Headsets and intercoms


Tanargs often come from the factory with some sort of intercom system fitted. The most common is made by Alphatec, either as an intercom unit fitted to the dashboard, or integrated into the Flycom Focus EFIS. This system uses a single 6.35mm plug which plugs in to the small unit on the left hand side of the seat. This unit also incorporates the PTT switch.

When I bought my Tanarg it came with two Alphatec full faces helmets and two headsets. The full faced helmets are great in the winter, but we find that they obscure some of the downwards vision and create a closed in feeling. Headsets in an open cockpit are a bit noisy so we bought some helmets that fit over the headsets.

Original helmets

This picture shows the original helmets that were used with separate headsets, but in this picture the headset has been incorporated into the helmet. Note the 6.35mm plug. These helmets are much better for warm climates and great for my wife who takes hundreds of photos from the back seat. See https://judesphotography.wordpress.com/

After a while we had problems with one of the headsets and found that we need a new volume control to fit to one of the ear cups. These proved very difficult to get hold of, they are known as a “P16 1turn cermet track pot,100R lin 16mm” and can be bought from RS Components, but we have problems getting them sent to France.

My wife decided that she should buy a new helmet and chose a Micro Avionics “Flycom compatible”.

Micro Avionics

This is very different as it has built in ear cups and a flush fitting visor, but comes with the same plug as our Tanarg uses.

Rear view

This picture shows the lines of the helmet around the ear cup area.

Visor open

As can be seen in this picture the visor has a neoprene seal around the neck area. It also came with a helmet bag and a free good quality neck warmer (sock).

I went for a solo flight this evening to see how the helmet performed and was impressed with the sound quality and comfort of the helmet. It is a little heavier than the old helmet, but hardly anything. There is much less wind noise and vision is as good as the old helmets.

The only criticism that I have is that the helmet may be a little too warm for our climate in this area. I will remove the neoprene seal and see if there is more airflow around the face, to keep me cooler.

After trying on the helmet my wife decided that she did not like it so has donated it to me and she will continue to use one of the old ones! I will also remove the Micro Avionics stickers from the helmet as I like things to be very clean looking, I also like to remove advertising from products that is not paid for by the advertiser.

UPDATE: I flew for 90 minutes with the new helmet this morning and and it did not seem to be too warm at speeds of 70 to 90 mph. There is less wind noise than the old helmet. I find that there is a little too much bass in the sound and have a few problems hearing clearly what the passenger is saying to me.

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3 Responses to Headsets and intercoms

  1. Gartenmöbel says:

    This is the best blog I have ever read thank you!

  2. Laurent says:

    Do you still own and enjoy your Micro Avionics Helmet? I am considering this one and the Flycom helmet and don’t know which one to buy?

    • rouffignac says:

      Yes I do. I think that it was a bit overpriced for what it is. A very basic helmet with a run of the mill intercom fitted should cost no more than a decent high quality motorcycle helmet. I find it a bit warm in the summer.

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