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Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 31st 06, 07:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

Aircraft Spruce has a product listing for the Approach Sport Hub
Avionics Wiring Systems

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../approach1.php

The Pro Hub for IFR is $600 and the cables aren't cheap, but it seems
like once this is installed, avionics additions/upgrades could be done
fairly easily???

Would someone considering an avionics stack upgrade be wise to consider
installing something like this as a hub for the entire stack?
Especially if there was a constraint to upgrade a little at a time?

Thanks!
Todd

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  #2  
Old May 31st 06, 07:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

three-eight-hotel wrote:
Aircraft Spruce has a product listing for the Approach Sport Hub
Avionics Wiring Systems

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../approach1.php

The Pro Hub for IFR is $600 and the cables aren't cheap, but it seems
like once this is installed, avionics additions/upgrades could be done
fairly easily???

Would someone considering an avionics stack upgrade be wise to consider
installing something like this as a hub for the entire stack?
Especially if there was a constraint to upgrade a little at a time?


I asked my avionics guy about this or something similar and he wrinkled up his
nose and said those were for homebuilders. I didn't get any more detail about
why it was a Bad Thing.
  #3  
Old May 31st 06, 07:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

I asked my avionics guy about this or something similar and he wrinkled up his
nose and said those were for homebuilders. I didn't get any more detail about
why it was a Bad Thing.


It does look suspiciously like something a homebuilder would use. No
avionics shops I have inquired have suggested using anything like a bus
or hub yet???

It seems like the cost of most avionics upgrades can be figure out by
taking the cost of the avionics and doubling it to factor in the
re-wiring. I may be over-simplifying the value that a hub would give
you, but if you do the re-wiring once (wiring in the hub), and simply
plug any new components into that hub, with the appropriate cables,
that would save you several re-wiring costs down the road???

Thanks for the feedback! I was just curious as to whether anyone has
heard of this, considered using it, or has actually installed it.

Best Regards,
Todd

  #4  
Old May 31st 06, 08:38 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

Dave Butler wrote:
I asked my avionics guy about this or something similar and he wrinkled up his
nose and said those were for homebuilders.


Of course. They're a modern technology concept (all the way up to the
1980's), rather than the usual hodgepodge that passes for an avionics
system in most production planes.

I didn't get any more detail about why it was a Bad Thing.


Because avionics shops make their money on installations, as well as
taking a markup on avionics - not on repairs. Since any A&P can
install avionics, and since anyone can get a big discount buying the
avionics online, if these hubs ever became the nom lots of avionics
shops would fold.

Michael

  #5  
Old May 31st 06, 10:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

three-eight-hotel wrote:
Aircraft Spruce has a product listing for the Approach Sport Hub
Avionics Wiring Systems

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../approach1.php

The Pro Hub for IFR is $600 and the cables aren't cheap, but it seems
like once this is installed, avionics additions/upgrades could be done
fairly easily???

Would someone considering an avionics stack upgrade be wise to consider
installing something like this as a hub for the entire stack?
Especially if there was a constraint to upgrade a little at a time?

Thanks!
Todd


A couple thoughts:
1) Upgrades over time assume that the cables for future equipment
continue to be available. If this hub company goes out of business are
the connectors to the hub side generally available? If so, can you make
up your own cables instead to save money. If not, then I'd be really
worried about the future viability of this system if the connectors are
sole-source.

2) Each connector in the wiring harness represents one more potential
failure node. The hub necessarily adds two connectors for each signal path.

3) If you factor in the cost of the hub and the cables, you are close to
parity on the cost of an install using a custom harness

4) the lengths of the cables required are dependent upon the
installation. The cables sold with this system are apparently
one-size-fits all, which means that you'll have a fair amount of excess
cable that has to be bundled behind the panel adding extra clutter and
weight.

You might ask one of the avionics retailers such as Eastern Avionics
what they think of such a system, since they sell lots of avionics that
they do not install. You might also compare the price of this system to
Eastern Avionics pre-fabricated wiring harnesses, which are sized to the
length you need for your panel.
  #6  
Old June 1st 06, 02:53 AM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

I first saw this product at Sun 'n Fun, and thought it was a good idea.

Subsequently, I bought a 1979 T310R that was in the process of having its
panel re-done, and I asked that this system be used, with me paying any
extra amount to use the system.

It pretty much turned out to be a nightmare.

The problems we

1. An unusual panel -- It had a Garmin 530 and two KX155 radios, so it
required an additional hub.
2. An avionics shop (the previous owner picked 'em, and he still owned the
plane at the time the work was being done) that was, at best,
semi-competent.
3. The plane being in Pennsylvania, me being in Alabama.
4. The shop's lack of experience with this product.
5. Problems dealing with Approach systems to resolve problems.

