Radio, repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Electrical & Instrumentation' started by Dana, Sep 28, 2018.

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  1. Sep 28, 2018 #1

    Dana

    Dana

    Dana

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    So my new plane came with an old Narco 11B com radio. Worked fine, until I changed the frequency... I can turn the tenths knob and it clicks, but the frequency indicator doesn't move. From what I've researched it appears the plastic gears inside tend to wear out, though I haven't yet taken it apart to look at it. Anybody familiar with these, or know of a parts source?

    The interim solution, I guess, is to remove the radio and put a handheld in its place. Another option is to pull the King KY97 out of my Starduster project. I could get a TKM drop in replacement, but the $1800 price tag doesn't sound too attractive.
     
  2. Sep 28, 2018 #2

    IanJ

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    If it were me, I'd go with something newer, either the KY97, or a handheld. I'm all for repairing stuff, but the 40+ year old radios seem like a losing proposition to me. I've seen too many old radios in rentals that only kind of work, so I might be biased on this matter. Particularly the 11B looks like one I'd put on the shelf: lots of discrete components waiting to be vibrated loose, and that mechanical frequency selection system looks like one that will be difficult to repair. On the plus side, if you want to bust it open, there are lots of cheap donor radios available to supply parts.

    Something like this might be a better choice if you want to keep the King in the SD project:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/ICOM-IC-A2...AOSwfEdbqup9:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!98103!US!-1
     
  3. Sep 28, 2018 #3

    TFF1

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    One is free right now. a hand held hooked to the ship antenna would be fine until you were ready to swap.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2018 #4

    Aerobaticorsu

    Aerobaticorsu

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    I have a KY 197a for sale but without the rack
     
  5. Sep 28, 2018 #5

    Dana

    Dana

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    I'll use the handheld for this weekend, only have the PTT switch to wire. Only problem is it won't be wired into the intercom. Nothing to lose by taking the Narco apart too see what I see, then use the radio from the SD unless the Narco is easy to fix.

    I may also ask the guys at the avionics shop two hangars down, though I'm not going to spend any significant money when I already have a perfectly good one for free.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2018 #6

    Dana

    Dana

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    Decisions, decisions... I have my Icon A24 handheld in there now, but as it's wired now I can use either the radio or the intercom, not both (it's an older Sigtronics intercom that doesn't work that great). I'm liking the idea of one of the mini radios that fit in an instrument hole, since the plane has a VOR receiver that I will never use. The Narco was bolted to the cockpit side. Some of the newer radios have built in intercoms, too, so I could ditch the Sigtronics, too. Looking used, though, already spent too much on the plane to budget a brand new radio now.
     
  7. Oct 6, 2018 #7

    will moffitt

    will moffitt

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    The old radio in the 150 I had worked fine for a few years but then started to be a pain, would sometimes work. I took it apart and went to see a friend that had a radio shop. It had what was called nuvistors. I think ancestor to the transistor. I was given an old radio, same kind so I took all 12+ nuvistors out and he checked them all. Worked fine for a while. 6 tubes and the local electronics store had an old tube checker. That helped a lot. I finally gave up when one of the very complicatd relays gave up. Must has been 10 contacts in that thing, and there were 2 relays. I wired in a new val and could not believe the difference. Money well spent. Take it apart, you won't loose anything and might gain.

    will
     
  8. Oct 6, 2018 #8

    Aerobaticorsu

    Aerobaticorsu

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    I have a King KY197A for sale without rack, make me an offer if you wish
     
  9. Oct 8, 2018 #9

    Lotahp1

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    The Garmin GTR-200 is what I went with after researching (way to much). It’s got a stereo intercom that many have reported is very good for open cockpit. It’s “experimental” so is only about 1200-1400 new depending on who and when you buy. NDTOO has one in his Starduster Too. I ended up searching for a used one and because it’s fairly new to the market, they rarely seem to come up. You might keep an eye on the Vans classified page. I ended up with one from eBay a guy bought from Aircraft spruce and ended up selling his project so it’s new in box and I think I paid $800
     
  10. Oct 8, 2018 #10

    Dana

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    Right now I'm thinking if I buy one it'll be one of those little instrument hole radios from Becker or others. I'm not crazy with it mounted on the cockpit side and there's no good place anywhere else. Anybody have experience with the VOX intercom on those radios?
     
