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  #1  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:38 AM
cduster cduster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Hertford, NC
Posts: 43
Default Converting from MGL to G3X

OK folks, I've just about exhausted my patience with the MGL iEFIS that came with my plane. Every day its something else and every bit of it requires a very steep learning curve. Have you ever tried to run Linux after coming from Mac OS, well, that's what it feels like to try and learn the MGL system. Its not that its inherently bad, its just a foreign language, so to speak.

If I were to scrap the MGL unit, what could I salvage from my current setup? I know that I'd need the screen (GDU460), the new LRU kit (magnetometer, oat, AHRS), and the GEA24 (engine indication box). Would my existing ammeter shunt/manifold pressure/egt/cht/fuel pressure/oil pressure/oil temp/fuel flow instruments work with "team G"?

I currently have a 430W, G5, GAD29, so that part is covered. I also have a Sandia STX165R remote mode C linked to a echoUAT ADS-B in/out. Will any of that work with the G3X? The STX165R is remote, so it needs to be controlled by the EFIS.

I also have a SL40 and a PS engineering intercom which I'm assuming would all be able to remain.

I'd also have to replace the two autopilot servos but was thinking that I could just run those from the screen and not have to add the external control unit.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2020, 11:23 AM
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g3xpert g3xpert is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 2,673
Default Engine Sensor Compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by cduster View Post
OK folks, I've just about exhausted my patience with the MGL iEFIS that came with my plane. Every day its something else and every bit of it requires a very steep learning curve. Have you ever tried to run Linux after coming from Mac OS, well, that's what it feels like to try and learn the MGL system. Its not that its inherently bad, its just a foreign language, so to speak.

If I were to scrap the MGL unit, what could I salvage from my current setup? I know that I'd need the screen (GDU460), the new LRU kit (magnetometer, oat, AHRS), and the GEA24 (engine indication box). Would my existing ammeter shunt/manifold pressure/egt/cht/fuel pressure/oil pressure/oil temp/fuel flow instruments work with "team G"?

I currently have a 430W, G5, GAD29, so that part is covered. I also have a Sandia STX165R remote mode C linked to a echoUAT ADS-B in/out. Will any of that work with the G3X? The STX165R is remote, so it needs to be controlled by the EFIS.

I also have a SL40 and a PS engineering intercom which I'm assuming would all be able to remain.

I'd also have to replace the two autopilot servos but was thinking that I could just run those from the screen and not have to add the external control unit.
Good Morning,

It is likely that you will be able to re-use most if not all of your existing engine/airframe sensors. Chapter 24 of the G3X Touch Installation Manual lists the specifications for each sensor one by one, so you can match up what you have with what we can support. In general the system is quite flexible with what it can use for these purposes.

You can run G3X Touch autopilot mode selection through the display. The GMC 507 mode controller only replicates the mode selections and knobs available on the G3X Touch display. For these reasons it is optional to include the GMC 507 mode controller, but a lot of people like to include the dedicated controller in their panel.

We do not have any support for that transponder as far as I am aware.

Your G5 will integrate nicely with the G3X Touch system. It will act as a backup ADAHRS source for the GDU. In the rare case that you were to lose the GSU 25, the G5 ADAHRS information would be shared via CAN bus to the G3X Touch display. The G5 and GSU 25 were designed with dissimilar hardware and software engineering to help lessen the likelihood of a single point of failure. The G5 can also be fitted with its own backup battery to make it a true independent backup instrument. It extremely unlikely that you would ever find yourself without a primary flight instrument with this type of installation.

Please feel free to send any other questions our way. You can reach out to us directly at G3Xpert@Garmin.com if you would like.

Thanks,

Justin
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:16 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 611
Default

Be ready to sell your STX165R remote Mode C transponder with your MGL equipment or separately. Replace it with a Garmin GTX 32 remote Mode C transponder. Those work great with the G3X Touch and the Echo. The GTX 327 transponder is the same unit but with a faceplate for panel mounting. A GTX 327 could be remotely mounted just as easily as mounted in the panel. The G3X sees no functional difference between the 32 or 327. Both the GTX 32 and 327 are dirt cheap on the used market so don't hesitate to use either.

Then there is no problem keeping your EchoUAT ADS-B in/out but you will need to add a GDL 39/39D/50/52 or equivalent R model of same to get your ADS-B "in" for the G3X system. Those work wonderful on the G3X while also providing data wirelessly to mobile devices. Meanwhile the EchoUAT "in" will remain available for any non-Garmin 3rd party app or device which is nice for you and/or passenger. So with both the Echo amd GDL you will have an aircraft that can supply ADS-B "in" to any portable GPS or mobile device known to man.

Whether you want SXM or not always get the G3X Touch GDU display without SXM. Then if you do ever want that option take that savings and apply it towards the GDL 52 (or R) aforementioned in paragraph above. That will give you the advantage of ADS-B, Attitude and SXM available wirelessly (along with the GDL 52 battery backup) which the SXM version of the GDU cannot provide. Your passenger can also tap into the GDL 52 wireless data stream to navigate or control SXM music, etc....

Jim
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2020, 08:42 AM
cduster cduster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Hertford, NC
Posts: 43
Default

Great info Jim. Thanks for taking the time to put that info out there.

I like the thought of switching over to a Garmin mode C and retaining the echoUAT, but for whatever reason, I really hate the idea of giving the larger part of a grand to buy a Garmin product to replicate the echo's ADS-B in functions, not to mention the trouble of mounting and wiring another box and antenna.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2020, 08:56 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,627
Default

Which iEFIS model? Let me know when you remove it, I may be interested (Linux user for 25 years...).
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:00 AM
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FasGlas FasGlas is offline
 
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Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 686
Default

Might be far less expensive to hire someone to teach you how to use and program the iEFIS. There is a learning curve for sure but once you get it the way you want it you might be happy.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:33 AM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cduster View Post
Great info Jim. Thanks for taking the time to put that info out there.

I like the thought of switching over to a Garmin mode C and retaining the echoUAT, but for whatever reason, I really hate the idea of giving the larger part of a grand to buy a Garmin product to replicate the echo's ADS-B in functions, not to mention the trouble of mounting and wiring another box and antenna.
You may be underestimating the effort to change systems. No matter how you shake it, changing over to G3X Touch from the MGL will totally mean a lot of work mounting, wiring and probably cutting a new panel. To do it right and reliably. There is no short cut way of doing it. One more box will be a negligible add.

All of this will not be cheap. One rule of thumb states that avionics and flight decks only contribute 20% of their installed cost to the value of the aircraft. The day they are installed new.
So you will take the hit on the MGL equipment, the new Garmin equipment and the labor to remove old and do a new install.

As mentioned above you may well be money ahead to get private MGL tutoring from an experienced user.
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Last edited by jliltd : 01-23-2020 at 10:37 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:39 AM
cduster cduster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Hertford, NC
Posts: 43
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jliltd View Post
You may be underestimating the effort to change systems. No matter how you shake it, changing over to G3X Touch from the MGL will totally mean a lot of work mounting, wiring and probably cutting a new panel. To do it right and reliably. There is no short cut way of doing it. One more box will be a negligible add.

All of this will not be cheap. One rule of thumb states that avionics and flight decks only contribute 20% of their installed cost to the value of the aircraft. The day they are installed new.
So you will take the hit on the MGL equipment, the new Garmin equipment and the labor to remove old and do a new install.

As mentioned above you may well be money ahead to get private MGL tutoring from an experienced user.
I don't know what they could teach me by looking at a black screen.

You are, of course, exactly right about the economics of the situation. On the other hand, I am old enough that frustration represents a much higher cost than it did in my youth. Back then, I thought nothing of spending lots of time to save a little money, but now I'd rather spend a little more money and a little less time to accomplish the same goals.

