Bailout connectors and such.
   (Ver 2)


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With the American headsets there is the "drop lead" which hangs from the chest switch on the H-161 family of headsets or from the LHS ear cover of the Gentex helmet.

There is then a "Y" cable that connects using 2 x U-182 connectors to the crew box in the vehicle. These appear identical, but serve different functions, thus, it is important to get the correct one connected to the correct receptacle on the vehicle crewbox. On the LHS bottom of the crewbox is a stripe of yellow paint, you connect the U-182 plug that has a yellow sleeve on its cable to this one. I have seen many of these where the yellow sleeve has turned black with age, but you can still identify it. Sometimes this cable is also longer than its mate.

Inside the U-182 connectors is a rubber "O" ring. This is to keep out any moisture or condensation and thus prevent the contacts from corroding. This rubber "O" ring makes it very difficult to connect and disconnect the plugs. First off, clean out the inside of the plug with a soft cloth, they are always filthy, then use some vaseline to lubricate the rubber. Taking care, very firmly press the plug onto the receptacle and turn till the bayonetfitting engages. If when you power up the system you get a high pitched screech, then you have misaligned the plug. Alternately, you can remove the "O" ring and take your chances with corrosion and poor quality audio. Cleaning of the gold coloured contacts in the plugs and receptacles is best done with a VERY high quality draftsman's rubber, normal ones will abrade the gold coloured coating and you will get poor audio - so be warned!

Next is where you can get an early or late model. The early one uses a rubber base bailout connector (the doovy that joins the "Y" cable to the "drop lead") or the late one which uses a "Nexus" brand metal tublular connector.
All H-161 headsets up to model "E" were equipped with the rubber plug bailout connector (CX8652/GR upper cable assembly and CX-8650B/GR lower cable) and "F" model onwards were equipped with the Nexus model AJ-107 metal bailout connector.

You need to make a decision as to which to aquire or you will end up with both types and not be able to move between crew stations without changing headgear.


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The "Nexus" connector.

1) The male plug on the drop lead. This one has most of its black finish worn off.
2) The female socket on the "Y" cable.
3) The 2 x U-182 connectors.
4) The yellow tag on the cable which connects to the LHS of the crew box.


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Close-up of the male portion.

Generally speaking, I think the Nexus system is easier to use (there is a "tooth" and groove alignment aid built in) and longer lasting, but harder to find and more expensive as it is still current issue.


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The rubber plug type connector.

1) The plug on the drop lead, in this shot it is part of a H-161 headset and therefore it connects to the chest switch.
2) The other plug, this one is on the the "Y" cable.
Note 1: there is no male/female function.
Note 2: that the cabling is otherwise nearly identical with a Nexus equipped unit.

The rubber plug is harder to snap together and prone to bending of the contacts. These headsets complete with "Y" cable can be readily purchased at reasonable cost ~ US$20 ea. There appears to be 2 versions of contacts, a silver coloured and a gold coloured.

I have yet to definetly prove the following: but I get the impression that all H-161 headsets up to model "F" were equipped with the rubber plug and "G" model onwards were equipped with the Nexus connector.

With regard to helmets:
I have seen the CVC (Combat Vehicle Crewman) T56-6 Vietnam era "Bone Dome" with only the rubber plugs. Yet I have an American manual which has a sketch of one with a Nexus connector.
The AVC (Armoured Vehicle Crewman) DH-132 family appears to only have ever had the Nexus connector.


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