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Fly2HMO
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Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:14 pm

So this is, for now at least, a completely hypothetical situation but my best friend has a very nice '62 Mooney M20B, and I may get a share on it eventually. However, the avionics aren't not exactly the best, it has basic VOR/ILS NAV1/2 DME and ADF, fortunately with an HSI as well (though the slaving isn't working). Sure they get you around but the avionics are starting to show their age and we get sketchy readings often, not sure I'd be too trusty shooting an ILS down to mins with that stuff. It also has LORAN, but as fate would have it he bought the plane a day before LORAN stations were decommissioned    So now the LORAN unit is just taking up space and weight on the panel. And the ADF, well, aside from listening to AM radio, is worthless. Also, the plane is worth $35k at most in the current market.

At any rate, I was thinking about getting a Garmin GNS-430W, but at $10K installed it's a big investment. The other 50% cheaper alternative is keeping existing nav/coms and getting a GPS-only Garmin 400W. WAAS would be a great thing to have, seeing as there are more LPV approaches out there nowadays than ILSs. However, Garmin has a monopoly in Panel mounted WAAS avionics, and I can't seem to find any cheaper viable alternatives.

Since the plane would be based in the DC area, the added situational awareness of a moving map will help tremendously in not busting the DC FRZ. Also, we'd be adding value to the plane, which would help if we decide to sell it when the economy picks up again.

Here's what the panel looks like currently:



A bit cluttered, but it works-ish   This plane is already a great long distance cruising machine (nearly 140 TAS at just 9ish GPH) and is a very stable IFR platform. If this was a vintage C172 I don't think I'd ever consider doing this.

Anyways, I was wondering what you guys think, whether it's worth the investment or not or if you have any better suggestions.  



[Edited 2010-11-27 15:18:01]
 
411A
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:52 am

Remove the Loran, and install a King KLN-94...IFR approved installation, if you so desire.
Cheap and effective.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:06 am

Quoting 411A (Reply 1):
Remove the Loran, and install a King KLN-94...IFR approved installation, if you so desire.
Cheap and effective.

Why spend the money for a KLN-94 when for not much more, you could go into WAAS territory. And, AFAIK, ADS-B is going to require WAAS, so the prudent thing to do would go ahead an put the 430W in the thing. But yeah, I wouldn't go much beyond just a 430W, leave one of the current comm and nav radios to have dual backup. Perhaps look into the KSN-770, but its probably more $$$ than a 430W would cost.

Beyond that, fix the HSI. I wouldn't mess with putting a new HSI in the thing. For the money one spends on a new HSI, you can get a basic Aspen PFD, which ends up with way more value than a basic HSI.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:34 am

Quoting 411A (Reply 1):


Remove the Loran, and install a King KLN-94...IFR approved installation, if you so desire.
Cheap and effective.

I had actually considered that one first, but then after looking at prices and features I also realized:

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 2):

Why spend the money for a KLN-94 when for not much more, you could go into WAAS territory. And, AFAIK, ADS-B is going to require WAAS, so the prudent thing to do would go ahead an put the 430W in the thing.

The Bendix is only a couple hundred cheaper than the GNS-400. And I've used the Bendix 94s for a few hundred hours and they're crap, and WAASless (hey I invented a new word  ). I find the Garmins much more intuitive, again basing myself on over 100 hrs of knob pushing with them and you get oh so glorious WAAS and LPV capability 

Also when next gen comes online, we'll need a transponder with ADS-B out, and that would mean getting a Garmin GTX-330 which interfaces perfectly with a GNS-400

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 2):
For the money one spends on a new HSI, you can get a basic Aspen PFD, which ends up with way more value than a basic HSI.

Yeah one of those PFDs would be oh so nice.   
 
Mir
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:38 am

I'd say a 430W and a separate moving map (MX20 or GMX200) would do the trick nicely. And an Aspen PFD/ND if you wanted to go that far. You might also want to consider a Mode S transponder for ADS-B purposes, etc.

