Avidyne EX500

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  • #83359

    I asked my avionics shop to look at my RDR160 display. It was quirky and when I really would have liked to have it running last week, it went black and stayed that way.

    Diagnosis is the tube has failed. Replacement unit quoted at $1,950. Probably some old unit that still runs I suppose.

    Now I tend to use my XM radar information that comes from the GNS530 and my G496 more, but when getting through some areas, I did use the radar to steer around the small echos. Never trusted my ability or the unit to do much more than 20 miles with any confidence though.

    I asked what other options and if the Avidyne would be a good replacement. The answer was yes, it costs a lot more, but it would be current equipment.

    I asked them to see if they could find a used EX500 unit that would be new for me and fit easily. I suppose there are some folks out there who have upgraded and moved a 500 out.

    I used on board radar a lot more before XM, but now it is more of a back up then a primary aid for me.

    Anyone have any feedback? Is this the route to go or should I risk the $2000 on a replacement monochrome display?

    Thanks.

    Jim

    #94379
    rwelsh
    Participant

      When I upgraded to a EX-500 two years ago I sold my radar screen unit and was thankful to get $200 as no one else was interested. Make an offer to a salvage yard as they probably have lots. The EX-500 has been replaced by the EX-600 which will play your RDR160 in color as will the EX-500 for about 10AUs. The EX-500 and EX-600 are slightly taller then the RDR160 unit but can usually be fit in easily.The EX-500 was a nice addition, but I am balking at the $980 a year subscription for the Jepp charts. I will buy one of the notebook/IPAD types and get the NACO charts from now on. I think Jepp is living in the rich dark ages on their chart pricing.

      #99258

      I have an Avidyne EX 500 MFD that uses a Zip iomega drive to load the the charts and navdata from Jeppesen.

      Does anybody knows how to load the information without using the iomega drive?

      #99260

      I think it depends on what you want. The Avidyne will cost a lot to add, and since they typically don’t like to support old units, you will probably have to eventually uppgrade anyway. But it is a very nice setup. The previous owner of our 310 had an Avidyne/RDR-160 and liked it enough to have it put in his T310R that he replaced our 310 with.

      If you want the MFD functionality and the $10k price tag doesn’t bother you, go for it. Were it me, I’d more likely buy a new radar screen used for a few hundred bucks. I would really love to have the radar display on an MFD, but it doesn’t add enough functionality to make it a worthwhile addition when we have a 530W/430W/Aspen.

      #99262

      When we bought our current Aztec, it had an EX500/RDR160, I wanted to add XM or similar to the panel. Avidyne threw me a bone and I upgraded the existing EX500 to an EX600, keeping the RDR160 interface and added their Sirius/WSI weather/music remote mount unit for a total of $5000. I’m not thrilled with the price of Jepps Chart service, but I grit my teeth and pay the bill.

      I’ve also got a Garmin 696 mounted to the A pilar which gives me XM weather. Like your setup, it’s great to have multiple views of the same weather from so many different sources. If you have the $, the EX500/600 gives you a lot of data for the panel space it occupys, in addition to being able to display your RDR160. I use mine to constantly pull up “nearest” info for VORs, airports, ect… it displays a long list for your choosing. I also have Avidyne TAS615 traffic displayed on the EX600 and love it.

      #99263

      Hey Jim:

      I have an idea. I have an EX500 in my airplane I had all updated when I bought the airplane two years ago (software, chart capability, etc…) and was looking for an excuse to go back to a GMX200 like I had in my Bonanza that I truly miss.

      I have an RDR2000 that I just sent in at annual and I’m pretty sure it’s digital and will run on the GMX200. If it does, maybe we can work something out that would be fair. Mention it to Dave or Chris and see what they say. I’ll bet I can find a GMX200 somewhere.

      You’re right about the radar too by the way. I never had it before and won’t fly weather without it now. What is the deal with all the crappy weather these days? It’s been nasty stuff this week to fly around in and having both radar and XM makes for less anxiety at least for me. It seems all the way back to February this stretch has been frustrating trying to get somewhere and get home.

      Scott

      #99264

      I think the beauty of the EX-600 is it’s ability to overlay several functions on the map. You can have your route, radar, traffic, lightning, all on one page. I have the older FlightMax. It’s a nice unit, but I have to flip through pages rather than having it all in one.

