Tommy

GTN 650 or IFD 440?

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After much deliberation, I think I am ready to pull the trigger and update my panel. Initially I was hoping to do everything in one swoop - WAAS GPS + ADS-B + EFIS + / - Digital A/P but I am not able to part with my plane for more than 2 weeks and the state of affair with EFIS and digital A/P is still pretty muddy at the moment. So I am going to get GPS + ADS-B first! Everything I have at the moment is factory fitted except Com 2 for my 1981 J (KFC200). I have set my sight on GTN 650 + GTX 335 or IFD 440 + AXP 340

Knowing what you know now, which manufacturer / combination of will you go for today and why?

Thanks guys!

Tommy

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I love my IFD440 and AXP322. If you go with Avidyne I would get the remote transponder. I had lots of contact with avidyne’s tech department when we were getting everything set up IFD440, AXP, and the Skytrax. They were great to talk to and answered every question and addressed every issue. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with either set up but I’m an Avidyne customer for a very long time.


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Probably what each person has it what they will recommend.  So for me and every student I have that has upgraded, it's the Garmin setup.  Having TargetTrend for traffic is just a benefit that cannot be underestimated, as is the ability to have coupled VFR approaches with vertical navigation to nearly all runways in the country, and the ability to load a second approach to a different airport while still flying the missed on the primary approach and not losing the navigation on the primary missed approach.

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3 hours ago, donkaye said:

Probably what each person has it what they will recommend.  So for me and every student I have that has upgraded, it's the Garmin setup.  Having TargetTrend for traffic is just a benefit that cannot be underestimated, as is the ability to have coupled VFR approaches with vertical navigation to nearly all runways in the country, and the ability to load a second approach to a different airport while still flying the missed on the primary approach and not losing the navigation on the primary missed approach.

I agree with you on targettrend and terminaltraffic if I might add. But there are a few on here who discount targettrend as not as useful and favor the lynx ATAS. Have you any objective opinion perhaps having flown with both?

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Regardless of the selection you make, when you do these phased installations it will be very helpful to have your installer put all the wires in the avionics boxes during the installation even if you don't need them at the time. 

I mean have the installer pre wire ALL the ARINC 429 and RS 232 connections even if they don't get connected. Have the installer route the open end of the wire to a place that is easy to access. The next addition to the panel will be so much easier to install.

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12 hours ago, Tommy said:

After much deliberation, I think I am ready to pull the trigger and update my panel. Initially I was hoping to do everything in one swoop - WAAS GPS + ADS-B + EFIS + / - Digital A/P but I am not able to part with my plane for more than 2 weeks and the state of affair with EFIS and digital A/P is still pretty muddy at the moment. So I am going to get GPS + ADS-B first! Everything I have at the moment is factory fitted except Com 2 for my 1981 J (KFC200). I have set my sight on GTN 650 + GTX 335 or IFD 440 + AXP 340

Knowing what you know now, which manufacturer / combination of will you go for today and why?

Thanks guys!

Tommy

I'd go with an IFD440 and a Garmin GTX 345 since they are compatible and the 345 is the new standard in transponders with more features than the rest. The GTX345 will display traffic and weather on whichever of the two GPS's that you decide. The GTX335 will get you ADS-B OUT but will not display weather/traffic IN on your GPS if I understand correctly.

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Personally,

I would drink a little less coffee at Starbucks and use the extra savings to  purchase the GTN-750. No bifocals needed.

The GTX-335 is a given.

 

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I went with the Garmin GTN 650 and GDL-88 setup with the old KT-76A transponder. If I had the room, I would have gone with the GTN 750 as well. This was over 4 years ago when Avidyne was vaporware. Garmin Pilot is great and is getting more and more powerful in terms of capability. Syncs well with all the other Garmin devices (incl. a D2 Bravo watch). With the Onepak NA subscription, it isn't that expensive as it used to be (incl. databases for the Garmin 696).

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I have the Avidyne units and like them very much.  If I had to do it again, I would get the Garmin, not because I like the GTN series, but because they interface with the G5 and the Garmin autopilot series.  Very unclear if that will ever happen for Avidyne, so you're stuck with a 10-12K Aspen as your only real EFIS option.

