Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Open cockpit - best headset (microphone)?

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Open cockpit - best headset (microphone)?

Old 11th Apr 2015, 02:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 1,842
Open cockpit - best headset (microphone)?

Any real-world experience on the best headset for use in the demanding noise environment of an open cockpit plane?


Or, same question another way - which microphone is best at 'only' collecting the voice and not all the bluster?


Safe flights, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2015, 10:21
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 1,277
From my experience there is not really a difference for ANR headsets wether operated in open or closed cockpit, so any good ANR headset will do. My A20 does the same and well in a Tiger Moth or a jet cockpit.
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2015, 10:58
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Perth, WA
Posts: 327
With open cockpit flying I'd be more conscious of choosing a headset with excellent passive attenuation (on top of the ANR), and having a fail-safe mode (reverts seamlessly to passive if ANR battery dies or another fault requires the control box to be turned off). Another thing to look for would be good microphone noise cancelling action which, as far as I know, is still done passively with most headsets. The individual's comfort factor is hugely important, of course.

After trying a few popular ANR brands I settled on the Sennheiser S1. In a range of different noisy environments I found the 'optimization' button to work well, and give a few extra dB of noise reduction. As far as I can tell it optimizes a feed-forward loop for different environments and if you're a purist you can re-optimize for different aircraft power settings, canopy open/closed (if applicable!), etc. The S1 passive attenuation and mic audio quality are at least as good, and probably better, than my trusty old DCs will the gell pads and noise cancelling electret mic insert.
tecman is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2015, 09:21
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 1,842
Thanks for the responses so far, but to clarify - but it's not the earpiece that is the question (ie ANR or not, is not relevant).


My question is which mic is the best (which produces the least 'sorry, say again' from the guy in the tower)?


Thanks, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2015, 09:34
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 384
You need a muff.

I have a couple of these which work pretty well on DC mics.

OREGON AERO MICMUFF™ MIC COVER from Aircraft Spruce
Tay Cough is offline  
Old 13th Apr 2015, 00:09
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Perth, WA
Posts: 327
A muff will certainly help - gives a little bit of extra isolation relative to the normal foam sleeve. I notice that many pilots don't use the foam, which compromises even closed cockpit transmissions when the boom is in the correct position (nearly touching the lips).

Another thing to check is the audio gain at various stages in the chain. Many transceivers and/or external ANR buggery boxes have default gain settings which are too high. You don't want any compression or clipping circuits to be operating with just the background noise. Every setup will be different but, with a thick foam mic sleeve I ended up backing off the insert gain a little, the external pre-amp a bit, and the ICA210 transceiver gain a lot.

I did what I could on the ground but finally used a scanner with a solid state memory to record CTAF transmissions, mine included. After a hour or two of listening to lots of transmissions I have new respect for the ATC folks!
tecman is offline  
Old 13th Apr 2015, 01:04
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 159
I use a DC with post fitted ANR, and installed in a cloth cap to hold it secure. The mike is a standard H10-13.4 type. I have an extra sock on it over the top of the standard one. The extra sock is from a Lynx headset so it's quite a big one. I cut it down the inside to make it fit and it's held in place with a black hair elastic band.
This works really well for me.
The Lynx system is very good, being designed for the Microlight environment. However the connectors are all bespoke so you have to invest in the whole system which limits its value, particularly if you're flying different types.
taybird is offline  
Old 13th Apr 2015, 05:47
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SE England
Posts: 601
Comunica headsets in the UK were brilliant for this and very well liked in the microlight world. They had a massive muff over the normal muff on a sturdy mic boom (like a bendable rubber duck arial). Old DCs and many headsets with a hinged mic boom would blow around in the wind.

They are also based on a Peltor shell, which gives good passive noise attenuation and they did one with an integral active noise attenuation module built in.

Good luck finding them now though - I think aircraft spruce stock some with Comunica name, but I'm not sure they're the same thing.
Dan Dare is online now  
Old 14th Apr 2015, 12:56
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 1,842
Cool

Thanks for that, some great suggestions!


Need to reassure a TV crew that they can get good recordings from vintage cockpit transmissions - and some of these ideas should achieve that nicely.


Safe flights, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2020, 12:29
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: The Planet Earth
Age: 38
Posts: 24
I just bought a throat mic (a modern one not a military surplus from ww2 or Vietnam etc). They appeared to be the best I can find for consumers. The company www.iasus-concepts.com is making a dual GA plug for me to use with my current headset (Lightspeed Zulu PFX, I also have a Sennheiser S1 Digital) as we speak.
newty74 is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2021, 23:30
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
Any real-world experience on the best headset for use in the demanding noise environment of an open cockpit plane?


Or, same question another way - which microphone is best at 'only' collecting the voice and not all the bluster?


Safe flights, Sam.
I would opt for one of the microlight setups. They are simply made for the open cockpit environment.

I’m currently using Micro Avionics intercom and headsets in a vintage biplane and have been very pleased with the result. Headsets are fitted with ANR and have a settable VOX (squelch) control built in.

The standard radio intercom just wasn’t up to the environment.

just my two penneth worth.


Small Rodent Driver is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2021, 12:03
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,861
Exactly what SRD said. There are off the shelf solutions used in flexwing microlights, that integrate helmet, headset, microphone and intercom - they work very well. Don't re-invent the wheel.

G

P.S. I notice that Sam Rutherford's last post was 5 year ago and he's now banned. Not obsessing too much about La Curtis-Taylor was he? Anyhow, probably all a bit irrelevant now.
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2021, 22:34
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 207
Blimey!

just shows you, it pays to read the small print,

SRD
Small Rodent Driver is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.