What's new
Van's Air Force

Don't miss anything! Register now for full access to the definitive RV support community.

ACK E-01 / E-04 ELT PIREP - WARNING

dmattmul

Well Known Member
This is a heads up for those operating the ACK ELT. I believe the correct orientation of the remote switch (If used horizontally) is the red button is on the left with the label stating EMG/ON and the black button on the right stating RESET/TEST. It's possible and easy to have the unit mounted upside down in the case so the black button is on the left labeled EMG/ON and the red button on the right labeled RESET/TEST. I have seen what appears to be close to a dozen units (Most on VAF) with the red button on the right and most I can read the label below as RESET/TEST. I'm not sure why ACK does not error proof this design. I have also seen pictures on panel builders web sites with the unit what appears to be mounted upside down. The insidious effect of this type of installation is if one would need to manually set off the ELT or to insure it is on you press the EMG/ON button (now the black button) and that effectively turns the unit off!!

If your ELT is mounted like the one below, I'm pretty sure it is incorrect. If you can't rotate it for some reason suggest adding labels that says RED-ON, BLACK-TEST.

Maybe someone with more experience than me can review but I'm sure the picture below the unit is installed incorrectly. It appears there are many out there like this.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-08-06 175203.jpg
    Screenshot 2023-08-06 175203.jpg
    2.6 KB · Views: 1,214
ACK ELT

Scared me. I checked. I think this is correct. Same applies to vertical orientation. The panel will fit either way and the label placard will also fit either way.
20230806_163850.jpg
 
Searching through the various pictures, this is more common than one would think. Below is another installed backwards, found in just a few seconds doing an image search of this forum. This one's a bit older (the ACK label now says (EMG/On & Test/Reset) but it's clearly reversed.

Incidentally, this is common enough that the manufacturer has included mention of it in the manual:


ELT 6.jpg

ELT4.jpg
 
Last edited:
Thank you for this post! My purchased-flying RV-7 has it backwards and I never would have thought to check this. Proof that posting a tip, no matter how innocuous it may seem, will be valuable to this group.
 

Attachments

  • ELT.jpg
    ELT.jpg
    15.1 KB · Views: 182
Friendly reminder

Remember the FARs require an annual ELT check, including ‘operation of the controls’. This sort of problem shouldn’t go undiscovered.
 
AK-450 remote seems to have the opposite color coding versus the AK E-01 and AK E-04

It might be possible that an older AK-450 remote was reused, and they seem to have the opposite color coding for the buttons on the ACK E-01 and ACK E-04
Thread from 2007 on VAF about Button coloring and wiring https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=13968

I notice that some of the Photos have the ACK logo, and some do not.

I had to edit this to get my ACK(newer ACK Technologies Inc) and AK(Older Ameri-King) straight...

The AK-450 remotes look much simpler.
AK-450 RUA P/N 450004 Installation shown here with simple "ELT ON ON RESET" and no Logo http://avsport.org/docs/AK450 ELT Manual.pdf
Ameriking P/N 450004 with simple "ELT ON ON RESET" and no Logo https://baspartsales.com/450004-ameri-king-corp-emergency-locator-transmitter-remote-switch-1/
Ameriking P/N 450004 shown with "Ameri-King Corp." Marking on Front and "ELT ON ON RESET" https://baspartsales.com/450004-ameri-king-corp-emergency-locator-transmitter-remote-switch/

The ACK E-01 and ACK E-04 have the "ACK" logo
ACK E-01 RCPI P/N E-01-05 Installation shown here with "ACK Technologies Inc" with ACK Logo https://www.ackavionics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/E-01-Manual.pdf
ACK E-04 RCPI P/N E-04.5 Installation shown here with "ACK 406 Mhz" with ACK Logo, and full color drawings http://www.ackavionics.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/E-04-manual-V-1.12-single-page.pdf


I'm going to go triple check mine anyway...

Use this info at your own risk...
Your Mileage May Vary...
Etc. Etc. Etc.

Chuck
 
Last edited:
Fix

Just FYI to fix remove the 2 hex nuts, rotate the label then remove the 4 screws and rotate the unit. (Unless you are ok with the wording upside down)
 
Clarification

Just FYI to fix remove the 2 hex nuts, rotate the label then remove the 4 screws and rotate the unit. (Unless you are ok with the wording upside down)

Chuck (KMMUflyer) thanks for posting the information on the AK-450. It appears you are correct the AK-450 (which looks a lot like the ACK E-01 and ACK E-04) does use the color code red is reset and black turns it on or at least appears this way in some of their pics. Does seem counterintuitive and maybe that is why they changed this in later models. It's possible that is why I'm seeing red reset and black on as panel builders where use to just the opposite for the units they had been installed before the ACK E-01 and 04. The bottom line is when you do your annual test when you push reset (With the master off and using a handheld) you get a 1 sec shrill on 121.5 and then listen for the number of beeps. (There should only be one beep if everything is correct, this applies to the ACK E-04, I'm not sure about the 01 just looks the same as the 04 remote switch)

NOTE: The AK-450 is tested in a different manner than the ACK E-01 and 04. The 450 is tested by having power on the unit (You can then use the aircraft radio tuned to 121.5 or a handheld) and pressing on then listen for the audible and then pressing reset to turn it off or that's what I gleaned from reading the 450 manual very quickly. For the 450 this should entail pressing the black button (on) and then hitting red (reset). If someone has a 450 possibly either verify or correct me. Procedure to test the 450 below. Thanks
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-08-07 202553.jpg
    Screenshot 2023-08-07 202553.jpg
    40 KB · Views: 180
Last edited:
Another ACK ELT appears to be installed upside down

It appears to me (But not 100% positive) this ELT is mounted upside down. The issue is if one presses the "On" labeled now the black button (After an incident) you will turn your ELT "OFF". Red is supposed to be labeled EMG-On, black is supposed to be TEST-RESET.

