US 3787641 A
A bone conduction microphone assembly with a transducer mounted in a transducer mount supported from a surrounding support member by spring means which yieldably urges the transducer mount against the user's head with predetermined pressure.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent (191 Santori in] 3,787,641 14 Jan. 22, 1974 [5 1 BONE CONDUCT-ION MICROPHONE ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Charles M. Santori, San Jose, Calif.
 Assignee: I Setcom Corporation, San Jose, Calif.
 Filed: June 5, 1972 21 Appl. NO.: 259,489
s2 U.S.Cl. 179/107 BC, l79/1 56R  Int. Cl H041 25/00  Field of Search.. 179/107 BC, 108, 1 MF, 156,
[5 6 References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,942,072 6/l960- Cunningham 179/156R Primary ExaminerRalph D. Blakeslee v Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Al-
' brittOn & Herbert '[57 ABSTRACT A bone conduction microphone assembly with a transducer mounted in a transducer mount supported from a surrounding support member by spring means which yieldably urges the transducer mount against the users head with predetermined pressure.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENIED JAN 22 I974 SHEEI 1 0F 3 PAIENIEBJAN 22 m4 SHEEI 2 0F 3 VINYL COVER WITH VELCRO TABS DAMPING (FOAM) PAD MIKE MOUNT COVER TRANSDUCER 8x 27 CABLE MOUNT E K M m S A B PATENTEUJANZZIQM MEI 3 I 3 nu um Ill 1 ixe ditions.
BONE CONDUCTION MICROPHONE ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a bone conduction microphone assembly and more particularly to a bone conduction microphone assembly suitable for use in a variety of head gear.
Bone conduction microphones operate from energy generated by auditory vibrations of the bones in the head. The microphone transducer is generally a sensitive, low mass accelerometer in intimate contact with the head to pick up the bone vibrations and generate output signals responsive to the auditory vibrations. In many applications the microphone is used by persons who require the use of both hands and in relatively noisy environments. Normally, in such environment the microphone is used in conjunction with some type of head gear such as industrial hard hats, fire, motorcycle, riot and police helmets.
Prior art microphones have serious limitations in such applications. They are adversely affected by ambient noise transmitted through the air or through the head gear from which they are supported. Their size and shape make it difficult and often impossible to mount the transducers in'the head gear and so in many instances, when mounted, render the head gear uncomfortable. In some instances, transducers mounted in the head gear are hazardous in that a hard blow to the head gear may drive the transducer into the head and cause injury. The audio quality is, in general, poor because the transducer is not held in intimate contact with the head with sufficient pressure to pick up high frequency vibrations whereby high frequency sound is not effectively reproduced.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved bone conduction microphone assembly which can operate in very high ambient noise con- It is another object of the present invention to provide a bone conduction microphone assembly in which the microphone mount is yieldably pressed against the head with predetermined force .to give a satisfactory consistent pressure whereby the microphone operates effectively over a broad frequency spectrum.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a bone conduction microphone assembly with improved'protection against possible injury by the transducer under impact forces.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a bone conduction microphone assembly which is readily adapted to fit a variety of head gear which can be comfortably worn by the user.
The foregoing and other objects of the invention are achieved by a bone conduction microphone assembly which includes an acceleration sensitive transducer, a transducer mount adapted to receive and hold said transducer, a support structure including a hole for receiving the transducer mount to surround and be spaced therefrom, and spring means cooperating between said transducer mount and said support to yieldably urge the transducer against the head of the user with predetermined pressure when the support rests on the head of the user.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a side view partly in section showing the bone conduction microphone assembly in use with a helmet.
FIG. 2 is a view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the bone conduction microphone assembly held by the helmet suspension straps. 7
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the bone conduction microphone assembly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a sectional elevational view, of the bone conduction microphone assembly.
FIG. 5 shows the bone conduction microphone applied to the head surface.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the bone conduction microphone assembly of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The bone conduction microphone assembly of the present invention is particularly suitable for use in head gear such as industrial hard hats, tire, motorcycle, riot and police helmets. Referring to FIG. I, a user 11 is shown wearingva protective helmet 12. The helmet includes a headband l3 and suspension straps which hold the helmet on the head of the user with the protective portion of the helmet spaced from the head. The straps 14 extend upwardly from the headband l3 and engage a loop 16, FIG. 2. The loop 16 is, in turn, sandwiched between Velcro tabs 17 more clearly shown in FIG. 4,
17a and 17b.
