Pay to fix an Insight Strikefinder and upgrade it?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Lynn Dixon, Mar 18, 2019.

?

Would you pay to repair an Insight Strikefinder?

  1. Yes, Pay the $1400 to have it refurbished and upgraded - Take a chance on the antenna

    29.2%
  2. Yes, pay the total of $3200 to refurbish the unit AND replace the antenna with new to be sure

    16.7%
  3. No! It's not worth the money

    54.2%
  1. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I was incorrectly using doppler as synonymous with weather radar.
    I don’t have RADAR, so you can rest easy.
    I was referring to the comment that radar is severely attenuated by rain, but weather radar seems to penetrate it just fine.
     
  2. Elvin Wilkerson

    Elvin Wilkerson Filing Flight Plan

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    As I said regarding RADAR, trusting in RADAR will still get you killed. While installing, maintaining, and repairing RADAR, Stormscopes, and Strikefinders, I got to listen to too many pilots tell of hair-raising adventures with weather RADAR.
    Go down in flames if you want to. IDGAS!
     
  3. Elvin Wilkerson

    Elvin Wilkerson Filing Flight Plan

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    That 'seems to' will get you knocked out of the sky by big storms hiding right directly behind small storms. Strike finder will tell you how much lightning is there. RADAR will only tell you there's something there and not even how severe it is.
     
  4. Elvin Wilkerson

    Elvin Wilkerson Filing Flight Plan

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    Strikefinder can also be slaved or one can add the optional Strikefinder electronic gyro/compass/accelerometer.
     
  5. Elvin Wilkerson

    Elvin Wilkerson Filing Flight Plan

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    Okay, fine, I dropped your nugget just awhile ago at the porcelain throne! Really, man, you appear to me to be the troll here.
     
  6. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    Onboard radar, lightning detection and XM are all useful tools. They all have strengths and weaknesses. It is our responsibility to learn about these tools and use them appropriately.
    Unlike you I do give a **** about other people. You have a very misguided wrong conclusion about radar. I don’t want obviously wrong information to be on this board without comment.
     
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  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    I’m not trolling and honestly I was hopeful you were trolling because the alternative is that you really are clueless.
     
  8. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Huh?
    This radar images clearly shows the severity of the precipitation:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Considering there are a jabillion airliners flying around with just radar, and aren't falling out of the sky, and I've been flying around with just radar for 5000 hours, I don't think you're correct.
     
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  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Oh look another new person reviving an old thread to tell us how smart they are.

    I should probably head out and play some Golf. Might see a Fox. Won't be caught wearing any Yankees gear while doing so though.
     
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  11. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    yeah, wtf... this is a two-year-old necro-thread and @Elvin Wilkerson is obviously a troll or has no idea how radar works or both. I think the most important thing we can all take away from this recent bout of posting in this almost-dead thread is that dayyyyum eSaleRugs has a good variety of quality rugs for sale at competitive prices! (thanks for the screenshot, @MooneyDriver78 )
     
  12. Lynn Dixon

    Lynn Dixon Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I mean I did at least share the fact that I decided to pay to fix my strikefinder and I do still enjoy using it to this very day. Hah
     
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  13. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ok, the amazing rugs and rock-bottom prices are second then. That you got your strikefinder fixed and are happy with it is the most important takeaway. :goofy:

    Seriously, that is great that you were able to have it repaired and it is useful. I wish we had one, but paying for one to be installed ain't in the cards.
     
  14. Lynn Dixon

    Lynn Dixon Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah. I don’t think I would pay for a new one to be installed from scratch. But repair was cost effective and probably worth the little effort to get it going.
     
  15. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Pre-Flight

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    Are either of the lighting detectors good enough tools to be IFR and avoid imbedded TS’s, in conjuction w/ADS-B weather?

    (edited to add ADS-B weather)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  16. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    On their own, no, in my opinion. There's plenty of convective weather out there which won't register on the device.

    I've circumnavigated embedded cells using FIS-B weather, my Stormscope, and other tertiary sources (watching traffic routed through and hearing their ride reports to ATC, big picture awareness of the weather system, etc.) One size doesn't fit all - there's still stuff out there I'd need on-board weather radar to feel comfortable picking my way through. Since I don't have it, each convective weather encounter in my airplane is its own unique situation. I may elect to proceed, divert, or delay depending on what I am facing.

    I would say the Stormscope has become the least useful piece of equipment for this task. As I indicated earlier in the thread, I have a WX-900 in my airplane which I spent a few bucks to replace. It works, and I've used it in convective weather, but I honestly can't say I'm sure it deserves a place in the panel anymore. In modern use in conjunction with other tools, all it really does is confirm or deny what your other sources are telling you, and I'd have to think long and hard to remember a scenario in which it was the tie-breaker. Maybe never. I will probably remove it from the panel the next time it fails.
     
  17. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm mostly in the same camp as Ryan.

    By themselves, no, unless you're flying IFR and are either on-top where you can see the cells or underneath and can see the bases. In the clag, though, I want something more.

