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A couple years ago I installed an Avidyne IFD550 and an overall panel upgrade.  I have been very happy with the IFD550, although I have only used it for VFR since I have never gotten it to work correctly with the Stec 60-2 AutoPilot.  That's another subject we can discuss some time.  My problem now is that the IFD has simply failed.  I have attached two short videos.  I last flew the plane on 5/29/2020 since my annual expired at the end of May, but I go out every couple weeks and run the engine for about 15 to 20 minutes.  I have delayed starting on my annual because my long time AP had a stroke last year, and I am trying to work with another AP that will come to the Warsaw airport and work with me.  I have the guy lined up and he will allow me to perform an assisted annual, but we just have not started on it yet due to scheduling (both his and mine).
Having said all that, I went out to the hangar yesterday evening and pulled the plane out for it's 15 minute run on the tarmac and the IFD would not boot up.  I think the video will explain.  There was a difference if the engine was running or not???  Also, something that is not shown in the video is that the system voltage is running at 13.9 volts, whereas past JPI data shows it consistent at 14.2 +/- .1 volts. The IFD acts "better" if the engine is off and the ship voltage is setting at 11.9
 
Please watch the short videos, the 5964 is engine off, 5965 engine running
Thanks,
-mark
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I believe there is an Avidyne forum...

Does it fail to boot up the same way every time?

i got to the same word while reading the start-up screen on both videos...

Best regards,

-a-

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Usually when this happens, it is after a DB update that is corrupt or if during the DB update, the aircraft voltage dropped too much and would not allow the DB to be written correctly.  It does happen and usually it is because of those reasons.  You could possibly fix it in the field by doing the latest upgrade and doing a "CF Update" and then reload the SW if need be.  Let us know if we can help out. 

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On 7/16/2020 at 1:49 PM, Mark942 said:

My problem now is that the IFD has simply failed. 

Have you considered returning it for a refund or cutting your losses by selling it and installing a Garmin? That would solve all your issues. No need to have all that money tied up in an Avidyne brick for VFR only. You can do that with a portable!

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Hi guys,

Here is an update.  My M20E is down for annual so I can't take it to the avionics shop that did the install.  They have someone already scheduled for a visit to a nearby airport next Tuesday, and he is going to then come down to look at my problem.  Unfortunately I am out of town for a few days to visit my self isolated daughter so I will not be there to ask questions and watch.  Overall, I am very happy with the IFD550 and would choose it again over the Garmin. My only issue is that my Stec 60-2 doesn't work well with it, and that is very frustrating.  I'd like to yank the Stec out and replace it, but Mooney's don't have much to choose from for modern Autopilots.  Been seriously thinking about going the recertification route to "Standard" to be able to put one of several new AP's in it and quit throwing good money after bad.  The IFD550 does work well with Forflight.

The tech thinks I have a power issue due to the way the audio panel behaves.  That sounds a lot cheaper than a IFD problem.

I'll update when I hear from the avionics tech.

Thanks for everyone's interest,

-mark

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On 7/23/2020 at 6:24 AM, PTK said:

Have you considered returning it for a refund or cutting your losses by selling it and installing a Garmin? That would solve all your issues. No need to have all that money tied up in an Avidyne brick for VFR only. You can do that with a portable!

Oh Peter...... I have been off of this site for a few years when I got tired of all the drama, but you just did make me laugh!  Thank you.

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On 7/24/2020 at 11:15 AM, Mark942 said:

Hi guys,

Here is an update.  My M20E is down for annual so I can't take it to the avionics shop that did the install.  They have someone already scheduled for a visit to a nearby airport next Tuesday, and he is going to then come down to look at my problem.  Unfortunately I am out of town for a few days to visit my self isolated daughter so I will not be there to ask questions and watch.  Overall, I am very happy with the IFD550 and would choose it again over the Garmin. My only issue is that my Stec 60-2 doesn't work well with it, and that is very frustrating.  I'd like to yank the Stec out and replace it, but Mooney's don't have much to choose from for modern Autopilots.  Been seriously thinking about going the recertification route to "Standard" to be able to put one of several new AP's in it and quit throwing good money after bad.  The IFD550 does work well with Forflight.

