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 Airlite 62 Headset modification

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richf
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PostSubject: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeSun Jul 05, 2020 5:41 pm

I have read good reports on modified Airlite 62 headsets.
Has anyone carried out this modification?
I would like to hear how you got on if you did.

Rich

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeSun Jul 05, 2020 7:27 pm

Hi Richard,

They're supposed to be great bits of kit and if you like the old headset/mic combination then all is good.
(Me personally, it's big old extension speaker and handheld mic!)

You're gonna have to do a bit of wire tracing on them and wire them up accordingly. Fine if you're up for that sort of thing Wink

This was about the best I could find about converting them :-

RSGB - Airline 62 conversion pdf

Hope that helps.
(Perhaps someone who's done it or used them can give you more feedback in operation.)

All the best,
Victor

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richf
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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeSun Jul 05, 2020 9:48 pm

Victor,

Thanks for the information, It's not my speciality but I think I will give it a go.

Thanks again,

Richard

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeMon Jul 06, 2020 5:54 am

Hi Richard,

No worries my friend, always nice to try something new Smile

I've since spoken to a Ham friend who reckons these Airline headsets are the Dog's B's without having to fork out the ridiculous prices places charge for "professional" headsets. After looking at some prices I agree!
Sure, you could work out an 'hourly rate' for your time in converting them but we usually do these things for the love of it. After all, we don't charge our loved ones an hourly rate for the things we do for them Wink

Take it as a challenge for yourself, it's just a few more wires than rewiring a three pin mains plug. You could even make an adapter 'box' and that way you could use these great headsets on any radio you have or will ever have.

I know from recent DX QSO's with our European counterparts that they relish this sort of stuff, often telling me about their  homemade mic solutions with great pride. I'm sure they all had massive smiles giving me this info, especially when I tell them "well done, your TX audio is fantastic!" Smile

Anyway, best of luck with it.

73's
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeMon Jul 06, 2020 7:07 pm

Victor,

I have been looking on and off for months now for the right one.

There are a few out there and the one I have coming is new.

I will tell you more about it and if it lives up to expectation when it arrives.

73's

Richard

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeMon Jul 06, 2020 7:28 pm

Nice one Richard.

Yeah, please keep us updated. Be nice to see how you get on with them and also may be of benefit to others.

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeFri Aug 21, 2020 5:37 pm

hi i bought my airlite  headset for 50p at a rally years past i cut off the din plug then traced the wires to each l/r headphones i found out each is seprate so i wired to a 9mm jack plug on my ts 2000x works fine i did not wire up the boom mic  just tied it back the cable can be quite stif so i put a mono 9mm line socket with thin audio coax to 9mm/3.5mm jack plug i used it when i was producing the local talking news for the blind there are a good relieable pice of kit let me know how you get on and if you use the boom mic 73s paul m0kbd

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeSat Oct 24, 2020 7:33 pm

I have eventually got round to modifying the headset. Having cut the plug off, I traced the  wires to the headset. The boom mic wires - 2 in total - were screened (mic earth) and you could see the colour of the PTT wire - so all sorted. I have used a plastic project box to make connections for a 3.5m jack and lead for the audio and a rj45 lead to connect to my yaesu ft450d. Very pleased with the audio in the headset and have had a couple of qso's who gave me good audio reports.
I will try and upload a couple of picture over the next couple of days.

Richard gw0hdy

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeSat Oct 24, 2020 9:06 pm

Hi Richard,

Nice one coming back on this, because weirdly I've been looking at the same headsets myself recently Wink

Now that I've got my ticket and operational I've figured out that I haven't got enough hands to scrabble around for paper and pen or type on the PC whilst holding a fist mic! Seems the extension loudspeaker I prefer to use is a bit loud for the station-manager too Very Happy

It's good to hear that the headphone audio is good as well as the mic audio on transmit. How are they comfort wise? Are they good enough for several hours of operation or the type to take a break from?

Anyway, I look forward to your pictures and conversion.

Let me just say, well done on converting them! Really pleased for you. Smile


All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeTue Oct 27, 2020 3:03 pm

Hi Victor,

The headset is really comfortable, they are made for wearing for long periods, for aircrew airtraffic control etc.

The PTT is around shoulder height and with the clip on the back it attaches to your collar. Now it seems to be sorted so far I plan initially to put a jumper across the PTT behind the switch and fit a foot operated PTT. That will give me both hands free (one for operating and the other for the red wine).

When I have completed that I will photograph what I have done.

I waited a few months for the headset, there seem to be plenty around some better than others. I spent some time searching google before I started and came across a couple of articles how others had carried this out. The wiring connections were not identical and mine didn't match either but in my case there were 2 wires that were in a common screen sheathing which were the mic and ptt. That only left the phones, 1 wire and an earth.

By the way I liike your call sign.

Richard

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeTue Oct 27, 2020 5:59 pm

Hi Richard,

Glad you find the headphones comfortable, given me the confidence in them now by gaining your personal view.
(They must be great considering the production time, over 50 years!)

