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PS Engineering

Audio System Installations

Theory and Practices

Your PS Engineering Dealer is responsible for the product installation. Refer specific interface questions and procure any special tools or additional installation supplies from the PS Engineering retail dealer. All PS Engineering dealers have an FAA Certified Repair Station with at least a Limited Radio Rating, and are qualified to make these installations. If the installation is not performed by a PS Engineering dealer or a custom wire harness is not purchased, the warranty is VOID.

Installation of an intercom in a certified aircraft in accordance with regulations may require specific knowledge, experience and tools. FAR 65.81 (b) A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless he understands the current instructions of the manufacturer, and the maintenance manuals, for the specific operation concerned. This presentation does not contain basic information about crimping, soldering, or fundamental assembly techniques. These skills are required to fabricate a wiring harness. Either the PS Engineering authorized dealer or PS Engineering can make a custom harness for you for products made by PS Engineering.

Why cant we help with installation questions?

We dont have the expertise. We have never performed an installation, so we must rely on avionics shops that have the knowledge and tools to perform installs. We dont have the necessary resources to provide the technical support necessary to aid in installations. To assure proper installation, we have trained our dealers about the specifics about our products. This assures that we will not have warranty costs associated with improperly installed products

This presentation applies to:
Intercom Installation The intercom portion of audio panel installation

This does not apply to:

Radio Interface to Audio Panels Any other avionics installation Any wiring practice not specifically addressed

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Overview Tools and Hardware Required Theory of shielding and overall harnesses The interface for the intercom Building the Harness for the intercom How to properly make shield terminations The Intercom Installation How to ground the harnesses Entertainment interface Troubleshooting

Build Harness for Installation
Create Wire Harness per the Wiring Diagram located in the Installation Manual Route cables to the mounted mic and headphone jacks throughout aircraft Route cables to the music and telephone inputs as necessary Connect audio panel/intercom to power and ground Verify power and ground continuity

Mechanically Install Audio Panel/Intercom in panel

Note: If installing Intercom, Install Auxiliary Microphone and Headphone Jacks These are the jacks that will connect directly to either the single radio or to the audio panel. Test these jacks using a headset and in-line PTT switch to assure you can hear and transmit over the radio

Tools and Hardware Required

Wire Strippers (Ideal Strip Master) Wire Cutters Crimping Tool (Palatine PA1440) Soldering Station (WTCPT) Drill Philips Screwdriver #1

Molex Crimping tool (PMA6000/70 00 Series) Use A

Strip 18-24 AWG

Crimping tool for PMA8000/9000series (High Density)

Hardware Jacks
Three types
Microphone, Headphone (mono and stereo)

Mono Phones (1/4)

2 Conductor

Stereo Phones (1/4)

3 Conductor

Microphone (mic) jacks

Note, the mic jack has a smaller opening than the headphone jacks

3 conductor Smaller inside diameter

All wire must be aircraft grade
Tefzel insulation for flammability requirements Single conductor must meet MIL-STD 22759 Multiple Conductor must be shielded, and meet MIL-STD 27500 Microphone and stereo headphones must be 3conductor with shield. Mono headphone must be 2-conductor with shield Never use the shield to carry signals or grounds

Wire Marking
Identification markings should be placed at each end of the wire and at 15-inch maximum intervals along the length of the wire. Wires less than 3 inches long need not be identified. Wires 3 to 7 inches in length should be identified approximately at the center.

Raychem Solder Sleeves

Heat evenly until the blue and white rings melt, and provide a plug on each end. avoid overheating the wire. Watch the wire/braid connection to see the solder fully wetting the connection.

Theory of shielding and overall harnesses


Shield grounded at one end keeps RF out because undesired currents cant flow. Braided shields grounded at one end create a Faraday RF shield. Stray signals seek a low impedance (Z) path to ground. The properly terminated braid shield provides that path.

Schematic Representation
Typical Audio Installation
3-conductor w/shield 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mic Audio Low Mic Audio Hi Mic Key
Phones Audio Low
Phones Audio Hi

This shows some typical shielding schematics.

2-conductor with shield Shield Termination Floating Shields

PS Engineering Wiring Schematic

3-conductor w/shield Mic Audio Low Mic Audio Hi Mic Key
Phones Audio Low

Notice how in the top schematic the low is connected to a unit pin. In some PS Engineering installations, to save space, the low side is connected to the shield ground AT THE UNIT.
This is NOT the same as using the shield as the audio low. The number of solid wires that pass trough the ungrounded end of the shield signifies the number of conductors in the cable.

Unit Connector Unit Connector

2 3

5 6

Phones Audio Hi

2-conductor with shield Shield Termination Floating Shields

The Aircraft RFI/EMI Jungle

Countless sources of RFI/EMI Energy
Comm radios Electric motors (flaps, trim, blower) Switches Alternators & generators Strobes & beacons Other audio systems

Any and all will create noise in the audio system

Unless you follow manufacturers installation instructions

Audio Low
Return path for audio signals
Older avionics may not have a dedicated audio low use chassis ground at radio/audio panel

Never use a shield as current carrying wire. All shields must remain un-terminated at the jack end. Never use airframe ground as audio return path

Ground Do and Ground Dont

DO ground shields at one end ONLY DO tie shields together at ONE (1) end
Almost always the signal SOURCE

Dont ground the jacks mechanically Dont ground both ends of shield set
even for different systems

Dont use the shield as an audio return wire Dont EVER run mic and headphone audio in same shield (it will squeal!).

