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  #41  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:23 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Well said Bob...
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  #42  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:02 PM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Thumbs up VP-X Pro arrived, configuration complete....

Back when Garmin decided to support the VP-X Pro system with the G3X, I knew that if I ever decided to go with a G3X, I would have to go Vertical Power as well. The integration/functionality offered by this combination is just too good to pass up for a techno geek. When this install is done, I will have went from one extreme to the other in regards to an aircraft electrical system. My first was all done with fuses with the only breaker being on the alternator field. The new system will be all state of the art microprocessor controlled solid state switching and overcurrent protection.

Today I got home to find the VP-X Pro system had arrived. It was well packaged with lots of foam protecting it. Included is the packing list and a quick start document to point you in the right place. I chose to not select the available factory made wiring harness and instead chose the connector kit only. This kit was included in the box along with a crossover Ethernet cable for initial configuration of the unit, the mounting brackets and the VP-X Pro unit itself wrapped in an anti-static bag.

The connector kit seems to be filled with very high quality parts and at first glance looks to include some extra pins and stuff. Also included is a tool to help you remove pins when needed.

There are times in this day and age when you buy something and once it arrives you get the sinking feeling that it either is not going to work as advertised, it is build cheaply and won't last or that the manufacturer is just barely hanging on by a thread. I have to tell you that the VP-X Pro is none of those things and so far it has exceeded my expectations.

Each and every step in the process I have went thru to get this device configured has been a complete pleasure. The software planning tools on the website just work and work well. I did not find any bugs and only one annoyance. This is something that not many manufacturers can claim. The actual software configuration tool used to configure and download to the VP-X downloaded, installed and worked perfectly on my Windows 7 machine. I was able to complete the configuration without even reading the directions with the exception of needing to know what IP address to configure my PC's Ethernet port to.

The following will be some screen shots and brief descriptions on how I got the VP-X up and running in about 15 minutes:

First thing I did was read the short one page quick start document that comes with the VP-X that tells you what pin to ground along with +12V to the main power pin to get the unit powered up for configuration.

I then went to the Vertical Power website and downloaded the VP-X configuration software and installed it. This is a no-brainer....

Once that was done and I powered it up all I needed to do was use the supplied crossover cable to connect the VP-X to the computers Ethernet port. Then I had to set the IP address of the Ethernet port so that the computer and the VP-X were on the same subnet so they could talk to each other.



When you have that done, you can launch the software and you get this screen:



All you have to do is click the button for Ethernet and the software will go online with the VP-X and upload the current configuration out of it. The default config is blank so you have to either configure it from scratch or you can use the online software planning tool to create a configuration file for you to download into the VP-X. I chose to complete the online software planning tool several days ago.

The planning tool is very well done and works great. Basically all you do is answer a bunch of questions and then press a button and presto! Your configuration file is created. Once you have your file created, you can request a review by Marc and his team back at the Vertical Power headquarters and they will give you tips and advice on how you might want to massage your configuration to get the most out of the system and to take advantage of the redundancy features of the VP-X. My first pass had some things that Marc did not like so I corrected them and sent it in for another review and he gave me a thumbs up.









The planning tool will then generate a wiring diagram for you as well as a cross reference document showing all the pin configuration information. You also get the ability to download the configuration file for saving on your computer so you can download it into the VP-X:



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Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
Check out my RV-10 builder's BLOG
RV-10, #41942, N?????, Project Sold
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
Like EAA Chapter 1494 on Facebook

Last edited by Brantel : 12-10-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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  #43  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:03 PM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Thumbs up VP-X Pro arrived, configuration complete....Part 2

So now that you have the configuration all you need to do is download it into the VP-X:


Once the configuration has been downloaded you can explore the software. There are a few features that must be adjusted on a live VP-X box that the software planning tool cannot do for you. Those are things like Wig-Wag, Flaps and Trim functions that require some sort of calibration or extended parameters set.

Most all of this stuff is self explanatory and easy to configure without much help. There are even some buttons so you can test the system out when installed right from your computer.














