How to Match a Military Headset to a Civilian Radio

Written by scott knickelbine
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How to Match a Military Headset to a Civilian Radio
You'll need a special adaptor to use a military headset in a civilian aircraft. (kn_avio6 image by Paco Ayala from Fotolia.com)

Standard military aircraft headsets use a single plug and a low-impedance microphone. Civilian aircraft headsets use two plugs and a high-impediance microphone. If you'd like to use a military headset in a civilian plane, you need to solve the impedance mismatch and split the signal into two plugs. Fortunately, there are speciality plug adaptors that solve both problems at once, and they only take a few seconds to install.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Military aviation headset with single U-174/U or U-93A/U plug
  • Civilian aircraft (e.g. Cessna Corvalis)
  • Military-to-G.A. headset adaptor (e.g. Marv Golden MG-14)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Insert the headset plug into the U-92A/U jack on the adaptor.

  2. 2

    Insert the adaptor's .250-inch headphone plug into the headphone jack on the aircraft's instrument panel.

  3. 3

    Insert the adaptor's .206-inch microphone plug into the microphone jack on the instrument panel.

  4. 4

    Test the headset for clarity of reception and transmission.

Tips and warnings

  • While this adaptor will allow you to use the military headset's low-impediance mic, you can also get conversion kits that actually replace the mic with the high-impedance mics used in civilian aircraft.
  • Although civilian helecopters also use single-plug headsets, you'll still need a special adaptor to get a military headset to work in a civilian helecopter.
  • Clear communications are vital for safe aviation. Always test your communications equipment before you take off.

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