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#396647 - 08/15/19 06:14 PM Powering avionics off of external power plug.
wildduk Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 205
Loc: georgia
Bringing home 172m tomorrow from avionics shop. I know there will be some periodic updates that need to be done to the gps database.
Is it possible to use the external plug and power just the instruments from the battery in my truck with some type of jumper cable setup?

Thx

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#396652 - 08/16/19 01:13 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: wildduk]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Yes it is possible, Do you have power where you keep your plane? Is your plane inside or out?

I assume the plane is 12 volts. How will you update your data base?

Be careful the first time you apply power and stay clear of the prop in case the starter engages. A known problem on some M models.

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#396653 - 08/16/19 01:36 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
Joeman434 Online   content
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 02/20/14
Posts: 7707
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Be sure to connect directly to the battery....make no mistake...if you power up with just a battery charger, it could be unstable enough to damage your avionics...
_________________________
Do it right the first time.

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#396655 - 08/16/19 02:03 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Joeman434]
Henry M Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2135
Loc: Leander, TX
The database update should be pretty short and not require external power. A firmware update is another matter.

I have an Avidyne IFD540 in my plane. The monthly database update takes seconds (less than a minute, I think) for the Nav and Obstacle database for the whole of the us.

Whenever a firmware update comes up, it can take close to an hour for the process to complete.

If your plane is a 12/14V model, you can jumper the battery from your car. They also sell 12V power supplies that you can plug in the wall. I have one similar to this one. Mine came with a Cessna jumper cable that I can plug into the ground power receptacle of my 182. I donít know if your 172 has such a receptacle. If it doesnít, you should be able to get regular jumper cables to attach to your battery.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

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#396656 - 08/16/19 03:08 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Henry M]
skyhawk3 Offline
Silver Pilot

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 974
Loc: Vancouver BC
Isn't an m model 28 volts?

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#396658 - 08/16/19 03:52 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: skyhawk3]
Joeman434 Online   content
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 02/20/14
Posts: 7707
Loc: Ocala, Florida
1978 "N" model was the first 28 volt.
_________________________
Do it right the first time.

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#396660 - 08/16/19 12:30 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Joeman434]
wildduk Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 205
Loc: georgia
Thx. Itís a Ď74 so itís 12 volt.

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#396664 - 08/16/19 03:19 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: wildduk]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Like Henry said updates usually does not take long. Mine are done off my I pad while I taxi.

Since your plane is 12 volts I think you could use your truck and a jumper cable like this one.

I would keep your truck idling so you have 13.5-14 volts while operating your avionics.

You could also purchase one of these and use jumper cables you may already have.

I would encourage you to consider a ground power unit for your plane if you have a place to plug it in.


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#399059 - 11/26/19 09:24 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
Kentucky Captain Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 1530
Loc: Louisville, KY
I take my airplane to a nearby airport (KEKX) for all of my updates. They pull the IFD540 and do the updates on the bench where they have commercial and battery power. Loss of power during an update is a sure way to brick a very expensive unit just to save a couple of dollars.

I am now investigating a unit that will plug into my C172M model 12-volt system and provide ground power for updates and training.

I've just started talking to a guy named Marc Hannah (hannahtechgpu@gmail.com) that has been providing 12 and 24-volt units of varying sizes, starting at around $200 over on the Avidyne forum.

Since my airplane is going into the shop for another round of panel upgrades in February, I was thinking of buying one just to be able to run it in the hanger for training purposes.

I still intend to take my airplane to KEKX for firmware updates though.

I'll keep you guys informed about what I get.
_________________________

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#399065 - 11/26/19 04:10 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Kentucky Captain]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
How much does that cost? And how much time does that take? Firmware updates? Does Garmin require those? Haven't had to do that during the 16 months I have been using it.

I have had a ground power unit for my plane since day 1. It get's used all the time to power my panel, run the under wing lights in the hangar and to charge my battery. I have done hours of seat flying in my hangar.

I just used it to charge my new battery and then I checked each cell with a hydrometer. All 12 cells between 1.275-1.295 specific gravity after 9 hours of charging and after sitting for 3 hours.

I get my updates at home down loaded wifi onto my ipad and then wifi from my ipad to the panel. It only takes 2-5 minutes at the max so I do it while I taxi most times. I have done it in the hangar with ground power hooked up. If your battery is good you don't even need ground power to upload current date bases since it does not take long. It needs to be done pretty often, seems like a hassle to take somewhere for the updates.

Ground power is always hooked up, first thing I do when I roll the plane into the hangar. I don't leave it on when I am not there although the power unit is auto and can be left on. I don't always have it on when I am there. If I don't fly the plane for 4-5 days then I will flip it on for a while to keep the battery freshly charged while I am there.