The tech thinks I have a power issue due to the way the audio panel behaves.  That sounds a lot cheaper than a IFD problem.

I'll update when I hear from the avionics tech.

Thanks for everyone's interest,

-mark

Well, what was the resolve?  And do not mind Peter too much, he has stock in Garmin apparently.  LOL  He gets upset when people purchase real equipment.  I believe he also gets his tools from Harbor Freight versus Snap-On because not everyone shops with longevity in mind.  Haha

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Update: Sort of???  The tech manager from the avionics shop that installed my IFD and did a complete new panel for me is located only 40 miles away.  He had an appointment with another customer scheduled near by and stopped on his way back to his shop.  I was out of town visiting my daughter who has been self isolated, and he had told me Not to pull the IFD out to bring over to him for a bench test because it acted differently if the engine was running or not.  He said he really thought it was a power issue in the avionics buss.  I got home late Thursday, two days after he stopped by.  I called the shop last Friday since I had not heard anything, and unfortunately, he was out for the day and the tech I spoke to said, Hey Mark, I remember your Mooney from when it was in here.  I don't know the status of your unit, but do know that the IFD and the Avidyne audio panel are in on our bench.  I still have not talked with the manager since I missed him again earlier this week.  I'm going to call again tomorrow.  If I don't get some info, I might jump in the car and drive over.  I have been very cautious in where I go and who I will be near with the virus because I have a restricted airway and it would be a toe tag for me if I ever got sick enough to need a ventilator.  I'll let everyone know what I find out.  Thanks for asking.

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12 hours ago, Mark942 said:

Update: Sort of???  The tech manager from the avionics shop that installed my IFD and did a complete new panel for me is located only 40 miles away.  He had an appointment with another customer scheduled near by and stopped on his way back to his shop.  I was out of town visiting my daughter who has been self isolated, and he had told me Not to pull the IFD out to bring over to him for a bench test because it acted differently if the engine was running or not.  He said he really thought it was a power issue in the avionics buss.  I got home late Thursday, two days after he stopped by.  I called the shop last Friday since I had not heard anything, and unfortunately, he was out for the day and the tech I spoke to said, Hey Mark, I remember your Mooney from when it was in here.  I don't know the status of your unit, but do know that the IFD and the Avidyne audio panel are in on our bench.  I still have not talked with the manager since I missed him again earlier this week.  I'm going to call again tomorrow.  If I don't get some info, I might jump in the car and drive over.  I have been very cautious in where I go and who I will be near with the virus because I have a restricted airway and it would be a toe tag for me if I ever got sick enough to need a ventilator.  I'll let everyone know what I find out.  Thanks for asking.

You most likely need to do a CF and reinstall the SW for the unit.  Did this happen when you were doing a DB update by chance?  Were you on battery power or external power, if you were doing a DB update?  There is an actual Service Advisory to get this done to the unit and Avidyne is very very helpful in getting this done for customers.  If I can help, please let me know.  Also, did you register the IFD?  If you did, they will take care of it and it usually is a 1 day turn around once they receive it if the Avionics Shop communicates with Tech Support clearly and concisely.  

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I spoke with the avionics installer today.  He said he was having a tough time getting anyone at Avidyne to answer the phone, but that he had 5 email exchanges with them.  They told him not to send the unit to them at this time and that he was being couched via email to reformat and reinstall firmware, but without any success. I plan to try a call to Avidyne support tomorrow.  My experience with my avionics shop has not been very good, with the original install/ panel build quoted at 2 weeks, then being told it would be 4 weeks when I dropped the plane off.  The actual time was 5 months, and my Stec 60-2 is still flaky for the third time they have told me it was fine.  Since the plane is down for annual with hose change out on the Ray-Jay turbo, I thought I would give them a shot at it, but I may go get it and send it somewhere else??? To answer some one's question above, I was Not trying to update a database.  Simply started the plane up, then after a minute, turned on the avionics buss and this is how it came up.  Last time out, a couple weeks earlier, it was just fine. Absolutely no changes at all to trigger the failure.

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@Mark942

Did you press the enter button?

I didn’t see your finger in the video...

 

I tried to read the verbiage.... but it seems to go away faster than I can read and understand...

So I took a screen shot...

