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Marty_d

Alternative to steam gauges... opinions sought

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I was told by a guy who lived in Canberra at the time that an inspector who didn't find $1000 worth of repairs was considered a blot on the trade.  

We don't have regular compulsory inspections in SA, although the auto chamber of commerce has been trying hard for years to get them. But I do know that the cops can and do issue defect notices to cars they don't like the look of. Thank goodness they didn't do much of this when I was young and poor and my cars were quite unroadworthy.

These days, the cost of an annual inspection is a deterrent for me to consider moving to vic. 

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Could'nt agree more - Lets find a more aviation slanted debate that we can disagree on.

 

All the best to you all for the New Year.

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Just to bring it back on track. I have only a 10 inch Skyview and wouldn’t swap it. In front of me I have all of the normal parameters plus Tas, GS, wind speed and direction, cross wind factor and then GPS speed and altitude. 

C68AFB86-C319-4858-A109-C0A7372D9936.jpeg

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Most Dynon and Garmin panels have the ability to display 6-pack analogue `dials'. After getting my licence in decades old aircraft about ten years ago I decided this was the way to go when I built my own plane, at least initially.  However, after the first half hour I'd got used to the ribbon displays and never bothered with the analogue option.  I agree that the position of hands on a dial are quicker to interpret at a glance, and did put a round ASI, Alt, compass and vintage 8-day clock in the panel in case the electronics ever gave up. 

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And to help keep on-topic, this is my layout. 10” Dynon Skyview + Garmin Aera linked to the autopilot. Each display has its independent backup battery. My iPad (and backup iPad) provides weather, and traffic awareness via ADS-Pi.

589EED2E-EFD7-4E65-824B-38760B459C58.jpeg

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Bruce T, Victoria does not have annual RWC inspections. Only on transferring ownership. 

 

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spacesailor,

 

The Dynon D10A is working well after nearly 11 years. No problem. Panel is not shock mounted. The gyros are a silicon vibrating ring  type which reject vibration. Some of the other MEMS types may not.

 

One point - the Dynon used to go monochrome due getting hot quite easily. I replaced the access hatch on top of the panel with some perforated black aluminium I had from an old project and put in some cooling fans under the panel. No problem since, even on the hottest of days. Your radios and transponder will thank you also. Every 10 deg C decreases MTBF by half.

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13 hours ago, Mike Borgelt said:

"................................................................................

Every 10 deg C decreases MTBF by half."

Hi Mike ,

 

Forfgive my ignorance  - "MTBF" ????

 

All the best for the New Year

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1 hour ago, skippydiesel said:

Hi Mike ,

 

Forfgive my ignorance  - "MTBF" ????

 

All the best for the New Year

MTBF = Mean Time Between  Failures.

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15 hours ago, Mike Borgelt said:

spacesailor,

 

The Dynon D10A is working well after nearly 11 years. No problem. Panel is not shock mounted. The gyros are a silicon vibrating ring  type which reject vibration. Some of the other MEMS types may not.

 

One point - the Dynon used to go monochrome due getting hot quite easily. I replaced the access hatch on top of the panel with some perforated black aluminium I had from an old project and put in some cooling fans under the panel. No problem since, even on the hottest of days. Your radios and transponder will thank you also. Every 10 deg C decreases MTBF by half.

 

 

I am starting to think ahead to my dashboard even though I am at the start of my aircraft build. I have a number of choices and, as I see it, they can be:

1. Steam gauges only supplied by the kit maker (so no extra cost).

2. Android or Eyepad based system, perhaps in conjunction with a BOM* (Broadcasting Outer Module) system as well as some essential steam gauges for redundancy.

3. A mixture of a 'workhorse' Dynon  D10A system along with some steam gauges.

4. Glass panels only.

 

I would be interested in people's thoughts about what is light effective and cost-friendly.

 

(Mike,

In addition to the Dynon D10A are your other instruments still steam gauges?)

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I have a mixture. Co-pilot has steam gauges, I have the Dynon plus some home brew digital engine stuff, an MGL fuel flow/totaliser and steam gauge tacho and manifold pressure. Lowrance 2000C colour GPS.  I can easily see the steam gauges on the right. 2 ipads plus Avplan on my phone.

 

What you want/need depends what sort of flying you will do. Around the field or short flights a few simple steam gauges is fine. Use ipad with Avplan or oz Runways for nav/required charts and flight data.

 

If you plan on long cross countries you may want some more redundancy. Nothing wrong with a steam gauge ASI for that as the servicing requirements aren't high. I'd be happy with one of the newer small glass instruments for the copilot/backup, larger one for the pilot position and  a glass engine instrument. Nowadays I'd fit two batteries from the start to give complete redundancy. I like direct battery selector switches but your battery location may be for C of G purposes.

