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Old April 8th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #1
Bruce Bruce Collins is offline
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KX-155A display is out

1999 Cessna 172S
Came out to find the display partially out then suddenly in-op but the radio seemed to worked for a bit... then nothing.
Local shop says it is a common failure on these radios.
The FBO had says their 172R did the same and they had to replace the radio.
I am an old school electronics bench tech and find that hard to believe.
I'm thinking maybe a display replacement is more like it.
Anyone have any help in this regard?
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Old April 8th, 2012, 04:04 PM
Posted in reply to Bruce Collins's post "KX-155A display is out"
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Re: KX-155A display is out

If you can get the part, good luck. Of course if it goes to the shop they will not let it out until it completly complies with the TSO under which it was sold.

Whenever I have this happen it's $400. sigh.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

I have replaced a couple KX-155 displays, which were a very simple part swap. The part is about $200. But only the display had failed and the radio still worked. Also, mine were not 155A's. It sounds like there is more problems with your radio. You will have to find a radio shop.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:04 PM
Posted in reply to Bruce Collins's post "KX-155A display is out"
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Just for giggles shine a flash light on it and see if the screen comes back, it's often the light sensor on our king radios that causes that issue.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylane81E View Post
Just for giggles shine a flash light on it and see if the screen comes back, it's often the light sensor on our king radios that causes that issue.
I've done that one to myself. Rest fingers on bezel, wonder why the display "disappeared". Haha.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Posted in reply to Bruce Collins's post "KX-155A display is out"
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Re: KX-155A display is out

What I've found is that the sensor fails and anything short of BRIGHT light it will be invisible.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 02:25 AM
Posted in reply to Skylane81E's post "Re: KX-155A display is out"
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Thanks for the replies....
The KX155A/165A display is now over $715.00. YIKES.
Labor isn't too bad at around $120.00
Not sure where to go with this but to the bank with a big sack...
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Bruce,
I have a KX 155A that I used for less than 500Hrs. If you want a virtually new radio let me know.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Collins View Post
Thanks for the replies....
The KX155A/165A display is now over $715.00. YIKES.
Labor isn't too bad at around $120.00
Not sure where to go with this but to the bank with a big sack...
eBay.

I have no idea why B/K is pricing themselves into bankruptcy. They're practically begging you to go buy something else.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartmc View Post
eBay.

I have no idea why B/K is pricing themselves into bankruptcy. They're practically begging you to go buy something else.
Does the radio/display use components that never got RoHS compliant replacements? It's a fairly old design.

That'd explain the pricing.

If Yes, they're just passing along the true cost of Europe's desire to make electronics more "green".
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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Originally Posted by denverpilot View Post
Does the radio/display use components that never got RoHS compliant replacements? It's a fairly old design.

That'd explain the pricing.

If Yes, they're just passing along the true cost of Europe's desire to make electronics more "green".
Don't think so or every part they sell has the potential to cause the next Chernobyl disaster.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Collins View Post
Thanks for the replies....
The KX155A/165A display is now over $715.00. YIKES.
Labor isn't too bad at around $120.00
Not sure where to go with this but to the bank with a big sack...
Replace radio before it happens again, because it will.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartmc View Post
Don't think so or every part they sell has the potential to cause the next Chernobyl disaster.
Ha. Pricing on non-RoHS components isn't related to their "danger" to the environment. It's because all the major fabrication houses converted to the "greener" standards and they no longer produce the older parts.

There's a robust "no longer manufactured" electronic parts business with terms last "last run, last time purchase" where warehouses stock up on popular parts whenever technology changes and chip and component manufacturers end-of-life a chip or series of them.

If Honeywell / BK is having to order parts from an ever dwindling supply in a warehouse somewhere to fulfill repair orders, they'll raise the price of repair parts higher and higher to cover costs.

Garmin is no different. Their early GPS devices are still just fine, design-wise... other than mis-judging how much memory would be required to hold all the waypoints being created out of thin air. You'll just find that components to repair them slowly dry up.

Having seen a number of otherwise perfectly viable and very expensive telecom systems EOLed instead of paying hardware engineers to re-design them with RoHS components and manufacturing techniques, I suspect Avionics manufacturers are now feeling the end of that long-tail of increasing prices on repair parts on any design created prior to RoHS.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in telecom when manufacturers started saying, "We no longer make that replacement card for that unit, and we warned your service contract and purchasing people, as well as your Operations people, of the upcoming EOL and End-of-Service dates seven years ago." Service providers assumed that huge deployed bases of units would trump that warning. "We spend $4 million a year on our service contract! Fix it. Now!"

They were surprised to hear, "We would spend twice as much money fixing it as we would make from all of our service contracts combined. It's dead. We warned you. Good luck finding parts on the used market. Service contracts no longer cover hardware."
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:28 PM
Posted in reply to denverpilot's post starting "Ha. Pricing on non-RoHS components..."
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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Originally Posted by denverpilot View Post
Ha. Pricing on non-RoHS components isn't related to their "danger" to the environment. It's because all the major fabrication houses converted to the "greener" standards and they no longer produce the older parts.

