Trio vs TruTrak

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Unit74, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    Let the battle begin.... Which one and why? And don't say Stec or GFC500. Can't get it in my plane, not to mention the GFC is $10k more than the Trio!
     
  2. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Trutrak (and the people behind it) have a LOT of experience with autopilots. I'd lean that way.

    Oh, I have a Trutrak in my RV-6 which has worked very well for the last 10 years.
     
  3. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Trutrak, it drives my PA28 nicely has all the features the trio has, cost less than the trio, easier to install than the trio, and Ive read trio and the STC group has had problems. Maybe @cappy48 can shed some more light.

    I installed my TT myself with my AP/IA over sight. Took me 26 hours and total cost around $5600.
     
  4. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-Flight

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    TruTrak has far more installs in PA-28’s than Trio. The STC Group is not fun to deal with either. The install kit from TruTrak is EXCELLENT!
     
  5. BobV

    BobV Filing Flight Plan

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    One feature the Trio and the GFC500 has over TruTrak is autotrim.
    Do you TruTrak owners feel autotrim is a feature that is worth the extra dollars and while your flying, how much trim annunciators do you get along your trips ex: does the annunciator advise out of trim conditions continually before you make adjustments ?
    I ask this due to a youtube video I recently watched that showed every few seconds the TruTrak was needing trimming either up or down and it sounded like a nuisance to me -- thanks much !!
     
  6. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    While this is awesome and I’m happy for you, I don’t think it’s right to throw this price out as a “this is what TT costs “ because the majority of people will probably have it installed and not be in your situation. Compare apples to apples.
     
  7. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-Flight

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    The trim annunciation shows up any time the pitch servo it pushing one way or the other. In smooth air, once you trim it works pretty well, and doesn’t continually ask for trim. In bumpy air it does ask for trim more often than you would want, perhaps, but I tell people not to chase it. It’s not an “in your face” annunciation, though. It is on the screen of the auto pilot with an arrow up or down and not an audio or beep or light, like an Stec.
     
  8. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Fair enough. While not everyone has an AP willing most anybody can do the install. It's not hard at all...like at all! But from what I've read and been told shops take about the same amount of time and less the more the they do. So plan on say 7 to 8k total. That's still a far cry from any other AP.
     
  9. jkgoblue

    jkgoblue Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a TurTrak Vision with the wings level button and it's been rock solid for many years. I guess auto trim would be nice but trim annunciation shows up not only on the unit but also on my AFS5600 PFD.
     
  10. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Meh on auto trim. I mean I don't have it so I don't know what I'm missing. But once in cruise flight Andi have it trimmed I pretty much ignore it when it asks for it. Sometimes all it takes is a slight push or pull on the yoke and it's happy. I've been in cruise and straight up ignored it for a looong time as well with no I'll effect. Would auto trim be nice...I honestly don't know.
     
  11. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    I've flown both;

    182L GFC500 with autotrim

    177B with Trutrak

    To me the 177B needs autotrim due to higher pitch forces. It does great in everything except pitch. I am sure there other model aircraft were the Trutrak performs better. That all being said, I'd probably put a TT in the 1968 177 if it came to it.

    If you have the cash, the GFC-500 is amazing to fly.

    I really hope someday that trutrak develops and add-on kit for autotrim.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  12. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    I have an experimental TT but have an experimental autotrim feature installed as well. I can’t imagine flying without it but that’s only because I’ve never done so.

    It is real nice!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  13. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    So between the Trio and the Trutrak, what if any difference is there other than buttonology?
     
  14. Dbarbee

    Dbarbee Pre-Flight

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    The last time I talked to the TruTrak folks they said that adding auto pitch trim was on their to do list but right now their busy developing kits for more airplane models.
     
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  15. BobV

    BobV Filing Flight Plan

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    That would seal the deal for me going TruTrak -- I'd like to have the auto trim option.
    Nice product, and glad to see other manufacturers finally developing a more financially viable option for pilots.
     
  16. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Our install in a Warrior went well in 20 man hours. VERY clever engineering!

    >>and Ive read trio and the STC group has had problems

    Well, I have a pipeline into some of the situation, and know more than I can speak about here.. but many have lost a lot of confidence in the situation.. :(

    Our TT is working well at a very reasonable cost. By the time most get the Trio up and running, the installed cost seems to crowd into the Garmin market.

