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  #16  
Old 12-23-20, 01:28 PM
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hharney hharney is offline
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Are you planning to keep the plane for 5 years or more? Just get the GTN-750 and be done with it. You will never be sorry that you did except the day you write the check, after that you will only have a smile on your face that you bought the box that does more tomorrow when you really need it. As we grow with our airplanes our experience level accelerates and we will wish we had paid all that installation money for more capability than we had originally thought we would need. You have a very capable airplane so why compromise the ability today when you will need that capability tomorrow. Yes the hardware will cost more but the installation cost won't change much. The GTN-750 is just the best box out there for our airplane and you will grow into this unit within a couple years and be able to say that you are so glad you bought more and not less.

Also the Avidyne boxes are awesome too and did not mean to not include them. Just saw that you were talking Garmin so ran with that.

Bottom line, buy more than you need today as you will want it tomorrow
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  #17  
Old 12-23-20, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hharney View Post
Are you planning to keep the plane for 5 years or more? Just get the GTN-750 and be done with it. You will never be sorry that you did except the day you write the check, after that you will only have a smile on your face that you bought the box that does more tomorrow when you really need it...

Bottom line, buy more than you need today as you will want it tomorrow
Thank you, Herb! As I struggle with my decisions on my own panel updates, you put into words what I needed someone to say.

-J
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  #18  
Old 12-24-20, 11:06 AM
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The last update of 4XXW SFMS, 190-00356-03 Rev. G, indicates that there are no autopilots authorized for LPV approaches (attached image). Not sure you could use the info posted for the 5XX SFMS if you didn't have one on board.

That said, Sandel had a software update that would allow my 3308 to do it. So, I purchased it, it wasn't cheap, and I had the avionics shop install it and do some hard-wire changes that it required. The update also provided the autopilot integration to fly it.

As a note, Sandel might have bit the dust in '20. They were walloped by everything that happened this year to include the wildfires in CA. They no longer are answering their phones or emails. I bought the annual DB update for the 3308's memory; yeah, it has a Jepp DB of US fixes in it. The shop had a problem with the date range of the software, and it would not load. At least the annual update is cheap. Anyway, my 400A actually does a heck of a job flying an LPV approach. Spot on. My airplane was just up to APC for a problem, it was the attitude indicator, not the autopilot, and the test pilot let it fly the approaches to minimums as part of his profile.

As a note, it is worth taking the airplane to APC in Tulsa. They ended up flying my airplane twice with their pilot and techs, and the tweaks were worth it. They have the equipment the I suspect no one else has. The airplane is flown through a test profile; in the Skymaster's case, there is a tech in the front with their pilot, and there is a tech in the back seat with the seat laid down, making adjustments to the box in the overhead. While they are doing this, there is a great place to eat 171' away; Evelyn's Soul Food. Jimmie Cricket! Tulsa is directly on our Victoria to St. Paul grandkid flight. Evelyn's will be a mandatory "fuel" stop north and southbound.

Me personally, I don't have a problem letting it fly one. My 400A is always in top shape, I know how to monitor a system and an approach, and my 20K hour plus background is heavy with both IFR and LNAV operations. Of course, look at the Terrain Proximity notes on the same attachment. You're not supposed to use it either. Right, that's one of the reasons you bought it and maintain the updates. Garmin is covering the butt.

The difference between the 400A and B is that the A uses chain/sprocket drives, and the B uses torque motors. The B flies the airplane with input pressure just like you would by hand. I'm not sure the C337 ever had any B installations.

I briefly considered going to the glass, but that means an autopilot change as well. With the STEC 55 being the only option, it's not for me. I've flown a bunch of different airplanes professionally since I retired from the airlines. I see a lot of inop STECs. The three STEC installations I've been flying this year are all inop (all 55s). I've talked to three shops this year about going to the glass, which means that I leave the 400A. All three have told me to plan on doubling the autopilot's cost to cover the installation labor. That is not out of line with what I've experienced with other installations I've had done over the last two years. I keep a spare, rebuilt attitude indicator on the shelf; that's the real key to the 400A. APC has prepped it, but I will take the airplane up there to adjust if it is put in use.

