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GaryWB
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Jun 25, 2019

RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

I fly Airbus family aircraft for a major airline.  I have an adapter for the aircraft that require me to plug into the cannon plug type headset port.  Other aircraft (320/321) have RCA type in plug that work fine.  Occasionally I will come upon an aircraft that the RCA mic plug does not work.  Someone mentioned this is a known shortcoming of the Bose headset (A20) and that Bose will supply an additional adapter to correct this.  How can I gat this adapter

AAA320Capt

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PartpilotUK
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Mar 12, 2020

Re: RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

Author Accepted Answer selected by GaryWB

Hi Gary, Let's see if we can help with this.

So it seems you use a Headset, maybe with an Adapter to fit a (Cannon) 5 or 7 Pin XLR Connector and the A20 works OK. On some A320/321's you have an RCA style? I might suggest this could be a NATO (military style) Plug perhaps? and the A20 doesn't work - assume this is an Adapter too? The names of other plugs are Twin Plug (old style G.A.), Lemo (six pin round plastic) and Fischer (mostly Heli)

Hopefully you can use these names to further research your connector style? You didn't mention which Connector you have primarily fitted to your Headset?

Bose and other suppliers sell adaptors for most of these Plugs and Connectors, but it doesn't necessarily mean your Headset will always work, as Mic Impedance's are different across Aircraft. Maybe this is what you are alluding too? It isn't necessarily a shortcoming of the Bose Headset. The Headset and Mic combination needs to be chosen per Aircraft type and this may be different across Fleets and Mic Combinations, together with the Aircraft Radio Interface Panel Manufacture.

A Bose Moderator will answer your specific question no doubt, if you can supply the info on what actual Model you have and what you want to adapt it to?

I wish you the best and hope this helps!

Larry

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PartpilotUK
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Mar 12, 2020

Re: RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

Author Accepted Answer selected by GaryWB

Hi Gary, Let's see if we can help with this.

So it seems you use a Headset, maybe with an Adapter to fit a (Cannon) 5 or 7 Pin XLR Connector and the A20 works OK. On some A320/321's you have an RCA style? I might suggest this could be a NATO (military style) Plug perhaps? and the A20 doesn't work - assume this is an Adapter too? The names of other plugs are Twin Plug (old style G.A.), Lemo (six pin round plastic) and Fischer (mostly Heli)

Hopefully you can use these names to further research your connector style? You didn't mention which Connector you have primarily fitted to your Headset?

Bose and other suppliers sell adaptors for most of these Plugs and Connectors, but it doesn't necessarily mean your Headset will always work, as Mic Impedance's are different across Aircraft. Maybe this is what you are alluding too? It isn't necessarily a shortcoming of the Bose Headset. The Headset and Mic combination needs to be chosen per Aircraft type and this may be different across Fleets and Mic Combinations, together with the Aircraft Radio Interface Panel Manufacture.

A Bose Moderator will answer your specific question no doubt, if you can supply the info on what actual Model you have and what you want to adapt it to?

I wish you the best and hope this helps!

Larry

View solution in original post

GaryWB
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Jun 25, 2019

Re: RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

Thanks Larry.  The A20 I bought from Bose has two prongs (one thicker and on thinner) “RCA” style plugs, one for microphone and one for earphones, as is common in most Boeing commercial airliners.  When I transfers to the Airbus, I bought a third party adapter that takes the two-prong plugs to a single 7-pin XLR male plug.  This works on many of the airplanes, but we also have some Airbus 321s that have the two-prong “RCA” style female mic and earphones plugins.  My headset works on most of these , but we have a few 321 aircraft that the mic plug appears as though it is not long enough.  It is a known problem as other pilots I’ve spoken to contacted Bose and were given a single adapter for just that one prong.   Not sure who at Bose to reach out to for this problem but I’ll just try customer service first.  

Gary

PartpilotUK
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Mar 12, 2020

Re: RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

Hi Gary, OK, thanks for that. The Twin Plug Headset you have and quite rightly say is the standard Headset 'Twin Plug' - The 1/4" Jack has been around for many years. The Mic one is slightly smaller in Dia. Used on G/A up to Boeing going back through the 70's. Problem is they only run on Batteries for the ANR? So, if your main Aircraft is now the A321, I would seriously consider purchasing a separate A20 Mic Only from Bose, with a 7Pin XLR Connector. Reason is it will most likely take Power off the Aircraft and save all those Batteries! It will also have the later Bluetooth which will stream Audio (should you have time) It is easy to change by carefully removing two Screws in the Headset and refitting your new Mic and Downlead Assy.

If you obtain a 7 Pin XLR to Twin Plug (G/A) Adapter , you can also use your A20 on the older twin plug Aircraft, but you will use Battery power of course. You will be able to sell your Twin Plug G/A Mic and Downlead Assy no problem on the Internet as they are very popular for PPL's and Flying Clubs.

I am still no wiser on the long plug you talk of? I have never seen such a plug on an Aircraft as the G/A 1/4" Jack is probably the longest? There is a U174 (NATO Mil Style) and Lemo (round plastic 6 pin). Perhaps someone else has seen one but not in my experience?

Hope this helps further. All the best,

Larry

patdanis
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Dec 23, 2020

Re: RCA mic plugs don’t work on some Airbus aircraft

I am a pilot for a major carrier and have this same issue.  The original post is referencing the General Aviation jacks.  While the GA jacks fit and work in some plugs in the Airbus Fleet, some of the newer aircraft have issues with the microphone plug used by Bose.  Apparently some GA mic plugs are straight whereas Bose has a tapered end and as a result the tip does not completely make contact with the jacks in the newer deliveries of Airbus aircraft. I spoke with an individual in Tech Support at Bose and he informed me that there is an adaptor for the microphone jack that will modify it to the straighter type of jack used by Telex and other headset manufacturers.  You will need to contact Comm-innovations at 800-434-0845 ext 153 to order the adapter. It is called an Airbus Microphone Jack adapter. I just got off the line with Bose Aviation Tech support and called the number given to me but apparently they (cComm Innovations) are out for the holidays. Hopefully they will get back to me soon so that I can get back to using my fabulous headset in all the Airbus aircraft.  In addition, if you have the GA ends on your headset, you will need to purchase the 5 pin adapter to use on the very old versions of Airbus aircraft as well. These are available just about everywhere.  If you want the adapter to use on Airbus that have hot mic set up, you will need a completely different adapter and I believe this has been discussed in a previous post.