It got done, and when it was done, it worked flawlessly. Getting it right
involved the avionics shop making modifications (jumper wires on the
connectors if I recall) to carry signals that weren't passed through by the
printed circuit board in the hub. By my way of thinking, this kind of
defeated the purpose of having a standard hub and cables.

Apparently (and I'm basing this on what the avionics shop said, and they
were not completely trustworthy), the Approach Systems cable for the Sandel
3308 HSI had the wrong type of termination at the Sandel end.

The problem requiring the jumper wires had to do with communication between
the Sandel and the autopilot (STEC 55X). Since these are both standard and
common boxes, I would have thought that Approach Systems could get it right,
although the problem might have something to do with having two hubs (see
1., above).

However, the cables that came with the system were of very high quality
construction, as were the hubs. The cables and connectors on the hubs were
nothing special, and any avionics shop should be able to fabricate a cable,
given the pinout. I think Approach Systems did provide pinout diagrams when
asked, but I've sold the plane, so I don't have a copy of that info any
more.

Approach Systems will provide cables in any length you need.

Would I do it again? Not on the 310, with its complex panel. If I were
doing a simpler panel, I would still consider it, as it makes a very neat
installation, and I'm still a believer in the concept. If I were building a
homebuilt, I would almost certainly do it, because I would have complete
control of the process.

I would not use Approach Systems if the job will require any custom cables.
There's too much opportunity for things to go wrong, and then have a lot of
back and forth between the shop and Approach Systems on whose fault it is.
If you can wire the whole thing with "off the shelf" cables, it should work
fine.

In my opinion, one very important factor would be to find an Avionics shop
that's done one of these before. Once you know how to do it, it's easier
than building a harness. If a shop has never done one before, they may want
to figure it out (ringing it out pin by pin) and spend as much time as if
they built the harness. If you don't want to use a shop that is experienced
with Approach Systems products, you should at least find one that is "on
board" with the concept.

-Mike

"three-eight-hotel" wrote in message
oups.com...
Aircraft Spruce has a product listing for the Approach Sport Hub
Avionics Wiring Systems

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo.../approach1.php

The Pro Hub for IFR is $600 and the cables aren't cheap, but it seems
like once this is installed, avionics additions/upgrades could be done
fairly easily???

Would someone considering an avionics stack upgrade be wise to consider
installing something like this as a hub for the entire stack?
Especially if there was a constraint to upgrade a little at a time?

Thanks!
Todd



  #7  
Old June 1st 06, 03:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Posts: n/a
Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

Great feedback Mike! Thanks!

I'll have to ask the local avionics shops whether they've installed one
of these or not, like you suggested.

The hub, from Aircraft Spruce, is a special order item and is
non-cancellable and non-returnable, so I certainly wouldn't go buy one,
without being sure it was the right fit for an upgrade plan.

Like you, I think the concept is great too! Why break into the harness
everytime and do complex re-wiring, when you can theoretically just
plug into the hub? If, however, you have to make modifications to the
hub to add a piece of equipment they don't support, I wouldn't like
that idea.

I'll have to give this one some more thought...

Thanks,
Todd

  #8  
Old June 1st 06, 03:28 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
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Default Has Anyone Used The "Approach Sport Hub Avionics Wiring Systems"?

1) Upgrades over time assume that the cables for future equipment
continue to be available. If this hub company goes out of business are
the connectors to the hub side generally available? If so, can you make
up your own cables instead to save money. If not, then I'd be really
worried about the future viability of this system if the connectors are
sole-source.


Good point. Just because I have somewhat of an upgrade plan now,
doesn't mean I will have the same plan 2-3 years from now. Lots of
things change in a couple of years, and I may change my mind on
components in the long term plan and end up with components
incompatible with the hub

2) Each connector in the wiring harness represents one more potential
failure node. The hub necessarily adds two connectors for each signal path.


I'm assuming you meant "un"necessarily adds two connectors, but that's
a good point too! Fewer potential points of failure always make
troubleshooting easier!

3) If you factor in the cost of the hub and the cables, you are close to
parity on the cost of an install using a custom harness


That's my biggest concern! $600 for the hub and ~$100 per cable, plus
the cost of wiring the hub in! It could end up being a wash...

You might ask one of the avionics retailers such as Eastern Avionics
what they think of such a system, since they sell lots of avionics that
they do not install. You might also compare the price of this system to
Eastern Avionics pre-fabricated wiring harnesses, which are sized to the
length you need for your panel.


I'll definitely ask around, before purchasing something like this... I
was just curious as to whether anyone had experience with it.

Thanks,
Todd

 




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