When designing or upgrading avionics systems we are often faced with the task of integrating components that were not originally designed to work together.

A control computer that communicates using RS-232 may need to control component that expects MIL-STD-1553 messages or an INS may put out ARINC-429 labels, which are needed by Multi function Display designed around RS-422.

Faced with problems like these, integrators must choose between two poor options. They must either give up on one of the units in favor of another unit that may be less suitable but uses the appropriate communications spec; or they must add a computer system – often PC104 – which can translate from one unit to the other. These computers are generally large, heavy, hot, and require substantial power.

The MACC is a wholly contained Miniature Airborne Communications Converter (data converter - protocol converter or translator). It contains: 

  • an internal microprocessor
  • a dual redundant MIL-STD-1553 interface
  • 3 receive and one transmit (or receive) ARINC-429 channels
  • Serial channels (1 RS-232, 1 RS-232/422/485)
  • 1 NMEA 0183
  • 1 Ethernet (10/100/Gigabit)
  • 8 Discrete I/O signals (5 can be used as an RT address instead of Discretes)

The processor may be programmed to convert data in real time from any format to any other format. The MACC is programmed directly on the hardware - i.e. with no operating system - enabling it to achieve optimum latencies. Its small size, weight, low power requirements and integrated heatsink make it an excellent candidate for solving airborne communications incompatibilities.

Before Ordering: 

The MACC is a table driven Avionics translator that enables devices supporting different communications specifications (e.g. Ethernet, Serial, ARINC 429, Mil-1553, Discretes etc.) to talk to each other.

The MACC is designed to work as COTS equipment requiring only that the user populate the translation tables and download them using the accompanying software to the MACC .

Since Excalibur engineers have the experience in dozens of projects we have found that our customer’s projects can be implemented much faster and with lower risk if we fill in the tables for them. We provide this service free of charge. The tables are then provided to the customer who may then edit them to change, add to, or refine as required by the project.

We also have experience with projects in which simple translation is insufficient and the MACC is tasked with initializing equipment on its own – without input data to guide it, or where special timing requirements or state machines need to be enforced not directly related to inputs. We often can implement these requirements into the MACC thereby solving project specific issues at lower cost and lower risk that would otherwise be possible. This may involve customization of the MACC and may incur NRE costs.

In order to implement these tables and to determine if any special processing is required we ask you to send us a written spec of your requirement.

Ordering Information: 

Part Number Description


Miniature Airborne Communications Converter

industrial temp. with MIL-STD-704 power supply


Mating Connectors & Cable Assemblies are NOT INCLUDED

Note:      "x”   specifies a protocol.  

             A* - ARINC-429
                 1 = Four receive channels
                 2 = Three receive channels & One transmit
            B* - MIL-STD-1553
                1 = Transformer coupled
                2 = Direct coupled
            C* - Serial
                1 = RS-232
                2 = RS-422 (or NMEA)
                3 = RS-485
            D* - Discrete
                1 = Channels 0-7 Inputs
                2 = Channels 0-1 Outputs; Channels 2-7 Inputs
                3 = Channels 0-3 Outputs; Channels 4-7 Inputs
                4 = Channels 0-5 Outputs; Channels 6-7 Inputs
                5 = Channels 0-7 Outputs
            E* - Ethernet
                2 = Ethernet Debug port (RS-232 available)
            L* - MIL-STD-1553 with 1760 option 
                1 = Transformer coupled
                2 = Direct coupled
            -S = Ground return isolated from shield
           -IP = Ingress Protection


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