Brand new or used avionics

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Brand new or used avionics

Postby sanships » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:51 am

I am about to restart my quest to finish my aircraft after a 1-1/2 year hiatus. Since the aircraft did not come with any serviceable radios, I am thinking of buying new or used digital ones that have a great reputaion for reliability. The following are my choices:

nav/com1: kx 125
com2: icom 200 or king 97a
transponder: king kt76 w/ alt encoder

The basic mission will be all vfr flights. I am located in the Philippines so reliability not warranty is more important. What kind of antenna's should I get and as some vendors are advertising, getting it from 1 souce and having it prewired will save time and money in the installation here. You guys believe that? Thanks for the advice. Any other radios I am missing? I do not want to add a CDI to my already tight panel.
Alvin Sandoval RPVM Cebu, Philippines
1952 170b, RP-C399, SN. 25287
2001 Robinson R22BII
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Postby N73087 » Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:22 am

The best radio I ever had (i wish I had one now) was the Garmin SL40. It is a compact com radio that allows you to monitor the standby freq. This feature is as good as a second radio for listening to atis etc.
I haven't flown with a VOR in nearly 20 years. A hand held GPS is more than enough (I finally have a panel mount GPS now.)
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Postby Dave Clark » Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:52 pm

I have the KX125 andit is real nice except for the LCD display being a bit hard to read in bright light sometimes.

I REALLY like my Lowrance 2000 color GPS.

Yes get the wiring harness all made up, it's worth every penny.
Dave
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1953 C-180
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Postby jon s blocker » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:41 pm

I put a KX125 in the last PA-12 I had and liked it alot. As Dave said, sometimes in the light it is a little hard to read. I have had a 97a and it was a good reliable radio. I can't comment on the ICON as I have never had one. If you get the KT76, I found that the A model was more reliable than the new C, (digital), model. My C model was bad right out of the box. Had to be sent back after 4 hours. Got another new one and it works fine, but I never had a problem with my A model with an encoder. It was recommended to me that while you turn on the C model, you should "warm it up" by puting it in standby for a little while. Haven't had any more problem, so I'll stick with that. Definately have the radios pre- wired, and make sure to get a CLEAR wiring diagram from the person that made up the harnesses. This will save many hours of headaches! Get good antennas, and follow the directions for mounting them and their position on the aircraft. Keep your ant. wires seperate from each other. Good luck, Jon
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Postby JJH55 » Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:16 pm

Sanships,
Can't speak to personal experience regarding the used equipment route but would be very wary of anything bought at an auction or from a source that didn't provide a warranty.
I did a new SL40 and SL70/altitude encoder self install (under IA supervision of course) two years ago. IMO, the premade wiring harnesses are the only way to go. A little expensive on the front end but they saved alot of time (T=$) and worries. Its nice to know that the total system was wired correctly and that the electronics are working and tested when you get them. Also if you are inclined, you may also be able to save some $ on the self install. You'll still have to have the static system altimeter and Txp certified regardess.

PS... the SL40 also has a 2 place intercom thats built in (though I dont use it)

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Postby gahorn » Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:50 pm

Well,...I normally would simply list this in The TradeMart, but since you brought it up.....
For a number TWO radio, I purchased a Narco Escort II radio (720 channel Com and VOR reciever all-in-one) from another 170 Assn member, which fits in a standard 3 1/8" instrument hole, and will serve as a COM radio OR a VOR with built-in CDI. I have since changed my mind about installing a VOR at all in my very original panel, so I'll sell it for what I have in it. I never installed it. It is used, and was represented as in good condition. Buyer should have it checked and will purchase it "as is." Narco will email/fax a wiring diagram or a harness may be built by your avionics shop from their website http://www.narco-avionics.com/ which has online pinout/wiring diagrams and operations manual available free online. It looks very nice and clean. ($300.) If interested, contact me via PM or my email found on the cover of the Flypaper.
Last edited by gahorn on Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby doug8082a » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:24 pm

I installed two new ICOM A-200s in me '52. They work GREAT. They don't have the standby monitoring feature of the SL40, but that's ok with me. Thay are also considerably cheaper and come in TSO/non-TSO flavors.
Doug
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Postby blueldr » Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:31 am

The best , most powerful, and most reliable I've ever used is the lowest priced radio on the market. I mean the VAL Com 760 TSO.
I sells new for about $650 from Chief Aircraft. I've had mine for almost fifteen years and it performs perfectly always.
BL
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Postby gahorn » Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:06 am

The Icom units and King KY-97 units are actually the same radios with a slight faceplate/display difference. The Icom has an LCD display, and the King has gas-plasma. (LCD units may suffer from temperature extremes. Sitting in the sun can turn an LCD display black from over-temperature and if it happens the unit must cool off before it is readable again. Freezing temperatures can ruin the display and require repair. The gas-plasma units have their own issues. If one of the digits fail, it can be pretty expensive just to replace one digit than you might like.)
I've tried the VAL unit demonstrator and didn't care for the tuning using their toggle switches. Toggles are difficult to use in afternoon turbulence. (Your hand dances all around making it difficult to grab the switch and quickly select the new frequency, and you have to scroll thru all the frequencies to get to the one you want at the speed the software dictates....not at the speed your hand might rotate a knob with other units. Otherwise, I've always heard good things about VAL. If it needs repair, you may have to find a shop that'll work on it, otherwise any repairs may require shipping it to the factory. That's not always a bad thing....same thing holds true for Narco units, whose factory provides good, quick turnarounds on repairs.)
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Postby 170C » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:20 pm

I have had my ICOM AC200 for 10 yrs and even in Las Vegas and Blithe, CA heat (also good ole TX heat) I have never had a problem with the LCD. I have a clock that dies in the heat with a LCD readout. Its just plugging a hole now.
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Postby doug8082a » Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:28 am

gahorn wrote:The Icom units and King KY-97 units are actually the same radios with a slight faceplate/display difference.


That may have been true at one time, but it is no longer the case. When I was researching radios last year I was speaking to Eastern Avionics and they said that, while Icom once produced the KY-97 in the configuration George described, they no longer do that. King apparently has the KY-97 made overseas by some other manufacturer (didn't say who). In addition, The KY-97 is a 5 watt unit and the Icom is a 7 watt unit.

Given a choice (as I had last year when I was in the market), I'd go for the Icom. Solid unit/reputation, slightly more power, easier to read display (IMHO), and a few hundred bucks cheaper.
Doug
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Postby 3958v » Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:23 am

I will second blueldrs coments on the Val 760 I have had one since I bought the plane and it has worked with out any problems for the last 12 years. The price is right too. Bill K
Polished 48 170 Cat 22 JD 620 & Pug
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Postby 170C » Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:54 pm

Does the VAL unit still lose its last frequency when it is turned off or was the one I used to use in a friends' plane not wired in correctly? When its power was turned off it defaulted to the emergency frequency.
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Postby N2255D » Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:22 pm

Yes the Val loses it's last frequency when shut off. Mine was already installed when I bought the plane in '96. I thought it was a malfunction so I called the company and was told they picked what they thought was the most common VFR frequencies and used them for default. I was also told there was no way to change the default frequency. It was a bit annoying to me when the VAL was primary. I installed a KLX135A and relegated the Val to backup status. It has woked great the whole time I've had it
Walt Weaver
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Postby blueldr » Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:12 am

The VAL Com 760 TSO defaults to the common ground frequencies of 121.7 and 121.9 when the power is turned off. However, there is a provision for a holding circuit that will hold the last settings, This is normally a hot lead to the battery fused at about 1/4 amp and switched mannualy. Mine is connected in that manor.
BL
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