David Clark H10-76 Headset USB Mod - Mod a Helicopter headset for use on your PC!
This is by far the most comfortable headset I have ever used, and I have used a lot of them.
While there's some gaps in this instructable, I hope I do well enough for my first one.
http://morninglion.com/headset/ is the page on this build and what this Instructable is based off of!
Step 1: Finding the Set...
Ebay, newspaper... that helicopter pilot uncle of yours... they arent always cheap, but I got these David Clark H10-76's for $30... bad cord. http://www.davidclark.com/HeadsetPgs/h10-76.htm
I picked them for the look, this didnt start out as a USB mod, was going to be analog. Also, these are mono... but do have a speaker in each cup.
Step 2: Dig In
Taking the set apart was easy. You have to peel the ear pads off carefully, they arent glued. Once those are off pick out the padding to expose the speaker. There's a pair of screws in each speaker then it comes out, with more padding behind that... keep digging and soon you'll be fine. You only need to take apart the left side. At this point you can cut all the wires... it's easy to tell which got to right speaker, Mic, and left. I ignored the little volume knob in the end, it's rather pointless but could be replaced with a stereo one I suppose.
Step 3: USB Soundcard?
I started with that... it uses a USB soundcard like a USB thumbdrive, then has normal plugs as well. So I gave the leftovers to my sister to use with her laptop, all I wanted was the USB plug parts. Once I gutted that thing I got the tiny soundboard out. Instead of removing the USB plug on the board, I reconnected the end I cut off the cord so it plugs into the set, less modding the better I guess.
You can then start to reconnect the Mic and speaker wires by soldering them back onto the little soundcard. At first I had mine reversed, that sucked in HalfLife 2.
If I did this again, I think I would have attacked the USB cord right to the board to save space, it's a very tight fit.
Step 4: Almost Done
So now stuff it all back in there... layer the foam back in and screw down the speaker... Now we need to do something about that microphone... it's not the right kind for the little card, it wants a condenser mic.
To Radioshack I go and get a little mic from the bins. I took a pocket knife and split the casing open for the boom mic on the DC set... no picks of this, sorry...
I gutted it out, drilled a little hole for the new mic and hot glued it in. A little fabric over the mic helps with breathing noises. No one complained about how I sounded! I used aircraft glue to reassemble the Mic casing.
Step 5: Closing It Up.
Now that it's all hacked up inside, close it up and make people wonder why there's a USB plug on those "Old" headphones...
In XP and Ubuntu 8.04 it was instantly recognized. As I said the sound is great for speech, litte tinny for music but doesn't stop me.
I even used them at work to call into meetings with Cisco call manager! People still disturb me and with the sound insulation in these I cant here them, so I made a note...