GWX70 Weather Radar

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slowbird
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by slowbird »

That's great advice John. I have been doing this as a matter of course from the checklist, but have to confess at the same time thinking is this necessary if I don't intend to switch on the radar. A bit like I skip the de-ice test for a VFR flight on a sunny day, or don't switch on the RACC if it's freezing outside. But having read the manual on the weather radar very carefully - it will be set at SBY in all cases before the aircraft moves off chocks.

Not much precipitation around the UK yesterday, but I did switch on the weather radar to see loads of red which I now understand to be ground returns - a 6° tilt upwards left a clear weather picture ahead which matched the sky outside. No just need to do a bit of flying around in VMC to correlate what it picks up with the screen.

Thanks for the info here folks, as always - very useful.
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by rdrobson »

Pehu wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:22 am
But whatabout the products? Are there any meaningful differences with these two, 70 & 75, in GA flying? I know more colors yes, but perhaps there is someone here who has used both products.
One thing that is different between the two. The 75 automatically goes into standby mode the moment your avionics are powered up.
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by ultraturtle »

jb642DA wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 12:49 am
I finally found the standby reference for the WX radar being in "standby" prior taxi -

This does not appear to be mentioned in the AFM!!??
Sadly, true. You'd think there would be an OÄM for the radar, but there isn't.

Luckily, the checklist spells it out clearly. See #7:
Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 6.04.47 PM.png
This is very important. If you do not engage stabilization by turning the system to standby, the gimbals are free to slam stop to stop with every bump in the taxiway or in turbulence, and you will damage your radar.
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by jb642DA »

That "checklist" is the "Psuedo-official" one from Diamond Austria. I don't think they even include it with the plane.

There is nothing in the AFM (pages 4A-22 through 27), normal procedures, about the WX radar or RACC!! AFM leaves a lot to be desired!!

The flow from the "yellow" checklist is much better than what's in the AFM.

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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by CFIDave »

ultraturtle wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 7:51 pm
The official Garmin document "Garmin G1000 Pilot’s Guide for the Diamond DA62" http://static.garmin.com/pumac/190-01896-01_a.pdf provides some of the best guidance I've ever seen for airborne radar in general and is a superb reference for your GWX70. Read the whole chapter, starting on page 351, about 5 times, then read it again. Now read this paragraph about 20 more times:

"With the aircraft flying level, adjust the antenna tilt so ground returns are displayed at a distance that equals the aircraft’s current altitude (AGL) divided by 1,000. For example, if the aircraft is at 14,000 feet, adjust the tilt so the front edge of ground returns are displayed at 14 nautical miles. Note this antenna tilt angle setting. Now, raise the antenna tilt six degrees above this setting. The bottom of the radar beam is now angled down four degrees from parallel with the ground."
3 years ago when I got my new DA62 with GWX70 weather radar, I was brand new to the system with no previous onboard weather radar experience. So I used the recommendation listed above from the "Garmin G1000 NXi Pilot's Guide."

Unfortunately it never worked for me -- the antenna was always at too high of a tilt angle. While it successfully avoided showing ground clutter, it also never showed much precipitation.

Now what I do is a lot simpler: I set the range to 80 nm, and adjust the tilt downward until I just start to see ground clutter at the outermost/furthest range (top of the arc). Then any actual precipitation shows up nicely at all lesser ranges.

Last month when Garmin published a newer version of the DA62 Pilot's Guide for NXi Phase II, they got rid of the old advice of dividing your altitude by 1000, adjusting tilt to display ground clutter at that number of miles, and then adding 6 degrees. Now Garmin says to do it the way I've been doing it. :)
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by CFIDave »

Pehu wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:22 am
Not really spot on to the original topic, but seems we have radar experts here. I have been wondering what the real differences to GWX75 are. Currently Diamond offers only GWX70 for their planes and what I heard GWX75 is still "years" away from certification to DA62 for example.

I hate when the technology is there but the certification processes are so slow.

But whatabout the products? Are there any meaningful differences with these two, 70 & 75, in GA flying? I know more colors yes, but perhaps there is someone here who has used both products.
My understanding is the newer GWX75 scans a wider 120 degree arc vs. only 90 degrees for the GWX70.
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by CFIDave »

A cool feature of the GWX70 with G1000 NXi is that you can overlay the radar return on top of your MFD moving map (the Legacy G1000 with GWX68 won't do that; on pre-NXi planes you have to use a dedicated weather radar MFD page without a map)

So just for fun when flying VFR in the Bahamas I put the radar into Ground Mode and started "painting islands." Here you can see that the GWX70 radar precisely mapped the location and general shape of North Eleuthera Island:
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by slowbird »

Your method does sound a lot easier. I think that’s what I’ll try and stick with each time and see how it goes. One thing is certain here in the UK, there will be plenty of precipitation around to try it out.

I tend to overlay it on the moving map too, that works really well. It’s also possible to display and operate the weather radar from the PFD - but not in the inset map. Oddly, you have to put the map in the HSI and then you can select weather radar. Unless anyone knows any different to get it displayed in the Inset Map?
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by Henrik »

CFIDave wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:07 pm
(the Legacy G1000 with GWX68 won't do that)
Sure it will. :D

(G1000 ver. >=14)
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Re: GWX70 Weather Radar

Post by CFIDave »

Henrik wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:11 am
CFIDave wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:07 pm
(the Legacy G1000 with GWX68 won't do that)
Sure it will. :D

(G1000 ver. >=14)
Thanks for that -- I'll have to add the radar map overlay feature to the G1000 Evolution document that attempts to track all of the features that were added to each new software version: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7316
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