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#399069 - 11/26/19 05:48 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
Henry M Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2135
Loc: Leander, TX
I have a TekPower TP50SW 50 Amp 13.8V Analog DC Power Supply. It includes a Cessna cable. I update my Avidyne IFD-540 with it, since it takes around an hour to do a full firmware upgrade. It has worked well for me. I bought it on Beechtalk, including the required jumper cable.

I also use the GPU to better get to know my avionics and play with them on the ground.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

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#399089 - 11/27/19 06:51 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
Kentucky Captain Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 1530
Loc: Louisville, KY
Originally Posted By: Challenger1
How much does that cost? And how much time does that take? Firmware updates? Does Garmin require those? Haven't had to do that during the 16 months I have been using it.

I have had a ground power unit for my plane since day 1. It get's used all the time to power my panel, run the under wing lights in the hangar and to charge my battery. I have done hours of seat flying in my hangar.

I just used it to charge my new battery and then I checked each cell with a hydrometer. All 12 cells between 1.275-1.295 specific gravity after 9 hours of charging and after sitting for 3 hours.

I get my updates at home down loaded wifi onto my ipad and then wifi from my ipad to the panel. It only takes 2-5 minutes at the max so I do it while I taxi most times. I have done it in the hangar with ground power hooked up. If your battery is good you don't even need ground power to upload current date bases since it does not take long. It needs to be done pretty often, seems like a hassle to take somewhere for the updates.


I'm not concerned with the Jepp database updates. I do those all the time. What I leave to the certified Avidyne guys are the firmware updates. I am a retired air traffic controller but I have also owned a software company that also provides a lot of hardware to governmental agencies for the last 20 years so I know my way around hardware, software, and firmware. It's not worth it to me to do it myself and take the chance of bricking a $20K piece of hardware to save a few dollars. The shop I take it to is only 20 miles from my airport and they usually only charge me an hour's labor to do it and best of all, if they brick it, they are the ones that have to send it back to Avidyne.

As to the question about the necessity of doing firmware updates, most are to fix problems that may have popped up or enhancements.
_________________________

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#399090 - 11/27/19 07:00 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Henry M]
Kentucky Captain Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 1530
Loc: Louisville, KY
Originally Posted By: Henry M.
The database update should be pretty short and not require external power. A firmware update is another matter.

I have an Avidyne IFD540 in my plane. The monthly database update takes seconds (less than a minute, I think) for the Nav and Obstacle database for the whole of the us.

Whenever a firmware update comes up, it can take close to an hour for the process to complete.

If your plane is a 12/14V model, you can jumper the battery from your car. They also sell 12V power supplies that you can plug in the wall. I have one similar to this one. Mine came with a Cessna jumper cable that I can plug into the ground power receptacle of my 182. I donít know if your 172 has such a receptacle. If it doesnít, you should be able to get regular jumper cables to attach to your battery.



HenryM, I'm a little slow on the uptake but I just realized that you are probably the same HenryM over on the Avidyne forum that I have been dancing with there. True?
_________________________

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#399100 - 11/27/19 02:01 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Kentucky Captain]
Henry M Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2135
Loc: Leander, TX
True.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

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#399103 - 11/27/19 02:55 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Kentucky Captain]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Kentucky Captain
It's not worth it to me to do it myself and take the chance of bricking a $20K piece of hardware to save a few dollars. The shop I take it to is only 20 miles from my airport and they usually only charge me an hour's labor to do it and best of all, if they brick it, they are the ones that have to send it back to Avidyne.

As to the question about the necessity of doing firmware updates, most are to fix problems that may have popped up or enhancements.


I gotcha, I would not do it either if it took an hour and I did not have a power supply to keep the battery going during the update.

I did get an e mail from Garmin recently about some kind of update for my GTX345 transponder. I am going to get a GAD13 added onto my panel to give me OAT and wind info. Figured I get that handled when the GAD13 is installed.

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#399110 - 11/27/19 05:09 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
Henry M Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2135
Loc: Leander, TX
I do the firmware update because I don't have a good avionics shop nearby that would do this in a timely manner. I wouldn't mind paying for someone to take care of it. My problem is not the money, but rather the time it takes to go somewhere, wait for the plane and then come back. The shop I use is about an hour flight away.

It is much easier for me to just plug in the plane and let the upgrade happen. I've done it three times already without any issues. It is a very simple process. I usually wait some time before jumping in on an upgrade, to make sure there are no reports of the upgrade process having issues.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

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#399365 - 12/09/19 09:51 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Henry M]
Kentucky Captain Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 1530
Loc: Louisville, KY
Originally Posted By: Henry M.
I do the firmware update because I don't have a good avionics shop nearby that would do this in a timely manner. I wouldn't mind paying for someone to take care of it. My problem is not the money, but rather the time it takes to go somewhere, wait for the plane and then come back. The shop I use is about an hour flight away.

