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  #1  
Old 10-29-2020, 04:33 PM
pylotttt pylotttt is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 42
Default glass cockpit systems compared

Hi all,
Just bought my RV-6a. I want to upgrade from steam gauges to EFIS.

I currently have a six pack, single axis autopilot, bendix kln 35a, klx 135a, garmin gtx327 transponder with no adsb, a single point egt/cht probes, a davtron oat/voltage/density alt/pressure altitude indicator, and a narco cp-136 audio panel.

I would like a 10" EFIS system with waas gps, synthetic vision, engine monitoring, 2 axis autopilot, adsb in/out, remote com radio, with all wiring/connectors.

I am considering Dynon, HDX, GRT, MGL.

I plan on doing the install myself.
I looked at the Garmin but it appears when you buy their product all you get is "connector kits" which consist of the connectors and bare pins, so all harnesses need to be built from scratch.

Of the other systems, which is the most complete, being closest to plug and play (easiest to build)?

Are all the EFIS panels comparable in quality of display, ease of use, and functionality?

How difficult would it be to connect my existing transponder to the system?

Are most of the system interconnects sold with pre made wiring harnesses , cables terminated at the connector on one end and needing wiring at the other to enable cable length, or as just bare connector/pins kits that need to be wired point to point?

If I want to set up the system with 1 EFIS but have a spot on my panel to add a second at a later date, what is needed? Is it something that is plug and play or are there additional interfaces required?

I live in Arkansas. Is there anyplace that I can go to see the systems mockup or demo?

Thanks for the help,
Rob
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1973 Cessna 177RG sold
1974 Cessna turbo normalized 177RG Sold

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  #2  
Old 10-29-2020, 04:47 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,788
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pylotttt View Post


Of the other systems, which is the most complete, being closest to plug and play (easiest to build)?
Take a look at GRT, they will check a lot of your boxes. https://grtavionics.com/product/horizon-10-1-efis/

Quote:
Originally Posted by pylotttt View Post
Are all the EFIS panels comparable in quality of display, ease of use, and functionality?
This is pretty subjective, I suggest you try to get a look at the various setups yourself, then form your own opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pylotttt View Post
How difficult would it be to connect my existing transponder to the system?
GRT has a supplement for hooking up the GTX 327. https://grtavionics.com/product/horizon-10-1-efis/
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VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2020, 04:47 PM
BlackhawkSP's Avatar
BlackhawkSP BlackhawkSP is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 262
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pylotttt View Post
Hi all,
Just bought my RV-6a. I want to upgrade from steam gauges to EFIS.

I currently have a six pack, single axis autopilot, bendix kln 35a, klx 135a, garmin gtx327 transponder with no adsb, a single point egt/cht probes, a davtron oat/voltage/density alt/pressure altitude indicator, and a narco cp-136 audio panel.

I would like a 10" EFIS system with waas gps, synthetic vision, engine monitoring, 2 axis autopilot, adsb in/out, remote com radio, with all wiring/connectors.

I am considering Dynon, HDX, GRT, MGL.

I plan on doing the install myself.
I looked at the Garmin but it appears when you buy their product all you get is "connector kits" which consist of the connectors and bare pins, so all harnesses need to be built from scratch.

Of the other systems, which is the most complete, being closest to plug and play (easiest to build)?

Are all the EFIS panels comparable in quality of display, ease of use, and functionality?

How difficult would it be to connect my existing transponder to the system?

Are most of the system interconnects sold with pre made wiring harnesses , cables terminated at the connector on one end and needing wiring at the other to enable cable length, or as just bare connector/pins kits that need to be wired point to point?

If I want to set up the system with 1 EFIS but have a spot on my panel to add a second at a later date, what is needed? Is it something that is plug and play or are there additional interfaces required?

I live in Arkansas. Is there anyplace that I can go to see the systems mockup or demo?

