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Old 12-29-2020, 04:46 PM
Malndi's Avatar
Malndi Malndi is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 127
Default Question for Bonehead helmet users

We recently bought four Pilot-X helmets with CEP and after dialling them in were really happy, with one exception- background noise is dominating our intercom and transmitted audio to the extent that were virtually unreadable to each other and everyone else on the same frequency.

We all use different radios (A210, SL40, G430, GTR200) and weve each played with our mic gain and other settings. Weve also swapped helmets and planes, all to no avail. Were now trying to determine if/why the mics are the problem.

Our helmets came with Pilot PA-7X microphones. Itd sure help to hear from anyone else with a Pilot-X helmet about the type of mic fitted to their helmet and whether they have encountered a similar issue?

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Old 12-29-2020, 06:27 PM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,491

I helped a buddy with another gee-wiz brand helmet, and I don't know why they use crappy mics in them (in my opinion). I threw on an old David Clark M-7A I had and it solved the problem (ANR feedback).
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:35 AM
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Kahuna Kahuna is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Gold Hill, NC25
Posts: 2,408

I have a bonehead I use in my Pitts. Never used in my RV (use a Gibson in my RV) and I only break squelch in certain maneuvers. Its a single hole so I dont care really. The Pitts is waaaaay louder in the cockpit than the RV. My bonehead has a mic foam muff. If I was bothered by it, I would try the leather mic muff before I did anything else. Available from many suppliers.
6A, S8 ,
Gold Hill, NC25
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:26 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 881

Originally Posted by fl-mike View Post
I threw on an old David Clark M-7A I had and it solved the problem (ANR feedback).
This right here.

I fly some noisy stuff, so awhile back I tried that Pilot PA-7X “high noise” mic on one of my headsets. Meh, unimpressed. But, on my HGU-55 helmet I have the David Clark M-7A mic; works great even in the noisy AT-6 or stupid loud T-28D. Gotta have the mike muff to go with it though...
John Bixby
RV-8 QB sn 82030 - 1800 hrs
Houston, TX
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:36 PM
Malndi's Avatar
Malndi Malndi is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 127

Thanks for the suggestions.

I took the M7A mic from a spare DC headset and tried it in the helmet. There was a small improvement in sound quality, but my wingman said the background noise was still there, so Ill try again with the addition of a leather mic muff.

But its interesting that the same M7A mic doesnt suffer from background noise when used in the headset. Im now wondering if the helmet is conducting noise and transferring it via the mic boom? I think this warrants more investigation.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:35 AM
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Gash Gash is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 913

I've been flying a Bonehead helmet in the Extra. Like Kahuna, I put that Oregon Aero mic cover on, but it still picks up a ton of background noise in my radio transmissions. Sometimes I have to hold my hand over the mic to reduce the noise. To answer your question, I really don't think it's being caused by conducted vibration. It's just good old 105 dB cockpit noise.

I just got sponsored by Lift Aviation and am getting one of their helmets to use in the Yak 50. This helmet will have the brand new Tiger Performance ANR headphones and mic (it's not advertised on Lift's website yet). I'm hoping for an improvement in transmission quality. I'll post a review here after I get a chance to put it through the wringer.
Karl, Goodyear, Arizona (KGYR) ATP, CFII
Yak 50
=VAF= donor 2021

Last edited by Gash : 01-01-2021 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:58 PM
MK77 MK77 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 131

Very interesting. I used the super basic Bonehead helmet when I was conducting the phase 1 for my RV-7. Not sure what kind of mic capsule was in it. At that time I had no carpet, Vetterman 4-pipe exhaust and it was pretty loud in the cockpit (>100 dB-A SPL). Radio is a GTR200. Had no issues with breaking squelch on that mic as I recall.

Now I use a Sennheiser S1 and the mic performance is noticeably worse than others I used. A lot more background noise is picked up when I speak but it still doesn't generally break squelch unless I 'm speaking. A bit funny since I expected the Sennheiser to have better performance since they're known for their microphones.

I actually design microphones for a living. The type of mic, polar and frequency response will make a big difference in the amount of background noise it picks up. Most mic's for this application are what are referred to as "noise cancelling" which is a bit of a misnomer. More accurately they should be called "noise rejecting". Not sure what the specs of the mic in question are.

I'd be surprised if the mic 'muff' makes a big difference, at least not without impacting the quality of the speech pickup as well.
Matt K.
RV-7 Tip-up - Flying!
XP Superior IO-360 w/cold air sump, Catto 3 blade prop
Garmin G3X
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