Artex ELT 345 GPS input?

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by 13brv3, Nov 13, 2019.

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  1. Nov 13, 2019 #1

    13brv3

    13brv3

    13brv3

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    Greetings,

    I installed an ELT 345, and I'm finally to the point of testing it. Unfortunately, I didn't pay enough attention when I got it to notice that the default programming for the unit is "9600 baud Aviation protocol navigation data". I guess you can get them programmed (or maybe reprogrammed) for 4800 baud NMEA, but I'm hoping to figure out a way to make this work. Naturally, my only GPS options in the plane are NMEA. Here is what the manual says can be used:

    H. RS-232 Acceptable Nav Data
    1) NMEA 0183 baud rate is 4800.
    2) Aviation protocol baud rate is 9600.
    3) Programing of the ELT 345 will determine the input of 4800 baud NMEA navigation data or 9600 baud Aviation protocol navigation data.
    4) The ELT 345 will parse GGA, GLL and RMC simultaneously. Output configurations that write GGA, GLL or RMC sentences at 4800 baud as specified in NMEA 0183 will be suitable.
    5) GPGGA is recommended if available.

    Naturally I've requested assistance from Artex, and the avionics shop where I purchased the unit, but so far no response from either. I'm sure the unit can be reprogrammed, but from what I've read, that will require a trip back to the factory, and a hefty fee.

    My main question is "what is Aviation protocol"? I can't find anything that tells me what this is, or where you get it. I thought maybe AIRINC, but that doesn't seem to be RS-232. Now I'm thinking maybe Garmin's proprietary protocol, which might explain why I can't find much on it. I'd love to find a standalone GPS unit that can output whatever will make the ELT 345 happy, but so far I'm still at step one of figuring out what that might be. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Rusty
     
  2. Nov 13, 2019 #2

    13brv3

    13brv3

    13brv3

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    I did hear from the avionics shop where I bought the unit, and they said it will work with a Garmin 430W or similar. That pretty much confirms that it's Garmin's proprietary output, which is bad news for me. I doubt there's any reasonably priced standalone GPS that outputs that, so my only option is probably to have Artex reprogram it to NMEA (as nature intended). Unless they're getting a kickback from Garmin, I just can't imagine why the Garmin protocol would be the default, and NOT user configurable.

    Knowing what I know now, I would have ordered the ACK E-04 which was similarly priced, and has rational GPS input options.

    Live and learn,
    Rusty
     
  3. Nov 14, 2019 #3

    pwood66889

    pwood66889

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    Hi Rusty.
    "3) Programing of the ELT 345 will determine the input of 4800 baud NMEA navigation data or 9600 baud Aviation protocol navigation data." Tells this old code cutter that your unit can be changed by programming (actually setting a value read on start up).
    I don't buy "Garmin's proprietary output." Wanting to sell as many units as possible, and wanting to re-use working code mitigates against.
    It just is not making computer sense to me. I would give Artex a chance to reply. Did you visit their web site, or call `em?
     
  4. Nov 14, 2019 #4

    13brv3

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    Thanks for the comments. I agree that it doesn't make sense to make the unit only work with one interface type, and require paid factory programming to change it. It never even dawned on me that it can't be changed in the field. Compare that to the ACK E-04:

    SECTION 6 GPS INTERFACE INSTALLATION The model E-04 ELT will interface and recognize EIA standard RS 232 data at 1200, 2400, 4800, and 9600 baud from NMEA 0183 sources, Garmin panel mount, and handheld GPS’s along with Bendix/King GPS’s. See section 18 for GPS data formats, and connection information, along with other manufacturers GPS’s known to be compatible.

    Now these guys recognized the value in being flexible with the interface options! You set the baud with jumpers, and it auto-senses the rest. This is what I'd expect from devices these days.

    I wish Artex would reply. Phones aren't so reliable here, and I prefer to use email, so I used their contact page and got an automated reply. I may have to call them from a better cell area if I don't hear from them soon. I sure wish I had looked into the GPS interface more close, because I'd have an ACK unit instead and wouldn't have these problems.

    Cheers,
    Rusty
     
  5. Nov 15, 2019 #5

    pwood66889

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  6. Nov 15, 2019 #6

    13brv3

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    Since Artex hasn't returned my email in a week, I called them today. They basically confirmed that "aviation" format was what you'd get from a Garmin panel mount, and other panel mounts. They seem to be under the impression that everyone has one of those, which I pointed out to be incorrect for the vast majority of common general aviation aircraft.

