Last Saturday I posted a http://cirruspilots.org/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=nmqa&Number=8314long, rambling PIREP of various enhancements to N84MR. I ended most of the paragraphs with “Stay tuned” - so, for those who have not touched that dial…
ARNAV agrees that these (minor) issues are indeed bugs, and they will soon be releasing a new, improved version of the software. I’ll post on that when I get it.
Engine View PC Software
ARNAV is working with me to correct the bugs in this. The issue surrounding the small number of records I could download from the ICDS2000 into my PC seems to be the FLASH card; they’re sending me a new one overnight. Once again, stay tuned.
The Transponder Problem
Despite the fact that the size of my transponder ground plane has now been greatly increased, my old problems are still with me.
Yesterday, on a flight from Belmar, NJ to First Flight at Kitty Hawk (hmmm… if you’re reading this, then all those cryptic clues in my earlier post were just a waste!), I had Dover approach tell me that they’d lost my transponder. BUT… when they handed me off, they said "Four Mike Romeo, contact Pawtuxent Approach on 127.95; for some reason, they can see your transponder just fine. At that moment, I was overhead Georgetown, Delaware at 6,000 feet; Dover was at my 4 o’clock position (I know that their radar could have been anywhere, but that’s where THEY were relative to me); and Pawtuxent was almost dead ahead.
When I called up Pawtuxent, they confirmed Mode C at 6,000. The little cogs in my head started turning… this seemed to be a directional issue, and it lends credance to the theories that maybe the exhaust stacks are somehow blocking the signal. [I don’t really understand how this can be – doesn’t fit with my understanding of, or experience with, RF behavior; but I suppose it is possible.]
I decided to just keep this as a datapoint, and see if it ever happened again. I didn’t have to wait long – a little while later, when I was approaching Cape Charles, Pawtuxent lost my transponder. They were at my 4 o’clock… and Norfolk, straight ahead, was picking it up just fine.
I was hoping that it would happen again – I was going to request clearance to do a 360 to see if my transponder would magically reappear on someone’s radar; but it behaved itself the rest of the trip south, and all the way back home. This is too little data to prove anything; but it’s a new tack to take next time any of us experiences a loss of radar contact. I’ll be discussing this with my Avionics guy tomorrow.
Pure joy. Glad to have it.
Handheld Antenna Connection
Good news: Works great.
Bad news: No longer made, and the guy I know who had them has sold out.