Headsets in an MTO

Mike G

Junior Member
With the Flycom you don't have a VOX so you don't have that annoying issue of "waking up" the system.

I agree that the back seat of these tandems is a disaster comfortwise. I spend a lot of time now in the back seat of different gyros doing rotor balancing and I never realised before how uncomfortable it was for the passenger when I was the pilot.

I've sold my old Magni but that had the best rear seat screen ever.


Mike G
 

loftus

Active Member
I am having the same issues with my MTO. Too much wind noise in the back. I have leather boots over the mics and that has helped.

What I'd LIKE to do, though, is switch to a push-to-talk system. Getting the VOX to "wake up" (usually by clearing your throat or something) is annoying. And sometimes, the rear passenger VOX wakes up right as an ATC instruction or other aircraft transmission comes across the radio.

Also, flying along and having the static go in and out is annoying as hell.

Push-to-talk means my passengers don't have to yell into the microphone or talk thinking I can hear them when I can't.

I'm probably going to try the Clarity Aloft headsets so I can use full helmets in the Winter. It's Christmas, right? :) At least that should solve the problem until I get the PTT setup.

-John
John, what headphones do you have presently?
 

Rick E

Newbie
With the Flycom you don't have a VOX so you don't have that annoying issue of "waking up" the system.

I agree that the back seat of these tandems is a disaster comfortwise. I spend a lot of time now in the back seat of different gyros doing rotor balancing and I never realised before how uncomfortable it was for the passenger when I was the pilot.

I've sold my old Magni but that had the best rear seat screen ever.


Mike G
Just wondering how you get in and out of the back seat, something must hinge i presume?
 

Monarchist

MTO Sport Owner
John, what headphones do you have presently?
I have el-cheapo standard $100 aviation headsets, and I use half-helmets that I manually dremel'd out a swath of styrofoam to make room for the band.

They actually work well...the problem isn't so much with the headset as it is the intercom needing adjustment when flying. I set the VOX to 3 on the ground and after takeoff have to immediately set it to 7 to silence it. But then, both the passenger and myself have to shout/clear throat/etc. to wake it up before speaking. I hate that.

If I use the clarity set, I could switch to a full helmet for the winter at least.

-John
 

loftus

Active Member
I have el-cheapo standard $100 aviation headsets, and I use half-helmets that I manually dremel'd out a swath of styrofoam to make room for the band.

They actually work well...the problem isn't so much with the headset as it is the intercom needing adjustment when flying. I set the VOX to 3 on the ground and after takeoff have to immediately set it to 7 to silence it. But then, both the passenger and myself have to shout/clear throat/etc. to wake it up before speaking. I hate that.

If I use the clarity set, I could switch to a full helmet for the winter at least.

-John
Yup; that's pretty much the same issue I have; no problems at all on the ground, only in the air. I like your idea of PTT instead of the Vox. When I am by myself the Lightspeed are awesome, built in BlueTooth etc.
 

Mike G

Junior Member
A VPM is a Magni, it's the early Magni M16. This was one of the first M16s built and it had the VPM cockpit.

Yes the back screen just hinged forward so the passenger could get in.

Mike G
 

Rick E

Newbie
I must be lucky as I use Autogyro helmet/headsets and unless the person in the backseat sticks their head outside the gyro I have very little problem with wind etc.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Buy Flycom helmets, get rid of stupid VOX intercoms that suck on open cockpit aircraft. We have been using Flycom and like open cockpit specific helmet systems for a decade in the trike world with trikes flying at 80 to 100 mph and the back seat in a trike is always way higher than the back seat in tandem gyroplanes.

Don't try and compare Flycom to RAD or Comtronics they are not even in the same class.

I have flown the AutoGyro Gmbh helmets (they are not exactly Flycom helmets btw and they are about half as good) and although I have not flown in Magni provided helmets I know someone who has and that was their biggest compliant since they were used to Flycom helmets. ELA helmets are either re-branded Flycom or Micro-Avionics but I have not flown them.
 
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loftus

Active Member
Buy Flycom helmets, get rid of stupid VOX intercoms that suck on open cockpit aircraft. We have been using Flycom and like open cockpit specific helmet systems for a decade in the trike world with trikes flying at 80 to 100 mph and the back seat in a trike is always way higher than the back seat in tandem gyroplanes.

Don't try and compare Flycom to RAD or Comtronics they are not even in the same class.

