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Thread: Push to Talk Switch

  1. #1

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    Push to Talk Switch

    Tell me about your PTT switch.

    I'm building an experimental Bearhawk Patrol. I think I would like a simple switch on the stick that is three position (on) - off - (on) meaning momentary on when I pull back and when I push forward for a mic switch. I want one direction to activate the VHF COM radio mic and the other direction to activate the Intercom mic.

    What are you guys using? Do you have two separate switches? Do you use a switch that is not on the Stick? Please describe what you have, where it is mounted, How do you like what you have, and what is ideal.
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  2. #2
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Are you using a radio and stand alone intercom or just a com?

    The best way is to use an intercom with VOX activation for the intercom and the PTT for the com only.

    The best place for the PTT switch is where it works for you. The reason you see them on the stick or throttle is because you don't have to let go of a control in order to talk on the radio.

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  3. #3

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    As far as the push to talk thingie goes, I like really like them “Easy Button” sized. In the lower pic the 180 yoke had an itti-bitty one in the top of the left horn (where the plug is) that would draw blood on a long trip.

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    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 04-14-2020 at 04:35 PM.
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  4. #4
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    . . . and it's red . . .

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    I'm an airline guy and been away from GA by and large since 1990. I used an intercom in the Metroliner that had a voice activated (Hot Mic) for the intercom. The aircraft i fly now have a three position switch that serves both the ground service inter phone and the VHF com. It spring loaded to the center for off, up is ATC, down is Interphone.

    I am installing a Trig TY91 VHF com radio. This radio has a voice activated intercom built into it with a separate squelch and volume control. I will not be installing any other special purpose intercom.

    The facts are
    -I have no experience with the Trig intercom feature, and
    -I do not know the ambient noise level of my future aircraft but I think it will be high and require a quality ANR headset.

    I think I want a main intercom Hot Mic (On - OFF) switch to allow the intercom to work as designed. But if the ambient noise in the airplane is so high that the feature is a pain to use, then I want individual intercom switches at each seat that can also activate the intercom mic.

    One three position switch switch on each stick, where UP activates the intercom mic, DOWN activates the VHF COM mic would be dandy. I don't see one for sale that fits on the end of my yoke. I see special stick grips with numerous integrated switches. So, I'm curious what others have found that they like.

    This is something every cub faces and seems to me to be a good place to come for some help and guidance.
    Last edited by bcone1381; 04-14-2020 at 05:27 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Are you using a radio and stand alone intercom or just a com?

    The best way is to use an intercom with VOX activation for the intercom and the PTT for the com only.

    The best place for the PTT switch is where it works for you. The reason you see them on the stick or throttle is because you don't have to let go of a control in order to talk on the radio.

    Web
    Exactly, I don't want to let go of the stick or the throttle to talk on the intercom or to ATC.

    I'm an airline guy and been away from GA by and large since 1990. I used an intercom in the Metroliner that had a voice activated (Hot Mic) for the intercom. The aircraft i fly now have a three position switch that serves both the ground service inter phone and the VHF com. It spring loaded to the center for off, up is ATC, down is Interphone.

    I am installing a Trig TY91 VHF com radio. This radio has a voice activated intercom built into it with a separate squelch and volume control. I will not be installing any other special purpose intercom.

    The facts are
    -I have no experience with the Trig intercom feature, and
    -I do not know the ambient noise level of my future aircraft but I think it will be high and require a quality ANR headset.

    I think I want a main intercom Hot Mic (On - OFF) switch to allow the intercom to work as designed. But if the ambient noise in the airplane is so high that the feature is a pain to use, then I want individual intercom switches at each seat that can also activate the intercom mic.

    One three position switch switch on each stick, where UP activates the intercom mic, DOWN activates the VHF COM mic would be dandy. I don't see one for sale that fits on the end of my yoke. I see special stick grips with numerous integrated switches. So, I'm curious what others have found that they like.