  11. Oct 9, 2018 #11

    acropilotbret

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    Look at the trig ty-91 really good radio at good price. It has a remote mounted radio and control head so you have a really good solution for the tight cockpit. I think it’s $1325. Just installed one in my Pitts can listen to two freq at once and flip flop to the other. Freq memory up to eight total. We have them in the ICON A5 and they are also tied to the Garmin 796 so freq select on the garmin shows up in standby in the trig. The intercom built in is also great with good squelch in a loud cockpit. Lots of little adjustments to mic gain are also possible. Pretty cool little product and it’s TSO’d too.

    https://m.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/ty91vhfradio.php
     
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  12. Oct 9, 2018 #12

    IanJ

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    I've been eyeing the MGL V6 for a while. It's tiny and light, and the intercom is supposedly pretty capable, but has so many settings that it can be hard to set up well. I've heard good reports about it, but MGL doesn't seem to be a very common brand in the US.

    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/v6commradio.php

    I will certainly do the V6 or something like it when the time comes for me to buy a radio for the Charger.
     
  13. Oct 9, 2018 #13

    aviatoratrushgreen

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    I can not believe that you would entertain trying to repair an old radio like that when it is such an important piece of equipment. Here in the UK we have all been forced to fit 8.33 spaced radios to conform to the European Rules. Therefore the UK is awash with perfectly good second hand radios. Try ebay.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2018 #14

    ernstfokker

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    Germany, France, Spain... is the same. The whole of Europe had to change to 8.33kHz channel spacing, from 25kHz.

    https://www.eurocontrol.int/news/833-khz-magic-number-1-january-2018

    There is much to learn from repairing your own hardware, but ebay is your friend right now.
     
  15. Oct 9, 2018 #15

    aviatoratrushgreen

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    It as a disgrace that GA had to replace hundreds, perhaps thousands of perfectly good radios at enormous expense They said it is because of a shortage of frequencies. It is my understanding that if all the European countries had one body controlling and issuing frequencies there would be plenty but because nobody will work together frequencies are crossing over and are running out. They have also made all the ground stations change at great expense.
     
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  16. Oct 9, 2018 #16

    Dave Baxter

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    I thought the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was suppose to solve all these problems? We here in the states have had to comply/endure with many ICAO mandates that they have decided was best for everyone in their eyes, when most of the voting countries have zero in the way of general aviation, compared to us here in the states. It amazes me that the ICAO is suppose to be? The governing body for such decisions can be so stupid regarding issues like this making it costly inconvenient and expensive for everyone to comply. Dave
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  17. Oct 9, 2018 #17

    Dana

    Dana

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    I'd repair it only if it's easy/ cheap, but right now it doesn't look like it will be either. But where I fly over here it's not "such an important piece of equipment". I fly from uncontrolled fields where it's nice to have but not required; I can fly around any airspace where it's required.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2018 #18

    aviatoratrushgreen

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    Fair enough. We have so much controlled airspace here in the UK that we are pretty much reliant on having a good radio.
    Yes I know that ICAO set the international rules, such as flying into a foreign country with your UK or US or any aircraft and said licence but country rules are still set by the home authorities such as the FAA or CAA. But here we are in Europe and for better or worse (guess which) we have signed up to EASA which sets the rules for the whole of Europe and being goody goody Brits our CAA just knuckled down and accepted it all. I can't begin to tell you the mess up EASA have made of it so don't ask.
    Dave
     
  19. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:33 PM #19

    TFF1

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    What is funny is there are 13,000 airports in the US and 2000 in Europe. You would think the spacing was required here.
     
  20. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:48 PM #20

    aviatoratrushgreen

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    Yours are so much further apart and a lot are unicom but there is some truth to your answer. It is just down to mismanagement here
     

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