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Cris last won the day on February 26 2013

Cris had the most liked content!

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About Cris

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    Brigantine, NJ
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    Jaguar XKE & Porsche sports cars & boating
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    M20S Screamin' Eagle ATP, CFII, AGI

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  1. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    If you are at all interested in the 3100 we now need to push this over the finish line in order to make this happen this year. There is a disconnect between our interest and the PO’s submitted by the shops. Barry indicated he would be willing to help out by checking personally with your shop. To do so email Barry with your name, A/C and shop. This is important in that Geneysis just sent out an email announcing the airframes that they will certify next. Mooney’s are not on the list and won’t be if we don’t get the 15 PO’s submitted within the next couple of weeks. Barry can’t even speak to his engineering group without the PO’s in hand. Really this is non binding and you will be helping out a fellow Mooney owner. Let’s consider this a hurry up offense!
  2. Cris

    Pitch trim install

    Maybe Allan has the trim switch that Jerry is missing and you will need.
  3. Cris

    Pitch trim install

    Try Jerry at ACpartswhse 423 231 3491 He has an extensive inventory of parts for Mooney’s. Worth a call to see if he has what you need from a Mooney.
  4. Cris

    Pitch trim install

    It would appear that this autopilot has an an option for electric pitch trim. I’d think that would be the least expensive and most efficient method to retrofit your aircraft for trim. The alternative is what you already know- A new autopilot with trim.
  5. Cris

    Pitch trim install

    What autopilot do you have? It will help to answer your question.
  6. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Apparently the finish line is in sight but we still need the Avionics shops to submit a P.O. on your behalf. It doesn’t count if you tell your shop you want the 3100 but they do not submit the P.O. in checking with Barry he said 4 folks who committed pulled their P.O. due to circumstances. ie Sold A/C or have A/C on market etc so we need more to step up to get this scheduled. Check with your shop and confirm the P.O. has been submitted.
  7. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Bob The 3100 form factor is only shown as 6.25 W for the radio rack X 1.45h X 9”d according to the brochure. I intend to mount it in front of the right seat so my right seater can operate it easily. In terms of cost read thru this thread as there is info related to the equipment. In my case I have an Stec 30 similar capability to your 50 and with manual electric trim. The equipment cost is $10495 list. I have an Stec HSI so can’t comment on that hookup with the Aspen other than to say the brochure states the Aspen EFD is accepted for Heading and navigation. I’m thinking about 30-40 hours of install time for me. This is based on similar quotes for me to install an Stec 55X before I learned of the 3100. This is roughly 1/2 the time/cost to install a new autopilot with new servo’s. If you read the install manual from some of the experimental autopilots there is a lot to do with the servo installation not to mention one has to take out the existing servo’s. Hope this helps.
  8. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Well with Jeff-S and Marauder I make that just two short of the 15 PO’s required. Maybe Stec has those in hand. Last year I had the misfortune to place a deposit on an proposed ADSB solution. That company went out of business and my deposit was lost. In my head I’ll not do that again and maybe companies like Genysis are simply trying to gauge interest while maintaining good customer relations intended to make one comfortable with their decision. Look how many questions seem to continue to percolate. A cancellable order required me to do some work ie get a quote from my shop and get them to enter the P.O. so not completely free considering my time and travel cost but certainly makes me comfortable. Good marketing.
  9. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    That is great information. Curious as to which Stec you have installed and are upgrading?
  10. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Well we are certainly close. Let’s ask our Mooney friends that may not be on MS or look only occasionally. I’m thinking Caravan etc. There must be four more out there so we can get this in the pipeline. FYI on installation costs. In checking around I find that Stec uses 70-80 hours for a new installation including servo’s. Quotes I’ve gotten for an upgrade using the existing servo’s range from a low of 15 hours to 45 hrs. I’d think something in the 30-35 hour range is probably appropriate for an Stec 30 with manual electric trim to the Stec 3100. Compare that with the cost of one of the other autopilots as I can’t see how they would be less costly to install especially if one considers that the old system with servo’s would need to be removed. If one uses Stec as a guide then half the install cost consists of installing the servos, brackets and wiring.
  11. Cris