If you're going to be around the DC area, it's definitely a good idea to have a moving map bigger than that on the 430.

Unless you're planning on getting XM Radio, however, I'd leave the ADF in unless you really, absolutely need the space.  

-Mir
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N353SK
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:52 am

How often do you plan on flying to airports where the weather is frequently crappy and the only approach is a GPS? Fix the HSI and buy a handheld GPS.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:25 am

Quoting N353SK (Reply 5):
How often do you plan on flying to airports where the weather is frequently crappy and the only approach is a GPS?

Well the plane would be based in the east coast. Which AFAIK has much nastier weather than where it is currently located (Norcal).

We much rather have the GPS/WAAS capability should the need arise rather than be in a situation where we wish we had it (which has happened more than once).

Quoting N353SK (Reply 5):
buy a handheld GPS.

Have one already. Don't like it much though (Bendix AV8OR)
 
KELPkid
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:32 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
Also, the plane is worth $35k at most in the current market.

If you upgrade avionics, that goes straight into the used market value   

The only things not worth upgrading avionics in are things that the market doesn't like because of flying habits or lack of support, like a Piper Tomahawk..  

The only thing I can think of that could possibly have a permanent negative impact on an M20B would be Johnson bar landing gear that was never upgraded to automatic gear...looks like the panel has been (mostly) addressed here...I'd probably swap the second OBI with the VSI on the pilot's side to get the six pack into conformance with the standard if it were my bird.

The MX20 which someone else suggested is a fantastic piece of hardware if you can make the panel space for it...not sure if Garmin still makes the 480 (which was a former Apollo GPS receiver/NAV/COM inherited when they bought the company), but it will help free up panel space. The only thing I don't like about the 480 is it is impossible to punch up a GPS approach on the fly in it (you have to have a full flight plan already in the unit   ).
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aviopic
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:31 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
I was thinking about getting a Garmin GNS-430W, but at $10K installed it's a big investment.

I've updated a DC2 with the GNS-430 and a lot more.
Generally it's a very nice system with a lot of options and technically well engineered.
The only downside is the LCD which after just 1 year showed burn marks all ready.
Don't know what the English word is but if you switch to another screen you can still see the previous like it used to happen on crt's.
I'll expect it's a gonner in 5 years and for the 10 grand you would expect something better.


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Starlionblue
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:36 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 8):
The only downside is the LCD which after just 1 year showed burn marks all ready.
Don't know what the English word is but if you switch to another screen you can still see the previous like it used to happen on crt's.

The term is burn-in I believe. Typically this will happen on a plasma screen but not on an LCD, however it can happen on either.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
dw747400
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:19 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
If you upgrade avionics, that goes straight into the used market value

If you try to get your money back when selling the airplane, it is going to sit on the market a long time. Rule of thumb I've seen is you get back half the value of the installed equipment. So a $7,000 box with a $2,000 install costs you $9,000 but adds about $3,500 to the market value. And that assumes something significant doesn't come out before you decide to sell. If you put a KLN89B in your airplane a few months before Garmin announced the 430, you lost a lot of cash.

A lot of people get caught up with feature creep. Lets add an MX20--or how bout an MX200? And then we need the GDL69 for XM weather... and why a 430W when we can do a 530W? Maybe we should look at an Aspen PFD--or better yet what if we put in a 530W and a G500 PFD/MFD instead of a big MX20 or MX200 MFD?

Personally, I like the idea of keeping the Nav/Coms and doing a 400W. Best bang for your buck IMHO, and gives you functionality without spending tons on whiz-bang avionics. If you have the money for more, great--but only if you plan on keeping that plane a LONG time or consider your cash disposable.

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):

If you're going to be around the DC area, it's definitely a good idea to have a moving map bigger than that on the 430.

