Sandel not recognizing the Garmin (again!)

Had some great flying today. Flew from Manassas, VA to Connellsville PA to see my father. Was on top the entire time, but descended through the clouds for the Localizer 5 approach. The Sandel configured with the map showing only the GPS waypoints is a fabulous enhancement to situational awareness while busy in IMC. After getting the turn inboud from the controller, switched to the regular HSI display. Great tool.

After having lunch, flew from there to Ocean City Maryland to pickup my partner who was there. Trued about 159 knots by myself on this flight.

After picking him up and starting up the plane the Sandel would show a CDI flag during the self test of the Garmin. This exact same thing happened while we were picking up the plane at Cirrus. We had a Cirrus rep look at it and when he tried it, it came up fine. Luckily we insisted that he reset and try again as he seemed to try to blow us off. It failed that time and they replaced the software in the Sandel. Everything worked peachy until today.

Same problem. We reset the Sandel 5 times and it never did recognize the input from the Garmin. Flew home anyway. Beautiful flight and nice nighttime landing. Boy does that plane land nice!

Without a working Sandel CDI we can’t even fly in Class B airspace since we have no VOR indicator. Anyone else have the problem? I’m afraid tomorrow it will work fine again.


My Sandel has always worked perfectly but as for no VOR indicator, how about the number 2 430 and the CDI? That should work fine.
Jerry Seckler

This happened to our ship #70 during and just after training. We could “reconnect” but shutting off the #1 430, pulling the circuit breaker for the Sandel and doing a reset by holding down the two bottom outside buttons as the unit powers up. It is then necessary to cycle through several menu pages to get back to normal operation. I spoke with Sandel about this and they are aware of the problem, but they cannot consistently duplicate it. I was further told that this problem seems to resolve itself on its on and this is what happened with us. After 10 or so flights, the problem “went away” and has not come back.

Wouldn’t the NAV-1 screen on the Garmin constitute a legal VOR indicator? Of course it may not be familiar if you haven’t practiced incorporating it in your scan.


I don’t believe you can fly IFR even in Class E airspace without a functioning VOR receiver. The Nav receiver doesn’t need to be tuned or on, but it does have to be on board and functional.

This has happened on and off to a number of pilots, not just folks with CIrrus’s. I spoke with Sandel again about this last week and they said that they found the problem. There was some hardware in the Sandel that wasn’t being properly initialized. They said they would have a new release of the software which would fix this. One uploads the new software through the stereo 1/4" jack installed just above the pilot’s right knee.

I have always found that when this happens, one can make it work by going into mx mode of the Sandel. However, I am not comfortable flying around in IMC with the Sandel in this mode.

Sandel has not found any sequence of starting things that avoids this problem.

I have not seen the problem in my '22 since August, but I know it can still happen as I don’t have the new software yet.

Presumably Derek has the SR22 “A” configuration, with a 420 as the second GPS.

Jim, great tip. We’ll try that. Today it happened again as it was started. My partner Ira, taxied the plane to the avionics shop to have them look at it. They came out and tried it and of course, it worked fine. Reset it 10 times and it worked every time. I asked the guy what WOULD he do if saw it. He said “nothing. I’ve never seen this problem before and it would probably need to be looked at for several days.”



Probably not. I have a UPSAT GX55 in my TB20 and, although the unit is IFR certified, the installation is not, precisely because it’s not hooked to a normal CDI.

I guess the FAA is concerned that the GPS box might be too far out of your normal scan.

Actually close, the SR20 “B” with a 420 as the second GPS.