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Typical recreational transceiver
The Microair 760 is a very lightweight, low power consumption, panel-mounted, Australian-designed COMMS band transceiver and NAV band receiver; it is suitable for light recreational aircraft.* The unit is illustrative of the control and operating functions to be found in most modern electronic transceivers.
*The audio identification channels (in the NAV band between 108.0 and 117.975 MHz) of aerodrome navigational aids are often used for aerodrome weather reports so VHF voice reception in the NAV band is very useful for acquiring weather and other information in-flight.
The first two sections in the following material are edited extracts from the Microair M760 transceiver installation and user manual.
1. Priority SwitchThe priority switch is a push-down switch designed to activate an emergency frequency. When pushed down briefly, the radio will go into memory mode and select the frequency stored in the memory 99 position — usually the international aviation distress frequency 121.5 MHz.
2. Volume / On / Squelch knobThe M760 is turned on by rotating the volume knob. A positive 'click' is heard and felt at the start of the rotation to indicate the on/off position. The volume is increased by rotating the knob clockwise, and decreased by rotating counter-clockwise.
The squelch is adjusted by rotating the ring behind the volume knob. There is no automatic level set for the squelch; however, the ring has a large manual adjustment to suit all situations. Rotate the ring clockwise to increase the squelch threshold and counter-clockwise to lower the threshold. When the squelch is 'broken' (i.e. the static hiss can be heard) the annunciator light emitting diode [LED] lights green.
Note: This does NOT mean you are receiving a signal on the selected frequency!
3. Receive / Transmit annunciatorThe LED operates red or green, and indicates the following states:
4. Mode switchThe mode switch is a push-down switch. When pushed down briefly, the radio will step to the next operating mode. The M760 has three operating modes:
5. Frequency adjust knobThe frequency adjust knob is used to change display values and characters. Rotate the knob to scroll values or characters up or down. Press the frequency adjust knob inwards briefly to move the cursor to the next display item to adjust. In the active/standby mode, only the standby frequency can be changed directly — the active frequency cannot be altered directly by the frequency adjust knob.
In channel mode the pilot can scroll alphabetically by turning the frequency adjust knob. Adjustment is restricted to the pre-programmed values stored in memory.
6. Toggle switchThe toggle switch is a push-down switch. When pushed down briefly in active/standby mode, the active and standby frequencies exchange places. Hold the toggle key down for three seconds to activate the scan function.
7. Liquid crystal displayThe display has two lines, each of eight characters of information. In normal operations the active frequency appears in the top line and the standby frequency in the lower line, as shown.
There is a requirement (AIP GEN 3.6 para 8.2) that pilots should monitor 121.5 MHz before engine start and after engine shutdown, to check for transmissions and to ensure that your own distress beacon is not activated.
After starting, the radio can be turned on, and the squelch adjusted so the static hiss can be heard through the headphones. The LED annunciator will light green while the hiss is heard. Use the hiss tone to adjust the volume to an appropriate level. With the volume set, turn the squelch ring to break the squelch and eliminate the hiss. The LED annunciator light will go clear.
The M760 can now be adjusted to the correct active and standby frequencies, by scrolling and pressing the frequency adjust knob.
The M760 will transmit when the PTT button is held down unless the CD lockout function is enabled and the unit is currently receiving a signal. When transmitting the user will hear themselves speaking through their own headphones via the sidetone system. The LED annunciator will light red.
If the transmission lasts longer than 30 seconds, either because you have a lot to say, or because the PTT has stuck, the LED annunciator will flash red. When this happens, check the PTT immediately. If you find no obvious fault, turn the radio off and then on again. If the LED is still red, turn the radio off and leave it off.
Pre-flight checkThe following check list is applicable to all hand-held and fixed panel-mounted transceivers and associated system components:
1. No apparent power
Interference problemsWhen airborne, continuing excessive background crackle, hum or howling heard in the headset/speaker is usually associated with the components, active wires and ground wires within the electrical system. The engine ignition system may also be a source of RF interference. The identification of the cause, and fixing the problem(s), may well be a difficult and protracted process requiring expert help.
Groundschool – VHF Radiocommunications Guide
| Guide content | Abbreviations and acronyms |
| 1. Transmitter licensing | 2. R/T phrasing | 3. VHF characteristics and radio operation |
| [4. Microair 760 transceiver] | 5. R/T procedures | 6. Safety and emergency procedures |
| 7. Aviation Distress Beacons | 8. Understanding SAR services |
|The next section of the VHF radiocommunications guide outlines radiotelephony procedures|