August 1, 2013 - Trick avionics are about as common at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 as sunscreen and sore feet.
Offerings for experimental aircraft range from relatively inexpensive but full-featured multi-function displays (MFDs) from companies like Advanced Flight Systems to full-boat glass panels like Garmin's G3X. Trying to find an analog gauge in a typical new installation aboard, say, an RV-10, is increasingly an exercise in futility. In fact, one category of avionics equipment - engine monitors - didn't really exist as few as 20 years ago, and now that function is expected as part of a glass panel's MFD.
But what if you have plenty of panel real estate in your experimental and the latest technology in an engine monitor is all you're shopping for? You still have a wide range of choices, including certified devices from the usual suspects. Here are some examples, gathered from a hurried stroll around the Oshkosh grounds.
Dynon's engine monitoring system (EMS) offerings are color LCD-panel devices that come in two sizes: The smaller EMS-D10 and the larger-screen EMS-D120. The EMS-D10 fits in a standard 3-1/8-inch round panel opening, which the instrument fully covers, while the EMS-D120 requires a 6.78-by-4.75-inch panel cutout. Both instruments integrate up to 16 different gauges. If you have multiple Dynon Avionics products in your aircraft, their architecture allows them to be networked together via the company's Dynon Smart Avionics Bus (DSAB), providing the ability to transmit information to each other. "Any product's data can then be viewed on any other screen in the DSAB network," according to the company.
The EMS-D120 retails for $2,200, while the EMS-D10 goes for $1,700. Neither price includes required probes. For more information, visit Dynon Avionics at Booth 4053-4055 in Hangar D, or online atwww.DynonAvionics.com.
GRT Avionics EIS 2000 and 4000/6000
GRT Avionics also offers two basic engine monitor solutions, the EIS 2000 and the EIS 4000/6000. The EIS 2000 comes in two flavors, one for two-stroke engines and one for four-strokes. Either one is designed for ultralights or other craft in which light weight and small size are important.
Meanwhile, the EIS 4000 is designed for four-cylinder powerplants, and its bigger brother, the EIS 6000, is for six-cylinder engines. Both products offer complete engine monitoring capability displayed on a back-lit, sunlight-readable display. The EIS 4000 and 6000 are highly customizable, offering graphical and digital displays and as many as 62 alarms. Pricing for the EIS 2000 starts at $373, plus probes or accessories. The EIS 4000 starts at $719, plus probes, and the EIS 6000's base price is $759.
Visit GRT Avionics in Booth 3068-3069 in Hangar C or online at www.GRTAvionics.com.
J.P. Instruments EDM 740/930
JPI, along with Insight and Electronics International (all three of whom are present at this year's AirVenture and offer engine monitors for experimentals), helped found the market for the modern engine monitor. Today all three offer a wide range of instruments, but only JPI has products with a color LCD display designed for experimentals.
The company's EDM 740 mounts in a 3-1/8-inch instrument hole, while the 930 needs a 6-by-4.5-inch cutout. Both provide traditional engine-monitoring functions, including fuel flow, carburetor air temperature, and a host of other capabilities. In addition to the mounting methods, the 930 differs from the 740 by sporting an SVGA-quality screen.
Both JPI products are sold as complete packages, including probes, sensors, etc. Pricing starts at $3,199 for the EDM 740 and $5,217 for the EDM 930. To learn more, visit JPI's booth, 1071-1073, in Hangar A or online atwww.JPInstruments.com.
MGL Avionics XTreme EMS
MGL Avionics calls its XTreme EMS "a full-featured, full-color engine monitoring system for just about any engine." All sensor data is sent through the firewall via a single serial cable, making installation clean and easy. The device supports both four- and six-cylinder engines, or up to 12 total channels of CHT or EGT available in any combination. Additionally, two fuel-level inputs are available, and fuel flow is supported. Battery voltage is standard, and current monitoring is an available option.
Since the aircraft's engine data is routed to the instrument using the company's data bus, the XTreme EMS's information can be shared with the company's EFIS displays. The XTreme EMS starts at $850. A complete harness supporting all of the instrument's functions is $109.
The XTreme EMS can be viewed at the company's AirVenture booth, 2139-2140, in Hangar B. The company's website is www.MGLAvionics.com.