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View Full Version : Is TruTrack still in business?


Captain_John
11-24-2005, 09:31 AM
Okay, I understand that they are one of the most prevalent AP providers that we RV people use but, I have yet to get a response from them?

Is that because my request isn't accompanied with an order form and some shineola?

This is putting them lower on my list. I have used their contact form on their website and sent them an email. It has now been 10 days and not even a whisper from them!

Am I asking too much?

What I am looking for is information on the roll servo bracket on the -7. I understand that it is easier to install now while the wings are open than to retrofit it later. I would like to install it now, but given their response (or lack thereof) I may just look elsewhere.

What has your experience been like in dealing with them?

:mad: CJ

TShort
11-24-2005, 09:46 AM
Maybe it's 'cuz they just had the 1st flight of their -10 to keep them busy ... ?
I have no direct experience, but have heard nothing but positives...

Thomas

robertahegy
11-24-2005, 09:55 AM
I haven't used their products as yet, but I have talked to them over the phone in the past. I would call them after Thanksgiving. They do seem like really good people and I would give their products first consideration.

JMHO

Roberta

GaryK
11-24-2005, 09:56 AM
CJ,
Try calling , I've never had a problem contacting them.

The mounting hardware for a typical installation in the RV wing doesn't need to be done before the wing is closed, it is simple and straightforward. One thing I would recommend is wiring up the 9 pin Sub D connector and attaching it to the servo before the final installation. Once the servo is mounted in the wing it's a bear to get the Sub D screws tightened.

Gary
N715AB (RV7A)

Ironflight
11-24-2005, 10:46 AM
I talked with them yesterday - thinking of putting in an Altrak (Gee, 40 hours on the airplane, and already I want to add stuf!), and needed some clarifications. Got through to them right away. Judging by the fact that their web site is hasn't changed much in a year, I think that 'net stuff is probably low on their priority lists - some people are just like that....(some days, even I long for my slide rule...)

Paul

SteinAir
11-24-2005, 10:51 AM
They are normally extremely responsive to everyone, as long as there are people available to answer the phone.

If you're having difficulty getting in touch with the, try calling one of their dealers that does a lot of trutrak business. They can most likely answer most of the questions you'll have. I know we get several calls per week about their stuff, and with the exception of overally technical answers can usually help you out.

That being said, on some days it's near impossible to get through on the phones with us as well, so I can understand what might be going on. Somedays the phone is nearly silent, but other days it's ringing off the hook for 12 hrs straight!

Anyway, people are right. You can add the servo later, but in reality it's always easier to add stuff to the wing before it's closed then it is later. If it were me (and it has been), I would add the servo before I closed the wing. Just one less thing to worry about later. You can get the mounting hardware and servo separately with no pricing penalty, so why not?

Cheers,
Stein.

Davepar
11-24-2005, 11:57 AM
...Judging by the fact that their web site is hasn't changed much in a year, I think that 'net stuff is probably low on their priority lists...

I noticed that as well. There's no mention of the dual-axis ADI/autopilot on their web site, and I think it's been out for quite a while. I'm not even sure what they call that thing.

But then Stein's web site says the ADI Pilot will be "coming soon" at OSH '05 ;)

Captain_John
11-24-2005, 02:45 PM
You can add the servo later, but in reality it's always easier to add stuff to the wing before it's closed then it is later. If it were me (and it has been), I would add the servo before I closed the wing. Just one less thing to worry about later. You can get the mounting hardware and servo separately with no pricing penalty, so why not?

Cheers,
Stein.

This is what I hear. So, how do I get this stuff? When all is said and done, I want one uh dese:

http://www.steinair.com/images/store/adipilot.jpg

With this stuff:

ADI Pilot 2 - Pitch & Roll Axis autopilot, Digital DG, GPS Nav Mode, Digital Track Selector, PLUS Altitude Hold!

But I don't wanna pay $3995 right now.