It is much easier for me to just plug in the plane and let the upgrade happen. I've done it three times already without any issues. It is a very simple process. I usually wait some time before jumping in on an upgrade, to make sure there are no reports of the upgrade process having issues.


I understand. I'll stop grumbling about having to fly a whole 15 minutes to the shop for my upgrades then. Now I'll have to brag about it.
_________________________

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#400146 - 01/06/20 11:37 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Kentucky Captain]
wildduk Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 205
Loc: georgia
Just got my external power cable from Spruce.
Odd thing, when I hook up the the airplane from my truck, the airplane powers up but somehow it isolates the avionics bus and wonít let it power up.
I guess itís just used for starting the plane with a dead battery, unless something is wired wrong inside?,.,.

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#400152 - 01/07/20 01:02 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: wildduk]
Henry M Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2135
Loc: Leander, TX
My cable powers the avionics in my C182 with no issue. I don't have to turn on the master switch.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

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#400167 - 01/07/20 04:37 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Henry M]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Henry M.
My cable powers the avionics in my C182 with no issue. I don't have to turn on the master switch.


When I use ground power my plane also powers up with the main switch off, but my avionics does not because the avionics switch is off. I always turn on the main power switch on though with ground power on and it turns off the low voltage light on my panel. Then I turn on my avionics switch to power up my avionics. I don't think I ever tried to power up the avionics with the main power switch off with ground power on.

Is your main power switch on and the avionics won't power up? Does your plane have avionics switch?

My plane is a late 79 called a 1980 model and I know not all these planes are wired the same. Some older models don't have avionics switch I have been told on here.
So anything is possible...Good luck with it.

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#400168 - 01/07/20 05:10 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
wildduk Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 205
Loc: georgia
It does have an avionics master that does nothing on external power.

So it always helps to read the POH. I should have went there first.

In the case of the 1974 M model, there are
Two main buses, one being the avionics bus. When external power is supplied, the tie opens to isolate the avionics bus to protect against bad power.
So it seems like it is not possible to play with gps on external power...

It does however say to turn on the master switch before connecting external power. Not sure why that would be, but itís in the POH....


Edited by wildduk (01/07/20 05:11 PM)

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#400173 - 01/07/20 07:42 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: wildduk]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Originally Posted By: wildduk
It does have an avionics master that does nothing on external power.

So it always helps to read the POH. I should have went there first.

In the case of the 1974 M model, there are
Two main buses, one being the avionics bus. When external power is supplied, the tie opens to isolate the avionics bus to protect against bad power.
So it seems like it is not possible to play with gps on external power...

It does however say to turn on the master switch before connecting external power. Not sure why that would be, but itís in the POH....


I wonder if a jumper test lead with alligator clips on each end would be any use for temporary use in the hangar to run the GPS. Or if a toggle switch could be added...legally?

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#400180 - 01/08/20 03:16 AM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: Challenger1]
cadcap Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 2299
Loc: NW Indiana
Can't you disconnect the lead from the relay that cuts out the ground power from the avionics bus...making sure that your avionics switch is off until the gpu connection is hot ...then switch on the avionics.

OR

Keep the avionics switch off and connect gpu without the master switch on then turn on master and then turn on avionics.

Somehow there IS a way to use the gpu and run the gps at the same time...you just gotta figure out how...
_________________________
172H/180 "Bronze Lindy" KOSH '13


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#400184 - 01/08/20 01:22 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: cadcap]
wildduk Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 205
Loc: georgia
I guess I could if I knew where it was and how to do it.
There is a 3rd prong on the ground power outlet that has a jumper to the positive prong. Not sure but I think that is what activates the relay. I could disconnect it but I think Iíll talk to an avionics guy or someone more familiar with the system before I do.

When you plug in the GPU, with or without the master switch on, you hear a click, which I assume is the relay opening up.
No matter what, the avionics master switch does nothing when toggled,


Edited by wildduk (01/08/20 01:24 PM)

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#400188 - 01/08/20 02:46 PM Re: Powering avionics off of external power plug. [Re: wildduk]
Challenger1 Online   sad
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 03/23/16
Posts: 3136
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Originally Posted By: wildduk
I guess I could if I knew where it was and how to do it.
There is a 3rd prong on the ground power outlet that has a jumper to the positive prong. Not sure but I think that is what activates the relay. I could disconnect it but I think Iíll talk to an avionics guy or someone more familiar with the system before I do.

When you plug in the GPU, with or without the master switch on, you hear a click, which I assume is the relay opening up.
No matter what, the avionics master switch does nothing when toggled,


Yes I hear that relay closing on mine too when ground power is turned on no matter which way the main power switch is set. Stinks that your avionics won't power up, I thought that is what ground power is for? It is not for "jumping" your motor to start like if you had a dead battery. Mine will energize and charge my battery from the on board alternator though.

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