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  #1  
Old 05-31-2019, 12:02 PM
philb philb is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 178
Default AF-Pilot replacement

Hi Guys,
As luck would have it, got bit by the slow build.
Purchased an AF-Pilot 7 years ago, but just got around to flying 6 months ago.

Never worked out of the box despite in the field trouble shooting. Sent it back to TT - they say at a minimum $300 to replace an analog board, but likely would need a $700 "major".

So, given that the AF-Pilot is not even made any more, not sure I should throw money down that hole, but then I guess the option is throwing another $2000 to upgrade to a vizion after a previous $3500 boat anchor.

Does anybody have a sense of the build of the vizion - repair issues, reliability? If it was truly a "plug and play" replacement, might be tempted, but if I had to do any work, servo replacement, whatsoever, I might steer clear in favor of another manufacturer. Troubleshooting experience not stellar.

Phil Barnette
RV-10
Bountiful, Utah
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2019, 12:36 PM
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Bugsy Bugsy is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Posts: 554
Default Like my AF pilot

I like my AF pilot. Finally figured out why it wasn’t always predictable. The new AFS 5000 series need a dedicated serial port connected to AF pilot. Now that it’s wired the way the EFIS wants it the integration is phenomenal. It’s nice to be able to look at the autopilot and see the word coupled or flagged giving me a definitive that the autopilot has the approach in hand. On an LNAV+V I have seen GS Flagged on the AF pilot. I let it fly the approach anyway and sure enough it wasn't coupled and wouldn’t have been safe in IMC. The EFIS gave me a “good” glide slope. was it really good. Don’t know. The AF pilot convinced me to hand fly it.
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Last edited by Bugsy : 05-31-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2019, 02:37 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,184
Default

If you decide to go the new route (including servos), I can recommend the Trio Pro (and get the speed-modulated auto trim option - worth every penny). I control mine thru a GRT HX but the Trio works fine in stand-alone mode, too (but you need the EFIS to do an ILS).
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2019, 02:52 PM
rleffler's Avatar
rleffler rleffler is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 4,220
Default

Phil,

Unfortunately, purchasing an unit six years too early, then finding out you have a DOA is really your issue. The vendors clearly state what is the warranty period. I can empathize, I had a similar issue with my GTN-650. I was only a few months over the warranty period and Garmin charged me $975 for the repair.

I upgraded my AFS-Pilot to a Vizion for $1,500 when they first came out. If you can talk to Andrew directly, you may be able to negotiate with him on the pricing due to you're circumstances. Other folks probably don't have the authorization to sell other than list pricing.

I can tell you that the Vizion is tightly integrated with the AFS screens. Mine works as advertised. It is a plug and play solution.

Another alternative that may be less expensive is to switch to the Dynon Servos (you'll need at least two) that are directly connected to the SV-Network. This is assuming that you have 5000 series screens. This isn't an option on 4500s. You won't have a stand alone AP head, which some may consider a risk. However the risk of your EFIS failing is pretty minimal. If you have dual EFIS, the nice thing is that you can reconfig SV network devices on the fly to another EFIS. This combo also gives you the option to fly a desired IAS on the approach. This is the only feature that you can do with the AFS/Dynon combo that you can't do with the Trutrak AP heads.
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2019, 03:38 PM
philb philb is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 178
Default

Thanks Bob!

Totally agree on the warranty- it?s on me, just trying to figure best way forward at this point. I?ve got 2 of the 5600?s so sounds like I?ve got options. The plug and play of a vizion is really attractive if I don?t have to rewire everything or cut out a new panel- I like flying too much to be down for awhile!

I?ll see what the price options are if they?ll sell me just the vizion head. As long as the tech service picks up if I have problems in the future, should be ok. Seems like folks like the TT models.

Phil
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2019, 03:42 PM
RONSIM's Avatar
RONSIM RONSIM is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Largo, FL
Posts: 1,049
Default Should be able to use your existing servos for the Vizion upgrade

I think you will very happy with your AFS screens and the Vizion. (and, I believe, the Vizion is what is used for the Certified aircraft installations, so lots of support down the road.)

Ron
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:49 AM
cojaken cojaken is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 73
Default

Philb, there is a Vizion head for sale in the Classifieds
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:53 PM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 4,220
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by philb View Post
Thanks Bob!

Totally agree on the warranty- it?s on me, just trying to figure best way forward at this point. I?ve got 2 of the 5600?s so sounds like I?ve got options. The plug and play of a vizion is really attractive if I don?t have to rewire everything or cut out a new panel- I like flying too much to be down for awhile!

I?ll see what the price options are if they?ll sell me just the vizion head. As long as the tech service picks up if I have problems in the future, should be ok. Seems like folks like the TT models.

Phil
You will have to change one pin when migrating from the Pilot to the Vizion. Its for support of the blue button, which is a new feature. I don't recall what that pin did on the Pilot, its been too long ago since I upgraded.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:26 PM
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Larco Larco is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 1,233
Default

I recommend checking with TT regarding the servos. a couple of upgrades to the vizion done locally required a pitch servo change as part of the upgrade too?
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:34 PM
philb philb is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 178
Default

Thanks guys!

Pretty timely that it would post, but TruTrak good to me on the upgrade to a new 385 Flat Pack. New unit with a 3 year warranty at a good price.

They did make sure I knew about the minor wiring for the button, but said my existing servos were compatible. The wiring diagrams look very similar, but we'll see as I get it installed. Some weekend panel work!

Phil
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