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falstaff
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Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:40 am

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.
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malexander131
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:44 am

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."
 
ilikeyyc
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:48 am

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

Yes. Works just like a stethoscope
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Vasu
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:50 am

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!
 
FoxBravo
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:51 am

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
 
dc10s4ever
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:02 am

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.
 
TriStar500
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:15 am

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.
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FoxBravo
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:17 am

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
 
aa777sjc
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:28 am

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.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:28 am

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.
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BWI757
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:39 am

Check out my recent thread in Tech/Ops
Old IFE - "Stethescopes"/nostalgia (by Bwi757 Jun 22 2006 in Tech Ops)

BWI757
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pilotdude09
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:40 am

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.........
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:41 am

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.
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falstaff
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:44 am

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?
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SeeTheWorld
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:51 am

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.
 
mikefad
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:07 am

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.
 
lredlefsen
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:21 am

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
 
uclax
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:59 am

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
 
tothestars
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RE: Older Passenger Headsets, How Did It Work?

Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:05 am

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.
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