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Old 06-27-2020, 02:25 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,063
Default Panel Options - RV-3B

Which variation would you choose and why? The purpose is day VFR, without aerobatics, one alternator, one battery. The RV-3B panel is the smallest of all the RVs and this is about all that I can stuff into it.

Option 1 - 7" Dynon HDX, iPad mini for nav redundancy and clarity. The HDX would have a backup battery. My concern with this option is navigating with the 7" HDX. How useful is it?

Option 2 - 10" Dynon HDX, Garmin G5 for redundancy. Both would have backup batteries. Here the main concern is that with no other Garmin devices, the G5 isn't a navigation device. It's basically a compass with a PFD. Still, that plus my phone, which I'd have to deploy, are enough to get me to the next airport.

I'm not planning on multiple additional screens, nor on eliminating an HDX in favor of a second G5. I'm also not going to switch to an all Garmin or even a majority Garmin system, mostly because I already have the Dynon boxes other than the HDX. On the other hand, if you have an idea that'll fit the small panel, other than these schemes, I'd be interested in it.

The switch panel under the main panel is an add-on that's part of the avionics shelf, and it's recessed just a bit forward of the panel. I can't use that space for additional panel goodies. It's just for switches and pull controls like carb heat.



Last edited by David Paule : 06-27-2020 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Added photos
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:32 PM
RWoodard's Avatar
RWoodard RWoodard is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 475

I wouldn't rely on an i-device at all. I've been using my iPhone in the -3 as a map/navigation device because the onboard GPS is very old with an un-updatable database and no graphics to speak of.

I've flown approximately 16 hours in the -3 over the last 5 days and my iPhone has gone into "hot" mode in any flight more than about an hour. The screen dims to a point where it's very difficult to read. Part of the problem, I'm sure, is that I've got an Otterbox case on the main body of the phone. The other issue is that Foreflight consumes a fair bit of power so I've got a charging cable plugged in at all times. The in/out of electrical juice heats things up, too.

I find it difficult to find a place where the screen is visible to me that puts the iPhone in the shade to give it a chance to cool off. I've started turning it off and holding it in front of a vent when I'm in the middle of nowhere so that it'll work as I approach my home airport within 1/2 mile of Class B airspace at the end of a flight. Not ideal.

After today's flight, I promised myself I'd look into a Garmin 660 or something that might be a little more sunlight readable and tolerant of cockpit heat.
Rod Woodard
Brighton, Colorado (CO12)
RV-3 IO-320
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Old 06-27-2020, 04:08 PM
Jrskygod Jrskygod is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Edinburg, TX
Posts: 648

Option 2. You will appreciate the larger screen and information. The 7" is just a bit small especially when you have the engine instruments on there. The map features and lettering especially is hard to read unless you zoom unrealistically. The G5 is a great choice for your backup and use your phone or mini if you have a dynon failure which will be very rare if ever. I would lose the clock, airspeed and inclinometer as they are redundant with both the G5 and Dynon. You're gonna really like the setup.

I'm doing pretty much the same with GRT equipment as my RV3A is very space limited behind the panel and I do not have the space you have and I already have an GRT EIS.
RV-3 Rebuilding
RV-9 Flying and having fun, experimenting and having fun, did I mention flying and having fun?
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:02 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,063

Should have mentioned that the clock is a fuel tank reminder rather than a timer. The minute hand points to the tank I need. No buzzer or beeps. My background is in an airplane where the fuel is always on "both" and this is to help me remember to switch the darn tanks. This was an idea from someone on VAF a few years ago.

And yes, knowing me, I think that I'd better stick the clock in the panel.

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Old 06-27-2020, 05:42 PM
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rswalden rswalden is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 150

Hi, David

I would avoid the temptation to fill every square inch of your panel with gadgets....especially if you just want a nice VFR airplane. Simple & clean, in my humble opinion, fits to RV philosophy better.

A single Skyview or G3X centered on the panel is all you really need. I have an iPad Mini on my clipboard strapped to my knee for cross country flying. It communicates with my Skyview via WiFi and shows traffic & weather on both screens. You can select a "six pack" display of steam gauges on your EFIS if you insist on analog displays. When pulling more than 2g's it pops up a big g-meter on the Skyview screen for easy reference.

Enjoy your RV-3B. I wish I had one!!!
Bob Walden (Waldo), CFII-ASMEL, Commercial Glider
KFFC "Falcon RV Squadron" Peachtree City, GA
RV-7A Tip-Up, IO-390, 1000+ Hours
EAA/AOPA/Vans Air Force 2021 Supporter

Last edited by rswalden : 06-27-2020 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:29 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,671

I'd put a G695 or G696 on the right side of the panel adjacent to the Dynon and that would be it other than comm gear and maybe an a/p. It is a simple day VFR aircraft. Airspeed, Altitude, engine instruments, and nav info... As you stated, you have your phone for backup nav.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:28 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,830

Simple, Day VFR? I’d put the Dynon in the middle of the panel, and forget about the G5 as a backup. You can fly the airplane just fine with no instruments at all. I personally am not a fan of panel-mounted iPads, mostly because as soon as you customize the panel for one, they’ll change the iPad design, your old one will fail, and it doesn’t fit right - plus, the heat thing. I always fly with an iPad these days, but it sits on my leg - either a mini (in the jet or -3) or my 9.7” (in the other planes).

I am also a big believer in panel Visual symmetry, but that is art....

Those are opinions based on my experiences....your might vary.

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:41 PM
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RV7 To Go RV7 To Go is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 321

Option 2.

Love my 10" HDX. iPads are very hard to see due to glare in my experience. Used to use one on my leg in my 4. Always tilting it and my head to read it.

I agree with Ironflight about centering the HDX and panel symmetry.
RV4 - Bought 2013 Sold 2017 after 450 hrs
RV7 - Built in 6.5 yrs & Flying 2017
RV4 - Built 2021 Time flown and Sold
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:38 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,063

Andy Hill sent a photo of his panel (we'd had a long correspondence while he was building his RV-3B):

He also sent some comments:

"Keep the “heads up” panel for stuff you need a lot, and the “head down” for “not very often”. Bear in mind the Dynon thing will almost certainly control the VHF and Xpdr for you, so the heads down is a backup. The heads down is good being out of sunlight for LCD etc

"You don’t want an iPad on its side for a map, because it just shows you where you aren’t going �� It needs to be long side up/down, with PP at the bottom so you see where you are going, track up (old RAF trick)

"....redundancy in a VFR RV-3 is fairly academic. Look out of window with paper map. The Samsung is Velcro mounted so it your phone at the destination..."

Andy mentioned that I should avoid having switches in the subpanel, I'll bash my legs on them.

Dave (channeling Andy here)

Last edited by David Paule : 06-28-2020 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:44 AM
Jab Jab is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 90
Default VFR panel


I don?t know how to embed a photo but follow the link to see my strictly vfr RV4 panel that does everything I need. The iPad mini is in a Guardian flushmount, which I had to modify with a Dremel to get the audio plug to fit, and I love the setup.

This photo is older, I now have a transponder mounted under the panel which feeds ADSB In data to the iPad and has the Stratus ADHRS if I really want to use the iPad as a backup to the EFIS. I have not had problems with overheating, I put a towel over the panel if I will be parked in the sun, and it?s possible to mount a small computer cooling fan onto the back of the Guardian mount if you want extra cooling.

I wired the iPad audio into the intercom so it warns me about traffic, and all of the warnings Foreflight provides. This is an ancient EFIS but fulfills all of my needs.
Bought RV-4
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