Monday, November 1, 2010

Praxis Request: Anyone with experience with this surplus headset?


I found a source for these in used but excellent shape for eight bucks each.

Roanwell Hawk Series

Lightweight headset for maximum comfort and reliable performance. Worn with hard hat or helmet without fatigue. Lightweight cords allow freedom of movement. Soft padded headbands adjustable to keep headset in place. Superior voice transmission provided by noise cancelling carbon, dynamic or electret microphone. Soft foam filled or gelled pads provide comfort. Available as single sided (Type 490) or double sided (Type 491) for moderate noise areas. Both configurations are also FAA approved.

Are they worth it? What do they fit? What can they be adapted to?


LATER: The marking on the plug is AMPHENOL 67-06J14-9P. The cord running down from the left earpiece on the headset is marked: 491-049-001-694 G-1 12 coil cord.


Sean said...

M113A2s, Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. They hook up to the vehicles radio set for intercom and radio transmission. PRC/25/77 and so on. Superseded by a new generation of equipment, but they still work pretty good. The Corps and Navy still use them a lot, along with NG and Reserve. They work in the rain, but submerge them a fuggedaboutit.

drjim said...

For $8, I'd say grab them!
To adapt them, you'll need to know what impedance the elements in the earpieces are, and what impedance the microphone element is. And of course you'd need a connector that matches the radio or other device you want to use them with.
If these are "standard" aviation headsets, the headphones are usually 600 Ohms, and the mic is an electret element which requires a small bias voltage to work. Since many late model radios use this type of microphone, the voltage is usually available at the microphone connector.
I've adapted many David Clark headsets to use with amateur radio gear, and it's not too hard to do. If the plug on the headset is an "all-in-one" (transmit and receive audio in the same plug), then the easiest way is to make up a "Y cable" that connects to the headset, and splits out for the transmit and receive audio to two separate connectors.

Anonymous said...

This would only work with other military equipment. It would need extensive rework to match commercial/industrial, amateur (i.e., ham), or consumer equipment which have a completely different design approach. (Might work with aviation commo gear with matching plugs.)

There are a number of good solutions for non NSA gear. Not as sturdy, but plentiful and more comfortable I should say!

From: An anonymous radio ham

Anonymous said...

If they are FAA approved, then they probably adapt to standard Air Comm. junctions, which have an impedance requirement which does not match modern radio systems. However, a few years back the ARRL published a set of plans to build an adapter to connect a standard modern handy talky HAM radio, which can be easily adapted to any modern HAM system.

Dutchman6 said...

LATER: The marking on the plug is AMPHENOL 67-06J14-9P. The cord running down from the left earpiece on the headset is marked: 491-049-001-694 G-1 12 coil cord.

drjim said...

The plug on the cable would mate with a 67-01C14-9S, from which you would make your "break out" or "Y" cable.
These can be easily adapted to gear OTHER than military stuff. I've done it many times.

Pat H. said...

Take care with headsets. I wore one similar to that for 15 excruciating months long ago (when I was 20-something) and hated them. Had a temporary bald spot on my head.

Look at a quality, but more expensive, Clark headset that's compatible if needed, or as it standard in Air Traffic Control, a Plantronics Starset or similar. Current tech is extremely lightweight and efficient.

All are more than $8.00, but comfort is a valuable commodity when these are worn for long hours, which is likely.

Anonymous said...

And anyone else interested, the Eagle series headset listed in that link has a plug compatible with the TA-312 field telephones. I've been looking for a few of something like these for years.

I'd also be interested in at least a couple of the type you listed.
Will you be handling them?


Ryan said...

A deal is only a deal if you can use it. Unless you have something these plug into, or can adapt them to plug into something you can use I wouldn't bother.

Anonymous said...

From looking at the product page, it appears the Hawk series is a generic style that Roanwell customizes fairly specifically for customer applications. If you knew the platform for which these particular ones were designed, and had a source of technical information about that platform, it'd be easier to determine their adaptability.

When you're dealing with those special-application connectors, it can be frustrating to figure out where the wires go. If you have an oscilloscope, multimeter, signal generator, and some time, you can usually figure out the audio in and out paths, though.

A headset like this likely requires a power input as well, for a powered mic element, amplification, or noise-canceling circuitry. Unfortunately, if it was designed for military or aviation applications, it probably wants a 24 or 48 VDC input, rather than the 12 VDC common in civilian applications. Most civilian land-mobile and amateur radio transceivers do not provide any power at their microphone inputs, so you'd probably have to rig a separate power supply. That's doable, but it adds bulk... and you quickly get into the realm of "is using this headset really worth all the trouble?"