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Marty_d

Alternative to steam gauges... opinions sought

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Everything said so far is valid. I have an older Zodiac 601 with steam guages. I replaced an old faulty certified turn indicator with an Avmap EFIS, fits into the same 3 14" hole, for about the same price as the replacement cost of the turn indicator, and I have to say, it has improved the amenity of the panel enormously. Having pitot and GPS, you get the best of both worlds, Having an artificial horizon, a compass that doesn't swing around,the 2nd panel has a GPS based ADF and IOR, I have all the capabilities of an IFR panel, though its all uncertified of course. I still have all the old steam guages as a backup, but none of them are as accurate as the efis. My next buid will be efis based, with just the ASI, Alt and compass as backup.

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I only have a Dynon ten inch Skyview with back-up battery but no back-up gauges. I have found it easy to read in all lighting conditions and I wouldn’t swap it. What if it fails? I don’t know, I’ll tell you when I find out!

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Silly question?.

When adding a glass altitude /airspeed, panel. can you use the same pitot, with a splice T piece in the line.

Or have to provide a separate pitot to each.

( was going to ask at Narromine, but decided to keep quiet)

spacesailor

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No antiques here. I have efis + separate electronic sensors tee'd into pitot & static, no problem as pressure is pressure. just be aware every extra join is a potential leak. otherwise, if your going IFR or think ice or bugs could routinely block a pitot, may justify separate sources.

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Silly question?.

When adding a glass altitude /airspeed, panel. can you use the same pitot, with a splice T piece in the line.

Or have to provide a separate pitot to each.

( was going to ask at Narromine, but decided to keep quiet)

spacesailor

This is how Dynon specifies connections.

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Silly question?.

When adding a glass altitude /airspeed, panel. can you use the same pitot, with a splice T piece in the line.

Or have to provide a separate pitot to each.

( was going to ask at Narromine, but decided to keep quiet)

spacesailor

Yes. I have both from a tee in the pitot and static lines.

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My 2 cents worth... if your only signal connection with the flight sensor pod is wifi or Bluetooth to your display, that concerns me (wired is better IMHO). Also, in Australia’s hot sunny summer, iPads can “thermal shut-down”, and not show any display until cooled off. Again, not so ideal.

 

Full disclosure: I am extremely satisfied with my Dynon Skyview. My iPads are for flight planning, OzRunways + AvPlan traffic info, maps etc.

My only “steam gauge” is a magnetic compass.

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Edited by Guest
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This is how Dynon specifies connections.

Poor reply. Should have been Tees in the Pitot and Static lines are specified by Dynon as the method of connection.

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My 2 cents worth... if your only signal connection with the flight sensor pod is wifi or Bluetooth to your display, that concerns me (wired is better IMHO). Also, in Australia’s hot sunny summer, iPads can “thermal shut-down”, and not show any display until cooled off. Again, not so ideal.

 

Full disclosure: I am extremely satisfied with my Dynon Skyview. My iPads are for flight planning, OzRunways + AvPlan traffic info, maps etc.

My only “steam gauge” is a magnetic compass.

Edited by Guest

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You blokes have more faith in never having an electrical failure than me. In all probability you won't ever have an electrical failure but it isn't certain. There is a reason that most aircraft have separate dual ignition systems totally independent of the electrical system. Have you practiced flying without the Skyview as in circuits and forced landings?

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You blokes have more faith in never having an electrical failure than me. In all probability you won't ever have an electrical failure but it isn't certain. There is a reason that most aircraft have separate dual ignition systems totally independent of the electrical system. Have you practiced flying without the Skyview as in circuits and forced landings?

Yes, in fact I have. On a VFR navex to Broken Hill, entering circuit, an early version of Dynon firmware became frozen (this one and only time, thankfully) No PFD!

I continued circuit & landing using secondary panel GPS moving map for groundspeed. Also had 2 iPads and iPhone for similar data. I remained confident I could complete the circuit for an uneventful arrival and re-boot of the Dynon.

