It’s funny to me how I can ponder on something for a fair amount of time and then as if by putting mental energy into a concept, it reveals itself in a some what short amount of time. As with many things lately, certain discussions have fostered various thoughts about various instruments, avionics and switches on my panel. Yet another discussion I had with Marco about his recently purchased Long-EZ –which incidentally has proven to be quite the test bed in that the handful of discussions that we’ve had concerning his new bird have spawned a number of viable system designs mods in mine– and the comment that he made on wanting to have a Garmin-free bird (due to their high prices on data updates), got me to thinking a bit . . . but admittedly, with everything that’s been going on lately, I really wasn’t thinking that much on it!
What I had been thinking about for some time was having a GPS with a decently larger screen size than the GTN650, but one that would still fit comfortably in my panel. In fact, I was thinking about this even more after I learned that GRT had debuted (FINALLY!) the 8.4-inch HXr at this year’s SNF.
Well, not sure if you got a chance to read Vic Syracuse’s article on the Avidyne IFD540 GPS Navigator in the August 2016 edition of Kitplanes Magazine. All I can say after doing a bit of research for the last 3 days on this puppy is WOW! This guy is packed with a ton of features, and in addition, its screen size falls right in between the GTN650 and the GTN750, so it looks like it will really work well for my panel size.
Moreover, the Avidyne IFD540 is a drop in replacement for the Garmin GNS430, so the pinouts are nearly the same as it is with all Garmin GPSs. I spent about a half hour confirming and updating all the component crosslink pins to ensure that this would work in my electrical system’s wiring schema, and it does! I had to change the actual pin ID numbers on about 70% of the pins (the D-Sub connectors identifying numbers are different as well), but did the swap in my wiring diagrams in short order.
And yes, I did say last week that I was done with my electrical system planning for the time being, but apparently this is the nature of the beast in building a homebuilt experimental airplane. So again, I think I’m done in having finished my electrical system planning (at least for now!).