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bradp    717

Hi guys.

 

I am taking a new job about 2.5 hrs from our new future home by car and will likely be doing a combination of driving and flying to commute back and forth depending on my level of fatigue and weather.

 

Current setup is pretty minimal but rather functional:

 

Steam cluster

DG (no HSI)

cIIb autopilot

Non waas 430 with XM via GDL-69

Stratus 2 for FIS weather.

 

I want to sink probably 4-5 AMU into the panel this summer and am trying to decide on a logical upgrade path.

 

My priorities are safety and functionality.

 

Should I:

 

A) do the waas upgrade now. I've already decided that I would want to do a 430W wth FS210 for the time being and add in a new transponder.

 

B. ) Go for a G5 AI (as much as I'd like to can the DG, I'll hold off on the HSI for now until the compatibility with non G units and autopilots are teased out). There's no way I can realistically get rid of my vacuum system until a digital autopilot becomes available.

 

C) Add a WX-500 stormscope as I'll be doing a lot more east-west mid-Atlantic / south flying. I am a mark 1 eyeballs sans radar guy but this would at least give a real time component.

 

D) your advice. Something else entirely.

 

Thanks as always

 

-Brad

 

 0667409f80e3640df9b8527d33ac2063.jpgeee00850608146956b183cb12bf88b6c.jpg

 

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jetdriven    2,269

You can buy a wx-900 stormscope for 800$ on eBay and install it yourself.    I did the wx/-1000e myself.  It's more stuff cause it has a processor box. 

For waas consider selling the  430 and getting an ifd440.  

 

I have a similar setup minus the 430. I am in the middle of putting in a gtn750, sl30, Sandel 3308 EFIS, gpss roll steering, and dme. Oh and a new audio panel. New retrofit mooney annunciator panel, and a gtx345R remote transponder. 

Edited by jetdriven

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bradp    717

I was looking at some of those on eBay Byron. My issue is I don't have a lot of holes to work with without some major reorganizing. One thought was to replace the 430 with a 530w- get rid of the GPS map 296 (which is my favorite instrument btw) and move the JPI above it and open up some additional panel space.

 

I do like the IFD440s user interface- and there is a pretty good ongoing deal for the IFD, a transponder and ADS-B in right now. Tempting.

 

 

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aajones5    15

I've got a 430W and I absolutely love it, I've had to use it too for the lower minimums it provides also it makes any RNAV approach easier with the glideslope, but I can't really tell you how it stacks up against the 530 or the IFD

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bradp    717

Does anyone know if the G5 HSI will be a valid replacement for a CDI?


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KSMooniac    1,275

It can replace a CDI with Garmin radios, but of course it has no autopilot connectivity like most existing HSI systems. FWIW, I have 2 GI-106A indicators and no HSI. I could replace one 106A with the G5 but have to keep my vacuum DG because it has the heading bug for my STEC. doing so is not real attractive IMO...

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bradp    717

Same here - I'd have to keep the DG for the heading bug unless there is an analog heading output emulated or RS-232 enabled... we'll see what they announce at Oshkosh.


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carusoam    4,005

Brad,

Does your favorite pair of airport's have waas approaches?

If yes on both ends, an IFD440 makes a lot of sense.

It is too soon to tell where the G5 is going to be.  Without it connecting the GPS to an AP, it is kind of expensive to go half way...

A single Aspen seems to start low-ish and go fully upgradable as cash permits...

Watch Marauder's latest video of how his waas gps/Aspen follows the fight plan onto the approach...

Doing this daily, safety would be incredibly enhanced...

Single pilot IFR, Missing an altitude in IMC would be terrible.  Let Otto fly the plane, put more focus overlooking and double checking Otto....

PP thoughts only.

Best regards,

-a-

Edited by carusoam
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cnoe    1,062

Brad, are you flying IFR or VFR? If VFR you can forgo the stormscope and fly around storms (or not at all some days). But if you're mission critical and IFR then the stormscope might be nice to have. But for me flying IFR a certified backup AI is even more important. Maybe add a G5 and move your existing AI (necessary for the C2B) in place of the turn coordinator which is legal to remove. The FS210 would be nice, but not at the expense of truly vital instruments.


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bradp    717

Cnoe I fly IFR but I avoid the risk of summertime embedded stuff. The single G5 upgrade may be a good "modular" option.

 

Anthony - Both proposed home airports have an ILS, which decreases the need for WAAS right now. Puts it into a lump that I'll do when I do the ADS B upgrade, perhaps.

 

An aspen with autopilot coupler / GPSS roll steering may be a good bet. Hmmm. I'll have to watch some of Marauders videos.

 

Thanks for sharing. Fun to ponder this stuff, of course.

 

 

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Marauder    5,672
I was looking at some of those on eBay Byron. My issue is I don't have a lot of holes to work with without some major reorganizing. One thought was to replace the 430 with a 530w- get rid of the GPS map 296 (which is my favorite instrument btw) and move the JPI above it and open up some additional panel space.
 
