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Common Flight Helmet Communications Configurations

Flight helmets are important and expensive investments so several factors should be considered before choosing a flight helmet communications configuration. Military and civilian radios and intercoms operate on different impedances. Military aircraft use a single U-174 plug while most general aviation fixed wing aircraft use a dual plug system. War-birds have often been converted to civilian radios/intercom systems. This page covers just a few of the common flight helmet communications configurations. If you don't see a configuration that will work for your application, or you have a special request, please call or send an email. FlightHelmet.com can locate any communications product and routinely works with a number of manufacturers to have products custom made. We've worked with customers to provide flight helmet communications solutions for helicopters, aircraft, custom intercom systems, portable/handheld radios, war-birds, ultra-lights, boats, high altitude balloons, and many more applications. We look forward to answering your questions!

Here are some things to consider before choosing a helmet configuration:

      Will the helmet operate with military or civilian impedance radios/intercoms?

      Does the aircraft have a single or dual plug system?

      Will the helmet have standard civilian impedance earphones or will it have Active Noise Reduction (ANR) earphones?

      Will the helmet be used with a boom microphone, oxygen mask, either, or both?

Earphones

Standard Earphones
Standard earphones are available in either military or civilian impedance. They can be installed in all ear cup types and operate with all types of helmet, boom microphone, and oxygen mask configurations.
      Military H-143 Earphones
      Civilian 300ohm Earphones

Active Noise Reduction Earphones
ANR earphones are more expensive than standard earphones but offer a much more enjoyable flying experience, especially in noisy war-bird aircraft. We fly with ANRs in our helmets and headsets and believe they are well worth the investment! ANR modules come in either military or civilian impedance. ANR modules are compatible with all boom microphone and most oxygen mask configurations (depending on ANR configuration). Read the oxygen mask communications section for details.
      ANR Installation Kit
The ANR kit comes with everything needed for installation into plastic ear cups (ear cups not included). Installation does require soldering. Instructions are provided, but FlightHelmet.com also offers ANR installation services.
The ANR modules are powered by a 9-volt power source and have three power options available. ANR kits come with either battery box or battery bag.
      A battery box with clothing clip. If using the integrated cord upgrade, the battery box connects at the end of the integrated cord.
      A battery bag, which can be mounted on the rear of the helmet with velcro.
     
An optional aircraft panel mounted power supply

To make the installation even easier and to have an integrated cord for the battery box or aircraft panel mounted power supply option, FlightHelmet.com offers the following cord upgrades:
     
Single U-174 plug with ANR plug, straight cord
      Dual G/A plugs with ANR power plug, straight cord

Flight Helmet Cords

Flight Helmet Cords
There are three standard configurations for flight helmet cords: cords with a single U-174 plug, cords with dual General Aviation (G/A) plugs, and CX-4708 cords. Most civilian general aviation fixed wing aircraft (and many war-birds) use dual G/A plugs. Most military fixed wing aircraft and helicopters (both military and civilian) use a single U-174 plug. The CX-4708 cord is commonly used in conjunction with an Oxygen Mask and CX-4707 cord, but can also be used with boom microphone drop down cord. The following flight helmet communications cord are available for most helmets:
      CX-4708 cord - used with oxygen mask or drop-down cord
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord
      Single U-174 plug, coiled cord
      Dual G/A plugs, straight cord
      Single U-174 plug with ANR power plug, straight cord
      Dual G/A plugs with ANR power plug, straight cord
.


Flight Helmet Volume Control Cords
Any flight helmet communications cord can be upgraded with either a volume control on the cord or a helmet mounted volume control. An individual volume control for your earphones can be very handy, especially if your aircraft doesn't have a dedicated volume control for each set of jacks. We offer several cords available to purchase directly via the website, but please call for a quote on a custom cord if you don't see what you're looking for. We can also install a volume control cord into any flight helmet or helicopter helmet.
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord with Volume Control on cord
      Dual G/A plugs, straight cord, with helmet mounted Volume Control
 
 
Boom Microphones
Boom microphones are available for use with either military or civilian communications. The boom microphones are mounted to helmets in one of three ways. There are also several cord options available for boom microphones. Boom microphone wire frames come in two lengths but FlightHelmet.com recommends the shorter wire frames for flight helmets.