I have flown the AutoGyro Gmbh helmets (they are not exactly Flycom helmets btw and they are about half as good) and although I have not flown in Magni provided helmets I know someone who has and that was their biggest compliant since they were used to Flycom helmets. ELA helmets are either re-branded Flycom or Micro-Avionics but I have not flown them.
OK; so no Vox on Flycom, are they then a push to talk intercom, always on or what?
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
OK; so no Vox on Flycom, are they then a push to talk intercom, always on or what?
Its always on and it is passive but it does balance the ambient noise out.

"Design philosophy
No matter how efficient a mike or a defender/helmet combination is, inevitably some small amount of the ambient background noise will reach the wearer's ears through both the mike and the defenders/helmet.

The design of this FH-1V helmet is such that, used in conjunction with any Flycom intercom, the speaker signal and the ambient background noise tend to cancel each other. As a result of this, the volume control acts also as a "noise balance" despite being entirely passive (like ANC but without the added anti-phase signal).

A very noticeable increase in signal-to-noise ratio occurs when the volume is turned down to about half volume or less.

Putting on the Helmet
• Undo the chinstrap, raise the visor and tuck the neoprene up onto the trim under the visor
peak.
• Hold the helmet right way up between the palms of your hands so you're looking at the back
of it (as if you were going to put it on someone else who was standing in front of you with their
back to you)
• Curl your fingers round the front of the side blisters till they reach the defenders. (fingers have
more control than thumbs)
• Tilt the bottom of the defenders slightly outwards with your fingers.
• Keep your fingers thus while you lower the helmet over your head and slightly from behind.
(the backs of your fingers will brush your ears as the helmet comes down)
If you remove your fingers halfway through the operation you could give your ears a hard time and
can wind up with an ear or two folded over. Ensure that the defender seals are against the side of
your head and do not press on any part of the ear.
There is provision for vertical adjustment of the defenders carried out when the helmet is off the head.
Balaclavas, thick bushy hair, spectacles with thick side temples and caps will all allow the
ingress of ambient noise. This will cause the wearer to turn up the volume to compensate,
effectively degrading the signal to noise ratio.
Positioning the Mike
• Ensure that the mike is situated centrally on the same level as your lips and about 5mm (1/4")
away from them. (You should just be able to touch the mike foam with puckered lips)
• Ensure the mike is facing the mouth. You can feel it through the foam windsheild. There is
some torsional adjustment in the mike boom.
• Ensure the mike foam is not touching the neoprene which goes under the chin otherwise
unwanted slipstream noise may be transmitted.
• The visor should be lowered and locked just prior to departure to prevent misting in nil-wind
conditions.
• When taxiing with the visor up, tuck the neoprene up onto the top of the helmet trim.
Volume Controls
• The volume control, situated at the rear, bottom L/H side of helmet, affects the volume of what
you hear from your speakers. It does not affect the volume of what your passenger hears
(he/she has his/her own volume control) nor does it affect your voice over any radio
transmissions you make.
In other words it has no effect on the output of your mike.
• The volume can be set between off (fully anti-clockwise) to maximum (fully clockwise). Even
set to “off” your voice will still be heard by the passenger/radio (naturally, you won’t be able to
hear anything!)
Setting the Helmet Volume
• Start with the volume OFF.
• Gradually turn it up until you hear your passenger comfortably. (1/2 volume or less is usually
OK)
• Solo flyers with radio should set the volume to about 1/4.
The helmet has been designed to be quiet and you should aim for the quietest setting you can bear,
not the loudest you can bear. Think about this, they are not the same. With the volume turned too
high you could end up with more noise inside your defenders than there was outside them. (Read
Noise & Hearing at least once)
If you start at maximum volume and work down you will probably wind up at a level which is as loud
as you can bear and could be harmful to your hearing. Also, too much volume will degrade the noisecancelling
properties of the helmet. For most people with normal hearing, about 1/4 to1/2 volume on
the helmet is sufficient.
Side Tone
• Side tone is what you hear of your own voice. It does not affect what your passenger or your
radio hears of your voice. It should be subliminal. If you are conscious of your own voice then
it’s way too loud. Turn down your volume.
Setting the Radio Volume
• Set the helmet volume as above, and leave it.
• Then and only then adjust the volume on the radio to suit the received signals. If the radio
signals are too quiet, turn up the radio. If the radio signals are too loud, turn down the radio.
For most people with normal hearing, about 1/4 to 1/2 volume on the radio is sufficient.
Setting the Radio Squelch
Squelch is essentially a sensitivity control which allows you to adjust the threshold at which your radio
goes into receive mode. It has nothing at all to do with your own transmissions. It also has no effect
on the quality of the received signals, just your ability to hear them (or not, as you wish) whatever their
quality.
• Turn the squelch up (fully clockwise) The radio hisses. (receive mode) This is the most
sensitive and will enable the reception of distant weak signals, however there will be
incessant hiss between the signals and probably engine ignition interference also.
• Turn the squelch down (anticlockwise) until the hiss and noise just stops. This is the most
sensitive setting for normal use.
• Turn the squelch down further to eliminate unwanted distant transmissions. Fully
anticlockwise is least sensitive and you will only receive strong signals.