Notably, electrical failure wasn’t really the issue, - firmware was. The backup battery in the Dynon would have supplied 1 hour of frozen screen!

The real lesson from this is redundancy of instrumentation, not electrical failure/backup power.

Of course, having a good basic technique of VFR flying by attitude & power settings also comes into play - not ideal, but quite feasible when necessary. I love sophisticated instrumentation, but old fashioned airmanship is the primary fallback safety factor IMHO. Airmanship that dictates bringing redundant equipment where feasible.

Edited by dsam

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The basic instruments is what this does. At a minimum I'd want altimeter, airspeed, turn&slip and compass. Artificial horizon may be good if I'm ever so bloody stupid as to get into cloud or dusk/dark, and VSI is handy I guess.

The Ipad has GPS and if there were 2 of them panel mounted, that provides redundancy not only for that but also for all the gauges shown on the first Ipad in case of problems with it.

Interestingly they don't how much it costs for the annual subscription to the app. I'd have to factor that in if I go down this route.

 

The BOM seems like an interesting concept, somewhat similar to what you posted in #1. It is completely wireless so all you need is for the wireless link to fail -or for that matter the screen- and you lose all your instruments ...at once. Therefore, I would still definitely have a back up set of basic steam gauges if I used this innovative product: The Bom – Levil Aviation

 

The advantage of the Broadcasting Outer Module (abbreviate to B O M ...and looks a bit like a bomb) is that this unit always continues to charge whilst in flight. The Wingbug needs to be charged before use: potentially a recipe for disaster if this unit is relied upon for primary flight instruments.

Edited by Guest

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The BOM seems like an interesting concept, somewhat similar to what you posted in #1. It is completely wireless so all you need is for the wireless link to fail -or for that matter the screen- and you lose all your instruments ...at once. Therefore, I would still definitely have a back up set of basic steam gauges if I used this innovative product: The Bom – Levil Aviation

 

The advantage of the Broadcasting Outer Module (abbreviate to B O M ...and looks a bit like a bomb) is that this unit always continues to charge whilst in flight. The Wingbug needs to be charged before use: potentially a recipe for disaster if this unit is relied upon for primary flight instruments.

That's what I was looking for when I found the Wingbug. The Bom is more expensive at USD 1595 (without ADS B receiver) or 1995 with... but yes the constant recharging is good.

 

Looks like consensus is that this stuff is all nice and shiny but standalone primary instruments like ASI, compass and of course engine instruments are still vital.

 

Thanks everyone for commenting and help guide my thinking on this.

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Can someone explain why a compass is still important when in most cockpits we have 3 or 4 gps devices (EFIS, handheld gps, tablet/ipad, phone) & its unlikely all will fail? If the gps system collapses there are far bigger probs afoot than landing in a paddock 'lost'. I have a 'steam powered' ASI as a back-up, but know I can fly & land the aeroplane sans all instruments. And I carry a handheld compass, but really, if all my gps went out, I'd either land as soon as possible or navigate by eye, the sun & terrain.

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Can someone explain why a compass is still important when in most cockpits we have 3 or 4 gps devices (EFIS, handheld gps, tablet/ipad, phone) & its unlikely all will fail? If the gps system collapses there are far bigger probs afoot than landing in a paddock 'lost'. I have a 'steam powered' ASI as a back-up, but know I can fly & land the aeroplane sans all instruments. And I carry a handheld compass, but really, if all my gps went out, I'd either land as soon as possible or navigate by eye, the sun & terrain.

 

It's the law!

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Your GNSS/GPS all depend on the US government. Nev.

 

Don't they just ... I was flying a Jetranger full of pax in a remote area in Arnhemland and we'd relied on GPS for so long, and they'd got to the stage where they didn't drop out very often at all, that 'some of us' had got a bit lazy with our procedural nav.

 

One moment I was about thirty miles inland in a rugged rocky area, the next moment my GPS had me about thirty miles offshore, and so it stayed for twenty minutes or so. Needlesstosay I got into some pretty frantic chartwork because up there fuel was always a primary consideration. I became a lot more diligent about 'proper' nav following that.

