WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Cessna Owners!  I'm Bob Hart, Senior Sales Consultant with APG-Eastern Avionics (Formerly just Eastern Avionics).  I've been providing tech support, opinion and advice on the Piper Site for 3-4 Months. I have 15 years experience and have previously owned six aircraft myself in the past. I did Forums at Oshkosh and Sun & Fun for four years on "Designing and Upgrading Your Avionics Panel" in the past. Frankly, The "Avionics" section of this Website is very quiet?  I see Todd below made an attempt to stay on top of this (good for you Todd!) but for some reason, the questions have stopped?  I'm very knowledgeable, very opinionated (and I can back it up), honest to a fault! and really enjoy helping. Sure I sell avionics and if I happen to "earn" your business in the process ... OK.  So start throwing those questions at me and see how I do?  I've been "checking" the Piper site every workday.  I'll do the same here.  Feel free to come straight at me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Thanks! Bob Hart (your "Freind" in the Avionics Buisness!)

Bob H
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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

I was just told that my Garmin mx20 which has some lines in the display will no longer be supported by Garmin and that my only option would be to upgrade. Really?

Vernnen Larman
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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Vernnen.  I'm afraid that is accurate.  I checked with Garmin AT and all the remaining replacement displays are
gone.  I can provide a SV MX-20 with Traffic interface for $2995.  I have access to a New Surplus MX-20 Standard, never been installed at $3795.  I'm not sure if Garmin is still offering the trade in program on the MX-20 towards the GMX-200?  The program was scheduled to end in June.  I can check on that on Tuesday if you are interested in that approach?
Bob Hart /APG-Eastern

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Thanks for the sound advice Bob. I hope people contact you for advice and business.  I continue to send people to you, as I believe that you are truly trying to help them instead of selling them something they dont need.  From what I've seen, you present all the available options with prices, give the pros and cons of each and let the owner make the decision.

Tom
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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Thanks Tom!  I really appreciate the feedback.  I'm trying to get something going onthis site.  The Piper site is a lot more active.  I think your vote of confidence will help.  Bob Hart /APG Eastern

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Bob,
I wonder if you can weigh in on this question I have:
  I have a 68 172I with dual nav Coms and dual indicators, one with glide slope.  Neither of them work well enough for the instrument training I am starting.  The nav Coms are a kx170 and a MX 300.  As I cannot even get an ident on the VORs with either rig but each radio works fine (tower ports loud  and clear on both) I am suspecting the nav receivers are bad but the indicators could be too.  I want basic IFR which seems to be dual nav Coms and DME.  I am contemplating the Garmin 430W or at least comparing that cost to replacing both nav coms, adding DME and possibly replacing the indicators if necessary.  If  I get the 430w it seems I still would need at least one additional nav com and at least one indicator with glideslope.  I don't want to spend a fortune on  a 172 and my IFR needs would be light, ie. getting into and out of airports rather than slogging thru IMC for hours.  What advise can you offer.  Thanks!

Ron Erkens
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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Ron, Thanks for asking!!
I would first take a serious look at your Nav antenna system.  The factory "cat whiskers" nav antenna on the 172 is designed to handle VOR and Glideslope frequencies and seldom is the antenna itself suspect, however the cabling and the
Triplexer are!  Start with the Triplexer!  This is a small 2" X 2" box that "splits" the signals captured by the antenna and sends VOR to both radios and Glideslope to the remote G/S receiver.  All connections are BNC.  Add a little (or a lot) of corrosion and you have the equivilent of a clogged pipe and the signals are partially or totally degraded.  I have also seen where maintenance was done and the wrong cables where plugged into the wrong locations on the triplexer.
I have also seen where comm and nav connections were backwards on the radios but if you have strong comm performance that is not likely.  The cable is also a big potential problem if it is the original 1968 cable.  Back then, we used a lot of RG-58 cable.  We have discovered that the dielectric in RG-58 breaks down and essentially does the same thing as
corrosion and degrades the signal.  If these radios essentially meet your needs for what you want to do with your aircraft, I would spend the money and have someone look at your nav antenna "plumbing"!  No question, the KX-170B (probably a B) is approaching the end of it's useful life and a reconditioned TKM MX-170B is an affordable way to upgrade that radio to a modern format.  I've sold a hundred MX-170B's in 15 years and regardless of those who "badmouth" them, the majority of people who bought the TKM's are happy with them! The MK-12D (probably a MK-12D Cessna?) is a good radio.  If your not sure about the radios, take them first to your local avionics shop and have them do a bench check on the radios.  They can measure the sensitivety of the nav side and tell you if the radios are a problem before you tackle the cabling issue?  You'll spend about $75 per radio to find out if they are good or not. Frankly, with aircraft values, like the "legacy" 1968 172 tumbling, it's hard to justify the installation of a 430W in it unless you plan to keep it forever!  Try this first?  Thanks!  Bob Hart APG-Eastern Avionics

