View Full Version : radios
04-28-2004, 12:04 PM
what is everyone using for radios in your cubs i am thinking about icom &valcom etc any suggestions
04-28-2004, 12:18 PM
In the price range of the Val and Icom I have had great luck with the Micro Air 760. I don't like the built in intercom cause the mic is hot all the time but the 2 1/4" hole size and 19.4 oz. weight are perfect for the Cub.
04-28-2004, 01:23 PM
have you tried Micro airs transponder yet? The first three coms of theirs I installed all went back to the land down under. Maybe they are getting better.
04-28-2004, 01:36 PM
One of the slickest features in the Apollo/UPSAT/Garmin radios, like the SL40, is the "Frequency monitor function (listens to standby while monitoring the active)". That in combination with the good overall performance features (8 watts w/o a cooling fan) makes that line of radios worth the additional expense, in my opinion. If I didn't want to spend that much on a new radio, I'd look for an older used King.
Spec sheet link:
04-28-2004, 01:46 PM
For more information:
I got a KY97A. If I had to do it over again I would get a SL40 because you can listen to 2 freqs and you can read the LED with sunglasses alot easier.
04-28-2004, 03:53 PM
I installed an SL40 in a friend's cub, then flew it to the East coast....a very nice radio, but a truely half-assed installation kit. Not enough screws to hold the rack together, and the wrong pins for the connector.
04-28-2004, 05:02 PM
I just installed an SL 40 in my J-3, and am pleased. At the risk of repeating myself, let me say that I am not totally pleased with the memory functions. It rearranges permanent memory to numerical order, instead of the order any ordinary pilot might want. Nobody at the factory will address my comments on that feature.
Somehow I managed to get my local frequencies arranged in the "recently used" storage so that tower is the first frequency that appears when I punch the recall button, and ATIS and ground are one or two clicks away. The minute I select a new frequency beyond the eight I normally use around here, I will lose that feature, and I have no idea how I will get it back.
My installation kit had everything I needed except the crimp tool! Overall, I am satisfied, but baffled at Garmin's lack of attention to customer comments.
04-28-2004, 06:41 PM
Garmin's probably smarting over the fact that they didn't design this radio, UPSAT did. I'm really sorry I didn't buy a GX65 before they discontinued that product, it was a very nice GPS/COM that has a better radio and a better display than the competing Garmin only product that is still available, the GNC 250XL.
Here's what Garmin has to say about that radio (my bolding):
The second of two new panel-mount navigators, the GNC® 250XL combines the highly acclaimed GNC 250 with very high-resolution moving map graphics and communication capability. Delivering clear communication from its 5-watt (minimum), 760-channel VHF transceiver, the GNC 250XL also features front-loading data cartridges for easy Jeppesen® updating. The display LCD is more than four times as many pixels as competitors' panel-mount products, allowing SUAs to actually appear as curved rings and making alphanumeric characters more easily distinguishable. The GPS 150XL and the GNC 250XL also employ powerful 12-channel GPS receivers, making them the first VFR panel-mounted units in the marketplace to use the patented 12 parallel channel receiver.
They are talking about the GX65, which isn't around anymore because they bought the company and discontinued the product! Sure, it didn't have as many pixels, but it still had a great sunlight readable monochrome display.
Garmin was always given a run for their money by UPSAT, and when the CNX80 came out, they finally couldn't stand it any more (and I guess UPS wanted to get out of the avionics business, since they had made their point). Too bad.
p.s. Now a days, I want WAAS in a GPS, so my ideal combo would be the SL40 and a portable Garmin GPSMAP 296. I'll have to manually look up and dial in frequencies, but at least I can relatively cheaply upgrade the GPS section as new portables come out. An integrated unit like the Garmin GNC 420 is too expensive.
I have an SL40 in my cub. Great radio, and the frequency monitor is especially useful. No problems on installation, and the built in intercom works great.
SL40 is a good solid radio and fits in a nice little place. The only thing I don't like about the built in intercom is the difficulty adjusting the squelch controls when you switch headsets around. You have to slave things you want to change to one knob. If you have the doors open, the squelch setting is different. Add an external intercom, and it works great.
04-28-2004, 07:14 PM
I installed a SL40 in my Aeronca Sedan and I was very happy with it...
04-28-2004, 07:31 PM
It's interesting how many of you have the desire, and equipment, to monitor a second frequency. It must be one of those civilization things. I've never thought about it. 2 miles out from Lake Hood, my radio often gets turned down so I can't hear it at all. Not a criticism, just an observation. (KY97 in the Cessna, Becker in the 12.)
