Using the GNS 430 Add-On for FS2002
I finally had time to download and check out the $24.95 Â“FSAvionics Garmin 430Â” for MS FS2002. After spending a few days with it, I have some highs and lows to share.
- The unit itself looks and works just like the Garmin simulator or the real thing. It displays your waypoints, holds, and even gives you what entry to make. Even the timer works.
- You are able to fly the plane and use the moving map feature. It is nice to be able to hand fly the plane and have altitude become more of an issue vs. the basic Garmin training simulator (there if you do not want to use the altitude feature it does not matter).
- It uses the most current Garmin simulator data base from Sept of Â’02
- You are able to assign special keys or mouse clicks to turn the knobs faster. One nice thing here is you can click the left mouse key for turning the knob left and the right mouse click for a right turn.
- It dims in night mode.
- It is supposed to work with the autopilot in GPS mode (I was never able to get that to work however) see below.
- Seeing a working Garmin when using the Cirrus instrument panel is pretty cool, I feel like I am in my own plane.
- When you change the frequencies on the radio, they change on the Garmin unit and vise versa. This is the case with the nav freq as well.
- There are many other add-on things this thing can do like show air traffic, display color maps, etc. Some of those features require further downloads and possible purchase.
- Is it worth the $25? Yes, but only if you are willing to mess with it a bit. If you are unsure if you want to spend the money, you can download a free version from http://www.fsavionics.com/ that runs for 20 minutes and then turns off.
- The Garmin does not interface with the Nav (VOR or HSI) displays. Only if you have it in VLOC mode will the primary display work. This leaves you either using the moving map to stay on course or using the Garmin CDI display a lot.
- When starting an approach (2 miles from the FAF), You get the green Â“APRÂ” for 2 sec, then you lose satellite reception and get a RAIM failure. It only Â“Ramped downÂ” to 0.30 nm on only one ILS approach I made. I was never able to get the green APR light to stay on. The Â“RAIM not availableÂ” message has come on every time since.
- The only way I was able to get my autopilot to work was to set up a flight plan ahead of time and then use the autopilotÂ’s Â“NAVÂ” feature in GPS mode. Otherwise you need to use the heading bug and monitor the CDI on the 430 unit.
- I had to create my own special keys to get the Garmin cursors to work. I picked Shift+Ctrl+V for the left Â“C/VÂ” knob and Shift+Ctrl+R for the right cursor knob. I could have used other combinations but these were not already being used by the MS Flight Sim program
- Since the Garmin does not interface with the HSI or the VOR gauge displays, when you are flying a flight plan or approach, the message light keeps flashing for you to set your course. The flashing will stop and go solid yellow like in the real thing once you click the button. This sort of becomes annoying since every time you have a course change the Garmin does not know you have changed you course pointer. This also prevents you from using the OBS course feature as well.
For the sake of simulation, it has its uses. If it were not for a few of the Â“LowsÂ” it would be an excellent training tool. There may be some improvement and patches that may fix these issues. I will keep you all posted. If any of you try this out and figure out how to fix some of these things, please share your solutions.