch and range settings; but dealing with marinas and bridge keepers and harbor masters is only one part of cruising. VHF is a coastal phenomenon, as is cell phone reception. I need access to real-time (texted) offshore weather information and communications. SSB will not cut it for me for hearing reasons. Satellite phones with text capability like Garmin's Inreach Explorer Plus provide weather information that most cruisers find inadequate in detail. More expensive iridium service does afford Gribs, but the cost is prohibitive for some. I would like this thread to begin a dialogue about hearing impairment and cruising, and to provide the hearing impaired among us a source of tech information to enhance their cruising safety (and therefore everyone else's). To those poised to say that "the hearing impaired are a danger to themselves and others, and have no business being on the water," I can only say that "the water" is a metaphor of life; and life has a way of humbling even the most young, fit, and haughty.
Had you considered earphones for you real VHF if the hand held is not a problem?
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Old 27-10-2017, 12:09   #22
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

For those of you who have given up on hearing aids because of wind noise, might try a new set. Just got a new set from Resound and had the wind noise setting turned to the max and they are working way better than the 4 year old set I gave up on.

I quit wearing my hearing aids several years ago because they didn't help all that much and all the problems that others have said. My hearing has gotten so bad that I couldn't understand most of what my grandkids said to me. They'd get a disgusted look on their face when I constantly asked them to repeat and quit talking to me. Figured I'd get a new set and try and reconnect with the kids. I'm still getting them tuned up but found they work way better than the old ones in all conditions. Still adjusting to high frequencies that I haven't heard in years but hearing is much improved.

Now if the price would come down to $50 a pair so I could stay up with the improvements. Tried the latest and greatest from Seimens and the sound was very unobtrusive and greatly improved hearing speech. Unfortunately don't have insurance so the $6,000 hit for them was out of the question. Fell back on Costco Hearing Aid service and got the Resound set for quite a bit less than half the Siemens. Understand Costco is able to sell cheap because the' aids' they sell are one generation behind the latest and greatest. Still the improvement in hearing aids over the past 4 years has been significant.
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Old 27-10-2017, 12:45   #23
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

My brother who is about 70 years lost his hearing. He got some sort of implant which restored his hearing on one side.

This is why I suggested above seeing a doctor who specializes in hearing loss. Each of us is different and some are best suited to one solution and others to another solution.

When hearing loss affects your life, it's time to see what can be done about it.
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Old 27-10-2017, 13:12   #24
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Say again?
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:09   #25
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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Had you considered earphones for you real VHF if the hand held is not a problem?
Thank you for your reply. Although proximity feedback has been reduced in the latest hearing aid technology, placing headphones over an ear with a hearing aid in it, or even the palm of your hand up against the ear, causes feedback and "whistling." I think the suggestion made about getting high quality VHF speakers will be my next attempted "fix." Every person's hearing loss is a unique audiogram of lost frequencies to different degrees, which is why some radios "come in clearer" than others.. Helen Keller, who was born both deaf and blind, opined that if she could have one sense of the two, she would want hearing. She said that blindness separates you from the world, but deafness separates you from people. Personally, I'd much rather be deaf than blind. Our cups are half full, not half empty.
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:20   #26
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Daniel - know only too well the problems that you're facing (up to a point). Yep, I am hearing challenged too (I think that is the PC version of "what-we-are"). I have Oticon hearing aids and the last two "versions" have come with a "Connect" (that device that hangs around your neck) which is the Bluetooth (yeah, I don't understand the "tooth" item of that either ) portion of the setup. I can receive phone (cell) calls through it to the hearing aids and it works pretty well - the "pretty well" is if things are fairly quiet, the radio is low, Admiral isn't talking and the dogs are asleep - in other words; well, you get the point. If there's any wind, I'm done . . . can't do anything about it. So the canvas stays down and I sweat like a pig and handle the complaints. Wife says she's got my back but she's not with me at the helm ALL the time so there's that . . . . haven't had a chance to interface with the VHF for any length of time (former river boater that was dammed up for a small lake) so can't speak to that. I will be installing a small, volume controllable external speaker in the Spring unless something comes around that is better. I like the concept of Bluetooth for music (app on my iPhone comes in through the Connect to the hearing aids) and I use Waze to get voice directions in my HA when I drive for my part-time job and yes, each can be interrupted if I get a phone call. . . . but the wind, that's the hurting part - really need a good set of headphones/earphones to help muffle the wind and "enhance" the audio of radio calls, wife's "instructions", anchoring advice, etc (you get the pict). Oh yeah, and don't let them get wet (the hearing aids). They'll short out and then you can't hear at all. . . . and yes, sweat does short them out!! . . . don't ask how I know that. Biggest issue: people don't enunciate properly or maybe, pronounce their words effectively making sure that the consonants are emphasized . . . guess another word is "SLANG" for what most people say is conversation.
Ok, rant over . . . hope you find some solace in some of this or do like I do . . . let the batteries run down on their own . . . .
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:30   #27
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

OpenCPN has a list of alarms you can choose to use as output, the General Quarters from the HMCS Halifax is my favorite. The younger crew likes the impartive sound of the Klaxon, but then again we are not a submarine.

