I know there will be people who will want to wait until the factory blesses the new Garmin G3x v9.12 upgrade
.. but I'll give you my impressions so far on it for those who want to trailblaze a little.
Although not recommended by Garmin, I use the same SD card for everything (software updates, databases, saving log files). I also use a 32gb card, though they recommend 8gb. It doesn't seem to be a problem though. I ran the 9.12 installer, and it dumped the files onto the SD card.. so simple even a caveman can do it. Pop the card into the G3x, it detects newer software, and it updates. All the avionics were turned ON during the upgrade. It took less than 5 minutes. Although the update will apparently travel over the CANbus to the other G3x (if you have dual screens), I updated each screen individually.
Garmin is now also publishing the transponder update for the GTX 3x5 series (see last line at https://www8.garmin.com/support/coll...t=010-01057-00
). Previously, you had to go to a dealer or nag them at Oshkosh (and they were quite happy to travel to your plane to do it at OSH). You'll need a somewhat rare-to-find these days USB cable (USB type-A to USB type-B usually used to connect printers to computers example
), and a laptop/computer to bring to the aircraft. Remove the pilot G3x screen, plug in the USB cable to the USB pigtail from the transponder, and run the transponder update program. Select the update file you want to apply, connect to the transponder, it'll show you the software versions on the xpdr vs versions in the update file. It'll update only the software that needs updating. Thats the 1000' view of the transponder update procedure.. pretty intuitive and I'm glad Garmin/FAA trusts us not to break things.
Impressions so far
I took a 1hr flight after these updates. For about 30 minutes, I noticed that the XM radio was not controllable; nor was the G3x displaying any traffic. After approx 30 minutes, it magically started working again. I believe this was because the GDL52(xm radio / UAT device in the tailcone) was updating itself. Not a big problem, but I was regretting doing the update for about 30 minutes
I have the GTN650 navigator as well and I use VNAV as much as I can so I can start a descent into an airport at the right time. The GTN650 announces "Vertical Track" when beginning a descent.. and now the G3x announces the same.. Both triggered at the same time, giving an echoy effect.. I'll have to disable the G3x announcement.
The radio frequency selection pages seem to be a little snappier.
Upon engine startup, I did notice the white "BARO" CAS message, warning me to set the barometer. It turned off after I set the barometer.
Before the next flight, I will set the (Configuration mode > Sound > VNE Alert), and the (Configuration Mode > Aircraft > Takeoff Safe Altitude). I expect those features to perform as advertised. After some early testing at my home airport (sea level), I believe 500' AGL is plenty to do the impossible turn. So I'll initially set at 500' and test at a larger/safer airport.
A far as the transponder update, the only thing I've noticed is that the autopilot mode is now broadcast over ADSB: