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  #11  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:46 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
What youíre looking for can be found at BeLite Aircraft - their Radiant series of instruments were designed specifically be low priced:

http://www.beliteaircraftstore.com/r...ngine-monitor/

I havent used one of their engine monitors, but have tested some of their other instruments, and they work as advertised.
Interesting items, but I'm surprised they don't make a 4 cylinder combined CHT-EGT instrument.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2018, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
Interesting items, but I'm surprised they don't make a 4 cylinder combined CHT-EGT instrument.
At the rate I get press releases from them on new products, call him up and ask - it will probably ready next month!
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:02 PM
rv8ch rv8ch is online now
 
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Default Better than ever

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
...Never has avionics offered as many feature for the $$$ as what we have available today. The fact that these options are supported by companies with a solid economic track record is an even bigger bonus.
Could not agree more! Our situation reminds me of Tom Friedman's book The World Is Flat, Despite what you hear, the world is getting better in many (most?) ways, and so are the products that are available in the aviation world.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:58 PM
dutchroll dutchroll is offline
 
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You're talking $35-50k just for a set of crates with a whole bunch of metal bits in them, then an engine, then additional parts not in the kit, tools, then your valuable time. People spend $100k, $200k and more on these things before a working instrument has been installed.

And a couple of thousand dollars for your single most important instrument (which does the monitoring job of about 10 others, plus many additional functions) is just too much?
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  #15  
Old 08-10-2018, 07:42 AM
Radioflyer Radioflyer is offline
 
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There is a concept, I don't know what to call it, but let me for now say that it is a variation of the "normalization of aberrant behavior" idea. This is a trap that many of us aviators fall into. Thus, because an aviation engine is expensive, easily upwards of $25k, then spending $200+ on spark plugs is normal, right? Many would say yes, even though there exists a $2-5 automobile spark plug that equals or betters the performance of an aviation plug. Hey, a new instrument replaces ten, so it must automatically cost as much as those instruments combined, right? No, shouldn't there be some economy of scale? Some of us like to question the value proposition of something instead of unconditionally accepting the high prices of components in our hobby.

I will suggest that the MGL E1 instrument is testament to the fact that these specific engine instruments can be designed, manufactured, and marketed for very low prices. It costs $345, all by itself vs the $1k base price of slightly better competitors. It is germane to point out that these engine monitors are not rocket science devices. The sensors, ADC chips, uProc's, level conversion circuitry, and display components all have been around for over 50 years and have achieved tremendous reduction in size and cost. These devices are electronically much less sophisticated than the EFIS units, GPS navigators, and radios of today and yet look at how much improvement in price and performance these latter devices have demonstrated in comparison.

I just don't think that engine monitors have kept pace compared to other avionics. And this is a shame especially because it is such a safety promoting device. As another data point, here is an example of a fairly capable, amateur built, engine monitor project.

http://experimentalavionics.com/engi...gement-system/

The device is all built and undergoing testing by an amateur on limited "fun" time. The components (in quantity one!) are about $100. From electronics marketing experience, I feel confident a company can commercialize a similar or better design for about $500. But, nooooo, aircraft electronics MUST be expensive and the market will feel happy about it.

PS-I did warn this was a rant! I do appreciate all your discussion.
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  #16  
Old 08-10-2018, 09:35 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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In some cases you are right - after all, you can buy a blueray player for well under $100. BUT, we also have to give a nod to low volume. And lets not forget that this is a business proposition. The "market" will support this pricing, so what possible incentive is there for manufacturers to have a race to the bottom?
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2018, 10:12 AM
odens_14 odens_14 is offline
 
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To me it's mostly about low volume/lack of demand for such a bare bones system. given your example that EMS from the link trying to build costing $100 in parts and your proposed selling price of $500 sounds like a win-win. but lets do a quick business plan as someone else suggested:

first problem being how many do you sell a year? Keep in mind this thread has shown most people would rather spend the money it currently costs to get a full featured EFIS, some of the remainder are happy with the current options and cost, so there is very limited demand for this. 25? 50? That's only 10-20 grand per year gross profit, not going to interest the big players at all. Maybe he could do it as a hobby I mean 20 grand on a side gig he enjoys is great!

But wait, these are amateur builders trying to install this, so now he's getting a bunch of calls/emails how to install/program/how come it smoked when I hooked it up backwards, so that's taking time and energy to deal with; not to mention decreasing the enjoyment he's getting out of it.