I have been thinking of routing the optional sound output from key devices, such as the VHF not to the cockpit speakers , but rather thru the sound app on the Raspberrie Pi. Then I could liberate the Sennheiser Remote earphones from the TV at home for VHF traffic at the chart table. This would also complement music in the bunk while reading at anchor etc. Maybe even dedicate an outclass RasPi B to just audio work. So many options and not enuf time......
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:31   #28
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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Daniel - know only too well the problems that you're facing (up to a point). Yep, I am hearing challenged too (I think that is the PC version of "what-we-are"). I have Oticon hearing aids and the last two "versions" have come with a "Connect" (that device that hangs around your neck) which is the Bluetooth (yeah, I don't understand the "tooth" item of that either ) portion of the setup. I can receive phone (cell) calls through it to the hearing aids and it works pretty well - the "pretty well" is if things are fairly quiet, the radio is low, Admiral isn't talking and the dogs are asleep - in other words; well, you get the point. If there's any wind, I'm done . . . can't do anything about it. So the canvas stays down and I sweat like a pig and handle the complaints. Wife says she's got my back but she's not with me at the helm ALL the time so there's that . . . . haven't had a chance to interface with the VHF for any length of time (former river boater that was dammed up for a small lake) so can't speak to that. I will be installing a small, volume controllable external speaker in the Spring unless something comes around that is better. I like the concept of Bluetooth for music (app on my iPhone comes in through the Connect to the hearing aids) and I use Waze to get voice directions in my HA when I drive for my part-time job and yes, each can be interrupted if I get a phone call. . . . but the wind, that's the hurting part - really need a good set of headphones/earphones to help muffle the wind and "enhance" the audio of radio calls, wife's "instructions", anchoring advice, etc (you get the pict). Oh yeah, and don't let them get wet (the hearing aids). They'll short out and then you can't hear at all. . . . and yes, sweat does short them out!! . . . don't ask how I know that. Biggest issue: people don't enunciate properly or maybe, pronounce their words effectively making sure that the consonants are emphasized . . . guess another word is "SLANG" for what most people say is conversation.
Ok, rant over . . . hope you find some solace in some of this or do like I do . . . let the batteries run down on their own . . . .
Thanks for your reply. If you have hearing aids and are on the water, a hearing aid "dehumidifier" is a really good idea. Moisture is poison to electronics, and if the moisture of your ear isn't bad enough, the marine environment is the kiss of death. Putting your hearing aids in a dehumidifier at night will expand the intervals between servicing. Also, if you cruise with dogs, especially terriers, they will chew up your hearing aids into little pieces if given the chance. I find the funniest thing is that when some people know you are hearing impaired, they tend to YELL at you, and make a social scene of it. They don't understand that it's not just an issue of volume, it's word recognition. People sometimes bark at you too when you don't speak their language, and they think that if they just talk loudly enough, you'll "get it." LOL
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:44   #29
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
Thank you for your reply. Although proximity feedback has been reduced in the latest hearing aid technology, placing headphones over an ear with a hearing aid in it, or even the palm of your hand up against the ear, causes feedback and "whistling." I think the suggestion made about getting high quality VHF speakers will be my next attempted "fix." Every person's hearing loss is a unique audiogram of lost frequencies to different degrees, which is why some radios "come in clearer" than others.. Helen Keller, who was born both deaf and blind, opined that if she could have one sense of the two, she would want hearing. She said that blindness separates you from the world, but deafness separates you from people. Personally, I'd much rather be deaf than blind. Our cups are half full, not half empty.
Today, I believe they have hearing aids that are frequency sensitive. Not just an amplifier as in the past.
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Old 27-10-2017, 14:53   #30
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Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

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Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
Thanks for your reply. If you have hearing aids and are on the water, a hearing aid "dehumidifier" is a really good idea. Moisture is poison to electronics, and if the moisture of your ear isn't bad enough, the marine environment is the kiss of death. Putting your hearing aids in a dehumidifier at night will expand the intervals between servicing. Also, if you cruise with dogs, especially terriers, they will chew up your hearing aids into little pieces if given the chance. I find the funniest thing is that when some people know you are hearing impaired, they tend to YELL at you, and make a social scene of it. They don't understand that it's not just an issue of volume, it's word recognition. People sometimes bark at you too when you don't speak their language, and they think that if they just talk loudly enough, you'll "get it." LOL
Yep, I do use the "dehumidifier" every day and yes, I think it helps the aids keep somewhat clean. . . . . and, oh yeah, my Toy Poodle chewed up one . . grrrr! . . . unexpected cost in a hurry. Seems as if we have quite a few mutual issues, huh? I love the look on people's faces when I tell them NOT to yell at me - just speak plainly and enunciate . . . most can't handle it . . .
OpenCPN, Raspberry pi . . . don't know enough about either of them to do any good . . might check it out this Winter . .
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