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  #1  
Old 01-29-2016, 02:27 PM
ijustwannafly's Avatar
ijustwannafly ijustwannafly is offline
 
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Default RV Audio Panel Design

First let me apologize if this is in the wrong section. Mods please move it somewhere if it needs to be moved. I wasn't sure where to put it.


Im an Electrical Engineer and one thing that has always baffled me at moment is how expensive some avionics are. Certified electronics ok, but experimental stuff should not cost what it does.

I have set out to develop (JUST FOR FUN NOT AS A BUSINESS) my own handmade avionics. I will not be tackling a full-blown EFIS at the moment given the expense for R and D but one thing that came to mind initially was Audio Panels. Could someone please tell me how on earth an audio panel costs $1800?
Even on the cheap side i have seen them around $1k

This is mind boggling. The internal electronics are simple.

So here is what I'm asking from all the RV lovers in the world.

Tell me what you want out of an audio panel. What are the KEY features you want.
I know me personally I'm always on the look out for a low cost item that is simple and reliable. Im building a budget airplane (if there is such a thing) so everything i look at is price minded without sacrificing safety and reliability of course.

Please do not reply with "your nuts". I just want to know what you guys would like to have in an audio panel that would make you smile if say the thing costs $399 or $499 at most! For the guys with plenty of ash to burn and $150k RV7,s this doesn't matter. However for the dreamers out there that want to build a $65k RV7 i want to develop some low cost options.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2016, 02:35 PM
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Raymo Raymo is online now
 
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I think I paid $300 or less for my Dynon ICS. Not many bells and whistles but does what I need. I hope to be flying later this year for under 70k.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2016, 02:41 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is offline
 
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I'll bite - I've looked at this as well.

Must-haves:
- Stereo
- 2 comms
- 2 navs
- 1 additional switched audio source (MB receiver, etc.)
- 2 (or more) unswitched audio sources
- Bluetooth connectivity (phones/music)
- Built-in 2place intercom with soft muting like PS Engineering's intercoms
- Dim-able backlighting (or design that obviates such)

Nice-to-haves:
- Separate music for pilot & pax
- 4 place intercom
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2016, 03:05 PM
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ijustwannafly ijustwannafly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymo View Post
I think I paid $300 or less for my Dynon ICS. Not many bells and whistles but does what I need. I hope to be flying later this year for under 70k.
Yes for an intercom $300 sure

Not an audio panel. Two different things

Im not describing a simple interim like the dynon
Im referring to fullsize audio panels

http://www.pilotshop.com/catalog/avp...ex11-13798.php
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2016, 03:05 PM
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ijustwannafly ijustwannafly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefPilot View Post
I'll bite - I've looked at this as well.

Must-haves:
- Stereo
- 2 comms
- 2 navs
- 1 additional switched audio source (MB receiver, etc.)
- 2 (or more) unswitched audio sources
- Bluetooth connectivity (phones/music)
- Built-in 2place intercom with soft muting like PS Engineering's intercoms
- Dim-able backlighting (or design that obviates such)

Nice-to-haves:
- Separate music for pilot & pax
- 4 place intercom
Thanks for the reply!
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2016, 03:12 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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Add to the "nice to have" list... Separate MIC inputs for each MIC, and an auto-squelching circuit that opens ONLY the active MIC for intercom. Once you hear this working, you will curse any intercom that opens all the MICs whenever one breaks the squelch. MGL was the first intercom I heard that had mastered this technique - truly stunning in comparison to most other intercoms.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2016, 03:18 PM
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ijustwannafly ijustwannafly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_JOY View Post
Add to the "nice to have" list... Separate MIC inputs for each MIC, and an auto-squelching circuit that opens ONLY the active MIC for intercom. Once you hear this working, you will curse any intercom that opens all the MICs whenever one breaks the squelch. MGL was the first intercom I heard that had mastered this technique - truly stunning in comparison to most other intercoms.
Very Interesting. All the certified planes i have flown do what your describing. Really should not be a hard concept. Ill make sure that is on the design list.
Thanks
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2016, 03:23 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Here's a link to a whole flock of audio cicuits that may be useful in your endeavor. http://makerplane.org/?page_id=1059

Also, Jim Weir at RST used to sell a $200 audio panel kit and the schematic may still be available.

Btw, it's not the electronics that are hard, it's the mechanicals.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2016, 05:17 PM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
 
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I'm right there with you on getting my head wrapped around the cost. I can understand the fully featured ones that have stereo 3D sound separation, VOX and other "cool" features. But for $2000, that's just a lot of money for these features, especially for a 2 place experimental. I have to admit, my audio panel is made of 3 standard switches :
Switch 1- Two place switch to TX between Com 1 or Com 2
Switch 2 - Three place switch to RX between Com 1, Com 2 and Both
Switch 3 - Two place switch to RX Nav 1 or Nav 2

Now this isn't perfect but it allows me to listen to 2 frequencies at once and switch between the 2 Coms or Navs at a flick of a switch.

Cost? approximately $15. Does it work? You betcha.
Is it cool and have nice features? Not a chance
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2016, 05:55 PM
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KRviator KRviator is offline
 
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Jim Weir did a 3-part article in Kitplanes a few years ago about building your own audio panel/intercom for less than a carton of beer. As many inputs as you wanted, failsafe (loss of power connected pilot headset/PTT to radio 1), dead simple.

I can't remember which edition it was but I might still have it tucked away if anyone is interested in having a crack at it yourself.
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