Referring particularly to FIG. 3,. the bone conduction microphone assembly includes a transducer support 21 which includes a central hole or opening 22. A transducer mount 23 is disposed within and spaced from said opening whereby the transducer support 21 surrounds and is spaced from the transducer mount. A plurality of radially extending spring members 24 are adapted to support the transducer mount from the surrounding transducer support. As will be more clearly described, the springs 24 serve to yieldably urge the transducer mount against the head of a wearer to provide intimatecontact wherebythe transducer mount can effectivelypick up the bone vibrations. The transducer and mount are, therefore, isolated from the main support reducing the noise vibrations which can be transmitted through the support. a I
The transducer mount includes a well 26 adapted to receive and hold the transducer'27. The mount protects and holds the transducer and yet permits the transducer to respond to minute vibrations of the head bones. The transducer 27 is a sensitive low mass accelerometer as, for example, the type manufactured and sold by Knowles Electronics Inc., its Model No. BLI670. Insulated transducer wires 28 extend outwardly from the transducer and are connected to a cable 29. A grommet or other suitable stop 31 is provided on the cable 28. The transducer support member includes a groove or slot 32 adapted to receive the cable with a cross slot 33 adapted to receive the grommet or stop 31 whereby to provide strain relief. The effect of cable vibrations on the transducer is minimized by use of fine transducer wires and by securely attaching the cable to the relatively high mass support member. Y
circling or mounting portion 37 which extends outwardly and has its lower surface coplanar with the lower surface of the transducer support. A damping pad 38 which may, for example, be made of an expanded material, such as Scottfelt, is adapted to surround the support and rest against the upper surface of the mounting member 37. A vinyl cover with Velcro pads 17b secured at spaced points is suitably affixed to the upper surface of the damping pad and to-the upper surface of the microphone cover 36 whereby to provide an assembly of the type more clearly shown in FIG. 4. As a result, the bone conduction microphone assembly including its supporting ring, cover, microphone mount and spring means is held on the helmet loop 16 by the Velcro tabs 17a, 17b and is substantially isolated therefrom by means of the damping afforded by the Velcro tabs and by the damping pad 38. The microphone assembly is effectively isolated from vibrations of the helmet and helmet straps.
Referring particularly to FIG. 4 showing the assem-' bly, it is noted that the lower surface 41 of the transducer mount 23 extends beyond the lower surface 42 of the transducer support member. The transducer mount 23 is held in this extended position by means of the spring members 24. The transducer mount, support and spring members may be formed of the same mate rial, for example rubber, in one molding operation. When the transducer support is mounted on the head surface 42 as shown in FIG. 5, the lower surface 42 of the support rests against the head 43 and the spring members 24 are bent upwardly and provide a yieldable downward force so that the lower surface 41 of the transducer mount rests intimately against the head surface 43 to provide good contact to transfer bone vibrations to the transducer. It has been found that by yieldably urging the transducer mount against the head, good frequency response is obtained.
Referring again to FIG. 4, it is seen that the upper surface 44 of the transducer support cover is spaced above the upper surface 46of the transducer mount to provide a recess. Referring to FIG. showing the transducer mounted on the head of a user, it is seen that the upper surface of the transducer mount, even in its mounted condition, is below the upper surface 44 of the cover 36. In this way, any hard impact to the hat which would otherwise make the, helmet itself strike the microphone transducer will strike the large surface 44 distributing the impact forces over a considerable area and preventing injury to the user.
It is apparent that the bone microphone transducer assembly described can be used with other types of supports 37. Referring to FIG. 6, another embodiment of the bone conduction microphone assembly is shown.
The microphone of this embodiment can be associated with other types of supports.
1. A bone conduction microphone assembly comprising an acceleration sensitive transducer, a transducer mount adapted to receive and hold said transducer, a transducer support having an opening larger than said transducer mount for receivingsaid transducer and mount, said support surrounding and spaced from said transducer mount and a plurality of spring means connected between said transducer mount and said transducer support to hold the transducer in said opening and yieldably urge the transducer against the head of a user with predetermined pressure when the transducer support rests against the head of a user.
2. A bone conduction microphone assembly comprising a transducer mount having upper and lower surfaces, a transducer of the type which provides an output responsive acceleration held in said mount, a support having upper and lower surfaces and an opening larger than said transducer mount for receiving said transducer and mount, said support surrounding and spaced from said transducer mount, spring means extending between said transducer mount and support serving to support said transducer mount in said opening with the lower surface of said transducer mount extending beyond the lower surface of said support whereby when the microphone, assembly is placed on a user to pick up bone vibrations the transducer is yieldably urged against the user to move as the associated bones vibrate.
3. A bone conduction microphone assembly as in claim 2 wherein the upper surface of said support is above the upper surface of said transducer mount.
4. A bone conduction microphone as' in claim 1 wherein said support, transducer mount and spring means are formed as a unitary molded assembly.
5. A bone conduction microphone assembly. as in claim 4 wherein said spring means comprises a plurality of narrow radially extending members.
6. A bone conduction microphone assembly as in claim 1 including a mountingassembly cooperating with said support for mounting said assembly to associated head gear.
7. A bone conduction microphone assembly. comprising an acceleration sensitive transducer, a transducer .mount adapted to receive and hold said transducer, a
sandwiched between said spaced mounting members.