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New Avidyne problems, pirep


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Just wanted to take this time to review my experience with my Avidyne IFD440 so far. 

A few weeks ago under supervision and with a premade and tested harness I installed an IFD440. 

On the ground everything tested good so I started flying it. It quickly became apparent that the radio was not receiving properly and the transmit was very weak. 

The antenna and antenna cable had not changed so I was confident in those. With my IA we started troubleshooting and checking all the wiring for a lose ground, or maybe a single strand of rogue wire. Nothing. Everything checked out. We then re terminated the antenna cable and tested that. Same results. 

I had a small trip planned over the weekend and chose to proceed as planned. The radio DOES work, just not well. About 45 minutes into an hour flight I tried tuning the ATIS at the destination airport. The ICOM came in loud and clear. The Avidyne, with the squelch button pressed was only static. I rebooted the Avidyne and when it came back the atis was working. It was a bit noisy, but working. 

On the ground I swapped the 440 with a Garmin 430 in a friends airplane and had him test it without telling him my concerns. On my side the 430 worked just fine. On his side he reported the com tx seemed to be a little weak and the recieve was noisy. 

I take it back home, download the logs off the unit, we go through all the wiring AGAIN and find nothing, so I call Avidyne. 

Avidyne owner support transfers me to dealer support as they don’t have a lot of troubleshooting tips. - fine. I talk to someone there for about 2 minutes before our phones get disconnected. I try for the rest of the week to get ahold of someone without success. 

Finally I submit a ticket with the logs. (Which show a large number of VHF card errors)

I get a response saying they will only deal with the reseller (who is currently out of town) and not me or my IA. Nobody will call me back or talk to us. The unit was advertised as being installable with an IA signature, but Avidyne will not support me or my IA. They won’t even tell me what they think they found in the logs, only to have an Avidyne dealer contact them. 

It’s been 3 weeks since we installed this unit and I’m very close to pulling it back out. I was pulled in by the seemingly good support I found in the forums and online, but when a real problem occurred out of the box, that all seems to have disappeared. 

A bit out about me, I’m an experienced engineer who troubleshoots RF devices every single day for a living. 

I’m very unhappy with this product and the support I’ve gotten. I’m open to additional troubleshooting ideas, but it is pretty clear to me this unit is bad out of the box and Avidyne support is not helpful or easy to get ahold of. 

I do not recommend these products.

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I've only had to call Avidyne twice and both times were on weekends and they called me back and solved the problem within 15 minutes each time. I've had nothing but excellent support from them. Sorry you've had issues.

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Wow. Sorry to hear your bad experience right out of the box. I had a few issues with my 440 I bought used, under warranty and have had nothing but great customer service troubleshooting it down to a bad plug on the used Garmin rack that my 440 came with. I hope they can redeem their reputation with you. Its a great unit

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7 hours ago, chriscalandro said:

Just wanted to take this time to review my experience with my Avidyne IFD440 so far. 

A few weeks ago under supervision and with a premade and tested harness I installed an IFD440. 

On the ground everything tested good so I started flying it. It quickly became apparent that the radio was not receiving properly and the transmit was very weak. 

The antenna and antenna cable had not changed so I was confident in those. With my IA we started troubleshooting and checking all the wiring for a lose ground, or maybe a single strand of rogue wire. Nothing. Everything checked out. We then re terminated the antenna cable and tested that. Same results. 

I had a small trip planned over the weekend and chose to proceed as planned. The radio DOES work, just not well. About 45 minutes into an hour flight I tried tuning the ATIS at the destination airport. The ICOM came in loud and clear. The Avidyne, with the squelch button pressed was only static. I rebooted the Avidyne and when it came back the atis was working. It was a bit noisy, but working. 

On the ground I swapped the 440 with a Garmin 430 in a friends airplane and had him test it without telling him my concerns. On my side the 430 worked just fine. On his side he reported the com tx seemed to be a little weak and the recieve was noisy. 

I take it back home, download the logs off the unit, we go through all the wiring AGAIN and find nothing, so I call Avidyne. 

Avidyne owner support transfers me to dealer support as they don’t have a lot of troubleshooting tips. - fine. I talk to someone there for about 2 minutes before our phones get disconnected. I try for the rest of the week to get ahold of someone without success. 

Finally I submit a ticket with the logs. (Which show a large number of VHF card errors)

I get a response saying they will only deal with the reseller (who is currently out of town) and not me or my IA. Nobody will call me back or talk to us. The unit was advertised as being installable with an IA signature, but Avidyne will not support me or my IA. They won’t even tell me what they think they found in the logs, only to have an Avidyne dealer contact them. 