Microphone Mounts
Install a round mount to permanently mount a boom microphone to a helmet. This option is recommended for helmets that will never use oxygen masks, but is also compatible on helmets that will use oxygen masks.
      Round mount installed directly to helmet
Avoid drilling a hole in the helmet and use the cast bayonet receiver round mount and bracket to semi-permanently mount boom microphone to helmet. This option requires cast bayonet receivers be installed on the helmet. This bracket is not compatible with lightweight bayonet receivers.
      Cast bayonet receiver mounting bracket
The removable bayonet receiver bracket assembly is recommended as an easy install that avoids drilling holes in the helmet and allows boom microphone to be easily removed when using an oxygen mask. This option requires either cast bayonet receivers or lightweight bayonet receivers be installed on the helmet.
      Removable bayonet receiver mount



Microphones
The following types of boom microphones are available:
      Military M-87 Microphone
      Civilian Amplified 150ohm Electret Microphone

Microphone Cords
The following types of boom microphone cords are available:
      Standard microphone cord (military impedance use)
      Amplified microphone cord (civilian impedance use)
An in-line impedance converter cord for existing microphone cords is available:
      Microphone cord impedance converter cord

Microphone Drop-Down Cords
Drop down cords are recommended for use with helmets that have CX-4708 cords installed. The removable bayonet receiver mount and drop-down cord make a great combination for helmets that will alternate between oxygen mask and boom microphone use. The following drop-down communications cords are available:
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord - integrated with microphone cord
      Dual G/A plugs, straight cord - integrated with microphone cord
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord - used with microphone cord
      Single U-174 plug, coiled cord - used with microphone cord
      Dual G/A plugs, straight cord - used with microphone cord
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord, with microphone switch - used with microphone cord
      Inquire for more drop down cord options and plug types available or browse all helmet communications cords.


Oxygen Mask Communications
There are three standard communications setups for helmets that will be used with oxygen masks. Each of these options facilitate the use of a boom microphone in addition to an oxygen mask, but some configurations are easier to switch between boom mike and oxygen mask than others. In all three configurations, the oxygen mask uses a standard military impedance M-101 microphone. If the mask will be used with civilian impedance communications, choose an amplified microphone cord option. All options require either cast bayonet receivers or lightweight bayonet receivers be installed on the helmet.

CX-4708 Cord Option
This option uses a CX-4708 communications cord in the helmet and a CX-4707 variant communications drop-down cord on the oxygen mask. This is a standard configuration for most military helmets fitted with oxygen masks.

FlightHelmet.com offers the following CX-4707 cords for use with oxygen masks and flight helmets with CX-4708 cords installed:
     
CX-4707 with U-174 plug (military impedance)
      CX-4707 with U-174 plug (with amplifier for civilian impedance)
      CX-4707 with Dual G/A plugs (with amplifier for civilian impedance)
      CX-4707 with U-75 plug (with amplifier for US Navy impedance)
An in-line impedance converter cord for existing CX-4707 cords is available:
      Microphone cord impedance converter cord
Note: For helmets with ANR modules, an integrated communications / power cord is not available for this oxygen mask communications option. FlightHelmet.com recommends either a non-integrated power cord (included with ANR kit) for use with battery box or aircraft panel mounted cord, or the helmet mounted battery bag.

Standard Helmet Cord Option
This option
uses a helmet communications cord with built-in drop-down cord and the oxygen mask uses a microphone cord to plug into the helmet. The configuration is compatible with:
      Military and civilian microphones and earphones
      Single U-174 Plug and Dual G/A Plugs
      Standard earphones and ANR earphones (battery pack, box, and panel mounted power options)
      Oxygen Masks and Boom Microphones
To switch between boom microphone and oxygen mask microphone, simply unplug one microphone cord from the helmet and plug in the other one. An optional helmet mounted microphone switch is also available here.
The following helmet communications cords are available for this option:
      Single U-174 plug, straight cord
      Single U-174 plug, coiled cord
      Dual G/A plugs, straight cord
      Single U-174 plug with ANR plug, straight cord
      Dual G/A plugs with ANR power plug, straight cord
The following oxygen mask microphone cords are available for this option:
      Standard microphone cord (military impedance use)
      Amplified microphone cord (civilian impedance use)
An in-line impedance converter cord for existing microphone cords is available:
      Microphone cord impedance converter cord

Selector Switch Cord Option
This option
is a cross between the CX-4708 helmet cord option and standard helmet cord option. The main point of this configuration is that it uses a drop-down cord with selector switch for microphone source built into the plug. The helmet uses a CX-4708 cord and the oxygen mask uses a microphone cord to plug into the plug at the end of the drop down cord coming from the helmet. Boom microphone or oxygen mask microphone can be selected with the flip of a switch.
The following helmet cords are required for this option:
      CX-4708 cord - used with oxygen mask or drop-down cord
      Single U-174 plug, straight drop-down cord, with microphone switch
A cord with dual G/A plugs is not available at this time, but the following adapter cable can be used for dual G/A plug systems:
      Single U-174 plug to G/A Plugs Adapter
One of the following oxygen mask microphone cords is also required for this option:
      Standard microphone cord (military impedance use)
      Amplified microphone cord (civilian impedance use)
An in-line impedance converter cord for existing microphone cords is available:
      Microphone cord impedance converter cord

Note: For helmets with ANR modules, an integrated communications / power cord is not available for this oxygen mask communications option. FlightHelmet.com recommends either a non-integrated power cord (included with ANR kit) for use with battery box or aircraft panel mounted cord, or the helmet mounted battery bag.

 


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