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Neil
03-30-2006, 03:50 AM
It is time for me to start deciding on the make of Autopilot to install in my RV 9A. Assuming I have the altitude hold configuration - the Trio appears less expensive. But of course I am uncertain about the comparitive functionality of the two brands as I have not flown with either.

I would appreciate some guidance in what maybe he advantages and disadvantages of the two units.. or any other comments .

Many thanks. Neil

Jkkinz
03-30-2006, 06:06 AM
Neil,

I recommend that you call and talk to Stein. He is very knowledgable and helped me make my decision.

Jim Kinsey
7A Finishing second wing

Sam Buchanan
03-30-2006, 08:19 AM
It is time for me to start deciding on the make of Autopilot to install in my RV 9A. Assuming I have the altitude hold configuration - the Trio appears less expensive. But of course I am uncertain about the comparitive functionality of the two brands as I have not flown with either.

I would appreciate some guidance in what maybe he advantages and disadvantages of the two units.. or any other comments .



This topic has been discussed on this forum numerous times in the past. Use the search engine to see the posts, several of which will be mine.

Instead of a rehash of my observations after flying the EZ-Pilot for a few hundred hours, I suggest you study Trio Avionic's website to see all the features of their unit. It will perform precisely as advertised.

Both Trio and TruTrak are fine companies and both build excellent products (the AlTrak is in my plane). I enjoy using the feature set of the EZ-Pilot, and the Trio guys are quality folks.

Sam Buchanan (RV-6, 729 hrs)

Highflight
03-30-2006, 08:39 AM
The only thing I would add is to consider what other equipment you are using in your panel. For example, Grand Rapids has specifically designed their EFIS system to work with the Tru-Trak and they recommend Tru-Trak as an autopilot with their equipment.

On the other hand, Trio will probably work just as well in similar installations, but all I'm saying is to look at your AP as a component in a system rather than as a stand-alone product.

Mike S
03-30-2006, 09:10 AM
"but all I'm saying is to look at your AP as a component in a system rather than as a stand-alone product."

One of the best pieces of advise on this here forum.

Actually, not just the AP, but all of the electrical/electronic stuff will fit into this catagory.

Mike

Bob Martin
03-30-2006, 09:16 AM
Neil,
I agree with all above and like you, haven't flown with an AP before.
I just ordered a ADI Pilot II for my flying RV-6
To follow along Vern's post....the TruTraks ADI is very nice and then they built a two axis auto pilot into the same box, I love it.
In my case, I'm getting ready for the day my vac system quits, then the ADI will help me go all electric, plus I don't have to add another hole in the panel.
So you should think about the whole panel too, when you think about the AP's of today.
Just my .02
Bob Martin

Neil
03-31-2006, 01:09 AM
My thanks to you all -- I appreciate your kindness and I will follow the ideas you have suggested.. It is quite exciting to have make the decision and also to have all your guidance. I am building the 9A in Tasmania - Australia

:) - Neil

Mustang
04-13-2006, 02:59 AM
Guys,
Yes, you should look at how things integrate in your cockpit, but also, think about failures. You want to avoid losing a lot of stuff with the failure of one component. So just because the XXTrac works well with the GRT EFIS, consider what would happen if the GRT EFIS failed. Look Ma, No autopilot. This, is not good!

We are planning to use the Trio A/P and drive it from the Lowrance 2000c. We also plan to feed the Lowrance info into the EFIS which might be the GRT unit. Losing the Lowrance GPS, will not kill the Trio A/P, nor will it kill the GRT EFIS, and nor will a failure of the GRT kill the A/P. Of course losing the A/P will not affect either the Lowrance, or the GRT EFIS.

So, yes integration is good, but separation has merit also. You want to avoid too much interdependence. If the GRT EFIS is your primary attitude indication, and maybe you have a turn co-ordinator as back-up, losing the A/P (along with the EFIS) would be a serious loss when you need it the most. With our setup, that Trio A/P linked to the Lowrance GPS could put us within striking distance of the runway with not too much sweat, not to mention using it in conjunction with a LOC/GS.

The autopilot allows you to be the manager of the flight, not so much the pilot, and this is good. (I'm talking IFR flight conditions here) You want to keep the autopilot separate enough so that any failure will not take it out also.

BTW, I probably have as much, or more, of hard IFR time than anyone on this forum.

Cheers, Pete

Highflight
04-13-2006, 04:54 AM
Guys,
Yes, you should look at how things integrate in your cockpit, but also, think about failures. You want to avoid losing a lot of stuff with the failure of one component. So just because the XXTrac works well with the GRT EFIS, consider what would happen if the GRT EFIS failed. Look Ma, No autopilot. This, is not good!
Cheers, Pete

Good point, generally, but in the example you mention of the TruTrak with the GRT EFIS, not true.
The GRT EFIS can direct the TruTrak autopilot, but with the flick of a switch, the autopilot can be disengaged from the EFIS entirely and operate as a stand-alone unit using it's own internal GPS totally independant of the GRT equipment.

I'm pretty sure that Trio works the same way.

Jekyll
04-13-2006, 08:30 AM
Yo Pete:

If your EFIS fails, your TruTrak will be unaffected vis-a-vis its basic functions. You simply have the full range of benefits that come with the AP. You do lose some GRT enhancements. If using a separate GPS to drive your EFIS, and thense the AP, you can add a source switch to isolate AP input from either the EFIS or GPS thus preserving your flight plan and steering guidance.

You are quite correct that failure mode analysis should be performed by everyone building an aircraft.

