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VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks
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tjennings07(at)gmail.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:13 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Just received my -10 empennage kit and got started building the VS.  I am wondering what is the best cat whisker antenna/model number to mount in the top of the tail that others have had success with and also wondering if static wicks are necessary or overkill?

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Bob Turner



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Location: Castro Valley, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

None. Put an ‘Archer’ antenna in a wingtip. Almost as good as a cat whisker, gain 1/4 knot speed, won’t poke your eye out.
Most builders seem to go without static wicks. I haven’t heard of any static problems, but, never say never.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:07 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

I have a standard "V" antenna on top of the vertical stabilizer, and a Bob Archer antenna in a wingtip (two NAV radios and I didn't want to reduce signal with a splitter). They both work well, though the traditional antenna on the tail does pick up stations further away.

I don't have static wicks on my aircraft - at least so far, I haven't experienced any problems that might be attributable to static buildup.

Dan

Quote:
On 2018-Jan-17, at 8:11 PM, Tim Jennings <tjennings07(at)gmail.com> wrote:

Just received my -10 empennage kit and got started building the VS. I am wondering what is the best cat whisker antenna/model number to mount in the top of the tail that others have had success with and also wondering if static wicks are necessary or overkill?

---
Dan Charrois
President, Syzygy Research & Technology
Phone: 780-961-2213


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Kellym



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1541
Location: Sun Lakes AZ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:34 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

I went with 2 Archer antennas, one in each wingtip so I wouldn't need a
splitter. There was a time when having 120 nm range at 10,000 ft was
important for victor airways in the west, but in today's GPS environment
more than 50 nm range is unlikely to be used. Both antennas work equally
well for ILS, but put centerline about 15 ft one side or the other. ;>)
Static wicks might make sense if you plan on doing a lot of flying
inside snow or very dry clouds. With the 10's capabilities, I want to
either be on top of clouds or well underneath. Slogging along for long
periods below 10K in clouds and precip is to be avoided to my way of
thinking. Sure, there can be times that other factors might give that
result, but the -10 climbs so well that you should be able to get on top
unless there is significant vertical activity, and I want to stay away
from those convective conditions.
Even pilots flying actively for business are unlikely to spend much more
than 10% of flight time in actual IMC. Static wicks are magnets for
damage and maintenance expense. And you have to adjust the balance of
control surfaces to account for their weight. JMHO

On 1/17/2018 11:06 PM, Dan Charrois wrote:
Quote:


I have a standard "V" antenna on top of the vertical stabilizer, and a Bob Archer antenna in a wingtip (two NAV radios and I didn't want to reduce signal with a splitter). They both work well, though the traditional antenna on the tail does pick up stations further away.

I don't have static wicks on my aircraft - at least so far, I haven't experienced any problems that might be attributable to static buildup.

Dan

> On 2018-Jan-17, at 8:11 PM, Tim Jennings <tjennings07(at)gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Just received my -10 empennage kit and got started building the VS. I am wondering what is the best cat whisker antenna/model number to mount in the top of the tail that others have had success with and also wondering if static wicks are necessary or overkill?

---
Dan Charrois
President, Syzygy Research & Technology
Phone: 780-961-2213







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Tim Olson



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 2760

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:45 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

You'll want to first decide how much IFR flying you really plan to do
with the plane. If you aren't going to be flying IFR, I'd just throw
an Archer antenna in. If you're going to be real interested in doing
IFR flying, I'd really consider the whiskers.

I mounted one of these CI-157P antennas (I think that's the one I
used but it's been a while) underneath the tail.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/comant157p.php

It gives me at minimum 25% better range of reception with no
less worry about being shaded by the airframe depending on where
the station is. The archer has the disadvantage of only truly
having the best positioning for reception when the station is on
the same side of the airplane as the antenna. Position the
station on the opposite side and reception will get much worse.
I've compared mine in flight many times over the years and
it's definite that the range will be better with whiskers.

If you're going to mount them on the bottom, you won't need to worry
about removable elements.

If you want it on the top, you may want to consider the
CI-158C or CI-158C-2 or similar, where you can remove the elements.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/comant158c.php
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/comantci158c.php

I know people who have cut the holes in the top of the VS to mount the
antenna. The slots if you use slots would go through the upper rib
though, which could weaken it, so I'd get one with removable
elements so you can just put holes in for the elements to attach through.

Regarding static wicks, I've always wanted to have them on my
plane but haven't installed any yet. I've paid the price a few
times, having p-static build up while in the clouds and ended up
with radios that got fuzzed up or snap and pop and odd things
like that. But it's only happened a few times that I've been
sure that's what was happening. So while think it's a good
idea, I'm not ready to call it a "must do". If you do it, there
is a document out there that someone worked out that shows a
possible placement on the RV-10. I don't know anyone yet who's
installed them all like that though.