If you don’t press the enter button, you haven’t accepted their agreement...
 

Then the screen goes dark...

 

That’s all I got...  :)

Best regards,

-capn obvious-

 

91C456BA-B524-44D5-B2B1-0DD578A228E8.png

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No time to press the Enter button, the video is in real time not compressed.  The unit and audio panel was pulled by the avionics shop tech when he stopped by and is at his shop now.  He has been trying to reformat with Avidyne's email support.  He has told me that Avidyne is not answering their phone and that is why the email back and forth.  I called Avidyne yesterday and got right through.  Avidyne says it is covered under warranty and wants me to return the hardware to them for repair.  I will be going to FWA tomorrow to pick it all up and send to Avidyne.

-mark

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On 8/8/2020 at 1:17 PM, Mark942 said:

No time to press the Enter button, the video is in real time not compressed.  The unit and audio panel was pulled by the avionics shop tech when he stopped by and is at his shop now.  He has been trying to reformat with Avidyne's email support.  He has told me that Avidyne is not answering their phone and that is why the email back and forth.  I called Avidyne yesterday and got right through.  Avidyne says it is covered under warranty and wants me to return the hardware to them for repair.  I will be going to FWA tomorrow to pick it all up and send to Avidyne.

-mark

What a mess.   You could see if anybody has an old 530 or something laying around to plug-in until it comes back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:  Per my last update around 8/6/20, I did call Avidyne the next day and connected with someone on the first attempt.  I explained my problem, the status of my IFD and audio panel and what I had been told by my avionics dealer.  I received calls throughout the day from 3 people.  Each assured me this was not normal, and that they would help me get this resolved.  They assured me that my equipment WAS covered under warranty and that it should be sent to them on a RMA.  This was all accomplished in a single day.  I decided that I no longer wanted my original dealer involved going forward.  The owner of the shop made every excuse under the sun, and that he couldn't get a return call from Avidyne.  I asked Avidyne for a recommendation of a new dealer and I am now working with this new shop.  The RMA has been reassigned to the new shop.  Very happy so far with the customer support from Avidyne.  All it took was one call directly to them.  I'll post when I know more.

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Update:  I now have both the Audio Panel and IFD550 back.  The audio panel was returned from my "new" avionics shop after they ran some tests on it and said it was good to go, and the IFD came back from Avidyne a few days ago.  I am doing a deep dive into the wiring under my panel to look for chaffing or loose wires, anything that could cause a problem with ship voltage.  I have also put in a request to Avidyne to give me a report as to what they found as the problem. I don't want to just stick the equipment back in the trays and hope for the best, even though my new avionics dude told me to do just that??? Some times I wish I was NOT a degreed Electrical Engineer from Purdue.  Ignorance can sometimes be so soothing, but I am paranoid that my gremlin will return if I don't have a reason from Avidyne that says it was something internal to the unit.  So, I will update when I hear from Avidyne again.

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3 minutes ago, Mark942 said:

Update:  I now have both the Audio Panel and IFD550 back.  The audio panel was returned from my "new" avionics shop after they ran some tests on it and said it was good to go, and the IFD came back from Avidyne a few days ago.  I am doing a deep dive into the wiring under my panel to look for chaffing or loose wires, anything that could cause a problem with ship voltage.  I have also put in a request to Avidyne to give me a report as to what they found as the problem. I don't want to just stick the equipment back in the trays and hope for the best, even though my new avionics dude told me to do just that??? Some times I wish I was NOT a degreed Electrical Engineer from Purdue.  Ignorance can sometimes be so soothing, but I am paranoid that my gremlin will return if I don't have a reason from Avidyne that says it was something internal to the unit.  So, I will update when I hear from Avidyne again.

FWIW, the Avidyne keeps a very detailed internal log and captures such things as undervoltage events (and a whole lotta other stuff).   If it thinks it suffered a voltage dropout, it'll log it.   It's easy to download from the USB port in the face.

 

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Thanks Eric,

When I do install it, I'll go poking around but I want to hear from Avidyne first so I reduce the likelihood that I fry the unit when I first power it up.  I do think it is a case of electronic infant mortality since it has under 40 hours on it, but they should be able to shed some light on this for me.

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