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  #1  
Old 06-01-2018, 12:48 PM
Bluelabel's Avatar
Bluelabel Bluelabel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 417
Default Done with PLX Devices

For anyone running any sort of EFI in your plane, you probably have an AFR Gauge (O2 Gauge). Like me, many of you probably use the PLX Devices AFR set up. Well, their customer service has completely gone down the wayside.
First, the history: Upon initial fire up about 2 years ago, my gauge did't work correctly. Had to pull out the amplifier box from under the panel and send it in for service. That took almost 2 months.
6 Months later, gauge stopped again, this time testing showed it was the gauge itself, had to pull it from my panel and send it in... took a month.

Also note, that as of about 6 months ago, you can't call technical support, they ONLY do tech support via email and it takes a full day to get a response... so good luck if you're trying to troubleshoot in the hangar...

Typically, I get about 30-40 hours out of a Bosch O2 Sensor. Mainly because of running a little rich to keep cool on climb-outs etc. Now that I'm running leaner, I'm getting longer wear. I typically expect to change the sensor as part of my oil change.

About 5 months ago, I decided to upgrade to the newer system running the newer software which, for one, allowed me to use the LSR 4.9 O2 sensor which supposedly would last longer. Also, I could have it send info wirelessly to my phone (kind of a novelty)...
First of all, as a returning customer, they offered NO discount or deal to upgrade to the new system....

Got the system installed. Fired it up, and the gauge did what it normally does, went all the way to "Lean" then showed "Air".
First flight was a 3 hour flight to Heber, Ut, from San Diego. About an hour in, I noticed the gauge reading 14.3 no matter what I did with the mixture. Thought this was odd, but I know my set up well enough now that I can really fly without that info.
Flight home a week later showed the same thing.
I contacted PLX since this was less than 30 days from purchase. I felt confident it was a bunk Bosch sensor. They gave me a list of tests to perform. Due to schedule and travel it took me 2 months to get a chance to pull the cowl and spend a couple hours doing the various tests. Which, proved it WAS the sensor.
I sent all the info to PLX and they verified it was the sensor. So I said "Great, send me a new one and I'll send this one back".... No doing... They claimed they do not cover the sensor under ANY type of warranty. They offered me a $5 discount on a new one (That's less than 10%)... I argued with them at length over 20 emails that since they sold the sensor and it was essentially bad right away, they should replace it... Nope....
Called Bosch: PLX is not an authorized dealer, so they couldn't warranty it. If I had bought the sensor from Amazon, they would cover it....
Opened a case with BBB thinking MAYBE they will step up and do the right thing... again, they spent A LOT of time fighting me and now have a blemish on their record since it's unresolved.

Now, I know what you're thinking, it's a $55 sensor.... just buy a new one (I did and it worked fine)... it's not the point... after all the running around I had already done with this company, I wanted to hold them accountable at least ONCE.
If the sensor had lasted even 10-15 hours, I would have chalked it up, and moved on.

I have posted my experience on every open forum possible and every car review forum I use....
Since then I have converted over to a system from Allen at 14.7. (14point7.com) He's VERY knowledgable, the system was a drop in replacement, it's slightly less expensive than the PLX system and he offers great customer service. He even asked me to send him a used sensor so he can analyze how the leaded fuel affects it to see if he can make them last longer.
For now I kept the same PLX gauge because it works with his system and looks pretty good. He does have one the exact same size that will drop in the same mount hole.

Do yourself a favor: DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH PLX!!!
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John Walker
RV-10 N265WD
"Miss Whiskey Delta"
BPE IO-540, FULL EFII
KMYF, San Diego, Ca.
KEOS, Neosho, MO

Crew Lead on the
Grove Aero Super Legacy Reno Racer,
twin turbo, IO-540,
full EFII management system
!

"so I got that going for me... which is nice."
2017 Dues Paid"
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2018, 02:48 PM
rvsxer rvsxer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Inver Grove Hgts, MN
Posts: 274
Default

I'm sorry to hear that. We've put some of those (customer-supplied) in panels we've built here at SteinAir. I hope they aren't having trouble, too. The new EFII System 32 system eliminates the PLX gauge as the fuel/air ratio is built into the controller.
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Mike Hilger
RV-6 N207AM w/G3X, 1,500 hours +
South St. Paul, MN (KSGS)
Manager - Panel Design, SteinAir, Inc.
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor

We're all here because we're not all there...
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2018, 03:13 PM
Mark33 Mark33 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 239
Default Thanks for the report

John, thanks for the good lead on 14point7.com and the report on PLX. The last time that I tried contacting PLX devices I ran into that same problem regarding customer service and in particular not being able to actually speak to someone on the phone. E-mail works sometimes, and maybe even most of the time, but occasionally you actually need to speak to a real live person. Iíve gotten to the point where I wonít do business with any company that doesnít offer live telephone support.