Last edited by cduster : 01-23-2020 at 10:55 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:46 AM
cduster cduster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Hertford, NC
Posts: 43
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
Which iEFIS model? Let me know when you remove it, I may be interested (Linux user for 25 years...).
Its the Generation 3 Challenger with the 10.4" screen, ibox, SP-6 compass, SP-7 AHRS, RDAC XF engine monitoring system, two autopilot servos, Sandia STX 165R remote mode c transponder, UAT echoUAT ADS-B in/out with its own SkyFYX WAAS GPS position source.

Currently the screen won't boot up and I'm hoping that it is a software issue that happened during an update that I probably botched. I'm currently waiting on a call from the California MGL contingent to let me know if I should trouble shoot it here, or send it back to them for repair.

PM me a strong offer and I'll go get a screwdriver and some bubble wrap.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2020, 02:54 AM
Rainier Lamers Rainier Lamers is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Somerset West
Posts: 1,015
Default

I will describe here how to restore a "bricked" iEFIS G3. It is quite simple.

First a bit of background. The G3 uses a Texas instruments processor. This has a built in boot system hard coded by Ti. The first thing it does is look for a file called MLO on a disk. This disk is a Micro-SD card inside your EFIS. If it finds the file it loads it and passes execution to it. MLO is the first bit of "MGL" code that executes and results in a bit of writing on the top left screen.

So if you see that writing - the internal disk is OK and MLO is there. MLO does a few housekeeping things and then looks for the file EXP3.BIN (that is the file you download from our website as update - it contains everything, the operating system, the EFIS application and the default screens). This is expected to be on the internal disk in the root folder (so you would have two files there at minimum to start - MLO and EXP3.BIN.

If EXP3.BIN exists - it gets loaded and you should be fine.

If you only get a black screen (no writing on the top left) - for some reason MLO is not there or the internal SD card has failed (that's rare).

Lucky - the iEFIS can also boot from the external SD card slot and that is the easiest path to get things going. There is one little issue though. Ti in their wisdom insisted that the SD card must have a partition table and the usual disk formatting tools do not do that.
But there are some that do. Most of them require a degree in physics to operate. But there is an easy one on our website. It is RUFUS version 3.8. Rufus is a very nice and easy to use tool written by the Linux community (it runs in Windows so no issue). Here is a link: www.mglavionics.co.za/Firmware/rufus-3.8.exe
It's small and powerful.
Use this to create a SD-Micro card you can boot in the EFIS. When you run the tool please select that you want create a "FREEDOS" bootable disk. It will create a disk with a Microsoft DOS clone (we will not use any of that but it happens to create a partition table).
Note: In Windows 10 you may have to right-click on the rufus file and select "run as administrator".
Now all you need is MLO. Get it here: www.mglavionics.co.za/Firmware/MLO

Copy MLO to your newly formatted FreeDOS SD card (root folder, there will be a few other files there now - just leave them).

Now insert into your EFIS and switch on. It may take a few seconds and then some writing should appear. If the internal disk has failed it will tell you that it has a serious problem and cannot start the internal SSD. In that case the internal card need to be replaced. It is located in a little flip holder. Sometimes it just needs to be taken out and put back (perhaps a bit of corrosion on the contacts) and things work again.

Anyway let's assume all is well and the internal card starts. If just MLO is missing but the internal EXP3.BIN is there - it will be loaded and the system is up and running again - in that case just use the internal file manager to copy the MLO from your external SD card to the internal card and you should be back in business.

If for some reason the internal disk does not have the EXP3.BIN - simply copy it to your SD card (the one you made) and start up again. MLO will copy it to the internal disk and start it without you needing to do anything.

You can also do another trick: You can actually run an external system from your self made SD card. Just rename your EXP3.BIN to EXP3.EXB (for eXternal boot). In this case MLO will load your external EXP3 copy without doing anything to your internal disk.

Now, regardless of how you get your system running again. Please, once everything is in place - make a BACKUP. Your system has a really nice backup function that creates a sector by sector exact identical copy of your internal disk to an external SD card. That means you have a complete clone. There is a document on our website that explains all the things you can do with that.

Direct link: http://www.mglavionics.co.za/Docs/G3%20cloning.pdf

Sorry for the technical post but I hope this information can be useful to other G3 users as well.

Rainier
CEO MGL Avionics
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