A 430 is more than enough real estate to have good situational awareness in DC. Simply flying in the SFRA is not justification for an expensive MFD.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:29 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 8):
The only downside is the LCD which after just 1 year showed burn marks all ready.
Don't know what the English word is but if you switch to another screen you can still see the previous like it used to happen on crt's.
I'll expect it's a gonner in 5 years and for the 10 grand you would expect something better.

That's likely a product of how you have the contrast set on the 430. I've flown on 5 year old 430's that look new as the day they came out of the box. Lots of times, you've got to play with the settings to get them how you want them.

-DiamondFlyer
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:15 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 7):
not sure if Garmin still makes the 480

No, it's dead.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):

The term is burn-in I believe. Typically this will happen on a plasma screen but not on an LCD, however it can happen on either.

   Though technically in an LCD the more correct term is pixel persistance, but nobody really ever uses that aside from uber nerds (like me    )


Also does anybody have any experience with these?

http://www.ps-engineering.com/images/PMA6000B_Front.JPG

The old bendix intercom in this bird is pretty shoddy. And not too intuitive.

I've used the Garmin intercoms and those are great, but this looks just like a Garmin and from what I read they perform just as well but are significantly cheaper.

It sucks these guys don't make avionics for normal category planes:

http://www.dynonavionics.com/docs/SkyView_Displays.html

Less than $3K and you get a system in some aspects better than the first G1000s. Too bad they're only for LSAs and Experimiental planes. Maybe we can downgrade (upgrade?) the Mooney to experimental category?    
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:34 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 12):

Also does anybody have any experience with these?

Less than $3K and you get a system in some aspects better than the first G1000s. Too bad they're only for LSAs and Experimiental planes. Maybe we can downgrade (upgrade?) the Mooney to experimental category?

Yup, the PMA6000 is the way to go. Much cheaper than the Garmin one, and basically the same quality. And speaking of the Dynon stuff. It is amazing, after having flown behind some of it. Its a shame the Garmin stuff costs as much as it does.

-DiamondFlyer
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Starlionblue
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:19 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 12):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):

The term is burn-in I believe. Typically this will happen on a plasma screen but not on an LCD, however it can happen on either.

Though technically in an LCD the more correct term is pixel persistance, but nobody really ever uses that aside from uber nerds (like me )

And from now on, me. 
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sccutler
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:04 am

1. Ditch the LORAN, of course (...says the guy who still has his Northstar M1 in the panel, because he's still mad that the network was shut down without good cause...);
2. Lose the KNS80 RNAV;
3. Garmin GNS430W - so much of the cost of an IFR-certified GPS install is the labor, you really can't save that much;
4. Audio Panel? PS Engineering's are far and away the best; PMA7000 or PMA8000.

I see the Brittain Accutrak is still in the plane - those can still be overhauled and, when set up properly, are very sound units. The current owners of the company provide excellent support. Really.

And anyone who thinks the "johnson bar" gear system should be replaced with electric should be flogged - that's the simplest, most elegant gear system ever.

---

It's so fun to spend the money of others...
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:04 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):
Its a shame the Garmin stuff costs as much as it does.

True. But on their defense what probably drives up costs is the TSO and FAA certifications. Whereas Dynon doesn't have to certify their systems anymore than Samsung certifies their TVs, saving costs.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 15):
...says the guy who still has his Northstar M1 in the panel, because he's still mad that the network was shut down without good cause...)

I feel ya. Truly it was one of the most understated mistakes of this administration. It was the perfect backup in case of a GPS constellation failure. I was loooking forward to using LORAN one day, just for kicks, but that won't ever happen But what the heck am I supposed to do now when I'm shooting an LPV approach down to mins and a solar flare wipes out the GPS satellite constellation, pilotage?!?!   

Quoting sccutler (Reply 15):

I see the Brittain Accutrak is still in the plane - those can still be overhauled and, when set up properly, are very sound units. The current owners of the company provide excellent support. Really.

