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Old 02-27-2020, 06:43 AM
BCP Boys's Avatar
BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 880

How much do you want to or can you spend? This is a personal question that you only need to answer to yourself, but that's the first thing Stein is going to ask you. Just to throw some numbers at you ---
660 moving map ~ $750
G5 ~ $1200
Then if you want autopilot - add
$750 for roll $750 for pitch
but you have to now drive the autopilot which the control head-GMC507 ~$1100
======================= Add about $2000 minimum for someone else to do the installation and harness.

The above is the minimal and you will have a solid VFR auto pilot plane with no vacuum system. So you're at around $7K (if someone does this for you).

From there you can go wild --- You can spend upwards $40K easily for a dual EFIS, with Engine Monitor, IFR GPS/Nav, Backup IFR GPS/NAV, etc.

If you are trying to stay at a budget but relevant in today's fast changing market of avionics, how about looking at a single EFIS (for example G3X touch) and put in a platform that you can add to later if you or someone that buys that plane chooses to.

Have a price in mind before calling Stein, Jesse Saint, Walt, Vic or anyone on VAF forums that does this for a living. We certainly have a number of really knowledgable people that make a living doing this.
RV-7 - Regretfully Sold
RV-10 - Sold

Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:59 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,013

Getting rid of the vacuum system at this point is a good idea. What you have mentioned (G5 & 660) will work just fine. You don?t need any kind of external anything other than what you already have to control your autopilot. If you decided you would like a moving map or some sort of digital engine indicating system, you have many options. The only real limitation is money. If you were to consider a GRT Mini instead of the G5, you would have a same size vacuum replacement that also has a moving map, engine data (with their EIS), TT autopilot controller, ADSB traffic and weather with connected ADSB system. If you would like to see one installed in person, I?m only a few miles south of you at Hamilton airport - HAO. Let me know if you would like to come take a look.
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019 Flying
RV6/Used kit purchased 2021 building
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Old 02-27-2020, 08:29 AM
Gyrodoug Gyrodoug is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Beavercreek, OH
Posts: 99

Really good info. This forum is a wealth of knowledge.

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Old 02-27-2020, 08:46 AM
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caryr caryr is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northwest georgia
Posts: 320


I have a vac pump with fresh vanes that I put in when mine quit a year ago.

Month later, I removed all of the vac system for upgrade.

Its yours for the postage, if you need something to get over the hump.

cary r
Cary Rhodes
Taylorsville, Georgia
Van's RV-7
First Flight April 2004
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:09 AM
Gyrodoug Gyrodoug is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Beavercreek, OH
Posts: 99

Originally Posted by caryr View Post

I have a vac pump with fresh vanes that I put in when mine quit a year ago.

Month later, I removed all of the vac system for upgrade.

Its yours for the postage, if you need something to get over the hump.

cary r

WOW. Generous offer. I'll talk to my partner. We just received the cover plate that caps off the system once the pump is removed... I suspect we will move forward with that plan... but.... Thank you!!!
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:34 AM
Mike Smith Mike Smith is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 15
Default it depends ...

I spent about 14-18 months debating what to do with my airplane (RV-6) and finally pulled the trigger on an avionics upgrade last year. My decision may not be "right" for you, but I could walk you through all the pros & cons affecting my decision. It's far too lengthy to discuss here, but a short phone call would be nice where you could ask me why I chose one path or discarded another choice.

As others related in your post, you really should define your mission and budget. Mission defines the "need" and budget creates boundries for addressing the "need". I'd be happy to walk you through my process. Maybe my experience will help you decide what's best for your application. PM me if you want to talk and I'll send you my cell number.

Mike Smith
RV-6, 160hp, fixed prop
Grass Valley, CA (KGOO)
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:28 PM
rcsilvmac rcsilvmac is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: NorCal
Posts: 96
Default 660 AV30

I recently replaced my altimeter and an old gauge to the Aera 660 and AV30. The Aera 660 is a fantstic moving map solution. It is a dependable partner for cross country VFR flying. I still have a mounted ipad min for Foreflight, but for my eyes it washes out easily.

The AV30 brings much better single instrument HSI/Altitude/etc with probeless AOA and a much better look than the G5 I considered hard.

I also mounted at GDL393D for ADSB In and other AHRS source for the Aera.

Very happy with the minimal cost modern upgrade to my panel!
2021, 2022 Dues paid
RV-6 with training wheel
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:42 PM
Gyrodoug Gyrodoug is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Beavercreek, OH
Posts: 99

Great feedback everybody. Thank you
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:30 AM
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turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,175

i would ditch the vacuum stuff and recoup some $$.
i love my G5 upgrade. very bright, less expensive for experimental aircraft.
see all your options in flight if possible and understand things change but you are just vfr.
being vfr you don't need an expensive unit to drive the AP, it will fly to a degree in heading.
good luck.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
addicted pickle ball player
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:43 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,570

Originally Posted by Gyrodoug View Post

Avionics options are truly daunting to think about.

I'm looking forward to your opinions!
GO CHEAP.... buy more AV Gas.... A G5 and portable/panel GPS or iPad with Foreflight and some of those cool ADS-B in Bluetooth deals you will be flying in style.

If you plan on upgrading your Engine instruments go with GRT 10.1 and their EIS system. There is some benefit having all 4 jugs monitored (CHT/EGT) along with fuel flow and other required engine instruments. It adds safety and efficiency.
Raleigh, NC Area
RV-4, RV-7, ATP, CFII, MEI, 737/757/767

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