View Full Version : Solar Powered ANR headset?

17th Mar 2008, 15:30
Hey guys,
Was just thinking about this the other day. I have an ANR headset which uses 2 AA batteries which last approx 50hrs flying. Whilst yes I use rechargeable batteries (the 737 I fly only have the standard 2 plug connections) I was thinking that why couldn't solar power be used? You can get small panels these days for relatively small amount of cash and it shouldn't be that hard to wire the headset up to use it as a power source? Ideally it would power the ANR whilst in the cruise as well as keeping the batteries topped up. Once we descend below the clouds then the batteries can power the ANR. Is this just a pipe dream or is it feasible?

Amazing how your mind wanders on those long sectors.......:D

17th Mar 2008, 21:35
Sounds like a good idea if the sun is your side and not uncomfortable. Not such a good idea if you're the pole side of the flight deck, or if it's night time.:)

17th Mar 2008, 22:02
both good points! However the batteries will still be able to power the ANR when the sun is not available, and they can last 40hrs on batteries so that should be sufficient to have the sun available to be able to charge them up as well as have it power the ANR.....

I'm just no electrics whizz, so I'm not sure how I'd go about making sure all the voltages and amps match, would it even be possible to recharge the batteries at the same time as powering the ANR?

Wee Willy Winky
18th Mar 2008, 12:35
Yes, your solar powered plan is possible.

Quickly reviewing the maths, a set of 2300mAhr batteries which last 40 hours are supplying around 50mA. So any charger which is required to keep pace with the power demand would need to provide some 50mA at somewhat over 3V.

This would require a solar panel with an area equivalent to, or larger than the headband, and would add considerably to the mass and the cost - not to mention the styling, and the reflection off the panel, which in turn would reflect off the shiny bonce of your bald captain only to blind you!

As a certain manufacturer of ANR headsets (Based On Sound Economy, or BOSE for short) advertise the lightness of their headset, and their price is top Dollar already, I doubt this is attractive to them.

A set of alkaline AAs can be bought for around 50p, which works out to be about 1p per hour. Rechargeable NiMH batteries cost under 1p to charge for a full 50 hours use. So where is the economy in adding a solar panel, a charging circuit and rechargeable batteries, which might add some 100 or more to the cost, as well as adding 50% to the weight?

I'd enjoy the lightweight headset as it is, and bask in the sunshine with a smile on your face, comfortable in the knowledge that by recharging your AA batteries on domestic mains each hour's use is costing you less than 1/50th of a penny!

Good luck
Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo

18th Mar 2008, 13:10
What about a loose solar panel for putting on the instrument panel below the windshield? Would of course be a bit annoying with cables or so until you got the hang of it.

Or am I biking in too deep snow, as we say in sweden...

18th Mar 2008, 13:15
The telex airman 850 uses the micophone bias to power the ANR. This is the way forward and I can't understand why other manufacturers aren't doing it.
Incidentally I use one in the 737, it's superb:ok:

18th Mar 2008, 13:19
As you don't really need to use the pedals on an Easybus, why not install one of these in the footwell?


You wouldn't have to worry about night-flying either.

18th Mar 2008, 13:54
Not only telex, I hahe HMEC25KAP wich has mic powered ANR as well.