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Thread: Narco Comm 810+ R Sidetone and Mic gain

  1. #1

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    Narco Comm 810+ R Sidetone and Mic gain

    I just picked up a Narco Comm 810+R. The sidetone is too loud and so is the mic gain.

    Does anyone know how to adjust them? I can't find a service manual anywhere.

    Tom

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    While I prefer using a hammer or large rock to adjust a Narco unit, I suggest looking for small holes on the top plate of the radio. Each hole will be labeled and the adjustment, inside, needs to be done with a small, non conductive screwdriver, such as a 'pot trimmer'. I'll look for a manual when I get to the shop (Hey, it's 4 am right now!).

    Web

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    Thanks!

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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I have an 810 in my airplane and would also like a copy of a manual for it, if possible.
    Mine has the opposite problem-- no sidetone at all.
    I'm OK with it now but it took some getting used to.
    FWIW here's a heads-up about sliding out the Narco Com 810. It is not secured by the usual screw-in or cam-over/screw-in arrangement-- instead there is a sort of leaf spring thingy on each side of the radio that twangs out into slots in the radio tray and engages a sort of catch. You have to reach in on either side with a long skinny screwdriver or something and push those springs in so they disengage the catch, then pull the radio out. I was (eventually) able to slide my radio out without knowing that, but ruined one of the springs in the process.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Lol. Fun isn't it! And to make matters worse, not all of them used the spring clips.

    Web

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Just looked at my Narco manuals and all I have are pin outs and operations types. Maybe it was one of those things that Narco didn't think we could handle? If you need a copy of any of these PM me.

    Hotrod. If you are not using an audio panel, you need to spoof the side tone for this radio. There should be a jumper between pin 6 and pin J. If it's not there you won't have side tone at all.

    Web

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    That is good information. Mine has never had good side tone, and cannot feed through the ID tone from my KN53. It works, though, and won't get replaced until it dies or the channel spacing gets divided again. I love its memory circuits.

    The little neon tubes have never given me problems - as I understand it, they routinely die on King stuff.

    I have an SL-40 in the Cub, and absolutely hate the memory circuits.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    That is good information. Mine has never had good side tone, and cannot feed through the ID tone from my KN53. It works, though, and won't get replaced until it dies or the channel spacing gets divided again. I love its memory circuits.

    The little neon tubes have never given me problems - as I understand it, they routinely die on King stuff.

    I have an SL-40 in the Cub, and absolutely hate the memory circuits.
    Make sure the Nav audio is coming in on any of pins 3,4,C, or D. Connect the nav audio low to pin 7.

    Web

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    Thanks for the effort anyway Web.

    Tom

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Jones View Post
    Thanks for the effort anyway Web.

    Tom
    No problem and thank you.

    Web

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    Thanks for the tips. My paperwork shows no lettered pins, but my paperwork is not great, and I have not been back in there since 2003. The factory told me I needed a network between pins 7 and 8 - a 1K in line and a 470 Ω to ground both before and after pin 7. I never did it, since the airplaneis pretty much a VFR deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    ....Hotrod. If you are not using an audio panel, you need to spoof the side tone for this radio. There should be a jumper between pin 6 and pin J. If it's not there you won't have side tone at all. Web
    No audio panel. I recall looking for a sidetone adjustment screw on the top / bottom of the radio but no joy, so the jumper between 6 & J is probably the only solution. At first the lack of sidetone really bothered me, but after a year & a half I'm used to it, so I don't plan on messing with it if it involves more than just turning a screw.
    Re memory, the Com 810 doesn't have one. Defaults to 121.5 & 122.9 if the radio is turned off. Again, at first this really bothered me but now I'm used to it. It requires you to think about what freq you need, so if you want to look on the bright side you could say it's a feature, not a problem.
    Last edited by hotrod180; 02-09-2016 at 11:51 PM.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Similar question...I just paid someone way too much to rewire my NAT intercom and Garmin 250XL. (had to move headset jacks to wing root panel) Now I have no sidetone and had to turn the NAT audio receive level way down to eliminate radio noise. Could this be caused by the mic switch ground being routed to the ground block instead of the radio?

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    I know very little about the 810, but the 810+ has a little silver switch that enables memory insertion and use. Once you get it programmed, you move the switch, and the frequency inner knob becomes an up-down switch, just like the early Icom portables. Best memory arrangement ever. There is no button labeled " memory".

    Anecdote: when putting my KN-53 and KI 249A in, I read the schematic as pin 8 instead of pin B. That little error cost me a thousand bucks and a week of work.

    Drifting even further afield, my airport, in an attempt to combat those kinds of errors, changed the name of taxiway India to Kilo, thus keeping dumb guys like me from landing on it, thinking it to be Runway One. I bet they cannot name a taxiway Oscar for the same reason - no landings on Runway Zero. Who are these guys?

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    No audio panel. I recall looking for a sidetone adjustment screw on the top / bottom of the radio but no joy, so the jumper between 6 & J is probably the only solution. At first the lack of sidetone really bothered me, but after a year & a half I'm used to it, so I don't plan on messing with it if it involves more than just turning a screw.
    Re memory, the Com 810 doesn't have one. Defaults to 121.5 & 122.7 (or 122.9?) if the radio is turned off. Again, at first this really bothered me but now I'm used to it. It requires you to think about what freq you need, so if you want to look on the bright side you could say it's a feature, not a problem.
    Hold on! I told you the wrong pins for side tone! I rechecked and I was looking at the straight 810 diagram not the +R. For side tone. For a 810+R connect pins 7 and 8 with a 1500 ohm resistor. Sorry for any confusion.