Single-point Grounding
A designated ground on the unit or system for connecting all shield and circuit grounds. Designed to accept RFI and EMI and pass safely around the signal paths. Any change in ground potential is felt identically by all subsystems, and ignored.

Block Diagram
COM radio or Audio Panel

Aircraft Radio Headphone , Microphone, & PTT


AUX Jacks Pass 2 Jacks


Pass 1 Jacks

Copilot Jacks

Pilot Jacks

Circuit Breaker

Music Jack

Power Aircraft Ground

11-33 VDC

For the Intercom installs, Auxiliary Jacks

These are a REQUIRED part of any intercom installation. It where the Intercom is connected to the radio(s) Mechanical and Electrically interface assures failsafe operation.
Bypass intercom Use if intercom is removed Essential part of troubleshooting

AUX Jacks Schematic (for intercom installations)

T o Aircraft Radio Phone Hi

AUX Headphone Jack

T o Aircraft Radio Phone Low

Aircraft Radio PTT

Aux Mic Jack

ToA ircraft RadioM A Lo ic udio ToA ircraft Radio M A Hi ic udio

Building the Harness

Strip outer jacket Comb out braid and fold back over jacket Create a drain wire for the shield:
Using heat activated LC-3 Raychem sleeves, insert a stripped drain wire between ring and braid.

Connect drain wire of the shielded cable to appropriate ground point:

If necessary, daisy-chain to other drain wires, or connect to designated ground pin

PS Engineering Harness Conventions

Microphone White Ring Mic Audio Blue Barrel Mic Audio Low Orange Tip Radio P-T-T
Headphone or Music White Tip Audio (Rt) Blue Barrel Audio Low Orange Tip Audio (Lt)

Orange Tracer White

Blue Tracer

Terminating Wire

Termination Complete
Solder melted and flowed

Seals melted

Heat Shrink conforms

Strip 1/16 (depth of middle band)

Verify good crimp by pulling on the wire.

Insert and Close

Jack Wiring
Mono Headphone
Connect Audio Hi to tip Connect Audio Low to barrel Do NOT connect shield
Pilo Pho t nes

Stereo Headphone
Connect Audio Right Hi to tip Connect Audio Left Hi to ring Connect Audio Low to barrel Do NOT connect shield
Audio (Left) Audio (Right) Audio Low
Stereo Headphone Jack

Connect Push-to-Talk (Radio P-T-T) to tip Connect mic audio to ring Connect mic low to barrel Connect low side of P-T-T to barrel Do NOT connect shield
Pilot Mic Jack

Pilot PTT

Anatomy of a Jack
Tip Ground (Barrel) Ring

Mic Jack 0.205 ID

Phones Jack 0.250 ID Stereo Jack or Mic Jack Layout

Schematic View (3 conductor)



Ring Ground (Barrel) Ring Shield

Jack/Plug Contacts
Barrel Ring


Hardware Installation
Connect pilot, copilot and passenger jacks.
Verify correct intercom operation, talk between all seats and test all modes.

Make connection between intercom and existing (AUX) headphone and microphone jacks connected to radio/audio panel

Checkout Procedure
With audio panel/intercom off, test FailSafe system by transmitting and receiving on radio from Pilot Headset positon Turn intercom on
Verify that the radio is not keyed

Test radio receive and transmit on pilot and copilot. Test intercom ISO and Crew function (if present). Secure unit, harness and jacks.

Connects pilot headphone and microphone to radio through a relay contact in closed position In fail safe when off, or power removed at breaker. In stereo installation, radio audio will be in one ear only Verify fail-safe on initial installation
If it doesnt work, the installation is wired incorrectly

Intercom Installation
Drill 6 holes
2 knobs Switch LED (if equipped) 2 mounting screws

PM1000II Tem plate

0.125 0.25




Jack Installation
Drill 15/32 (0.450) hole for each jack Place flat insulating washer on jack and insert from rear. Place shoulder washer on jack so shoulder fits into the hole. Add nut and tighten.
Be sure that the jack barrel does not contact the metal airframe. Be sure that no part of a headphone jack touches a microphone jack

Audio signal from COM radio of transmission
Designed to help person regulate voice In PS System it is passed through from the COM

Where did it go?

Not present in some Cessna systems
Separate sidetone output on some radios

Can be lost through Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) caused by improper shielding

Entertainment Inputs
One input on standard intercoms Two inputs on units with crew mode
Second input active only in crew mode

Requires a minimum audio level 1 V p-p (Line Level) compatible with portable devices
Do NOT USE speaker levels from automotive units

Input jacks should not be grounded

Install in plastic panel

Unswitched Inputs
Only Available in PM3000, P/N 11931A
Two inputs for alert audio, warnings etc.

NO unswitched inputs on other models

Kluge installations are unapproved Some COM receivers have aux inputs

Installation Troubleshooting
Excessive electrical Noise in intercom Intercom partially keys when turned on Failsafe doesnt provide headphone audio No sidetone

Possible Cause
Mic and or headphone jacks touching ground. Incorrect shield connection Mic jack miswired Stereo headphone jack miswired Not provided on com phones output Mic and or headphone jacks touching ground. Incorrect shield connection Mic and headphone signals crossed, or running in same shield Music source introducing noise Music jack is grounded

Audio squeal when volume on intercom turned up Noise in system that goes away when radio or intercom active

Intercom audio in one ear only

Stereo headset set to stereo in mono installation