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Thread: Is there a simple radio?

  1. #1

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    Is there a simple radio?

    I'm looking for a simple no intercom, single pilot, non-TSOd VHF aircraft radio for my EAB open door high noise environment helicopter. I'm not happy with my MGL V6 because the VOX continues to cut in at hover power and I haven't figured out how to defeat it. I'm using a boom mike on my ANR helmet, and the situation is only slightly better with my Bose A20s. Perhaps I need to replace my boom mike, but that's not a complete fix.

    Please don't suggest a handheld with a headset adaptor because I don't have three hands. I need something that I can do a PTT on the stick.

    Any other suggestions are welcome as well.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    I have an Icom handheld built into my panel with a PTT switch on the stick.

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/tech/velcro.html

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    Dana's Avatar
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    I too used an Icom (A24) with headset and stick mounted PTT in two airplanes. In my current plane I'm using a Becker 2301 (mounts in a 2" hole) that I bought used on eBay.

  4. #4
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    Don’t give up on the V6. I have one in a very high noise open cockpit environment and it works well once you dial it in, which takes some work. A high noise rated mic on your helmet might help.

    The A20 is an awesome headset in the right environment but open cockpit, high noise ain’t it. I was warned about this by a Bose engineer and he was right. That may be part of your problem.
    Last edited by Jeff Point; 09-06-2019 at 07:15 PM.
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 and RLU-1 built & flying
    Tech Counselor, Flight Advisor & President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  5. #5

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    I understand the frustration.

    Right now I have an Icom radio slaved to the aircraft* with a push-to-talk switch, and find it lacking in a couple ways.

    When I was at Oshkosh I got up close and personal with the Compact Trig radios, and they impressed the snot out of me. Not only are they in economic reach, I really like the compact design.

    https://www.trig-avionics.com/product/compact-radio/

    I also bought a leather sleeve that goes over the end of the boom mike, as in an open cockpit wind noise is a real pain in the neck and it helped a lot. I'll have to dig up the package to see who I bought it from.

    * Some re-assembly required.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  6. #6
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I had my Dave Clark headset rebuilt and they recommended sticking with a dynamic mic for high noise or open cockpit environment. I’ve used it with both an older King and an Icom without issues.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  7. #7

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    Why can't you do a PTT by installing a switch in the wire from the mic to the radio? Set the vox so it's always on, but only "connect" the mic when the PTT is pressed? Seems like that's what Ron suggested, but I may be wrong.

  8. #8
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Why can't you do a PTT by installing a switch in the wire from the mic to the radio? Set the vox so it's always on, but only "connect" the mic when the PTT is pressed? Seems like that's what Ron suggested, but I may be wrong.
    The OP implies that the aircraft is single-seat, so the intercom side of the radio isn't needed...nor the voice-operated switch (VOX) aspect of it. Looking at the MGL manual, it looks he could set the VOX gain to the lowest setting.

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #9

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    I would encourage not buying the cheapest VHF transceiver out there. Life is too short. This is one area you get what you pay for. Especially for a helicopter. I have done the Flightline, MGL, Escort II, Microline and MGL stuff. Also have done the Becker, Trig and Garmin stuff. I have found the MGLs to be okay but the way they are designed assumes every user will be an audio and RF engineer so it isn't often they work right out of the box. I had an MGL V10 in a single-seat Pitts and it was a nightmare getting it set up in the complicated audio menus. Never was happy with it.

    So if you look at my 3rd sentence in this post it is the stuff I stay away from. The 4th sentence is the stuff I have found to be very good and just plain work without fuss. For equivalent round installs to replace a V6 I like the Trig TY91 and it is every bit as good or better than the Beckers with the advantage of RS232 interface with GPS frequencies and a remote mount box profile. Becker would be a good one too. If you were a two-seat aircraft (which you are not) or could do a rectangular rack mount transceiver I would rather suggest the Garmin GTR 200B as it's built-in intercom is fantastic. And of these three they are from cheapest to most expensive (within $150 of each other) Trig TY-91, Becker AR6201 and Garmin GTR 200. All three of these makes are robust, crystal clear, and just plain work very well without fuss and all 3 have standby frequency monitoring.

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