Avidyne IFD440 and 540... who has one?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by AggieMike88, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I installed one last week. Flew 2 hours with it on its 1st flight. It lost GPS intermittently through the flight for a total of around 1 of those hours. Also getting an error selected course / DTK mismatch. The screen and faceplate runs very hot; I am unable to touch it for longer than about 5 second intervals without burning my fingers.
    Tech support said GPS issue was related to my GA-35 antenna being mounted on a shelf in the empennage when the install manual mandates external mounting. No answer to why it worked fine with the 430w.
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Not to get too far astray from Avidyne in this thread, and yes the slide in replacement for the Garmin rigs was a brilliant move on their part...

    The G1000 was first announced in March of 2003. It’s kinda hard to fault Garmin for needing to charge a bundle to upgrade it to ADS-B compliance. It was first certified in an aircraft the following year, and that’s a really long time ago in terms of avionics tech and where it went in a little over a decade.

    Granted, owners of aircraft bought in the in-between time range, and especially closer to now than back then, may feel a sting, but it’s very similar to automotive electronics tech in the same timeframe. Anyone want the in-dash navigation from ten years ago in a vehicle anymore? Nope. And this trend wasn’t exactly a hidden thing to anyone watching cars or anything else. Even phones. Bigger, faster, more capable for quite a while there.

    Phones, at least, seem to have started to flatten out on the tech curve as there’s not a whole heck of a lot worth putting into an over $1000 pocket device anymore, but the G1000 and the venerable 430/530 were still using (like most things in aviation) a decade or more older tech the day they were released, other than perhaps having decent daylight readable screens. And those weren’t common or cheap back then.

    Avionics has kept pace with phones and vehicles but stays about seven years behind that state of the art due to certification and whatever else holds these things back.

    But to expect a cheap upgrade for a fully integrated avionics system that came out when my ‘04 Yukon did, which didn’t even have a nav screen in it and was still using vacuum fluorescent display tech, and when Garmin didn’t even have an autopilot yet and was using King... is kinda “makes sense to me” why it would require a complete box swap and the boxes won’t be cheap.

    G1000 was revolutionary for sure. Nobody did fully integrated flight decks in “everyday piston GA airplanes” back then. But it wasn’t ever designed or ready for the ADS-B mandate.
     
  3. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Put one in and love it. Very intuitive.
     
  4. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    Yea let's not get to far off the OPs question....
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Considering I’ve met Mike in person and he is more than capable of speaking his mind or wishes, I wonder who you are to speak for him? LOL.
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Thanks to all for the info. Was thing of trading out the Garmin 530/430 combo.
     
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  7. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Took a flight today with Gary Reeves of PilotSafety.org in his Cessna 206 that is fitted with an Aspen and an all Avidyne center stack. Got to see the IFD550 in action including synth vis, Jepp chart display, regular moving map, flight plan creation and in flight modification, and much more.

    Now I have a better understanding of why it is a solid competitor to the Garmin GTNs and while pilots who have it really like it.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    If you can afford the travel time and costs, Gary Reeves is conducting a full day "zero to hero" seminar in the next week or two or three. If anyone is interested, I'll ask for more info. Or you can contact Gary at garyr@pilotsafety.org

    This would be an investment in not just what the system is capable of, but what to do to get the most out of those magic boxes.
     
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  9. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I would really love the IFD440 based on the features but for my experience after installing a brand spankin new one and experiencing GPS failure...

    After having GPS failure on the newly installed IFD440, I bought a brand new GA-35 antenna and a brand new pro made RG400 cable to test the GPS reception on the IFD440.

    With the new cable the 430w performed as it did with the old GA-35. As can be seen in the pics, good signal even when moving the GA-35 all around aggressively.

    With the new GA-35 and new cable the IFD440 was able to receive good signal so long as the GA-35 was stationary, upright, with nothing above it but sky. As soon as I started to rotate it about 30 degrees laterally, it immediately lost signal. This is the same behavior as I observed in flight. This occurred with nothing above the GA-35, away from structures in the same location, cable, etc as the 430w test described above.

