406MHz ELT with GPS

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by airheadpenguin, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. airheadpenguin

    airheadpenguin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Its battery replacement time in our 121MHz ELT, and while a replacement ELT is close to 2000% more expensive than a battery if we don't do this now it won't be done for at least 2 more years.

    I'm looking at the Kannad, Sky Hunter and Emerging Lifesaving Technologies units that 'Spruce carries.

    Anyone out there with experience in these units?
     
  2. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  3. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    Most companies have replacement units that use the same tray and remote switch as the unit being replaced. Basically the install is simple...change the unit out, plug in the remote switch, change the antenna (usually with the same coax) and done. Both Ameriking and ACK have replacements around 650-700 give or take.
     
  4. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Internal GPS in 406 ELTs is an evolving feature. Make sure to read up on the units and see whether they need an additional GPS antenna, additional ship's power, etc. Not all units are equal in that respect and the installation details may lead you to favor one or another. Most guys I know who've added GPS to their beacons use the ACK and take the signal from their regular GPS. Even handhelds have data output and if you're like most guys and have it installed in AirGizmo dock the wiring is pretty simple. As for re-using the old tray? I'd wager at least 75% of ELT installations don't meet installation requirements. Review yours and decide whether it needs to be corrected. Attaching to the aircraft skin isn't allowed. It has to attach to structure. Maximum allowable deflection of an installed ELT is 1/10th of an inch using 100# of pull in the most flexible direction.
     
  5. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    For sure. I've been finding too many installed 406's that don't meet the RTCA rigidity requirements. It's as if the installers aren't reading the manual. The old 121 mounts don't come anywhere near the new standard.

    Units with GPS built in aren't going to start looking for satellites and establishing a position until the airplane crashes. If that GPS antenna is in the dirt, or the airplane is sinking, or on fire, it never will get the coordinates. A unit that takes the GPS stream from nav radios would be better but the install costs a bunch more.

    Dan
     
  6. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My two old ACK E-01 121.5 units had the same installation requirements. Neither met the standard until I switched to Artex 406 units and the mechanic at the time mounted them correctly. RTCA DO-183 was issued n 1983. I've never been able to find out if the ELT mounting requirements have been amended over the years but I know the current standard applied/applies to 121.5s as well. I'm surprised how some mechanics overlook poor installations.

     
  7. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you're really worried you'll be better off getting a SPOT or Spider Tracks, even if the plane sinks or burns up, get to safety and hit the button.
     
  8. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I think that eventually that technology will become the official ELT technology. It would be much easier to find an airplane that left an electronic trail rather than one that destroyed or incapacitated its ELT when it crashed. ELTs only work as intended in about 50% of accidents.
     
  9. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Flying "B"
    I bought and had installed one of the 406 ELTs with GPS in my Cherokee 180 from Emerging Lifesaving Technologies. The all in one fin antenna is pretty cool too :)
     
  10. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I finally get around to buying my own plane, the first upgrade that I plan on doing if it has not already been done is to install a 406 w/ GPS. It just makes good sense in my mind.