ForeFlight sentry question

rhkennerly

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rhkennerly
I won a slightly used ForeFlight sentry this weekend in a raffle. Does anyone have experience wiring one into the aircraft electrical system for remote operation with a switch? Is it even possible?
 
Since it’s powered by a USB cable, I’d think that any kind of permanent installation is pretty pointless. Maybe if you modified it to have a more permanent connection to the source of power it would make sense but I seriously doubt it’s something people have done before. If your plane has a cigarette lighter style power port in the cockpit like many do, you could power it with a supply through that and then switch the power to that port on and off. Alternatively, they sell USB power supplies that mount in an instrument hole and you could similarly switch one of those on and off.
 
It depends what exactly you're looking to do. If you just want to have a remote mounted power on/off switch, that's probably pretty easily. I mean, you'd have to open the device up and do some light soldering probably, but that's not bad.

If you want the device to automatically come on and off when you turn on and off the aircraft's power (like the battery master or avionics master), that's significantly more complicated. The only way to do that would be to open the Sentry up and do some electrical engineering. You don't want to completely bypass the battery (or remove it) because you would want backup power in the event of an aircraft electrical failure. And I assume the power switch isn't actually physically switching the power itself, so not easily just bypassed.

If that's what you want, then I think the easy answer is "no". However, if you are knowledgeable about circuits and such you could probably design something. I'd imagine a hobbyist who is familiar with working with Arduino and Raspberry Pi-type circuitry and programming could come up with something.
 
It depends on what model you own. I just received yesterday a copy of Sporty's Ipad Pilot News. The NEWEST version has an on/off function linked to it's micro usb charging plug that will turn the unit on and off with respect to the charging cable power if desired.
 
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My Sentry runs about 8 hours without a charge. About the only time I have to plug it in to the USB charger in the plane is when I've forgotten to charge it at home before the flight. FWIW :cheerswine:
 
It depends on what model you own. I just received yesterday a copy of Sporty's Ipad Pilot News. The newest version has an on/off function linked to it's micro usb charging plug that will turn the unit on and off with respect to the charging cable power source.

Does that mean that if you lost electrical power in the plane, it would turn off? That can't be right, that would be quite undesirable. It must have logic that prevents that somehow.
 
If I lost electrical power in the plane the Sentry would keep running on its internal battery, which as I mentioned before lasts 8 hrs on a full charge. If I lost electrical power in the plane and needed to charge the Sentry using the USB I would be SOL. I guess if you were going to fly more than 8 hrs and were worried about losing power you could carry an extra charge source in your flight bag.
 
Does that mean that if you lost electrical power in the plane, it would turn off? That can't be right, that would be quite undesirable. It must have logic that prevents that somehow.

Look it up..I told you where to look.
 
Tnx to all. The newest Sentry will work as a remote placement unit on a switch.

the problem, is not that the older Sentry loses power if the airplane is not running (it charges the battery while the power is on and will run as long as the battery lasts when the plane is off). It's that you have to physically press the "On" button to start it after it powers down--there is an internal timer that switches it off if the unit doesn't move.

That makes it difficult for remote placement. There is no, "On" with airplane start or panel switch. I was just curious if somebody had figured a workaround.

tnx
 
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