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Artex 110-4 ELT Replacement


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If you didn't know...the Airtex 110-4 batteries are going to be discontinued.  All they are is a shell with Rayovac batteries in them...I guess that's just too hard to Airtex to make...so they are going to force us all to upgrade.

https://www.acrartex.com/survival-products/121MHZ

Has anyone done an upgrade or replacement?  

The upgrade looks like a joke Airtex C406-1 for $4K+ install.

Replacement Airtex 345 for $530 is reasonable.  Or It says all new parts, how difficult is the install?  Heard the antenna is ugly though.

Anyone upgrade to something else?  Any reuse of switches, tray, cables, antenna?

 

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Google mooneyspace 406 ELT for many previous discussions on this. I personally went with the ACK 406. Both that and the Artex for ~$529 support an optional GPS interface from your panel mounted GPS which most of us find essential.
I would check battery replacement cost and shipping charges (some require hazardous shipping fees). Airtex is made by ACR which is a big plus but they were a little late to the market. ACK is a few $ cheaper.
Install is pretty similar with all of these, expect you'll probably have to pull a new wires for the cockpit switch anyway (usually shielded) as well as for your GPS position interface.

Anyway I wouldn't be upset about them pulling support for these. You're overdue anyway. Plus if you carry precious cargo away from urban airspace like many of us, you really want the better insurance anyway.


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My current airplane and previous I went with Kannad Integra for the following reasons.

Dual frequency unit 121.5 and 406

Built in GPS

Built in antenna if the external antenna connection is lost in the crash (which happens a lot )

Longer battery life and inspection period because the battery compartment is air tight.

Made by McMurdo group

Standard equipment on Boeing and Airbus

Built like a brick you know what

Price is right. About 900 for the unit and remote. Add 700 for an blade antenna (don't use the whip on a Mooney)

Install was about 600 dollars. 

If you have an RJ-11 wire (looks like a phone wire) between your unit and the panel, buy the "Ameri-Fit" replacement model and you will not have to run a new cable. It will plug and play.

 

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3 hours ago, kortopates said:

I personally went with the ACK 406

 Paul, I have the AK450 with the antenna concealed in the dorsal fin. Are you aware if the ACK406 can utilize the same antenna?  I’m having some avionics work next month and thinking about asking the shop to pull a wire from the GTN to feed position to it. I’d like to avoid involving the dorsal fin. Thanks.

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18 hours ago, PTK said:

 Paul, I have the AK450 with the antenna concealed in the dorsal fin. Are you aware if the ACK406 can utilize the same antenna?  I’m having some avionics work next month and thinking about asking the shop to pull a wire from the GTN to feed position to it. I’d like to avoid involving the dorsal fin. Thanks.

Peter, The AK450 Ameri-King is ELT with the AD against it.

Unfortunately the short answer is no because all the 406's where certified with a specific antenna that must be used with their ELT's. Secondly they all specify a limited angle off the vertical that they must be installed at and our dorsal fin exceeds that. However, I talked to the owner at ACK and he told me that doesn't mean it won't work at a greater angle and pointed out he knew of experimental guys that were installing it below the fuselage at the tail and it still work fine. He was just stressing he didn't test it beyond those angles for certification and you would be on your own to verify it was still good if exceeding that angle. Mooney got away with this by testing an alternate antenna that did fit in the dorsal fin, for an early Airtex (I recall) and provided a SB that gave us authority to install it accordingly with the different antenna. But that was an early and very expensive 406 ELT that did not provide a GPS input. There are some other threads here with some people that did install the antenna in the dorsal fin - don't recall how they got approval to do so. I'd suggest searching for those for further details. 

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So, if you use the $4K replacement then you can reuse the antennas...meaning they did the paperwork (and testing).  You don't have to mess with opening up the dorsal fin.   Otherwise you have to go with an system with new antennas and the labor that comes with it.  

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1 hour ago, Boilermonkey said:

So, if you use the $4K replacement then you can reuse the antennas...meaning they did the paperwork (and testing).  You don't have to mess with opening up the dorsal fin.   Otherwise you have to go with an system with new antennas and the labor that comes with it.  

No, that’s not how I read it. Cannot use the old existing 121.5 antenna with 406 ELT. The Mooney SB authorizes installation of new antenna in the dorsal fin, I.e. beyond vertical. That’s a good thing but still have to r/r the dorsal cover which I wanted to avoid doing.

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On 10/26/2019 at 2:09 PM, kortopates said:

Peter, The AK450 Ameri-King is ELT with the AD against it.

Unfortunately the short answer is no because all the 406's where certified with a specific antenna that must be used with their ELT's. Secondly they all specify a limited angle off the vertical that they must be installed at and our dorsal fin exceeds that. However, I talked to the owner at ACK and he told me that doesn't mean it won't work at a greater angle and pointed out he knew of experimental guys that were installing it below the fuselage at the tail and it still work fine. He was just stressing he didn't test it beyond those angles for certification and you would be on your own to verify it was still good if exceeding that angle. Mooney got away with this by testing an alternate antenna that did fit in the dorsal fin, for an early Airtex (I recall) and provided a SB that gave us authority to install it accordingly with the different antenna. But that was an early and very expensive 406 ELT that did not provide a GPS input. There are some other threads here with some people that did install the antenna in the dorsal fin - don't recall how they got approval to do so. I'd suggest searching for those for further details. 