      #99265
      quote RENRIQUEZ:

      I have an Avidyne EX 500 MFD that uses a Zip iomega drive to load the the charts and navdata from Jeppesen.

      Does anybody knows how to load the information without using the iomega drive?

      Yep. Send the box into Avidyne and have them update the software to the latest version so you can just use thumbs drives to load the Jeppesen data. I might be wrong on sending it in as perhaps the avionics shop can do it from their bench. If I remember correctly, it cost about $1,100 in 2011.

      Scott

      #99266

      Jim,

      I suspect that with a little shopping you can find a serviceable monochrome RDR-160 display for a lot cheaper than your avionics shop is quoting. That’s the route I’d go.

      Just a note: the color RDR-160 display will NOT work as a drop in replacement for your monochrome display. They have different form factors (I tried that on my T210).

      In my 421 I have both a EX500 and a color RDR-160 (actually, it might be a 150 – same unit, just a meter of how many pieces it has). I have no idea why the prior owner didn’t put the radar display on the 500, but it’s not worth me to do anything about it now.

      I’m not all that thrilled with the EX500. It broke a while back and the only reason I bothered to fix it was that it displays traffic from the Ryan TCAD system. A few years ago it would have been nice for the victor airways and maybe charts, but honestly it’s small and hard to read the airway numbers and you can’t flight plan with them anyway.

      Today, an iPad gives you a ton more information for a lot less money.

      There’s no way I’d put a 500 in an airplane today. Not worth the cost to install it.

      Get a replacement display, and save your money for a better upgrade.

      Robert

      P.S. I do think real time radar is an invaluable tool, especially in a rapidly evolving weather situation. Several times I have used the radar (both in my 421 and in my old T210), backed up by my eyeballs and the XM weather, to navigate close in weather. XM gives you composite reflectology information so you can’t tell where the rain really is – in a pressurized twin it’s not uncommon to be flying above red returns and be in the clear or no rain at all. On board radar can give you that information.

      #99270
      quote SSTEFFES:

      quote RENRIQUEZ:

      I have an Avidyne EX 500 MFD that uses a Zip iomega drive to load the the charts and navdata from Jeppesen.

      Does anybody knows how to load the information without using the iomega drive?

      Yep. Send the box into Avidyne and have them update the software to the latest version so you can just use thumbs drives to load the Jeppesen data. I might be wrong on sending it in as perhaps the avionics shop can do it from their bench. If I remember correctly, it cost about $1,100 in 2011.

      Scott

      Thank you Scott.

      Maybe it is a good time to upgrade to a EX600.

      #99375
      quote SSTEFFES:

      Hey Jim:
      I have an RDR2000 that I just sent in at annual and I’m pretty sure it’s digital and will run on the GMX200. If it does, maybe we can work something out that would be fair. Mention it to Dave or Chris and see what they say. I’ll bet I can find a GMX200 somewhere.

      I just upgraded my RDR-160 to the RDR2000, connected to the Avidyne EX600. The guys at Avidyne did me a “solid” and swapped the RDR-160 for the RDR-2000 interface for the cost of shipping. Except for a few minor hiccoughs along the way, the team at Avidyne has been nothing short of fantastic. I will soon have a full panel of their stuff.

      Cheers,

      Doug

      #99378

      I started this Avidyne EX500 during 2010 and I did find working displays (cheap) and did not install an EX500. The market prices for the 500 that I found all were in the $5000 range, and that was too much as I have also determined that my system needs to be replaced totally.

      I learned how much I did not know at the TTCF Convention radar seminar; that opened up my eyes. ( http://www.rtiradar.com/ ). I also learned how crappy my vintage radar works compared to what is available. So a GWX-70 (or 68) is what I will end up with when this is completed.

      Eric’s seminar made it clear to me that this is a good investment in safety.

      Jim

      #99393

      From what I’ve seen, the new radar units are definitely substantially improved from the old ones. The Cheyenne had some newer Garmin unit that interfaced with the GMX200. Provided vertical profiling as well as horizontal, and worked superbly. Definitely put the KWX56 we installed to shame, but it had a price tag to match.

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