    ILS Approach

    The Stec 30 is a great autopilot but it is basic. It is relatively bulletproof proof and thus very low cost to maintain. Like most autopilots 90% of the time you will use heading, alt hold & GPSS. However It will not intercept and track a course unless it is within 10 degrees of the lateral course. Thus you can not “arm” it with Heading/Nav. When on the localizer or following the magenta line use “TRK HI”. Bear in mind that It will hold altitude but will not intercept/track a GS. Same is true for an LPV. Verticle mode on an approach must be handled by the pilot which is no big deal. The use of GPSS will work to intercept the final approach course but then you must change over to “TRK HI” to legally fly the localizer. (Note: TRK LO is used when tracking a VOR to allow it to pass over the VOR without a lot of undulations. You will rarely use TRK Lo.) If you have a 2nd Nav you could set it to the localizer and monitor the approach while continuing to fly with GPSS. One hint to help with sensitivity is to set the CDI course width to less than the standard 5nm enroute on your GPS. You can download both the Stec 30 POH and GPSS from the Genysis site for details.
  12. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Chris The Garmin requires a G5 to provide heading. I don’t believe it will work with your Aspen but maybe that will change. At least that is what Garmin has said previously that they require a G5 and is posted on their web site. If you want auto trim the GFC500 will require their trim servo which adds to the cost. If you want a flight director then a 2nd G5 is required. Add them up and you will soon be well beyond the upgrade cost of your Stec 60 for a GFC500 not to mention the additional cost to replace your Stec servo’s with the Garmin servo’s and the associated wiring brackets etc. You are my hero with your panel and of all folks you know the way these projects expand. Oh almost forgot you need to add an adapter to the GFC500 to allow your GTN to use GPS Nav. WARRANTY: Since this is a non tso’d Garmin product it carries only a one year warranty compared to the Stec3100 3 year warranty and two years on existing servo’s if you put a P.O. in before the STC. Is issued on our Mooney’s. In terms of the Aspen displaying the data/controls and interfacing with the 3100 that comes from Barry but as I said this is cancellable prior to when the STC is issued so it’s a non issue to me. I suspect Aspen will require some fee like they do for the Stec 55X interface. However the Aspen will interface with the Stec 3100 now. As I mentioned Stec has developed this to work with mechanical HSI EFIS and glass so you are good to go. Now Let’s look at the Tru Trak. That system does not have electric trim period so how will that be handled? It also will only work with GPS. It will not track the VOR/LOC or the associated GS because it cant be interfaced. Do you really want to give up that VLOC capability that you have with your current autopilot? You have one of the best panels in the fleet with multiple backups so I can’t imagine that you would settle for less. Finally like the Garmin GFC500 you have to rip out your current system servo’s with all that entails so the install cost will have to be higher than a straight upgrade. As I said I think when you really look at the costs the Stec upgrade is quite competitive and the value is compelling. I’ve also heard a rumor of a lower cost of $9000 might be in the wings. We shall see. However my primary interest is not in the lowest cost but rather the safest autopilot with the best value that I can get at this stage of life for my right seater. Truth be known I don’t think I’ve flown a dozen coupled actual approaches in my entire flying career. I prefer to hand fly them which keeps me current and hopefully competent. With that said I consider a basic autopilot like the Stec 30 with altitude hold a go/no go item for IFR. This will now be expanded to include flight with passengers VFR.
  13. Cris