I do like the IFD440s user interface- and there is a pretty good ongoing deal for the IFD, a transponder and ADS-B in right now. Tempting.
 
 
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Brad - check with Aerodon for used WX-500s. I purchased one from him for a decent price. The WX-500 will interface with the 430 and if you elect to upgrade later to glass, a GTN or something else, it will most likely interface.

Upgrading the 430 to WAAS could be beneficial if you have LPVs to fly at your new destinations. Otherwise, I wonder if it makes more sense if the non-WAAS 430 could be replaced with a slide in Avidyne. I think I read somewhere that Garmin won't support the non-WAAS GNC so it may be imperative to have it updated.

Your Century AP I believe requires the AI input. Upgrading to the current G5 won't give you any redundancy in case your original AI fails. It will obviously give you an electronic AI.

Another option is to wait to see what any aircraft certification reform may happen.



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Marauder    5,672

And oh, don't watch any of my videos. I don't want another spouse blaming me for their financial woes.


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cnoe    1,062
1 hour ago, Marauder said:

Your Century AP I believe requires the AI input. Upgrading to the current G5 won't give you any redundancy in case your original AI fails. It will obviously give you an electronic AI

Yeah, it's not a perfect solution as you don't get "autopilot" redundancy, but it does give him a non-vacuum AI that would at least help keep the shiny side up if the vac goes out in IMC. I can't imagine flying IFR without a backup AI. A backup vacuum source (either electric stand-by pump or PreciseFlight system) is better than nothing, but still you're betting a lot on that one gyro instrument (and relying on a turn-coordinator for attitude in turbulent IMC doesn't sound fun either).

 

2 hours ago, bradp said:

Cnoe I fly IFR but I avoid the risk of summertime embedded stuff.

You're preaching to the choir here. I'm wary of thunderstorms when I can see them, and when in IMC I steer well clear of even the dark green blobs on Nexrad. I pulled out my WX8 stormscope since in my opinion the poor resolution gave me little better chance of avoiding embedded cells than the (time-delayed) Nexrad. Others may be more comfortable using a stormscope for tactical maneuvering, but I'd rather just use the 20 nm rule myself (squall lines notwithstanding).

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LANCECASPER    929
4 hours ago, bradp said:

Hi guys.

 

I am taking a new job about 2.5 hrs from our new future home by car and will likely be doing a combination of driving and flying to commute back and forth depending on my level of fatigue and weather.

 . . . . 

 

My priorities are safety and functionality.

 

Should I:

D) your advice. Something else entirely.

Thanks as always

-Brad

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I would go with D. That's too far to commute. You will quickly grow tired of it. Either move closer to this job or find something closer. just my 2 cents.

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bradp    717

Thanks Lance ;-). Wife is doing a fellowship and I am highly educated but way way too specialized. I signed on for one of the two jobs in NC and one of the handful on the eastern seaboard a couple of hrs away for what I do. To give you an idea of this craziness I graduated high school in 1997 and i am graduating my training 20 years later and am about to start my first real job.

 

New job seems like a great place / great people and they may want to hire my wife aka boss next year. Figure having a "beach house" isn't half bad for a year despite the long distance commute - we'll use my "crash pad" as such for weekends.

 

In fact I bought the Mooney when I was in Boston and Mrs was in rural VA for 4 years, then I was in Boston and she was in Pittsburgh for another year. We had a three year run of living under the same roof and now we're going back to long distance for one last year.

 

Distance makes the heart grow fonder as they say ;-).

 

 

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gsxrpilot    3,099

4 to 5 AMU's isn't a lot to work with when talking avionics.  So here's my opinion, worth exactly what you're paying for it...

You're already IFR but want to get better/safer/more capable IFR.  

1. WAAS - Either upgrade the 430 or trade the 430 for an IFD440, or replace the 430 and 296 with a 530W, or best option IFD540.
  a. WAAS will give you better approach capability, it will also help with ADSB, increase value of the plane.
  b. An iPad, Stratus, and ForeFlight is much more than the 296. Remove it and free up valuable panel space.

2. HSI - Since you've already got a decent autopilot, make it even more useful with a proper HSI with heading bug. It would be easy/cheap to pick one up used. For an extra 1 AMU, add GPSS for full enjoyment of you're new WAAS GPS.

That's it for now.  Down the road, think about a 330ES transponder to provide ADSB out with using your WAAS source. $2K used.

That's all minimal panel work which is cheaper. 

The storm scope and the FS210 both seem to be a waste of money to me. I flew for some time with a storm scope, ForeFlight/Stratus, and XM Weather on a 530W. With a few years of IFR flying, the ForeFlight/Stratus combo is what gets used the most. The storm scope and XM weather, while much more real time, just suffer from resolution issues too much to be that useful.  Consequently, I've got a storm scope for sale if you want it. 

