Buying first plane and need to upgrade avionics

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by SC96, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    Oh, for corn sake. The guy is a 20 hour student. Let him fly the plane for another 50 hours or so and THEN decide what he wants to do. It is easy to decorate a new baby with all the bells and whistles only to find that 90% of them are worthless. FLY THE DAMNED THING, then decide.

    BTW, it might be well right now to decide if you want to sell the kids into slavery for your next aircraft upgrade :cheerswine:

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  2. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I agree with Jim, gain some experience, be your own expert before you blow your wad on things you only think you need.
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I agree with the last two posts. You don’t even know what you don’t know right now. Neither does your family. Take a trip or two with them before blowing this kind of money. The plane is capable already, but you aren’t yet, don’t bother spending more to make the plane even more capable before you spend the time making yourself capable of what it already is.
     
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  4. SC96

    SC96 Filing Flight Plan

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    Lol! Thanks for the insight! The kids should probably be sold now, though. They’re only gonna get mouthier!
    I know it’s easy to get lost in a wish list of upgrades, but do you think a good gps and adsb is too much to decide on now?
    Thanks!
     
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    yup....I'm betting you don't own this plane for more than a few years. Pour that money into your next plane....or buy one better equipped. You'll be lucky to see $0.50 on the dollar with those kind of upgrades.
     
  6. SC96

    SC96 Filing Flight Plan

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    Oh, you’re 100% correct on this! Beyond researching, watching videos and speaking with other pilots, I simply dont know. But, I know there’s a lot of gadgets in this plane currently. Some are good and some are trash. This thread has been incredibly insightful/helpful, if for nothing else, than to help me sort most of it out. Thanks!
     
  7. SC96

    SC96 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks,
    Yep, I already know that I’ll be looking to upgrade within a few years d/t the family’s needs. I know I’m gonna lose money on the upgrades, but I should be sitting fairly well on the total investment.
    Not that technology can make up for lack of pilot (my) skill, don’t you think that the available technological tools help to make the plane safer?
     
  8. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Re GPSS steering, worth comparing the cost of putting a S-Tec in or explore G5 with GAD 29B. It gives you a lot more with a battery backup
     
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  9. lancie00

    lancie00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's your money and you can do what you want, but I'd at least wait until you get you license before worrying about avionics upgrades. As others have said, there is a lot you don't know yet. Get some experience before diving in head first. If the passengers are worried, tell them that you don't even need radios to fly. There's lots of planes without any radio.
     
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  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    btw....if you dump $20k into an Archer....ain't no way you'll be "sitting fairly well on the total investment". You'll be upside down at least $15K.


    but, it's your money....and you'z paying to ride. IMHO....if you have to have that equipment....shop and buy one with it already upgraded.
     
  11. jssmith.lh

    jssmith.lh Filing Flight Plan

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    The next owner of your airplane will appreciate you putting so much time and money into this ;)

    If you're serious about the timelines you mentioned you'll realistically only get a couple of years use out of the avionics. I agree with @James331, buy what you need and use the rest of your money for operating the airplane. I'd say a GNS430W and a Stratus ES is all you really need to add. That gives you LPV and ILS capability for instrument work and ADS-B out for getting into airspace where it's required. I think it's pretty unanymous to ditch the Loran, the 150XL, and the MX-11. Once you decide which iPad EFB you like you can get an ADS-B in device to match. They're at most a few hundred dollars so not something to agonize over.

    Going this route will probably only save you a few thousand dollars, but that'll get close to covering the cost of getting your instrument rating. I would say put the money you save into your next airplane but I know you'll do like the rest of us and find -something- to spend it on over the next few years :)
     
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  12. Flybuddy

    Flybuddy Pre-Flight

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    Get the plane first and fly it for a while before you dig much further into your pocket. You might need some of that 20K for unforeseen maintenance. ADSB out should be your first priority along with (relatively cheap ADSB in). Your Loran is probably on the right side and can be pulled, freeing up that space for your large IPAD. Here's a pic of one velcroed to a wedge in an Archer.
    010 (1280x960).jpg
     
  13. SC96

    SC96 Filing Flight Plan

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    Very nice! Thanks for sharing. The Loran is on the right side as you figured. Not the best picture, I apologize!
    CB11E2E0-F5A5-4562-95AA-7D672F4BCA0A.jpeg
     
  14. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Avidyne IFD540 for $12,500 includes ads-b transponder free. 2 G5’s for $5,000 gives gpss to the STEC 30. $500 for harnesses. $3,000 for installation. Not much over your budget to get a modern Ifr platform. Sell what comes out and you may fit your budget.
     
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  15. SC96

    SC96 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah, that’d be a pretty sweet setup and not too much over my budget. Thanks for the thoughts!
     
  16. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sell the 150XL and the kx155 and nav display and you’re under $20k out the door. You’ll have enough left over for a portable ADS-B receiver for the iPhone & iPad.
     
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  17. thomasdr72

    thomasdr72 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Like has already been said a couple times here... Buy the plane, and put gas in it until you decide what you really want to do. ADS-B upgrade is the only part that you really need. The GTX-335 promo bundle from spruce is $3,600 (plus a bit of install). You can use that same time during install to pull out the Narco AT50A TSO Transponder, and loran. Spend some time to carefully remove any wiring that is no longer needed during the install, and have your annual updated at the same time if it makes sense to do so.

    Put the rest of the money in your aviation savings account! Buy gas and a couple of good headsets for your passengers!
     
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  18. CMongoose

    CMongoose Pre-takeoff checklist

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    At your stage I'd leave it exactly as is, but replace the AT50 as part of an ADS-B upgrade. The AT50 isn't a great transponder, and you might as well swap it out when doing the upgrade.

    Personally I have a Stratus ESG, which is a bit cheaper than the GTX335, but they seem to go back and forth on price, so take a look at what the latest offers are.

    A Stratus 3 to hook to your iPad is a great add on, but not essential. Mostly, just enjoy the plane!
     
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  19. ThereByAir

    ThereByAir Pre-Flight

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    We fly a 6-pack Cirrus SR20. I upgraded the HSI to the Garmin G5 when my vacuum driven Century went out. I am a huge fan of the G5! The best part for me was I could preserve the look of the panel and install cost was minimal (in avionics upgrade dollars). I have nothing against the Aspen (I had one installed on my previous aircraft), but I feel the E5 is too stripped of features. They should have left the winds, OAT, etc in there in my opinion. Also, that's one box that if it fails you lose a LOT! Attitude, HSI, Autopilot control, etc... The G5 there can be two. Redundancy is king.