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I think it is more between the IFD540 and GTN 650 for price and functionality comparisons.  My plan at this point will be the IFD 540 over the GTN650.  It may sound odd but for me it is having the options of using button and touch screen verses touch screen only (call me a little old school).  I understand the touch screen only can get a little difficult compared to button in some chop.  The other thing is the IFD540 vs GTN 650 screen size.  All that being said with I might change my mind when it comes down to it and what it will be compatible with.  At this point waiting on someone to approve their new Autopilots to make a final decision.  Garmin, Trutrack, and Trio need to get their ducks in a row to see who will be first to market.  

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@Tommy post up a picture of your panel so we can decide how best to spend the funds. 

Im starting to look at the Garmin 660 and gdl39(r).  The reason I mention this is with a 430w or 650 will give you much needed screen real estate, the adsb weather and traffic (including TargetTrend), flight plan upload to your tablet, and additional data fields.  Just a option if you are willing to mount a portable unit in the panel. 

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39 minutes ago, wcb said:

...My plan at this point will be the IFD 540 over the GTN650.  It may sound odd but for me it is having the options of using button and touch screen verses touch screen only (call me a little old school)... 

Neither is touch screen only. The GTN has a knob just like the older GNS series so you can use either.

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12 hours ago, PTK said:

I agree with you on targettrend and terminaltraffic if I might add. But there are a few on here who discount targettrend as not as useful and favor the lynx ATAS. Have you any objective opinion perhaps having flown with both?

I have not flown with anyone who has a lynx, yet.  Anyone who discounts TargetTrend either hasn't flown with it or doesn't get the concept of relative motion.  With absolute motion of most traffic sources and displays much more time needs be spent looking at traffic to see how their direction relates to your.  With TargetTrend it's instantaneous.  You can evaluate 30 targets in the blink of an eye.

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Yes the GTN does have a knob and 2 buttons and is designed to be touch screen.  Here is the Avidyne comparison web pages.  The last thing I will say is I will either go all Avidyne or all Garmin.  (New AMX240 Audio Panel, IFD540, Remote mount AXP322 ADSB Transponder) or (New Garmin GMA 345/350 Audio Panel, GTN 650, Remote mount GTX 345R)

http://avidyne.com/products/ifd/ifd540-value-compare.html

http://avidyne.com/landing/ifd540/440-650-compare.asp

 

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I know I said the last thing I will say.

 

Really this is the last.  With an unlimited budget 100% I am going with GTN 750 with a GTN 650!

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I've flown behind them all... and here's my stack ranking.

  1. GTN750
  2. IFD540
  3. IFD440
  4. GTN650

I find the GTN650 just way to difficult to use because of the screen size and the touchscreen interface. There is a knob but only one so a lot of work is done best through the touch screen which can't even display a full alphabet. At least the IFD gives you either a bluetooth keyboard to use, or the IFD100 app running on any iPad, and it still has more knobs and buttons. It's also touch screen as well, but I almost never use the touchscreen as the other methods are just easier... especially in rough air.

For my plane I chose the IFD540. I felt it was equal to the GTN750 except for screen size and was MUCH less expensive as I already had a GNS530W so the install was free.

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This is very important with the typical viewing distances in the cockpit.

The 540 display is 4.75" x 3.5" and 307000 pixels with a 5.7" diagonal. The GTN750 is 5.27"x 4.46", 6.9" diagonal and 425000 pixels.

The GTN has a bigger screen and 30% higher resolution than the IFD. This high resolution translates to a much sharper picture making the screen smoother and much easier to read. This reduces eye strain.

The 540 display is similar to the Aspen. They are just not GTN class. Just a thought.

 

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I sit pretty close to the panel in my Mooney. ;)

And since I'm already carrying an iPad, the free IFD100 app, gives me a 10.5" screen screen for my IFD540 on my iPad Pro.

