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Noisy Cockpit Environment - Intercom/Radio

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Noisy Cockpit Environment - Intercom/Radio

Old 27th Feb 2013, 20:55
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Norfolk
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Noisy Cockpit Environment - Intercom/Radio

Just bought a new to me Pitts - it's noisy, the radio is hard to hear - the intercom is shocking.

Were money no object (and obviously it is!) what is the best tried and tested combination?

Years ago I flew an Eagle and the audio was so good it was like being in the front of a medium jet. Can't recall what the set-up was - but that's what I'm looking for - times two!

stiknruda is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2013, 21:10
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Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: north of barlu
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There are a number of good intercoms on the market and no doubt you will get a number of opinions, two of my aircraft have the Sigtronics intercom for. A Cessna 152 in the training role this works just fine.

One aircraft has a Garmin audio panel with an intercom built in this is one of the best intercoms in the business bit over the top for a Pitts.

My personal aircraft has a PS engineering intercom, this was fitted some time back before the Garmin audio panel was available, this despite being the best part of twenty years old is still the best in terms of audio quality. Given that for the Pitts you are looking for a light weight installation I would take a look at the PS engineering products intended for two seat open cockpit aircraft.

PS Engineering :intercoms

I have no connection wth PS engineering except as a very happy customer.

Last edited by A and C; 27th Feb 2013 at 21:16. Reason: Link added
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 01:29
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Get a couple of clarity aloft headsets (the non TSO'd version). If it's a factory bird, the intercom should be fine.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 03:54
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An intercom seems an overkill for a Pitts (unless it's an S2), but may help.

Most of the ANR headsets get swamped by a really noisy cockpit, so a passive arrangement might be preferable.

I'm a great fan of the intra-aural types and personally use the QT Halo with the yellow foam ear-buds. That outperforms my Bose in the RV.

I do agree with the recommendation of PS intercoms, though they don't control radio volume.

A cheap option that may work for you is to wear foam ear plugs under your headset/helmet and turn the volume up to compensate.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 06:22
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 269
I spend my life in a noisy open-cocpit aircraft. I've tried just about everything under the sun, and the best solution I have found so far is CEP ear plugs worn underneath a helmet / headset and hooked in to the headset.

If I'm in an enclosed cockpit then I use a Clarity Alofty (which uses the CEP ear plugs).

I've tried both the foam ear pieces and the custom moulded ones - the foam ones work much better for me.

As for the intercom - the key question is whether the noise you are getting from it is due to it faithfully reproducing engine and wind noise picked up from the microphone, or whether it is adding noise of its own. If it is the former then the first place to start is with the mic on your headset, if the latter then you need to do something with the intercom.

I've found that a Flycom helmet attached to the internal intercom of the Filser/Funkwerk ATR500 works pretty well.

Last edited by this is my username; 28th Feb 2013 at 06:23.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:43
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Another one !!!

single or 2 seat ??

Arclite01 is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2013, 10:04
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ballywalter
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As a suggestion, Before you do anything.
I would get in contact with Rob Millinship at Leicester.
After building his Pitts (s1s) he now builds and re-builds Pitts for a living.
There is NOTHING that this guy does not know about the machine.
He would be able to tell you the best thing to do for your budget, though the Pitts is fairly notorious for not being the clearest to be heard over the RT
Ballywalter Flyer is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2013, 09:28
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
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- check out Stiks profile !!

He's a Pitts veteran !!

Arclite01 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2013, 10:02
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
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Stik, I have the same problem! My S2A has a Sigtronics SPA-400 TSO intercom and a Bendix King KY 97A TSO radio. So whatever you do, don't get that combo!

The only headset solution I've found that works in it is the Clarity Aloft, simply because it has a generous built in volume control. I've also tried the David Clark H10-56HXL ANR helicopter headset, which is not great even with the headset volumes right up, and a helmet with CEP which is okay but not as good as the Clarity Aloft and much more expensive.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 13:44
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If it is an S2 then another vote for the PS engineering intercom. A second hand 501 would do the job.

Rod1 is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2013, 11:28
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Knoxville
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The PM1200 was designed specifically for warbirds, open cockpits AND for loud aircraft like your Pitts.

This intercom should be installed as a PTT intercom, then you will have what you want. Our AMP (Active Microphone Processor) literally strips the background away and you are left with great intelligibility.

By a push of the front panel copilot volume knob, the PM1200 will then be a VOX intercom using our IntelliVox system. This mode could be used in normal cruise mode.

It's not designed for hi-if stereo (has mono music input) but for tough environments.

Mark Scheuer
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 14:59
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: England & Scotland
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And there's me sitting in a helicopter cabin so noisy that without headsets / intercom you can't hear anything over the din. Yet, Bose X ANR, voice activated microphones and ...... no problem at all.
John R81 is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2013, 16:31
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Midlands
Posts: 201
Sigtronics do the SPA-400N ....the 'N' derivative being specifically designed for the noisy cockpit.
Shoestring Flyer is offline  

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