04-28-2004, 08:01 PM
Installed an SL40 nearly 2 years ago when I re-built the panel. It has been a great radio, small, easily readable, nice monitor function, and built in two place intercom. The only negative is with the intercom squelch as Steve mentioned. I have the squelch set high so the intercom will activate at normal voice levels in flight but on the ground you have to speak very loud to activate it. I think that "helicopter style" (big) headset mic foam may help the problem.
I like the SL40, because I can adjust each headset individually. If your pak s brings their own headset you can adjust for mic squelch right on the radio. I am kinda hard of hearin sometimes so I can crank my side up and turn down the back seat. In summer and fall, I just crank up the squelch a couple of points and fly doors open. Also like the ability to turn off the back seat when they get scared!! Of course that results in hair pulling and thumps to the head...Even at -40 never had a problem...
I'm think about putting a G1000 in my Xp. What do you think? Is that a good choice?
04-28-2004, 08:31 PM
Going to couple it to your autopilot?
Let's just say it's good you have tires big enough to handle the load... load indeed!
04-28-2004, 09:08 PM
Here we go again.
04-29-2004, 08:06 AM
sl40 seems popular i have intercom sigtronics is that compatable? not many comments on val or icom are they not liked? also interested in becker but have no round holes in panel but do have square for old style radios would have to do new panel or mod. thanks for replies.
My cub originally had a valcom, threw it into the garbarge and installed a sl40, no regrets. Maybe the valcom's are better now, but the one I had was a piece of c**p. Can't speak for the icom panel mount, their handhelds are good.
04-29-2004, 09:18 AM
My Dad and I both have had Vals since the early 1990's with no problems. I don't like the fact that it doesn't save the frequency when switched off but I think they might have changed that.
04-29-2004, 09:41 AM
I've been through a few val's...they, like many other electronic products, suffer badly from whoever was on the production line that day soldering the wires.....
I've got a Garmin 250XL, and I'm very happy with it. The moving map keeps me out of controlled airspace when I don't feel like talking to anyone (which is usually).
monitor a second frequency.
Stewartb: It's the F16s out of Toledo calling on 121.5. They get here faster than I can change frequencies! We've had a few people intercepted by them, including a couple of FAA guys flying around. Yeah, it's the "civilization thing."
05-09-2004, 10:03 AM
Just finished my PA11 with Microair radio and transponder. Work great and don't take up a lot of panel space.
See Pictures on web site
05-09-2004, 11:02 AM
I've had a KY97A for about 12 years. Never a problem.
05-09-2004, 11:15 AM
For those with only small holes in their panel, the Becker Comm and Transponders are great little units. They are really hard to beat, especially considering the size and depth. They'll fit most anywhere.
05-09-2004, 11:39 AM
I looked at them all and went with a Becker in my PA-18. It's a littler more money but the quality seemed better then the others. http://www.becker-avionics.de/666571_CompactLineMain.cfm Crash
05-09-2004, 04:34 PM
what is everyone using for radios in your cubs i am thinking about icom &valcom etc any suggestions
Provided you have the panel space - you've heard the saying there's no substitute for power. I like the KX197 because it's a TSO'd radio and it has a full 10 watt continuous trans pwr. Down low it's the difference between talking and not. They are expensive though.
05-09-2004, 05:31 PM
My MicroAir 760 seems to just quit transmitting after a while(2 or 3 hrs of use). I can turn it off for a few minutes and then back on and all is well until it does it again. I suspect something in it is overheating. When this happens, it continues to recieve, but does not transmit. Other than the fact that it doesn't work sometimes, I like it just fine. It did get me a close look at an F16 though. :lol:
05-09-2004, 08:33 PM
i guess iv'e got the only icom,works great,i think.
05-09-2004, 11:40 PM
The Becker Comm is also a full 10 W transmitter, I believe.
05-10-2004, 06:39 PM
I just put in a Becker, the paperwork is right here on my desk. It says 5 watt output. I think the Micro is only 3, or something.
The Becker is perfect for a Cub. Weighs almost nothing, fits a small hole, is very clear, and has a lot of output.
Had to build my own harness which took a lot of soldering and some head scratching, and they forgot to send the attach screws, (which are metric), but other than that, no complaints. It costs more, but is worth every penney.
05-11-2004, 08:36 AM
My Microair 760 works great and it fits into the wet compass hole in the instrument panel. They now have a repair station here in the states which will help you Murphy. Just send it in and have it fixed. You fly slow enough that you can use hand signals for a while.
05-11-2004, 10:38 AM
Do you have an address for the repair facility?
This guy is a dealer, he can probably tell you who can fix it.
E. TX. Flying Service,,Grand Saline,,963 8976
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