Is There A Audio Panel That Can Do This...

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Sinistar, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Basically, do any audio panels have the ability to send out intercom separate from the COM/NAV/Beacon, etc to individual stations? By this I don't mean ISO(late) but actually two different output streams.

    A example setup if it helps any:
    • Person installs fancy new audio panel (that has this feature).
    • The new audio panel supports up to (6) stations and is installed into a 4 seat GA
    • Stations 1...4 are normal stations for each seat (they hear everything).
    • Station #5 is configured to only output intercom audio (from stations 1...4)
    • Station #6 is configured to output everything but intercom (COM/NAV/Navigator,etc)

    A example of using it
    • A videographer wants the ability to record intercom separate from ATC.
    • One camera's audio input or audio recorder is plugged into station # 5
    • One camera's audio input or audio recorder is plugged into station # 6
    • They make their flight with up to 3 passengers and have normal conversations
    • The pilot always hears everything (no changes from standard audio panel output)
    • Later when editing video they can select which specific audio at any time
    • The case of ATC audio (calls to other aircraft) during pilot/passenger discussion can be selectively removed. Especially useful in busy ATC environments.
    I looked at the GMA345 and PMA8000 audio panels and it doesn't seem they have this ability. Obviously it's niche but sure would allow for a nicer final audio track for the video. Maybe there's a Bluetooth or BLE option that can do this?
     
  2. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I think the feature you are looking for is called "split com", however I'm not sure it works exactly as you describe. Some PSE panels can do it. I thought the Garmin's could too but I'd have to go back and look. And I seem to recall that you need to choose a unit with COM3 capability, too.
     
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  3. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Okay...gives me at least a correct keyword to search for.
     
  4. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    my 50 year old SL-15 (PSE actually) have the split com facility. most new garmin audio panel (and others) have this feature too, but not everything you are looking for Brad. the idea is, passengers can have their own audio - one can listen to Jazz while another can listen to Rock, pilot can listen to the ATC (which is music to their ears anyway). another feature of split com is, i can talk on Primary freq while my co-pilot can talk to the stand-by freq without turning any knobs or pressing any buttons.
     
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  5. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah I figured there would be a feature that is music related and/or more ISO like. But have never heard of one that can specifically mix in/out the ATC audio to a select station.

    This would be a hack, but a person could probably feed a portable radio's audio into a separate audio recorder (ideally - using the aircraft's external antennae) but it still won't give the ability to separate the already mixed intercom and ATC that comes out the pilot's jack.
     
  6. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What are you trying to accomplish? There might be a better way besides the audio panel approach.
     
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  7. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Pretty much the scenario given (except I am not a Youtuber :)) To be able to record the intercom completely separate from ATC COM's/NAV/etc. My daughter will occasionally watch a aviation youtube video or watch one of ours afterwards. One of the crappy parts is the audio when we are talking and there is unrelated ATC audio at the same time. Ironically its pretty much a toss up on what's more distracting in the final video's audio track: A busy App/Dep/Ctr when on FF or the local Unicom on a nice day.

    I'm all for a non-audio panel approach as it could way cheaper :) I just figured they have gotten pretty capable on how they can mix and route and might possibly support that mix option.
     
  8. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I *think* a panel that can do split com *and* 3D stereo might be up your alley if you have audio software that can re-mix the left-right channels. I'm still not entirely sure I understand your use case, though.
     
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like he wants to be able to talk with the passengers and hear the radios without the passengers hearing the radios.

    The problem I see is at some point he's going to transmit which means that the PTT also has to isolate his voice from the passengers as well.
     
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  10. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, its a bit confusing so let me try and explain it another way.

    You have 2 gopro's recording video and audio. The typical way to capture the cockpit audio...exactly what the pilot hears...everything...intercom, ATIS, ATC, etc...is to plug an audio adapter cable into the plane's audio output jack and into the gopro (via yet another overly priced cable). Viola, you now have easily synchronized audio which most gopro users do. Some user an external audio recorder but its still the same thing. Now, If the gopro camera angle sees the pilot talking his/her mic and intercom exactly match the video. So far so good. For video capture and editing you need that to stay just the way it is.

    But now you add in the fact the pilot is also listening to ATC, the local Unicom or whatever is mixed into his audio output to his headset. This is good and you WOULD NOT change that (for the pilot) or he would miss calls, etc. Remember this is the same audio being recorded by the gopro. It has everything in it. Everything. So its impossible to remove the ATC and other calls that occur at the exact same time the pilot is talking on the intercom to the passengers. If no one is talking on the intercom you can easily edit out ATC calls. But when people are chatting on the intercom and CTR calls a American Airlines flight to change frequencies at the exact same time its not possible to edit out because they've been mixed together in a analog signal.

    Now, if a audio panel or some other solution let you output the plane's intercom only on one output and the planes COM/NAV audio only another output you could record them independently and then mix them as you see fit. Meanwhile the pilot will always be hearing the entire mix that is needed to fly safely and communicate with ATC, listen to ATIS, etc.