I DO want to make it easy in the long run by doing it once, the smart way.

Sooooo anyone, maybe Stein... what is my next step?

I don't see partial kits anywhere on the web. Not your site or anyone else's.

I know that I am working on a partial mental panel here because this IS the first plane I have ever built.

I am sorry if my questions are sophomoric, but I just don't know the things I don't know.

HELP ME!!! Waaaah!

:( CJ

I guess that this is the part that Van talks about when he says it will be trying at times!

Thank you everyone!

:D

Captain Avgas
11-24-2005, 03:29 PM
CJ,

One thing I would recommend is wiring up the 9 pin Sub D connector and attaching it to the servo before the final installation. Once the servo is mounted in the wing it's a bear to get the Sub D screws tightened.

Gary
N715AB (RV7A)

Glad you mentioned this because I had real problems accessing the D Sub screws in that location after installing the servo. I'm still not certain that I have any significant torque on the screws. How did you go about it. Any suggestions.

SteinAir
11-24-2005, 09:28 PM
The ADI Pilot 2 axis is not yet shipping, but I'm told it will be soon. That being said, you can easily order the servos and hardware now and the control head later. Same story with the small ADI, not yet shipping but due out soon....don't ask me what "soon" is, because everytime I guess....I'm wrong!

We don't sell the "partial kits" per say on our website because the numerous aircraft combinations would just take up too much room. It's easier if you just call, tell us what aircraft you're using and what autopilot you're thinking of using in the future.

It's not too big of deal because the majority of the TruTrak autpilots use the same servos with a few exceptions, so you just order the servo and hardware early. If later down the road you decide to go with a higher end autopilot, the servos are an easy swap (from standard to trim sensing for example).

I can't speak for TruTrak directly, but I know most all of us are a little behind on our websites and keeping them up to date, but we're trying!

Have a great holiday,
Stein.

rv9aviator
11-25-2005, 05:50 AM
I am waiting for the ADI-autopilot to become available myself and am a vendor to Trutrak. I know the folks at Trutrak are extremely busy getting this and other new items into the supply line. It WILL be worth the wait. Give them a call.

Jim Wright RV-9A 90919 Arkansas Wings

Captain_John
11-25-2005, 06:37 AM
Well, thank you all for your replies!

I really do appreciate the assistance! I will, at the very least install the roll control servo bracket in the right wing for the time being.

This really does seem to be the best autopilot available to us right now.

Thanks again,

:) CJ

Bob Axsom
12-01-2005, 07:29 PM
Captain John,

Tru Trak is in buisness but they do not conform to the low tech product business stereo type. It is run by the two partners that are the technical brains behind the designs that are the technology leaders and they are constantly working to improve the autopilot systems available to us builders of Experimental aircraft. Before I put the Pictorial Pilot and Altrak my RV-6A was a handfull in IMC, working with kneeboards around the stick, sorting charts etc. now it is very manageable. The difference is tremendous. Jim Younkin is one of the principles and to say he is a hands on guy is such a gross understatement it is embarassing to say it. Jim had a great personal loss this year that anyone familiar with air shows is well aware of but it has not swayed him from his dedication to the Tru Trak business. I took a photograph of him standing at our EAA Chapter meeting on November 20 listening to a presentation by Jack Macy on his GlaStar.
http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/6669/jimyounkin6zg.jpg
Jim is a regular chapter member, and he acts like a member, but as an airplane builder and autopilot designer he is a giant. He taught electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas as a graduate student I am told. He is not an e-mail guy so if you want to communicate with him you have to talk to him - that's just the way it is. Unless you can fly into the Springdale, Arkansas Airport you will probably have to call the company. I recommend against going there on the offensive - if you tell whoever you talk to your situation and ask your question they will help you every step of the way until your system is up and running the way it was designed to run. They are definitely in business.

Bob Axsom

Captain_John
12-02-2005, 04:59 AM
Bob, thanks for the reply.

