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  • How do you deal with noise???

    I finally got fed up with the noise level in the back. Quick catch-up, I'm the head mechanic, but thanks to "life" I am only available to them at night. So, I'm the pinchaser, too, but I set out tasks for the B mech to get done during the day, P/M, etc.

    So, most of the "thought requiring" tasks need to be done by me... on the fly. And I usually lose any and all sanity by the end of the night, if I'm stuck in back for the shift. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually my babysitting nights, we have the best collection of problem bowlers on those nights it seems. I don't have any numbers to cite, but I can fully assume it's flat-out illegal to have any employee back there on those nights, I ~know~ those machines have hit 130db quite often. OSHA would not approve. If they were to show up and do an inspection on a Thursday night, they'd give us a couple signs (well, I'm sure we'd have to buy 'em!) stating "hearing protection mandatory". I've tossed a few ideas around in the past, but have never found a really good solution. With any effective hearing protection, you won't be able to answer any trouble calls, in which case you're basically useless back there.

    Early this week, I picked up a set of 900 MHz headphones from Radio Shack. Good sound quality, they sound good, and they're the full-ear design. I can go in and out of the machines without losing signal, but I get some static hear and there. But they really don't do enough for actual hearing protection. I can turn off the sound, and just use them as ear plugs (so to speak) and I still feel like I'm in a rifle range. I tried running actual ear plugs, with the headphones over them. Have to crank the headset up a bit to hear calls, but that seemed to work ok, although somewhat uncomfortable. I'm going to try and find some better headphones, or see if I can modify these somewhat to keep the sound out better. Does anyone have any better ideas? The ultimate intention with this setup is quite deep, I want to run a sound mixer in the back room, with inputs for the DMX (cable music), CD, callback microphone, and a feedback microphone in the back room (to hear the machines through the headset, only at a much reduced volume, to hear a ball spinning, perhaps, or a turnpan jam, etc. Missed a few of 'em tonight since my ears were plugged

    A major eye-opener for me came Tuesday night. Had the headphones on, with earplugs underneath. I was sitting at the bench behind lane 5, and I could feel my pantlegs moving from the sound pressure of a bowler on lanes 9 and 10! The car-audio nut in me thought that was pretty cool, but the quickly-losing-sanity part of me thought it really sucked.

    So, this is gonna be an ongoing project, and I'll let ya'all know if I come up with something that works well. But if anybody has something that works great, I'd love to hear about it.
    Oldsmagnet -- Sidney MT

  • #2
    Re: How do you deal with noise???

    The center I work at has a few pairs of shooting range earmuffs that we can use when we're working in the back. They work extremely well at cutting down the noise, even if all 32 machines are running. To handle trouble calls, everyone working has a small single channel handheld motorola radio so they can hear and talk back to the front desk, mechanic, manager, or anybody else working. There is a speaker/mic attachment that I hook to my shirt on my right shoulder whenever I'm working in the back. If you've ever seen a cop use his radio with a mic on his shoulder, it's exactly the same setup. This system works great for me because no matter how loud it gets I can still hear the radio through the earmuffs. Also, the deskworkers like it because they don't have to use the PA in the back and hope I heard the call, with the radio I can confirm calls and talk back to them if I need to.

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    • #3
      Re: How do you deal with noise???

      After forty years of service in a bowling center,I now have tinnitus that keeps me awake at night with a constant tone in my head. I've been using the soft ear plugs from Graingers for the past two years.They reduce the noise impact and I'm still able to hear a mis-feed. Everyone should start some type of a noise reduction program before it's too late. Tinnitus cannot be reversed.
      "Gun control is the policy of tyrants"
      Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

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      • #4
        Re: How do you deal with noise???

        I have to agree with all the responses here that the biggest problem pinsetter mechanics face is the NOISE level.
        I think WE should ALL WEAR HEARING PROTECTION if we are in the back with bowling going on.
        I bought for my crew (and myself)hearing protectors with the rating of 30.
        They were gell type rings around the ear and large drums.
        They were the highest number I could find.
        I do not know if it meant 30 decibal reduction or just the scale OSHA uses.
        Granted I turned up the intercom into the back so the mechanics could hear it but I was worried about mine and there's hearing so it did not bother me if they could hear it up front.
        Loss of hearing is a HUGE problem for pinsetter mechanics and it should be mandatory that all people in the back wear some type of protection.
        Grambo

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        • #5
          Re: How do you deal with noise???

          I agree that noise level needs to be decreased. BUT WE CAN'T TAKE OUT THE PINS. I have been working on machines over 25 yrs. My hearing has decreased over 50 %. I have tried in the ear protectors but I can't hear the pa. I now use motorola walkie talkie with an ear plug that fits in the ear. It's an ear bud that fits in your ear(remember the ear buds used for cd players?).This blocks a lot of out side noise and calls are easily heard. Contact Motorola for accessories for your type of unit. Of course 2 way communication is also a plus. I should have done this years ago maybe I would hear better now. I strongly urge everone to get some kind of protection now. I don't want any one of you to have hearing like mine. I may be an extreme case, but it is possible. Please take care of what hearing you have. Talk to your proprietor seriously about the noise problem. Any precaution you take now may save your hearing down the road. Protect what hearing you have. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          • #6
            Re: How do you deal with noise???

            hey guys, try contacting <a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank"><a href="http://www.racingradios.com." target="_blank">http://www.racingradios.com.</a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a> they are a main supplier for 2way radio communications for NASCAR teams. the noise level at some tracks is flat out horrible. there set-up allows more than 2 person communications on one channel. (driver, crew chief, team owner, look-out guy in the grandstands)

            does anyone have a "sound deadening" material in the back? we had it on the back of the masking units, on the walls floor to ceiling, and attached via chicken wire to the ceiling. we also glue shag carpet to the inside of the pinwheel cover panel below the elevator brace.

            i'm 30% deaf thanks to the noise and heavy metal music.