    This is something every cub faces and seems to me to be a good place to come for some help and guidance. I just dont know how the intercom will perform in a noisy cockpit.

  7. #7
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    First off, use a stand alone intercom. In my opinion, they work better. Better control for volume and squelch. If you anticipate a noisy environment you'll need lots more volume than you realize and a built in intercom doesn't have the raw power. As for mic functions, it's either 'hot mic' or 'VOX'. Hot mic means the mic is just 'on' all the time. With VOX, you adjust the squelch threshold to just turn the mic 'off'. Any more noise, such as your voice, will trigger the mic 'on'. If it turns on to often, tighten the squelch setting. If it doesn't turn on quickly enough, loosen the squelch setting. With the VOX intercom, if you need the hot mic function, just loosen the squelch setting until the mic stays on.

    The TY91 does have a PTT intercom line. This means that any time that line is grounded, the intercom turns on all mics. It works ok for when the doors are open or in an open cockpit. If you look around, very few Cub type airplanes use the PTT intercom. It just doesn't work that well. The Trig is a great radio but get an intercom and let it be a just a great radio.

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  8. #8
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Push to Talk Switch

    I had a GTR200 in my last cub with the integrated intercom, and it was awesome. It was a good radio but the intercom worked very well doors open or shut.
    I have an Icom in this one with a separate intercom, and it does the job but I did prefer the GTR.

    I’ll add photos of the sticks once I find them, the first being a simple motorcycle grip with a top center PTT for comm, as the intercom was voice activated.
    The current one is the Tosten grip with trigger and two top buttons. Intercom is still voice activated and works fine. I wouldn’t want a PTT for the intercom. I use the trigger for the comm. Top additional buttons are freq swap and freq memory. I don’t use them often but they’re handy in rough weather.

    Edit : Forgot to say I have electric trim and therefore a hat switch.

    Pb


    Photos.

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    Last edited by Farmboy; 04-14-2020 at 07:26 PM.
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  9. #9
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    My first 2 Cubs I added the ptt on the top of the stick. I now prefer the cheap Velcro ptt mounted just below my pinky finger.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  10. #10
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    My first 2 Cubs a added the ptt on the top of the stick. I now prefer the cheap Velcro ptt mounted just below my pinky finger.

    Glenn
    Only if the owner begs for a stick solid one will I add that. 99% Velcro mounts I have done.


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  11. #11

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    I have the Trig in my Cub and only use the voice actuated intercom in the Trig. It works fine with the door open or closed, it takes just a small adjustment of the squelch when the door is open. When I restored my Cub, I bought a separate intercom to install, but decided to try the Trig intercom before I added the other. My Cub is non electric, so one less appliance to run cuts down on the power drain on my battery. I bought one of the cheapest push switches that Aircraft Spruce sells, and then bought the cheapest control grip, drilled a hole in the top for the switch. The top of the grip is too thick for the switch, so i drill out some of the top with a spade bit then drill the hole for the switch. If/when the switch quits, it should only be a ten minute change out. It would also only take a few minutes to change over to the Velcro switch if you don't like the switch on top.

    Part# 11-00102
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  12. #12
    fancypants's Avatar
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    I wired my TY91 intercom in a way that allows VOX activation for normal operation, and momentary intercom PTT for noisy/windy operation. I've heard good things about this intercom, but wasn't sure if I could rely on the VOX, so I added the PTT. Works well on the ground, and I should be able to test in flight within a week or so.

    VHF com xmit switch is on the control stick with velcro. I liked it there before, and couldn't find a good reason to change it. I ran a dedicated wire under the floor to connect to the velcro ptt switch and keep it kind of tidy.

