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Posted (edited)

Hi Everyone, I am looking to record the cockpit audio during my flying. I would be grateful if someone could suggest a proper set up. Currently I have a digital audio recorder of mediocre quality attached via a 3.5 mm adapter pin and splitter to one of the headphone jacks of the intercom. Unfortunately, I get a lot of noise / hiss / buzz / static which is unbearable and almost completely blots out the audio in the recording. It is impossible to hear what is being said, when listening to the recording. It does not interfere with the normal operation of the intercom, while listening or transmitting on the intercom. Any help or suggestions will be really appreciated. 

 

If there is an existing thread on this topic, please move this or direct me to the existing thread.

 

Thanks

Edited by anjum_jabiru
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Invest in a Lightspeed Zulu3 Headset which connects to a phone app called Flightlink, and you will get crystal clear audio and intercom recordings.

 

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I made my own 'splitter' and feed the audio into a cheap digital recorder. I then use a video editor (Sony Vegas 12) and very carefully align the audio to match the video. With some practice it's fairly easy and produces good results. The 'splitter' is nothing more than two resistors in series (10K and 1K) wired across the headphone plug with the audio to the recorder taken across the 1K resistor. No buzz, noise etc.

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8 hours ago, Roscoe said:

Invest in a Lightspeed Zulu3 Headset which connects to a phone app called Flightlink, and you will get crystal clear audio and intercom recordings.

 

Looks like a very expensive option. I would rather spend that money on flying.

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57 minutes ago, Jabiru7252 said:

I made my own 'splitter' and feed the audio into a cheap digital recorder. I then use a video editor (Sony Vegas 12) and very carefully align the audio to match the video. With some practice it's fairly easy and produces good results. The 'splitter' is nothing more than two resistors in series (10K and 1K) wired across the headphone plug with the audio to the recorder taken across the 1K resistor. No buzz, noise etc.

The problem is with getting a clear audio. My current set up is giving a lot of static which I find hard to eliminate using audacity. I am planning to use my phone audio recording with a TRRS splitter / adapter to see if I can get a better quality recording. I have tried using a ground loop isolator, but results were still disappointing while recording audio from the radio. Another option is to try using a dedicated audio recorder with a line-in facility rather than just a mic option, to see if it gives me any better results.

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7 hours ago, anjum_jabiru said:

Looks like a very expensive option. I would rather spend that money on flying.

Yes the Headset is up front expensive, but will last you for years, and your ears will thank you.

If you intend on doing a lot of flying, a top of the line Headset will pay for itself over time and comfort.

The Headset is designed with the function to record all audio and intercom.

No, I am not a Headset salesman, just responding to your request for suggestions.

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I agree that a good quality noise cancelling headset is a must, and a starting point for good cockpit audio recording. But that is not the whole story.

Another very important element is to find a recorder that doesn't have Automatic Gain Control (AGC). This is the hard part as most cheap recorders have that feature, but won't let you disable it. The problem with AGC is that when there is no audio present (from speaking or radio reception) the AGC essentially turns the volume up full in an attempt to capture some audio. In a noisy environment all this does is capture electrical noise and cockpit noise.

Another source of noise is the power source for the recorder. Analog devices such as voice recorders are very sensitive to power supply noise. The electrical systems on airplanes are notoriously noisy and cheap recorders usually have poor power filtering. So don't try to power your recorder from anything connected to your airplane's electrical system, like USB charger ports etc. Best to run it off its own internal battery.

Finally, if you're recording your cockpit video on a gopro, don't try to capture the audio on that by connecting the camera to the intercom system. You can't disable the AGC in gopros and the resulting audio is HORRIBLE. BTDT!!

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This is my solution a cheap ass clamp and a cheap ass lapel microphone which plugs in my Samsung phone. No extra gear, microphone sits in the headset earcup. High Definition video and with a 32GB memory card which will record long enough to send even the most interested aviator to sleep. The video is such good quality I can just chop high def photos straight from the video (see below). Less than $30. 

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/373394743010 

20210528_125534[1].jpg

20210523_164945[1].jpg

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Posted (edited)

I was planning to do something similar with my old S5, if everything else failed. I use Autoboy app on the phone as it records for > an hour. I was wondering what app do you use, so that it does not stop recording every half an hour. Also, I believe it will consume a lot of battery  about 1 % per min, in 720p with screen backlight off.