 

I found out later that the USA had decided to argue with Iraq again and so they changed the GPS coordinates for a short while to prevent the other side using the system against them while they conducted some precision bombing.

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Don't they just ... I was flying a Jetranger full of pax in a remote area in Arnhemland and we'd relied on GPS for so long, and they'd got to the stage where they didn't drop out very often at all, that 'some of us' had got a bit lazy with our procedural nav.

 

One moment I was about thirty miles inland in a rugged rocky area, the next moment my GPS had me about thirty miles offshore, and so it stayed for twenty minutes or so. Needlesstosay I got into some pretty frantic chartwork because up there fuel was always a primary consideration. I became a lot more diligent about 'proper' nav following that.

 

I found out later that the USA had decided to argue with Iraq again and so they changed the GPS coordinates for a short while to prevent the other side using the system against them while they conducted some precision bombing.

 

Very interesting: do you remember approximately when this was?

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Not exactly, but it was the start of the second Gulf War ... '02, '03 I think, or was it earlier? I was flying that area from '99 to '03.

 

I hope the US won't do that again! There could be far more disruption presently that the world relies so much more on GPS nowadays.

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I hope the US won't do that again! There could be far more disruption presently that the world relies so much more on GPS nowadays.

 

'Glitches' like that (as we thought they were) were quite frequent in the '90s. It wasn't unusual for the GPS to suddenly drop out or to spend a while giving you false position information (on one occasion I apparently drove my boat, at night, straight over the top of a large island off the Kimberley coast ...).

 

Since portable GPS was relatively new at that stage, and there were many fewer satellites than now, particularly ones visible in the southern hemisphere reasonably high above the horizon, we tended to assume they were all just drop-outs from losing contact with sufficient satellites for even a 2D fix, let alone a 3D one.

 

Later we learned that the position error ones were probably due to US military operations, and they were quite entitled - they own the satellites, after all. Which is why GPS was never permitted to be the primary means of nav for aviation.

 

The drop-outs were a different matter and were due to loss of signal from either obstruction when satellites were low on the horizon or poor antenna issues in the early portable GPS units and even some of the fixed antennas on the aircraft.

 

We had one wily fella who always had trouble with nav, he was forever getting lost and regardless of the high cost of them then, he was delighted when personal GPS became available because only a few of the smaller aircraft were fitted with them. All of a sudden his nav woes were solved ... until he experienced his first drop-out and got lost again. He then had a 'bright idea' and promptly went out and bought a second GPS unit (twin engines never fail at the same time do they?).

 

You can imagine his upset when both units always dropped out at precisely the same time.

 

I think the reason we started to see much less of the position error thing as time went on, might have been a change in US military technology. It would seem that as they started to use laser-guided weapons more, the occasions of GPS position error reduced. I know US military do still use GPS extensively for ground troop and vehicle movement and positioning, but I think they also have a much cleverer means of changing the coordinates of some satellites but it not affecting everyone, probably just those who they'd like to confuse and disrupt at any given time. Additionally a very slight coordinate change can be quite enough to protect their own troops from anything incoming and GPS guided, while the overall system still being accurate enough for the average citizen to continue using for non-critical nav.

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There are now several satellite networks like US owned GPS.

Now have GPS, GLONASS (Russian), Gallileo (EU) and BD3 (Chinese) working, US no longer has control over this tech. BUT not sure how many retail products can use these as much of the end products originated in US. Some phones do use first two.

Bottom line is US fiddling with the GPS network isn't likely to help them as much as it once did. As a result accuracies and inbuilt errors are being dialled back.

Can always fall over but if your device is watching several networks theres no problem. Pretty serious redundancy and reliability upgrade for end users.

Australia should have a error correction (WAAS style system) soon giving very accurate data in handheld devices, like cm accuracy.

Wonder when CASA and TSO devices will catch up?

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Apple IPads have tracked the Glonass satellites in addition to the US system (GPS) to improve accuracy for many years now. ... Bob

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