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  #1  
Old 08-05-2017, 08:49 PM
n74846 n74846 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Boca Raton, FL BCT
Posts: 92
Default Back-Up Radio Solutions?

My SL-40 died and is at Garmin for overhaul. My Icom A-6 is barely useful with the tower with the stock antenna. Has anyone found a successful solution to deal with the single radio failure scenarios? If you have added a switchbox or other jury rigged antenna, please describe. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2017, 09:25 PM
Cth6 Cth6 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Central Florida
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I can get about 5 miles out of mine in a high wing using the rubber duck. There is a high gain antenna that works in the aviation frequency that I have seen used before. Not sure how much more reach you get. With the low wing your best bet is probably a belly antenna or a t connector on your existing antenna with a pig tail.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2017, 09:45 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
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It is my understanding that you cannot simply install a T-connector in the antenna line. Either install a separate belly antenna with a dedicated cable to use with your hand-held or install a special switch that selects one radio or the other for your one antenna -- King Avionics used to sell such a switch.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2017, 09:53 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
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Default ANTENNA SWITCHBOX

ANTENNA SWITCHBOX

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...mswitchbox.php
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2017, 09:56 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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I had a spare Microair 760 from another project so I installed it in the panel as comm 2. It has a separate antenna I mounted on top of the fuselage and the audio-in is wired through my intercom with independent jacks as a backup.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2017, 10:24 PM
NYTOM NYTOM is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
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I've always used a separate external antenna with a coiled antenna wire near the seat cushion that can easily be connected to my Icom handheld. Also used a Icom headset adapter and was good to go. Has come in handy a couple of times when I developed trouble with my panel mount com.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2017, 10:53 PM
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DonFromTX DonFromTX is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: La Feria Texas
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This makes the most sense to me. I would not fly without a handheld,
and this gizmo allows you to use the aircraft com antenna with the handheld.
I have it installed on my plane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2017, 11:18 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
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Poor man's solution: bring the antenna coax to a panel BNC. Bring the radio coax to another nearby BNC. Jumper the two BNCs with 8" of coax. If main com fails unplug the jumper from the radio, plug into the handheld.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:05 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
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The only time in 31 years of flying that my radios went out was, of course, the day I forgot my handheld. The tower guys loved it because they never get to use the light gun.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2017, 11:48 AM
n74846 n74846 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Boca Raton, FL BCT
Posts: 92
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Thanks to all for their input. Still trying to figure out how to route either the switchbox, or add another separate antenna for the handheld.

Interestingly I searched the web regarding the Icom A-6 headset adapter problems I've been having and found an interesting thread. While I have not had time to check it out in the plane, apparently the adapter DOES NOT kill the handheld mic in lieu of the headset mic. Hence if I do not talk into the handheld instead of the headset mic, I cannot be heard; which is exactly what I am experiencing. A bizarre quirk of the Icom headset adapter, but might be my big problem. The solution, according to the thread (and quoted from Icom Support) is you must use the auxiliary PPT switch they sell, which plugs into the third plug on the adapter. Only then does the headset mic engage. Who knew?
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