Problems wit AeroCruze 100 install (lack thereof)

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by AeroLudite, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Aha~! LOVE it when a plan comes together! :)

    I am seeing more of this in my inbox..

    Don't be afraid to "tweak" the settings... "Ya can't hurt nuthin! " DL the experimental version manual with the description of what the adjustments do..

    Speaking with Andrew the other day, he mentioned that that they were able to get the AP to "Alt Hld" within + - 10 ft. of set alt. in all the test planes. (calm air test)

    Control yoke tubes MUST be kept lubed and the control systems MUST be in proper rig.

    On my Warrior, The vert Activity is set up to 19 - 20 and the altimeter is "stuck" . There is no deviation readable on the dial.

    So have at it if you are OCD like some of us... :)

    Cap
     
  2. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is a very timely thread! Just flew about four hours today on a long XC prior to IR checkride. We noticed a lot of overshooting on GPSS turns (we have a Garmin 430w) and especially in HDG mode (we have an Aspen EFD 1000). In HDG mode, the TT would seem to 'hunt' to find the track and then sort of settle in on a HDG. In GPSS mode, sometimes it would wander off track pretty substantially. We did have a nice crosswind at 6000' today, so we sort of chalked it up to that. But I wonder if our settings are out of whack.

    But I also noticed that the TT was having a hard time settling in on ALT HOLD, as well. If we had it set to hold at 6000', it took some up/down porpoising to settle in on the right altitude.

    We have PA28R-200 Arrow, so I wonder if the higher speeds are causing the stock PA28 settings to be incorrect... I think ours is set up by default like the instructions here: https://bkx.bendixking.com/download...allation_Guide_PA-28_Appendix_D_243_Rev_C.pdf

    Does anyone have any recommendations for the lateral and vertical settings for the TT on a 200HP Arrow? If so, would love to have some recommendations. The documentation is not great in terms of telling you what the lateral and vertical settings do. I will take a look at the experimental settings linked here: https://www.bendixking.com/content/.../Vizion-380-385-Series-Operating-Handbook.pdf

    But any personal recommendations from folks with experience would be really great.
    Thanks all!
     
  3. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi DeeLee!

    What is the period (time) of the porpoising? Calm air or rough(er) air? If in CALM air..... Are your yoke tubes WELL lubed and cable tensions MEASURED and set correctly (Low end of the proper range works best. )

    Increasing the vertical activity setting is next, decreasing the static lag to 1 or 0 is next.

    Also.. There is an issue with the Aspen software. There is a delay in the data sentence from the navigator when "passing through" the Aspen. . Jury is still out as to why, many installs have a switch to connect the navigator DIRECTLY to the TT.

    If you have this switch, and the TT tracks well with GPS data directly from the navigator, then you are experiencing the same issue.

    Cap
     
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  4. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hi @cappy48 thanks for the reply!

    The altitude 'hunting' or porpoising happens in calm air... I will check the yoke tubes to see if they are lubed. This is a new-to-us aircraft, so that is something we should check. If that looks good, what vertical activity setting do you recommend? Seems the PA28 settings doc from BK is a bit generic - there is a big difference between a Cherokee 140 and an Arrow in terms of climb performance and speed.

    We have a switch that will couple the 430w to the TT directly, so we are not using the Aspen passthrough. I, too, have heard there are issues there. So when in GPSS mode, the 430w is always directly coupled to the TT. In HDG mode, we switch the coupling to the Aspen and then use the heading bug on the Aspen.

    So not sure if we should maybe tweak the lateral settings? Since we are coupled to the navigator (GPSS) and Aspen (HDG) which takes the pass-through lag out of the picture.

    Thanks again for the knowledge sharing! Really appreciate the help. Also, I do like the Trutrak setup... seems like it is a fine autopilot... just maybe needs some tweaking?
     
  5. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OK.. If you push or pull the yoke , it should "coast " part way.. With it full aft, you should be able to "coast"
    it at least 1/3 rd of the travel before hitting the fwd bumper under the panel, and if it does hit the bumper it should "bounce " back some..

    Some are so badly gunked after decades of the wrong lube.. :( I have seen some that are actually hard to move, and impossible to deliver fine adjustments from either "pilot". In calm air, you should be able to fly a well trimmed Arrow with fingertip pressures...

    Not sure if the factory settings for the arrow are the same as the as for other PA-28's, but mine suggests 16, and I am set at 19. 99 % of Cherokees fly "out the door" with the factory settings. But some of us like to see NO deviation in alt hld, and for that, some tweaking may be necessary.

    How does it track when fed directly from the Navigator? (DDo amax rate turn to a new track at least 90 degrees and see of it settles on a new track with less than one mild oscillation. If not play with the lateral activity.

