Thank you for purchasing an Active Armor Environmental Audio System! The EAS is designed to be installed in any costume helmet. It provides improved audio capabilities so that you can hear more clearly what is going on around you.
The kit includes:
(1) EAS Amplification Circuit Board with microphones
(1) 3xAA Battery Pack (batteries not included)
(1) Pair of speakers
Before you begin
Before you start installing your EAS, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with your kit and its operation. The operation of your EAS is very simple and straight forward. Once turned on, any sounds that are picked up by the microphones are amplified by the EAS and played through the speakers (or headphones connected to the speaker jack, if you choose). A single volume control is located on the board to allow you to change the volume going to the speakers, which may be necessary depending on different environments.
Using your EAS for the first time is easy. All you have to do is plug the battery pack into the EAS board, install 3 AA batteries, and you’re ready to go. As an initial test of the unit, plug any headphones into the board (normal iPod or MP3 headphones work great), and turn the unit on. You may use the supplied speakers, but they will likely squeal with feedback until they are installed and properly isolated from the microphones. Take a walk around and see what the EAS sounds like.
The EAS is composed of four main components; the amplification board, microphones, speakers and battery pack. When installing each of the components, certain considerations must be made.
Your EAS uses highly sensitive microphones. Regardless of whether you purchased the small or mini microphones, the installation is the same. It is important that the microphones be attached securely, and that you isolate them from the inside of your helmet so that they don’t easily pick up your breathing and talking. In most cases, simply hot gluing the microphones in the desired location and backing them with foam will provide enough of a sound barrier. When placing the microphones, it is also important that they are not located where they will be easily rubbed or brushed; direct contact with the microphones will be LOUD! You will notice that one of the microphones is marked with a black dot. This is the RIGHT microphone; be sure when installing to place it on the right side of the helmet.
Your EAS will output sound either to the included speakers, or standard headphones. When installing the speakers, it is important to have them placed as close to the ear as possible. Like the microphones, the RIGHT speaker is marked with a black dot; be sure to install this one at your right ear. Some installations do not allow you to put the speakers close enough to the ear, and isolate them from the interior helmet well enough to be really effective (ie. TK lids that you must twist on.. the speaker placement interfers with putting the helmet on). In these cases, it’s highly recommended that you use a pair of comfortable earbuds in place of the speakers. Not only does the sound volume and quality improve 100%, but reduces the amount of weight and electronics in the helmet.
The battery pack can be placed anywhere in your helmet and can be easily attached with hot glue or Velcro. The connector is keyed to allow it to only install one way (not the tab and groove). When inserting or removing the battery connector, do so by the connector itself, NOT the wires as pulling the wires may cause them to detach from the connector! When installing the battery pack, think about weight distribution. If you already have a battery pack or something heavy in your helmet, place the battery pack opposite it to balance the weight.
Installation of the amp circuit can be accomplished by attaching the board inside your helmet with either Velcro or hot glue. Placement of the board is not important, but remember that you have to be able to reach the power button and volume control, sometimes with gloved fingers. Generally, it is easiest if the board is positioned so that the microphone cables are leading toward the front of your helmet, where the mics are likely to be installed.
Once installed, your EAS is ready to use. It will likely take some getting accustomed to the first time you use it, and will take a little trial-and-error setting the volume appropriately for different environments. In most cases, the highest volume setting is fine for a normal troop. If you are in a very loud environment, you will want to turn the EAS down.
To use the EAS, simply turn it on, set the volume, and take a listen. If you find it a little too loud, or a little too quiet, wear it for a few minutes and allow yourself to adjust to the volume. In most cases, once you’ve adapted to it, you will find that it is fine. If necessary, make adjustments to your liking.