I've got a bunch of stuff to be done going into my annual in a couple of months, but I'm not going to go to glass in my airplane. Too much $$$ for an airframe that is working towards 50 years old, that's me. If everything craps out, or I feel the need for glass, I'm going to buy a used late-model Seneca V with all the bells and whistles; FIKI, radar, and airconditioned and be done with it.

What's weird is that in the late '70s, I flew a 337G, P337G, and a PA34-200T Seneca II professional during the same time period. The 337G was flown on a pipeline patrol from the TX/Mexico border into AL weekly. The P337G was flown in TX and Mexico, and the PA34 in TX, NM, CO, and Mexico. I liked all three. I guess I'm back to my roots.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 430W autopilot LPV limitations.jpg (64.3 KB, 171 views)

Last edited by patrolpilot : 12-24-20 at 11:17 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-25-20, 12:14 PM
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I always thought those Garmin AFMS entries were "checkboxes" and the installer goes through the generic AFMS and tailors it to your installation be checking the various limitation boxes. No checkmark in the box means the limitation didn't apply to your installation. I'll read up more on it.
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  #20  
Old 12-25-20, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learjetter View Post
I always thought those Garmin AFMS entries were "checkboxes" and the installer goes through the generic AFMS and tailors it to your installation be checking the various limitation boxes. No checkmark in the box means the limitation didn't apply to your installation. I'll read up more on it.
That would make sense, jetter. I'm looking at a blank copy of the PDF on my computer. I'll be flying tomorrow, so I will look in the POH where the airplane's copy is.

What was required to enable the auto flight VNav, in respect to my two 430W, the Sandel 3308, and the 400A; was the last software upgrade on the 3308 to V2.3 ($1700)*, a 400hz inverter, and a King/Bendix autopilot adapter (which required a modification), and some additional hardwiring from the 430Ws to the 3308. Sandel provided the wire diagrams (shop kept them). My shop could not find the specific A/P adapter as they are out of production but knows the guy at Sandel, and he sent one to the shop without charge. Anyway, after a couple of weeks, my shop only works half a day, it was done. We went and flew the approaches, and the shop owner said, you are good to go. Selections between the two 430Ws and VHF Navs are through the selector on the 3308.

The APC pilot was very complimentary of my shop's integration; he said it was perfect.

*This is where I first considered the G5s as what started this was that my attitude indicator had failed, and it was good timing to take care of the VNav stuff. I learned that the G5 causes the 400A to away. With a nice flying 400A, that would be a lot of money spent to get back to the same capability. I bought a replacement attitude indicator and had the failed indicator repaired for $1150 altogether and keep the spare on the shelf. After the coming annual, I will find a spare 3308; they have gotten cheap and keep it on the shelf as well. That should last me another decade.

I've also not seen any other 3308s updated to 2.3.

Last edited by patrolpilot : 12-25-20 at 04:57 PM.
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  #21  
Old 12-25-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by patrolpilot View Post
I've also not seen any other 3308s updated to 2.3.
I guess I just had to state it! I just got a saved search notice that a 3308 with 2.30 had been listed on eBay. Very little time on it; it was being held as a spare as well, so I made an offer, and it was accepted. Okay, I'm set with the important spares, so I'm good until I'm too old to do this. 430Ws are getting cheap; I might buy one when I see the right one.
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  #22  
Old 01-04-21, 04:52 PM
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I follow a Seneca group and the G5s are even a bit more head scratching than our considerations. Got to really pay attention to the fine print.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-21, 10:22 PM
wslade2 wslade2 is offline
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Patrolpilot,
Any chance you can get your hands on those wiring diagrams for Sandel 3308 and 400 autopilot interface?
I have Sandel 3308 too. Would like to interface it with the AP.
After reading your post, called Sandel today and their phone is disconnected. So it's looking like not going to get any further support from them.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-21, 10:36 PM
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patrolpilot patrolpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wslade2 View Post
Patrolpilot,
Any chance you can get your hands on those wiring diagrams for Sandel 3308 and 400 autopilot interface?
I have Sandel 3308 too. Would like to interface it with the AP.
After reading your post, called Sandel today and their phone is disconnected. So it's looking like not going to get any further support from them.
I will ask them, I'm waiting for the shop to call me in as I have a transmit issue on my #2 430W.