So given polization of antennas vertical and horizontal.  The larger question is what angle your bent up plane will end up at after you do your "off airport landing"

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3 minutes ago, Yetti said:

So given polization of antennas vertical and horizontal.  The larger question is what angle your bent up plane will end up at after you do your "off airport landing"

Politicization?   Polarization?   Seems like the same thing these days.

Since a wreck would be expected to be on the ground, probably in amongst some clutter somewhere, multipath scattering from the environment will help randomize the polarization to a potential receiver.   Polarization diversity in the receiver, and/or circularly polarized antennas, reduce sensitivity to signal polarization. 

Short answer:  it's not anything big to worry about.

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43 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Politicization?   Polarization?   Seems like the same thing these days.

Since a wreck would be expected to be on the ground, probably in amongst some clutter somewhere, multipath scattering from the environment will help randomize the polarization to a potential receiver.   Polarization diversity in the receiver, and/or circularly polarized antennas, reduce sensitivity to signal polarization. 

Short answer:  it's not anything big to worry about.

Except for 406 and crashing into pine trees in east texas.   Pine needles are right at 6 inches...  6 inches is the quarter wave of UHF so pine needles tend to soak up the radiation of the transmitter.   I don't really worry about this while flying, but it makes for discussion on the internet.

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Just now, Yetti said:

Except for 406 and crashing into pine trees in east texas.   Pine needles are right at 6 inches...  6 inches is the quarter wave of UHF so pine needles tend to soak up the radiation of the transmitter.   I don't really worry about this while flying, but it makes for discussion on the internet.

Well, yeah, you can wind up with a pile of locally-sourced aluminum on top of the antenna at a crash site, and that'll block it, too.

Or it can break off.

Or...  ;)

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1 hour ago, eman1200 said:

It is my opinion that ELTs should be optional. Some people need them, some people want them, and some have zero use for them.


Fire away.

That's okay and in fact I think you can well make the case that the FAA agrees with that sentiment up to a point, CFR 91.207 even says

"(f) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to --
...
(9) Aircraft equipped to carry not more than one person."  

So if it's just you, the FAA agrees entirely. Another exception listed that may apply in spirit to why you perhaps shouldn't be required to have one:

"(3) Aircraft while engaged in training operations conducted entirely within 50 nm radius of the airport from such local flight operations began"

Perhaps a bit unfair or inconsistent to only grant that to flight training? 

However, most Mooney's are travelling machines though, and I therefore I do agree with the FAA in that if we have seats to take unsuspecting pax, we should be equipped with an ELT. But even here there is another interesting exception that adds a twist to this from the regs, is that you may still operate the aircraft after removing a faulty ELT for repair or replacement but only for upto 90 days as long as its placarded in plain view of the pilot to show "ELT not installed". 

You got me wondering when its truly required.

 

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  • 1 month later...

People think that they should have the freedom to do stupid things. Unfortunately, other peoples selfish,  foolish choices affect everyone. How? If you don't have an Elt the search will take longer and your injuries may take more time and money to fix. Like riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Your freedom costs others money and heartache. Sorry, Seen too many bad accidents, life long injuries, inability to function costing millions over a lifetime. Everyone has to pay. Same may be true if the search for you arrives late, but you are still alive.

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I would leave the old ELT and carry a PLB if you want GPS/SAT capability. Cheaper, and easier to upgrade, only downside is the battery replacement is expensive since they are not user replaceable.

 

 

Tom

I much prefer to have both since they serve different purposes. If I survive the landing and am still conscious, I’d like to think I could activate a PLB, but I might be pre-occupied getting out of a burning aircraft. The nice thing about the 406 ELT is it doesn’t depend on me activating it.

I’ll be adding a third one in a few days - a Garmin Inreach so if Iam conscious I can even communicate.

Of course not all need all that.

 

I am probably more concerned than many on this stuff because I fly over a lot of desolate terrain and headed south of the border again soon; plus I’ve seen first hand how difficult it can be to locate a downed plane that is surprisingly close to civilization. This technology is too good and too affordable to pass up.

 

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13 hours ago, kortopates said:

I much prefer to have both since they serve different purposes. If I survive the landing and am still conscious, I’d like to think I could activate a PLB, but I might be pre-occupied getting out of a burning aircraft. The nice thing about the 406 ELT is it doesn’t depend on me activating it.

I’ll be adding a third one in a few days - a Garmin Inreach so if Iam conscious I can even communicate.

Of course not all need all that.

 

I am probably more concerned than many on this stuff because I fly over a lot of desolate terrain and headed south of the border again soon; plus I’ve seen first hand how difficult it can be to locate a downed plane that is surprisingly close to civilization. This technology is too good and too affordable to pass up.

 

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I got a good price on a Garmin InReach Mini over Thanksgiving.  The wife likes the ability to text friends / family if we're over the desert and out of cellphone coverage, and then there is the SOS button if we're having a really bad day of course, but the ability to communicate bi-directionally with emergency services was a big plus for me vs a PLB -- but if I did a lot of overwater flying I'd be buying a waterproof PLB also (and a liferaft)...

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