    If it oscillates when rounding a waypoint, (GPSS MODE) play with the GPSS gain. (going up or down may help the issue, depending..

    Good luck!

    Cap
     
  6. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    this is great to know! Sorry silly question, but which way should I try adjusting lateral activity? The docs are not good describing what these settings do.
     
  7. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not silly questions at all...

    It could be adjusted either way..

    Engage the track history on the GPS so you can observe the turn, watching the oscillations (in GPSS) . If the first one is very aggressive, the gain is too high and the AP is "attacking " the turn and the period of the oscillations is tight and rapid, like driving a car with hyper sensitive steering. (or if in track mode, turn down the Horz activity.

    If the first oscillation is "lazy" (GPSS) , overshooting the turn with a long period, (slow oscillations) turn up the gain, or if in track mode, turn up the horz activity.

    That should get you started! :)
     
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  8. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks!

    looking back on my FF track, the ‘track hunting’ in GPSS and HDG modes occurred mostly while experiencing a stiff 25-30 mph headwind... wonder if that played into it?

    first thing I’m going to do is make sure it is set to the pa28 defaults. If not, I will set those and test. Then tweak from there.
    Your suggestions are great if the TT is set to default and I still get the hunting and oscillating.
    Thanks again!
     
  9. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes it does.. The aircraft does not know the wind is blowing, but your track history in FF does.

    Assuming there are lateral oscillations, the FF track , recorded into a strong headwind, will show the deviations "bunched up" and obvious, and will appear more rapid than actual. If you are going downwind, they will appear smoothed out and not so noticeable.

    In a strong crosswind, the plane will turn more sharply into the wind to maintain a smooth track turn, (it already has altered the "heading" upwind to maintain track in the crosswind) whereas the plane will do a shallow bank turn down wind as the wind will additionally produce the desired turn track.

    Cap
     
  10. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's what their web site says, too. All the S-TEC needs is a heading signal, so it should be easy-ish to implement and certify (if it goes wrong, the plane just flies in gentle circles). The legacy A/Ps need full attitude support, so that will take a lot more effort (if it goes wrong, it might make smoking craters).

    I'm watching the AV-30 closely, but you're right that it is a bit too good to be true. as a G5/GI-275/etc replacement. You have to search the fine print to see that in HSI mode, it's not certified as a legal CDI for IFR flight (unlike every competitor), so it can't replace your mechanical CDI. They haven't announced any plan to change that, even a vague, undated one. It can't use a magentometer. It can't track a VOR or localiser; etc. etc.

    I'm hoping all of these will change some time in then future, because I really like the round form factor, but if I were forced to replace my mechanical DG right now, I'd probably go for a GI-275, which has all the features I need for IFR flight. I'll start believing the AV-30's future feature list when I see those features appear in the experimental version (where FAA certification doesn't hold them up); until then, they're just vapourware. :(
     
  11. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flew again on Sunday to lunch and back with the TT coupled to the 430w in GPSS mode... it was a tale of two flights... on the flight to lunch, there was little wind aloft... like less than 10 knots. And it was mostly a tailwind. The TT kept right on the magenta line on the 430w zoomed in to the closest range. Same on ForeFlight... it was dead on the line.

    Flight back from lunch two hours later and the winds aloft had really picked up and were blowing almost a direct crosswind (I was going about 090 they were blowing up from the south) at 30+ mph (25 kts or so). At first, the TT seemed to hold track pretty well.. Then we started crossing over the Blue Ridge mountains... they aren't very high, but they cause some nice mountain wave up/down drafts. As soon as we started hitting that turbulence coupled with the winds aloft crosswind at 30 mph, the Trutrak started the hunting...

    At first, it seemed to make sense... the autopilot turned the aircraft's heading into the crosswind. But it seemed almost too much of a crab because we would start to stray off the magenta line toward the direction of the wind. As if there was too great of a crab angle. Then, after a period of time, the autopilot seemed to realize it was too far off track and then it would turn in the direction of the magenta line (away from the wind like an anti-crab angle). This would result in the autopilot re-correcting and turning back into the wind to correct and crab.... and repeat. We had some nice s-turns across the magenta line, I would say. Then, at one point, we crabbed so hard it was almost like the Trutrak couldn't recover and it just kept turning more and more into the wind (and farther off our track). At that point, I disabled the Trutrak and manually flew it back on course.

    I checked the settings in the Trutrack and they are all set to the PA28 defaults per this document: https://bkx.bendixking.com/download...allation_Guide_PA-28_Appendix_D_243_Rev_C.pdf page 35.

    Is there a specific setting that I can increase/decrease that might make the crabbing/crosswind correction more accurate? Or is our Trutrak broken somehow? Or maybe this is just normal and something to be monitored more closely in crosswinds and turbulence?