There's a robust "no longer manufactured" electronic parts business with terms last "last run, last time purchase" where warehouses stock up on popular parts whenever technology changes and chip and component manufacturers end-of-life a chip or series of them.

If Honeywell / BK is having to order parts from an ever dwindling supply in a warehouse somewhere to fulfill repair orders, they'll raise the price of repair parts higher and higher to cover costs.

Garmin is no different. Their early GPS devices are still just fine, design-wise... other than mis-judging how much memory would be required to hold all the waypoints being created out of thin air. You'll just find that components to repair them slowly dry up.

Having seen a number of otherwise perfectly viable and very expensive telecom systems EOLed instead of paying hardware engineers to re-design them with RoHS components and manufacturing techniques, I suspect Avionics manufacturers are now feeling the end of that long-tail of increasing prices on repair parts on any design created prior to RoHS.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in telecom when manufacturers started saying, "We no longer make that replacement card for that unit, and we warned your service contract and purchasing people, as well as your Operations people, of the upcoming EOL and End-of-Service dates seven years ago." Service providers assumed that huge deployed bases of units would trump that warning. "We spend $4 million a year on our service contract! Fix it. Now!"

They were surprised to hear, "We would spend twice as much money fixing it as we would make from all of our service contracts combined. It's dead. We warned you. Good luck finding parts on the used market. Service contracts no longer cover hardware."
I don't think that explains the $740 price tag for a KLN94 data card (Which I believe is just an antiquated SD card of some sort with proprietary formatting). Or why a refurbished CDI is $200 more than the meter movement in it, or why the KLN94 is more expensive than a new 430W.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:35 AM
Posted in reply to Bruce Collins's post "KX-155A display is out"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartmc View Post
I don't think that explains the $740 price tag for a KLN94 data card (Which I believe is just an antiquated SD card of some sort with proprietary formatting). Or why a refurbished CDI is $200 more than the meter movement in it, or why the KLN94 is more expensive than a new 430W.
Ahh yes. Hard to say. We were discussing the display. Those screens likely contain some unobtainable parts if one doesn't have a large stockpile of "last time buy" inventory.

Actually the 430W is also discontinued or soon to be, isn't it? Garmin builds with similar parts; they're just further up the availability curve.

The other items are probably priced high enough to pay for keeping a relatively small Division of Honeywell fully-funded while still turning a profit.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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eBay.

...
Actually not a great option if you mean find a display (unlikely) or another KX-155A. You will pay the same price or more for another radio as to replace your display and now you have a radio with a display that could fail tomorrow. Unless this is a recurrent problem, your cheapest way out is to fix it.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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Actually not a great option if you mean find a display (unlikely) or another KX-155A. You will pay the same price or more for another radio as to replace your display and now you have a radio with a display that could fail tomorrow. Unless this is a recurrent problem, your cheapest way out is to fix it.
It is a recurrent problem with the king displays.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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It is a recurrent problem with the king displays.
What would you recommend he go with? I have a Narco 12D as my primary nav/com.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:45 AM
Posted in reply to Bruce Collins's post "KX-155A display is out"
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Re: KX-155A display is out

Local folks have been going to the bottom end garmin unit and like it, I only have the OEM nav com in my plane outside of the GPS units so I'm not to up on what's out the nav/com wise, I just know that if the 89B screen isn't on the way out in our 98 172 one of the 155s or the ADF is. We swapped the transponder out for a garmin for the same reason. We've been eyeing the used 430 market for a replacement for the GPS because of the issue.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:08 PM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

there have been some posts about polishing the contacts on the display with an eraser YMMV

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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #21
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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Originally Posted by patrick wentworth View Post
there have been some posts about polishing the contacts on the display with an eraser YMMV

It's a time honored and proven solution to some contact oxidization and crud problems. I spent a lot of years fixing mostly-IBM systems ranging from 1950s and 1960s vintage mainframes (S/360, S/3, etc) to PCs to newer mainframes (everything from the S/370 to the 3090). The Pink Pearl eraser was a required and often-used tool in the tool box. Just the right amount of abrasiveness to deoxidize and clean without damaging gold plating.

I've also spent a lot of time fixing obsolete crap, a term which seems to nicely describe the vast majority of what I have seen of GA avionics. It's not unusual to find a crazy-expensive part, like a display board, loaded with parts that can still be sourced if the repair guy knows what he's doing. In other words -- the assembly is forged from unobtanium, but the individual parts may not be.

I don't know what the rules are for repairing aircraft radios and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. I'm guessing it would require a stupid amount of FAA certification. Otherwise I'd offer to take a look.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 12:17 AM
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Re: KX-155A display is out

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I don't know what the rules are for repairing aircraft radios and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. I'm guessing it would require a stupid amount of FAA certification. Otherwise I'd offer to take a look.
Youd be guessing right
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