Saturday, December 02, 2006

Still no audio

The little microphone I ordered arrived a couple of days ago, so today seemed a great opportunity to try it out. It fit nicely in one of the cups of my headset, but the adaptor that I had to match the mini plug of the microphone to the RCA input of the camcorder was the wrong size. I'll have ot make a visit to Radio Shack to find the right adaptor. I didn't know it wasn't working until after I got back to the house, but the video turned out well enough that I decided to narrate it again and put it up on YouTube:

The landing at Urbana was middling bad, but the return to Bolton later in the day was much better. Neither was as good as what I can do without the winds, though.

In the video I mention a 172 on downwind at Urbana. That guy confused me a bit. He called on the CTAF about 8 miles south of the airport and indicated that he would be landing on 20. I waited until we were six miles out and announced that I'd be making a left downwind approach to 20. "You're going to make left downwind?" he asked, as if that was some kind of surprising decision. Apparently he had been planning on crossing the runway to make a right downwind, which makes no sense at all because 1) it would take longer, and 2) would violate the standard left pattern rule which states that unless a landing pattern is defined as unstandard (right traffic), then it is standard left traffic. Oh well, he did the right thing by following me into left traffic, so all ended well.


I fiddled around with the microphone this morning, and the problem does not appear to be with the adaptor as I had originally thought. I can barely get the new microphone to work on the PC, much less with the camcorder. I don't know if it's a problem with the microphone, its battery, or the way in which I'm trying to use it, but I'm becoming passimistic on the question of whether I will be able to capture the ambient flying sounds in the way I want. That's a shame because I think my narrations aren't nearly as interesting to listen to as the real sounds would be. Drat.


  1. Hey, DaveG. Are you still having this problem? I see you've been dealing with it for a while This is something I know about and, in fact, the type of problem that I solve for a living.

    Your camera has line level audio inputs, which means it cannot accept unamplified mic level signals. To record it live direct to the camera, it needs to run through either a small preamp of some sort.

    Most of these run off of AC power, and the ones that run of DC tend to be fewer and more expensive. If you have a power inverter in the plane that would permit you to plug in a simple audio device, then I think you may be able to solve this with something as simple as an ART MicroMix. Here is a link:

    If it needs to be battery powered, let me know and I'll scout around.

  2. What a great tip! Thanks!!

    I'm not sure I even need the power inverter. I found this on another site re: the MicroMix:

    1. Connect the AC adapter cable to the 12V DC Input on the MicroMIX, and plug the other end into a 120V AC power outlet.

    If the AC power supply is simply converting to 12 VDC, I'm all set (assuming that it won't explode at 14VDC, that is).

  3. Hey, Dave:

    To answer your question about the output, no, you won't use the XLR out. You will use the unbalanced 1/4" output. Does your camera have stereo RCA inputs for audio or is it mono (one input or two)? You'll need a cable, that you may already have, with a 1/4" mono male connector on one end and either one or two RCA males on the other end, to go between the mixer and the camera inputs.

    That is interesting about the power requirements, but I'm skeptical about the 14vDC. I can't tell you if it would blow up or not, but it quite likely would not work properly, at least. The unit comes with a wallwart type DC power supply that one normally plugs into a typical AC outlet.

    I can sell you a Micromix for $39.80 + shipping if it looks like it will work in the plane.


    Barry Pike Co.

  4. The input to the camcorder is one video RCA and two audio RCA, and I do have a stereo-mini to RCA plugs.

    I'll drop you an email if I decide to give it a try.