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Halibut Headset Interconnect

The Halibut Headset Interconnect (HHI) family of products delivers standards-based interoperability between radios and users (e.g. headsets). HHI products implement the Open Headset Interconnect Standard (OHIS).

HHI products include:

  • Adapters that give your radio and headsets (or other audio devices) OHIS-compliant connections.
  • Consoles that leverage the standard interface to bring additional functionality to your shack.

What the heck is OHIS?

The Open Headset Interconnect Standard is an electrical and physical standard for the connections between the user and the radio: microphone, headphones or speaker, and PTT. Often times, these take the form of a headset, but not always.

Ideally, radios and headsets would have OHIS-compliant ports on them directly. In 2023, we are early in the adoption of OHIS. Instead, we use adapters, such as HHI Radio Pro and HHI User Pro.

The lack of a standard is felt most in multi-user environments, such as club shacks, contesting stations, or emergency operations centers. It is in these environments that OHIS really shines: any operator can bring in their own headset, sit down at any radio, and plug in directly without concern for whether they have the specific adapter for their particular headset to that particular radio.

HHI Adapters

HHI Adapters convert non OHIS-compliant connections to an OHIS Radio or OHIS User connection. Currently, these adapters are available:

  • HHI Radio Pro
  • HHI User Pro

Both products are shipping now.

HHI Radio Pro

HHI Radio Pro adds an OHIS-compliant Radio port to any radio, while maintaining the radio’s original microphone, headphone/speaker, and PTT connections. Both ports get receive audio from the radio, but the PTT selects which microphone audio is sent to the radio.

Any radio means any radio, no matter the pin-out or signal level. Any signal can be assigned to any pin of any connector, and trim pots adjust signal levels for a perfect match.

HHI User Pro

HHI User Pro converts any headset, or other microphone, headphone, and PTT combination, to an OHIS-compliant User port. This allows you to connect your audio devices to any OHIS-compliant radio, such as the HHI Radio Pro.

Similarly to the Radio Pro, any audio devices means any audio devices, no matter the pin-out or signal level. Any signal can be assigned to any pin of the microphone and headphone ports. It also includes a pre-amp and mic level trim pots, with built-in VU meter, to support any microphone level.

HHI Consoles

HHI Consoles are devices that go between the user and the radio and provide extra functionality.

HHI Contesting Console

The HHI Contesting Console is a device that connects two users to one radio, such as a Logger and an Operator in a contest, enabling them to control their interactions with the radio, each other, and their environment:

  • Radio interactions. Each user has their own volume control for the radio receive audio. Additionally, when a user presses their PTT, their microphone audio is sent to the radio.
  • User interactions. Each user has a volume control for the other user’s microphone as well as one for their own microphone.
  • Environment interactions. Each user has a volume control for a built-in ambient microphone, enabling them to hear the world outside their headset. Additionally, you can play the radio receive audio over a loudspeaker, enabling nearby observers to hear the other side of the conversation.

Possible use cases for the Contesting Console include:

  • Connect a Logger and an Operator to the same radio in a contest.
  • Train new users.
  • EOC environments that require multiple users per radio.

The Contesting Console uses OHIS-compliant ports to users and radios.

The HHI Contesting Console is available for pre-order now, with delivery in November, 2023.

HHI Station Console

The HHI Station Console is a device that connects one user to multiple radios, enabling them to monitor all radios simultaneously and select which radio to transmit on. This is in contrast to the Contesting Console which connects multiple users to one radio.

The HHI Station Console includes both an OHIS-compliant connection and user-defined dry contacts, e.g. for a CW key.

The Station Console functionality includes:

  • Receive audio. Every radio’s receive audio are mixed together and sent to the user’s headphones. Each radio has its own volume control.
  • Microphone audio. The user’s microphone audio is sent to all radios at all times.
  • Radio selection. The user selects which radio to control. This determines which radio receives the PTT and the dry contact signals.

Possible use cases for the Station Console include:

  • Monitoring your local repeater while working HF.
  • If you make a USB sound card into a Radio interface, you can monitor a radio and listen to music while working.

The HHI Station Console is expected in early 2024.