Radio Intercom Specs for Aircraft and Camera Cars

Unit should interface with both fixed wing (two plugs) and helicopter single plugs systems.

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 radio.

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 type.

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 version.

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