    When I emailed Avidyne they offered no guidance except stating the GA-35 must be mounted on top of the aircraft. They did not offer an answer as to why the IFD440 was so hot. They did not offer a reason for the other error I was getting, although I figured that out on my own and resolved that with a change in the setup. I advised Roland Galindo with Avidyne tech support that if the answer was cutting a hole in the top of the plane that I wanted to return the IFD440. Roland said on May 17, 10 days ago, that he would run it by his sales staff. I have not heard back from Roland or his sales staff.

    I have removed the IFD440 from the plane. I love the features of the IFD440, but... Given the failure of a new unit right out of the box followed by an apparent apathy from Avidyne, I will not be reinstalling the IFD440.

    430W with upright GA-35
    20180526_151014.jpg
    430W after aggressive movement of GA-35 20180526_151216.jpg
    IFD440 with stationary GA-35 and clear view of sky 20180526_142831.jpg
    IFD440 immediately after GA-35 rolled approx 30 degrees and unobstructed view of sky 20180526_142953.jpg
     
  10. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Avidynes can be controlled through a tablet app, which basically turns the 440 a 540 and some. Kind of nice and allows you to do some different things with the panel .
     
  11. GBSoren

    GBSoren Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is a picture I took of my IFD100 & IFD440 yesterday. Sorry the picture isn't better, to much glare to get a good pic. I love the setup, the 12" Ipad Pro is a bit of overkill for sure, but it works good and surprisingly isn't in the way for the front seat passenger. Being able to put your flight plan into the IFD100 and have it seamlessly go to the panel is awesome.
     

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  12. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for sharing. The Avidyne app is stunning. Nice to see it in action.
     
  13. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    The GPS antenna must be mounted outside the aircraft. For both the Avidyne and Garmin units to comply with the STC for each unit.

    Not sure the point you're making being impressed GNS-430W works with an antenna inside the A/C and the Avidyne does not.
     
  14. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    The Avidyne couldn't even hold satellite lock with a brand new antenna outside the aircraft. Not sure if I received a defective unit right out of the box or if their satellite lock typically is more fragile. In either case, it was discouraging. I really liked the features of the Avidyne.
     
  15. Raymo

    Raymo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Garmin also has a requirement for at least 10 feet of RG-400 cable between the antenna and the 430/530. I wonder if Avidyne has the same requirement.
     
  16. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks Forane for clarifying. I'm thinking about a 440 to replace my 430W. Your comments were helpful.
     
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  17. GBSoren

    GBSoren Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I replaced my 430W with the IFD440 about 6 months ago. I've flown over 50 hrs with it and haven't experienced any GPS issues. Personally I couldn't be happier with mine. I'm not doubting others issues, just giving my experience.
     
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  18. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I'd assume that is a defect of some sort; my 440 has been stone-cold perfect since I swapped it in (same antenna and cable as the 430W before it); the 430W had an (occasional) loss of satellite lock if I transmitted on 121.6 (ADS' ground frequency) while between two hangar rows; the 440 has no such issues.
     
  19. George Mohr

    George Mohr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'd seriously consider moving that antenna. It's just wrongly installed.
     
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  20. CrimsonFlyer

    CrimsonFlyer Pre-Flight

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    I have had the IFD550/440 combo, along with the DFC90 autopilot, remote transponder with ADSB-Out, and ADSB-In, for 2 months now. An absolute pleasure to use. I also have the iPad IFD100 app but don't even need to use it thanks to the large touch screen of the IFD550. Nice to have both touchscreens and buttons. The units always seem to correctly predict my next waypoints or frequencies, etc... Loading approaches, doing holds are easy. Never lost the GPS signals in my SR22, installed by NexAir in MA.
     