Hope that helps,
Tim
On 01/17/2018 09:11 PM, Tim Jennings wrote:
Quote:
Just received my -10 empennage kit and got started building the VS.  I
am wondering what is the best cat whisker antenna/model number to mount
in the top of the tail that others have had success with and also
wondering if static wicks are necessary or overkill?


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bill.peyton



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

I used to have Archer antennas in each wing tip, one for each radio. After loosing the glide slope signal several times during the turn to final, I decided to add a cat wisker antenna on the belly, which cured the issue. The Archer antenna is directional, and while it performed just fine for VOR reception, it was not as solid as I would like it for the ILS approaches.
IRT static wicks. I installed mine from day 1 and I have never had any P-static issues. I have heard now of three instances of airframe static on the RV-10, which was cured with the installation of static wicks. If you do a search on VAF you should be able to find the posts.
You won't find a production certified IFR aircraft without them, and if you are serious about flying IMC, then IMHO they should be installed. Dayton-Grainger has a drawing with recommended locations for the RV-10, posted below.


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Kellym



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1541
Location: Sun Lakes AZ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Tim,
I'm curious as to what benefits you see from additional range on your
VOR. If flying an airway, I just select that on my GTN 650 and fly it. I
guess if using a GNS430/530 I would just plug in the fixes that defined
the entry and exit of the airway. While I monitor the VOR with my SL30,
can't say that I have noticed a situation where I was out of range with
either VOR, but I only use the VOR as primary nav when flying a VOR
approach these days. Can't say that I have seen airframe blocking
either, but haven't really looked for it.
Gone are the days when I flew IFR with 1 nav/comm and 1 ADF as my total
nav capability.

On 1/18/2018 7:44 AM, Tim Olson wrote:
Quote:


You'll want to first decide how much IFR flying you really plan to do
with the plane.  If you aren't going to be flying IFR, I'd just throw
an Archer antenna in.  If you're going to be real interested in doing
IFR flying, I'd really consider the whiskers.


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bill.peyton



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Kelly,
In my case it was a matter of losing the GS signal during approach that caused me to re-think the Archer antenna solution. The Archer antennas are somewhat directional, and apparently at a specific bank and turn angle were causing lose of signal for me. As for VOR reception it worked great.
Bill


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Kellym



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

I guess, just haven't seen it with my radios, so far. I can't imagine
making enough bank while on approach that would blank line of sight to
either wing tip. As I said, I have nav antenna in each wing tip, each
connected to a single nav-com with ILS. But I pretty much have to leave
AZ to fly IFR for real.....
Kelly

On 1/18/2018 8:11 AM, bill.peyton wrote:
Quote:


Kelly,
In my case it was a matter of losing the GS signal during approach that caused me to re-think the Archer antenna solution. The Archer antennas are somewhat directional, and apparently at a specific bank and turn angle were causing lose of signal for me. As for VOR reception it worked great.
Bill

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Tim Olson



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

For me it all comes down to one thing, basically that echos what
Bill Peyton brought up right after your reply.

IFR is serious business. Sure, we're allowed, as experimental builders,
to do some things with our equipment that is not up to part 23
standards, but we do ourselves no favors by doing anything that
hurts performance. For me, it makes me cringe when I hear about
someone being so concerned about aesthetics that they would rather
hide every antenna than have the best performance available. They'll
hide a GPS antenna under the engine cowl, for their WASS Beta 3
capable LPV Approach GPS, rather than mount it as level as possible
with a full view of the sky, on the highest point of the aircraft.
I personally feel that when people do such things, with their
higher end IFR equipment, that they are being irresponsible.

On the same note, I view comments by people who are so 100% trusting
of their GPS, that they would say things like "Why even bother
installing a NAV radio", and just as short sighted and uninformed.

The fact is, once you are up inside a cloud with your airplane, the
lives of you and your passengers while flying IFR are largely in
control of the quality of the technology you installed, and the
methods you installed it with, with a huge additional factor of
your own personal skill and experience. In todays world, if GPS
is not functioning, such as the very recent GPS jamming that
was going to happen in the South East Coast area, the impact
on your ability to continue safely and successfully a flight is
hindered. You need to be fully willing, if you fly in IMC, to
be ready to use whatever alternate nav means necessary to provide
a safe ending to your flight. If that means tuning in a VOR
(or two, when off airway, to triangulate your position and find
where you are) and then flying an ILS to minimums, so be it.