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Anything Dynon is not cheap....MGL is getting expensive but not at the Dynon level. Depends if you want dedicated EFIS or Ipad style

I have a BOM...some issues at the moment and the main one is the turbine at 85kts cant supply enough power to actually charge the battery at 100 its no issue. If I was going to use a Ipad based version then I would use the Ilevel SW3 fixed inside unit. I am still tossing up what I am going to use in the S21 and also Mabel...I am actually looking at building my own based around Oleg's one or at least part of it. Certainly the engine interface. I am trying to get him to look at a multicoloured display for the EFIS. I like the way he has done the new version in separate units connected to a CAN bus

 

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Okay - seeing as its show & tell time, I have exhausted my technical know how to try & bring you some fuzzy pictures of my FULLY  VFR capable panel. It seems to have taken 4 photos to get it all (3 probably would have done but I couldn't figure out how to remove one). I used the IPad mini to take the pics , it usually lives in the centre RAM mounting. Garmin GPSMap 96C on left also in RAM. GPS X 2 aerials on panel top.  (Ipad & Garmin plugged in during flight / power from behind panel.)  KT 74 Mode S transponder just below panel (above my knees).  CO detector right side of passenger foot well. PLB left side of passenger foot well. Fire extinguisher in foot well under my knees.  Usual collection of engine gauges mostly Speco Thomas.  OAT centre top. Engine compartment/carb inlet air temp lower left below digital clock.  Slip ball courtesy of "Level-O- Gauge" Sun Co. AvMap Ullta has AH & duplicates most other avionics. X Com Radio (terrific). Mercedes W 123 eyeball vents ,also dedicated Ipad vent behind RAM.  Circuit breakers & switches from JayCar. Horn (square button) for scaring critters off runway. All instruments/gauges reachable &/or in line of sight of pilot as necessary. Its an ATEC Zephyr, motivated by a Rotax 912 ULS (100 hp),  going on 19 years old and coming up to 850 hs. RAA/Light Sport aircraft , so no auto pilot. I have changed layout of panel. Deleted some full size steam gauges, replaced with mini & added the AvMap & manifold vacuum. Most gauges are as old as the aircraft but as mentioned earlier oil pressure became erratic so have replaced  gauge/sender. If anyone has any questions - I am happy to try and answer them 

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 OK to have all this stuff (perhaps) But do you grow dependent on it? The more you have inside to look at, the less you look at outside..   That's the way it will work out. Are you map reading and obtaining positive fixes regularly? Can you still do the basic stuff you  were or should have been taught on your Nav exercises? or do you consider that's been made unnecessary by the technology? Nev

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I'll bet he can't flap his arms if a wing falls off either.

 

The "old way" of doing things was a result of the limitations of the technology of the time. Use the new tech, just plan to have enough backups and battery power. That's the way things are done now. It sure is better. You have far more knowledge and up to the moment information from web connected data, traffic information, fuel state (if you have fuel flow and totaliser) position, storm/rain  location etc etc etc. Far better SA and a lot less time spent with maps, E6B and other relics.

 

Sure if you are flying around on Sunday mornings or evenings for an hour or so in your local area you don't need so much.

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 So if you ferry someone else's plane you are OK.?  I will disregard the wings falling off comment. You can lose all GPS easily. I asked if you are dependent on it or might be..  I suggest you are..  Saying old stuff BAD new stuff is the only way to go is too easy a way out..  The plane that hit Mt Erebus had no malfunctioning systems, but they relied on one instrument . without verification. ALL dead.. Nev

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2 hours ago, facthunter said:

 OK to have all this stuff (perhaps) But do you grow dependent on it? The more you have inside to look at, the less you look at outside..   That's the way it will work out. Are you map reading and obtaining positive fixes regularly? Can you still do the basic stuff you  were or should have been taught on your Nav exercises? or do you consider that's been made unnecessary by the technology? Nev

OK to have all this stuff (perhaps) - What! this is a basic panel (exception AvMap & manifold vacuum just for fun)

But do you grow dependent on it - No! - I spend very little time with the eyes inside the cockpit (especially round the patch) on a Nav I check my direction instruments  (a must if you hand fly as I do) as part of my regular "sweep" of the gauges.