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            • #7
              Re: How do you deal with noise???

              WHAT?

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              • #8
                Re: How do you deal with noise???

                I am glad that there are mechanics out there worried about hearing loss in the back.
                When I went for my interview for USPS they asked "can I work in a noisy environment?"
                I was shocked that with the large size of our plant it is easier on the ears than having ALL the pinsetters running with no bowling.
                ( I think it is the high ceilings)
                If the Govt. thinks that what I work under now is a noisy environment I would hate to think what they think it is like in the back with bowling going on!!
                Maybe this is something this forum and web-site should try to address to the owners, but until things change PLEASE WEAR HEARING PROTECTION!!!!
                Grambo

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                • #9
                  Re: How do you deal with noise???

                  I'll have to agree with Larry as well. I have implemented a radio system here as well (Motorola) where the mechanics use ear pieces and mics as well. We prefer the earpiece/mic combo made by OTTO...same style used by US Secret Service. Very good quality, stays close to neck line (eliminating dangling wires) and mic can be clipped onto shirt seam. I personally run my wires inside of the shirt to further reduce exposed wire. With these earpieces, it forms a nice "vaccuum" with the ear, while still alowing some concept of what's going on around you.

                  But all in all hearing protection should not be taken for granted...even if its simple earplugs.
                  "Where are we going, and why are we in a hand basket?"

                  --Kat

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                  • #10
                    Re: How do you deal with noise???

                    Actually... something I've been thinking for quite a while, and with most of the scoring systems being linked to the backends/pinsetters via an Ethernet link (yes, the wirehead is loose again - and if anyone goes off and markets this idea or suddenly decides to integrate it into their scoring system software, I want a cut <or a small center somewhere to call my own>)


                    With an old PC and a pair of monitors mounted on the curtain wall (ok, maybe a few depending on the size of your center) you could easily setup a system in the back to display calls from the desk. If your front desk system is running Windoze (as many of the recent ones are) a little utility program could be easily set up, or if it is something else just another old junker PC to send messages to the back. The desk-droid just selects a lane number and a item off a 'trouble' list and it pops up on the monitors in the back!


                    Think about it... no more trying to figure out 'mumble-mouth' calls, bad intercoms, or newbies who don't know a ten pin from a sweep stop. And... you can put something good on your headphones and save your hearing at the same time!


                    Just my $0.02 worth...

                    -jim
                    --- Just got a little center to call my own. Let someone else run the counter... I'll be running all over the place!

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                    • #11
                      Re: How do you deal with noise???

                      Funny, I'd actually thought about that... Naw, we don't have ~any~ computer type stuff up front, but I figured a network chat would be easier to install than a two-way intercom... But teaching the desk help how to read and write would take almost as long as teaching them how to select the correct calls...
                      Oldsmagnet -- Sidney MT

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                      • #12
                        Re: How do you deal with noise???

                        Noise, what noise LOL
                        I don't remember the company name but they make headphones for pilots that block out the noise. That have a mic for talking to other crew members in the cockpit or on the radio. So all you would need to do is plug them in and your good to go. The bad thing is they have a cord. But there might be a way to make them wireless.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How do you deal with noise???

                          IS there no legislation to protect you?

                          Here in the U.K. I had the HSE (Health &amp; Safety Legislation) visit when the centre opened and request that an noise assesment was undertook. The results of this specify the minimum protection that must be used ( regardless of cost).

                          On the subject of protection what other forms do you use? On there visit the HSE tried to enforce the use of CHAINMAIL gloves when working on machines. Fortunately we managed to escape this one. Upon inspection of our COSHH (chemical stuff..) they suggested that respirators be used when using Aquarius Approach cleaner.

                          How far do you go?

                          Kelvin

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                          • #14
                            Re: How do you deal with noise???

                            We have 50 lanes &amp; OSHA did come in one night during lgs to chech sound levels. I don't remember the DB level but they said that we could work at that DB level for 4 hrs without ear protection. They added that we were the "quietest" center that they had ever checked.
                            When the place was built they made everything 1" larger than what it was suposed to be &amp; put 1' of insulation on ceiling &amp; back wall with a thin fabric covering it to keep it in place. Chicken wire over that. Later we added a carpet mural on the wall at #1 &amp; #50. Ran it from settee to back end. That cut the already fairly quiet even more.
                            If I were soundproofing an existing place my choice would be carpet.on the walls &amp; ceiling. You could probably pick up something for free if you can find a hotel or something of that size that's replacing their carpet. It doesn't have to be a thick nap either. The wall murals we have are just indoor/outdoor type stuff.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How do you deal with noise???

                              my problem whit GS-92 is the pair of the lane turn off and turn on yourself (11-12) or (13-14) and
                              The pair of the lane turn blackout and the gamesetter the code is AO and EJ (he have not a jam) the problem is intermitent if you know anyone they are this trouble please contact me. I dont understand this trouble.My adress is bigs@videotron.ca
                              Excuse my english i am french

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