    Thanks again for all the tech help here!
     
  12. Sam Lairson

    Sam Lairson Filing Flight Plan

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    I have a new installation in a Cherokee archer pa28. Aerocruze 100 and avidyne ifd440. I noticed on a Llc approach that i was consistently right of course. A few days ago I flew in some heavy winds and the autopilot was wandering all over laterally. It could not stay on the GPSS course.
    I am thinking some tweaking of the settings are in order. As of now it is at the recommended settings from the pa28 installation manual.
    Any input will be appreciated.

    thanks

    Sam
     
  13. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hi @Sam Lairson - one suggestion... since you just had yours installed, I would go back to the installing shop and ask them how to tweak the settings or maybe adjust the mechanical components. I asked our avionics shop about the hunting and wandering tendencies and he said he would check our TruTrak settings, but sometimes there is too much slack in the cables (?). Said that their A/Ps could look into it during annual for us.

    You are in a good position to have the installer troubleshoot since you just had it installed. And if they figure it out, could you post the findings here? It may help me narrow down this problem. Actually, it hasn't been an issue in a while. And only when winds aloft are stiff. Although it does have a tendency to overshoot a waypoint a bit in GPSS mode then have to come back to the proper heading. Which is annoying.
     
  14. Cherokee Lover

    Cherokee Lover Pre-Flight

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    I had the same problem with my PA-28 and worked closely with Andrew Barker from BK. The avionics shop probably can’t help you and the settings should be left alone. I went through this for months and after multiple settings (I have them down to a science) I discovered the recommended settings work the best. If I had to go to Vegas and bet on this I would say either your flight control cable tension to too tight...or you need another roll servo. There is a torque adjustment that some servos didn’t have set correctly. I replaces mine and it was good to go.

    The installation manual calls for a cable tension check during installation and some shops skip over that. Have your aileron cables and rigging smoked over first...then possible another servo. There is an engineering mode that only the factory can tell u how to access while flying and u can watch the GPSS deviation to see if the controller is reading the navigator...or if the servo is not responding.

    Mine used to hold slightly right or left on an LPV and I thought it was the controller or the navigator. It was neither. The wind just blew me slightly off...and the servo didn’t have the torque to pull me back.

    Also...any relatively high wind will make any GPSS AP snake slightly left and right. Depends on the wind and the system. U have to be blown off the magenta line before it realizes and corrects. As it is correcting it has no idea the wind will over correct...and thus blows u off again back and forth
     
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  15. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thank you for this. The avionics guy who is working on my PFD right now said about the same thing. He said to have them check the cable tension to make sure there is not too much slack. But what you said makes sense too... maybe too tight. Regardless, it is on the list for them to check at annual since they will be inspecting cables anyway (I would imagine). Hopefully they can sort it then.
     
  16. Cherokee Lover

    Cherokee Lover Pre-Flight

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    For the PA-28 and the Aerocruze the cable tension is actually better at the lower end. I set mine slightly under 35 pounds.

    If u suspect it’s ur servo (Which it might be) ur avionics shop can send it to Mid-Continent and talk to a guy named Bruce Gammon. They can test and adjust it under warranty. They are contracted by BK to work their stuff.

    ur A & P can send it off also. It’s a piece of cake to pull and install. Like 5 minutes. I’m an A & P so I just stopped going back to the install shop and I worked it myself.
     
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  17. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thank you so much! I don't know if these guys are BK/TruTrack dealers, but hopefully they will be able to figure it out. It is a really good shop, so I suspect they will fix it whatever the issue. I copied and pasted a lot of this into my 'Annual Notes' document that I am going to use when we put the plane in annual in March.
     
  18. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Normally, I'd say the shop shouldn't open up the plane until they have all the parts, but in this case, it's an entirely-understandable mistake that they thought they had them. There's been a lot of talk about shipping issues over in the Piper Forum as well.

    I don't actually think there's anything malicious about it: B-K has just been at a loss since they bought the TruTrak. It probably made sense in the PowerPoint slides at the management retreat — "if we buy up this little company for practically nothing, then we'll have an entry-level autopilot for VFR pilots to complete our line, and they can upgrade to the AeroCruze 200 when they move up to IFR" — but, of course, the TT is sort-of an IFR autopilot itself (enroute only, but that's good enough for most owners), and nobody wants to buy the AeroCruze 200 (correction: 230) that's B-K's flagship product for light piston aircraft, so there's not as much differentiation as they like. I doubt they're deliberately trying to kill the AeroCruze 100, so much as just neglecting it because nobody in senior management wants to take responsibility for what was clearly a misguided acquisition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  19. Cherokee Lover

    Cherokee Lover Pre-Flight

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    What’s an Aerocruze 200?
     
  20. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sorry, I should have written "230".

