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Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?  
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5968 posts, RR: 27
Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3340 times:
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Remember those headsets that you would have that pluged into the arm rest, I have not seen them in use since 1991. How did they work? It was not an audio cable, but a hollow tube that plugged into the armrest. Was there a speaker in there that would put the sound through the tube? Why would you do it like that rather than just have a wired audio cord, like what we have now. I still see that old system on some NWA DC-9s, but it doesn't function. I always remember listening to that on TWA L1011s when I was a kid. If you listened long enough you would hear the stuff repeat, was there a cassette, 8-track, or dat? I remember once having a selection of air traffic control/cockpit audio. I don't remember which airline that was, I was very young. it would have been Ozark, TWA, United, or Frontier (the old one). I can't imagine anyone doing that anymore. Does anyone still use that type of system.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMalexander131 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3332 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
I remember once having a selection of air traffic control/cockpit audio.

UA's got channel 9 right now, but other than that, I don't have a clue.



"It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilots sit, but that's not important right now."
User currently offlineIlikeyyc From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1373 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3304 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
Was there a speaker in there that would put the sound through the tube?

Yes. Works just like a stethoscope



Fighting Absurdity with Absurdity!
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3831 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3304 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
How did they work?

Its a tiny speaker in the armrest (similar to that in a pair of headphones) and the sound simply flows through the hollow tubes. They aren't usually very loud.

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
Why would you do it like that rather than just have a wired audio cord

I guess at the time, when the technology was still a little primative, it was a lot cheaper to mass-produce hollow tubes than headphones.

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
Does anyone still use that type of system.

I flew on an AZ A321 in 2004 (A fairly new aircraft, I'm sure) and it still had this system... sound quality was awful!


User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2948 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3288 times:

Sometimes you can hear the sound coming directly out of the armrests if the volume is turned up high enough.


Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineDc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3266 times:

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 4):
Sometimes you can hear the sound coming directly out of the armrests if the volume is turned up high enough.

Or if you were really cheap and not want to buy the headset on a flight, you could turn it up loud and put your ear down by those little holes.


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4692 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3229 times:

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 5):
Or if you were really cheap and not want to buy the headset on a flight, you could turn it up loud and put your ear down by those little holes.

Only if you were a dwarf or a contortionist.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2948 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3229 times:

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 6):
Only if you were a dwarf or a contortionist.

LOL. Don't forget, you can raise the armrest too!



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineAA777SJC From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3192 times:

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 6):
Only if you were a dwarf or a contortionist.

That was before WN was whipping efficiency into the other carriers. I used to fly AA LAX-DFW (usually 757's) a few times a year for college and I used to hope the plane was full enough (i.e. had more than 20 people on it) so that they wouldn't stick me in the last seat of first class (or maybe it was business - I still got coach treatment the Flight Attendents just didn't want to walk so far) If that didn't happen I was practically guaranteed a bank of 3 empty seats somewhere in coach. I don't remember ever listening to the music with out tube headphones, but it wouldn't have been hard in the days of 1/2 empty planes.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5968 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3192 times:
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My dad was cheap and made sure we brought our own headsets with us. I bet nowadays they would get all worked up if you whipped out your own headset. I would not know because I always fly NWA domesticly and I am suprised we can still read a emergency card! ha ha. I do have a nice set of headphones from NWA world business class. I must say they sound good. Much better than the older tube variety, but I still like the classic stuff.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Check out my recent thread in Tech/Ops

Old IFE - "Stethescopes"/nostalgia (by Bwi757 Jun 22 2006 in Tech Ops)

BWI757



I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
How did they work?

Are you talking about the pneumatic sounds? Im pretty sure thats what we are on about here isnt it?



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently online1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6387 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
I have not seen them in use since 1991.

I believe that Delta had them on domestic flights until late 2003, when Delta changed to purchased headsets. On the 757 and 767-300 with the new refurbished interior, the holes for the old headsets have been covered up.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5968 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3149 times:
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Yes, The Pneumatic sounds. What type of tapes did they use? Who was in charge of that stuff? Where were the main controls for the system?


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSeeTheWorld From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 4):
Sometimes you can hear the sound coming directly out of the armrests if the volume is turned up high enough.

LOL ... a blast from the past ... As a kid in the 1970s ... I would put my ear up to the armrest and turn the volume up to hear the music before they had passed out the earphones ... worked like a charm -- for a kid anyway.


User currently offlineMikefad From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3088 times:

I was sitting next to a gentleman once that made a miniature megaphone out of a piece of paper and wedged it in the hole........... We watched the movie without the headphones.

User currently offlineLredlefsen From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3056 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
Remember those headsets that you would have that pluged into the arm rest, ... It was ... a hollow tube that plugged into the armrest.

Ooohh... those were headsets? I always thought they were meant to help you breathe if you got stuck in a smoking section... I'd always stick the plugs into my nose, and hold the other end low to the ground, where I could get to air that wasn't quite as smoky. No wonder people looked at me funny...  Wink


User currently offlineUCLAX From United States of America, joined May 2003, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
I remember once having a selection of air traffic control/cockpit audio.

AA once offered ATC on 767s and Dc10s and video feed from the flight deck on take-off and landing on DC10s. This ended in the late 80s.

[Edited 2006-07-12 21:59:48]


...those who wait for the Lord�s help...rise up as if they had eagles� wings Isaiah 40:31
User currently offlineToTheStars From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

I flew for TWA and remember those headsets very well, we used to have to pick them up in bundles of ten and return them to the headset bag, they would be taken off at the next station to be "sanitized." Man those things hurt your ears after a while.


TWA-Airline To the Stars
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