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Bob,
Thank you very much for the response.  We are very fortunate to have you here to advise us.  I really like your approach and I will follow up on your leads.

Ron Erkens
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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Thanks Ron,  Happy to Help!  Let us know the outcome?  Bob Hart  APG-Eastern

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Bob, We have a C185 we are looking to install an engine monitor. I see quite a few basic ones with a simple 6 bar display, but I also see a couple from EI and JPI that integrate a few other parameters into one main screen. Is there any others available that you would recommend?

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Jason, Thanks for asking!  After 15 years, I've hasd a lot of experience with both JPI and Electronics International.
I can report that they are solid companies with good products that they stand behind.  Gem (or Insight) was out there ahead of these companies but there units were basic compared to JPI/EI and most pilots opted for the more sophisticated
units.  Gem just introduced their New G3/G4 Engine analysers. They have "unique" color displays and features not found on others.  I have not sold one yet but was asked for a quote recently and frankly, I was impressed with the look and features.  It's little more money than the UBG-16 from EI and probably the EDM-800 is a better comparison bit the G3 does things that the others don't.  Check it out.  Here's the Brochure/Press release attached below.  Bob Hart APG-Eastern Avionics.
##text##

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi everyone I been browsing threw several Cessna forums and though I would offer my advise to anyone that might have questions about existing or new Avionics for there airplane.

I do full tear outs and installs on just about everything I can get my hands on. I have been doing Avionics in CA for about 6 years now and know it’s really hard to find good work and honest advice without feeling like you talking to a salesman.

Aviation is really moving fast with Waas capabilities and the new Glass cockpits coming out and the prices are actually starting to become affordable.

If anyone has any questions I'll do my best to help!

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Todd, are the part numbers in the King installation manuals for molex products King part numbers or Molex part numbers?

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

I dont have a manual in front of me, im at home but i belive they are King part numbers. I remember wanting to order the molex crimpers (ratching type) that king says to use and the king part number for them is no loger valid. What is it you are neededing to order, the pins?

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

I need the connectors. I would like to start out with new ones. I have plenty of pins.

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

I have a 66 C-172 that I would like to do some cosmetic upgrades to the instrument panel.  How difficult is it to install a new panel (like Avion)?  Is having a new panel cut expensive?

I do have a few friends that are A&P so I am sure they would be willing to help and do the sign off.

Thanks
Dave H.

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Howemd,
Take a look at these. http://www.saircorp.com/sair_050.htm Sendin your old panels as templates and they use thoseto make thenew ones....they are overlays that replace the original plastic panels.

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Todd,
I have a 1964 182G. I have a king kx155 radio. The lights on the radio display(the numbers) do not work at night unless you shine a flashlight on the "light sensor" part of the radio. During daylight flights, some of the  display dims. Is there an easy fix to this? What is the approx. cost?
Also, I have a narco nav122 (self contained VOR) That works off and on (mostly off) When I turn the unit on, it powers up but the "flags"stay displayed when tuning into a local VOR frequency.....but then out of the blue, it will work for a bit.  How much does it cost to get it reconditioned, if that is what it needs? Sorry for the questions...new plane owner here.

