Arnav upgrade

I would like opinions from anyone who has done the $2000.00 Arnav upgrade. Was it worth it? How long did it take at Arnav? Can you fly without it in the panel? Is the refresh issue really that bad?

There have been a few posts regarding the original hardware and software upgrades and the more recent “maintenance” software update. I think if you search under ARNAV you should get most threads.

I now have the latest software update and the speed is much better, I am estimating that it is about takes about a third of the time that it has taken, and the redraw process is in layers, so data begins to be presented in moments. This is a big improvement. I think it is still somewhat slower than the previous non-upgraded hardware, but the other features including round circles, are definitely improved.

Also, your usage of the screen impacts how it functions and your impressions. The longer ranges (50 - 200 nms) take longer to redraw. Also, those who fly in mountainous areas, seem pretty unanimous in their appreciation of the upgrade.

I still have ‘bugs’ in my software which I have communicated to ARNAV, but they have not had time to respond.

These include the entire screen does not necessarily fillup with data. Since this is in a decluttered mode (DC-1), I would assume that it is software related and not a limitation of the hardware. I can post a picture of this phenomenon if anyone wants.

Other bugs include the checklist is inaccurate, at least as far as the fuel imbalance. On my engine view windows on the map page, the CHT box is missing from Cylinder #6.

The real question about is it worth it is what are your options, preferences and budget? If you are happy with the current screen, I would stay there. If not, and you do not have the engine view, but expect to upgrade in the future, then I would consider the swap to Avidyne. (Gordon, is the Avidyne discount still in place?) Realistically, ARNAV only has a few hundred units out there and there is no telling if or how long they will continue to work on upgrades.

If you have all the bells and whistles with the ARNAV, it is hard to financially justify the swap to Avidyne, so unless you have unlimited funds and you want improved functionality and graphics, the ARNAV upgrade is the way to go.


Thank to all of you for your comments. My decision is to upgrade. Just one more question? Does the picture of the unit have to be in color to meet with the FAA regs?

I installed the H upgrade shortly before our trip to Alaska in July and found it was excellent. The ability to visualize the terrain ahead on the ARNAV was very useful and I found the refresh rate entirely satisfactory. The ability to dim the brightness way down is also very useful at night.

I recently flew an SR22 with the Avidine display and found the bluish colors used and the contrast on the screen was much harder to interpret than the ARNAV. That may be a matter of individual preference, but the ARNAV shows be everything I need to know with just a quick glance at the screen.

Neil Paton, SR 20, Tail # N231CD

The ARNAV BH system is great. All small deficiencies described by Marty are there, but it is a big step forward anyway and I can only encourage you to get one.

Timm Preusser N747TG

In reply to:

On my engine view windows on the map page, the CHT box is missing from Cylinder #6.

Marty, this may be a setup glitch. The position of each temperature bar is positioned from a configuration screen, and since #6 CHT is shared with the steam gauge, there are some magic incantations – like there are 2 configurations for #6 CHT. Details available off-line.


I relly like the upgrade. Becouse I did my engine veiw at the same time I got discount on the package so it was good for me. You can fly the plane without the unit in. you have to print a picture of a MFD out of the computer to be legal. And tape it over the hole. Just kidding from Don

A question for you, Timm and Marty:
As someone who didn’t do the ARNAV upgrade and still has the “G” software, what do you really gain with the $2000 upgrade? While I understand the display is prettier, the water blue and the circles rounder, what can I do with the “H” software that I can’t do with the “G”? In other words what benefit does someone who flies mostly IFR and has incredible situational awareness with the old ARNAV, Garmins and Sandel derive from the $2000 upgrade?

It sems to me that you would be good with what you have. For me I like the most available. I like the color in the winter I fly all arround the west and the display is beter. I feel that I got my moneys worth. Maybe they need some sales and will deal on the price to get some more sales.I also like to bring the city display on to see what towns I am going over even IFR above or in the clodes its neet to know what you are over. I realy do not need it for awarness . I have a sandel and the 2 430 its just more stuff more fun . I like the colors also. From Don

This is purely a matter of taste, but I find that I greatly prefer the new display, with its rendering of terrain. Think of it as the difference between an IFR en-route chart and a VFR sectional. The chart gives you all the info you need to navigate while IFR. The sectional gives you some extra situational info. The new Arnav display is not as rich or detailed as a sectional, but it is much more so than the original. And the recent revisions make the update speed acceptable. Just my opinion.

most important is the TERRAIN depiction, with mountains and valleys, and the newly introduced forward “channel” (3 miles wide and 32 miles long) which gives you a kind of Ground Proximity Warning.

Then, for the future: Only the new version can be connected to the ARINC 429 box which will display weather, traffic and DME ars (from the Garmins) onto the ARNAV screen.

I like it.

Timm Preusser N747TG

I just installed the upgrade and the engine view package. I like the new screen and find the refresh time acceptable. I have not gotten used to the color map and IFR. I went back to the D1 level for Ifr approach. I felt I could see the way points better. This may only be a matter of getting used to the color after using the dark screen for a year. I am still learning everything I can do with the new engine view.

Dick Grothen

Timm, Thanks to you, Don and Jim for your comments. I guess that terrain warning isn’t something an Illinois based pilot thinks too much about. Regarding ARINC 429, if ARNAV ever makes something like that available I’ll consider the upgrade for NEXRAD. Until then I’ll probably save my money. One real concern I have with ARNAV is that development may simply stop for what is now, in essence, an orphaned unit and I’m taking a wait and see attitude.

I don’t think that the FAA regs speak to the color issue. The ARNAV MFD is placarded, “For VFR use Only” or something to that effect. I think they are more concerned that it does not harm to any other parts of the airplane, avionics or the pilots’ abilities to fly the thing.


I have finally had time to use my upgraded Arnav. Very Impressive! The colors are great. The airport ID slew function is wonderful. The time for page reloads does not bother me at all. It was an excellent investment. Thanks for all the input.

The color thing is a joke that Don started. He stated you had to put a picture over the hole where the Arnav unit goes to continue flying. I just wondered if it had to be a color picture to be legal. He He! Thanks for the help folks!

I finally upgraded my Arnav to the H software (I got version 920CH, first I’ve heard of the “C”).

As others have noted it is a vast improvement over the pre-H capabilities. I have one bug report however. If a Garmin “+MAP” waypoint is entered into the flight plan or used as a Direct-To, then the route stops updating on the Arnav. It seems it doesn’t understand whatever commands the Garmin sends in relation to +MAP. Could people with pre-920CH software check and see if this problem is there as well? It wasn’t there in my 920G release.



In reply to:

I got version 920CH, first I’ve heard of the “C”

New to me too. ARNAV release sequences have been 920G, 920AH, 920BH (to fix a bunch of problems, the Marty Kent memorial release[:)]). Did you get any release documentation?


CH came about from an ‘issue’ I found after flying with BH. On a North bound flight from Ocean City New Jersey, to Trenton, NJ; the screen would invert itself, and then ping back right side up; but mostly be inverted. Regardless of Track or North Up. It appeared to have something to do with the magnetic variation and the track combination crossing over 360 degrees. I talked to the programmer on the phone, and within a couple days I received the CH version correcting the issue.
They were responsive and friendly. This occurred 6 weeks ago.

cheers, Jim Beltyon

In reply to:

Did you get any release documentation?

No. In fact, the manual I received only refers to releases through 920BH.