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US Army Headset – XBox Live mod

Not too long ago I found this awesome US Army Radio Headset from the Vietnam War.  It was still in the box unused (I think)!  I thought it would be fun if I could use them with  X-Box Live.

a little too hardcore

US Army Radio Headset - microphone H 63 / U - Vietnam War

It was a simple mod.  The headset has two plugs (for earphone, and mic), I took a spare molex cable from a PC power supply and connected the prongs, they fit perfectly!  Everything worked pretty well as is, the microphone has a bit of static when you speak on XBL so I may open that up and replace it with a more modern one.

Wires Connecting  US Army Radio Headset - michrophone H 63 / U - Vietnam War

Click the last image for a closer look of the headset, its build to last!

Categories: Making Stuff Tags: ,
  1. May 25th, 2009 at 13:50 | #1

    Awesome stuff, looks fiddly!

  2. Andy
    May 25th, 2009 at 15:10 | #2

    Where’d you get the Xbox headset adapter (the little gray thing with the mute switch and volume on it)? I knew I had seen one somewhere, but I can’t remember where.

    Thanks,
    Andy

  3. May 25th, 2009 at 16:34 | #3
  4. peter bengtson
    May 25th, 2009 at 16:35 | #4

    I remember these. It is a carbon microphone I believe. unclip the element from the boom and clean the contacts. also try sharply rapping the microphone element against a hard surface as the carbon compacts and clumps as it ages and can cause crackling. I am surprized that it works at all but I know nothing about the circuitry of an xbox inputs. a carbon microphone usually requires a voltage source to work (this is like an old style telepnone handset or type 52 headset)

  5. Glynne
    May 29th, 2009 at 03:37 | #5

    Nice mod! What is the pinout for the 2.5mm jack? Is the tip mic or ear?

  6. Neal
    May 29th, 2009 at 06:09 | #6

    peter bengtson :I remember these. It is a carbon microphone I believe. unclip the element from the boom and clean the contacts. also try sharply rapping the microphone element against a hard surface as the carbon compacts and clumps as it ages and can cause crackling. I am surprized that it works at all but I know nothing about the circuitry of an xbox inputs. a carbon microphone usually requires a voltage source to work (this is like an old style telepnone handset or type 52 headset)

    It is a carbon headset, but the Xbox is expecting an electret (condenser) mic, so it is providing between 1.5 and 6 volts to the mic. If my memory serves me from the old books I have, those mics work best at about 10 to 60 volts, which would also explain the static.
    I love the project! If I could find one of those headsets I would have plenty of fun with it……… Maybe attach it to my IPhone ;)

  7. May 29th, 2009 at 09:37 | #7

    @Glynne
    Thanks!
    I believe the tip is the mic, the middle is the ear, and the base is ground.

  8. Erin B
    May 31st, 2009 at 18:34 | #8

    Joe! This is cool! Where did you get that headset?

  9. Bob
    February 13th, 2010 at 13:57 | #9

    Nice job! Those 360 headset wires a e a SOB to mess with, epoxy coated stranded 22ga (I think) with a pesky piece of loosely twisted nylon string inside the shielding. I tried to replace the new style jacks (inline mute) with the better (IMO) older ones with the brick connector at the controller. Didn’t have to take the hand off the controller to mute on the older one. Obviously they dude who designed the newer one wasn’t a gamer. How dd you get around that? Not use solder? Clip connecters?

  10. February 17th, 2010 at 02:53 | #10

    @Bob
    I used solder, it was painful. I overwhelmed the delicate wire with heat and added solder and it made the connection. I may have tried shredding the tips too, to expose the conductibles.

  1. May 30th, 2009 at 12:06 | #1
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