My comment was mostly frustration and part sarchasm (why have an html response form on your website and not respond to it) and was intended to get people to read it.

Reasons:

I sent him an email (like the website says, and still no response. I suppose a phone call would have been my next step in attempting direct contact, but if you were counting that makes three. I am sorry to hear about his great personal loss last summer. I am unaware of things like this being 1,000 miles away and don't drink coffee with him regularly.

Honestly, I knew most of what you said already and preferred the Trutrak system above all others.

Since that time, a dealer has contacted me (good thing for them they have good dealers who are internet savvy!) and is shipping me a roll servo bracket.

Upon attempting to give this dealer money, it was refused. What a great guy!

I am going forward with the intent of installing the system and am really looking forward to seeing (and using) the latest iteration of the Trutrak designs when my plane is ready.

Thanks for your response.

:) CJ

gbrasch
12-02-2005, 08:45 PM
The limited experience I have had with them has been positive. I had the same question you did. At first I just bought the bracket and figured I would install the servo later. But looking at the difference in space between going in through the inspection plate, or the un skinned wing, I bought the servo and installed it before I skinned my wing. Just my .02. Glenn in AZ -9A fuselage 90623

CFI1513840
12-23-2005, 01:38 PM
I just ordered the Trutrak roll servo installation kit for my right wing, minus the servo unit. I was told by Trutrak that they don't recommend installing the servo if it's not going to be used for a couple of years. I asked why and the sales rep stated that it could "lockup" if it sets unused for an extended period??? No further info available. It doesn't seem reasonable that the unit would seize simply by sitting around. Could it be a lubrication problem?

With the servo going in later, my main concern is being able to install it in the completed wing. However, I plan on running the wiring and installing the servo connector before closing up the wing.
Two questions:
1. Will there be enough room to maneuver the servo unit through the W-822 access opening and install all of the necessary hardware (nuts, bolts, washers)?
2. Should the wiring be split out from the conduit run going to the wingtip or run separately? Alternately, the wiring could be routed out to the wingtip and back to the servo bay, but this adds unnecessary length. I was also thinking of a PVC joint or splitting the conduit at the servo bay.

LettersFromFlyoverCountry
12-23-2005, 01:51 PM
Wow. That's news to me. I paid 'em the money and put it in and nobody and no instructions said anything about not doing so. Oh well. I'll give it a tug every once awhile but it won't be doing anything before 2008, I figure.

Derrell
12-23-2005, 02:40 PM
I unclecoed the bottom skin on my QB wing to install the servo, but unless your hands are like 10# hams you can work through the inspection hole.

Derrell
7A Finish

Captain_John
12-23-2005, 03:38 PM
I unclecoed the bottom skin on my QB wing to install the servo, but unless your hands are like 10# hams you can work through the inspection hole.

Derrell
7A Finish

****! I am screwed!

:o CJ

Alex D
12-23-2005, 04:14 PM
I was told by Trutrak that they don't recommend installing the servo if it's not going to be used for a couple of years. I asked why and the sales rep stated that it could "lockup" if it sets unused for an extended period???
Ken,
That statement is true, but I feel I need to share my experience.
I have been a dealer and installer for Trutrak for the last 3 years. The only ones I have seen with this problem, have been servos sitting on a shelf for 2 years plus. The grease/lubrication gets hard from lack of movement, and tends to create excessive friction. I had no problems with the servos installed in my RV6 since 2001.

It is no problem installing the servo through the inspections hole in the wings. The one complain I do have, is that it is very difficult to screw the little screws for the wiring connector. The connector is on the back side of the servo away from you in a very small area. You need a short/small screw driver and lots of patience.
Cheers

Alex D

CFI1513840
12-23-2005, 06:05 PM
Ken,
It is no problem installing the servo through the inspections hole in the wings. The one complain I do have, is that it is very difficult to screw the little screws for the wiring connector. The connector is on the back side of the servo away from you in a very small area. You need a short/small screw driver and lots of patience.

