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In-flight Intercom Volume

Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:45 pm

Is it just me or is there a big variation in the volume of announcements coming from the flightdeck. Sometimes you literally cannot hear what the captain is saying, and other times you nearly get rocked out of your seat. IT even VARIES in mid SENTENCE sometimes.
I like hearing when a pilot is pointing out geographic points along the way(old school).
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:36 pm

I haven't noticed any variations in the volumes myself, but the way the pilots do their announcements definitely have variations in them. Some pilots are quick, clear and to the point. Others speak so fast you can't understand a word they're saying. And then there is always the dreaded:
"Aaaaahhh, good morning ladies and aaaaahhh gentlemen, this is your aaaaaaahhh captain speaking, aaaaaahhhh just an update from the aaaaahhhh flight uuuuummm deck......." and so on and so on.  crazy 
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:02 pm

Volume up and downs might be related to the person holding the mike close or far from his mouth while speaking.About the long pauses and "Aaaah uuuuýmmmms" between the sentences are mostly because being disturbed while hearing the other ATC transmissions with one ear and hearing your announcement with the other ear.
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:54 pm

I think it depends on how close to a speaker you are sitting when the annoucements are made.
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:47 am

Sometimes I lean my ear up to the speaker to hear. Still it's often difficult. I would be curious to know how manufactures test these systems under flight conditions (engine noise, general cabin ambient noise). Too often the pilot sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Wah, wah....wahn wah, wah, wah...."
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:43 pm

It depends on how the person making the Announcement is holding the mike.
Secondly the Audio volume can be adjusted if needed from the Module.If the ASP does not help.
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:59 pm

It also depends on the A/C type too for some reason. On NWA's Airbus fleet (319, 320 & 330), the volume seems just right. Also on United's 319 and 320's it seems just right. Southwest's -700 and Alaska's -700, the PA seems very loud to me. Yet on Southwest's -300 it seems normal to me.
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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:21 pm

This is something that drives me crazy being an Acoustic engineer.
Assuming decent speaker distribution...which most AC have, it is VERY easy to level off the sound with a simple electronic device but most systems don't seem to have one, or have it set correctly.
Mic positioning plays a huge part as was previously mentioned. Many times the mics are poorly positioned relative to the source and just as much background noise is amplified as from the source. (We can address this with noise cancelling mics which are generally inexpensive also)

Systems can also be automatically compensated (up/down) for interior noise in the pax cabin during taxi,takeoff and cruise.

Then again, if bad sound were leathel Audio would be the leading cause of death.

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RE: In-flight Intercom Volume

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:25 pm

I think it depends on the a/c and the crew. Mostly I have noticed that while en route messages from the flight crew are hard to hear. My last flight: LAX to EWR on CO, first class, there was an announcement made that I couldn't understand. I did a cabin stroll throughout the craft. I was in the rear galleries, several passengers inquired about the recent message. Turns out we we in a 40 minute hold pattern. Probably best that most passengers didn't hear that.

Then there are those announcements that come across so loudly, usually while dozing off while taxing, that you wanna smack them in the chops!

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