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Godfather    235

I'd look at upgrading the 430 to the 440. That alone will bust your budget but will be money well spent. However, I also agree about the backup AI which for me would be the first upgrade. 

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bradp    717

Thanks for the continued advice. Right now I'm using the AHRS on the Stratus as my worst case emergency backup, which I think is maybe just barely adequate.

Some sort of backup AI would be a definite benefit to the panel.

Perhaps G5 as AI, either upgrade 430 to IFD440 or replace with 440w and get some sort of HSI in there (used Sandel or wait to see if the G5 HSI grows some legs by Oshkosh). The lack of the additional components for the G5 seems enticing... I just hope it is extensible / might interface with one of these autopilot systems.



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jetdriven    2,269
10 hours ago, KSMooniac said:

It can replace a CDI with Garmin radios, but of course it has no autopilot connectivity like most existing HSI systems. FWIW, I have 2 GI-106A indicators and no HSI. I could replace one 106A with the G5 but have to keep my vacuum DG because it has the heading bug for my STEC. doing so is not real attractive IMO...

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Put in a Sandel sn3308 and kill two birds with one stone.  Sell one of the 106a's and it's not a lot of cash out of pocket. 

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KSMooniac    1,275

The only part of that option I don't like is adding another mechanical gyro to my plane when I'm trying to reduce them. The compatible solid state gyro is still quite expensive too, unfortunately. Otherwise I'd be all over it...

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DMJones    140

In the FWIW department, your panel looks pretty close to mine.  I have a couple 430s, top one is waas.  I also installed the Flightstream 210 and a GTX 345 (ADS B in and out).  I wander all over the SE in IFR conditions.  I have an iPad which can stream the route, traffic, and weather via the 210.  I love this setup.  Someday I may upgrade to a 750, but with the ADS B and the iPad I'm almost there already.  I also have a strike finder, but I stay so far away from the cells it doesn't help much.  I do have a good autopilot, KFC 150, so I'm pretty comfortable being around the weather...

 

 

IMG_0807.JPG

IMG_0802.JPG

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cnoe    1,062
In the FWIW department, your panel looks pretty close to mine.  I have a couple 430s, top one is waas.  I also installed the Flightstream 210 and a GTX 345 (ADS B in and out).  I wander all over the SE in IFR conditions.  I have an iPad which can stream the route, traffic, and weather via the 210.  I love this setup.  Someday I may upgrade to a 750, but with the ADS B and the iPad I'm almost there already.  I also have a strike finder, but I stay so far away from the cells it doesn't help much.  I do have a good autopilot, KFC 150, so I'm pretty comfortable being around the weather...



Nice setup!

I also see what appears to be a Castleberry electric backup attitude indicator in your panel. That's where I'm hoping the OP turns his attention as well.


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DMJones    140
Just now, cnoe said:

 


Nice setup!

I also see what appears to be a Castleberry electric backup attitude indicator in your panel. That's where I'm hoping the OP turns his attention as well.


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I'm a great believer in having two of everything.  But I can't take credit for 90% of this setup.  Previous owners did most of it, I just found it...    :-)

If I ever do upgrade, I'll keep one of the 430s.  I've been having preliminary chats about moving the JPI to the blank spot, the 430w to the spot where it currently resides, and putting a 750 where the 430s live.  But that's a lot of money to replace something that's working really well in the present.

I learned to fly with the panel below, so most anything is a vast improvement.

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Oldguy    335

Swap the DG for an HSI and add a backup AI where the lower CDI is. Choice of brands is yours.

Put the 296 on the yoke, if you want to keep it, and free up some stack space for the next bucket of money to spend. :)

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bradp    717

Hi all,

I wanted to thank every one for their opinions and advice.  I think this is what I'm  going to go for this summer..

 

(Phase 1)

Probable  

- Garmin G5 AI.  Move current AI driving autopilot to the TC position.  

- Upgrade the GNS 430 to a 430W (probably a 440 eventually but that's a simple slide in that can be replaced later)

 

Maybe

- consider a second G5 as an HSI if they come out with some sort of interface with legacy autopilots at Oshkosh.  If at all possible I'd like to avoid more mechanical gyros.  Get rid of KI-209 and KX-170, replace with SL-30 interfaced to the GI-106.  Determine feasibility of adding a micro  switch to select which RS-232 data feed  drives the G5 HSI as nav source (thanks experimental community).  If no G5 HSI options I'll look for a mechanical one / Sandel vs slotting a G5 HSI for situational awareness and keeping a silly DG just to drive the autopilot.  

 

Phase 2:

ADS-B out/in decisions dependent on whether I go with an avidyne or Garmin solution  

 

Phase 3: 

Hopeful for a digital autopilot option...

Opinions still welcome as no calls estimates or commitments have been made.  Thanks again for all your help. 

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