It’s been 3 weeks since we installed this unit and I’m very close to pulling it back out. I was pulled in by the seemingly good support I found in the forums and online, but when a real problem occurred out of the box, that all seems to have disappeared. 

A bit out about me, I’m an experienced engineer who troubleshoots RF devices every single day for a living. 

I’m very unhappy with this product and the support I’ve gotten. I’m open to additional troubleshooting ideas, but it is pretty clear to me this unit is bad out of the box and Avidyne support is not helpful or easy to get ahold of. 

I do not recommend these products.

Chris where are you located?  If you are on the west coast, maybe you can swing by and see if we can help out.

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When I put in my 550, I had quite a few radio issues. If you look at the receiver specs, they aren't that good. I had to replace the coax with RG400 and rebond the antenna and then most of the problems went away. The antenna worked fine with my KX155 , but the Avidyne is kind of touchy. It still has the 119.4 issue. It emits a spurious signal on 119.4 and makes communications a pain on that channel. Avidyne has kind of blown me and another guy in Tucson off on that.

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Chris, 

I'm really sorry to hear about your issues and the poor experience you've had so far. Please shoot me an email as soon as you get a chance and I will personally make sure you get taken care of. This is absolutely not a normal occurance for our customer experience and for that I apologize, but we will make it right. 

Bryan Kahl

Senior Director of Sales & Customer Experience

E: bkahl@avidyne.com

 

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Thank you Matt, I’ve been here a while. 
 

@Bryan KahlI’ve been in touch with Macie as well, I guess I don’t really need ALL of Avidyne to be involved. Just a support person would have been nice to help with the troubleshooting and to give some ideas of something maybe I didn’t think of. 
 

My biggest concern is this was an over the counter sale from a dealer. I then installed it with IA supervision. The dealer should not have to troubleshoot my mistakes (if any were made) and that’s what I would have expected Avidyne to be involved in. 
 

Instead I try to communicate all the things I’ve done. And get the response - have the dealer call. 
 

I pull the logs and look at them myself and see errors, I call Avidyne - have the dealer call

 

I try another radio, and intermittent issues are often solved with a reboot - have the dealer call. 
 

on the other side,

Today I call Dynon for something I thought I was doing wrong. They recognize my number and answer the phone with saying my name. I explain my problem, they give me an answer. A thing is broken, I pay the hold for the cross ship and have a new part ready at worst within the time of shipping, but if I need it they are willing to overnight it. I consider them the gold standard in support. 
 

point is, I shouldn’t have to complain publicly on the internet for someone to reach out to me. Not when I’ve been leaving unreturned messages for a week now. 
It’s electronics. I get it. Things break. To me, the difference between a product worth buying and one to stay away from is how it’s supported. 
 

In the limited email correspondence I have had Bryan has been as helpful as he can be. He put me in touch with Angie, who I have asked repeatedly to call me, only to be told that they will only talk to the dealer. 
 

I like my IFD. It compliments my glass panels perfectly. Unfortunately it doesn’t work properly and at this point I don’t think it’s my fault. Now we will never know because nobody wants to help me work through it and it’s in the process of being sent to Melbourne. 

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@chriscalandro I couldnt agree with you more. It should not have taken you posting on the internet to get support and I will absolutely address these coaching opportunities internally. I have one of our reps reaching out to you shortly to get this all taken care of. 

Best regards,

Bryan

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2 hours ago, Bryan Kahl said:

@chriscalandro I couldnt agree with you more. It should not have taken you posting on the internet to get support and I will absolutely address these coaching opportunities internally. I have one of our reps reaching out to you shortly to get this all taken care of. 

Best regards,

Bryan

Hi Bryan,

Cory has reached out and has been very helpful. I have also heard from Macie. 
 

at this time I believe we all agree there is something up with the vhf card and Cory has set me all set up with a replacement. 
 

I will keep this thread updated. 

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34 minutes ago, chriscalandro said:

Hi Bryan,

Cory has reached out and has been very helpful. I have also heard from Macie. 
 

at this time I believe we all agree there is something up with the vhf card and Cory has set me all set up with a replacement. 
 

I will keep this thread updated. 

Glad to hear Cory was able to help. I will continue to keep an eye on everything internally to make sure all goes smoothly. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly if needed. 

 

Best regards,

Bryan

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23 hours ago, Bryan Kahl said:

Chris, 

I'm really sorry to hear about your issues and the poor experience you've had so far. Please shoot me an email as soon as you get a chance and I will personally make sure you get taken care of. This is absolutely not a normal occurance for our customer experience and for that I apologize, but we will make it right. 