Interesting. We never really use it. But upon further reading apparently they have a good reputation. Problem with this one is that the wings rock, sometimes quite badly. If you set it just right it will track correctly, but eventually the wings will rock again. It definitely needs an overhaul. The plane is rock solid otherwise though, so hand flying with proper trimming it's not bad at all. I wonder if it will interface nicely with a Garmin GPS   

Quoting sccutler (Reply 15):

And anyone who thinks the "johnson bar" gear system should be replaced with electric should be flogged - that's the simplest, most elegant gear system ever.

I'll admit I've yet to be able to extend it properly    I dunno if it's just this particular plane but I can bring the bar up just fine, but that last notch where it latches in place I just find it impossible to stick it in there (pun NOT intended   ) There's definitely some finesse in doing it.


I was thinking, a panel overhaul would definitely be in order as well, and they're not that expensive. I really liked this layout:

http://www.pennavionics.com/M20C_4.jpg

http://www.pennavionics.com/


Heard good things about these guys.
 
sccutler
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:07 am

For the autopilot, see: http://www.brittainautopilots.com/index.htm

I spoke with them at one time, when I was considering purchase of an S35 Bonanza with a Brittain system. They seem very nice, and I have heard the service is good. I am further led to understand that some of the Brittains can be interfaced to a GPSS module. I'd call, because the Accutrak is, I believe, one such system.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
KELPkid
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:21 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 15):
And anyone who thinks the "johnson bar" gear system should be replaced with electric should be flogged

Flog away, pal   

Anyone who thinks that dinking with the gear (other than moving the handle down) on an instrument approach deserves 40 lashes in my mind  

Automation is there to help, not to hurt...I know Mooney owners have two camps when it comes to the gear system, Johnson bar lovers and Johnson bar detractors. At the end of the day, though, I believe in a serious instrument machine, fire and forget (barring any system malfunctions) is a better method.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:02 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):

Anyone who thinks that dinking with the gear (other than moving the handle down) on an instrument approach deserves 40 lashes in my mind

What are you messing with the gear on an approach for? Gear down before the FAF. Pull them up if you have to go missed. Not sure how that is any harder than using johnson bar flaps, but who knows.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
pilotpip
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:14 pm

If you want to simplify, I'd ditch the loran, ADF and DME and go with a Pair of 430s or perhaps a king setup. Either would give you what you need. You don't need ADF and an IFR approved GPS set up can replace the DME.

One thing to remember is that everything in aviation is much more expensive than it seems. That panel may look inexpensive, but by the time you replace wiring and many of those old engine instruments you're going to dump more into labor than the panel itself. Also when dealing with radios that are "showing their age" you may not improve the overall quality if you are dealing with an old coaxial cable and antenna. Add parts and labor there too.

I had a student who decided to buy a 340 because he got it cheap. Being a tech geek he replaced the panel with twin 530s, a sandel digital HSI, and a number of other goodies. A paint job and new interior made it one of the nicest cabin class cessnas I've ever seen. The panel alone cost more than he initially spent on the aircraft. I took it to the avionics shop 4 times after the upgrade chasing issues associated with upgrading a nearly 40 year old plane.
DMI
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:45 pm

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 20):
If you want to simplify, I'd ditch the loran, ADF and DME and go with a Pair of 430s or perhaps a king setup. Either would give you what you need. You don't need ADF and an IFR approved GPS set up can replace the DME.

That was the very first idea I had in mind. But then I had a look at prices...   

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 20):

One thing to remember is that everything in aviation is much more expensive than it seems. That panel may look inexpensive, but by the time you replace wiring and many of those old engine instruments you're going to dump more into labor than the panel itself. Also when dealing with radios that are "showing their age" you may not improve the overall quality if you are dealing with an old coaxial cable and antenna. Add parts and labor there too.

True. We figure a lot of the problems now are due to wiring. A complete reconstruction of the whole plane's electrical harness should be in order.