    Back when NEXRAD wasn't available and onboard radar was not a real option for small GA, the Stormscope/Strikefimder were the only weather avoidance options other than the MarkIII eyeball. When I first got my plane, all that I had available was a Stormscope in the place. We tended to fly to the limits of the tools, not trying to go anywhere/anytime.

    With NEXRAD (I used XM/Baron weather services), we suddenly had all kinds of other tools. NEXRAD was fine for showing where the cells were a few minutes ago, and watching it for a couple of cycles you could get pretty good at estimating where they were moving or building next. With a little interpretation, one could add the display on the Stormscope (which was immediate display of strikes) to aid the tactical avoidance of cells an building cells. Under the right circumstances (knowledge gained from experience) I was OK with flying through the clag to get on top - I still wanted to see where the buildup S were to give them plenty of berth.

    Traffic display added to that: now you could see what other folks were doing (including airliners that were low enough to display) and improve your interpretation skills. ATC could help, but their radar display was not as good as good NEXRAD. For example, coming out of ABQ one day I was headed for a hole east of town - ATC confirmed that other aircraft were going through there with a good ride, a couple that deviated from other routes (the deviation info being really great).

    So I see them as tools with limitations, each adds something, but doesn't give the whole picture. Interpretation is required, and that requires experience. Just like any other tool, exceed its limits and you are asking for trouble. These days, I wouldn't fly hard IFR in the clag with just a Stormscope, nor with just a NEXRAD display. But taken together, I might (assuming recent experience and knowledge of the local weather patterns).
     
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  18. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wouldn't bet my life on them. But if I am flying in IMC and I see lightning activity in front of me, I will either deviate or turn back. So I "think" I am safer with one than without one.
     
  19. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I have flown 2 airplanes with them. 1st one was a C310 back in the 80's and it was worthless. The operator said they spent time and money trying to get it to work but it never did.

    2nd is a C340 and it works as advertised and is a great addition to onboard radar and ads-b weather. I would rank it close to the onboard radar.
     
  20. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    When my Stormscope was my only weather avoidance system, it did a pretty good job (once I learned to use it effectively).
     
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  21. MajorTurbulence

    MajorTurbulence Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s exactly right. Nexrad good, eyeballs great, but when your Stormscope agrees with your eyeballs, priceless for tactics. And if I had no visibility to see my path, I’d go where the Stormscope shows no activity if I had no other outs.

    I have a WX500. If the price to pick up a working WX500 is equivalent to the Strikefinder, you no longer need a separate display as the Aspen( if it’s opened up to accept; mine does) and the IFD( I have a GNS430W) will give you 2 ways to display those lightening strikes.
     
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  22. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Ditto for the Garmin GTN series (and probably later Garmin GPSs as well). Unfortunately, my Stormscope is a WX-900, which doesn't support remote display on any device.
     
  23. Archer Jack

    Archer Jack Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Didn't realize thunderstorms were such a big problem in Holland!:cheerswine:
     
  24. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Umm... what?
     
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  25. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    In-flight radar has trouble seeing past a sheet of rain to what's behind it. That's probably what @Elvin Wilkerson meant.

    Obviously, there's no perfect single solution for weather detection; the more of these you can use together, the better:
    • In-flight lightning detectors show you where the convective weather actually is right now (whether or not it's producing a lot of precip yet; in-cloud lightning shows up before the cell produces heavy rain).
    • In-flight radar shows you where there's precip that might be associated with convective activity right now, and also where there's a lot of moisture and convective activity might develop in the next while (but hasn't yet, so it won't show up on the lightning detector).
    • XM or ADS-B weather shows you what was happening 10–30 minutes ago, but it's not as much affected by attenuation errors (composite radar), and can show you weather for a longer range for planning purposes, as well as extra info like cloud tops and icing.
     
  26. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know that. I've flown with a airborne radar for many years and thousands of hours. Not all rain attenuates radar, only really heavy, nasty stuff. There are known signatures to look for to see if the radar is being attenuated. Training is the key, and now, its even easier because most modern radars know when the beam is being attenuated and will give you a display of attenuated returns.

    Edit:
    Radar.jpg

    This is from a flight not too long ago. The arcs at the upper left of the screen are attenuation marks telling me that the radar is being attenuated in that sector. The circles you see in the cells are lightning strikes.

    Sure, but given a choice of the three above, I'll take radar every single time over the other two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  27. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Don’t we all fly with ads-b or XM weather these days? No I’m not interested in differences from a ‘strike-finder’, just saying, for our average ‘mission’, plenty enough. Then you factor in the $$, the choice becomes clear.
     
  28. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    If you're flying hard IFR, the more the merrier — XM or FIS-B tells me what was happening 20+ minutes ago over a wide area (with more info, like cloud tops), while something like a lightning detector or in-flight radar tells me what's happening right now (but only nearby).

    If you're VFR or light IFR only, then agreed that XM or FIS-B is more than enough, because your goal is to simply avoid anywhere that you won't be able to see what's happening right now simply by looking out your window.