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Old 02-21-2008, 04:28 PM
mrreddick mrreddick is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hangar/home at Hicks Airfield (T67), Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 624
Default Weather for AVMap


I received another update from my local pilot shop/AVMap dealer.
She said they were told the new units would arrive by the end of February.
After talking with AVMap today, that's NOT going to happen. Now they are being told that it will be at least several more months before they get the bugs out of the software and as of now, they haven't priced the XM antenna for their units, nor the cost to upgrade the older units.
Garmin's antenna goes for something like $549 so expect at lease that much and her original quote from AVMap was around $199 for the new chip to make the older units weather capable.
Mike Reddick
Pilots N Paws Pilot
RV6A N167CW 1,800 HRS
Ft Worth, TX (T67)
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:56 PM
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petercavallo petercavallo is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Socal
Posts: 99
Default My time with AVmap IV

I have had the IV unit for a year in my RV6 I have it in my panel ( Laird owens fiberglass) canted to the pilot I really like the unit, it s big and I can see it. I liked the Garmin , but it was too small to see well. Regarding battery back up, useless as even new batterys quickly only last 5-10 min and if the GPS loses power you would not know as it does not do much (Avmap said they would look into it, as well as weather)
Note the Geopilot claims it will have weather soon and I see it can now drive an autopilot (only the IV could before) It might be worth a look too
Overall I really like my AVMAP EKP IV
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:49 AM
eurofoxjames eurofoxjames is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2

I also have the IV and must say I like it.

I also have been speaking with AvMap about the Weather/Traffic function and it seems that every time I talk with somebody at their office I get the same response “always the next air-show”…been hearing that now for 2 years.

Does anybody know if the current units will be able to have both weather and traffic? I know they are saying traffic will be next, after weather, but if I have to wait another 2 years I think I will make the switch to another brand now.

I know of 4 people who have now gone with the Garmin and just gave up on the Avmap promises. As with most things, once people go to something else they will usually become customers for life…..what are they thinking!!!
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:05 PM
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638RS 638RS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 267
Default I agree...

I spoke to AVmap at OSH last year when they demo'd weather and a few times since via email. Always the same answer... soon... I wish they would just be up front as to what the issues are and a realistic date. I am giving them until Sun @ fun if no announcement then I will go to an alternate vendor
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:38 AM
Pilottonny Pilottonny is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 645
Default Battery back-up is plenty!

My Avmap works for at least an hour on the internal batteries. Can be longer if you choose the "save power" option (screen goes dim or even blank unless you push a button, GPS keeps going).
I use 2.700 mA rechargable batteries. You should not use normal batteries! because the Avmap has a trickle loader and will keep the batteries charged when connected to the aircraft power.

Tonny Tromp
Lanaken, Belgium (EU)
RV9A, Registration: PH-VAN
ECI-Titan IOX-320 with dual EI, turning a Whirlwind 200RV CS prop.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:42 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,977

OK, time for me to chime in after reading all the good posts above...

Here's a bit of what little I know, and some experiences shared. I don't have an AvMap but rather have a Lowrance 2000c. My brother has both an EKP-IV and a 396. The AvMap drives the Trio autopilot while the Garmin serves as backup nav and provides rudimentary instruments for the copilot if necessary.

Lessons learned to date:

1) old EKP-IV firmware had a problem with charging NMiH batteries. Newer firmware does a better job of 'topping them off'

2) even if you have newer firmware, buy a good NiMH battery charger/conditioner. These batteries need to be properly conditioned in order to maintain capacity, somewhat like a NiCad. My brother was relying
solely on the AvMap to charge his batteries and got to the point where he had about 2 minutes of backup capacity. After I convinced him to buy a decent battery charger/conditioner even his old, abused batteries were restored to about 30 minutes backup time.

3) beware some versions of firmware - about a year ago AvMap produced a version with simulator mode sensing mixed up and would only drive the autopilot when in simulator mode. Obviously this was a MAJOR disappointment

4) for a user transitioning to the AvMap from a Lowrance the user interface of the AvMap is, well, torturous. I eventually gave up and just used the Garmin when flying my brother's airplane as at least I could figure out how to get from A to B while still spending some time "heads up" scanning for traffic. By comparison, my 14 year old daughter figured out how to do direct-to navigation and to program a multi-waypoint route in the Lowrance during a 30 minute flight in our airplane.

5) hardware failures happen in the AvMap, just as they do in any other GPS, so make sure you've got a backup, including paper charts. My brother's original EKP-IV failed, was returned to the factory, and the factory was unable to determine what was wrong with it so replaced it with a new one. The new one then failed at the solder joint where the power connection is soldered to the main circuit board. This one was returned to the factory and fixed, and was shipped back to my brother with the newest version of firmware that turned into a nightmare (see point 3 above) and took several months to get fixed.