There is a procedure to test ones ELT and ACK states it should be tested every 3 months. If you press the TEST-RESET button and it does not follow the one second on, then off and the ELT signal stays on (confirmed on 121.5) it is upside down.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-09-04 185303.jpg
    Screenshot 2023-09-04 185303.jpg
    84.2 KB · Views: 184
  • Screenshot 2023-09-04 194054.jpg
    Screenshot 2023-09-04 194054.jpg
    28.7 KB · Views: 200
Last edited:
Two different companies

...the AK-450 (which looks a lot like the ACK E-01 and ACK E-04) does use the color code red is reset and black turns it on or at least appears this way in some of their pics. Does seem counterintuitive and maybe that is why they changed this in later models. ...

The AK-450 came from a different company than the ACK models
 
Confusion?

The AK-450 came from a different company than the ACK models

Yes, Ameri-King but looked almost the same. Don't let that confuse you. It's a much older design and NEVER said it was the same company, said they (ACK) changed the design, but good point.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-09-04 214418.jpg
    Screenshot 2023-09-04 214418.jpg
    30.1 KB · Views: 127
Last edited:
I dropped Steve a note about that, in case nobody else did. Unfortunately this is almost a design problem - could have been completely avoided with a different button size, some tabs on the placard/housing, etc.

It appears to me (But not 100% positive) this ELT is mounted upside down. The issue is if one presses the "On" labeled now the black button (After an incident) you will turn your ELT "OFF". Red is supposed to be labeled EMG-On, black is supposed to be TEST-RESET.

There is a procedure to test ones ELT and ACK states it should be tested every 3 months. If you press the TEST-RESET button and it does not follow the one second on, then off and the ELT signal stays on (confirmed on 121.5) it is upside down.
 
Yours is correct

Thank you for this post! My purchased-flying RV-7 has it backwards and I never would have thought to check this. Proof that posting a tip, no matter how innocuous it may seem, will be valuable to this group.

Kevin, you have the old design and I'm pretty sure it is correct as installed. Do a ELT check and you will know for sure.
 
I'm working through an ELT installation issue, and noticed that - frustratingly - even the ACK installation manual is confused on this point!

These images are both from the current ACK E-04 installation manual. The second one is correct, but the first one (which appears on the first page!) is reversed.

If even the manufacturer can't get it right, it's a dumb design, sheesh.
 

Attachments

  • 1.jpg
    1.jpg
    34.7 KB · Views: 88
  • 2.jpg
    2.jpg
    74.4 KB · Views: 74
Don't forget the battery.....

I'm working through an ELT installation issue, and noticed that - frustratingly - even the ACK installation manual is confused on this point! These images are both from the current ACK E-04 installation manual. The second one is correct, but the first one (which appears on the first page!) is reversed. If even the manufacturer can't get it right, it's a dumb design, sheesh.

One would think that it would be more intuitive to push a RED button to turn something ON and a BLACK button to turn something OFF.

While you are in there, take a look at the date on your battery. I'm not sure how often the factory recommends replacement but every 5 years might be a good idea even if it is still a good battery. I just replaced mine and, while I was in there, tested the ELT. It worked! Yes: supposed to be part of the condition inspection but can be overlooked. I put a sticker on mine that is visible while the top fuselage cover is removed that reminds me when I changed it. And pay attention to the orientation of the battery. It is not clearly marked.....

Isn't there a specific time allowed to test ELTs? Like noon on Wednesdays or something silly? A two second test with your radio on to 121.5 shouldn't bother anyone....:eek:
 

Attachments

  • img704 (2).jpg
    img704 (2).jpg
    363.1 KB · Views: 72
Last edited:
Testing time

Isn't there a specific time allowed to test ELTs? Like noon on Wednesdays or something silly? A two second test with your radio on to 121.5 shouldn't bother anyone....:eek:

“Testing of an analog 121.5 ELT can only be done within the first five minutes after the hour, and you may transmit no more than three audible sweeps.”

This is in the US, for Canadians you need to do it in a lead lined hangar or something like that. (Just kidding) Check requirements.
 
Terrible design

I'm working through an ELT installation issue, and noticed that - frustratingly - even the ACK installation manual is confused on this point!

These images are both from the current ACK E-04 installation manual. The second one is correct, but the first one (which appears on the first page!) is reversed.

If even the manufacturer can't get it right, it's a dumb design, sheesh.

What is worse is if reversed when you want to manually activate it to insure it’s on (in an off field landing) you turn it off !! Recommend everyone become familiar with the life saving device and insure it’s placarded correctly. To insure and to positively test the “red on button” I activated it (at the proper time) by pushing the red button waited one cycle and then pushed the black button to turn it off. You are suppose to test with the black button which automatically cycles it and turns back off but I wanted to try it once this way.
 
You are suppose to test with the black button which automatically cycles it and turns back off but I wanted to try it once this way.

I'd push the RED button to test it anyway. That is the one you are going to push if you need it. Falty switches can mess with a day that might have already been messed with....:eek:
 
Back
Top