My Skybeacon story

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by cgrab, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    My ADS-B story starts with me deciding to use a Skybeacon for ADS-B out. I had been using a STRATUX for some time for ADS-B in. I printed the Skybeacon template to check fit and determined I needed an adapter. My first call to UAvionicx was to find out that they do not have an adapter for my wing.

    upload_2019-3-10_16-38-56.jpeg
    I was able to find the Makers Local in my area and they designed and 3D printed an adapter to fit my plane and the Skybeacon. Here is a file to print the adapter.

    https://github.com/enabrintain/MiscellaneousParts/tree/master/craigsWingtip

    And here is how to donate to the Makers Local 256 that created the model.

    https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1760129

    Next, I went to the FAA website to file for the rebate. They send an email with valuable (as in you need it for the rebate) information.

    www.faa.gov/go/rebate

    And ordered the Skybeacon from Aircraft Chief since everyone offers it at the same price and AC has free delivery. When it arrived, I downloaded the installation manual

    Uavionics Website https://uavionix.com/products/skybeacon/

    And my second call to UAvionix was to be sure I could install disconnect and not use the butt connectors provided. They said the Skybeacon required high quality connectors to prevent headset noise from the strobe. Not using the strobe function, I pressed on.
    I read through the instructions multiple times and noted where I would have to input information into the App. I found my ICAO number and also this website for that purpose. While the Skybeacon does the math, it’s good to check it.

    http://www.avionictools.com/icao.php

    I also consulted my aircraft manual for length and width and measured from the nose back to the wingtip. My plane is SAE and the Skybeacon asks for metric so math is involved in this step. Not much since they use increments of 2 meters so more like modern math where an estimate is good enough.
    After test fitting the Skybeacon and adapter, I had to buy 2 #6-2 ½ inch stainless screws, 3 lock nuts and 3 washers. One of the screws that came with the Skybeacon was usable.

    I stopped by the airport maintenance shop and was going to ask for an appointment for the installation but the IA said “You’re good with your hands, what do you need to install it yourself.” I picked up the connector, some wire, and a lug so I could replace my ground wire. I made the connections and installation and returned the tools.
    upload_2019-3-10_16-44-12.jpeg

    As shown, my wing is rather fat and I have to lean out of the plane to see that the red “non-function” light is out. I will ask if I can glue a tiny fish-eye mirror to the bottom of the Skybeacon if I need to in the future.
    Fortunately for me, this is not the first Skybeacon that the IA has signed off so he is able to use the previous sign off as a template for the 337.
    The software is fairly easy, once the Skybeacon WiFI is connected to a phone, simply following the instruction manual to complete.
    I will taxi to a radar covered area near the maintenance shop tomorrow and get a squawk code to complete the checkout and to get the sign off. Then I'll do the flight outlined in the December AOPA Pilot magazine, check my validation and finish this report.
    UPDATE: After taxiing around to the other side of my hangar, the xpndr became active and the Skybeacon "saw" it. I was able to complete the software. One point. The Skybeacon position is in degree-minutes while my phone showed degrees and decimals. So, 86 degrees 47 minutes is the same as 87.75 degrees. Both are very precise but I felt safe ignoring the tenths of seconds since a minute of longitude is less than a mile at my location.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  2. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just remember to turn on the plane and sit still for a solid 5 minutes when you go to do your validation flight. I failed my first one because the gps did not have its full locked position and that results in a failure for those seconds until it does lock.

    Not a big deal, second flight I did not do the altitudes or maneuvers, just flew into the mode c veil and did circles over an airport and landed after 30 minutes of boring flight.
     
  3. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    Yea, that's in the AOPA profile. Seems this ADS-B is a tad bit too sensitive for most of us flyers.