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Old 01-13-2010, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Microphone Problem: PLEASE HELP

Hey Everyone,

I've been flying with my flight instructor for the last 10hrs of flight time in his Piper PA26-161.

During this time I've been using his extra David Clark headset, I think its a H10-13.4... and I would always have trouble with the headset not activating when I would start talking. Many times it takes a second to open the line to the in-aircraft system, so the beginnings of many of my transmissions were cut off. (but my ATC transmissions worked fine when I pressed the button)

So I recently purchased a pair of Sennheiser HMEC-250 ANR cans. I went flying last weekend and had the same problem!! I know that this headset has an adjustable microphone sensitivity, via a small screw on the mic arm.

Do you guys think that this is simply a problem of lower-than-desirable mic sensitivity on both headsets? Or could it be a problem with the headset jacks in the airplane?
(again, my ATC transmissions activated normally with no delay)

Has anyone else had this problem?
Any help is appreciated.

KitVan
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have another suggestion. Maybe it's the way you speak. Different people have different voice pitch, and speaking manners. some start their sentences at a very low voice.
It's a fore a reason that pilots sounds like 'pilots' when they talk over the radio. You can't use your regular 'speach' voice and intonation, especially in small and noise planes.
So a.) pull that mice close to your lips, b.) talk with constant voice pitch. After a while you will figure out how laud exactly/constant exactly you need to talk in order to trigger the microphone and keep it on.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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that's good advice, thank you. Next time I fly (hopefully this weekend) I'll pay closer attention to how I'm speaking...
The only confusing part is that my instructor (who has a Bose) sounds so casual when he talks...he tends to speak very quietly. That's the only reason I thought it might be something technical.

Given that I'm going to adjust the sensitivity on my headset, I'll also pay attention to my intonation on my next flight.

Will report.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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exactly it's not about how loud you speak, because most probably you can't 'out-loud' the noise of the engine. Keep the microphone REALLY close to your lips.

Next time u are flying take some time practice.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like the jack on your side has a problem with its squelch. Not to be patronizing or anything, but are you sure that there isn't a hidden squelch switch somewhere in your system? Maybe you can ask a quick question of the local avionics shop as to whether or not there isn't an internal adjustment/problem that would be causing this
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My first solution would be to take a look at the intercom panel. There's usually a squelch knob (often labeled "SQ"). Turn it counter-clockwise until you "break squelch," when it acts like a hot mike. You'll hear it break, then turn it clockwise just far enough to kill the noise- again, you'll hear it.

Vlad's suggestion is a good one, too. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone on headset and we can't hear them at all. I tell them to eat the mike and speak up (if it's a guy, I tell him to use his man voice).
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