Alex D

Alex,

If there is enough slack in the wiring, wouldn't it be possible to fasten and secure the connector before the unit is mounted?

Alex D
12-23-2005, 07:41 PM
If there is enough slack in the wiring, wouldn't it be possible to fasten and secure the connector before the unit is mounted?

Yes, it would be possible to do it that way. I have found that with the connector secure, it takes a little more finese to get it in place. Make sure that you use some sort of anchor to secure the wire slack from the control surfaces.
Also don't forget to install the servo stops that come inside the box, but it is not installed on the servo from Trutrak.

Regards,
Alex D

rv6builder48138
12-24-2005, 05:14 AM
Ken,
That statement is true, but I feel I need to share my experience.
I have been a dealer and installer for Trutrak for the last 3 years. The only ones I have seen with this problem, have been servos sitting on a shelf for 2 years plus. The grease/lubrication gets hard from lack of movement, and tends to create excessive friction. I had no problems with the servos installed in my RV6 since 2001.

It is no problem installing the servo through the inspections hole in the wings. The one complain I do have, is that it is very difficult to screw the little screws for the wiring connector. The connector is on the back side of the servo away from you in a very small area. You need a short/small screw driver and lots of patience.
Cheers

Alex D

I'm a bit confused (my usual state). When I looked at the TruTrak web site, the only installation that I saw for an RV-6 did not not include any servos or hardware for the wing. Is that the case, or did I miss something? I'm asking because I've skinned the left wing and am about 50% finished with the right, and if there's anything to be installed in the wing I'd like to do it before I close up the wing. Thanks! John

Alex D
12-24-2005, 06:55 AM
The RV6 has the roll servo installed under the seat. It can go under the pilot or copilot side. The servo for the RV6 has a longer arm than the rest of the RV's. The servo in it's self is the same, but the control arm is different.

Alex D

LettersFromFlyoverCountry
12-26-2005, 12:55 PM
Does anybody have a DigiTrak setup where taking a picture of the servo would be difficult? Specifically, I'm looking for what the servo stop looks like so I can look for it in this mess of boxes in my basement.

Alex D
12-26-2005, 06:33 PM
http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/4640/rv10torquebracket5kg.jpg
This is a picture of what the servo stop looks like. It's the piece by the servo arm. This picture is an RV10 roll servo with the torque enhancer, that is the reason the arm is on an angle in the neutral aileron position.
If you are missing the servo stop let me know.

Alex D
alex@aviationtechproducts.com

LettersFromFlyoverCountry
12-27-2005, 07:27 AM
It would appear that I am (missing the stop).

PJSeipel
12-27-2005, 08:14 AM
Okay, the pic above is an RV-10 roll servo installation, but looks very different than mine. Mine doesn't have stops, and the push rod connects directly to the bellcrank.

Here's my question: Is my installation okay, or do I need that extra bracket (torque enhancer?) on the bellcrank and the stops? If I do need them, who do I contact, TruTrak or the folks I bought the servo's through (Steinair)?

Thanks,
PJ
RV-10 #40032

LettersFromFlyoverCountry
12-27-2005, 09:24 AM
Mine connects directly to the bellcrank too. But I did notice in the installation instructions it makes reference to the stops. I just didn't find any in the box.

Alex D
12-27-2005, 04:40 PM
I was making reference to the servo stop installation for the RV6 roll servo under the seat installtion only. Not all models need the servo stop.
Regarding the RV10 pitch servo bracket, the one Trutrak uses today it is not the same bracket that was provided from Van's aircraft with the fuselage kit. These brackets are available from Trutrak or the dealer you purchased from.
Again, the comment about the installation with the servo stops was intended to answer the post regarding the RV6 under seat bracket installation ONLY.

Alex D
alex@aviationtechproducts.com