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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
edwalker

Dynon ADSB-472 and GPS-2020

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edwalker

This morning I swapped out my ADSB-470 for the new dual channel ADSB-472. If your ADSB-470 is installed according to the Phoenixair LOA, it's actually quite easy to do. So, for those of you who are contemplating this, let me describe the process.

 

You simply unplug the old unit's DB-9 serial cable and antenna and take out the mounting bolts. The trick is to find an offset Phillips screwdriver for the inside of the glove box. Keep the bolts and locknuts for reuse. Reconnect the new unit (serial interface DB9 and antenna). It's a different physical form plan with the connector on opposite ends instead of the same side, but the whole unit is only about half the size of the ADSB-470, so there's plenty of slack. Attach the unit using the right forward bolt hole with a single bolt, and then drill the 3 new holes through the guides on the unit. Replace the other 3 bolts and locknuts. Next enter SETUP and change the device in the Serial Port setup to ADSB-472 and it fires up on reboot. You can see the position of the new unit relative to the old bolt holes in the pictures.

 

Not everyone it going to want to do this, since some people will be fine with the old unit if you live in a flat area with adequate ADSB 978 MHz UAT coverage, but with the mountains around Seattle I needed both channels to get a better picture. Interestingly, my first contact after I turned it on was my hangar neighbor taxiing his plane past my hangar, and I followed him all the way to the end of the runway and takeoff, despite 4 rows of hangars between us. With his N number! It's really amazing how much better it is in the right circumstances. There is an ADSB coverage map that you probably have seen from the FAA, and it shows your coverage vis a vis your terrain. If you fly high, it's almost never a problem. If you soar the mountains, the 978 UAT signal gets wiped out pretty fast, but the 1090 ES is more reliable. My major worry is the FA-18 hornets on their MTRs that go in and out of NAS Whidbey.

 

You probably know that Dynon has a trade-in right now that brings the price down to a very reasonable level. I think it was under $300 for the swap.

 

I also decided, while I was under the hood, to make my GPS-250 turn into a GPS-2020. Simple drop-in replacement wire for wire, they're even the same wire colors. I just pulled up the GPS unit, spliced, soldered, shrink-wrapped the wires and bolted it down again. Couldn't be easier. You also need to change the device in the Serial Port setup. It's also possible to add the GPS-2020 to an unused port by opening up the big cable and keeping the GPS-250 as a backup, but I didn't think that would be useful for the way I fly. The avionics shop didn't wire the plug with additional wires for every pin, so it means having to open the cable and insert new pins. Not fun, not worth the time for a generally non-used backup. The GPS-2020 doesn't really add any performance, but it's going to have to be done sooner or later, depending on your airspace, and it removes all those red boxes on the ASDB reports.

 

I did log entries and test flew the new configuration this afternoon. I have to say it was quite an improvement for the environment in which I fly. The number of aircraft that I cannot see before a traffic warning still amazes me. I watched 2 guys (one departure, one arrival from KAWO) go head to head on the screen. Luckily they were talking with one another on the CTAF but they didn't see each other until about a half mile, and commented on how close they had come to each other.

 

Stay safe out there.


Ed N42EW

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Eric Greenwell

Hi Ed - Thanks for the very complete report. I've signed up for one, but don't have it yet.

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discus239

Very thoughtful of you to share, will be doing both in a few weeks. Thanks Ed.

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tedhauri

I signed up last April for the swap offer and still haven't received my new unit. I was recently told they would ship at the end of January 2018. Have others experienced this delay, or has everyone gotten theirs?

 

Ted Hauri (Sinus 467)

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Eric Greenwell

I did the same thing, so I contacted Dynon, and they called me today. The support person said they are wrapping up the last of bugs that caused them many headaches the last 6 months, and expect delivery to begin at the end of the month. For me, with an April 2017 sign-up date, it will likely be late Spring/early Summer. He did say if going without one till then would have a big impact to contact them. It's not a problem for me, so I didn't take it further. Call at 425-402-8420 to discuss the details with Dynon.

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mikeschumann

What kind of bugs were they talking about?  Are they hardware or firmware issues?  How does this affect those of us who already have the new receivers?

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Jamey Jacobs

Ed

Thanks for the info and pics.  This old post made it much easier for me to upgrade to ADSB-472 and GPS-2020 today. It took a few hours of planning and contortions, but it would have been a lot longer without learning from your post.

 

Jamey Jacobs 

Phoenix s/n 18

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