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 20):
Being a tech geek he replaced the panel with twin 530s, a sandel digital HSI, and a number of other goodies.

Is he an A&P? And I guess this falls into a huge gray area but couldn't we technically install some of the stuff ourselves and then have it checked/certified by an A&P/IA? I've heard of people doing that but I'm not too sure the FAA approves of that.
 
pilotpip
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:10 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 21):

Is he an A&P? And I guess this falls into a huge gray area but couldn't we technically install some of the stuff ourselves and then have it checked/certified by an A&P/IA? I've heard of people doing that but I'm not too sure the FAA approves of that.

No, at the time he wasn't even a private pilot.

I would imagine you would have an incredibly hard time finding anybody willing to risk their certificate because you want to save a few dollars. Not to mention the fact that an upgrade of that magnitude will likely see a few items that need troubleshooting down the road. Why not find a reputable shop that will stand behind their work with a warranty? If you want to wire it up yourself, build an experimental.
DMI
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:56 pm

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 22):

I would imagine you would have an incredibly hard time finding anybody willing to risk their certificate because you want to save a few dollars.

Yeah really. I'm pretty good at electrical matters when it comes to cars, computers and stuff but I still rather a pro did it. But the thought of DIYing it did cross my mind...      
 
Mir
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:29 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 21):
That was the very first idea I had in mind. But then I had a look at prices...

One 430 should be enough. And I'd definitely recommend the 430, unless you find that your problems with the current nav/comms are due to wiring instead of the age of the boxes. Even with a good GPS, I'd want to have at least one comm/nav system I could rely on.

Unless a 400 plus a new comm/nav ends up being cheaper, of course.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
freeze3192
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:45 am

Why not a panel mount 496? It's a cheap upgrade with enough features to get you by. You can also get XM WX and XM radio, which I believe the 430 doesn't have the capability for. Also, if you get the GTX330 installed you can hook that up to the 496 for traffic. Add a Dynon PFD and ND and you've got yourself an airplane for significantly less money than a 430W installed.

The only downside is that you'll still have to file /U or /A if you plan on going IFR. It's not even a big deal really because if you put "VFR GPS Equipped" in your remarks on your flightplan, the controllers will give you direct. I did it many times in a C150 all over the midwest.
"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:43 am

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 25):
Why not a panel mount 496? It's a cheap upgrade with enough features to get you by. You can also get XM WX and XM radio, which I believe the 430 doesn't have the capability for. Also, if you get the GTX330 installed you can hook that up to the 496 for traffic. Add a Dynon PFD and ND and you've got yourself an airplane for significantly less money than a 430W installed.

Why spend all the money on a glass panel, and be stuck filing /U or /A. Plus a Dynon can't go in a Mooney, because its not an experimental bird. Yes, you can get weather on a 430, but you'd have to have the GDL69 installed, which ends up pushing the price higher.

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 25):
The only downside is that you'll still have to file /U or /A if you plan on going IFR. It's not even a big deal really because if you put "VFR GPS Equipped" in your remarks on your flightplan, the controllers will give you direct. I did it many times in a C150 all over the midwest.

That's not legal. If you accept a direct to clearance, you have to be able to fly that using the on-board, approved navigational equipment. The only quasi-legal way to do what you describe is to ask for a heading (given to you by the VFR GPS) for radar vectors, then direct when able (in the case of a VOR, you could then use the VOR when in range to go direct). Still, most people would say it isn't legal. In any case, if you want to go legally direct, put an TSO'd GPS in the plane and be done with it.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
pilotpip
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:24 am

Why pay for a GDL 69 and the insanely expensive XM weather subscription when you still have FSS and everything else available (and free). If there are imbedded TS and/or icing conditions I'm going to wait until they pass in a single engine aircraft with no anti ice/deice systems available anyway.
DMI
 
sccutler
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:56 am

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 27):
Why pay for a GDL 69 and the insanely expensive XM weather subscription when you still have FSS and everything else available (and free).

