15th January 2014

Radio Testing has Wrapped up

I’m moving on in the wiring. My radio testing revealing problems both with MGL & VAL firmware, so now there will be a waiting period until both get their firmware fixed.

VAL is apparently using an embedded controller (PIC) that may not be field programmable. I might have to send those radios back to the factory.

I went ahead and set up the SL40 that Brother Rich had repaired for me as COM2. This let me verify some of the things that are wrong with the VAL radios.

In this photo we see the VAL COM (COM1) on top, with VAL NAV, then 3rd down is the SL40 as COM2.

20140115_112740

Hours: 16.0 | Posted in Avionics, Electrical | 0 Comments

7th January 2014

Radios Interface Continued

I’ve set up to test the VAL radios single serial interface on iBOX serial port 3, with radio type set to Garmin COM1/NAV for right now.

20140107_120737

These are the messages that need to be tested:

Set of functions to be tested (I know some of these will not work as they are not part of the SL-30 command set and/or iEFIS firmware still has some firmware bugs).

COM:
9.1 Input Commands
The following input command messages are supported:
• Request data output
• Set active COM frequency data from a remote source
• Set standby COM frequency data from a remote source
• Set COM Volume and Squelch Level
• Set COM Mic Gain and Sidetone
9.2 Output Messages
The following output messages are supported:
• Reset status
• Communications Error
• COM Receiver status
• COM audio mode
• COM microcontroller software version
• COM Volume and Squelch Level
• COM Mic Gain and Sidetone

NAV:
8.1 Input Commands
The following input command messages are supported:
• Input VOR frequency data from a remote source
• Input Localizer frequency data from a remote source
• Request data output
• Set active VOR/LOC frequency data from a remote source
• Set standby VOR/LOC frequency data from a remote source
• Set Omni-Bering Select (OBS) value from remote source
8.2 Output Messages
The following output messages are supported:
• Reset status
• CDI, GSI, and flags
• Decoded OBS setting
• Radial from active VOR
• Communications Error
• NAV Receiver status
• NAV audio mode
• NAV microcontroller software version

PS: First look shows many problems. My guess is most are caused by incorrect iEFIS checksums. Going to write a small message parser/checker to make testing easier.

Hours: 4.0 | Posted in Avionics, Electrical | 0 Comments

6th January 2014

Single Serial Port – VAL Radios

Latest release of the COM2000 radio has a schematic for single serial port operation of the VAL COM/NAV pair. So I think I’ll do the additional wiring necessary to test this. This will require MGL to make firmware changes again which they need to do anyway as the current firmware has bugs in it.

VALSingleSerial

 

Hours: 0.5 | Posted in Avionics, Electrical | 0 Comments

6th January 2014

Updating SP-6 (magnetometer) & SP-7 (AHRS)

Wanting to get going on this again, I decided to upgrade my magnetometer (SP-6) and artificial horizon reference system (SP-7) to the latest firmware so that I can connect them into the system.

This requires making a small power/serial adapter cable so that I can interface them to COM port on the PC.

Completed the cable & SP-6 is first to get upgraded.

sp6-1

sp6-2

Tested SP-6 by power cycling & running the SP-6 interface program. Next is SP-7.

sp7-1

Verification:

sp7-2

This completes the updates until I get things into the plane for final compass calibration.

Hours: 3.5 | Posted in Avionics, Electrical | 0 Comments