    In this case the passengers can all just hear what the pilot hears...everything...like they do today. That way they won't talk when the pilot is talking to ATC. For passengers and pilot there would be no perceived difference. It would just be this audio panel or some other setup that captures their intercom chatter on one recorder and all the ATC/COM on another recorder. I was suggesting it could audio panel station 5 and 6 in my example as they would be unused stations in a 4 place plane.
     
  11. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Again, 3D stereo audio panel. Configure the (3D audio capable) panel to output COM1/2 on the left channel and cockpit intercom on the right channel. Record the flight in stereo sound. When you get the footage to the editing desk, mute the left channel audio (COM1/2) when you want to and boost it when you need to. Leave the right channel audio (intercom) alone. When done, down mix the stereo back to mono.
     
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  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Looks like the top of the line PS Engineering will do almost exactly what you want.

    http://www.ps-engineering.com/docs/PMA8000G_IM.pdf

    Section 3.6.5 Alternate Intercom Mode.
    Crew can hear and converse with passengers. Passengers don’t hear ATC audio. Passengers are muted in crew headsets when ATC receiver is active. If a music source is active, a whole bunch of options for where that goes in split mode along with the alternate intercom mode.

    Whether other lesser intercoms in their lineup will do it, I didn’t bother to check.

    The only thing missing would be that it splits the front and back seats if wired such that the front right seat has a PTT and is the normal co-pilot setup.

    You could wire it such that the front right seat is considered a “passenger” and not “crew” and take care of that and not install a PTT over there if that’s always a passenger seat.

    Again, that alternate mode mutes the passengers in the crew headsets (which would be only the pilot seat if wired as below) when an ATC radio is active. Otherwise it matches your requested setup.

    It would be wired:
    Pilot seat -> Pilot Phones L/R Low, Pilot Mic Hi/Lo
    Non-Pilot front seat -> Passenger HP L/R Low, Pass 1 Mic Hi/Lo
    Rear Left seat -> Passenger HP L/R Low, Pass 2 Mic Hi/Lo
    Rear Right seat -> Passenger HP L/R Low, Pass 3 Mic Hi/Lo

    Intercom -> All Mode Selected , Pilot presses and holds ICS button for three seconds prior to the flight so they are the only one listening to ATC audio.

    I don’t know if alternate intercom mode latches and stays on after power loss (new flight). It doesn’t appear to. It probably powers up in normal ALL mode.

    The audio recording for what the passengers hear would be taken from passenger 4 HP L/R Low, and that output could be wired to a dedicated recording jack placed somewhere convenient.

    The recording for what the pilot hears could be taken from the co-pilot HP L/R Low, since it wouldn’t be in use. Or it can be taken from the CVR output if there’s no CVR and mono wiring is desired. It hears whatever the pilot hears.

    Note: L/R indicates all outputs are in stereo.

    That’s my reading of the install manual, anyway.

    An email to PS with exactly what you want would be pretty easy, too. They may have other tricks up their sleeve in this thing or others that aren’t in the manual.
     
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  13. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    The PS Engineering 450A or B models have terrific split comms options that are easy to switch in flight. I agree with Nate to call PSE with your question. The 450 has a bluetooth output streamer for video recording. No need for 6 place set-up in a 4 place plane.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry, I didn't have a chance to look at the 3D stereo option in more detail before I posted that second description. This would indeed be the easiest option as the gopro or audio recorder is going to record the stereo version.

    Just to verify then: The pilot (and perhaps all passengers) would hear intercom in one ear cup and ATC/COM/Nav in the other earcup?

    Might sound a bit weird but would still work. And if the audio panel supports unique 3D setups for each headphone station then this could be done to just one station so everyone else keeps hearing the same thing.

    What is great about this is that everyone will still hear all the audio and known when to not talk if the pilot is using the PTT for comms or ATC is calling your call sign.

    I think what lead me away from even looking at the 3D part of the offering is it seems like it is more about having great audioquality vs these types of mixes.
     
  15. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks Nate...that looks like it will do it. I think @asicer's solution might be easier overall unless hearing intercom in one ear and ATC in the other would be too distracting.
     
  16. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Just remember to put the intercom in the right hand side earcup. I would find it distracting to see a person on my right and hear them on my left. :)
     
  17. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    We have a Garmin 345 and I know it has a button for pilot and a button for crew. I think that's so you can have passengers with intercom but the pilot can be on his own and listen to radios (without hearing the passengers or copilot) and the copilot can be on his own (without hearing passengers or pilot. I guess I've never tried them that way before. It also has a speaker button that would be incoming radios but no intercom or outgoing radios.
     
  18. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    The PSE 450B’s 3D stereo is unparalleled in clarity. Seating positions can have or not have ATC, intercom, entertainment streaming. Nice feature as pax can have streaming music or video sound with or without comms interruption.

    Also the PSE 450 supports 6 places too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Probably. I just grabbed the high end install manual to see if the feature was going to be a built in, or if a more hacking design would have to be drawn up. I’m sure PSE can doa better job knowing their product lineup than I do.