Monday, January 3, 2011


First, let's visit the letter bag:

J.R. Willett said...
Hi Dave,

I work for Dynon, and while I obviously can't comment on what Vans is planning, I can assure you that you will be well-supported no matter which Dynon product you end up with. We work hard to make sure that users of even our oldest products are fanatically happy. As you can probably imagine, our word-of-mouth reputation among our existing users is critically important to our future success.

Skyview has many improvements over the D180 generation of products (and many more Skyview software features are on the way), but if you are happy with what the D180 offers, you don't need to worry about the availability of support and repair.

Dynon is thriving, and we'll be there for you!
This is in response to something I said in my posting about biting the bullet and going ahead with placing my order for the finishing kit despite a small degree of market uncertainty regarding the emergence of the Dynon SkyView as an option for the RV-12.

To wit:
The SkyView has a number of advantages and it is arguably a better piece of equipment, but I remain unconvinced on the merits that the additional capabilities are really necessary in a plane as simple as the RV-12. What is inescapable, though, is that it will be well supported by Dynon for a much longer time horizon than the soon-to-be considered obsolete D-180.
This is great reassurance that I can safely choose to stick with the D-180 and be able to count on continued support from the manufacturer. I find this kind of service/support of aging products to be the exception rather than the rule in my line of work and it's gratifying that Dynon has a more customer friendly outlook. I have to say that I'm impressed with J.R. taking the time to pass along these assurances; customer service is a big deal to me and I love to see it done well. Thanks, J.R.!

Speaking of world-class customer service, I just spent more than an hour on the phone with a Van's Aircraft employee trying to figure out why Capt. Rush's autopilot won't work with his Dynon D-180. This is more of a Van's issue than it is a Dynon issue because the problem is clearly in the wiring. We worked on it for four hours straight and were completely at a loss as to what was wrong, but Ryan J. at Van's patiently stayed on the phone with us and talked us through some trouble shooting steps. It looks like the problem has been narrowed down to the connector that carries the wires from the back of the switch panel out to the autopilot disconnect switch. We both thought that there was something wrong with the switch, but Ryan was able to help us prove that the switch was working okay. The wiring inside of the switch box was also verified as functional. That leaves the connector. When I left, Capt. Rush was struggling to get the wires out of the connector to see if he could isolate the problem.

Once the autopilot problem is solved (assuming!!), we'll move on to trying to figure out why the GPS is also refusing to communicate with the Dynon. Ryan was able to give use some tips for working on that problem as well. All of this work on Capt. Rush's plane kept me from getting out to the hangar to rivet wing skins onto my own wings, but it will be worth it when it comes time to install my own avionics. I have a much better feel now for how all of the wiring and components interact and that can only benefit me when it comes time to install my own stuff, whether it be a SkyView or a D-180.

On the topic of my own wiring, I decided to test the continuity between the stall warning switch and the terminals on the wing root, figuring it better to find a problem now than later. Checks good!

I also ran a length of fishing line from the terminal panel out to the wing tip in case I decide to add the lighting kit later. The fishing line will assist in pulling the required electrical wire through the wing. The RV-12 doesn't have inspection ports or easily removable wingtips, so it seems prudent (and the plans suggest it) to make preparations now rather than suffer later.

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