Originally Posted by rvwannabe
I would like to make one myself, could you guys help me out and make a shopping list from scratch??
Aircraft Spruce: some part #'s
A1060 Black Mic 11-04838 $17.50 (noise reduction mic)
Headset Extension 5' 11-10640 $39.00 (great b/c you don't need to wire plugs)
Cable Junction Box 11-02743 $6.30 (fits perfectly)
misc heat shrink tubing-?
piano hinge wire (6')-?
small 2pack 3.5mm stereo jack panel mount $2.99
assorted grommets $(approx)2.99
noise reduction stereo headset with comply tips with inline volume control $39.95
(or you could get the shure or something better someplace else)
No pictures right now, but here's what I did-
I took the cable junction box (it has one wire in port and 2 wires out- like a Y) and drilled a 1/4" hole in the side to mount the mini 3.55mm stereo jack inside.
I took the headset extensions and separated the wires (mic/phones)
MIC- the little jack (mic) wire runs THROUGH the cable junction box UNCUT. I left about 6-8inches from the jack to the junction box. Cut the female connector and strip back the casing 1/4". peel back shielding, cut red wire (not used), the black and the uninsulated common are wired into the mic.
You want to install the mini grommets on the wire before installing in the box and mic.
PHONES- the big jack wire you cut to extend beyond the cable junction box about the same distance to the middle of the box. strip back the wire to reveal the red, black, and common. INSTALL GROMMET NOW.
If you have a mono headset- the red and black get tied together. You solder the red/black to the two leads on the back of the 3.55mm jack and the common gets soldered to the side tab. Make everything nice and tight to fit inside the little junction box. AGAIN- for mono, red and black are joined. For stereo, they need to be separated.
Install the grommets and screw the little cable junction box together! Install the nut on the 3.55mm stereo jack and you're done with that part!
I ground the MIC down to remove the material where the mic would attach on a standard headset boom using the 3m wheel.
I used a vice to bend the steel piano hinge wire and compared it to the Quiet Tech Halo headset I have. The piano hinge wire is STIFF- it's good because it rebounds like a spring. I found it good to bend around the head and tab down at a 45deg angle past the ears.
FLEXIBLE BOOM: I wanted to be able to adjust the mic slightly. We experimented and found a 10-14ga copper wire worked great (a 4" scrap from wiring the garage). We wrapped the steel pin and copper wire with a bare 24ga multistrand wire and soldered it together on high heat (700deg). Then I cleaned up the joint on the 3m wheel. The copper is more flexible than the steel pin. Practice once before doing the final- we used an alligator clip to hold it together to get some solder on it.
TEST FIT- ADJUST- TEST FIT- ADJUST- ETC.....
I planned on using 1min epoxy on the copper wire to the mic- so I taped it onto the wire temporarily to get the alignment pretty close before gluing.
OK EVERYTHING LOOKS GOOD! YOU'RE READY TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER!
You need to install the shrink wrap first. I kept the stereo headset separate so I could replace down the road. The mic wire worked best for me running over the ear and then off the headset. Before you wire the MIC and mount the MIC, slip the heat shrink over the MIC WIRE, copper wire, and onto the steel hinge pin wire up to where you want the wire to come off the headset. DON'T HEAT SHRINK YET! Then install smaller heat shrink tube around the other side to slip inside the larger heat shrink for a nice fit and finish(leave it a little long and trim RIGHT before heating).
Wire the MIC- black and uninsulated common. Doesn't matter which side. I had to solder a 20ga lead onto the wires to get them to the right size to use the screw down posts on the MIC. Make sure the MIC wires are secured in the MIC.
Mix up your Epoxy- HINT- use more catalyst to insure a quick setup- that's the colored stuff. spread a little on the mic (I had the wire install on the flat back side of the MIC so the MIC was closer to my mouth.) then use a small pair of vice grips to hold the wire and mic together. Add more epoxy to the wire to fill the fillets. LET SETUP!
After the epoxy is non sticky (Vise grips still on), you can slip the Heat Shrink down to fit over the wires to the MIC to make a clean looking termination at the MIC. Once everything is looking good with the heatshrink- HEAT IT UP!
Install MIC muff- GO FLY!
I wired up the box and mic and then tested everything in the cockpit before moving onto final assembly.
I went and flew for about an hour with the DIY headset and my Dad wearing the Quiet Tech Halo. It was so quiet, for a moment I thought there might be something off with the airplane. Previously, I couldn't get the gain set correctly on other headsets MIC and the cockpit noise overpowered the noise reduction and squelch. Not so now.
The only issue I could determine was the loose wires from the headphones. A little wire management would do wonders. I'm glad I kept the headphones separate from the headset- the radio shack noise reduction headset is a little cheap and the inline volume control is VERY sensitive. It's nice to be able to switch out headphones. The noise reduction on the MIC worked very well in conjunction with my 2 place intercom. I noticed for the first time that one of my radios is putting out more static than the other. Some clips to keep the wires loose so they don't pull when you turn your head is important as well, I would get some noise bleed around the ear plugs if turned my head sharply because the wires pulled a little.
The little cable junction box is GREAT! smaller than my HALO junction box.
Overall- For less than $100 (depending on your headphone choices) a good project to save $250 over the HALO and even more over the Clarity Aloft.
Of course the packaging is nothing close to the QT Halo, but that's $150 more for fuel!