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I have a '68 M20F with a panel that is minimally IFR qualified and no IFR GPS.  My partner and I are currently both working on getting our IFR tickets in our Mooney.  We appreciate the convenience and safety that an IFR GPS would provide and would love to put in a 650 when we can afford it (oh maybe a decade from now ;)). My thought/question is this...  If I can get a 155XL (non-precision approach, crumby two-tone screen) for ~$1000, or a 430 for ~$4000 (non precision approach, crumby color screen), or a 430W  (precision approach, crumby color screen) for ~$6000, or a 650 for $9000 (precision approach, nice but small color screen), to me the old GNC 155XL seems like a pretty good nearer term option.  None of the color screens will be as good as foreflight on my iPad anyway and all precision approaches buy me is (typical) 200ft at airports without ILS.  I've only been a plane owner for about a year and, as stated, am not yet an IFR pilot, so if I'm missing something please let me know.  I'd love to hear other's thoughts along these lines.  As a note, I'm aware my prices are rough and don't include install.  Thanks in advance...

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If you intend to be IR... go WAAS...

The cost of installation of any GPS with annunciators is going to be expensive...

But if WAAS is out of reach financially, go non-WAAS it is better than any pair of VORs..  BK KLN 89, or 90B are good and low cost. Installed properly, and updated DB, Make pretty good IFR navigators approach capable.  But still, no vertical guidance...

Make sure your ILS is working... without WAAS, the only way to get down in low IMC is going to be your ILS...

CB PP thoughts only, I still have my KLN 90B...

Best regards,

-a-

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One important consideration is support and likely future support of older boxes by the manufacturer.

You’ll find useful info using the search function.

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2 hours ago, Mooney in Oz said:

One important consideration is support and likely future support of older boxes by the manufacturer.

You’ll find useful info using the search function.

"Taking off is optional.  Landing is mandatory."  

I don't remember the airport, Victor, but I do remember the statement from our trip on the "Down Under Tour", one windy day.  Fond memories...

Anyway, I loved my KLN 90B and used it for over 20 years.  I still think it is one of the best non WAAS GPSs out there.  I remember I sold mine for about $1,000 when I did my upgrade 4 years ago.  They are a bargain, and I highly recommend it for the short term.

WAAS, OTOH, is the cats meow.  Garmin's new system upgrade just makes an already great product (the GTN 750) so much better!  When combined with the system update for the G500 TXi, I can't imagine how it can get any better...but I'm sure Garmin will find a way.  The new VSI indicator has been long in coming, but what a surprise!

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There's a lot of personal preference here. I've used the Garmin 155, 430, 480, 530, 650, 750, and the King 89, 90, and 94. Assuming they are still supported and discounting the cost of installation (twice, since you are already contemplating upgrading), they will all do a basic non-WAAS job. But I personally would not consider one that didn't have that newfangled dedicated PROC button. I still remember when I first saw that on the KLN 94 thinking what a game-changer it was.

 

Edited by midlifeflyer

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I am in the process of putting (hopefully, finally done at last!) a KLN94 in my ship.  It works similarly to the VFR King GPS comm I had, and I've flown behind them before.  So far the thing works great, though I haven't begun house its IFR functions. Soon though.

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Since you intend to upgrade from an initial GPS, installation costs to install twice will be substantial. So use some of that extra money to go with a 430 (w) or maybe a 400 (gps only which is really cheap) Latter you can upgrade to the Avidyne 440 without any additional install costs. If you sell the aircraft it offers an inexpensive upgrade path for a new owner. 

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Are you managing the plane to minimize lifetime cost or cost today? If you put in old gear today then that investment is 100% wasted when you upgrade to the 650 later. So if it was me I would economize somewhere else in my life and put in the 650 now. Since you have a partner the cost to you is half.

