Lightspeed Tango Headset

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Rich
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Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

After years of monkeying with headset wiring I will be giving this (almost) wireless headset a try. Has anyone else tried out this headset?
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Colin »

No, but I have looked at it a LOT. I'll be very interested in a PiRep.

The moment I want it most is when I forget to lock the aux tank flaps and have to take OFF the headset to climb out on each wing for a moment. I feel like I always get tangled in the cords.
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Rich
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

Received and installed today. Works as advertised except for having a problem playing music. This is not a critical use for me, but I will open a case with Lightspeed.

This is where I stuck the panel interface. The leads are just long enough to pull this off:
N40XE Tango Panel Interface.jpeg
This location works fine, as it's only used to power the unit and bluetooth on and off - like once per flight. The buttons can be operated by feel, so I don't really need to see it while in the airplane. I didn't fly with the unit just yet, but radio communication works fine, alerts from the iPad come in nice and clear and the input from the FS210 doesn't seem to be compromised.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

After taking Lightspeed's initial suggestion about re-pairing, music is still not operational. This doesn't matter to me, really. I don't do this during flight, anyway. But I know some of you might so I'll continue to pursue it. I suspect interference between the two radio signals: Bluetooth between the iPad/panel interface and the non-Bluetooth link between the panel interface and the headset. My Sierra does not exhibit this problem. Possibly changing the channel on the latter will work. I'll keep you posted.

Other than that, it does a great job for me cleaning up the cable mess. Cables always are too short to use or you're looking for somewhere to stuff all the extra. My plan for periodically recharging the batteries is to occasionally leave my ANKER gizmo in the airplane plugged into both. If the 12-hour battery life is anywhere close it'll easily suffice for my longest flying days. And it does have a provision for retaining the basic headset function of working in its prime role of radio communications in the event of battery rundown, albeit as a passive headset. That little cable is set up so you can quickly just yank it out and plug it into the headset.

For pairing and testing, I found I needed it plugged in and the audio panel powered up or the auto-shut-off would come into play.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

Looks like I'll be sending back to Lightspeed for resolution of the Bluetooth link problems. Alerts from Foreflight are sometimes choppy. Phone sound is also choppy, as is music. Problems are the same (0ther than phone) with both iPad and iPhone. But intercom and radio communications are perfectly fine, which eliminates possible problems with the radio link between the headset and the panel interface.

Given I do not see these problems with other BT headset hookups I've tried, including the LS Sierra. it looks like a defect in this particular unit.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

I got the unit back from Lightspeed today. It still is a bit iffy with music, but a lot less intrusive. I confirmed the behavior is not influenced by the avionics (including the FlightStream) being on or off.

I'm good with it as is as now. The big selling point of course is cleaning up the cord situation.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by caseyayers »

I have three pairs of Tangos and have been using them exclusively since getting my DA40 in December '18. I love them, for the most part. Initial pairing of a phone or iPad to Bluetooth can indeed be a little finicky, but I've found they re-pair immediately after getting that sorted out once.

From time to time, I also intermittently deal with the mic cutting out, more-so than I did with the A20 I used in training, albeit in a C152. This is typically resolved by simply adjusting the mic angle a bit, although some days it can seem more finicky than others.

I never suffer from any interference issues when using several Tangos, given that you can easily flip a few pins in the control box to make sure different headsets work on different frequencies. That's a one-time operation if you buy several sets, and then you never think about it again aside from color coordinating which receivers and headsets go in which case together.

Battery life is perfectly sufficient, although as a habit I tend to charge them before every long flight, or every couple short flights, just to be safe. I've had the battery die once in flight, which was a pain but also quickly resolved by yanking the headphone cord from the receiver box and plugging it into the headset. When operating in this fallback wired mode, you of course lose noise cancellation.

Based on the location of the headset jacks in the DA40, I think the Tangos are a great solution. I turn on the receiver box and then tuck it into the backseat pocket, or just let it lay in the backseat floorboard most of the time. From there, having complete range of motion and never dealing with cords is a big plus. I doubt I would care as much if our headset plugs were up under the console like in a C152, but I think it's a big help in our type of planes.

For a future model, I would love for the receiver box size to be reduced. Headset weight doesn't bother me, though I could see how shaving a few grams off may be welcomed by some people. Being able to share a Bluetooth source (or repeat that source from one receiver box to others in the plane) for music/Foreflight alerts/etc. would also be a nice touch. A battery meter as simple as a 4 LED dot gauge like on old MacBooks or many USB battery packs would also be very helpful in determining whether a headset might be due for a top-off. There's definitely room to improve with a Series 2, but the existing models are very good.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

Headset weight doesn't bother me, either. I've traveled 800+ miles by motorcycle in a single day with a 4-pound helmet on my head :D
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

This picture shows the units being recharged. Using this method allows recharging overnight on a ramp or wherever without removing them from the plane or having to snake external power in.
N40XE Tango Recharge.jpg
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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Re: Lightspeed Tango Headset

Post by Rich »

Other miscellaneous comments:

- The current version uses rotating switches in the panel interface and headset to set the channel used by a given such pair when that needs to be changed.

- The little flap in the headset where the charging port is located is kind of delicate looking and doesn't really close when not in use. A minor cosmetic issue but also would seem to be a candidate to disappear altogether in some distant future.

- With the panel interface located as it is, I've taken care to minimize the possibility of some back seat passenger from stepping/pulling on the cord during entry or exit. I'm still a bit wary of this, though I rarely have anyone in the rear seat(s). Alternatively I may move it to hang from the same hook I've devised to park the headset when not in use. It depends on how obsessive I get over the risk. The cord length leaves few options, the remaining one being hanging it over the inside front edge of the pilot seat.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210.
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