    Cappy
     
  17. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Word is that the TruTrac installs in PA-28s are now in the hundreds and they only started shipping in Feb- March of this year. They have building them as fast as they are able, and giving AMAZING support to the field. Our install was blessed by a AMO (Canadian Regulations - another thread someday!) that does S-Tec and Garmin installs, and their very experienced tech was impressed with the simplicity of the install and the clever engineering presented...

    Cap
     
  18. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Trio does not have auto trim, but both Trio and TT have circuitry that CAN drive electric trim, and it may come in the future, but both companies are struggling to increase their AML as a first priority though.

    Your question...

    I find it is not a nuisance at all.... In rough air it may seem incessant, but I wait for a consistent indication before I react to it. Often a tap on the yoke will satisfy it. When it wants "up" in a commanded turn, I will roll the trim back if the turn is more than 180 degrees. Otherwise I just let the AP handle the plane until it rolls out on the new heading. One of the main causes of this is "stiction" in the yoke tubes. Old Pipers that have had the WRONG lube applied to the yoke tubes (all of them!) over the years , - this bushing is all gummed up and the AP has to overcome this. Keep the tubes lubed and we rarely see the trim annunciation in stable cruise.

    Would I buy the "autotrim" if it was an option? Hmmm .. Probably, especially if "auto throttle" was in the box as well... :)

    Necessary ? - Nope. Desirable? - sure.. :)

    Cap
     
  19. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Your point is well taken....

    But, it is worth pointing out that the TT install is so well thought out, and so SIMPLE, that anyone with a basic knowledge of aircraft and good maintenance and wiring knowledge can do it themselves. And many have. The installation manual has good pix, CLEAR instructions. (I have supplementary docs I send to anyone who requests them. (we documented our install) 19 of 20 Cherokees "fly away" with the factory suggested settings. Test flights are tutorials in operation, RARELY has there been any "tweaking" required.

    Most owners can take side panels off, remove seats etc. and save some $$$ there. If you can do the allowed owner maintenance on your aircraft, and some work under the supervision of a good AME, it can be done. Some shops have done a dozen or more, and they have it down to a day and a half. If they could get two techs into the space of one they could have it out the door the same day.

    Trio? Not a chance. The Stabilator has to be removed for rebalancing and reinstalled. (!) I am considered pretty handy around the aircraft, but there is NO WAY I am attempting that! And if you have the ELT mounted behind the cabin, (translation - you do NOT have the ELT access hole/passing in parts and tools hole) back in the tail cone, the cost goes up again. In the TT install you need two people for about 1 hour. Trio and Garmin, I have been told you need two people for many hours.. Longest install for TT I am aware of is 27 hours, Trio 74 hours.

    So, pay for the TT unit, figure 20- 25 hours (tops) at your local labour rates and you have it. Anyone who quotes 30 or more hours to install a TT in a PA-28 does not know how.

    There are now, due to volume, established "norms" for the TT installs. Hardest part is changing that (grrrrrr) circuit breaker!

    Cap
     
  20. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    I will try…. :)


    Trio has an "offset" course option, (this is also in most GPS navigators) can engage Horizontal and vertical operation separately, has an "Emergency " 180 degree turn option, and has an adjustable "intercept angle" in re-engaging a course track. Its menu construction is a bit shallower. (more buttons) Installation is difficult and costly, and reports are coming in that significant "adjusting " is necessary in flight testing. Instruction manual is confusing and difficult to follow. There is one guy in tech support getting high marks from installers, very knowledgeable and takes ownership of the issues. Reports of mechanical conflicts in brackets etc. are consistent. Many consider the use of "ClickBond" fasteners questionable. Special tools required. (VERY small sampling of customers)

    TruTrak has a simpler interface and fewer buttons, has an "automatic level" and a preset intercept angle, a clever and simple installation, and works very well with the factory suggested setup values. Essentially "plug and play". Factory support is excellent. Some of the TT staff are flying this TT autopilot in their own aircraft and have intimate knowledge of the product and it's operation. One conflict was discovered in some Cherokees in the roll servo arm installation, a different (offset) servo arm immediately engineered and shipped free to customers needing them. Knowledge base building rapidly. No special tools required. There is an upgrade path with options and optional TT "heads" (Scorcer etc.) for those wishing more functions in the future. TT has this for their experimental units with generous trade in arrangements, and it is expected they will follow the same business plan. (Large sampling of customers)

    Both, once installed and setup, appear to fly the aircraft very well, the TT path to get there is easy and inexpensive, the Trio path difficult and expensive. TT are supplying stronger pitch servos for the heaver aircraft (PA-32's, C182's) Some Trios have been removed from 182's because of inadequate pitch authority. (I believe they only have one model servo available)

    Latest information is that both will interface with the Aspen and Garmin G5 during Q1 of 2019

    Disclaimer …

    I have no association with any company noted here.. The above has been reported by others with similar comments from different and several people, some from my own experience. Most information is from the forums/chats and I have reason to believe the comments come from reasonable pilots that have no other agenda, but certainly have spent good money on their choice.