I need the XM maybe 3-4 times per year - and on each of those occasions, it pays its way for the whole year!

If there are imbedded TS and/or icing conditions I'm going to wait until they pass in a single engine aircraft with no anti ice/deice systems available anyway.
[/quote]

Problem is, sometimes you leave on a flight and, by the time you get on down the road (so to speak), things change. THe XM depiction really helped with planning strategy when (for example) I was flying from Titusville, FL (KTIX, east of Orlando) to eastern Louisiana, non-stop. Even in something fleet like the Bonanza, it still takes a while, and a lot can change on the way.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:43 am

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 25):
Why not a panel mount 496? It's a cheap upgrade with enough features to get you by. You can also get XM WX and XM radio, which I believe the 430 doesn't have the capability for. Also, if you get the GTX330 installed you can hook that up to the 496 for traffic. Add a Dynon PFD and ND and you've got yourself an airplane for significantly less money than a 430W installed.

That setup sounds great, for an LSA   . The only equipment you mentioned certified for part 23 planes is the GTX 330.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 26):

That's not legal. If you accept a direct to clearance, you have to be able to fly that using the on-board, approved navigational equipment. The only quasi-legal way to do what you describe is to ask for a heading (given to you by the VFR GPS) for radar vectors, then direct when able (in the case of a VOR, you could then use the VOR when in range to go direct). Still, most people would say it isn't legal. In any case, if you want to go legally direct, put an TSO'd GPS in the plane and be done with it.

  

Not only is it illegal, it's stupid. Panel mounts just don't have the reliability of TSO'd units (speaking from experience), regardless if they got WAAS and RAIM. Not to mention they clutter up the cockpit (depending on type).

Quoting sccutler (Reply 28):


Problem is, sometimes you leave on a flight and, by the time you get on down the road (so to speak), things change. THe XM depiction really helped with planning strategy when (for example) I was flying from Titusville, FL (KTIX, east of Orlando) to eastern Louisiana, non-stop. Even in something fleet like the Bonanza, it still takes a while, and a lot can change on the way.

Exactly. I've had more than a few flights ruined due to weather that seemed worse than it actually was, thunderstorms popping out of nowhere and becoming fully developed by the time I'm done preflighting and flight planning etc. However, I'd probably get the UAT to get ADS capability, as WX comes with it in the form of FIS-B. Not as detailed as XM, but damn good still, for free. My school was one of the first places in the world to use ADS technology throughout the fleet and damn, it really is a game changer. Can't wait for NEXTGEN to come online, when everything will be based on ADS-B.
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5033
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:49 pm

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 25):
The only downside is that you'll still have to file /U or /A if you plan on going IFR. It's not even a big deal really because if you put "VFR GPS Equipped" in your remarks on your flightplan, the controllers will give you direct. I did it many times in a C150 all over the midwest.
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 26):
That's not legal. If you accept a direct to clearance, you have to be able to fly that using the on-board, approved navigational equipment.
Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 29):
Not only is it illegal, it's stupid.

I concur---especially since it's a certificated airframe. TSO, TSO, TSO.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
freeze3192
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:36 pm

All you have to do is ask for a radar vector.

i.e. Center, N123XG, request vector of 153 direct BWG

Therefore, the 496 is not your primary source of navigation so you're legal. I know of a pilot that did this and got it every time he flew his run in a Aero Commander.

If you want TSO avionics, you're going to go way over your budget. You can't get the nice setup that you want on the budget that you provided. It's next to impossible.
"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:17 am

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 31):
All you have to do is ask for a radar vector.

i.e. Center, N123XG, request vector of 153 direct BWG

Therefore, the 496 is not your primary source of navigation so you're legal. I know of a pilot that did this and got it every time he flew his run in a Aero Commander.