Are you map reading and obtaining positive fixes regularly? - No. However  I still plan all of my navs on paper/maps & carry them close at hand (inc ERSA) but rarely have to consult. Counting from the eyeball, two GPS systems & two cumpass systems I think I have sufficient redundancy. When they all closely agree I am a happy little pilot. I have been flying for about 25 years now and except for a solo training nav (Canberra  - Condobolin) when I got myself a little confused, I have never actually been lost. I have long since learnt to trust my instruments and interpret/cross check what I see outside with my map (either electronic or paper).

Can you still do the basic stuff you were or should have been taught on your Nav exercises? or do you consider that's been made unnecessary by the technology? - Yes but not as quickly as my pre GPS days  and no I do think technology has made the teaching of basic navigation skills unnecessary. I think all pilots should have a grounding in basic flying/navigation/engineering, etc,

 

I am a little surprised at your comments Nev - I put up my panel as a demonstration of what can be done on  a tight budget and still have a reliable collective instrument for navigation, monitoring your engine and communicating. I am convinced "glass" is the future but I am happy & confident in with what I have now.

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I'm not directing my comment at you skippy. I'm having a bit of a discourse with Mike at the moment. plus.. It's a GENERAL concern I have and I don't think anyone is immune from becoming dependent on tech stuff. It's pretty easy to get caught up in it and go for all the bells and whistles. and WE must be honest in this as we expose ourselves to  a pretty bad situation if it all goes "tilt  GAME OVER"and you have no flight log or map with lines drawn on it. even.  You can justify "glass" on cost alone as mechanical gyros are prohibitively expensive and fail also. I was nearly killed by an A/H failing on a dark night out of Launceston. That rocked my trust in instruments for a while. Never trust any single instrument by itself.. and isn't it funny how GPS" fail to acquire satellites" happens  on marginal vis days? . When it's working it's sheer bliss and magic (almost).  Nev

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Well I guess we all become dependent, on tech stuff, to some degree . Aviation, from its start until today, has always been a quick adopter of "stuff".  To me what matters is that a suitably  qualified person (pilot) can steer his/her mount through the sky with safety, and confidence born of  training, and experience. The instruments they use or not is only an issue when they are unable to appropriately meet whatever challenges may arise.

 

What I find fascinating is the want (definitely not need) of so many to chase technology that would be better placed in a commercial/military  aircraft.

 

For the most part, the pilots I associate with are at a similar level to myself, that is VFR private, low & slow. Why they are so attracted to glass panels that will tell them that there is a mountain ahead (at their level), that will drive their auto pilot, true airspeed,  every twitch of their engine, etc etc is quite beyond me. Most of this information (overload) is not even useful for us, does not enhance our piloting skills or improve the aircraft's performance. I put it down to the testosterone factor, or if you like - the mine is bigger than yours philosophy.

 

 

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Ahh, Skip, its called the 'astronaut syndrome'.  Back in the mid 1980's, pre-GPS & only a few dinosaurs left, quite  a few sailing boat owners sucuumbed to this syndrome, with their chart table/nav desk surrounded by dials, lights and switches and transit satellite navigation, probably with a clip-board and check lists.  When I was in Nukalofa I think there was only 4 of us out of 30 cruising sailors that only had a compass,  log & sextant (& charts) for navigation. Much discussion then that modern sailors wouldn't know how to use a sextant if the transit satellite receiver failed etc. Seems not much has changed regarding attitudes...but tech certainly has. ....i met a guy at 1770 a couple of years ago on a very fast 50' sailing cat who had sailed from Hawaii via lots of islands with just an ipad with downloaded charts for navigation.  

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 I don't think I'm a dinosaur, just because I have flown without GPS.( There wasn't any) I've flown over oceans with DR. Used  a full time qualified navigator (with star/sun) shots, With triple Inertial and with GPS over Oceans. for hours  Just discarding the basics as old fashioned and not needed isn't too bright either. You need a howgozit and logged position/time/ fuel situation  backup.  Wise people NEVER trust a based single source of information, without some independent confirmation to verify it occasionally.

    With the type of flying WE do You should be looking for good alternative places to land ,alter track to avoid inhospitable country watch the clouds  for weather indications and know the local winds where you are from the dust and patterns on lakes as you fly along. Carry enough water etc GPS ? I love it. But it can be unavailable/manipulated at someone else's whim. or you can put in an erroneous waypoint.. GPS is based on something out of your control..Nev

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If glass is so good , why do all of you that have glass also have steam as a backup? It just adds weight. If you love glass so much just run with it. But I guess you don't really trust it do you? We fly VFR and under RAAus we need minimal gauges. Keep it simple... Though I have weakened and got an iPad with navigation it has let me down a couple of times. So I have a gps as well. Perhaps I should just stick to my old Shell road maps for Nav! Ken

 

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