I was planning all along to have a dual stack of either the 750/650 or the 540/440. But with the free IFD100 app on my iPad Pro, it's like having a second unit, with an even larger screen, for free. It doesn't just mirror the display but works like a second screen allowing me to, as an example, have the map view on one and flight plan on the other. Obviously it's not the redundancy or second nav/com of a second unit, but I decided that with the IFD100, the KX165a was good enough to remain as the back up, further reducing the cost of the final installed solution. 

It's only be 100 hours or so, but I'm very happy with my choice.

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For the cost, the IFD series is a better deal than the GTN series.  GTN doesn’t come standard with a WiFi gateway, and the cost to install is greater (if you have a 530/430 already installed).  Also, no free apps for the Garmin- so if you use an iPad, you’ll be stuck with garmin’s app Subscription (if you want to wireless interface) on top of the Nav data subscription.  

The screen on the GTN is bigger.  I think the interface is worse (but that’s subjective on my part).  The GTN’s cost a significant amount more to buy and operate at the same level of functionality that the IFD provides.  If money is no object- then a GTN is a good option.

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For fresh installs, like the OP has, the cost of units (650/440, 750/540) and install is the same. New and used they sell for the same amount (9ish and 12ish for used units).  Garmin selling a $50 sdwifi card for $1500 is reason enough to buy the Avidyne IMO.

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 Garmin selling a $50 sdwifi card for $1500 is reason enough to buy the Avidyne IMO.

Well, then there is Avidyne’s warranty indemnity clause...is that still in the legalese?

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If possible, try to find a plane with these upgrades already complete.  Second best option its talk to a broker to see what airframes benefit from these types of upgrades in your market.    From my research in the US at least, it seems Ovations benefit these upgrades and the others well, the value seems to be lost immediately.  This could be a non-issue to you if this is a plane you intend to keep for 10 years or more.

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2 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

I sit pretty close to the panel in my Mooney. ;)

And since I'm already carrying an iPad, the free IFD100 app, gives me a 10.5" screen screen for my IFD540 on my iPad Pro.

I was planning all along to have a dual stack of either the 750/650 or the 540/440. But with the free IFD100 app on my iPad Pro, it's like having a second unit, with an even larger screen, for free. It doesn't just mirror the display but works like a second screen allowing me to, as an example, have the map view on one and flight plan on the other. Obviously it's not the redundancy or second nav/com of a second unit, but I decided that with the IFD100, the KX165a was good enough to remain as the back up, further reducing the cost of the final installed solution. 

It's only be 100 hours or so, but I'm very happy with my choice.

Thanks Paul!

Love the idea of IFD100. This is optional on IFD 440, right? How much to get that option? And yes $1500 for a $15 SDwifi is pretty ridiculous considering they are also charging the use of Garmin App.

I have a KX175 with Mac-1700 conversion which I love. Like what you did with KX165, would I be able to keep that and install IFD440/GTN650? 

AFAIK, there is no ADS-B weather in here in Australia so a graphical ADS-B transponder isn't really going to be very helpful. 

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2 minutes ago, rpcc said:

If possible, try to find a plane with these upgrades already complete.  Second best option its talk to a broker to see what airframes benefit from these types of upgrades in your market.    From my research in the US at least, it seems Ovations benefit these upgrades and the others well, the value seems to be lost immediately.  This could be a non-issue to you if this is a plane you intend to keep for 10 years or more.

Yes was going to keep for a while + commuting for work pressure + IFR ADS-B mandate comes in 2020. 

:D 

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1 minute ago, Tommy said:

Thanks Paul!

Love the idea of IFD100. This is optional on IFD 440, right? How much to get that option? And yes $1500 for a $15 SDwifi is pretty ridiculous considering they are also charging the use of Garmin App.

I have a KX175 with Mac-1700 conversion which I love. Like what you did with KX165, would I be able to keep that and install IFD440/GTN650? 

AFAIK, there is no ADS-B weather in here in Australia so a graphical ADS-B transponder isn't really going to be very helpful. 

There's no charge for the IFD100. It's a free app to download, and it connects via wifi (also free) to the IFD440.  

Search for IFD100 on youtube.com.  There are several videos that show it in operation. 

It was enough for me to cancel plans for a second unit in my plane. The one unit with the IFD100 on the iPad is almost like having a second.

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