VOCOMOTION Throat Microphone Museum

VOCOMOTION has the largest collection of vintage throat microphones anywhere in the world. We have done extensive work to find out as much information about each microphone as possible and to find as many models as we can. Below are some of the microphones we've acquired over the years. If you know some information about these mics that we haven't listed, or know of other mics we should be seeking, please let us know!!

T-20 (USAF)

Pre-WWII T-20

T-30 (USAF)

WWII

The T-30 throat microphone was the most commonly used tank microphone and standard of the US Army Air Forces in WWII. This carbon microphone was strapped around the wearer's neck, with the two 1-inch round pickups made of black rubber contacting the wearer's throat near his Adam's apple. It is anchored around the wearer's neck by an elastic strap. These pickups transmitted sound vibrations as the wearer spoke, and allowed voices to be heard over the background tank and battle noises. The T-30 microphone had a small two-pronged PL-291 plug, which was connected to a JK-48 jack on a SW-141 push-to-talk switch.

It was produced in over twenty variations by different manufacturers, those being indicated by a suffix code letter to the type designation:

Model NumberManufacturer
T-30-AWestern Electric Co., Inc.
T-30-BWestern Electric Co., Inc.
T-30-CMicro Co. Univ CA.
T-30-FWestern Electric Co., Inc.
T-30-HKellogg
T-30-MUniversal Microphone Co.
T-30-QWestern Electric Co., Inc.
T-30-RKellogg
T-30-SUniversal Microphone Co.
T-30-VShure Bros.

LA-5 (USSR)

1960's LA-5

For a long time Soviet pilots did not have oxygen masks with a built in microphones. Even when Soviet KM-32 and first KM-34 started to be available, for one reason or another it was rarely eqipped with the internal microphone. During all tha time Soviet pilots relied on either LA-3 or LA-5 throat microphones. LA-3 and LA-5 microphones are similar to each other, with difference being in a different internal eqipment they use. Throat microphones are made out of elstic band with snaps on the end. Microphone itself is located inside of the leather pouch and attaches to the rubber band via snaps. On the bottom part of the microphone there is a wire which should be connected to the helmet's communication eqipment.

Throat Mic Mark II (RAF)

WWII Throat Mic Mark II (RAF)

This mic was known as a low level throat mic Mark II, from the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was principally used with Wireless Set No. 38 Mk.1 and Mk.II. It found also use with the No. 38 Mk.3 Set, as part of Microphone and Headgear Assembly No. 14. It was used by RAF fighter control in Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation.

Kehlkopfmikrofon Model "b" or L 38114 (German)

WWII L38114

Standard tank throat microphone (Kehlkopfmikrofon) of German Wehrmacht. Used same type of head-band as Wehrmacht headphones but were placed around the tankman's neck.

The set consists of dual, roughly, 1 3/8" diameter, molded tan and black bakelite construction microphones attached by a black leather wrapped, non-adjustable, magnetic sheet metal "neck set". The exterior of one of the microphones is well marked with a faint, white inkstamped waffen-amt mark. The bottom edge of both of the microphones has an attached, electrical, connection cord, with a brown fabric covering which runs to a roughly, 2 7/8" x 1 1/4" x 3/4", molded black bakelite, activation control switch housing with dual on/off switches. One switch is located on the side of the bakelite control switch housing and must be depressed for the microphones to be active. The other switch is located on the obverse of the control switch housing and can be pushed into a "locked on" position enabling hand free usage. The reverse of the control switch housing has a spring loaded, magnetic sheet metal, attachment clip enabling the operator to attach it to the front of a tunic. The reverse of the housing is well marked with an embossed, designation abbreviation in an oval recess, "(Fu) b", indicating, Funk, (Radio), model "b". The bottom edge of the control switch housing has a single, electrical, connection cord, with a brown fabric covering which is inserted into a large, black painted, tooled alloy plug housing with a triple pronged plug. The plug wire has a small, sheet metal clip attached with the impressed designation abbreviation, "Kmf. b", indicating, Kehlkopfmikrofon {Model} "b", (Larynx Microphone {Model} b). The set is in overall very good condition although the sheet metal neck set and the attachment clip shows moderate surface spotting.

Abfragegarnitur L38 - Luftwaffe headset with throat microphone and single receiver. All parts have special codes starting with "L38". Throat microphone L 38114 is exactly the same as Kmf.b tank throat microphone. Luftwaffe production control marks are all around (BAL = Bau Aufsicht Luftfahrt). The 5-pin connector is of the type widely used by German Wehrmacht for telephone equipment. Maybe such "L38" headsets were in use at Luftwaffe telephone switchboards.

Racal Acoustics RA-440

Modern Racal RA-440

The RA-440 series of throat microphones is based on two types of microphone construction: the single transducer type is of plastic moulded, hinged construction and the twin transducer type is of flexible rubber moulded construction. The throat microphones are retained using adjustable elastic neck straps that are fastened with a hook and bar.When in use, housings for the microphone elements are located each side of the throat. Soft leather microphone pads are provided for low contact pressure.The single transducer type is moulded in acetyl co-polymer and assembled from housings hinged in front of the throat. The leather microphone pads align to the contours of the throat for comfort in use. This assembly is attached to an elastic neck strap incorporating a safety release feature. Although twin housings are mounted on the neckband, only one microphone transducer is fitted. The other housing can be used to accommodate a carbon-simulation amplifier, when required.Developed under a British government contract, the twin transducer type incorporates two microphone housings on a flexible rubber moulded cable assembly designed to fit without undue pressure. Two microphone elements are fitted so as to provide maximum sensitivity where required.

In service with armed forces throughout the world, including the British Army, since 1998. Racal Acoustics is now part of Esterline Technologies Corporation.