Home 2024 Forums Opening Section Avionics Topics 310R upgrade

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    Hello all,

    I upgraded my recently purchased 310R and thought I’d give a brief overview and before/after photo.

    The main intent of the upgrade was to add safety features. I was going to do this during the winter, but the failure of the Bendix RDR-160 radar head caused me to move it up. While overhauling the autopilot, the KFC200 AI/FD needed an overhaul so half way through I decided to scrap that and put in an Aspen. (I should have put in two Aspens, in retrospect, it would have been much cleaner.)

    It took about 2.5 months but the team at Exxel Avionics and Total Aircraft up at KHFD did a great job. There were of course a dozen minor squawks that I discovered over the next few weeks and the plane is now getting those addressed as well as new aux tank bladders installed. (The old bladders were 32 years old and way past their time.)

    All of this added only about 20 pounds to the plane, which was worth it, but also shifted the empty CG backward a bit, which was even better.

    In any event, what did we do?

    1. Add Avidyne TAS615 active traffic system. I’m in the heavily trafficked NYC area at an airport used as a base by many of the area’s helicopters, so this was a must.

    2. Add Avidyne satellite weather (and radio).

    3. Add Avidyne EX600 MFD to replace the Bendix radar head and show everything on a single display.

    4. Add Shadin fuel computer replacing the old fuel pressure (“flow”) meter.

    5. Add Shadin altitude alerter and 10′ encoder, as my airport is under an 800′ section of the NY Class B just south of Newark.

    6. Upgrade JPI EDM-760 to the latest firmware and “Lean of Peak” mode.

    7. Replace GMA 340 audio panel with a vastly better PS Engineering 8000C model.

    8. Replace old overhead map lights with Aveo EyeBeam touches. These LED lights are awesome.

    9. Added Aspen EFD1000 Pro PFD, removing the old KFC200 AI/FD and OBS #2. The existing HSI was hard-wired to GPS/NAV #2 as a backup. This gave me GPSS “for free.”

    10. Add an antenna outlet for plugging my handheld into the plane’s antennas.

    11. Add a second Bose headset port, and relocate the first one.

    12. Replace the old Davtron clock which was not very reliable anymore.

    13. Add audio annunciation when the AP is disconnected. (My old KFC200 didn’t have that.)

    14. Wire IDENT button (on pilot’s yoke) to both transponders, and fix the transponder switch auto/standby to work properly.

    15. Add extra 28V power sockets in the rear for the kids.

    While adding all these things, I also had some maintenance to do:

    1. Overhaul the KFC200 AP and make sure all servos and components are working. It’s a 3 axis system, although the YD does not have a separate activation circuit.

    2. Overhaul the KRA-10 RA.

    3. Replace a huge old blade style comm antenna on top with a more aerodynamic one on the rear fuselage. That hole could now be used by the top TAS615 traffic system antenna. One comm antenna is now on the top and two on the bottom.

    4. Verify and fix the (FIKI) boot system which had become a little unreliable. Needed a new “timer” circuit and also the vertical tail boot replaced.

    5. Overhaul all interior lighting.

    6. Clean up all the wiring as necessary.

    7. Replace ducts behind the panel which had disintegrated.

    8. Fix anything else that was visible/accessible and sub-par while at it.

    Some notes on the panel:

    1. The 3 annunciators below the Aspen are “Electric Windshield,” “Traffic Alert” and “AHRS fail.”

    2. The four switches/buttons below the Shadin fuel flow are “Traffic on/off”, “TXP 1/2”, “Radar Alt on/off” and “Traffic mute”.

    3. The annunciator and switch below the pilot’s yoke are for the electronic door seal pump (which is located in the nose right behind the radar dish).

    4. Below the JPI is a panel with the HSI slaving panel, the EDM-760 data port, and the handheld antenna port.

    5. Behind the copilot yoke on the bottom right are the original OAT and Hobbes.

    The way I fly it now is like this:

    1. Garmin 530 is the primary nav instrument on the first NAV page (arc mode).

    2. Garmin 430 is on the traffic page at almost all times.

    3. EX600 is on map page showing satellite weather (and weather radar) during enroute, and shows the current approach charts during terminal operations. Usually the profile view, as the Garmin shows the plan view. It also gives full details of the traffic (e.g., tail number or squawk code) if you’re ever curious about that.

    4. Aspen is on Arc HSI mode showing only traffic and course/waypoints.

    5. Use Shadin to lean on the roll/climb out to take off power flow (per POH, I put a little reference chart on the empty panel underneath the tachometer) and then to 75% climb flow after setting climb power.

    6. Use FD at all times. AP whenever you want. It feels much more stable on the Aspen than on the old AI/FD.

    The next round of upgrades will hopefully be in winter, 2013. That will include removing all engine gauges and putting in a graphic engine system (Auracle? EDM-960?), removing all the remaining analog gauges (at least those that can legally be removed) and install a large screen PFD (Avidyne) or a 3-panel Aspen. I might keep the vacuum AI though. Re-do all the panel sheet metal to be extremely clean. Add a modern LED annunciator panel to replace all annunciators (except gear lights). Add a co-pilot side PFD (maybe an Aspen 1000 Pilot). By that time the plane will have had the Avidyne IFD 540 and 440 already (I hope) installed. The center stack will be rearranged as well, probably to put the EX600 and IFD540 on the left side and the rest on the right. If the Mode S situation stabilizes by then, maybe the KT-76A will get an upgrade. One question is, since the Aspen doesn’t interface to the Avidyne weather… Do I put in Aspen’s weather receiver instead and interface the Avidyne into that?

    I highly recommend Exxel. They’re consummate.





    That there is a wonderful panel.

    I agree on the buyer’s remorse for not adding a second Aspen. The second (and third) are on the wish list. I think the 430W to compliment the 530W will come before that, though. Traffic is also well on the list. Might go with that Avidyne option, the price is right.

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