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Misc. electronic conspicuity boxes: Garrecht / Air Avionics / TRX-1500A / Air Connect / PAW / PilotAware / LXnav / PowerMouse / FlarmMouse / Flarm / Uavionix

Garrecht / Air Avionics

I will be looking at installing some kind of traffic warning system in my plane in the not too distant future.

Does anybody have any experience with or opinion on this unit by Garrecht which also includes a Flarm transceiver (sailplanes are plentiful where I usually fly)?

http://www.garrecht.com/index.php/en/ads-b/trx-1500

RXH
EDML - Landshut, Munich / Bavaria

The Garrecht unit doesn't radiate FLARM (only receives it). I would go for the PowerFLARM product instead.

Nothing on the market that receives FLARM gives you azimuth (bearing) on Mode C/S targets, which is a bit of a waste of time IMHO because you have no idea where to look.

One could just climb or descend (because one does get the altitude based warning) but that may be limited in VFR flight by one often flying just below the base of controlled airspace.

Maybe the Garrecht box will give azimuth for Mode S that emit either ADS-B, or are Enhanced Mode S and emit their GPS lat/long/alt, but there will be very very few relevant targets like that in GA airspace.

For Mode C/S, this kind of system is the best, but is expensive.

For just FLARM, there are loads of solutions.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The Garrecht unit doesn't radiate FLARM (only receives it). I would go for the PowerFLARM product instead.

Are you sure about that? It states that the unit houses a Flarm transceiver which in my understanding is a sender and receiver. The German version of the handbook speaks of a "vollwertiges Flarm".

Thanks for pointing out PowerFlarm.

RXH
EDML - Landshut, Munich / Bavaria

Nothing on the market that receives FLARM gives you azimuth (bearing) on Mode C/S targets

Understood but it would give an altitude indication which is better than nothing.

Maybe the Garrecht box will give azimuth for Mode S that emit either ADS-B, or are Enhanced Mode S and emit their GPS lat/long/alt.

That is my understanding from the handbook.

It is not the "all-in-one" solution and has some shortfalls but it is better than pure eyeball mark 1 and slightly cheaper than a full TCAS.

I will also look into the PowerFlarm when visiting the AERO-exhibition but last time I looked their product was not certified.

Thanks for your feedback. Further information very welcome.

RXH
EDML - Landshut, Munich / Bavaria

Understood but it would give an altitude indication which is better than nothing.

I would not necessarily agree.

Normally one should try to acquire the target visually but if you have azimuth and range information you don't really need to do that because a heading change should do the job. That's important, because the majority (perhaps the great majority) of targets will never be seen.

When you fly with a TCAS system, you will be amazed how much traffic you "see" but can never see visually. The Mk 1 eyeball is actually really useless.

I think not having azimuth is a bit like getting a warning saying "you will die today, in an accident, but I am not going to tell you how"

Having vertical information only means that all you can do is climb or descend, and hope the other person's transponder is reasonably accurate.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

"you will die today, in an accident, but I am not going to tell you how"

Not sure whether I would completely agree with that statement. I view it more along the lines of "Some warnings will give you full info on the target, some warnings will only give you partial info and for some targets you might not get any warning at all. So, do not rely solely on this system and understand its shortcomings." Not quite as gripping as a statement as yours ;-)

I do not have any practical experience with TCAS but personally I prefer some warning, even if it does not give me all the details or even all the potential targets over no warning at all. If this or another system helps to prevent just a single encounter of the too close kind (and I had two of those just recently), let alone a collision, in my book that would be money well spent.

RXH
EDML - Landshut, Munich / Bavaria

I have the Funkwerk TM250 http://www.funkwerk-avionics.com/cms/front_content.php?idcat=108&idartlang=685

This is receiving from a Red Box Flarm http://www.lxnavigation.si/lx-flarm-red-box/

Haven't had enough time on it yet to say if its any good. Both require a separate GPS puck and both require antennas.

Norman
United Kingdom

I think azimuth is as important as altitude.

EGTK Oxford

Zaon's box does Mode A & C with direction and range (and I think mode S) but not FLARM.

PowerFlarm does Flarm (obviously) and mode S with direction and range, and mode C with range only (and perhaps mode a range only).

It's a pitty that none do everything.

I was tempted by the Zaon, but don't like the fact that it doesn't do FLARM (and I think doesn't do mode S). Doesn't seem too well future proofed.

PowerFlarm seems more future proofed as more and more people equip with flarm and mode S, but as most of my flying is done in Ireland where there are no plans to make mode S compulsory and little flarm useage, it seems useless. Most people here have mode c only and I think range only isn't worth the cost of the powerflarm box.

Both of these boxes I could link to my PocketFMS system to see traffic on my moving map, which makes it really tempting, but neither is perfect and for me they'd have to be to justify the cost price.

Hopefully PowerFlarm will change their mind and introduce direction to mode C detection.

EIWT Weston
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