PMA replacement for KMA24

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Sluggo63, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Sluggo63

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    Looking to replace my old KMA24 audio panel in my Seneca with one from PS Engineering. It looks like the PMA7000 series is mostly a plug-and-play replacement. Trying to discern the differences between the different models (7000M-BT, 7000B, 7000BT). Has anyone done this swap and have a round figure on labor time for this? From what I've read, the radio portion should be taken care of, but the interphone will require new wiring. I'd love any feedback.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris Ellington

    Chris Ellington Filing Flight Plan

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    I replaced a KMA24 with separate intercom that had been malfunctioning a year and a half ago in my PA28-140. Mine was a used stereo unit, a PMA7000M*S that is no longer made, but the process would be the same.

    The main harness for the radio interface is pretty much untouched except for a couple of wires that have to be pulled and replaced from the pilot's jack station if I recall. The second wiring harness that is new on the replacement unit has to be made from scratch. My original wiring was done poorly with the insulating jacket used as a ground in many areas causing numerous ground faults and hums. With my IA's oversight and assistance, we made all new wiring harnesses per guidelines from PS Engineering and the results were great. It was very time consuming as all the headset jacks and associated wiring had to be remade and interior removed and replaced. A little time is saved by not having to rewire the radios, but it's a still pretty time consuming to do right with all new intercom wiring.

    It's probably one of my best upgrades to my plane, being able to carry passengers or instructors and having crystal clear audio is worth it. And if I want to upgrade to a newer 7000 series with Bluetooth or newer features it's just pulling old one out and sliding a new audio panel in. The only downside is still being locked in an older system. If you want to spend a little more money or time, the 8000 series opens up a lot more possibilities for future upgrades.

    mscheuer will have much more information on current products and technical information, but I can attest for how well even 15 year old used unit works compared to my old system.
     
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  3. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    +1 on the PS product line.
     
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  4. NordicDave

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    @Sluggo63 bite the bullet and get the PSE 450B. Once you hear the crystal clarity of this unit in stereo, you will never go back. Like going from B&W to color TV.

    Interfacing an iPad and cell phone via Bluetooth is also a game changer. Hear annunciations clearly and answer/ignore cell calls via the 450B as well.

    Your passengers can also watch movies on an iPad isolated to their headsets as well.
     
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  5. Llewtrah381

    Llewtrah381 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I have to admit I’m not likely to ever give up on the KMA24, from what I see of the options. It’s the only one I know of that lets me put my primary radio in my ear and the secondary in the overhead speaker. To me that’s a big plus for picking up ATIS, etc because I can much more easily tune out the speaker if ATC interrupts on the primary. Plus I do a fair amount of formation flying and it’s great to separate plane-to-plane from CTAF or Tower that way.

    I’m kinda surprised all the modern ones have gone to an either-or for headset vs speakers.
     
  6. NordicDave

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    With 3D stereo via the headset, Com 1 w/ATC can “appear” center front and Com 2 w/ATIS to the right and behind your head. This is how mine is set-up. It works just like you described with the cabin speaker, except CRYSTAL clear with noise reduction.

    Any radio can present itself anywhere in a 360º circle around your head.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
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  7. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Line Up and Wait

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    Call PS. They have OUTSTANDING customer support. Mark Schauer (the founder of the company) once picked up the phone and since I wasn't at the plane, he gave me his cell number and said to call him next time I was in the hangar so we could discuss my question while the audio panel was in front of me. Now, THAT'S what I call customer service!
     
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  8. Llewtrah381

    Llewtrah381 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I’ve ridden in a Cirrus with that and it’s nice. It would take rewiring my plane for stereo to work for mine.

    I would love stereo for my music but my Warrior isn’t a concert hall so mono is fine for me, especially being a cheapskate. But, that’s a really nice feature.
     
  9. Josh Mac

    Josh Mac Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm in the same boat as OP and was originally looking at the 7000BT unit because of the only requiring an additional harness from my existing intercom.

    After speaking with a couple shops I found that sometimes the intercom wiring needs to be redone regardless, which essentially puts you in the same boat as upgrading to the 8000 or 450 series audio units. I'd recommend having an avionics shop inspect your current intercom wiring before going out and buying an audio panel. The cost different between the 7000 and newer units like the 8000 and 450 are minimal.
     
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  10. Sluggo63

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    That’s a good call. I was wondering how much work it would be extra since they have to redo the intercom. I’ll have them check it out first. Thanks.
     
  11. Josh Mac

    Josh Mac Filing Flight Plan

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    I was quoted 5-6 hours of labor to build a wiring harness to tie into my existing intercom, and 20-30 hours to redo the entire audio harness.
     
  12. SoCal 182 Driver

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    PS builds harnesses for their boxes. I think there's info on their web page.
     
  13. Josh Mac

    Josh Mac Filing Flight Plan

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    I just took another look on their website, but this is the first I'm hearing of it. I was unaware you could buy directly from PS. I didn't see anything on their website. Do you happen to have a link?
     
  14. SoCal 182 Driver

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    I bought one from them for a used panel I bought. Give them a call...
     
  15. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Interesting.
     
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  16. NordicDave

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    Top tip when installing a new audio panel:

    Have the Av shop attach, cap-off and label pig tails for 1 or 2 Aux inputs from the connector future proofing future expansion/addition. Costs 15 mins labor and potentially saves a lot down the road. Never know if or when an AOA indicator, ADS-B transponder, etc. that annunciates could be installed down the road.
     
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  17. Sluggo63

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    Ha!
     
  18. mscheuer

    mscheuer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi SoCal 182, we do not build wire harnesses, we did a long time ago but it was way too time-consuming for our manufacturing folks.
    Also, we do not sell our products directly to end-users, never have, never will. We only sell our products through our wonderful authorized dealers.
     
  19. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Line Up and Wait

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    Hi Mark - I'm looking at an invoice from PS to me, dated 1/8/2019 for a PMA450 Custom Wiring Harness with a $336 base price and a total of $624.85 with customization and shipping (the packing slip shows a ship date of 1/15/2019). My credit card statement for that month shows the charge from PS. My avionics guy was TOTALLY impressed with the workmanship, and said several times that he was glad we had PS prepare the harness rather than him trying to do it!
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
  20. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    I did the KMA24 to 7000BT swap in my Archer. I'd have to find the invoices somewhere but it wasn't very much.
     
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