Radio Intercom Specs for Aircraft
and Camera Cars
Unit should interface with both fixed wing (two plugs) and helicopter single
Unit should interface to the aircraft on board radios with only the pilot's
mic. "open" to transmit. If other mics. are "open", transmissions will be poor.
A Velcro mic. key switch should be available for the control stick or wheel.
This can be a standard Telex item with a fixed wing style .200" dia. microphone
3 wire plug.
Interface for the ground to air, or camera car to picture car radio should use
only one microphone "hot". If other mics. are open as they are in the intercom
mode, transmission will be poor. I feel that the AD should talk to the talent
from a camera car. In an aircraft the pilot should only talk on the aircraft
radios and the director/cameraman talk to the subject vehicle on a production
In intercom mode all mics. are open. If there is a VOX feature, there has to
be a squelch setting for the intercom.
The intercom headsets and extensions cables should be the single plug helicopter
Extension cords can be 5', 10' and 20' long. The 20's are for camera cars.
Hi noise level headsets, such as the David Clark type, are best for aircraft
and high noise situations. For camera car use low noise level headsets. They
are safer because the wearer can hear out side events better. These headsets
are much cheaper. Telex has cheap ones, but the carbon microphones are noisy.
The intercom unit can be powered by the aircraft power, but should also have
ability to use a camera battery. They don't use much power.
Sometimes there are interface problems with some helicopters. A possible foolproof
solution is a split headset for the pilot that has two separate microphones
and earpieces, one for the ship and one for the intercom. This keeps his aircraft
system unmodified and completely separated from your intercom system. This is
two headsets made into one.
Helicopter single plug to fixed wing two plug adapters are useful.
Plan for time to wire and test the intercom before you fly or shoot.
One supplier for this unit is Sigtronics. Mention the Bill Bennett or Ron Dexter
© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.