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  #1  
Old 03-29-2014, 08:07 PM
jjhoneck jjhoneck is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: PORT ARANSAS
Posts: 419
Default A problem we never used to have...

Here's a problem we never used to have in airplanes: Running out of USB ports!

Our new GRT Horizon HXr EFIS has two USB ports. One is used for my Skyradar ADS-B receiver. The other is run to a port in my panel to allow for easy updates.

We wanted to use GRT's awesome Android App that allows you to duplicate the EFIS on a tablet in the back cockpit of our RV-8A. (In fact, this was one of the selling points that tipped us toward GRT.) This meant that we needed to add a little USB Bluetooth transmitter, which plugged neatly into the USB port in the panel. I figured "Well, I can always remove it when I need to do an upgrade..."

Then...two weeks ago GRT added georeferenced moving map sectionals -- a fabulous upgrade -- and the charts reside permanently on a memory stick that plugs into...a USB port.

Yikes -- now what? I'm maxed out!

After speaking with Ben at GRT, he recommended that I install a Startech industrial grade USB hub. This splitter is not cheap, but the Startech is basically militarized and built to withstand virtually anything. That's what I wanted, so I ordered one.

Then...where to put it? It had to be sturdy, but easily accessible, since those charts need to be updated regularly. SO...

Here are some pix of my solution. We had already mounted the old GRT EIS engine monitor (no long needed in the cockpit panel, but necessary for the EFIS to display engine information) on the access panel in the forward luggage compartment. We even made the display readable, in case we ever needed to see it while (for example) working on the engine. Why not simply mount the USB hub on the same panel?

The location works great. I can remove that access panel in less than a minute, making it easy to get at the memory stick. It isn't cluttering up my panel, or taking up any precious real estate behind the panel. The Bluetooth transmitter plugs into the hub as well, clearing the port in my panel. So I now have an empty port in the panel, and one in the hub, good for future needs.

Here's the access panel, installed:



Here's the access panel, removed. The USB hub is stout, and fits very securely in the access panel. It had to be mounted offset as shown, to clear "stuff" behind the panel.



Here's a different view:



I was a bit worried about the range of the Bluetooth transmitter, and whether we would have a good connection to the back cockpit from behind the panel. We tested it today on a two-hour flight, and it worked great.

Here's a bad pic of the Nexus 7, duplicating the EFIS in the back seat of the -8A today:



So there you have it -- who would ever think we'd be running out of USB ports in an airplane?
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2014, 11:19 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default

Jay, good solution, thanks for sharing it with us.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2014, 12:07 AM
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Michael White Michael White is offline
 
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Default

Jay,
Nice "out of the box" solution. I'll have to remember this one.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:00 AM
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JPalese JPalese is offline
 
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Default USB stick ?

With a dual HXr
Where is the best place to plug in the map memory stick?
USB Hub
Rear of EFIS
Panel connector

My assumption is a single stick will supply data to both screens

A behind the panel connection can't be bumped; a panel connection can be reattached in flight should it come loose.
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Last edited by JPalese : 03-30-2014 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Typo n added comment
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:02 PM
jjhoneck jjhoneck is offline
 
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Default

From my understanding (which may be flawed), each Horizon screen requires its own USB thumb drive, with the charts on it.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:33 PM
jclark jclark is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 804
Default Two small sticks easily accessed ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPalese View Post
With a dual HXr
Where is the best place to plug in the map memory stick?
USB Hub
Rear of EFIS
Panel connector

My assumption is a single stick will supply data to both screens

A behind the panel connection can't be bumped; a panel connection can be reattached in flight should it come loose.
1. You will want two memory sticks.
Your subscription will allow this to be done.

2. You can get VERY small (physically) sticks that are not likely to be bothered by being bumped. You will want access to the stick for the 28/56 day updates. Also with the new "Flight Data Logger" you may want to pull the stick at any time and review some data with s spreadsheet.

James
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:37 PM
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JPalese JPalese is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: KHXF
Posts: 143
Default Small USB sticks

Hi James:

Thanks for the info. Do you know the name and memory size of the small USB sticks you referenced? Where can they be purchased?

Tnx!
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2014, 11:25 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Default

Try searching for SanDisk - 32G Cruzer Fit USB
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2014, 07:45 AM
jclark jclark is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
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Default Vern is right ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vlittle View Post
Try searching for SanDisk - 32G Cruzer Fit USB
What Vern said (see above).
Also, PNY makes a small one.

They are readily available at places like BestBuy, Staples, Walmart and the usual online sites.

When on sale, expect about $1/GB.

USB 3.0 drives will cost a bit more per GB.

James
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2014, 10:25 PM
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JPalese JPalese is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: KHXF
Posts: 143
Default 1 USB stick needed per EFIS

I was directed to the Seattle Avionics web site where it indeed says a USB stick is needed for each EFIS display.

So I ordered a couple of the mini 32 GB San Disk Cruzers - paid about 19 bucks each for them.

Thanks to all for the help and suggestions.
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