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I have a 430AW which was installed new about 9 years ago.  It is still very good, very useful. I don't use the screen for orientation, it is too small.  I have a moving map for that.  However, it has many good features.  I used several of the same type as the 155, maybe even used a 155 back when I was getting my IFR, which is a while ago, I just don't remember.  One was an Apollo, I think a 55 or something like that.  None of them were very good, I would go with the 430.  The 480 is supposed to be good, but that is very very old technology now, I am not sure I would invest in something that old.  The 430 at least can still be serviced, anything older you need to look into whether the unit can be serviced if necessary.  If they are old legacy and not supported, then if something goes wrong the only choice is to find another on ebay or similar or replace with a nifty new unit.  My old Apollo burned out and that is what I had to do.

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A lot depends on how you think you will use the plane.  Just because you have an instrument rating doesn't mean you will feel comfortable flying approaches to minimums.  For example, I've been instrument rated for 41 years and I won't fly unless my destination is at least 200' and 1/2 mile better than minimums for the expected approach AND I have a good alternate with weather that is WELL above minimums.

Many pilots only use their instrument ticket to punch up through a fairly low (1000'?) overcast to get on top and on the way to their destination.  Or to do the same thing on the other end.  That still makes the ticket useful, but does not necessarily require the latest and greatest avionics.

You might wait until you both have your tickets and see how you feel about flying in the weather.  If you think you'll want to fly to destinations with weather bad enough that the LPV vs. the LNAV approach would make the difference, then spend the money and get the WAAS equipment.  On the other hand, if you think you'll mostly use it to get up and down through that 1000' or 2000' overcast, you probably don't need that fancy equipment.

Best of luck,

Bob

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I had a KLN 89B in my previous plane and a KLN 94 in my Mooney, which I think is the best all around GPS money can buy. They are very nice IFR GPSs. The KLN 94 I had is now for sale, if you're interested let me know.

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i'm installing a 300xl, can't justify spending 14 to 20k installing a new 650 in a 50k airplane.

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7 hours ago, Cris said:

Since you intend to upgrade from an initial GPS, installation costs to install twice will be substantial. So use some of that extra money to go with a 430 (w) or maybe a 400 (gps only which is really cheap) Latter you can upgrade to the Avidyne 440 without any additional install costs. If you sell the aircraft it offers an inexpensive upgrade path for a new owner. 

I agree but would eat the costs and do WAAS so that you already have an antennae for the 440 upgrade. I bet you can get a used unit for $5000 if you post that you are looking and talk to some avionics shops.

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Can you explain the significance of the PROC key to me? I have very little experience with these GPS systems and what little I have was 15+ years ago.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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18 hours ago, moontownMooney said:

I have a '68 M20F with a panel that is minimally IFR qualified and no IFR GPS.  My partner and I are currently both working on getting our IFR tickets in our Mooney.  We appreciate the convenience and safety that an IFR GPS would provide and would love to put in a 650 when we can afford it (oh maybe a decade from now ;)). My thought/question is this...  If I can get a 155XL (non-precision approach, crumby two-tone screen) for ~$1000, or a 430 for ~$4000 (non precision approach, crumby color screen), or a 430W  (precision approach, crumby color screen) for ~$6000, or a 650 for $9000 (precision approach, nice but small color screen), to me the old GNC 155XL seems like a pretty good nearer term option.  None of the color screens will be as good as foreflight on my iPad anyway and all precision approaches buy me is (typical) 200ft at airports without ILS.  I've only been a plane owner for about a year and, as stated, am not yet an IFR pilot, so if I'm missing something please let me know.  I'd love to hear other's thoughts along these lines.  As a note, I'm aware my prices are rough and don't include install.  Thanks in advance...

The point you make about Foreflight and your iPad is a good one. Until you are instrument rated and can install a WAAS GPS I would use what you have and save up. It will be less money over all than doing this install now and then another install later. 

Also an Aera 796 or 660 will be useful and relatively inexpensive in the meantime.

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7 hours ago, larryb said:

Are you managing the plane to minimize lifetime cost or cost today? If you put in old gear today then that investment is 100% wasted when you upgrade to the 650 later. So if it was me I would economize somewhere else in my life and put in the 650 now. Since you have a partner the cost to you is half.

100% agree.  When it comes to upgrades, go big or go home.  You will regret a lesser upgrade.

BTW, if I cannot convince you, I will have a GX-60 for sale sometime in the future.

Edited by Ah-1 Cobra Pilot

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What do used 480's cost these days? That's what we have. It took some time to learn how to use it, but now I like it so much that I wouldn't even do an even trade for anything else. Since they're so much less common, I wonder if they're a little cheaper than a 430W or 530W.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Ah-1 Cobra Pilot said:

...When it comes to upgrades, go big or go home.  You will regret a lesser upgrade....

✔️

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i'm installing a 300xl, can't justify spending 14 to 20k installing a new 650 in a 50k airplane.


I did the opposite. Pulled my 300XL and installed a GTN650 in a low-value bird. Already had the good indicator which saved thousands by itself. Also installed a Lynx-9000. Project cost was in the mid 20’s. I caution you to not solely consider the raw value of your aircraft prior to making an avionics decision. I assure you that there are many aluminum turds flying around with 70-90% of the value just in the avionics.

Buy the equipment to serve your mission. I overbought but it’s already saved my ass a few times even as a vfr driver.

A/C Owners are somewhat similar to the young punks that overspend on their car-audio equipment. We both own vehicles that by themself are worth market scrap price but the radio equipment is worth a fortune.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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The economics behind not putting expensive electronics in Entry level machines....

Depended a lot on the expectation to move up in a short period of time....

 

Welcome to the Mooney World...

Entry level may be the M20C....

It is also the Forever-plane for many...

True in Philly as it is in Switzerland...

 

It takes so much money to move to another plane, it makes more sense to put decent instruments in the plane you have...

 

PPI and first year annual woes can far outweigh the cost of adding a used GPS...

Best regards,

-a-

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A G430W can be had for 5-6K, and install is around 4K. plus 1500$ for a used indicator.

You can save a few bucks of purchase price by buying a 300XL or a KLN-89B but these boxes arent supported anymore. First glitch, throw them away and buy another. After a couple of them you've paid G430W money, you just dont have the G430W. 

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:57 AM, Cris said:

Since you intend to upgrade from an initial GPS, installation costs to install twice will be substantial. So use some of that extra money to go with a 430 (w) or maybe a 400 (gps only which is really cheap) Latter you can upgrade to the Avidyne 440 without any additional install costs. If you sell the aircraft it offers an inexpensive upgrade path for a new owner. 

This^^^

The rack that you can utilize now for under $1k with a gns 400 non waas will be the standard for the next 30 years. There are too many 430’s out there for Garmin to completely abandon. IMO when they can no longer repair the 430w unit they will introduce a new slide in model.  The 440 is also an excellent slide in replacement  

If you buy any other option under 2k not only is the unit a sunk cost but everything you spend on the install will have zero long term value to a future buyer. 

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31 minutes ago, MIm20c said:

This^^^

The rack that you can utilize now for under $1k with a gns 400 non waas will be the standard for the next 30 years. There are too many 430’s out there for Garmin to completely abandon. IMO when they can no longer repair the 430w unit they will introduce a new slide in model.  The 440 is also an excellent slide in replacement  

If you buy any other option under 2k not only is the unit a sunk cost but everything you spend on the install will have zero long term value to a future buyer. 

Garmin has moved on from that G430 format and I dont think there will be a slide-in replacement. However, there are a few more years of 430W support, so from a cost vs functionality standpoint, its pretty good. The best of the used options. I bought a used 750 for 12.5K, and did that.

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This may be a little thread creep here. One good thing about upgrading from a 430w to a 750 is having all new wiring installed including antenna.  In your case going ahead with putting a good “foundation” with new wiring etc and going with a used 430w then subsequently a 440 or other slide in is that you’ve already created modern wiring for comms and the gps. 

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My recommendation is to hold off on making any decisions until after you have your IR.   Fly IFR for a while and see if you would really benefit from Gps approaches.   If you decide that gps approaches are a big part of your mission, then just get a gtn650 and G5s or aspen.  You’ll be glad you did.   If you already had a 430 installed, I’d say let it ride, but sense it would be a new install all around, go for it.  The GTN is so so so worth the premium over the 430w.   A glass PFD pulls even more value out of the gtn too.   Good luck!!!

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