ADS-B Install Experience

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Ultrapilot1
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ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Ultrapilot1 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:57 am

Just received my DA40-180 back and wanted to report on the experience of upgrading to ADS-B. I dropped off the plane last Monday and it was actually finished by Friday except that the installer dropped my battery as he was putting it back in. The case split so had to wait for a replacement. The good news was they ate the cost of a new battery (mine was 5 yrs. old). They installed a new antenna in the access port in the ceiling just above the baggage area. The new GTX345R went in the rack and they accepted my old GTX33 as a trade ($400 credit). Up to now it sounds great right? OK but I am not seeing traffic on my MFD or the PFD insert. Overall It is working and sending traffic and weather (Bluetooth) to my auxiliary Garmin 660 and iPad mini. Note: You can only have two Bluetooth devices connected at one time. I flew for an hour in Class C and B airspace at 2500 feet and got my GAIRSR report showing all green and then submitted my Incentive code and received approval for my $500 rebate. Total cost $8400 less $500 rebate (and a new $600 battery) so really $7300 (fancy accounting). Garmin thinks the traffic display problem may be related to my GDL69 (a known issue according to Garmin) so it will go back to the shop next week for some troubleshooting but all in all I am a happy camper. I am confident they will figure it out. So relatively painless except for the wallet.
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby smoss » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:07 pm

Thanks for the update Steven. Regarding the antenna, when you say "in the access port", what do you mean by that? I assume they had to drill a whole new hole? Also, why would you need to physically remove the battery to put in a new transponder? I can see disconnecting it, but taking it out...
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:27 pm

Steven,

I also have a 2005, still in need of ADS-B. Mine is non-WAAS, and I have the GDL69A (which provides XM weather and entertainment). Which shop did your install?

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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Ultrapilot1 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:42 pm

I agree there was no reason to remove the battery but on the bright side I got a new battery. The access panel I referred to is in the ceiling above the baggage area. There is already foil in the ceiling for an antenna so all they had to do was drill the hole. I used Sarasota avionics in Venice Florida. They already had experience installing in a DA42
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby CFIDave » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:57 pm

Last week I helped arrange installation of a GTX345R in a 2011 DA40 that we just sold a customer -- avionics work was performed by Cycle Aviation at KHGR (they're also located at KJYO). They hid the 3rd GPS antenna entirely within the fuselage behind the baggage compartment, so no additional holes had to be drilled in the fuselage.

When ferrying the plane from the Washington, DC area to the location of its new owner in San Marco, TX on Monday I had 9 hours to play with the unit, including while flying in rain and IMC. This particular DA40 also included the Avidyne TAS 600 active traffic unit, so it was occasionally possible to see two traffic targets (one a "diamond" generated up by TAS, and the other a "triangle" generated up by ADS-B) converge into a single ADS-B target as the GTX345R correlated the traffic. But most of the time we just saw the ADS-B targets on the MFD.

As is already well-known, the latest DA40 G1000 software won't display ADS-B weather on the MFD. But it was possible to view ADS-B weather sent via Bluetooth from the GTX345R to my iPad running Foreflight, and compare it with the XM satellite weather being displayed on the MFD from the GDL69A. When looking at Nexrad precipitation, the XM satellite service is absolutely more detailed and useful -- the resolution and pixels are much higher resolution.
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby smoss » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:50 pm

Dave, was the antenna you used the combined XM/WAAS one, or just an extra WAAS antenna?
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:16 pm

I spoke with Diamond, and they recommend replacing the XM antenna with a GDL37 (combo GPS / XM), thereby avoiding the need to have any external antenna or having to do any "real" fiberglass work. New mounting holes need to be drilled, but it's not in a structural location.

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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Ultrapilot1 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:14 am

FYI: My plane was Non-WAAS
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby CFIDave » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:26 pm

smoss wrote:Dave, was the antenna you used the combined XM/WAAS one, or just an extra WAAS antenna?

It was a separate 3rd GPS antenna (not a combined one with a splitter), hidden behind the baggage compartment and mounted internally. GPS signals can penetrate GFRP "fiberglass" as long as there are no metallic shields or grounding planes nearby.

BTW, when I mentioned the possibility of using a signal splitter/combiner (with XM satellite) to avoid the need for a 3rd GPS antenna, the avionics tech who did the install said that this was not permitted according to Garmin under their STC (he called them to discuss this option). He also mentioned that since these are powered (5 volt) antennas, you sometimes run into problems when two units -- each trying to provide power -- share the same antenna.
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Re: ADS-B Install Experience

Postby Kyle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:59 pm

CFIDave wrote:
As is already well-known, the latest DA40 G1000 software won't display ADS-B weather on the MFD.


Dave,
Isn't it just the non-WAAS G1000 software that won't display ADS-B weather? I get ADS-B traffic, NEXRAD, METARs, and TAFs on the MFD in my 2008 DA40 with GTX345R. (No XM installed).

As of last year, I had the latest G1000 software available.

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