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Why coiled cords on headsets?


ltweintz
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Hi all. I'm new to the forum and I'm trying to figure out why they use coiled cords on headsets for helicopters?

 

I'm was a Blackhawk pilot in the Army and I have no general aviation experience what-so-ever. The only headset I have ever worn has been my Gentex helmet with CEPs or coiled cord DCs when in the back. Now that I'm out, I'm looking at getting into flying again. I have picked out the headset I want, but trying to figure out which cord to get.

 

So...is there anyone out there who knows why helicopter headsets usually have a coiled cord and why should I choose one way or the other?

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Hi all. I'm new to the forum and I'm trying to figure out why they use coiled cords on headsets for helicopters?

 

I'm was a Blackhawk pilot in the Army and I have no general aviation experience what-so-ever. The only headset I have ever worn has been my Gentex helmet with CEPs or coiled cord DCs when in the back. Now that I'm out, I'm looking at getting into flying again. I have picked out the headset I want, but trying to figure out which cord to get.

 

So...is there anyone out there who knows why helicopter headsets usually have a coiled cord and why should I choose one way or the other?

A 10' straight cord has 10' of wire all over the place. A 10' coiled cord retracts on itself thus taking up less room. I use my straight corded airplane headsets in the helicopter and have to wrap them around several times to cut down on the cord getting in the way. Same length coiled cord just plugs in and stays out of the way.

It's all about accommodation.

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I don't like coiled cords. I use straight cords on my helmet and headset (with extensions, as needed), and clip them to my flight suit, the airplane, or where ever else needed. I've never had a problem in any kind of aircraft.

 

A coiled cord has more weight handing off the attach point, and I find it annoying when I turn my head.

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I used coiled chords for years and found them to be cumbersome, frustrating and susceptible to unsightly looping if not handled correctly. When presented with an opportunity to change, I opted for the straight chord and now prefer it. While I too have an extension if the need arises, we installed ICS plug-in receptacles on the exterior of the airframe for positive comms with the PIC during crewmember ground movements.

Edited by Spike
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I have a coiled primary helmet cord that is perfect for when I have to maneuver around in the cockpit. If I have to step out of the cockpit I can't stray far at all without either unplugging, or removing my helmet. My pigtail is one pin. Some comms are set up with a two pin, so in those cases my adapter gives a little more range, without getting in the way.

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The reason for the coiled cords in helicopters is actually fairly logical: Headset plugs are usually mounted above the helicopter pilot. Or they're on the bulkhead right behind the seat in two-place ships (Bells and Hillers and the like - don't know about the R-22). The coiled cord helps keep it from drooping down and getting tangled up in the collective.

 

Airplanes typically have their headset jacks mounted forward of the pilot, usually at the bottom (or even under) the instrument panel. This means the cord has to drop down from the headset and go around your arms, and the yoke (or the engine controls). Straight cords do better here because it's easier to route them out of the way.

 

I have tried using my coiled cord headset (with an adapter, obviously) in airplanes and it does not work well. Conversely I do not like straight cord headsets in helicopters. YMMV.

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The reason for the coiled cords in helicopters is actually fairly logical: Headset plugs are usually mounted above the helicopter pilot. Or they're on the bulkhead right behind the seat in two-place ships (Bells and Hillers and the like - don't know about the R-22). The coiled cord helps keep it from drooping down and getting tangled up in the collective.

 

Airplanes typically have their headset jacks mounted forward of the pilot, usually at the bottom (or even under) the instrument panel. This means the cord has to drop down from the headset and go around your arms, and the yoke (or the engine controls). Straight cords do better here because it's easier to route them out of the way.

 

I have tried using my coiled cord headset (with an adapter, obviously) in airplanes and it does not work well. Conversely I do not like straight cord headsets in helicopters. YMMV.

 

My mileage isn't varying. Good post.

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