While each has his or her own opinion and is entitled to it, for me the Lowrance represents much better value than either the Garmin or AvMap. Granted, it doesn't do weather, but it does feature a fairly large, bright screen, is easy to use, and is relatively well supported. And you can buy three 2000c's for the price of a 496, which really is a value statement that nobody else can touch. There's even an Air Gizmos panel dock available for it, making it a fairly easy installation in your panel.

While this is an AvMap thread and it seems I'm touting the Lowrance product, I hope some of the info above will provide additional points to ponder for those who are considering the AvMap.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:44 PM
Steve151 Steve151 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4
Default Another AvMap Opinion

Hello - I found this forum on an internet search.
I now have my 2nd EKP-IV and I'm really happy with the unit and the upgrades that have taken place over the past 3 years.

I purchased one about 4 years ago when they first came out after using a Garmin 295. The big bright display is amazing, and can be viewed at a better angle than any other handheld I've seen. It is also very bright and clear in direct sunlight. But the promised Terrain feature was very slow in coming out, and when it did, it would only work in North up mode. Not knowing if this was going to be fixed, I decided to sell and move on. At this time BTW, they did have a forum and I made many posts.

Next was a Garmin 296 - great software, lousy screen. My screen was too dim, and the very small size and reflective surface just made it worse. I quickly ditched it and went back to a 295. The 295 died on me last year (won't receive satellites), so I started looking around. I looked closely at the Lowrance, after seeing one nicely mounted in a Cherokee right-side radio stack (this is how I've mounted all of mine). But upon closer inspection, the Lowrance has too narrow of a viewing angle.

I decided to look at the AvMap again, as I had heard that they fixed the Terrain/North up issue. Not only that, but several other improvements were made:
  • Added TAWS
  • private airfields
  • editable check lists
  • better text menu colors
  • night pallet
  • and the ability to resinc the waypoint, to name a few.
I purchased one and learned how to use it using the simulator. The unit is mounted in the right side radio stack of my Warrior, tilted slightly towards the pilot. It's hardwired via the straight cable that Avmap sells. I don't use batteries in it, but I carry them in the plane is case of a power loss. As others have said, when running on ships power, you do not want to use standard batteries. As far as the operation and menu - you only need to take the time to learn it. I've used the Garmins for years and AvMap is no harder at all, in my opinion.

I am VFR only and do not have the need for WX, however, I would be really happy if they came up with a Traffic interface, perhaps through TIS.

Dislikes - very few but here they are:
Customizing the background detail - doesn't always show what you program it to show. It seems that it won't display small town names at zoom scales above 1 mile. I wish it would go just one zoom further.
The addition of terrain meant that other mapping details had to be removed. I live near a large lake - that is clearly seen on the pictures of my old AvMap, but is now gone.
When flying in "track up" mode, the screen (and coarse line) will sometimes draw just a little off straight up - maybe 2-3 deg. Not a big deal but a little annoying.

Sorry to be so long winded, feel free to ask questions and I will check this forum daily.
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:31 PM
Rockyjs Rockyjs is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL
Posts: 396
Default S&F Avmap EKP IV update

I just returned from S&F and had time to talk with the AVMAP folks. There is good news and not so good news. They do have XM weather running on the EKP IV and will be selling the receiver/ antenna assembly soon. Estimated street price is around $600, but don't hold me to it. The display was unbelievably clear, really nice. The antenna is a very tiny patch antenna, smaller than the supplied AVMAP GPS antenna. The box which handles the receiver end has a 12volt cigar lighter plug for power and a serial plug for connection to the AVMAP. This is the not so good news, since they have been attempting to get the weather to play nicely with the NMEA code from an autopilot and can't get both to work simultaneously. The problem lies in that the EKP is 4 years old and is designed around a single port (ie one source). You could use a source switch to select whether the EKP is talking to the weather receiver or autopilot but unless something changes, you will not have both available simultaneously. I'm sure the next generation will have dual ports, and it may be possible to alter the unit, but our discussion didn't delve into this.
Rocky McKiernan
Navarre, FL
N767JM RV-7 Flying
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:19 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,674

Rocky, thanks for the report.
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 04-19-2008, 04:34 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 624
Thumbs up Informative website

Well, I have now joined the ranks of AvMap EKP owners. I am pleased with the unit so far, and dealing with the folks at AvMap has been great.

I made my final decision to buy one after having had the opportunity to borrow a unit from a friend (thanks Andrew). I find I needed more info on the unit than was available in the manual or on the AvMap website.

Well, I just came upon this site that has some information that is complementary to the manual. It's European, however most of it still applies. There's a French and English version of the web page available;

This link may be better, as it opens the EKP-IV page in its own window:
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
980hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 04-19-2008 at 07:18 PM. Reason: added better link
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