    As it turns out, they don't even reprogram them. They said their true dealers (not just places that sell them) have programmers and can do it. They also said that many avionics shops also had programmers that could do it. My best option at this point is to hunt down one of these programmers, and get mine changed to NMEA.

    Rusty
     
  7. Nov 16, 2019 #7

    pwood66889

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    Wow - thanks for sharing your saga, Rusty.
    I concur that you have to "hunt down" someone that can do the job. Sorry that I don't know who/where.
    Please keep me (and anyone else following this thread) informed.
    Percy
     
  8. Nov 16, 2019 #8

    13brv3

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    I've found that it's always the things you least expect that cause the most grief. Artex gave me 3 names of big dealers, Edmo, Aviall, and Dallas Avionics. I'll see if they're willing to do it, and for what price. If it's over $100, I'll probably be better off just buying another one programmed from the start as NMEA, and selling the one I have to someone with the correct GPS. I'd hate to give them another sale, but it would be plug and play with all the mounting and wiring I've done.
    Rusty
     
  9. Nov 17, 2019 #9

    pwood66889

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    Sure hope you can catch a knowledgeable person on the phone, Rusty. I had enough exposure to baud rates and protocols "Back in the Day" but probably can't help from here in Florida. It could be as simple as a jumper wire swap.
    I looked up some of their dealers:

    Bass Pro Shop
    323 Opry Mills Dr Nashville
    TN 37214
    (615) 514-5200

    REI
    261 Franklin Rd Brentwood
    TN 37027
    (615) 376-4248

    WEST MARINE
    5566 Old Hickory Blvd
    Hermitage
    TN 37076
    United States
    6152328911

    And I kinda doubt they could spell "program" on a good day! Might help you with "Crank Bait," though... :)
     
  10. Nov 17, 2019 #10

    13brv3

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    Artex sells a test and program gizmo, which is about $2400.
    https://www.acrartex.com/products/tps-8715-test-programmer-set

    You have to be careful looking up dealers, because it sometimes seems that ACR and Artex are two different companies, which may have merged at some point. ACR does the personal locator beacons, which is what you'd find at those fishing places.

    There's hope that the avionics site I bought the unit from will be able to help one way or another. They said they don't have a programmer, but their distributor does, so I'm betting we can work something out, hopefully inexpensively. I'll definitely update the final outcome.
     
  11. Nov 17, 2019 #11

    pwood66889

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    Found that 8715 gizzie, Rusty; no price though so I'll accept your $2400 as outta my league! Did come up with a couple "dealers" in TLH though.
    Is that "avionics site I bought the unit from" within arm's reach so you can strangle `em??? :)
    Sure appreciate you listening to me, and thanks again for keeping this saga going.
    Percy
     
  12. Nov 17, 2019 #12

    13brv3

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    Unfortunately, everyone who sells these in the US has the same default configuration, so I don't blame the avionics shop as much as I blame Artex for not making it more flexible, or more obvious that you can't reconfigure this yourself.

    I'm an old electronics guy, and it just never dawned on me that it may be a "factory program only" setting. I also have to wonder if that fancy programmer is just doing the same thing you could do with a serial cable and Putty. It's ultimately still on me for not reading more closely. I just hope I can get it reconfigured without having to buy another one.
     
  13. Nov 18, 2019 #13

    pwood66889

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    Well, I'm an old computer guy, and will call the TLH dealers to see what I can come up with.
    I see that the cable shown in the picture connects to the 15-pin "D" connector, and that the ELT documentation does NOT cover all 15 pins. So that is how it must work. Talk to you tomorrow.
     
  14. Nov 18, 2019 #14

    13brv3

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    Thanks for the offer, but seriously, I've got this covered. I've already got plenty of options in motion, so no need to take any action.
    Rusty
     
  15. Nov 18, 2019 #15

    pwood66889

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    Just an old computer guy trying to keep up with it all, Rusty.
    I do believe the ARTEX web site is out of date because the local West Marine and Bass Pro Shops no no longer carry that line.
    Thanking you in advance for telling me how it comes out!
    highest regards, Percy
     
  16. Nov 24, 2019 #16

    bwsantana

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    I am in the same situation with my Artex 345 purchased at OSH 2019. I have a Garmin 795 that I want to connect to the ELT. This default GPS protocol information should be spelled out explicitly. I always thought these 406 were more complicated than I wanted to deal with....and I was right. Tried to purchase an ACK at OSH, but Spruce was out of stock, so I got the Artex 345 at same price point, just didn't know all the details until I started to install, read the installation manual (not included with GPS), and found out the unfortunate details. Please keep us posted!
    Barry
     
  17. Nov 24, 2019 #17

    13brv3

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    Hi Barry,

    Dallas Avionics said they will program Artex 345 units for $150 (and shipping at least to them).