Mark
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2018, 03:34 PM
Bluelabel's Avatar
Bluelabel Bluelabel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 417
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvsxer View Post
I'm sorry to hear that. We've put some of those (customer-supplied) in panels we've built here at SteinAir. I hope they aren't having trouble, too. The new EFII System 32 system eliminates the PLX gauge as the fuel/air ratio is built into the controller.
True, but you still need a signal amplifier. Actually, Robert from EFII turned me in to 14point7. That product would also work just fine to send the signal to the System 32.
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John Walker
RV-10 N265WD
"Miss Whiskey Delta"
BPE IO-540, FULL EFII
KMYF, San Diego, Ca.
KEOS, Neosho, MO

Crew Lead on the
Grove Aero Super Legacy Reno Racer,
twin turbo, IO-540,
full EFII management system
!

"so I got that going for me... which is nice."
2017 Dues Paid"
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2018, 06:04 PM
Lenny Iszak's Avatar
Lenny Iszak Lenny Iszak is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Palm City, FL
Posts: 255
Default

I'm using an Ecotrons box. Have almost 300 hours on it now. It uses Bosch LSU 4.9 sensors. No display, just feeding an analog 0-5V signal to an Efis input.
These boxes are a bit more expensive than some others on the market, but they use original Bosch chips to manage the heating element inside the sensor.
If I lean the engine properly they last about 80 hours. Running it rich for a while other than for takeoff I can kill it in just a couple of hours.

Ecotrons now has an interface for a newer sensor from Bosch called LSU-ADV. They have a different design and supposed to last longer. Here's a spec sheet:

http://www.bosch-motorsport.com/medi...9312011pdf.pdf
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Palm City, FL
2014 RV-10, N311LZ - 400 hrs
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2018, 06:20 PM
Mark33 Mark33 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 239
Default Decalin

Are you guys using Decalin in your fuel and still going through O2 sensors that fast?

Mark
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2018, 08:19 PM
Bluelabel's Avatar
Bluelabel Bluelabel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 417
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny Iszak View Post
I'm using an Ecotrons box. Have almost 300 hours on it now. It uses Bosch LSU 4.9 sensors. No display, just feeding an analog 0-5V signal to an Efis input.
These boxes are a bit more expensive than some others on the market, but they use original Bosch chips to manage the heating element inside the sensor.
If I lean the engine properly they last about 80 hours. Running it rich for a while other than for takeoff I can kill it in just a couple of hours.

Ecotrons now has an interface for a newer sensor from Bosch called LSU-ADV. They have a different design and supposed to last longer. Here's a spec sheet:

http://www.bosch-motorsport.com/medi...9312011pdf.pdf
Thanks for the info Lenny.
__________________
John Walker
RV-10 N265WD
"Miss Whiskey Delta"
BPE IO-540, FULL EFII
KMYF, San Diego, Ca.
KEOS, Neosho, MO

Crew Lead on the
Grove Aero Super Legacy Reno Racer,
twin turbo, IO-540,
full EFII management system
!

"so I got that going for me... which is nice."
2017 Dues Paid"
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2018, 08:21 PM
Bluelabel's Avatar
Bluelabel Bluelabel is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 417
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark33 View Post
Are you guys using Decalin in your fuel and still going through O2 sensors that fast?

Mark

Ummmmm.... ok, you got me, never heard of that stuff, can you educate me? What does it do? Any downsides?

Thanks,
__________________
John Walker
RV-10 N265WD
"Miss Whiskey Delta"
BPE IO-540, FULL EFII
KMYF, San Diego, Ca.
KEOS, Neosho, MO

Crew Lead on the
Grove Aero Super Legacy Reno Racer,
twin turbo, IO-540,
full EFII management system
!

"so I got that going for me... which is nice."
2017 Dues Paid"
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2018, 08:31 PM
Mark33 Mark33 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 239
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelabel View Post
Ummmmm.... ok, you got me, never heard of that stuff, can you educate me? What does it do? Any downsides?

Thanks,

Itís a fuel additive thatís used to reduce the negative effects of tetraethyl lead in aviation fuel. http://decalinchemicals.com/products...fuel-additive/ By using it Itíll prolong the life of the O2 sensor.

Mark
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