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Old 03-10-2018, 09:37 AM
bobhope2505 bobhope2505 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Posts: 59
Default Dynon vs. Garmin vs. ?

I'm about to close up the wings and feel like I need to make some decisions about avionics, starting with which pitot tube to install since I'm planning on an AOA indicator. I'm going for full IFR/cross country, and I'm prepared to spend what it takes to get what I want. I've trained behind a G1000 and always assumed I'd go Garmin, but the G1000 involves a lot of button pushing/twisting/page searching and I'm wondering how much of that migrated into the GX3 Touch. (I do want touch screen.) Like everyone else, I've spent hours reading and watching YouTube videos so I don't need general information, but if you've struggled with this decision and there's something that finally pushed you one way or the other, I'd like to hear about it. Thanks. Syrus
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:04 AM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,719

I own full systems of both in our airplanes, and use both (as well as GRT, MGL, and AFS....), but I’m not going to tell you which I like best, because that is irrelevant. The only thing important at this point in technological time is what works best for YOU - and the only way to know that is to play with them a bit. You’re going to spend close to $30K on an IFR panel before you’re finished, so its worth the time to travel to one of the big shows to get your hands on them. Remember that if you are really going IFR, you are going to be buying a Garmin or Avidyne navigator in addition to the EFIS - and how you interact with those is as important as how you work with the EFIS.

There are hundreds of threads here in the archives of VAF addressing exactly your question - but you’ll only find (lots of) good information - not a decision. You’re not going to find a magic “aha!” Moment that clearly shows that one is better than the other. Get your hands on them, and take the time to see how they work with your brain.

BTW - the G3X Touch is a very different interface than a G1000 (with all the knob twisting and button pushing...), so make sure you don’t go on your old experience when judging that side of the equation.

Good luck!

Paul F. Dye
Editor in Chief - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:11 AM
Plummit's Avatar
Plummit Plummit is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 725

The G-1000 is only available for experimental in the G-900X configuration, and that is non-touch screen so that would be ruled out. If you want Garmin, the G3X is the current experimental avionics package.

I also trained on a G-1000 system so if I get in a plane with G-1000 avionics I'm right at home. There may be minor nuances to learn, but basically they are all the same. I can't imagine that the G3X varies too much in operation.

Having said that, the DAR that I consulted with when buying an RV advised me to stick with either Garmin, Advanced or Dynon. I still believe that you can't go wrong with any of those choices.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:29 AM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 1,786

As been mentioned, comparing the SkyView or G3X to the G1000 demonstrates the excessive button mashing needed on the G1000.

While I hear good things about the G3X, Iím installing another dual SkyView EFIS system in the new project. As side by side comparison between SkyView G3X will get mostly opinions, perhaps you should look to other aspects to make your decision. Specially, consider after the sale support. I offer that while the Garmin G3X group is light years ahead of the Garmin TSO side, Dynon is still (by my evaluation) the gold standard for after the sale support.

One other point - I got burned by the TSO side of Garmin on my RV-10 GTN-650 install (various issue with the unit as it came out of the box). The new install will be the Avidyne IFD440.

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Old 03-10-2018, 03:41 PM
rjtjrt rjtjrt is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 731

Dynon after sales support has been superb.
Garmin after sales support has been far far behind Dynon, and very frustrating, in my experience.

Last edited by rjtjrt : 03-11-2018 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:11 PM
Jake14 Jake14 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 191

after working in computing on both the development and user side, I'm not a big fan of drop-down menus, that's the main reason I went with AFS and am glad I did. The AFS 5000 series have enough knobs and buttons on the bezel to avoid most menus
RV-14A #140158 flying
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:47 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,403

Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
I own full systems of both in our airplanes, and use both (as well as GRT, MGL, and AFS....), but Iím not going to tell you which I like best, because that is irrelevant. The only thing important at this point in technological time is what works best for YOU - and the only way to know that is to play with them a bit.
This is certainly good advice. Truth is, 99% of the writers here will advocate for the choices they made (I'm no different! For the record, I went with GRT).
But there is a bit more than "looking and playing", if you're contemplating serious IFR work. (If it's VFR only, do what so many do - pick the prettiest box -). For IFR you should make a serious attempt to understand when and when not the box will work. e.g., Does the EFIS maintain a correct AI display if the GPS fails? or the pitot tube? (or both?). Is this an acceptable risk (after all, any piece of electronics can fail)? How will you choose to minimize the risks of equipment failure (this is in fact a hotly debated topic). Do you have a choice of accessories (like an autopilot or ADSB box) or does it only work with its own brand, and if so is that okay with you? etc. etc. As Paul said, this is a major purchase. You owe it to yourself to educate yourself as much as possible. Nothing is perfect, so you need to make the risk/compromise/cost assessment that you are comfortable with.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:52 PM
Danny King's Avatar
Danny King Danny King is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southlake, Texas
Posts: 579
Default Garmin G3X

I fully admit my bias. Garmin.

Paul Dye has probably forgotten more about this than I will ever know. I had the pleasure of flying his magnificent RV-8 from Houston to 52F in the DFW area.. It was my first flight with a glass cockpit RV-8. I was very impressed with his GRT avionics. My day job was flying the Boeing 777 so I was using state of the art avionics in airliners at the time. That ferry flight in Paul's 8 started me thinking about a panel upgrade for the Doll.

Like you, I was faced with the decision of which manufacture to choose. I flew with Doug Reeves in his G3X equipped RV-6 and was also very impressed with the new Garmin equipment.

Some builders had gone with Blue Mountain avionics and took a huge loss when the company failed. I figured the G in Garmin meant Gorilla...800 pounds worth. As the largest avionics manufacturer in the world, I felt more secure in their survivability.

I wanted to use the GTN 650 navigator. I knew all the Garmin equipment was integrated and works well together as a system. So I chose Garmin. That was 2011.

I am currently helping a friend replace his 2005 GRT equipment with first generation G3X and I'm surprised at the quality of the boxes I'm taking out vs. the ones I'm putting in. IMHO, the difference in the wiring, connectors, and general quality of hardware compared with Garmin G3X is significant. I'm sure a lot of progress has been made since this older equipment was sold.

Garmin's new TSO certified equipment looks a lot like the G3X touch equipment. My gut feeling is that with Garmin you are getting the R&D and quality of the certified Garmin equipment at an experimental price.
Danny King
Beautiful Doll 80434 TT 1600 hours
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First Flight 12 July 2000
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Last edited by Danny King : 03-11-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:42 PM
emuyshondt emuyshondt is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Leander, TX
Posts: 148

I have an Avidyne IFD-540 in my certified plane (Cessna 182), and really like it. It has both a touch interface and knobs and you can accomplish all functions using either interface. Touch is quicker on the ground or in calm air. Buttons work much better when in turbulence, like you might run into in some IFR situations. Iíve had to use both mechanisms and really appreciate having both of them. Holding on to the bezel and trying to hit the right place on the screen is not fun when youíre getting tossed around. Yet touching the screen is much quicker under calm conditions.

I havenít used the newer Garmins, but compared to the G1000 or GNS430/530 Iíve tried, the Avidyne operating logic is an order of magnitude better. You can download an iPad simulator and try it out.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:00 PM
saabman910 saabman910 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Wesley Chapel, FL
Posts: 13

Has anyone had experience with an Avidyne IFD 440 or 540 paired with a G3X? Will the comm and nav frequencies display on the EFIS? Can they be controlled from the EFIS? Will the Avidyne nav info drive the G3X CDI, etc.? I really prefer the IFD to the GTN from an ease of use perspective but even Avidyne says they have not tested their product with the G3X line.
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