Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Transponder and Timing

I decided to stop in and check on 08Romeo and what day it could be brought into the avionics shop. With a date penciled in I decided to walk out on the ramp and pull the garmin 496 out of the panel and check for anything obvious, loose wires or maybe something disconnected. When the shop installed the gizmo dock they cut open the back to allow easy access, at first I didn't like the idea, thinking if the 496 is out there will be an open hole in the panel.  I got to thinking, when would the 496 be out if I was flying? Never! 

The Garmin 496 pops right out of the gismo dock and it's connections are bundled neatly, I set it on the throttle quadrant. I reach in to the panel and with my LED flashlight give things a look.  Tray seems stable and connections seem ok, I decided to crawl under the panel. Now for those of you who know me and understand I am not that bendable would really get a kick out of my next maneuver.  I flip upside down and roll over feet over the front seats and head leaning against the rudder pedals. Ahhhh...I see a connection that I think is loose.  I secure the cable and give everything else a once over, gezzz there are plenty of wires all neatly bundled running everywhere.

Once back to a normal seated position and the blood rushes back out of my brain I fumble for my keys to give 08Romeo a test. Wait, the blood rush must have made me fuzzy, duh flip the battery switch and power up the avionics.  Yes, the gyros spin to life and I am thinking clearly now. Avionics on, transponder on .....and the reply light is blinking away!!  I shut the Collins unit off and turn it back on, still working.  I shut down the avionics and battery and reverse the process two more times to make sure all is peachy. Cool! I'll test fly Wednesday night and see how it goes.  I walked back into the shop and canceled the check up. 

Ok, the timing part of this post title has you wondering.  Jason gave me a heads up that they were installing a Garmin 327 in a plane this week or next and that owner is trading in his 320. What timing! The shop will give me a call and we will talk numbers, I may swap out the Collins. The Zaon PCAS will work much better with out the Collins conflict....no more ghost images on my 496!

As a side note, Jason is leaving Red Eagle this week.  I know he reads this blog from time to time so Jason, blue skies my friend, thanks for your service and friendship.  Mary and I wish you the very best on your relocation and new job in Minnesota....Brrrr cold.

UPDATE - Wednesday, 1/5/11

A quick flight after work to confirm the transponder is working as it should be.  I made a 13 mile hop towards 58M - Elkton, MD turned back towards Wilmington.  Multiple altitude checks with Wilmington to verify my transponder is working and then I called it a night.  My landing you wonder, it stunk.  Flared high, didn't add enough throttle to compensate and came in with a kerplunk!  Firm but no bounce, but not one I'm proud of.  08Romeo is covered and secure, awaiting this weekends snow.


Anonymous said...

As being one of those who knows you, have heard your cracking knees many times and have seen a metal rod sticking out of your leg.... Glad to hear you got into a position that the blood could drain back down. :)

I do recall your rock throwing arm always being flexible though.

Happy New Year to you and Mary.


Gary said...

LMAO....Warren, you crack me up! Heck, I was just praying once I got in that position I could get myself out and standing up again. God forbid someone had to find me stuck upside down with my head under the panel and my feet in the air....yikes, what an ugly picture.

Lets get together in the next week or two, it would be great to catch up!

Happy New year wishes to you and all your Family!! I see your Mom and Dad are on facebook...gotta love it.

ddf said...

Record Keeping. Gary, I'm looking for a system/record/log to keep track of my recurring and running costs. Do you keep a standard ledger (old school) or .xls (new school) or use some other system to record ownership costs?

Gary said...

I did track everything in excel. Now I divided up my quicken books to break out each entry in our "aviation" account. Airplane fuel, repairs, annual, insurance, GPS updates.

It's easy to print year end reports or give myself sticker shock anytime. Like this years fuel bill just from the FBO at wilmington, not counting any off airport purchases +5K. Yeah, that about made the heart stop!

Chris said...

Yeah, that's EXACTLY why I don't make a habit of tallying up my fuel bills! :-)

Rob said...

First Rule of Aviation,... don't add up the cost :-)

Steve said...

Second rule of aviation... don't add up the cost!


D.B. said...

Gary, have you ever had issues with having your a/c signed off with the gizmo mount? I have been looking at ways to get XM weather in my cockpit. The "approved" method of adding a GDL-69 receiver for my Garmin 430W is rather expensive. I can also get it on a 496 handheld, but my avionics guy is squawking about the Gizmo mount not being approved in a certified a/c like the Sundowner. It's only approved in experimentals. I can yoke mount it, but then it's untidy and harder to integrate with the 430.

Gary said...


My unit is panel mounted and yes, I heard the same grief. I did NOT hardwire to the aircraft systems. All the wires are neatly bundled behind the panel and I have a plug for power into my cig lighter plug along with the audio feed. Both connections are secure, hardly noticiable and the unit is still portable if anyone ramp checks. My choice was NOT to connect to my GArmin 530 and use the crossfill, I like having the 496 as an independant search or flight plan system. Besides, if you connect to the 430/530 you can plug in the Zaon XRX traffic with out splitting the cable and adding switches.

I'll try and get a picture posted.