How many database updates in a Cirrus?

Can someone set me straight – are there really up to 3 navigation databases that could be updated in a Cirrus?

[list=1] []Avidyne has a database and a data loader
]Garmin has a database on a card
Sandel has yet another database with a data loader
[/list] Anyone know if these use the same or different database formats? Will a single subscription update all of them?

And I sure hope that my Mac PowerBook G4 running VirtualPC will suffice as a PC laptop!


ps. Please assure me that Skywatch and Stormscope won’t get into the act too!

Rick: Yes, there are 3 navigation databases that “could” be updated in the Cirrus. Avidyne has not announced pricing on the chart updates for the new model. The retail pricing on chart updates for all other products (and presumably for the new one as well) is as follows: North American Jeppesen Nav Data $200 one time, $575 annual on 28-day cycle.

On the Sandel, there is one free data upgrade. I don’t recall the cost of the upgrade, but it is posted on their web site.

The Garmin database depends on how you receive the data and what area of coverage you want. The data is cheaper when you obtain the new data on the internet and write the data to the data card that goes in the 430. This requires a Datawriter which is essentially a PIMCA to data card adaptor.

The key word in your question is “could”. For IFR use, the Garmin needs to have current data, and the data must be current for legal IFR flight. The effective dates of the data appear on the start up screen of the 430’s. BTW, if you have two 430’s in place, there is a discount on the subscription for the second one. See the Jeppesen web site for pricing on this unit.

For the Avidyne and the Sandel, these units are not the primary source for navigation data, and the current database is not, according to my understanding, required for IFR flight. This is also the reason that the manufacturers are offering “one time” updates. In fact, I don’t think Sandel even offers a subscription. All updates to the Sandel are thus “one time”.

Also, with both the
Sandel and the Avidyne, the flight plan information is not being supplied by the Sandel or the Avidyne. It is in fact the Garmin flight plan information that is being displayed. It is transmitted on the ARINC 429 output of the Garmin 430 to both the Sandel and to the Avidyne.

As to the Mac and VirtualPC, I have no idea. I would call Jeppesen tech support. My guess is you are out of luck on the Garmin data card updates over the internet. I recall that Jeppesen says they support Windows 9x. They do not support Windows 2000 but they are working on it. Jeppesen can still mail the new data cards to you.

Avidyne has its own CD drive. The flight manual supplement for the Bonnanza indicates that when the CD drive is installed that the drive can be used not only for updating the data but also for playing music CD’s as well. This flight manual supplement is not for the new Avidyne, but for one of the earlier models, but the Avidyne operating software is probably the same.

You can probably load the Sandel updates with the Mac, as it is just a file transfer on a RS232 line.

I don’t know how Cirrus is handling the data loader CD drive for the Avidyne. There is a 32 line cable that connects the Avidyne to the data loader CD. The CD drive looks like a conventional CD drive. It is, I recall, 6 1/4" wide, 1 1/2" high and about 10" deep. Question is where to put it. It might fit on the top of the right side of the panel, above the tachometer and the EGT/CHT. I think you need the Avidyne CD drive to do any database updates, and it would be nice to have it on the panel, particularly when you can bring audio CD’s and play them on it.

Oh, in answer to the question you pose, no, a single subscription wont update all units. The good news is that only the Garmins need subscriptions. The Sandel and Avidyne can be updated on a “one time” basis as needed.