    The rest is IMHO… :)

    Cap
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  21. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    I have the same information...

    The Mooney guys are calling them... :)

    Cap
     
  22. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are ya sure about that? Cause all you seem to do is bash trio and rave about TT.
     
  23. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Anything is better than a G-mart sycophant.....
     
  24. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Absolutely sure.. and too old to even consider being an investor or principle in ANY company now.. Did that for 40 years, now retired and believe me, it is a permanent retirement.

    I don't know, and have not met anybody involved with either company and live a half continent away from either.

    Never bashed Trio… ever. I think it is a fine piece of gear...

    "Unit 74 " asked, I tried to answer best I could.

    The information I related is a collection of the observations of many, easily verified should you choose to read about it. I believe my comments are well based in fact, but will consider any different information.

    If you have experience with either unit, please offer your thoughts here.. All here would welcome them..

    I like lots of stuff about the Trio, was in line to buy it, I actually still have the Trio wire cable in my right wing, installed during the earlier install of my AOA indicator.. I REALLY wish my TT had that course offset, but I have it in the GPS should I need it. (Sooo much easier to use on the Trio tho…

    I think I would have been happy with the operation of the Trio.. some other aspects and the installation effort, not so much.

    FWIW....

    Cap
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  25. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    ROTFL! :):) … And they are around !

    Cap
     
  26. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What makes the display light up on the TruTrak (Sorcerer) without obvious explanation. Flying along bright daylight, S&L, it is not asking for trim, no alerts, just lights up. Then goes off later. Lights up again.
     
  27. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    So this is what I came up with:

    TruTrak Vizion $5000 plus EAA STC $100: Total : $5100 plus install at 25 hours (Estimated by TruTrak)

    Trio Pro Pilot $3495 plus $2750 STC Group install Kit: $6245 plus install at 40 hours (Estimated by Trio)

    Assuming $100/hr shop. TruTrak installed: $7600

    Assuming $100/hr shop Trio Pro Pilot installed: $8745

    Difference: $1145


    Shared between both systems:

    Bank Angle Select (if no GPS signal)

    Track Select

    GPS Nav (Point to point type flight plans)

    GPSS (Roll steering commands)

    Vertical Speed Select

    Altitude Hold

    Altitude Select

    Altitude Pre-Select

    GPSV (LPV Approaches)

    Control Wheel Steering

    Bank Angle Protection Mode

    Unique Features not shared:

    Intercept Mode (Trio)

    Autotrim (Trio)

    Emergency Level (TruTrak)

    Emergency Course reversal (Trio)

    Fuel management (Trio)

    Install Kit (Trutrak)

    Wiring Harness (Yes, Trutrak, unknown Trio)
     
    Hang 4 and dell30rb like this.
  28. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Your math might be wrong....40 hours at $100 is $4000 +$6245 (trio)= $10,245

    S0..$2645 difference between the two.
     
  29. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Doin good except the math.. 40 hrs at $100/hr is 4000.00 makes the Trio $10245

    In addition what the manufacturers estimate.. here are real numbers from other forums..

    "Real world" install hours are closer to 20 hrs for the TruTrak, 60 hours for the Trio. (3 Trio installs I know of - hours were 50, 65 and 74) Add 4-5 hours to either for the install if you reconfigure the radio stack to install the rectangular heat as opposed to the "round hole" head. (The "74 Hour" install included a stack shuffle)

    Some shops are doing the TT install in 15 hrs.. (round control head)

    Real demonstrated numbers would be TT - $7100, Trio - $12245 Some shops are quoting the TT at a flat rate of $7100- $7200 out the door.

    TT have an intercept mode but the angle is fixed unless you change it with CWS steering, and both have circuitry for auto trim. (available on both experimental versions, but not on our certified versions … yet.. )

    The Garmin is the only one with auto trim in the package, but the auto trim servo sits where the battery is in most Cherokees, so you have to move the battery from under the seat to behind the baggage area.

