Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

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Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

Postby rv9abuilder » Tue May 06, 2008 4:57 pm

On episode 79 "Panel Lust", Amy made a comment about the Dynon glass panel EFIS's requiring gps input in order to generate airspeed, altitude & heading info. I was surprised by this information since I had called myself doing some in-depth research into the Dynon line of products to install in my RV9A, currently under construction. I went to Dynon's website and reviewed their data and copied the following:

"Dynon's ADAHRS platform contains a group of tightly integrated sensors that allow it to accurately sense attitude, airspeed, altitude, turn rate, the slip/skid ball, and vertical g's. A set of three electronic MEMS-type accelerometers measure forces on all axes. Three electronic MEMS-type angular rate sensors (the modern electronic equivalent of "gyros") measure rotational rates on all axes. Three electronic magnetic sensors determine heading, and since Earth's magnetic field is also measured on all axes the heading is accurate with the aircraft in any orientation. Finally, three electronic pressure transducers are used to measure airspeed, altitude, and angle of attack (when equipped with Dynon's optional AOA/Pitot probe) via direct connection to your aircraft's pitot and static sources."

I may be confused by what I am reading since I am new to the homebuilt world and glass panels, but the way I read it, the Dynon is fully self contained and can function as the basic "six pack" without any input from a gps. I would appreciate any input from the more knowledgable homebuilt veterans out there on this matter... it may change my purchasing decisions.

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Re: Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

Postby AmyLM » Wed May 07, 2008 12:36 pm

The Dynon is a good EFIS, particularly for the price point, and I see from the web site that the company has recently begun to address some of the shortcomings that I felt the unit had when I was shopping for an EFIS. There is a lot of questioning of what these EFIS need to know where they are in space. I'd recommend that if you want to debate the points, you follow this stream: ... php?t=3237

From what I can see on the recently updated Dynon site, you'd need to add on a lot of optional features and go with one of the company's newest boxes to get the same functionality as, say, a Grand Rapids Technology EFIS system. All of them have ADHRS, but how those computers interact with the external magnetometers and the external or internal GPS information, and compatibility with any external radios, should play heavy into your decision.

In the interest of transparency, I own two Grand Rapids EFIS Horizon I series, which are two generations old at this point, and I'm just seeing what they can do. Interplay between the Garmin SL 30, the Garmin 327 transponder, and the Garmin 300XL in my airplane is great. I can do the flight planning in either the EFIS or the radios and with one push (enter) the flight plans show up in both places ready to roll. Searching for airport data on the EFIS is simple, and with one button push the frequency is put into the Standby on the Garmin radios without my having to touch the radios. It also works great with my Trutrak autopilot. And even my "old" boxes have 3 D terrain features on it, as well as the ability to integrate weather info from WX, too.

Also, a GPS outage is no problem in my airplane. But when a magnetometer goes, the PFD (attitude indicator, airspeed and altitude) function goes with it. Fortunately I have 2 of everything so I always have a backup. You need to think about that, too.

I'm sorry to have confused you, but, frankly, these boxes are complicated stuff, and the features on them are changing constantly. It is like buying a computer. The day you purchase it, and in this industry, long before you take delivery, your box will be out of date on some feature or other. Just be resigned to that, and try to get the best box for your dollar, that day.

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Re: Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

Postby rv9abuilder » Wed May 07, 2008 3:02 pm

Thanks for your reply Amy... I do respect your knowledge of this stuff and that is why I asked the question. I have looked at both systems and will agree that Dynon does require you to purchase a few options to get it to do all of the things that I would want it to do. But, my concern was the implication that the Dynon units would not display basic altitude, heading and horizon information without a signal from a gps. I do see on GRT's website where they address this issue with their units (not requiring a gps except around the N/S pole), but I have not seen this addressed on the Dynon site - I will continue to investigate. The good news is that I have six months to a year before I have to make this purchase discision and things will change between now and then, since the feature set of all of these companies is a moving target.



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Re: Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

Postby PilotBrad » Wed May 07, 2008 3:16 pm

Amy, I am with my fellow RV builder here. Your statements about the Dynon threw me for a loop. ;)

From my experience with them and from Dynon's documentation, none of their EFIS's have ever required a GPS connection. Even their first EFIS the D10, which is now discontinued, had internal accelerometers and a magnatometer, with the option to install an external unit. Sorry, but I believe your statement about a loss GPS taking out the entire EFIS to be incorrect, regardless of which model Dynon. Perhaps as Jack pointed out, the NAV information, but not the attitute, speed, and heading data.

The GRTs are definitely more feature rich, but I guess you get what you pay for.
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Re: Amy Laboda & Dynon Info

Postby lucaberta » Mon May 12, 2008 6:34 am

Let me just copy/paste my reply to the same issue I faced when I heard the podcast with Amy's statements about Dynon. Sorry I missed this post yesterday, so I opened up a different thread elsewhere on the forum. I will now delete that thread and keep the discussion here. --Luca



just caught up with a couple of UCAP podcasts in the last few hours, while I was doing some minimal maintenance on the plane. Was so windy that I decided to stay in the hangar with the plane!

I have heard Amy's contribution to the #79 podcast, but I have to flag something inaccurate that Amy relayed to the UCAP audience, related to the way the Dynon EFIS work.

Amy said that if you lose GPS, then all the airspeed, altitude and pitch information are either lost or degraded. She also said that this is due to the fact that Dynon does not have a magnetometer.

Sorry Amy and folks, but this information is not correct. Dynon does not use the GPS in that way, other vendors do but most definitely Dynon does not. The simple proof is the fact that any Dynon EFIS, the little D10A or the bigger brother D100 or D180, work perfecly well without the GPS connected. The GPS is only used to navigate to waypoints using the HSI screen, and to calculate winds aloft, provided that one has both the magnetometer and the temperature probe installed and calibrated. Cause yes, Dynon has a magnetometer too, called the EDC-D10A, optional for the little D10A, standard for the bigger D100.

The winds aloft calculation of course needs GPS for GS and track, airspeed and heading, and temperature for TAS calculation. If GPS is not available, then winds aloft become unavailable, but most definitely airspeed, pitch and all the other basic EFIS function will keep working.

One last comment on the lack of redundancy of the Dynon. Yes, the magnetometer can fail and only one can be hooked to one EFIS, but one should wonder whether flying in hard IFR with experimental EFIS is a good thing anyways. Maybe thinking about two separate systems from two different vendors is the way to go...

Ciao, Luca
(just a happy Dynon customer)
Luca Bertagnolio, CPL/ASEL/AMEL/ASES/IR

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