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Can helmet mics and CEP cables be resurrected?


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Hi, Everyone!

My apologies if this topic has already been covered previously.  I am wondering if anyone has had any luck repairing their old helmet mics after they die.  I have a Gentex SPH-5 and go through maybe one or two mics a year.  I assume the moisture from me talking eventually causes enough damage where they stop working.  I keep my old mics in a bag and occasionally use them as spares when I don't have any new ones around.  The old ones will work for a short period of time, but quickly stop working again.  I've tried dousing them with contact cleaner and that hasn't worked.  

I'm also curious if anyone has had success fixing CEP cables and also the helmet jacks they go into.  I use Westone Acces Helo Cables with my CME and they periodically wear out.  I assume the wires eventually become worn and break from bending all the time.  Same issue with the jack in my helmet, except the weak spots in the wires are more easily seen and sometimes I can solder them back together.  Just wondering if anyone else has had more success than I have with repairing these items.  At $48 per jack, $92 per mic and $189 per CEP cable, it would be nice to be able to fix all of these at home and get more life out of each. 

Thanks for any input!

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I just have the standard foam cover over my mic that comes with it.  I've tried the leather cover, but it makes it too hard for the mic to pick up my voice.  I've been flying for 22 years and unfortunately replacing 1-2 mics a year seems pretty standard for me.  It seemed to make more sense slinging out of the 500 in the rain with the door off, but it still happens in the AS350 and 212 with the door on, so it's not primarily a rain issue.  I am pretty soft spoken, so tend to position the mic where it is pretty much touching my bottom lip in order for my voice to be heard.  Maybe that means more moisture is getting in the mic leading to premature failure.

 

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19 hours ago, Diaper_Pin said:

I'd be inclined to replace the helmet wiring. Something is definitely amiss and my guess is that there is a short somewhere. It could also be an impedence mis-match. Good luck.

The impedance mismatch would be my guess too. I have issues in the cold where the steam from my breath will actually get into the mic and make it sound muffled, but it clears when it dries out.

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  • 1 month later...
11 hours ago, quitzonsandy said:

It seems likely that the mismatch in impedance is to blame. When it's chilly, the mic gets fogged up from my breath steam, but it goes away once the weather warms up.

A foam cover might solve your problem with the cold?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/11/2023 at 3:13 PM, Diaper_Pin said:

A foam cover might solve your problem with the cold?

Yes, I get a lot more life out of my mics with one. My old Alpha Eagle is on year twenty maybe... recently went to the shop for some wiring fix-ups. Like new wiring wise but she is beat up. I used CEPs for years, but prefer the ANR now. My longline helmet (HGU-84) has it and I far prefer it to my CEP Alpha (set up for NVG). I will probably add ANR to my Alpha next.

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10 hours ago, Bladestrike said:

Yes, I get a lot more life out of my mics with one. My old Alpha Eagle is on year twenty maybe... recently went to the shop for some wiring fix-ups. Like new wiring wise but she is beat up. I used CEPs for years, but prefer the ANR now. My longline helmet (HGU-84) has it and I far prefer it to my CEP Alpha (set up for NVG). I will probably add ANR to my Alpha next.

Agreed, Gutted my Alpha Eagle comm's and Mod'd a Lightspeed Delta Zulu headset to fit the Alpha. Only kept the Earcups and mike wires from the DZ. Works like a charm, as long as I don't have any warranty. issues. 

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