    Fortunately, the place I bought my Artex 345 from was able to go back to Artex, and they agreed to reprogram my unit free, with a bit of shipping cost of course. This is a time consuming process it appears, since I'm still waiting for the actual shipping instructions to send it back to Artex. I believe that will come very soon now, but then there's the holidays. One of my Rotax 912 ignition modules is belly up, so I won't be flying this week anyway, and that ain't gonna be cheap :-(

    The bad news for you, at least as I read it, is that you may not be able to use either format that Artex allows with your 795. The 795/796 doesn't appear to have an "Aviation out" option, which leaves NMEA. The Artex NMEA option is 4800 baud only, and most of the NMEA out modes of the 795 specify 9600 baud. There is a plain NMEA Out that doesn't give a baud rate, so at least there's some hope it might be 4800.

    SerIAl DAtA ForMAtS

    •Garmin Data Transfer—the proprietary format used to exchange data with a PC, Garmin GDL 39 or another Garmin aera.
    • NMEA Out—transmits NMEA position, velocity, and navigation data.
    • Aviation In—the proprietary format used for connection to a Garmin panel-mounted GPS receiver. This eliminates the need to enter the destination on both units.
    • Aviation In/NMEA & VHF Out—receives aviation data and transmits out both NMEA data, at 9600 baud, and VHF frequency tuning information to a Garmin Nav/Comm radio.
    • TIS-A In—receives TIS-A data from a Garmin Mode S transponder or other com-patible device.
    • TIS-A In/NMEA & VHF Out—receives TIS-A data and transmits out both NMEA data, at 9600 baud, and VHF frequency tuning information to a Garmin Nav/Comm radio.
    • None—provides no interfacing capabilities.

    If I hadn't already installed the Artex, I would have sold it and bought an ACK. Now that they're going to reprogram mine to NMEA, I'll configure my iFly 740B to output 4800 baud NMEA and just be happy if it passes the test.

    Good luck,
    Rusty
     
  18. Nov 26, 2019 #18

    bwsantana

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    The saga continues today. I have contacted Artex, Garmin and Aircraft Spruce for information and help. So far no good answers. My situation is complicated by the fact that I live and fly in Alaska and the Feds have all but regulated shipping lithium batteries to/from Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico out of existence. I can't even get small Nikon camera or laptop computer batteries shipped here other than surface.

    I am appalled that everyone I have talked with in this 406 ELT supply chain has such little knowledge about the ELT and the inter-connectivity of devices with relationship to the GPS. You'd think $600-$1000 ELTs would have a better understanding by the vendors that make them and the suppliers that sell them to help the customers that purchase them. At this point I am probably going to have to junk the Artex and purchase an ACK EL-04 locally (if I can find one) to get the solution I need. I am pissed enough now to make ACRArtex, A/C Spruce and Garmin formally aware of my displeasure. I have another airplane that needs a 406 ELT, so I am fortunate I didn't purchase two of these duds at OSH this year.
     
  19. Nov 26, 2019 #19

    Himat

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    Or do a search for a «black box» that take the GPS format you have available to generate a GPS format your ELT can read. Also, have a check if some of the GPS units you have can be reprogrammed to a different output.
     
  20. Nov 26, 2019 #20

    13brv3

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    I spent a lot of time looking for a converter from NMEA that I have to the "Aviation" protocol that Artex wants. The main problem is that I believe that is Garmin's proprietary format, so it's not published. If there was a clear definition of it, I'm sure lots of folks could convert it.

    I also spent time looking for a standalone GPS that would output "Aviation". From the manual I found, even Garmin's top of the line handheld GPS won't do it.

    Mine is on the way to Artex as I type, and should come back in NMEA format. Of course it still won't work with my existing 9600 baud Dynon GPS, so I'll have to use the iFly 740B to output something it likes.

    Rusty
     

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