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Old 08-29-2019, 08:25 PM is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 159
Default External Power to Use Avionics with Engine Off

I?m a new RV-12 owner and am still learning the features of the plane?s Dynon Skyview HDX. I have a battery charger that I was able to use, with the engine off, when the plane was in a hangar that had 120 volt electricity. The plane is now tied down outdoors in a spot that does not have electricity. What do any of you use to power your avionics without an accessible 120 volt outlet?
Lon Sobel
Santa Monica, CA
VAF 2021 Dues Paid
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:24 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 1,130

Don't you start your engine up? Another option would be a 80w 12v solar panel with a 14.4v charge controller, put it in the cigarette lighter ?Power supply outlet. Good for about 4 amps

Otherwise, watch Skyview HDX videos on YouTube to learn how, without being in the plane. Or take someone else up with you while letting them fly, while you work with the Skyview. I'm not that far from you, in SFV, but it's been hotter than hades lately for flying. Come pick me up at VNY or WHP, traffic on the 405 is too brutal anymore to get to Santa Monica. I've got about 40 hrs now flying with a Skyview 1000 Touch, they are close enough to the HDX. Is your firmware up to date and current? 15.4.7 Aug 15 2019, I think?

Last edited by NinerBikes : 08-29-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:16 AM
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Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sherman, CT
Posts: 957

I just ordered a Garmin GNC 355 (back ordered), they have a great training app available. See if a similar type thing is out there for the Skyview, or as others suggest there are videos online.
RV6 #20477 completed 1991 sold.
RV7 #72018 N767T first flight 11/21/2017
(KOXC)Oxford, CT, (0NY0)North Creek, NY.
1941 J3 Cub skis, floats.
Building Javron Super Cub.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:22 AM is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 159

Originally Posted by BillL View Post
I use an MJF 25 amp power supply with adjustable voltage. It is good for checking other things at lower voltage too. It is dead quiet for radio work too.

It is used for demo modes and hangar flying, also database and software installations.

Here is a 25 amp model, MJF has others.
Thanks for this recommendation. The online description says it needs to be plugged in to a 120 volt socket ? something I no longer have available near my plane. Have you figured out how to provide it with input power that doesn?t require a nearby electrical socket?
Lon Sobel
Santa Monica, CA
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:52 AM
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Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,058

Battery and jumper cables, charge it when you get back to hanger.
Also safer for avionics than a cheap high ripple battery charger.
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
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RV7A built 2004, 1900+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
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Last edited by Walt : 08-30-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:46 AM
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RicoB RicoB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Glendale, CA
Posts: 327

You can always use a small generator and plug in whatever 12V power supply you have. I have a Honda 2000 that I use for things like that.
Rico Burgos
2018- RV9a at KWHP
1959- C-150 at KMOD
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:11 AM
HansLab HansLab is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 127
Default MGL comes with free simulator

Those of you building an Experimental (or building out of USA) could consider MGL for avionics: comes with free simulator. The sim is also usable without buying the stuff (, so perhaps you could learn from that perspective, as well?
Hans Labruyere
build & sold project Kitfox IV
Project bought & flying RV12 #120742
Donation 2021 paid
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:25 AM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is online now
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,724

Can you find a hangar or fbo that will let you plug in an extension cord? If not get a spare car battery and keep it charged so you can jumper it. You can use your car and jumpers, but not good news to drain it and be stuck. A small generator would be a good thing to have anyway. Good luck.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:56 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 1,565

I bought one of these:

I used it before flying with battery disconnected (connected battery cable to the power supply) to test/set up avionics.
Turner Billingsley

RV-14A built/sold N14VB
RV-12iS in progress as of October 2020
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:09 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,393

Originally Posted by mturnerb View Post
I bought one of these:

I used it before flying with battery disconnected (connected battery cable to the power supply) to test/set up avionics.
Used a similar power supply, however that doesn't get the OP over the hump of not having 115VAC available at the airplane.

The cheapest solution will be cheap jumper cables that you modify on the aircraft end to fit your specific aircraft electrical system (smaller alligator clamps, for instance, to fit better, clamped to the master contactor and ground). Then go find a 12V battery - borrow it from your friend's unused pickup truck, from the guy who has a boat that he's not using, whatever.

Charge the battery up fully before you get to the airport. Power the airplane via the jumper cables, then recharge the battery when you get home.

Stick a DVM on the battery and check that you don't take it down too low in voltage.

A Group 27 battery from my tractor will run my panel pretty much all day from a full charge.

Shed any unnecessary loads by pulling fuses/circuit breakers if those loads don't have their own switch. Things like fuel pumps, COMM radios, transponder... Their user interface is simple and should take you only a few minutes to learn. Once you've got them sorted out, power them down and save the juice for the EFIS and its adjuncts.
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