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  #1  
Old 04-19-2017, 11:26 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Default Intercom Question...

I have a question… My FlightCom 403 intercom needs to have a slight squelch adjustment (about 20 degrees on rotary knob) between idling on the ground Vs. flying in cruise flight. Problem certainly appears to be ambient background noise level. Is this normal? If not, what can I adjust to fix? This is installed in an early model RV-12.

Thanks in advance…
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Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
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80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
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RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC 7/12 Bought Flying 10/2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 291
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:27 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Yes, this is normal (at least for lower cost intercoms).
Next time you adjust it in flight, leave it there. Speak louder when you're on the ground.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:40 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
 
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From my experience, this is NOT normal for the 403. I almost never have to adjust my squelch. Can't explain why you do, maybe just different combinations of avionics lead to different results. Sorry I can't be more help.
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Last edited by alpinelakespilot2000 : 04-19-2017 at 12:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2017, 01:07 PM
John-G John-G is offline
 
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Jim ... just a thought but may be relevant to your issue. Last year when I was getting myself back up to speed the training airplane I was flying in (not RV-12) seemed to exhibit a similar mic sensitivity that you are referring to.

In my case, placing one of those foam covers over the mic seemed to really help out. Not sure this is your issue but would not hurt to try a mic cover if you don't already have one.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:14 PM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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I'm using LightSpeed Zulu 2 for past year with good Dave Clark for the right seat. Both have wind muffs. Just hate having to reach across to adjust for various flight modes. Seems like there would be "auto-squelch adjust" for ambient noise level. Maybe wishful thinking.

Hey, I just read the manual. Squelch Control: The squelch control should be set as far clockwise as possible while still blocking the background noise. When adjusting the squelch, be sure no one is talking. Re-adjust this setting in flight to compensate for different noise levels.

That answers that...
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Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
PPL - 1970
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC 7/12 Bought Flying 10/2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 291

Last edited by Piper J3 : 04-19-2017 at 02:19 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:19 PM
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One possibility could be your noise canceling mic. Could it be turned backwards? The normally forward facing opening is different from the one that normally faces you. The forward facing one measures ambient noise and inverts the signal to cancel it out.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:55 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
Seems like there would be "auto-squelch adjust" for ambient noise level. Maybe wishful thinking.

...
The better (more expensive) intercoms have exactly that feature. They don't have any manual adjustment at all.
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:05 PM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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I'm not familiar with other intercoms. Anybody suggest a unit with this auto-squelch feature?
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Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
PPL - 1970
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC 7/12 Bought Flying 10/2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 291
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2017, 01:33 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
I'm not familiar with other intercoms. Anybody suggest a unit with this auto-squelch feature?
Go to <ps-engineering.com>, search for the PM1200 intercom.

Both PS and Garmin audio panels now also have auto-squelch, if you want to go that (more expensive) route. IMHO PS has always been the best, although in recent years Garmin has closed the gap.

BTW, not all manually adjusted squelch designs are 'bad'. With sufficient frequency filtering they can be 'set once and forget'. (I built my own intercom in a pretty noisy -10, and I never touch the squelch controls).

For our fairly noisy RVs, I do suggest an intercom where the squelch circuit only opens the Mike of the person speaking, not all the mikes ('individual squelch circuits'). This helps a lot in keeping the noise down.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2017, 06:30 PM
John-G John-G is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
I'm not familiar with other intercoms. Anybody suggest a unit with this auto-squelch feature?
Jim - Something to consider as an upgrade ... the Garmin GTR 200 radio has a built in stereo intercom that can replace what you have now AND the GTR200 has built in auto squelch described by Garmin as "Squelch: Automatic squelch with manual override". Plus, as an added nicety, the radio also supports 20 user programmable user storage locations for commonly used frequencies.
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