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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:28 pm

i'm looking for input as to the best replacement radio stack for a C182. right now i'm leaning towards the Garmin radios. from what i've heard they're really the best. here's what i need, and what i'm looking at:

x2 com radios, x2 nav radios, in panel gps (Garmin GNS 530)
mode S transponder (Garmin GTX 330D)
audio panel (Garmin GMA 340)

i was also looking at the ICOM radios, but i guess it would be wiser to keep all the same manufacturer. it would definately be more aesthetically pleasing. does anyone know if Garmin even makes TCAS? should i be considering this as well?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Fri Aug 29, 2003 3:07 pm

You can get TAS with your garmins... (its not dont have resolution advisories in light aircraft) I'm not sure how much it costs.. you can also get EGPWS with it and nexrad radar downloads. Of course youll be paying extra for all this fun stuff. The TAS works reasonably well..most of the Saratogas and Meridians that I've been in have it. Seems to be kind of picky sometimes on whether or not it wants to annunciate traffic or not. This is true with any TAS system youll get.

I would reccomend Garmin over any other brand, hands down. Best avionics out there. Get a Garmin 530 and a 430 (i always have the 530 set on the NAV page 1, bottom one on either flight plan page so i can have my next waypoints and ETE's, or on the TAS page)...
That GTX transponder is great- has some fun timers on there that make life a bit easier and makes the transponder more useful. The switching panel is the best ive used in any light GA aircraft.
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Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Fri Aug 29, 2003 3:16 pm

are you saying to get both the 530 and 430? i assume that these include com and nav radios. 4 items in my stack will definately be better than the 7 i have now. does anyone still make ADF recievers? it's nice to be able to listen to AM radio in the air sometimes.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:45 am

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:34 pm

The GNS 430 and 530 combination is popular because you get the big screen of the 530 (and advanced features) with a lower cost backup. It is also the recommended combination if you're a commercial operator because it increases reliability somewhat by eliminating many common mode failures. (Both radios crapping out at the same time for the same reason)

ADF? In commercial IFR ops in remote areas you pretty much have to have it...otherwise I'd just get a really nice AM/FM radio with a CD player. Pair it with a whizzy intercom system that auto-mutes it when the COMS are active for safety.

The GNS 430/530 will provide navigation to any NDB regardless of distance or atmospheric conditions. So don't bother spending the big bucks on an ADF just for entertainment.

By the way, you might want to consider one of the WAAS systems coming out and by-pass the Garmin units. Or even some of the highway in the sky systems. Check out

Garmin is developing some of this newer technology stuff but as far as I know its not commerically available yet.

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:37 pm

Any of the major brands will do a good job for you. Take the time to look at them all and, based on the type of flying you do, select the ones that "fit best". It's not too smart to "over buy" when it comes to avionics. You'd probably be wiser to make sure that you also have the things that will really save your bacon when things go South on you - a backup vacuum source, a backup power source, an extra antenna for the handheld you ought to be carrying, etc.

Avionics installation can be a difficult process - for that reason, go with a shop that "has been there and done that" many times before. Shops like that may not always be the low bidders.

ADF to listen to a radio? ADFs now days are best suited as boat anchors. There are some "stand alone" aircraft radio/CD players out there that will fit in a standard "stack".

Having all of the whistles and bells is very nice. (You ought to see the panel in our aircraft!) You should also budget some time and money in learning how to use the stuff. There are some courses out there that are very nice. Remember, the biggest mistake that most folks make is forgetting who and what is really flying the airplane. With some of this stuff, there is a big tendency to spend way too much time "heads down".

Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:14 am

we're having a second pitot/static system installed this time around. i've had the one blocked a number of times and hate it. i figure that with 2 it won't happen as often.  Nuts

i was asking about the ADF because i have one in the plane now. if it isn't feesable then i guess i won't get it. i wanted the CD player, who makes them though?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."

RE: Replacement Avionics For A Piston Single

Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:45 am

Blocked pitot/static systems a number of times??? What's going on? It's rare that it should ever happen - provided that there isn't something funny going on. Solve that issue first or else you could just be setting yourself up to have twice the number of failures.

As far as aircraft radio/CD players go, you have several options...

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