The status page fills you in on any system faults and the status of the inputs:


You have the ability to send fake EFIS data to the VP-X to test your configuration:
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Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
Check out my RV-10 builder's BLOG
RV-10, #41942, N?????, Project Sold
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
Like EAA Chapter 1494 on Facebook

Last edited by Brantel : 12-10-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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  #44  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:56 PM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Thumbs up VP-X Pro arrived, configuration complete....Part 3

Last but not least I wanted to touch on the device control screen. This screen lets you control all of your devices right from the computer. It also even indicates overcurrent as well as no-current faults where configured and even lets you reset the pins if they are faulted. This is a cool troubleshooting tool that would allow someone to control and test out their systems without any switches connected and without an active EFIS talking to the VP-X.



While the above may look intimidating at first, it really is not and this system is easy to get out of the box and get configured quickly with no experience with the unit. Marc and his team have done an awesome job perfecting this product, the documentation, tools and software needed to make it work.

Here is a video explaining a ton of what I went over briefly above:
http://vimeo.com/17655667

Very excited to get this thing installed as the heart of my electrical system!
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Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
Check out my RV-10 builder's BLOG
RV-10, #41942, N?????, Project Sold
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
Like EAA Chapter 1494 on Facebook

Last edited by Brantel : 12-10-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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  #45  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:13 PM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
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Brian,

Nice write up!

Bob
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  #46  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:09 AM
fatherson fatherson is offline
 
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Thank you for the detailed write-up, Brian.

We have so many cool things we're working on at VP, that I think we forget sometimes how equally cool our bread-and-butter VP-X is. Even while we're working on emerging technologies (VP-400 with iPad Configurator, RunwaySeeker, and a bunch of stuff we're not talking about yet), we're also not neglecting the VP-X. Expect a new version of the VP-X Configurator tool real-soon-now; it will largely look and behave just like the version you documented in your posts above, but we've fixed several bugs, improved reliability, and added a few important features (like reflex flap positioning for RV-10s).

Anyway, when we're all heads down on our projects here, it's really great to hear from satisfied customers like you; Marc passed around your praise to the whole team this morning, and it buoys our spirits and encourages us to keep working on the cool stuff scattered around our benches. Thanks again!

--
Stephen
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  #47  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:38 AM
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CharlieWaffles CharlieWaffles is offline
 
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Quote:
Once that was done and I powered it up all I needed to do was use the supplied crossover cable to connect the VP-X to the computers Ethernet port. Then I had to set the IP address of the Ethernet port so that the computer and the VP-X were on the same subnet so they could talk to each other.
Acutally, the VPX Configurator software will do this for you automatically.
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  #48  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:47 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieWaffles View Post
Acutally, the VPX Configurator software will do this for you automatically.
It may on some computers but it tried and failed on mine. I knew what the issue was so I just went ahead and did it manually.

It was my fault however because I did not read the directions.....the auto-configuration of the Ethernet port feature of the software did not know how to deal with my unique configuration on my PC. If I had a normal setup, my guess it would have worked just fine.
__________________
Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
Check out my RV-10 builder's BLOG
RV-10, #41942, N?????, Project Sold
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
Like EAA Chapter 1494 on Facebook

Last edited by Brantel : 12-11-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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  #49  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:00 PM
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Fearless Fearless is offline
 
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Default Another satisifed VPX purchaser

I don't remember having to fool with the IP address on my computer when I connected to the unit and used the configuration tool. But I got the Sport so the setups probably are different. I did some soul searching before I purchased my unit because I already had my plane wired. Of course the VPX product wasn't available when I started. But after I got my EFIS it just made sense to get a unit so I could display my electrical system on the screen. If you are going to utilize an EFIS in your plane the VPX is at a minimum the only way to go. This from a builder on the low end of the financial scale.
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  #50  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:27 PM
SteinAir SteinAir is offline
 
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Default Little Teaser

I just can't resist making Brian agonize over waiting for his big Xmas Boxes to arrive! Everyone gets to see his new goodies at the same time he does!

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