Jekyll

SteinAir
04-13-2006, 08:48 AM
Guys,
Yes, you should look at how things integrate in your cockpit, but also, think about failures. You want to avoid losing a lot of stuff with the failure of one component. So just because the XXTrac works well with the GRT EFIS, consider what would happen if the GRT EFIS failed. Look Ma, No autopilot. This, is not good!
Cheers, Pete
I'm afraid someone fed you a bunch of bull! Your information couldn't be farther from the truth or the way the autopilots actually work (either TruTrak or Trio) when it comes to integration with the GRT's.

I sell and install BOTH companies autopilots, and they take their signals EXACTLY the same. NO difference. The only difference is in how you decide to hook them up. If you hook the TruTrak OR Trio directly to the GRT without a switch, then BOTH will act EXACTLY the same.

The fact is both the TRIO and TruTrak's are great autopilots, and BOTH are separate units that work just fine without an EFIS driving it. The difference is that for the time being the only autopilot available with vertical guidance from the GRT is the TruTrak. The TRIO will drive a course, but no coupled stuff.

Just to Re-iterate...you can run either companies AP's standalone regardless of what's going on with the EFIS's. That's why both of them have a little button/mode switch for what is driving them!

Sorry to rant, but the info quoted was just not right.

Cheers,
Stein.

R.P.Ping
04-13-2006, 09:25 AM
The fact is both the TRIO and TruTrak's are great autopilots, and BOTH are separate units that work just fine without an EFIS driving it. The difference is that for the time being the only autopilot available with vertical guidance from the GRT is the TruTrak. The TRIO will drive a course, but no coupled stuff.

Cheers,
Stein.

Stein, I?m not sure what you mean about the coupled stuff, but I'm flying a GRT with internal GPS and a Trio and I can select a synthetic GPS approach to a selected runway and fly on autopilot via the heading bug on an intersept to the runway center line and the autopilot will capture the approach and turn on to final. All I have to do is control vertical speed, (no alt hold w/vs yet).
BTW I am very happy with my TRIO & GRT set up. :)

Also, Highflight, I didn't know the TruTrak had an internal GPS? I don't think that was a correct stament.

Roger Ping
RV-9
engine going back together

Mustang
04-13-2006, 10:19 AM
Stein,
Sorry to put out incorrect info. I understood that the GPS/Autopilot was embedded in the GRT unit and controlled by the EFIS and so would not be available in the case of an EFIS failure. Thanks for the correction.

That said, my caution about separation still stands as that could be true about other integrated units.

Cheers, Pete

Mustang
04-13-2006, 10:25 AM
Stein,
Could we do our hookup through the GRT EFIS?

By that I mean have the Lowrance feeding into the GRT, and then the GRT feeds the A/P the flight plan track info.

If that would work, then we should probably have a switch to feed the A/P direct from the Lowrance, in case of EFIS failure.

Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks Pete

Ironflight
04-13-2006, 10:48 AM
Stein,
Could we do our hookup through the GRT EFIS?

By that I mean have the Lowrance feeding into the GRT, and then the GRT feeds the A/P the flight plan track info.

If that would work, then we should probably have a switch to feed the A/P direct from the Lowrance, in case of EFIS failure.

Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks Pete

Pete - that is essentially what I do with my GRT and Tru-Trak. I feed the tru-Track from a switch which selects either the GRT or the GNS-430 as the source. The switch is usually in the GRT position, because I can fly heading mode and select the headings on the EFIS screen. Works great!

Paul

SteinAir
04-13-2006, 02:56 PM
Stein, I?m not sure what you mean about the coupled stuff, but I'm flying a GRT with internal GPS and a Trio and I can select a synthetic GPS approach to a selected runway and fly on autopilot via the heading bug on an intersept to the runway center line and the autopilot will capture the approach and turn on to final. All I have to do is control vertical speed, (no alt hold w/vs yet).
BTW I am very happy with my TRIO & GRT set up. :)

Also, Highflight, I didn't know the TruTrak had an internal GPS? I don't think that was a correct stament.

Roger Ping
RV-9
engine going back together

You are correct, but as I said previously the only autopilot that currently will couple for vertical guidance is the TruTrak DigiflightII and up series. Of course the lower end TruTrak's and all of the Trio line will fly a GPS through the EFIS just fine.

With either AP, you can select the AP mode either direct through the AP controller or through the GRT EFIS. That being said, when we normally install these AP's (eithe TRIO or TruTrak) with the GRT/Internal GPS and if you have a separate GPS (handheld, GNS, etc..) we normally put in a small switch that allows you to select your GPS source either from the GRT (assuming it has an internal GPS) or another GPS feed, hence becoming an autopilot source select.

As stated, both the TRIO and TruTrak are standalone units that can be driven by a multitude of sourced including the GRT/Chelton EFIS's. I'm with Pete - in my opinion, it's a very good idea to have a standalone AP controller in case your EFIS ever decides to puke.

I think we're all on the same page now.

Whichever way you go you'll be happy because any AP is such a super addition to these RV's. I resisted for 4 years, but after I put one in my RV6 I wouldn't be without it!

Cheers,
Stein.

Mustang
04-21-2006, 01:36 PM
Pual, Stein,
Thanks for the updates and correction. I'm busy thrashing around in the wing, installing my roll servo.

I know that after my RV-4 flight to Wisconsin last July, my own RV has gotta have an autopilot. Anything more than an hour is too much hand flying! I remember, any time I would look at a chart, and then look up and find myself in a 30 degree bank one way or the other. No First Officer either!

Cheers, Pete