Narko radio problem

Narko radio problem

Okay I'm sitting here with my first avionics problem and trying to figure out a plan of action.

2.5 hour flight to do a favor for a friend (isn't that always when the big problems happen).  Narko MK12 working just fine for over 1/2 the trip, recieve anyway, we didn't TX to anyone other than blindly on takeoff.

First call to unicom and no reply.  I know they're there so I try a couple times and notice that the TX indicator on the radio isn't lighting up but the radio is powered.  I reconfigured my headset directly to the aircraft intercom (normal is through a softcomm 4 place set up that plugs into the ships system).  PTT on my headset doesn't work either after the reconfiguration.

Time to land and figure it out as we're nearly there so I NORAD into the field. 

NAV receives fine, both nav signal and audio.  COM has no TX indication and no reception.

Is it time to pull the radio and send it in or could this be a wiring problem behind the panel (I'm not impressed with what I've seen there in the past).

My thinking is that TX or REC failure ALONE might indicate a wiring problem but that loss of both indicates an internal radio problem.  Is this a correct assumption?

OPINIONS on whether to just have a shop look at it, send it to Narco for repair, or spend the 1500 for an exchange with the 12D+ upgrades?

Thanks for any help.

Bruce

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Re: Narko radio problem

Bruce, I feel your pain!  I've got intermitent radio problems and it's a real "bugger" to figure out that very problem. 

First question is:
Is this an itermittent problem?

Do you have more than one radio?

Do you have a friend with an airplane that has the same radio and will let you slip your radio into his or her tray for a quick test?

Can you go to a shop and have them slip a working Narco MK12 into your plane to try?

Perhaps there are cheap and simple things you can do to answer your question.

If its a radio problem, it might be a good time for an upgrade.

If its wiring, that will put a smile on an avionics shop owners face.  If it's connector you might be able to bring it back to life by "just" pulling it out, cleaning the contacts, and pushing it back in.

Get a backup handheld transciever!  I've had occasion to use mine in flight twice now, but due to different probelms.

just some thoughts....
Barry

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Re: Narko radio problem

I'm lookin gat handhelds now.  Yesterday was my birthday and it's going to be my present.  Trying to decide on which one.....I'm looking at the ICOM AC23 and the Vertex 210.

I'd like a handheld with 8.33 spacing but haven't seen one yet.

Bruce

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Re: Narko radio problem

That bites....had a message all prepared and bumped the mouse.....grrrrr

Anyway, just bought an ICOM A23 from GULF COAST for 270.00 + 10.00 shipping.  Best price I could find between Sporties, Chief, and them.  Since they're APA rebate members, I used the AOPA VISA and will get an additional 5% off when the bill comes and I submit for the refund.

The NARCO has been checked more, calmly while on the ground.....LOL   It does REC, just no TX indication.  Picks up the Cont Tower 10 miles away with a hill between us so I'd say the antenna and REC side are good.  NAV works fine.

I'm thinking it may simply be a broken or loose PTT circuit between the intercom receptacles and the radio.  Tried two separate PTT's so figure it must be between the receptacle for the intercom and the radio internals.

Anyone tell me how to remove the NARCo from the tray?  The two small holes in the faceplate that looked like car radio lock access didn't work (or do you have to have a special tool)????

Bruce

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Re: Narko radio problem

Bruce,

I in my C-172 there is transmit relay that must engage in order to transmit.  It's a 1973 so lot's of stuff.  You might what to find out if it is making engaging when you push the PTT.  If not see if it's loose or has a loose wire.  The relay is under my glove box.

If it makes you feel any better, neither of my radios would receive while on the ground, so had to scrub my flight to SC.  (IFR conditions)  So I drove the lousy 9 hours instead of 4 hours. 

Good luck,
Barry

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Re: Narko radio problem

In the above response please ignore the incomplete thought:

"It's a 1973 so lot's of stuff. "

I thought I had deleted it, but there it is. - It was a long day!

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Re: Narko radio problem

Well the hand held is here and works great! 

I pulled the Narco out of the tray and found a lot of corrosion on the PC board contacts at the rear of the radio.  Cleaned those then inspected the connector plugs in the back of the tray.  The connector "clip" for the TX circuit was broken, it actually fell out.  Used a multimeter and established that a ground exists when the PTT is used so 90% probability that the radio is fine and the connector needs repair.

Now 96Y is sitting in my carport.  It seems that the small planes need to fly just like the jets I used to work on or things start to go south.  She now has an oil leak in the "quick drain", a "flat" nose strut, and no fluid in the "whiskey" compass.......when it rains it pours.  Guess I'll see what the A&P at the end of the field says/can do about those problems.  He already said they can "rebuild" the compass with a seal kit.  I don't have the fitting to service the strut and while the oil leak is small I don't want to fly into a big field and have the A&P go KA CHING on me.

It's so much fun owning a plane because you can fly it any time you want......as long as it's "up".   LOL

Bruce

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Re: Narko radio problem

Glad to hear you got a handle on your radio problems.  I wish I could say the same. I can't get the radios out of the trays.  They are jamed in and that's a real good clue to my problems.  (Connector/contact problems.)

Sorry to hear you got other problems now.  Sometimes don't you wish life was just a little less interesting!


Barry

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Re: Narko radio problem

My radio seemed "jammed" in the tray as well.  I actually thought that one of the locking tabs had failed in the locked mode for a while.  I took the face plate off and was able to see that the locks were in fact operating so the judicious application of some tools managed to work it loose from the back side.  Be GENTLE!!!!!  No crowbars or hammers!!!!   LOL

Once the radio was out it was rather obvious that the cause of the tray not letting go was the corrosion and pieces in the connections.

Bruce

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