Thanks,

Glenn

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

I know it sounds weird with all GA seemingly moving to glass panels but I just installed two RT-385A navcoms. Since they are used I do not have an owners manual. Did one come new with these radios? Is there one out there I could get color copied?


Many Thanks

Tom

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Todd,

I have a 1978 Cessna 152 II which I have owned for about a year. I took the DG out because it would not track to the compass and had it overhauled in October of 2007. I reinstalled it and it worked fine up until two weeks ago. Then it started malfunctioning again. I sent it back to the shop that overhauled it. They cleaned it for no additonal charge and are sending it back to me. They informed me that the instrument was full of carbon and that before I reinstall it, I should replace the filter and clean out the vacuum lines with mineral spirits. I looked at the system in my maintenance manual and it looks like the intake is at the filter and then vacuum goes to the instruments and from there to the vacuum pump, on the back of the engine. So I presume that the carbon is being inhaled from the engine compartment. But my CFI says that the carbon blades in the vacuum pump are going out and thats the source of the carbon. This doesn't make sense to me since the vacuum flows in the other direction. What advice can you give me?

John Johnston

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

What connectors do you need? I can get them for you.Just give me a part number or the name of the unit.

-Todd

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Avion panels are very nice; however you have to adjust them to fit your airplane. Every aircraft is a little different and they take forever. You can find a company top make your panel with a panel cutting machine which come out very nice but can be a little costly or we do it by hand with some tools we found works very well, and them powder coat , and silk screen them up in Grass valley.

I’m in Lincoln CA if you’re interested and not to far away for you to fly send me a picture of your panel and I can give you a good price on what it would cost to do it. I even have pictures of our work if you need examples.  Business is a little slow right now so I’ll give you a great price. Getting a 337 for it and making it legal is easy and we do it very often so no problem there.

I caution pilots who try to do it them self’s. I see very often sheet metal that is used that is to thin, or structures that are grinded to fit instruments which is a big no-no. I’ve even seen a shop that grinded the instrument to get them to fit. There are some real hack job type people out there so no matter where you go make sure you always inspect their work.

Todd
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916-912-0704 Cell

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Glenn, i dont do radio repair myself but i would say the dimming sensor is bad. And king repairs can be costly. I wouldnt know how much though you would have to call a bench repair shop. As for the Narco, i honestly wouldn't put the money into it I would replace it with something else either king or Garmin.

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Are you sure its a Vacume system and not a pressure system? where is your air filter located? And could there be a dissconnected line somewhere sucking unfiltered air? Thats all i could think of. The first step would be to check the lines and maybe replumb them with all brand new hoses.

-Todd

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Re: WHAT IF YOU HAD A "FREIND" IN THE AVIONICS BUSINESS? ... YOU DO!

Hi Todd:

I have a question for you.  I have a 1978 C-172N with dual Nav/Coms and indicators.  The problem I have is with the needles swinging 1/2 to 3/4 course widths on the indicators when fly to a VOR.  I understand that you can get some scalloping when close to the ground when there are obstructions near the VOR, but this seems to be a problem with every VOR at lower altitudes.  I notice this especially with flying to a VOR or using a VOR for course guidance on an approach.  It is less of a problem when at high altitudes.  When I use the indicator on an ILS approach, it is solid with no needle fluctuations.

I have two MX-170B radios, one driving a King KI-214 indicator with glideslope, and the other driving a KI-208 indicator.  Both indicators have been overhauled by my local avionics shop.  The also replaced the balun for the NAV antenna, and replace the triplexer that connects the VOR/GS units to the antenna.  None of these actions has fixed the problem, and they are scratching their heads as to what is causing the problem.

Any suggestions?  I was thinking that perhaps it is the placement of the Nav antenna on the vertical stabilizer and the structure of the airframe, but my instructor said mine is the only airplane he is flying that has the problem, and some of the other aircraft are also Cessnas.  I think all Cessnas use the same configuration, so I am assuming the problem must be caused by something else.  We want to start flying in actual IMC but would like to get the problem fixed before I venture off into the clouds.  Any help would be appreciated.

Jon

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