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Old 01-05-2018, 08:14 PM
tireguy tireguy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alton NH
Posts: 19
Default Is the EFIS upgrade worth it.

Hello all,

Iím thinking of up grading my twin screen GRT HS to the HX. My GRT system has been flawlessly functioning perfectly for over 8 years now.
I know this might just boil down to ďform over functionĒ but the faster processor
and cool extras are pushing me to the upgrade, or am I falling for the bling?
Then.. if so, should I upgrade one or both screens.
They are stacked vertically and the lower screen I primarily leave on the engine
Page unless Iím on an approach, then itís the EHSI.

Id love to hear from those who have flown behind both.. or anyones two cents worth..

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Old 01-05-2018, 08:38 PM
Pat Stewart Pat Stewart is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Granbury Texas
Posts: 1,136

I always say we just don't need it, but dang it we want it.
Built, RV 8, RV8A, RV 10, RV12, Purchased RV7A
Restored J3Cub and PA28R180
Pecan Plantation
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EAA Tech Counselor
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:55 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,487

I did this upgrade, and am very glad I did so.

The HX allows the engine info to display along the lower edge---------I had the forward view on my left screen, and Gods eye on the right, with engine stuff along the lower edge.

About the only time I ever had to flip screens was showing someone the system.

The image quality of the HX is vastly superior to the originals.

And, the wiring is 99% plug and play.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:07 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,457

I have one HX, one HS. Mine are split left-right. Like you, I normally run the HS on the engine page. Unlike you, on approaches, I leave the HS on the engine page, and split the HX screen (PFD-HSI). I have given some thought to trading in the HS for an HX, for one reason: I use a Skyradar D2 for ADSB-in, connected via USB to the HX. It works great. However, the RS232 interlink between the boxes cannot handle the huge amount of weather data, so I display wx either on the HX (split screen) or on the iPad (WiFi connection to WingX). If I upgraded the HS to an HX, I could feed wx data over the ethernet cable interlink to the second display. But, with no other reason (and the iPad/HX split screen display of wx being okay) I have decided not to upgrade the HS.
I am glad I got at least one HX, as I used more serial ports on the HX than are available on the HS. The terrain simulation on the HX is nice, but I already have this on the Garmin 420W. So if I were you, I would not upgrade without a better reason than the bling. And then, just upgrade one.

Edit for Mike: My recollection is that you had the WS, not HS, screens. The HS show all the same split screen views as the HX.

Last edited by BobTurner : 01-05-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:54 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,858

Started with an WS, upgraded it to an HS then to HX, all before our airplane left the ground for the first time. Also installed a Mini-X.

I really like the extra serial ports on the HX - I didn't want to finish off the instrument panel design and have zero spare ports. The HX allows me to have spare ports for future growth.

The other thing I like about the HX was something I never really considered previously. To fly an approach, with the destination defined and waypoint ballons turned on, all one has to do is center the energy vector indicator (the bird) over the ballon and you will track the localizer perfectly, irrespective of wind speed and direction. I don't think I've ever flown an approach more easily than that.

I really like the resolution of the screen for displaying mapping as well, and the smoothness of the screen updates.

I do wish the HX had more even backlight dimming and a brighter backlight so as to match the Mini-X in maximum intensity. Setting the HX to brightness level 10 is about equal in perceived brightness to having the Mini-X set on brightness level 8.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:47 AM
h&jeuropa h&jeuropa is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 207

I have two Sport SX units and fly some IFR. Most years at Oshkosh I ask Greg if I should upgrade. He runs through the differences and asks if any of them matter to me. I ponder about synthetic vision and measured AOA, but I live and mostly fly in the flatlands and the GRT derived AOA works well, so when I say no, he says keep what you have. GRT has done a good job of updating the software in all their EFIS so most of the new functionality is available even on the legacy units. The EFIS from all the different companies provide amazing capability. It is similar to cars. Do you really need a 2018 whiz bang or will the clunker you're driving now satisify your needs?

Jim Butcher
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:35 AM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,550

HS to HX is definitely worth it specially if you only have HS and no HX
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - Phase one
Dues paid
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:56 PM
tireguy tireguy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alton NH
Posts: 19

Thanks for all the help...
I’ve decided to update both screens, I’m sure one screen upgrade would be more then I’d really need,But, kinda feels like changing only one wiper blade on my windshield.
I braved the below zero temps today in my hanger at KLCI (Laconia,NH) and removed my screens in record time.. actually it wasn’t to bad, I stuck a 200 watt electric heater up by my rudder pedals, plugged it in, closed my canopy for two hours..
I was fairly comfortable working in the plane with the canopy closed..
Coldest part was the dash for the plane to the car,,,

Hope to have it back together for the opening of the iceport B18

Last edited by tireguy : 01-06-2018 at 06:59 PM.
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