    Intercom switches are in the throttle panel. The panel was already pretty beat up, so I had no problem taking a chance with a few more holes. Front seat momentary intercom ptt is in front of the throttle, reachable by my big mitts even at idle. The vox/ptt toggle switch is forward of that closer to the instrument panel. Back seat momentary intercom ptt is on the side of the throttle panel, well clear of the throttle lever. We'll see how it all works pretty soon. Pure VOX would certainly be simpler to wire up.

    No recent picture of the throttle panel, but this should give you an idea:

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    PTT Switch: URTONE Momentary Push Button Switch, UR123

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fancypants View Post
    I wired my TY91 intercom in a way that allows VOX activation for normal operation, and momentary intercom PTT for noisy/windy operation. I've heard good things about this intercom, but wasn't sure if I could rely on the VOX, so I added the PTT. Works well on the ground, and I should be able to test in flight within a week or so.

    VHF com xmit switch is on the control stick with velcro. I liked it there before, and couldn't find a good reason to change it. I ran a dedicated wire under the floor to connect to the velcro ptt switch and keep it kind of tidy.

    Intercom switches are in the throttle panel. The panel was already pretty beat up, so I had no problem taking a chance with a few more holes. Front seat momentary intercom ptt is in front of the throttle, reachable by my big mitts even at idle. The vox/ptt toggle switch is forward of that closer to the instrument panel. Back seat momentary intercom ptt is on the side of the throttle panel, well clear of the throttle lever. We'll see how it all works pretty soon. Pure VOX would certainly be simpler to wire up.

    No recent picture of the throttle panel, but this should give you an idea:

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    PTT Switch: URTONE Momentary Push Button Switch, UR123

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    I did the same, switch in the panel. And an intercom
    Ptt and radio ptt in the upper wing root. I’ve found that in the front seat I just flip the switch to vox when I want to talk. But it works great for when the door is open. I also leave a headset on the seat cross tube and if i forget to go to ptt it’s always breaking squelch.


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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    I also leave a headset on the seat cross tube and if i forget to go to ptt it’s always breaking squelch.


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    We Okies may be slow but I learned after maybe two, ok half a dozen, flights that when you put the headset over the seat back it's best to place it with the mic aft.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  15. #15
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Unplug it?

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  16. #16
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    We Okies may be slow but I learned after maybe two, ok half a dozen, flights that when you put the headset over the seat back it's best to place it with the mic aft.
    Fess up, Eaton had to show you that?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  17. #17
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    I like 'em mounted on the throttle like the husky.

    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...178-PTT-switch

  18. #18
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    It's one of those items that has to work for the operator. I always recommend on the stick as you should always have a hand on the stick, so the switch is always reachable. But I have a couple of customers that have the pilots PTT switch up at the left overhead. Phenomenal pilots that don't talk on the radio much, so that position works well for them.

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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Fess up, Eaton had to show you that?

    Glenn
    You mean Mr. Whirly-Gig rider.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 04-15-2020 at 02:34 PM.
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  20. #20

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    I was totally unaware of the preference for the velcro PTT installation. That opens things up for another option. Also glad to hear about the quality of intercom your getting from the Trig intercom.

    I brought this up with a colleague this morning. He said the Citation he flew once upon a time had a three position switch. The UP position momentary position activated the VHF Comm Mic, the middle position was VOX on, and the third (down) was VOX off.

    This thread that was pasted in post #17 was very helpful too.

  21. #21
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    The velcro switch works when you need to move it occasionally or when you don't want to drill holes until you've decided the perfect position. For a permanent install, you'll have that curly cord dangling or have to tie it off. A mounted switch is going to be a cleaner install as there is no velcro strap and the wires are hidden.

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  22. #22
    sjohnson's Avatar
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    FWIW, I put one of those cheap, tiny pushbutton switches on the stick reachable by the pinkie finger. Works great for me, and the switch has lasted over 10 years now.

    Standard stick with the blue knob on top.