Edited by anjum_jabiru
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11 minutes ago, anjum_jabiru said:

I was planning to do something similar with my old S5, if everything else failed. I use Autoboy app on the phone as it records for > an hour. I was wondering what app do you use, so that it does not stop recording every half an hour. Also, I believe it will consume a lot of battery  about 1 % per min, in 720p with screen backlight off.

No App, just press record on the camera video button, records at FHD. It keeps recording as long as it is left on. If you want to record for hours you could connect via USB into aircraft to charge but I've never noticed a power drain problem. 

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Anjum are you after a video/audio solution like from a gopro camera, or audio only?

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Posted (edited)

I am currently using a cheap action cam, Qpix. But what I realised was that the quality of most action cams or dash cams is not very good. I am therefore planning to use my old Samsung S5 for the video, with line in audio as well on the S5, or a separate audio recording with an audio  recorder, which I can then sync with my video.

Edited by anjum_jabiru
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7 minutes ago, anjum_jabiru said:

I am currently using a cheap action cam, Qpix. But what I realised was that the quality of most action cams or dash cams is not very good. I am therefore planning to use my old Samsung S5 for the video, with line in audio as well on the S5, or a separate audio recording with an audio  recorder, which I can then sync with my video.

Ok, there is a Pilot shop in Qld called Flightstore that have cables that record audio and video ftom Action Cameras.

It may only be gopro camera cables that they have but i found them very helpful recently on an enquiry i had.

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10 minutes ago, Roscoe said:

Ok, there is a Pilot shop in Qld called Flightstore that have cables that record audio and video ftom Action Cameras.

It may only be gopro camera cables that they have but i found them very helpful recently on an enquiry i had.

And the video from my gopro hero4 is excellent!

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Posted (edited)

You have any video footage on YouTube that I can watch?

 

I was thinking of getting DJI Osmo 6s action cam at some point.

Edited by anjum_jabiru
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32 minutes ago, anjum_jabiru said:

You have any video footage on YouTube that I can watch?

 

I was thinking of getting DJI Osmo 6s action cam at some point.

Not at present. PM me if you like and happy to discuss.

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Hi, I had a look at your video. Your audio is crystal clear.  Please could you let me know,  what set up do you use for your audio? Thanks:)

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I use
Lightspeed Zulu 2 headsets
Garmin gtr 200 radio
A digital audio recorder (iRiver brand?) bought from JB hifi a long time ago
A 1 to 2 splitter. Where my headset plugs in that taps off to the audio recorder plugged into ...
The line in socket of the audio recorder with the input volume in the recorder turned down as low as it will go.

I was just lucky that the recorder doesn't have AGC (as I mentioned in my earlier post) on the line in input.

BTW, I see you're location is listed as Wolongong, so here's another video for you...

https://youtu.be/RgKlpDKuoC0

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Posted (edited)

Just to clarify, you attach the recorder through line in - to your splitter from the audio jack in the intercom, and not directly into your headset. Is this correct? And if that's the case, the magic lies in your recorder and setting the input volume to the minimum with no AGC. Thank you so much. You have been so helpful!

Edited by anjum_jabiru
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21 hours ago, anjum_jabiru said:

Just to clarify, you attach the recorder through line in - to your splitter from the audio jack in the intercom, and not directly into your headset. Is this correct? And if that's the case, the magic lies in your recorder and setting the input volume to the minimum with no AGC. Thank you so much. You have been so helpful!

Yes, that is correct.

Here's a pic of my recorder.

 

 

EB99B3EE-3D27-44D6-B7B3-D1690BDF5FD0.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just use a GoPro  and buy the cable that plugs into your intercom!  That's what I have, it's fantastic!

 

 

Edited by BirdDog
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32 minutes ago, BirdDog said:

Just use a GoPro  and buy the cable that plugs into your intercom!  That's what I have, it's fantastic!

 

 

And thats exactly what i do!

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Yep!  I have 2 Gopros in the cockpit, and use Final Cut to swap between cameras in post. Works a treat!  

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I have ordered an inline volume control cable. I will use it at near minimum volume with my audio recorder, and see if it does the trick 😉

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