  21. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    Traded a GNS 530w for and IFD 550. Like going from an Atari to an x-box (or whatever the latest greatest gaming console is).
    It is so damn intuitive and the ability to use 100% touchscreen OR use buttons and knobs is awesome. I use touch screen most of the time but if it’s a little bumpy I do like my fixed buttons / knobs.

    Garmin makes a really nice gps in the GTN series. I’ve flown behind a 750 several times. Would not trade my 550 for one.
     
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  22. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I bought a brand new antenna and new cable. Tried the new antenna and cable outside the aircraft in multiple positions. It was dramatic how easily it lost sat lock. The IFD has been returned, which is sad as it did have a great com radio and functionality. I just would have liked for it to be functional.
     
  23. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    So...could the IFD100 replace Foreflight?
     
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  24. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    I wouldn't expect you to; you saved an @ss ton on labor, nevermind the 530w trade in value. That's the point of the Avidyne product, even if it were of crappier quality than the GTN. They ultimately capitalized on Garmin's greed aka the bonehead decision to make the GTN units tray and pin incompatible with the uber-prolific GNS installations.
     
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  25. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    No. Not reallY. Although there is some overlap in function they’re really two different tools. The IFD 100 is simply a second screen for your gps.

    Agree 100%. But my point wasn’t real clear. What I was saying is that I prefer the IFD over the GTN regardless of the cost (install or equipment). The huge savings of time and $ for install was icing on the cake.
     
  26. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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  27. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Okay, so how about some pros and cons between avidyne and Garmin. To start with is the avidyne any cheaper?
     
  28. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Look on the right side of this page for the "versus" comparisons https://avidyne.com/products/ifd/index.html

    And if you want to talk with an extremely knowledgeable and friendly iFD owner, Gary Reeves is now living in Decatur and would be happy to show off his Avidyne equipped C206
     
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  29. Lynn Dixon

    Lynn Dixon Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have an IFD540 and an AXP340 Transponder with MLB100 (SkyTrax) and I absolutely love the setup. My Cardinal RG is in the shop this week getting a TruTrak Vizion installed which should, when paired with the IFD540, give me a super sweet little IFR training machine and great X-Country platform for my little 3 person family.

    The IFD540 is sooo much more intuitive to use than the Garmins. Even for plain old VFR use, its much simpler and easier to interface with. I DO NOT like using touch screens flying in the bumpy TN summer weather, so the knobs and buttons on the IFD are worth their weight in gold. Garmin missed the boat on going all-in on touchscreens.
     
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  30. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Agree completely. Of course, not everyone on this site will agree with us.
     
  31. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think that's why Garmin kept a D-> button and not for tuning frequencies - which are the things you are most likely to do in turbulence.
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You can “drive” a GTN nearly identically to a
    GNS and crank the coffee grinder all you like if that’s your preference. They purposefully kept both interfaces.
     
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  33. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Reasonable facsimile
    Will an IFD be able to talk to a Garmin G5?

    Can you load a flight plan on the app sitting at home, and then zap it over to the GPS once you get to the airport?
     
  34. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yet the misinformation train keeps on rolling...
     
  35. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Isn’t he saying that in lieu of the touchscreen you still have the ability to use the large and small dial to dial stuff in just like the old 430/530, which you can in fact do?
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That’s what I was saying. You still need the touchscreen a bit but you can enter things the coffee grinder way with the rotating knobs if you like...
     
  37. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've had a 650 in my own personal plane for about three years now, it does work a lot like that with the knobs.

    Tune frequencies for comm and nav, enter waypoints, do all kinda of stuff with the knobs.
     
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  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Right. I was showing that to my co-owner during his Flight Review today as a backup to punching the screen in turbulence. Can twist like the old 530/430 and set stuff.

    What was the “misinformation” part you were referring to?
     
  39. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Not you, but the notion that the "GTN series is only a touch screen" just wont die. Post 69 is one.
     
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  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Ahhhhh! I see! Yep!