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I'm a long ways off needing instrumentation for the Zodiac but while I'm waiting for the kit I've started to think about the instrument panel layout. I'd love to go Glass but it's considerably more expensive than steam so I'll probably settle for analogue gauges.


Has anyone done an objective comparison between glass and analogue. Cost wise and usefulness.


There are a few more questions that forum members may be able to help me with :-


· Where can I buy gauges, switches, breakers or fuses. (In Oz or overseas)


· Are there particular brands of gauges that are better than others.


· Is there aviation specific wiring/connectors that I should use.


Ian – do you have plans for the shop to stock a range of these items ?.



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I already have a range of analogue gauges but can also get the glass stuff - I've gotta get this darn shop going - can someone give me some hours of their own day 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif



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I would be considering as a minimum a 4 inch Dynon EFIS.


Price one of those against a Vacuum Pump, AG, DG & turn and you'll be surprised how much better it is and it doesn't need maintenance.


Analogue engine instruments are ok, but again the Dynons are capable of indivdual CHT & EGT temps which are handy, especially with a Jabiru engine if you are fitting one.



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G'day Case


I'm almost as new to this kit caper as you are, but below are a couple of items that I lost sleep over when designing my panel that you can see in my kitbuilding thread.


And I need to qualify that I'm not trying to do Ian's shop down either .... but the following might be worth a thought.


1 Do you REALLY need 3" analogues? Admittedly I have come to RAA via Sailplanes, but I find the 53 mm units plenty visible and went that way. This frees up heaps of panel space.


2 I like gauges that look like aviation units and not part car gauge. A sub-hate (for me personally and it really is a bit of a wank) is gauges with rims that protrude on the panel. Most aircraft end up with a mix of the 2 which I believe detracts a bit from the overall airplane look.


3 So to cure Items 1 & 2 I went with UMA gauges from the USA. Look great and terrific service dealing direct, but they are a bit pricier than those from China. Hopefully also better quality and accuracy. UMA have a great on-line catalogue.


4 I went with a Dynon 180 that adds $10,000 - 12,000. But it is spoofy.


5 I don't reckon you should go with glass alone as if the glass fails you lose the lot. I reckon that safety needs analogue for the key flying gauges and glass for whatever else you can afford. Mine gives backup for all flying gauges.


6 Given all of the above, and a schmick Winter altimeter, + a good moving screen GPS, you'd be amazed how quickly $35,000 (see correction in post #9 of this thread) disappears behind the little bits of glass in the panel, so you need to make sure you enjoy those gauges lots.


7 I spent weeks/months pouring thru the Aircraft Spruce catalogue of gauges. They will send you a catalogue on CD that aids the late night study.


Hope this is of use.


Regards Geoff



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Me too!


"$35,000 disappears behind the little bits of glass in the panel, "I want a complete plane for less than that:crying: Nice for those that can, but.

And I want it trailerable and the trailer as well please!





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My panel set me back around $9k plus the original vfr stuff supplied from Jabiru worth probably around $1k. If you used a better brand of gear such as proper altimiter and not the Chinese stuff you'd quickly add a few thousand to that.



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Poor typing skills too.


That should have read "$25,000" in my post #4, and includes all of the sensors etc for the glass panel, together with radios and transponder.


So whack it back on the agenda.


Sorry about that.





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What do you intend to do with the plane and what can you legally do. RAAus rego will need only an altimeter, ASI, engine instruments, depending on 2 or 4 strole, compass and a timepiec. Anything else is luxury and if you anticipate doing long trips then a directional gyro would be good. A lot of planes have a VSI fitted but in my opinion the DG would be the first extra. GPS is good for being able to tell others where you are and to aid VFR, a handheld will do most of what is required, but will not show airspace.


I often wonder which instruments get used by RAAus pilots and which are just there for show.



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4 I went with a Dynon 180 that adds $10,000 - 12,000. But it is spoofy.

I've just been looking at the FlightDek D180 at the Dynon site. I assume it's the one you have. Adding the instrument, options, Sensor pack, exchange rate, GST I come to about $5,000. What have you added to make it $10K-12K ?


Looks like it could be the way to go



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest StuartAberdein

Have you looked at the MGL Avionics range?




Have a look at the Enigma and Oddyssey from http://www.mglavionics.co.za/


or their Oz supplier http://www.lightflying.com.au/


Very nice gear - much more capable and much cheaper than Dynon etc.


Also, have a look at the threads on them in the Van's Airforce forum
















BTW I have no connection with the company but I am planning to put an Odyssey (and possibly an Enigma as well) into the RV-7 I am building.


Good luck,





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  • 8 months later...
Guest Bendorn

I now have a Jabby LSA55 with analogue guages, ASI, ALT, Tacho, Slip/Skid and the oil pressure & temp.


Can I install an EFIS to incorporate most of that?? More to the point, am I allowed to??


Also, $2200 USD for the D-10A but what about the install costs and wiring and probes and all the other doovie whackies that go with it. What is a realistic cost?



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Call me old fashioned but I much prefer the steam gauges. You have to have them anyway. Whether mandatory or not you'd be foolish to rely totally on anything solely electronic.


Cars used to have lots of gauges, then around the 70's early 80's those ghasty electronic dashboards arrived with bright yellow and orange flashing bar graphs. Now you see all the sexiest cars have lovely gauges again, not an LED in sight hardly. Thats where MY heart lies.


I had the choice when I order my new LSA last year to have the glass but it just didn't grab me. I don't like computer games/sims either.



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Yenn is on the money. The DG is a goer because the normal compass is too erratic. A gyro (has to be) AH is nice but a good one is very expensive and do FAIL occasionally. Glass (a la Dynon) is impressive, but can you see these things in bright sunlight? I have rarely been in a plane (RAAus) fitted with glass where it was all working properly. Bear in mind. "Lots of instruments, do not a good pilot make". Nev..



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