So to put this all together: He spends 200 hours designing and building the prototype. it takes him 5 hours to build each one, not enough volume to have someone else do it cost effectively. He spends an average of 3 hours a week supporting it. the first year he sells 50 units for 20,000 gross profit. He spent 600 hours on those units so he made $33/hr, the second year it goes up to $50/hr since he's not designing it again. Not bad but he's making something like $72/hr at his day job as an electrical engineer, not so sure he's going to find it worth it.

And that's if everything goes smoothly...
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  #18  
Old 08-10-2018, 05:20 PM
dutchroll dutchroll is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioflyer View Post
Many would say yes, even though there exists a $2-5 automobile spark plug that equals or betters the performance of an aviation plug. Hey, a new instrument replaces ten, so it must automatically cost as much as those instruments combined, right?
No of course not. But it's not really valid to equate the cost factors of a modern engine monitor with a spark plug either. As has been pointed out, the functionality, programming and design complexity, provision of support, etc all have to be considered. Their capability these days is astonishing. In the course of my normal work it takes a black box weighing probably 50lb sitting on an avionics rack in an area the size of a small bedroom to do only half the job of the current experimental engine monitor offerings. I don't even want to imagine what that box costs.

Move to the experimental world: I had a JPI installed on my plane. It was more on the expensive side than most, and the company can be a PITA, but it worked flawlessly and saved me a massive amount of money in a dispute over engine problems when a certain component company alleged that the issues were caused by the pilot (me) mishandling the engine. I said that wasn't true, and I have every minute of data from every sensor on the engine recorded since it was first started to prove it, all viewable on SavvyAnalysis. That ended the argument and an overhaul under warranty followed.

So no they're not a "cheap" instrument. But I still reckon most of them are value for money, all things being considered.
Quote:
PS-I did warn this was a rant! I do appreciate all your discussion.
Rant acknowledged.
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Last edited by dutchroll : 08-10-2018 at 05:25 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2018, 10:39 AM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioflyer View Post
There is a concept, I don't know what to call it, but let me for now say that it is a variation of the "normalization of aberrant behavior" idea. This is a trap that many of us aviators fall into. Thus, because an aviation engine is expensive, easily upwards of $25k, then spending $200+ on spark plugs is normal, right? Many would say yes, even though there exists a $2-5 automobile spark plug that equals or betters the performance of an aviation plug. Hey, a new instrument replaces ten, so it must automatically cost as much as those instruments combined, right? No, shouldn't there be some economy of scale? Some of us like to question the value proposition of something instead of unconditionally accepting the high prices of components in our hobby.

I will suggest that the MGL E1 instrument is testament to the fact that these specific engine instruments can be designed, manufactured, and marketed for very low prices. It costs $345, all by itself vs the $1k base price of slightly better competitors. It is germane to point out that these engine monitors are not rocket science devices. The sensors, ADC chips, uProc's, level conversion circuitry, and display components all have been around for over 50 years and have achieved tremendous reduction in size and cost. These devices are electronically much less sophisticated than the EFIS units, GPS navigators, and radios of today and yet look at how much improvement in price and performance these latter devices have demonstrated in comparison.

I just don't think that engine monitors have kept pace compared to other avionics. And this is a shame especially because it is such a safety promoting device. As another data point, here is an example of a fairly capable, amateur built, engine monitor project.

http://experimentalavionics.com/engi...gement-system/

The device is all built and undergoing testing by an amateur on limited "fun" time. The components (in quantity one!) are about $100. From electronics marketing experience, I feel confident a company can commercialize a similar or better design for about $500. But, nooooo, aircraft electronics MUST be expensive and the market will feel happy about it.

PS-I did warn this was a rant! I do appreciate all your discussion.
There is a lot more influencing the cost of bringing a product to market than the cost of the components........

Particularly in the experimental market, technical support is a HUGE part of it. Ask any vendor. They spend a huge amount of time working with amateur builders, helping them resolve problems that they induced themself during the installation.
If everything was excessively over priced as you imply, there would be far more signs that vendors were getting wealthy with their business. I work closely with many of them, and I donít see that.
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  #20  
Old 08-11-2018, 11:04 AM
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Walt Walt is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioflyer View Post
There is a concept, I don't know what to call it, but let me for now say that it is a variation of the "normalization of aberrant behavior" idea. This is a trap that many of us aviators fall into. Thus, because an aviation engine is expensive, easily upwards of $25k, then spending $200+ on spark plugs is normal, right? Many would say yes, even though there exists a $2-5 automobile spark plug that equals or betters the performance of an aviation plug.
If you look at the cost for plugs, most folks recommend replacing auto plugs every 100 hrs, the average massive electrode aviation plug lasts 500 hrs.
So if use $5 auto plugs thats $25 every 500 hrs, about the same as an aviation plug which costs $25.
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