So short and simple, I think it's taking short cuts and
being a little irresponsible and goes against a philosophy of
safety to make performance compromises on your navigational
equipment, if that equipment could be used for instrument approaches.
95% of the time, it won't matter if you have an archer
or whiskers antennas, but philosophically I can't see cutting
corners on a 4-seat RV-10. I did make that compromise on
my RV-14, but the number of lives in those seats is
smaller, and to be honest, I still feel uneasy with the
compromise. And for me, if it's an IFR day, I'd be taking the
RV-10 in most cases anyway.

With the Feds cutting the number of VOR stations over time,
the impact will be absolutely unmanageable in the event of a widespread
GPS issue. Every airliner and airplane in the sky will be looking
for the the handful of fallback airports, and the controllers would
likely not be able to handle the quantities of traffic to those
airports. So I'm not much of a fan of getting rid of all of the
VORs either.

Anyway, with GPS available, it's awesome to use, but if someone
is serious about flying IFR, take it seriously and build your
aircraft to FAR 23 specs or better, and install for best performance,
not best cosmetics.

Tim


On 01/18/2018 08:55 AM, Kelly McMullen wrote:
Quote:


Tim,
I'm curious as to what benefits you see from additional range on your
VOR. If flying an airway, I just select that on my GTN 650 and fly it. I
guess if using a GNS430/530 I would just plug in the fixes that defined
the entry and exit of the airway. While I monitor the VOR with my SL30,
can't say that I have noticed a situation where I was out of range with
either VOR, but I only use the VOR as primary nav when flying a VOR
approach these days. Can't say that I have seen airframe blocking
either, but haven't really looked for it.
Gone are the days when I flew IFR with 1 nav/comm and 1 ADF as my total
nav capability.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:33 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Just my 2 cents……static discharge is more art than science.  I considered it because of static problems I had in our club’s 182’s which had static wicks.  After looking at what needed to be done, static wicks and bonding straps, and the long term maintenance requirements I choose not to do it.  I have had limited IFR time in my airplane, but have not experienced any problems.  Flying since 2008.

From: owner-rv10-list-server(at)matronics.com [mailto:owner-rv10-list-server(at)matronics.com] On Behalf Of Tim Jennings
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 8:12 PM
To: rv10-list(at)matronics.com
Subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks

Just received my -10 empennage kit and got started building the VS. I am wondering what is the best cat whisker antenna/model number to mount in the top of the tail that others have had success with and also wondering if static wicks are necessary or overkill?


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bill.peyton



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Well stated Tim. My sentiments exactly!

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bcondrey



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Posts: 574

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:05 am    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

And one more variable...  the Archer Nav antenna is very finicky about how it’s installed.  I’ve seen a LOT that weren’t done very well and had resulting degraded performance.  Most issues I’ve seen were routing of wiring (not along the antenna leading edge) and the antenna not as far forward as possible.  For those with heat shielding for halogen wingtip landing lights, the antenna should be as close as possible to the shielding material without actually touching (that info direct from Bob Archer himself several years ago).  Finally, I’ve seen creative installs where the strip along the wing edge wasn’t fully electrically connected to the wing (either under the nutplates or direct to the outboard rib).
Bob

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:38 AM bill.peyton <peyton.b(at)sbcglobal.net (peyton.b(at)sbcglobal.net)> wrote:

Quote:
--> RV10-List message posted by: "bill.peyton" <peyton.b(at)sbcglobal.net (peyton.b(at)sbcglobal.net)>

Well stated Tim.  My sentiments exactly!

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WA0SYV
Aviation Partners, LLC




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:10 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

To echo Tim, and add on a little here. I think one must realistically look at their abilities and their mission profile for the airplane. Not only is there a difference between VFR and IFR but there is a difference between IFR and IFR to 200 and a half on both ends where the total time for the flight is the amount you put in your logbook as actual IFR. I tell people all the time I am building my airplane to practically CAT II standards as I shoot approaches to 600ft RVR on a regular basis and feel comfortable doing so. Someone who flies through a 2000 ft overcast layer a few times a year might not have the same comfort level. I think you also need to look at where you live as well. Do you live in AZ, then a less capable IFR setup is not that big of a deal. Do you live in Seattle? Can we install auto land in this thing, LOL? I live in the Carolinas and know we can get socked in from time to time for 2 or 3 days straight.

To add one more point for the original poster and this goes to the VOR antennae discussion. Where do you plan to fly your airplane? If you plan to do any flying outside the USA and in particular to some of the remote Caribbean locations, having a good VOR antennae is paramount as that may be your only means of listening to flight service. Also some airports here in the states still use VORs to transmit the ATIS, Scranton PA for instance. I used to love it when I was flying at the regional airline and watching my FO try to figure out how to get the com radio to go to 108 or 110 point something.