    But most people would still ask "what's the Aerocruze 230?", because it's not exactly flying itself off the shelves as far as I can tell.
     
  21. Cherokee Lover

    Cherokee Lover Pre-Flight

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    The Aerocruze 230 is considered an upgrade for legacy APs like KFC150 and KFC200.

    However, the Aerocruze 100 is still IFR certified.

    It isn't legally certified for coupled approaches like LPVs and can't do a coupled ILS...but it can be used for LNAV or VOR down to 700 AGL.

    BTW...it WILL actually do an LPV down to minimums, just not legal yet, but they are working on that.

    ;)
     
  22. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Exactly, except that since Honeywell/Bendix-King bought it, I don't think they're actually working on approach certification any more.
     
  23. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    This is disappointing to hear. I wonder why they would undermine the product they just bought. Any materials to back this up?
     
  24. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just oral report from someone who called the company. If you're thinking of buying, best get in touch with Honeywell yourself to check.
     
  25. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The more I think about it, the more I feel a lot of the certifications are nothing more than money grabs. Everyone knows it can do it. There’s really no way to prove you used it for the approach. It’s still the PIC responsibility to fly the approach as charted regardless if an autopilot is used or not. If the autopilot does something wrong it’s still the pilots responsibility to disengage it and fly by hand or go missed. What am I missing? I could be completely off base on this, I don’t know? But why would any company spend that much money proving to the government something that experimental pilots have proven long ago and everyone already knows?
     
  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    They probably won't know if you're navigating IFR in IMC with your portable GPS, either, or dive below DH to "take a peek" on an approach. Unless there's an accident, airmanship is between you and your conscience.

    Experimental pilots accept more risk in exchange for lower costs and more hands-on experience maintaining their planes. It's the passengers we have to worry about — that placard on the panel of experimentals is to warn them that no one has officially tested this stuff up to regular standards. Most of it probably works just fine; it's just that nobody's gone to the trouble to put together the evidence.

    But more generally, if you think certification is a scam, why fly a certified airplane? Go experimental, and you won't have to worry about the "scam" any more.
     
  27. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get it. But tell me, how is it any different if I hand fly it or use the autopilot? Even a certified for approach autopilot. It’s still my responsibility. I still have to make sure the plane is flying the approach as chartered. If the autopilot messes up it’s still my responsibility regardless if it’s certified or not. That just my thoughts anyway. Maybe I’m way off base?
     
  28. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    VOR?? Please explain. I thought it was GPS only. I'm not trying to be snarky - - I have one, and really want to know.
     
  29. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don’t want to speak for Cherokee Lover but, a lot of “VOR A approaches” are VOR / GPS A approaches. Not all, but a lot of them are. I’m guessing that is what he was referring to?
     
  30. frostyeric

    frostyeric Filing Flight Plan

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    We've got a 1967 C172H with 430w and set of G5's. I've always been interested in the TT and a bit hesitant with the BK acquisition, but this thread has been helpful. Still considering options at this point. For the Aerocruze 100, I realize an ARINC switch is needed to flip between controlling the AP from the 430 or the G5. Will the AP & G5 altimeter settings synchronize if the ARINC switch is set to the 430 (as it probably would be most of the time)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  31. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can't answer for the FAA; I can only guess. Approaches are a high-workload time, slow, close to the ground, and possibly laterally close to obstacles and terrain, and I guess the original TT project team just didn't want to do the extra work to demonstrate that their A/P isn't likely to suddenly fly the plane into a steep dive or stall (etc) when recovery might be difficult.

    I personally believe that that the TT wouldn't do any of those things, but you still have to show your work (so to speak) for each approved model to get certification. That's why "no approaches" is a hard limit in the TT AFMS, not just a suggestion.

    By skipping approach certification, they were able to get the TT to market faster, for more aircraft models, at a lower price, so it wasn't necessarily a bad business decision. It's just a trade-off.
     
  32. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    We don't have G5s, but have an Aspen. If the switch is set to couple the TT to the Aspen, the TT will get altimeter information directly. In fact, there is no way to set the altitude on the TT when it is in this mode. If the switch couples it to the GPS, you will need to set it manually if given a new altimeter setting by ATC. It is part of my flow at this point - get altimeter from ATC, set it on the analog altimeter first, set it on the Aspen, then hit Alt twice on the TT and set the altitude as read from the analog altimeter. When coupled to the Aspen, no need to do that last step.

    Same should be true for the G5s - when TT is coupled to the G5s, they get altitude directly (no need to set on the TT). Otherwise, you will need to hit Alt twice and set altitude on the TT... It's not a big deal.
     
  33. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It’s the same with G5s. If the G5 is used it takes the altimeter setting directly from the G5. GPS you need to set it on the TT. It’s really not an issue.