Transponder advice needed

Transponder advice needed

Here is the scenario:
My transponder was working really well - both mode A and mode C were accurate according to tower.

Then everything quit, so I took it into the avionics shop.
Phone call - your antenna is missing.
Replace it - problem solved - right?
So I go to fly and my transponder is missing.
Phone avionics shop.
Where is my transponder?
Out for repair.
There was nothing wrong with it.
Yes there was - mode C was out.
According to tower it wasn't - all that was wrong was that  I had lost the antenna.
Well it was out and we're fixing it.

One month later - transponder is reinstalled - tower tell me to switch off mode C because it is 600 ft out
but this isn't consistent - next flight it is 400 ft out.
I call avionics shop - who I haven't paid yet - and ask what the hell is going on - and point out that before they FIXED it it was fine - the only problem was that the antenna broke off.
Now it is out 400 to 600 feet.
Response - Yes but you have to realize that when the antenna breaks off, that sometimes damages the transponder.

Me - I don't buy that, but even if I did, you fixed it, I haven't even paid you yet for fixing something that in my opinion wasn't broken, and now it isn't working.

Avionics shop - it must have broken again.
Me - so you are fixing this at your cost , right?
Avionics shop - No - it must be something else. Maybe you should stop nickel and diming (I've given them $1000 in the last 12 months) aqnd buy a new one.
Me - I'm parking the plane at your shop Sunday 17 October 2004.
I expect you to fix it at your cost.

My question?
I'm not looking for support for my side - I'm seeking honest opinions.

Am I right or wrong?

Thanks for any and all responses.

Tony
C-GICE

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Re: Transponder advice needed

My shop knows better than to touch ANYTHING that we had not previosly discussed.  Had that happened to me my avionics guiy would have called me and we would have talke about it.

I think you are right, soulnds like (based on what youve posted) that the shop has screwed up or the people fixing the xpdr screwed up.

     Dave

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Re: Transponder advice needed

I don't know where you're based, but here, you're virtually grounded without a transponder.  I can't imagine a shop here "grounding" a plane by removing the transponder without telling you ahead of time (not to mention without permission).
And then to put the thing back in with a bad Mode C...
Just sounds wrong.

If you have another shop in your area, you might try giving your scenario to someone there and se what they have to say.
I suppose there is the off chance that something could have failed
right after the renistallation...but it still doesn't sound right...

Best of luck
Michael

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Re: Transponder advice needed

Thanks for the replies.
I parked the plane there today - so I should have some answers by tomorrow - I'll let you know!

Tony

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Re: Transponder advice needed

Just some info - I've worked on transponder's for years. All makes -models
It is very possible that the Mode C failed a bench test - even though it was working in the real world. A transponder has 4 interrogation decode gates that differentiate between noise and a valid interrogation from ATC.  It is common for this to happen, the main gate may be the only one activated by a single ATC interrogation. The alternate gate - the one that is supposed to back-up the main gate when it is responding to noise or even another ground station- may be out of time - Its spacing may be bad. This, however, is nearly always just an adjustment. In the case of older KT76s tho I change the adjustment pots as they have a history of intermittent operation.
As for the error after reinstall. That should not have anything to do with the transponder itself. It is more likely something with the encoder itself. Depending on the nature of the error it may be connections in the tray. If a code line is missing then the altitude reported by the encoder will vary. It doesn't track smoothly in ascent or descent.  If the missing code happens to be not used at say 5K' then the readout would be fine. If it is used the readout will be incorrect.
I have never heard of an antenna problem causing damage to a transponder.
As in a previous response, we never would have done such extensive work without discussion with the customer.

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