Missed out recently on a NOS set but will keep searching.

Like you I plan to have a foot switch operation and luckily with my guitar interests I have a plethora of such items lying around. (I may consider a double switch, momentary for DX and latch for the 'rag-chew' Wink)

I'm laughing at the 'red wine' comment, that's one good reason for hands free operation! Very Happy


Again, well done on figuring out the wiring to convert them and thank you for the inspiration. Looking forward to converting my own set and using them on air.

My callsign? Weirdly it was my second choice, but glad now as I've had so many comments on it, especially when operators QRZ.com me.


All the best to you Richard, hope to catch you on the bands one day.

Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeThu Oct 29, 2020 12:40 am

Over the past few years I bought several sets of Airlites, with mixed results.
Some of the earpieces are tinny sounding, some aren't, but none of them are pleasing in audio quality, but they're a comms headset, so it goes with the territory.
I had fairly decent reports from the dynamic mic when I had it feeding directly into an Alinco DR-135DX, but the mics are no use for Icoms, unless I run them through a mixer first, and I have much simpler and outstanding results from a simple Koss SB-45 gaming headset plugged directly into the old Icom 735.
There were some Airlite sets made with condenser mics, but I've yet to find one.
No matter, it's easy enough to simply put a condenser element into one, which I might do shortly.
One thing I found out fairly quickly - the native plastic ear cushions aren't comfortable - I needed to buy some cotton earpiece covers from the bay of evil - quite cheaply, about a quid a pair and now I've got a stock of them.
My various Airlite headsets had Naval, Air Force and Army origins, all with their quirky connectors and PTT switches. One of the Naval sets gave up its PTT switch and that now functions as a desk switch. Wearing it on my shirt with it clipped on, it was a huge dead weight dragging me off the chair, it felt like. I was sitting with a list on. Anyway that one is an excellent headset now the weight has gone.
The other PTT switches are much smaller and one or two are fairly decent. One thing they all share is their apparent bullet-proof-ness. I'm sure you could use one to batter an invading enemy into submission.

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeThu Oct 29, 2020 4:02 pm

Hi Bandrunner, (sorry, no personal),

Thanks for your input regarding the Airline headsets, always useful to gain insight from a user.

I'm glad to hear that they have a limited audio range on the phones, much as I would have expected and avoids the thunderous boom of the cosmic background radiation gained with 'hi-fi' headphones Wink

Nice pointer on the microphone elements too. Luckily I'll be fitting them to an old Yaesu so won't have that problem but as you rightly point out this would be an issue for Icom owners.

I had seen the cotton earpiece protectors available and may get some just in case, so again another good pointer.

Had also heard that the PTT controls and leads were fairly hefty but as I intend on replacing the leads again this wouldn't be an issue. Also good to hear of their durability, I'm sure the on/off nature of use and the probability of dropping them from the bench would mean they would survive compared to typical plastic headsets.


Nice input for not only me but also others reading this, so thanks again.

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeFri Oct 30, 2020 8:17 pm

I guess I was lucky with mine, brand new still in sealed mod global packaging with 2 sets of cotton ear pieces and all for around £22 delivered. When you research them they come in various configurations. I understand mine was initially issued to the RAF for use on the VC10'S. i would certainly buy the same again. I suppose different mics suit different voice tones and characteristics. If you google new prices some are around £440. I agree for ham use the ptt is not the best but I will be fitting a foot switch to mine. Bearing in mind that the initial design for this was probably for a Loadmaster working with cargo in the back of the aircaft.

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeFri Oct 30, 2020 11:23 pm

Yep, I first came across them decades ago when visiting RAF facilities, and when I saw them on the surplus market grabbed a pair here and there, at the lowest prices I could see.
An absolute bargain of a headset, even if they need to be tailored for domestic use.
The design is simple, robust and can be repaired easily if anything breaks - something that can't be said of the majority of the plastic wonders available on the commercial market.
I also have a couple of pairs of David Clark clones, well made and just as good as the originals - I'd put the Airlites up with them, no problem.

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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeWed Nov 04, 2020 10:28 pm

I also have a set that I purchased as New Old Stock.

Great set of headphones, although I only used them a few times as I prefer my Sony headset and desk mic.

I did modify mine to work with my Icom, simply added an 8 pic connector to the headset, and changed the dynamic mic for a condenser in the mouth piece and have had great audio reports without any other change.

Anyone looking for a decent headset won't go far wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Airlite 62 Headset modification   Airlite 62 Headset modification Icon_minitimeTue Oct 12, 2021 7:23 pm

Just an update on my headset.

Still very pleased with it and the reports received etc.

I am going to carry out  further mods -

The shoulder height PTT along with the clip to your lapel is not really something that I wish to continue with and will be removed.

Excellent for the original purpose of the headset (I have many memories of working in Borneo and being winched        up to Sikorsky helicopters looking up at the crewman who had one hand on the winch and the other on the other on the PTT).

I will splice in a foot switch PTT which will leave a free hand for a glass of red.
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