    Some thing you can get a field approval to allow the Trio or the TT to drive the stock Piper electric trim if it is already installed in the aircraft, but this has not been done yet.

    FWIW... :)

    Cap
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 1:01 PM
  30. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Re Trio...

    From the Piper Forum...

    A verified actual cost was $9338, with included $3500 for the install portion.. I believe it was (from memory) about 50 hrs., and the custom built panel with cutout was waiting for the Trio. The labor rate was significantly less that $100/ per hour. (the straight wing Cherokees have the Trio roll servo mounted under the seat, the taper wings have it in the right wing and it takes several hours more to do that install.) In addition there were 3-4 test flights to get it " dialed in". He said it started "ugly", but now that it is set up correctly it is flying his 140 VERY well. He is very happy with it..

    Cap
     
  31. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-Flight

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    I just had my slowest worker install a TruTrak last week. He had installed the servos before, but not the wiring or programmer. He put less than 40 hours on the install including taking the seats out and putting everything back together. It flew perfect on the first flight with the default settings.
     
  32. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The one thing I'll say for + Trio and - TruTrak. If you want to understand the equipment itself, what it does, what it looks like in operation, what the knobs do and what the various modes actually do, Trio is way better. They have a six page brochure with a plain english explanation and drawings of what each mode does. Also the buttons/knobs seem laid out a bit better. TruTrak on the other hand has one picture of the front of the unit, a bulleted list of modes and if you really search you can find something about the servos. From an internet chat standpoint, TruTrack wins based on the install simplicity and the more simplified STC process. A perfect world would be the Trio head, TruTrak installation and STC. (Or the Garmin unit costing the same :) .
     
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  33. jbDC9

    jbDC9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agreed. For my RV-8 I waffled between the Trio and TT Vizion. I ended up going with the TT; I'm quite happy with it in operation and the install was straightforward. But, I will say the "simplicity" of the TT control head makes operation not so simple at times. The buttonolgy takes some getting used to, while after reading the Trio manual, it seemed like it (Trio) would be more intuitive to use. The TT operation manual does a pretty good job of spelling out how it all works.
     
  34. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    My bad on the numbers..... I’m no savant.
     
  35. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    I have to agree... I really liked the Trio interface better... I like shallow menus and the extra buttons allow for a "one button selection" of some features..

    And while you are "learning" the instrument, this has significant advantages. But after several months of flying behind the TT, I am amazed at how little I have to "dive into it" in actual flying. A typical flight involves the "ground" check, Sync the altitude, and when at cruise altitude and trimmed, engage the AP, then disengage it at destination during the "In range/downwind Ck". That's it.

    Sometimes I set a target alt during climb, but we often have altitude restrictions on arrivals and departures here so it is not used that often.

    Have only used the course offset once, on the GPS to the TT, but it is a direct feature on the Trio.

    If we get the Aspen E5 as hoped for, both the TT and Trio interface will be essentially become an "Off - On Switches" , the flight regimes being selected on the Aspen screen.

    Until then, the "Buttonology" of the TT has become very quick and easy. The most used features are no more than two button presses away..

    Cap
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 8:04 PM
  36. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Hijacked from another forum... I don't think Jesse will mind.. :)

    Was looking for this post the other day and couldn't come up with it..

    Found it...

    Re TT install in a Piper PA-28..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >> "TruTrak for $7,250 out the door at my shop. You won’t get into a GFC500 for under $15,000, and you’ll likely be more like $20,000.)"

    Jesse Saint

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Obviously his shop has done enough of them, and is confident enough of the install to nail the price before you go.

    YMMV ! ...……( But not in his shop ! .... :) )

    Cappy
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 9:26 PM
  37. Jesse Saint

    Jesse Saint Pre-Flight

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    I don’t mind if you repost for me, as long as you spell my name correctly. :)

    Jesse
     
  38. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    What’s the name of this shop and where are they located? Is that for any plane or..... currently chatting with my shop about the TT....


     
  39. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Arrrruuuuggghh!

    'Pologies! My Bad!

    Fixed!! :)

    Cap
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 5:10 AM
  40. cappy48

    cappy48 Pre-Flight

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    Florida I think!

    But I will let him take over from here, I can't even speel his name correctly... :)

    Cuppy