Question, do you have the 2.3 WAAS software upgrade on your 3308? Apparently, few did it as it was $1700. No 3308s were manufactured in this version. Without that, you are stuck. The upgrade was serialized to the specific 3308, there is no way to upgrade any other unit other than the registered unit.
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  #25  
Old 01-07-21, 05:54 AM
wslade2 wslade2 is offline
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Yes I have the 2.3 software upgrade.
I like the sandel unit. Was even thinking about going to the 3500
LED version. Such a shame. I guess this means no updates for background waypoints on the integrated map as I got my last update from Sandel?
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  #26  
Old 01-07-21, 08:09 AM
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Great, as soon as the fellow calls, I will get down there and see what I can do.

I would go sooner, but I'm right in the middle of moving. It's not your average move as we are selling the ranch we live on, and it's a residential move times 100. It's taking weeks.

I just worked through selling all the heavy farm equipment I have; it's crazy how money was tied up in it. I could buy another Skymaster My wife is taking care of the brunt of it, as there are three homes on the property. I keep focused on the new place, a new home on smaller acreage, and 10 minutes (vs. one hour) from the "Grinder" (Skymaster).
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  #27  
Old 01-07-21, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wslade2 View Post
I like the sandel unit. Was even thinking about going to the 3500 LED version.
Same here, rather than buying a spare. I have not had the avionics tech sift through the 3500's autopilot list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wslade2 View Post
Such a shame. I guess this means no updates for background waypoints on the integrated map as I got my last update from Sandel?
Yes, it is a shame. I can't imagine what it would take to even compete in this business against the likes of Garmin.

Dynon seems to be doing well. They just added their first multi-engine STC, the PA34 (Seneca), everything all the way through to a new autopilot. Wise move with so many airframes out there, with the older airframes needing renovation. Garmin and Aspen cause the FIKI you paid for to be invalid. Dynon went through FIKI approval.

I bought the 2020 map update from Sandel, but it could not be installed. It has an "Invalid Date Range" message. The shop could not get around it and could not get ahold of the fellow that helped with the integration. I cannot get a hold of the lady that sold it to me. I did notice that with the New Year that the Sandel webpage is reformatted, it now being Sandel Avilon. Maybe there is hope, and some of this can be sorted out.
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  #28  
Old 01-07-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by patrolpilot View Post
I did notice that with the New Year that the Sandel webpage is reformatted, it now being Sandel Avilon. Maybe there is hope, and some of this can be sorted out.
The phone number is the same and dead. So, I tried calling the fax number, thought I would send them a fax if I received the tone. Instead, after a bunch of rings, someone's voice mail picked up. I left her a message; the voice wasn't the same lady that usually answers the phone.
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  #29  
Old 01-07-21, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wslade2 View Post
Patrolpilot,
Any chance you can get your hands on those wiring diagrams for Sandel 3308 and 400 autopilot interface?
I have Sandel 3308 too. Would like to interface it with the AP.
After reading your post, called Sandel today and their phone is disconnected. So it's looking like not going to get any further support from them.
their website is still active and the installation manuals can be downloaded from there.
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  #30  
Old 01-09-21, 05:06 AM
wslade2 wslade2 is offline
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Appreciate patrolpilot's help!
I do have the install manual for SN3308 which I have studied for some time. But Patrolpilot mentions a "King/Bendix autopilot adapter (which required a modification)" and this came from Sandel. So sounds like important stuff. An autopilot adapter is not in the installation drawings from Sandel.
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