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  #1  
Old 10-15-2009, 10:58 AM
MartySantic's Avatar
MartySantic MartySantic is offline
 
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Location: Davenport, IA
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Default ELT Testing - Part 91.207.d Testing and Logbook Entry - Mel?

Part 91.207.d states what is required every 12 months with respect to ELT testing. My DAR inspection is scheduled for next Wed and want to make the proper logbook entry in the avionics log.

(d) Each emergency locator transmitter required by paragraph (a) of this section must be inspected within 12 calendar months after the last inspection for--
(1) Proper installation;
(2) Battery corrosion;
(3) Operation of the controls and crash sensor; and
(4) The presence of a sufficient signal radiated from its antenna.

From an article on the web, http://www.aviationtoday.com/am/cate...onics_188.html

"There are two ways to test for sufficient antenna signal on a C91a ELT. One is to evaluate the signal strength using a test box like those made by QCAvionix or Whiffletree. The other method is to listen to the signal using an AM-band radio receiver.

The FAA endorses the AM radio test and has codified this check in the most recent update of Advisory Circular 43.13-1B (CHG 1). The test for sufficient signal radiated from the antenna is as follows (Par 12-22):

"Active the ELT using the ON or ELT TEST switch. A low-quality AM broadcast radio receiver should be used to determine if energy is being transmitted from the antenna. When the antenna of the AM broadcast receiver (tuning dial on any setting) is held about 6 inches from the activated ELT antenna, the ELT aural tone will be heard."

"It has to be a cheap AM radio," said Bob Glorioso, president of QCAvionix. "It can't be too well shielded. You're trying to overwhelm the AM detector."

Many mechanics, perhaps unaware of the FAA's recommendations, listen the ELT signal on the aircraft's VHF radio, set to receive on 121.5 megahertz. But this isn't a good test, because the aircraft radio's receiver is extremely sensitive. The AM radio test, says AC43.13, "is not a measured check; but it does provide confidence that the antenna is radiating with sufficient power to aid search and rescue. The signal may be weak even if it is picked up by an aircraft VHF receiver located at a considerable distance from the radiating ELT. Therefore, this check [VHF radio] does not check the integrity of the ELT system or provide the same level of confidence as does the AM radio check."


What the FAA is saying is that simply listening to the ELT signal on the aircraft's VHF radio does not meet the requirements of 91.207(d). "

So TWO questions.....How do I satisfy d.(4) The presence of a sufficient signal radiated from its antenna (on both 121.5 and 406 mhz) AND how do I make the proper logbook entry? Do I have to test each freq individually or is the AM radio test sufficient?

Also the battery says it is good thru July 2015. Does that mean the battery does not have to be replaced till then, provided its accumulated time does not exceed the time limit?
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Last edited by MartySantic : 10-15-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2009, 08:07 PM
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Default

Bumping this up. Still looking for advice!
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2009, 10:15 AM
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David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
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Default

Marty,

Do it like the advisory says. If not, do it anyway you like. AC's are not regulatory or manditory, like a regulation.

FAR 91.207 is sufficiently vague, you could check the signal strength at your neighbors hangar on his airplane and who's to say it is not adequate?
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2009, 04:19 PM
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Kevin Horton Kevin Horton is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartySantic View Post
"There are two ways to test for sufficient antenna signal on a C91a ELT. One is to evaluate the signal strength using a test box like those made by QCAvionix or Whiffletree. The other method is to listen to the signal using an AM-band radio receiver.
406 MHz ELTs are built to the requirements of TSO C126.

TSO C126 apparently requires the ELT to have a self-test function. I don't know if that function is enough to meet the FAR 91.207(d) requirements though. The paperwork that came with your ELT may provide some guidance on how to do the required tests. If not, contact the ELT manufacturer to see what they say.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:08 AM
ACR406 ACR406 is offline
 
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Default Test the ELT through the Satellites

The best way to make sure the ELT is installed correctly and making sure the antenna and beacon are transmitting properly is to do a through the satellite self test of the beacon. Go to www.406Test.com to learn more about the FAA certification. Plus, with this service you don't need to buy all of the expensive testing equipment like the beacon tester, antenna analyzer and screen room.
Hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2010, 03:15 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartySantic View Post

Also the battery says it is good thru July 2015. Does that mean the battery does not have to be replaced till then, provided its accumulated time does not exceed the time limit?

Correct.

And I'll bet most owners don't track the time the unit is on being tested.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:02 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
 
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Smile If you have an ARTEX...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
Correct.

And I'll bet most owners don't track the time the unit is on being tested.
...it seems that self-test does this for you....

7 Flashes Indicates that the ELT battery has too much accumulated operation time (> 1hr, see below). Battery may still power ELT; however, it must be replaced to meet FAA specifications. May also indicate damage to the battery circuit

The self test also seems to check output power and loading in the co-ax to antenna cable -

http://www.artex.net/documents/getFi...600_Manual.pdf

Clever things these, with their self-test...
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2010, 06:27 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
...it seems that self-test does this for you....

7 Flashes Indicates that the ELT battery has too much accumulated operation time (> 1hr, see below). Battery may still power ELT; however, it must be replaced to meet FAA specifications. May also indicate damage to the battery circuit

The self test also seems to check output power and loading in the co-ax to antenna cable -

http://www.artex.net/documents/getFi...600_Manual.pdf

Clever things these, with their self-test...
And don't get carried away having fun with the self test function. Every time self test is activated it adds 1 minute to the total of accumulated operation operation time.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2010, 06:28 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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Default

Cool.

They've improved since mine was made in 1974. It doesn't track the test time.
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