    For the rear seat, the PTT is on the bottom of the throttle cover. I don't want copilots, even instructors, messing with the stick when I have it.
    There are three simple rules for making consistently smooth landings. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
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  23. #23

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    I like the vox intercom in my Icom A220, there's a lead you can bring out to a button to kill the intercom instantly if your passenger gets too chatty with traffic around. There's a mistake in the schematic, its shows a switch but needs a button.
    What's a go-around?

  24. #24
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    If I flew a cub type, I’d probably put it in the throttle.

    I fly a side-by-side, and my PTT is panel mounted. Perfect reach for a thumb or finger with your hand on the throttle.

    Orange button next to my intercom.


  25. #25

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    I have tried them everywhere. Top of stick is my preference. Easy to do multiple locations. Also easy to isolate rear stick buttons.

    Forgive me if I have already posted this. We are using GTR-200s in J3s, a SuperCub, and a Stearman. I put ICS PTTs in all of them. We never use them. The GTR intercom is as good as they get, and way better than the Sigtronics high noise and PS Industries external intercoms. We can do voice activation at full power in the Stearman with matched DC H10-13.4 headsets. We put the foam muff on, and on top of that an Oregon Aero leather muff, with outer hole taped over.

    Best intercom I have ever used. Radio could use better RF squelch, but is otherwise also the best!
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  26. #26
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    .... my PTT is panel mounted. Perfect reach for a thumb or finger with your hand on the throttle.
    Orange button next to my intercom.
    No placard on the PTT. Two demerits.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  27. #27
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Ha!

  28. #28
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    No placard on the PTT. Two demerits.
    You need deterrents, so as others don't ask to borrow your airplane.

    This is the process I'm up to to put a PTT into my C180 control wheel.

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    I've had a friend mill the side and inserted a 5/16 tube into it so as in the future we can change out the wire or switch if needed.

    Today's job is to 'Scotch Weld' the gap in. My painter friend called it Scotch Weld, which is a two part, 1 to 1 epoxy of some sort.

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    It funny the effort we go to for simple little things. In the Cub we owned my father put the PTT just below the round control knob. It irritated me from a maintenance point of view, when removing the front seat. I eventually moved it over to the side wall near the throttle and found this a much better location.
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  29. #29
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Interesting control wheel. Aftermarket? Avion maybe?
    I assume that wheel assembly mounts via 6 screws to a plate on the tube that goes through the panel?
    Are you gonna run those wires through that tube, then bring them out behind the panel?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  30. #30
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Interesting control wheel. Aftermarket? Avion maybe?
    I assume that wheel assembly mounts via 6 screws to a plate on the tube that goes through the panel?
    Are you gonna run those wires through that tube, then bring them out behind the panel?
    Not sure when Cessna came out with that wheel but every one I've seen since 1973 had them. They did change shapes a bit but the mounting is the same.
    N1PA
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  31. #31
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    It is a factory, '74 control wheel. I would like to run it down the inside of the control column, but apart from a cursory glance, I haven't been down that rabbit hole yet.

    If not, a curly cord like the Bonanza.

  32. #32
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texmex View Post
    It is a factory, '74 control wheel. I would like to run it down the inside of the control column, but apart from a cursory glance, I haven't been down that rabbit hole yet.

    If not, a curly cord like the Bonanza.
    Been that route, curly cord it is.
    N1PA
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  33. #33
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texmex View Post
    It is a factory, '74 control wheel. I would like to run it down the inside of the control column, but apart from a cursory glance, I haven't been down that rabbit hole yet.

    If not, a curly cord like the Bonanza.
    Late model wheels had the wires inside the shaft. Those wheels had the yoke drilled to bring the wires out in the hollow at the center. It was open there where the flange of the shaft bolted to the yoke and the wires were routed into the shaft. The wires came out of the shaft through a small hole drilled at a spot to allow the shaft to move through the bearing with out the wire getting 'run over'. If you go that style, be aware that you'll need to pull the wires into the shaft any time you want to remove the shaft from the UHMW eyeball in the panel.

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