    STEC 3100 Digital Autopilot

    Spoke to Barry and he needs just 6 more Mooney owners to commit in order to schedule the STC. For those that are on the fence this is a no deposit commitment until the STC is issued. You have the opportunity to cancel once notified so there should be no reason not to request your dealer to put a purchase order in place for you. It is also a benefit to you as the existing servo’s will receive a two year warranty for those who place an order Pre STC. And the servo’s do not need to be returned to Stec for precertification which saves a bundle but will still be warranted. This works for all the Mooney’s including the G1000. The ones that will benefit most will be those that are upgrading from an installed Stec now. I thought I’d share with you my reasoning to consider this autopilot. 1) Safety: Every day I age and I’m beginning to think I’m like my old dog. As a result I have an obligation to be certain my passengers are as safe as possible. My Stec 30 with GPSS is located on the far left of the panel. It makes training and showing a right seater how to use it in an emergency very difficult if not impossible. I want something that is quick, easy and intuitive. Safety First. The Stec 3100 will be installed in front of the right seater at best or maybe in the center stack. The controls are simple. The Straight and Level Recovery button will right the A/C wheather the autopilot is on or off. Push the LVL button and the A/C levels. Nothing easier than that. Envelope Protection: The Autopilot will recover automatically with overbanking or over speed or approach to stall and provide visual and aural annunciation. So if my right seater is trying to fly me to safety on the ground they have some resource to assist. 2) Versatility: This digital autopilot will now add indicated and verticle speed control, dual mode HDG/NAV & HDG/APR, GPSS, Control wheel steering, Flight Director capability, go around button, automatic trim ,voice annunciation and it will track the LPV and GS as well as step down approaches. And there is more.... Even though this is an attitude based system it will continue to operate with a vacuum failure since it has its own AHARS. As an aside I can get rid of the vacuum system and it’s backup to gain useful load if I wish. I think of this as the Swiss Army knife of autopilots. It is designed to work with round gauges, mechanical gauges, EFIS and glass. It gives me lots of future options. In fact Aspen is adding it to its system so it can be operated from the Aspen Pro. Unlike some of the newer experimental autopilots being certified this works with both GPS and VOR/LOC. I like the idea of a ground based backup. 3) Value: This comes in two parts Price and Benefits some of which I’ve mentioned above. However whenever I consider upgrades I generally look at the increase of value in the A/C vs the cost of the upgrade. As an example if you paint the A/C Vref will add about half of the cost back for a recent painting. Depending on how long I own the A/C determines the real cost of the painting in terms of dollars. But the reality is I don’t care as I wanted a different color or look etc. You get the point. I suspect this will add about what a new paint job would cost in terms of an ROI of 50%. Price of this upgrade is $10500 plus installation. It warranties the servos ( which are some of the most reliable in the industry) for an additional 2 years and the 3100 for 3 years. It offers more capability and safety than what I currently have. It will make the A/C easier to sell in the future and it will not require tearing up the A/C to install new servo’s. I realize some will think that is a negative but these are proven units with 40K of them in the field. In looking at the other autopilot options I don’t believe any of them will be less expensive than this upgrade with similar options considered as well as the installation cost which is minimal for this system.
  14. Anthony As usual well said! I am still amazed that owners of the KLN 94 were promised an upgrade path for WASS similar to what Garmin did with their GTN series. Instead they delivered the 770 years late but without consistent updates from the programming group (Aspen). Guess that hasn’t worked to well. As you correctly pointed out the KLN 94 can’t provide GPSS output which was a main reason for me to replace it as well as WASS for my Garmin 345R. I waited for years like you and others for the 770 and look what the marketplace finally got. Another BK broken promise.
  15. Peter- This is an interesting product as you correctly point out. The problem is that BK has no credibility in the GA market. For years they talked the talk but have not walked the walk. This is another example of a product announcement that “will be certified by X” which never seems to occur. Look at the KNS 770 years late and underwhelming. How about their latest 300 HSI which may get released late as usual but with a limited feature set. Then their is their reliance on rebranded products from other mfg’s. Imagine how that will work if one needs repair and that mfg is no longer around. I’d not give BK a penny until they have produced and shipped a real product and show a track record for the product and its support. You’ve always supported Garmin for good reason and certainly that is a proven company with continual support. Just my rant as I was a big BK supporter for most of my flying career. I just replaced my KLN94 and added ADSB with Garmin equipment for all the reasons you and others have advocated. It’s a shame they have destroyed their credibility within the GA community but I won’t be back anytime soon.