Thanks for the help,
Rob
I had my wiring harnesses fabricated at Approach Fast Stack for my all Garmin system (3 screens and a GTN 650 with autopilot). They were awesome. It's as close to pug and play as you can get. They are labeled, fabricated to the length that you order and you get drawings of all the pin outs for reference. All you would do is connect the positives, the grounds, and connect the plugs to the boxes. I have had no regrets going that route.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2020, 07:16 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,304
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1. Iím another happy GRT customer. But theyíre all good. (I worry about service from MGL ó South Africa is a long ways away!)
2. Iím sure you can find a Garmin dealer who will fab a harness for you, if thatís what you want.
3. Consider wiring it yourself. Itís not hard. Even if you do buy a pre-made harness, you still have to do the hard part ó measuring (3 times, donít get it wrong!) the wire lengths you need for every single wire.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2020, 11:51 PM
SVTPete83 SVTPete83 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Napa, Ca
Posts: 64
Default

GRT stuff is top notch, reliable, and supported. I was a garmin guy before i bought my 9 that had older grt stuff in it. Iím upgrading right now, to the newer GRT stuff. Bang for the buck itís a solid deal.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2020, 06:07 AM
Brent Brent is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hanover, Pa
Posts: 49
Default EFIS

Good morning all, I have had excellent experiences with GRT. In my RV9 I had all GRT. I am told by my technological friends, that there isnít much to choose between any of the companies as far as quality. They all use much the same bits and pieces. Where the difference lies is in the technical backup which has been both excellent and fast. They return calls promptly and for the first one spent hours with me tracing difficulties that I had, mostly self induced.....read the instructions Brent! I also had the EIS engine monitor system with that. On the other hand, while test flying my friendís aircraft with Dynon, I had a complete screen shut down in flight which could happen to any of them, but his tech service was very slow.

I my present RV8 I have gone all GRT as far as the EFIS is concerned, but have a JPI 930 stand-alone engine monitor unit which suits me better. I would strongly recommend NOT having all engine monitor information on the EFIS. When I was faced with the dreaded black screen on the Dynon EFIS I also lost the engine information.

On my RV 8 I selected the largest screen HXr. Although it looks very good, I think I would go for the 10 inch display if I did it again. It is less expensive and I think just as good visually.

If you would like photographs of my panel contact me separately....I canít manage to download them here.

GRT will be an excellent choice. I wouldnít consider anything from outside the country!! I would prefer to avoid Garmin, they arenít very customer friendly in my experience. Good luck with your choice, you will enjoy flying with an EFIS once you get used to it.

Regards, Brent
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2020, 06:20 AM
Brent Brent is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hanover, Pa
Posts: 49
Default EFIS etc

Just an additional thought. I selected all TRIG radiosand transponder, all excellent stuff, with superb customer service, BUT the models that I selected are proving difficult to synchronize with the EFIS. If you decide on GRT, I would recommend coordinating with them to use whatever radios and TXP that they know is easy to connect with the EFIS. For example I selected the Trig panel radio, but for some reason only the remote Trig unit will connect fully with the GRT EFIS......I donít know why, but apparently there is some kind of incompatibility between them. As far as the autopilot, again talk to the GRT guys. Incidentally, they are also RV enthusiasts, I think RV6.

Brent
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2020, 07:25 AM
Steve Steve is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Roy, Utah
Posts: 1,184
Default

I installed a Garmin G3X touch system in my day vfr 9A earlier this year.
- I used my existing GTX327 transponder. The wiring diagram is in the G3X Installation Manual. I had the GTX firmware upgraded to the latest revision at my local avionics shop.
- Yes, either you or your EFIS dealer must build the wiring harness. I provided my dealer with a block diagram sketch with the approx distances between system components. You must decide ahead of time where you'll mount A/P servos, magnetometers, power sources, etc.
- You might/will have to disassemble one or more of the harness connectors anyway during an aircraft upgrade. Example - the 15 pin connector to the wing mounted autopilot servo doesn't fit through the 5/8" holes in the wing ribs.
- You'll be opening up connectors to wire up your transponder and OAT so purchase the connector pin installation tool and pin crimper tool.
So, to recap, it's not a difficult task to build a harness. I paid around for mine, but I'll do the next one from scratch.
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