ELT Mode C and lights - school me

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by mcurcio1989, Nov 10, 2014.

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  1. Nov 10, 2014 #1

    mcurcio1989

    mcurcio1989

    mcurcio1989

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    Okay so it will soon be time for me to purchase these items and I have many questions. The aircraft will be a E-AB flown under light sport rules. I have found very little practical information for a new pilot and builder who has no experience purchasing this kind of equipment. I have read everything I can find in the regs but being experimental and light sport adds additional confusion for me. The text below is what I am unclear on.

    ELT - My plan is to purchase a new or used ELT most likely if I cannot find used (or if you recommend otherwise) it will be this AMERI-KING AK-450 ELT from Aircraft Spruce I have no experience here but my thought is that flying in northwest Ohio I'm not going to just go missing and spending the money for a 406mz ELT is not going to be value added. We don't have large wood expanses or mountains and even the least populated areas have a farmhouse every mile. If I purchase the ELT in the link I am assuming I will need to buy the cable assembly and antenna? Anything I am missing or not thinking about here?

    Mode C - I live about 35 miles south south west of detroit so I would be quite restricted if I don't have a mode c transponder. I really need to be schooled on this area. I would like to go used here I just want to get what I need to get by. Most of the time I will not be flying in the mode C veil and I will very rarely fly though the local class C airspace. I guess what I am looking for is information as far as what I will need in addition to an actual transponder - cables, mounting, antennas, altitude reporting, encoder, etc. This is tricky stuff to find information on.

    Lights - My understanding from reading the FAR/ AIM is that I only actually need lights when operating after sunset. I would like to have position lights as well as a strobe on the V stab and wing tips. Are there any specific requirements for this scenario or kits out there? I'm thinking of in my ultralight days when you didn't need any lights but if you wanted to operate during twilight a strobe, visible for 2 miles, was required. Obviously these lights can get expensive. This is a slow (90Vne) aircraft that will be operated the vast majority of the time in daytime vfr conditions likely flying into evening twilight from time to time.

    links to good sites where I can find a used transponder and / or elt would be great. I definitely want to go used on the transponder, ELT I'm not sure on. My only concern is getting equipment that I can get the required accessories for and won't have any issues regards to inspeciton or certifications.

    Any information you can give or direct me to on this would be appreciated. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  2. Nov 10, 2014 #2

    mcurcio1989

    mcurcio1989

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    . . .As far as light go I have been looking at options on aircraft spruce and some of them seem doable but still fairly expensive. I've seen the kits for ultralights but I don't know if that will really fly for my MO. I also know that the aiplane that I have trained on - which is E-AB LSA does not have nearly as fancy or expensive looking of a set up. I'll ask the owner of that plane about his set up but if you have any thought in the mean time, shoot.
     
  3. Nov 11, 2014 #3

    goldrush

    goldrush

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  4. Nov 11, 2014 #4

    Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas

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    Do not buy an Ameri-King. They are failure-prone and you'll just be replacing it at some recertification date. The avionics shop here finds that outfit hard to deal with. Buy an ACK E-01 instead. The kit will come with the antenna and cable and everything.

    Dan
     
  5. Nov 12, 2014 #5

    pwood66889

    pwood66889

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    Dunno what I have in the `coupe, Dan - will look. But it has been fine since 2008.
    As to an ELT, I'd look at one that uses "D" cells. ACK and others have to have their own brand of Special an $25 a pop. Looked inside the potting compound of one of `em once and saw 4 tripple-A's.
    Percy in SE Bama
     
  6. Nov 12, 2014 #6

    Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas

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    The ACK E-01 and the Ameri-King both use Duracell MN1300 D-cells. The ACK E-04, the 406 version, uses an expensive battery pack, like any other 406.

    The avionics shop here told me that the Ameri-King's G-switches routinely fail the recert tests. I had to replace one in a customer's aircraft this summer. Put in an Artex 406.


    Dan
     
  7. Nov 14, 2014 #7

    PrzemekMac

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    Who mode-C? It should be Mode-S transponder for now.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2014 #8

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    I would ditch the lights. Most likely will never be used. Save the time, money and weight penalties.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2014 #9

    N8053H

    N8053H

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    Is this a dual seat or single seat? Single seat you do not have to have an ELT. You will find a lot of folks flying without a transponder. Arty Trost has flown over 2500 miles without using a transponder. She carries an ELT that gives updates as to her position for those who want too follow her. The one she uses cost under 100 bucks.

    EAA Video Player - Your Source for Aviation Videos

    Tony
     
  10. Nov 15, 2014 #10

    fredoyster

    fredoyster

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    A used 121.5 MHz ELT will be fine, if you need one (more than one seat) and you don't care about having satellites find you. Agreed on the comments about ACK E-01 and others that use D cells. But beware, it needs to be TSO C-91a, you may not use a C-91 ELT in a new installation. You will need the antenna, cable, and remote test/activation switch (which must be visible to the pilot) required by the TSO of the ELT you get. That means if you get an ACK ELT you need a TSO'd ACK antenna unless their manual specifically authorizes a different one.

    Find a local avionics shop that has taken an older transponder with altitude encoder and antenna out of an airplane and will sell it to you as a prewired, tested package. You will need a shop to certify it before you can use it anway. Refer to your sectional, there's a lot of area near there where you will need Mode C.

    If you want to fly after sunset you need an "approved" anticollision and navigation light system. I just got an opinion letter from the FAA on this and they basically say that the way to do this (since you can't have the airplane approved for night flight as part of its type certificate, since you have no type certificate) is with the approval of the FSDO for whatever they agree is a system that complies with 91.205. Those requirements, although they don't actually apply except for Part 23 airplanes, will be in your operating limitations, the challenge is finding something that the FSDO will agree is compliant. If you go to the FAA legal interpretations web site Regulations Division – Legal Interpretations & Chief Counsel's Opinions and search for "lighting systems for experimental" you can see their letter to me.
     

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