    Hotrod. Pin 8 controls your memory. Right now its grounded which forces it to default to 121.5 and 121.9. If you connect it to power (or a 9 volt battery, hint, hint) it will stay on last frequency. If you leave it open it will come up with random freqs.

    Web

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wldwzl01 View Post
    Similar question...I just paid someone way too much to rewire my NAT intercom and Garmin 250XL. (had to move headset jacks to wing root panel) Now I have no sidetone and had to turn the NAT audio receive level way down to eliminate radio noise. Could this be caused by the mic switch ground being routed to the ground block instead of the radio?
    I need more info to give you any troubleshooting info. Which NAT, how many places, emergency jacks installed, and what mic switch are you describing?

    And bonus kudos if you actually flew Wild Weasel missions.

    Web

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    NAT 85 set up at a NAT 80-01 with just two positions. My mic switches are in the throttles, one lead to the mic tip on the jack and the other to a ground block. F-4Gs...God's proof that given big enough engines even a brick can fly. Great plane, great mission.

  18. #18
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wldwzl01 View Post
    NAT 85 set up at a NAT 80-01 with just two positions. My mic switches are in the throttles, one lead to the mic tip on the jack and the other to a ground block. F-4Gs...God's proof that given big enough engines even a brick can fly. Great plane, great mission.
    All hail the power of the J-79. I was in a Marine F-4S squadron in my 'other life'.

    Ok. Your mic switches are push to talk switches in general aviation. They can be wired to ground the PTT contact, on the mic jack, directly to air frame ground but I prefer to ground them back to the ground contact in the mic jack itself. Less chance of noise and more reliable. As for the noise, the first thing to check is whether the isolation washers (both of them) were reinstalled on each and every jack, including emergency jacks and music jack. When you say it was rewired, do you mean wiring was changed or was a whole new harness fabricated? I'm assuming that the AA85 was just reinstalled and that it worked before? If so, you need to check the connections for audio and mic, between the 250XL and the '85. Also check the configuration switches to make sure they are set for a AA80-001. No emergency jacks installed to let you work the 250XL directly?

    Web

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    Good on you. Did you get the magic blue retirement card?

    I'm using the same intercom and radio that worked before...fabricated new harnesses and rewired the NAT and Garmin pin connectors. I used a shoulder washer and phenolic washer to isolate all four jacks, Did not wire music or emergency jacks. The configuration dip switches are correct for a AA80-001. (they were not before the rewire job???) I'll go back and study the wiring diagrams, I read something about this problem usually caused by multiple grounds.

  20. #20
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wldwzl01 View Post
    Good on you. Did you get the magic blue retirement card?

    I'm using the same intercom and radio that worked before...fabricated new harnesses and rewired the NAT and Garmin pin connectors. I used a shoulder washer and phenolic washer to isolate all four jacks, Did not wire music or emergency jacks. The configuration dip switches are correct for a AA80-001. (they were not before the rewire job???) I'll go back and study the wiring diagrams, I read something about this problem usually caused by multiple grounds.
    NAT has the best intercoms on the market. BUT, you need to follow their diagrams to the letter. All grounds and connections made exactly as shown and no short cuts. If you do this, you won't have any noise issues from multiple grounds. You're using the correct shielded wires? Which diagram did you use?

    C'mon Sir, talk to the crew chief.

    Web

  21. #21

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    Web,

    Using AA-85-001 configured as a AA80-001 rev 2.0 diagram. I'll compare that to what the guy drew up. I am using the correct shielded wiring.
    Unfortunately I won't have time for in-depth troubleshooting until I get back from a TDY at the end of the month. I'll send you a PM when I get stuck (and that won't take much!)

    Bryan

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Any time. Any where.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    ... I recall looking for a sidetone adjustment screw on the top / bottom of the radio but no joy, so the jumper between 6 & J is probably the only solution. At first the lack of sidetone really bothered me, but after a year & a half I'm used to it, so I don't plan on messing with it if it involves more than just turning a screw. ...
    Reviving this year old thread....
    the display in my Narco Com 810 TSO is getting a bit tired, dims down to a flicker when its dark.
    I'm a day VFR pilot and so not too big of a deal, but it bugged me so I dug into it.
    Looking through a Narco owner's manual I acquired, I discovered that there IS a sidetone adjustment, but for some reason Narco put it underneath the radio faceplate. To get to it, you remove the freq tuning dials with an itty-bitty allen wrench, then remove the two plastic screws at each end of the faceplate & lift it off. There's a pair of round components with screw adjustments below the freq tuning dials- the one on the right controls the low end of the display dimmer, the one on the left controls the sidetone. Mine was on the low-end stop, just a bit of clockwise adjustment (about 1/4 of what's available) put the sidetone where I wanted it.

    I also fooled around with the dimmer adjustment, but didn't manage to improve things. My local avionics shop told me that they don't have a source for the Narco displays, but that they seem to be available on ebay. A friend told me that someone he knows bought a new display from Digi-Key and had a local electronics guy install it. About $130 for the display & $50 for the install. Might have to go that route if the display becomes unusable in daylight.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    The minute mine croaks, a Gamin GTR-200 goes in. One now in the Cub, one in the Stearman, and I am a happy camper.

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