FLYING HELMET FH-1 has been tested by BSI and CE certified to the following standard:
EN 966:1996 Helmets for Airborne Sports (UL)
VISOR FV-1 has been tested by BSI and CE certified to the relevant parts of the following standards:
EN 166:2001 Personal Eye Protection
BS 4110:1979 Eye Protection for Vehicle Users
Users should be aware that flying, because of its nature, is hazardous with or without a helmet and can result in serious injury or death "
 

loftus

Active Member
It seems like proper shielding from wind is the most important component in all this. I'm not ready to give up on the Lightspeed's just yet because one up the Lightspeed Zulu is fantastic!
Today I added a foam trim to the passengers visor and made some VOX and volume adjustments on the actual Lightspeed control. I previously had this set high, and at the recommendation of Lightspeed set it much lower and compensated for the volume by increasing the volume on the radio. Things were already significantly better. So I will keep playing for now.
 

Walter

Member
In my MTOs I installed a PM1000 (mainly to use the audio input to listen to music, and have it turned of when ATC or TX audio comes in), use an ELA helmet with a Flycom mike, and have a selector to use either VOX or PTT (only intercom). This has solved ALL problems. Wiring: I built an adapter between the original wiring of the MTOs, the PM1000, the PTT/VOX switch, and a cable to the radio. I used the rear PTT transmit switch for the intercom PTT. Therefore no alterations on the original wiring. The music is turned of with ATC and/or Intercom audio inputs, fades in slowly after a few seconds. Works great.
 

aviator_josh

gyro wannabe
Haven't seen anyone mention this, but I've been using Lynx for many years instructing in powered parachutes. They are made specifically for the higher frequencies that we fly with as opposed to GA. Here is a headset chart from Plane and Pilot magazine
 

loftus

Active Member
Just an update. I've tried mike taping etc to no avail. Unplugging the mike of course fixes the problem, headsets are nice and quiet without the mike plugged in in the back. So I tried an add in PTT cord - unfortunately this does not work either as it's a single pole switch, and it seems a total disconnect is needed. So for now I just have the passenger unplug the mike and plug back in when they want to talk. Searching for a small double pole push button switch. Looked at the Flycom Helmets, too bulky and heavy. Seems like Micro Avionics may be lighter, but not sure. Also like to be able to fly with only headset occasionally, and also hate to spend the money when a simple disconnect of the mike as needed solves the problem.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
I have not had experience with the MTO so this is just for what worked in The Predator that has a David Clark intercom.

It only took one wire disconnect to make the push to talk work with a normally open switch.

Any circuit I have had experience with takes two wires to make it work. In other words one wire being disconnected will work. I suspect you just have to find the correct one.

In Puff has a Funke audio panel; sometimes if I have the other helmet plugged and in the bag the ambient noise will activate the intercom and it picks up the cabin noise. It makes the radio much harder to understand.

It is not enough of a problem for me to try to solve but I suspect it would be in an open gyroplane.

Good luck, Vance
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Sorry you are still having some issues.
Like I have said before trikes have solved this problem for a decade.
They either use Lynx which are uncomfortable and require batteries to charge every 20 hours of use in the helmet or my favorite Flycom set. It's not that uncomfortable. For a helmet system it's quite comfortable. More than Lynx helmet.
In open cockpit you can't use GA headsets, I have tried a dozen and failed with 5 different intercoms. Some kind of worked but kind of isn't good.
Once you fly the right solution a couple of weeks you will throw rock at Lught Speed Zulu and Bose and sigtronics and PS-Engineering coms and ATR built in com. They just kind of work. I decided to kind of stop using them many years back and just buy the last open cockpit helmet system I needed. Ian not trying to sell them, you can order direct but get the right solution once and you will more than likely never look back. Yes they are expensive but so is my hearing.
 
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