Ooohboy, EVERYBODY loves to recommend avionics! Almost as many as
those who like to shop with other people's money! Here's my 2
cents...

First, due to your GPS question, is whether this is going to be an
IFR airplane or not? When I faced this, this summer, I decided that
we're not going to use our Sport for IFR, so it now has a XPDR,
VAL760TSO (bullet-proof) flip-flop COM, built-in SPA-400 intercom,
and AnywhereMap GPS on a mounted PocketPC (photos on BAC site).
Mike Rellihan jokingly refered to how "clean" my panel looked, and
that's because there's so little there! But I don't use VOR nav
anymore, so it's a great VFR system, with a hand-held for back-up.

The real question is what to replace your DME with? (I assume it was
put there to practice ILS approaches, which is a capability you'll
lose.) I know a guy with a 250XL and while he says it's OK, it's
still only good for VFR and he's envious of everything else that is
beyond text-only and is planning to buy PPC Anywheremap, like I
use. Unless you really need a panel-mounted IFR unit or want a
combo like the Garmin 430, it's virtually impossible to beat the
features for price in the current crop of hand-held; be they the
Anywheremap, Garmin 296/396, Lowrance 2000/1000, etc.

As for the transponder, I personally like the Garmin, but any of the
all-digitals are great and the 250Watt output of the "value" unit is
better than what Garmin has. You'll save a bunch on not having to
re-wire. If the old transponder is still working, why not just keep
it going and when it dies pick up one of these digitals? My only
question on the unit would be to ask your avionix guy about
potential future use with Mode S.

While it's old technology, the MX170B has great real power (not just
specifications) and clarity. They're big and heavy, but give you a
flip-flop for a good price, are slide-in compatible, and work great.

The PMA would do the job for the audio panel (so would a set of
switches), but add intercom and it's an OK price. To me, there are
two things that go against that particular unit, but these are
subjective. First, it's an odd size. You already have a King KX
and Narco XPDR, so maybe this won't bother you, but they're the same
width and the PMA isn't. Just something to consider. Second, maybe
my memory's wrong, but seems to me that the the Vari-Eze I'm
thinking of had to have the music input wired into the back, so in
your certified plane it may not have a jack to connect your MP3 to.

Enjoy your Christmas shopping!
Bob

--- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Gresli" <FlyBE77@c...>
wrote:
>
> Musketeer Mailers,
>
>
>
> I've been corresponding with the local avionics shop salesman and
getting his suggestions for upgrades to my Skipper. I wanted to get
some feedback from the group. I currently have the following in my
avionics stack from top to bottom:
>
>
>
> King KX-170B/KI-208 (no G/S)
>
> King KT-78A
>
> Narco DME-190
>
>
>
> As I've mentioned in the past, I want to remove the DME and add a
GPS and a 2nd com. This will give my Skipper more functionality and
safety. With a 2nd com I know I'll need some kind of audio
switching panel. I also have a portable intercom that I want to
replace with a built-in unit.
>
>
>
> The local salesman recommended the PSE PMA-4000 Audio
Panel/Intercom unit. The PMA-4000 will be entirely new and have a
warranty.
>
>
>
> Does anybody have experience with the PMA-4000?
>
>
>
> The salesman also recommended the Garmin GNC-250XL GPS/Com. He
said the moving map is a big improvement over the straight GNC-250
text-only GPS/Com. He sells the GNC-250XL new for $2689.
>
>
>
> Eastern Avionics has the straight GNC-250 listed reconditioned for
$1589. It seems to me like $1100 is a lot of money to get a basic
monochrome moving map. Both the local shop and Eastern have told me
that used GNC-250XLs are hard to find.
>
>
>
> Eastern also lists reconditioned Upsat GX-65s for $1989. However,
the local salesman also recommended the GNC-250XL over the GX-65.
My A&P mechanic owns a V35B Bonanza and has an Upsat GX-55 GPS
interfaced to a MX-20 MFD and an SL30 Nav/Com. As you might think,
he highly recommends Upsat.
>
>
>
> What are any of your experieces, good or bad, with the GNC-250,
GNC-250XL, or GX-65? I've received a few favorable reviews on the
GNC-250XL from the group, but nothing yet on the straight GNC-250 or
GX-65.
>
>
>
> The KX-170B and KT-78A in my plane are working very well and
hopefully won't need replacement soon. I figured I could replace
the KX-170B with a TKM MX-170C slide-in at some point. I've
received favorable reviews of the TKM products from this group.
>
>
>
> The salesman recommended the new Narco AT-165KA "Value Series"
digital transponder as an eventual slide-in replacement for the KT-
78A.
>
>
>
> Does anybody have experience with the Narco AT-165 digital
transponders?
>
>
>
> All opinions and words of wisdom are appreciated as always.
>
>
>
> Safe flying and Merry Christmas.
>
>
>
> Bob Gresli
>
> Skipper 6636E
>
> Hillsboro OR (HIO)
>
>
>
> BTW. Just for fun, I also looked into autopilots. Neither
Century nor STEC have an STC to put one of their autopilots into a
Skipper. STEC does have STCs to put several of their mega-buck
autopilots into a Cessna 150 or even a Piper Tomahawk. Go figure.
I imagine it's due to the fact that there are so few Skippers.
>
>
>
> TruTrak has a great selection of autopilots at much better prices,
but they are only legal in homebuilts.
>
>
>
> I very basic wing-leveler would be nice. The Skipper is very
stable in pitch. Even more so than my old Grumman.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>







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