You didn't say it that way previously. While I suppose that is technically legal, it still isn't the smartest thing to do. But if really, really wants RNAV capability without an IFR GPS, you can get used KNS-81 units for under $800. Would give you a newer Nav/ILS radio, with the added capability of RNAV. Something to consider for those on a budget

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
freeze3192
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:35 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 32):
While I suppose that is technically legal, it still isn't the smartest thing to do

Care to explain your reasoning behind it?

Now, I'm not going to go out and shoot approaches down to minimums (or at all) with it. I don't even fly approaches in singles down to minimums period.

I'm talking flat land, VMC and following along with VOR navigation. It's legal, and as long as you're not stupid about it, it's safe.

I never did it until climbing out of MDW the departure controller asked me if I had a VFR GPS on board. I said I did, and he said what is the heading direct to your destination? I said 130 (or whatever it was) and he said "fly heading 130 direct XYZ". So, it's common enough that controllers are aware of this capability and use it as a tool to get you out of their airspace faster.
"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:12 am

Quoting freeze3192 (Reply 33):
Care to explain your reasoning behind it?

What are you going to do when you go lost communications. At that point, you now have a clearance which you have no legal way to navigate to. Sure, I'd do it if its VMC and I'm on an IFR plan. But if its IMC, I'd rather not deal with the potential problems that could be associated with the radar vectors for a route.

And I don't care what ATC thinks of having a VFR GPS on board. If it isn't TSO'd, I cannot legally accept a fly heading xxx then direct an intersection clearance. I could accept a fly heading xxx then direct to a navigational aid, as long as I've got the equipment on board to navigate there. Pilot messes up, pilot dies. ATC messes up, pilot dies.

But really, if you want cheap RNAV, just put a KNS-81 in. Not a bad deal, especially if you need a new navigation radio anyway.

-DiamondFlyer

[Edited 2010-12-07 17:13:12]
From my cold, dead hands
 
Fly2HMO
Topic Author
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:54 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 34):

But really, if you want cheap RNAV, just put a KNS-81 in.

Hmm, I just looked up the pilot guide for that system, it looks like it would take lots of preplanning and fumbling with charts to find waypoints, specially if you're already in the air, but it seems good and cheap enough to be considered.

I'm so pissed LORAN is dead. I really wanted to use the LORAN unit in this plane, but alas, it was purchased a day before LORAN was (stupidly) decommissioned.   

I remember reading an article, probably in AOPA, where you could get newer LORAN units for under $1000,and how they were a very good alternative to GPS, not to mention the NAV database subscriptions were dirt cheap. Oh well, so much for that  
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:00 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 35):
Hmm, I just looked up the pilot guide for that system, it looks like it would take lots of preplanning and fumbling with charts to find waypoints, specially if you're already in the air, but it seems good and cheap enough to be considered.

Yeah, I've heard it can be difficult to figure out, but I would imagine its like a lot of thing in aviation, steep learning curve. Once you figure it out (which may be difficult, because I don't know too many people who know what true RNAV is, let alone how to use it) it's probably a good thing to have. But the real answer to the problem is, sell the Mooney and pick up an experimental. 

LORAN was awesome. I flew with it a couple of times, it did everything like a VFR GPS. Not many (if any) GA IFR approved LORAN systems, but I think it was worth keeping around. eLORAN would have been even better.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
Fly2HMO
Topic Author
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:40 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 36):
But the real answer to the problem is, sell the Mooney and pick up an experimental.

Well, from what I was looking now, we may be better off selling it indeed, and getting a newer M20J. Many consider it the best Mooney ever: 160kts at 10GPH if not less, and uses the venerable and cheap to fix O-360 . And it's basically the same airframe as the current Mooneys.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 36):
eLORAN would have been even better.

Indeed.
 
sccutler
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RE: Avionics Upgrade On 50 Y/o GA Plane, Ideas?

Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:52 am

My Northstar M1 was flawless right up to the day the system was ordered vandalized. Still ticks me off.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...

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