Bryan Kahl

Senior Director of Sales & Customer Experience

E: bkahl@avidyne.com

 

Way to go Bryan!  Glad to see you took care of this as you always do!  Good on you!!!!

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Had a few minutes today to put the new unit in, try a few things, and extract the logs.

 

Fired it up, got my settings put back in and triggered the TX a few times.  From X51 on my number 2(Icom) I am able to get the homestead AFB tower and get a good radio check.  On the Avidyne with or without the squelch I get nothing.  Local test is 5/5 (which the original unit was too).

 

Swapped antennas, same result.

 

Looking at the logs, I do not appear to be getting the VHF card errors I was getting before on the previous unit.

 

So, better, but still sub-good.  I have an antenna laying around and large flat piece of aluminum from my panel build.  I'm going to hook up an RG400 to that antenna on that aluminum plate, Gnd the plate with the airplane and see what happens.

 

Also might try to borrow the Spectrum analyzer from work.

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Had a few minutes today to put the new unit in, try a few things, and extract the logs.
 
Fired it up, got my settings put back in and triggered the TX a few times.  From X51 on my number 2(Icom) I am able to get the homestead AFB tower and get a good radio check.  On the Avidyne with or without the squelch I get nothing.  Local test is 5/5 (which the original unit was too).
 
Swapped antennas, same result.
 
Looking at the logs, I do not appear to be getting the VHF card errors I was getting before on the previous unit.
 
So, better, but still sub-good.  I have an antenna laying around and large flat piece of aluminum from my panel build.  I'm going to hook up an RG400 to that antenna on that aluminum plate, Gnd the plate with the airplane and see what happens.
 
Also might try to borrow the Spectrum analyzer from work.

Something else is amiss. I’ve had 5 units personally, and have never had an issue with coms with the exception of one that was install related


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2 hours ago, bmcconnaha said:


Something else is amiss. I’ve had 5 units personally, and have never had an issue with coms with the exception of one that was install related


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Like I said.  The garmin worked, and that antenna is good.  I'm going to go through my power and grounds a 4th time tomorrow.

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Like I said.  The garmin worked, and that antenna is good.  I'm going to go through my power and grounds a 4th time tomorrow.

Like I said, I’ve had 5. Two of which were garmin 430w slide ins replacement. The audio quality was same or better in instances. I have a KX165 as my com2, and the avidyne is much more clear. Just sharing my experience is all. The chance of two being bad out of the box is extremely small. I will text you this though. The one time I did have a com issue, the unit was not seated correctly. We went and slid a 530w in and it was fine, but the avidyne wouldn’t transmit. The guy doing the radio check would reply that nothing came across. I pulled the unit and carefully reseated, and never had another issue. I doubt that’s your issue though. It sounds like it’s been in and out a few times.


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On 12/4/2020 at 7:41 PM, chriscalandro said:

Had a few minutes today to put the new unit in, try a few things, and extract the logs.

 

Fired it up, got my settings put back in and triggered the TX a few times.  From X51 on my number 2(Icom) I am able to get the homestead AFB tower and get a good radio check.  On the Avidyne with or without the squelch I get nothing.  Local test is 5/5 (which the original unit was too).

 

Swapped antennas, same result.

 

Looking at the logs, I do not appear to be getting the VHF card errors I was getting before on the previous unit.

 

So, better, but still sub-good.  I have an antenna laying around and large flat piece of aluminum from my panel build.  I'm going to hook up an RG400 to that antenna on that aluminum plate, Gnd the plate with the airplane and see what happens.

 

Also might try to borrow the Spectrum analyzer from work.

@chriscalandro I hope you will continue to post updates as I had an IFD440 / GNS 430W replacement surgery recently and am experiencing degraded comm.  Thanks for the PIREPs!

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42 minutes ago, GeeGeeBee said:

@chriscalandro I hope you will continue to post updates as I had an IFD440 / GNS 430W replacement surgery recently and am experiencing degraded comm.  Thanks for the PIREPs!

It was a combination of the original IFD being bad and it not liking the antenna and cable despite the old 170 and 430 being good. 
 

I replaced the antenna and put in RG400 and I’ve been good since. 

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6 hours ago, chriscalandro said:

It was a combination of the original IFD being bad and it not liking the antenna and cable despite the old 170 and 430 being good. 
 

I replaced the antenna and put in RG400 and I’ve been good since. 

Thank you!  I will continue my troubleshooting.  Primary symptom is poor distance reception though at times even close-up reception (like talking to ground) is poor; also picking up some interference from the flashing strobe.

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