My airplane will have a whisker up top. I placed a doubler plate on the top rib and installed nut plates for the RAMI ant.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/ramiav525.php?recfer=11262

I have also installed the static wicks per Mouser/ Dayton Grangers instructions. I have chosen to reduce my cost a little and gone with non-cert wicks at 26$ each rather than 47$. Just don't forget the bonding straps between the control surfaces and the fixed surfaces.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/elpages/esd3staticwick.php?clickkey=6974

http://mouser.org/projects/rv-10/staticwicks.html
--


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

bcondrey wrote:
And one more variable...  the Archer Nav antenna is very finicky about how it’s installed.  I’ve seen a LOT that weren’t done very well and had resulting degraded performance.  Most issues I’ve seen were routing of wiring (not along the antenna leading edge) and the antenna not as far forward as possible.  For those with heat shielding for halogen wingtip landing lights, the antenna should be as close as possible to the shielding material without actually touching (that info direct from Bob Archer himself several years ago).  Finally, I’ve seen creative installs where the strip along the wing edge wasn’t fully electrically connected to the wing (either under the nutplates or direct to the outboard rib).
Bob

Quote:
-->



I agree 100% with Bob’s post, above. I have personally seen installations where the ground leg was 8” away from the rib, and connected to it by a piece of wire. I’ve also seen one that was backwards, with the ground leg out in the wing tip, and the radiating leg attached to the rib! Little wonder some report poor performance. Ideally these need to be installed with proper test equipment; lacking that, at least a working knowledge of what is important and what is not. As an aside, I have my backup com on an Archer. Due to the difficulty getting vertical polarization out in the wing tip, it is not as good as my external whip. However, it is nowhere near as bad as many others report. I believe this is 100% installation related.
Tim: I agree with much of what you wrote. IFR is serious business. I would never install my primary nav antenna (gps) contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions, even if it wasn’t technically illegal to do so. I would not accept my Archer nav antenna if my GS dropped out on a turn to final (it doesn’t). I wouldn’t accept it if I couldn’t pick up a VOR 50 nm away (I can). But I am willing to accept that 50 nm range is about the limit in the 3 o’clock direction (antenna is in the left wingtip). At the same time, there are some downsides to cat’s whiskers. They need matching networks, which seem to attract moisture over time. A walk around my home field will probably turn up one with a missing element. They’re ice magnets. And people washing airplanes really do poke themselves on them! As the saying goes, engineering is the art of compromise. Everyone flying in IMC needs to carefully consider the consequences of their choices.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Bob T

I agree that many amongst us don’t install the Archer antennae right, but that is also due to the poor instructions which come with them...

That is why I looked thoroughly for pictures of well installed Archer antennae.
Once again: one picture worths more than a thousand words

Cheers
Carlos

Enviado do meu iPhone

No dia 18/01/2018, às 20:34, Bob Turner <bobturner(at)alum.rpi.edu> escreveu:

Quote:



bcondrey wrote:
> And one more variable... the Archer Nav antenna is very finicky about how it’s installed. I’ve seen a LOT that weren’t done very well and had resulting degraded performance. Most issues I’ve seen were routing of wiring (not along the antenna leading edge) and the antenna not as far forward as possible. For those with heat shielding for halogen wingtip landing lights, the antenna should be as close as possible to the shielding material without actually touching (that info direct from Bob Archer himself several years ago). Finally, I’ve seen creative installs where the strip along the wing edge wasn’t fully electrically connected to the wing (either under the nutplates or direct to the outboard rib).
>
>
> Bob
>
>
>> -->
>>
>>
>


I agree 100% with Bob’s post, above. I have personally seen installations where the ground leg was 8” away from the rib, and connected to it by a piece of wire. I’ve also seen one that was backwards, with the ground leg out in the wing tip, and the radiating leg attached to the rib! Little wonder some report poor performance. Ideally these need to be installed with proper test equipment; lacking that, at least a working knowledge of what is important and what is not. As an aside, I have my backup com on an Archer. Due to the difficulty getting vertical polarization out in the wing tip, it is not as good as my external whip. However, it is nowhere near as bad as many others report. I believe this is 100% installation related.
Tim: I agree with much of what you wrote. IFR is serious business. I would never install my primary nav antenna (gps) contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions, even if it wasn’t technically illegal to do so. I would not accept my Archer nav antenna if my GS dropped out on a turn to final (it doesn’t). I wouldn’t accept it if I couldn’t pick up a VOR 50 nm away (I can). But I am willing to accept that 50 nm range is about the limit in the 3 o’clock direction (antenna is in the left wingtip). At the same time, there are some downsides to cat’s whiskers. They need matching networks, which seem to attract moisture over time. A walk around my home field will probably turn up one with a missing element. They’re ice magnets. And people washing airplanes really do poke themselves on them! As the saying goes, engineering is the art of compromise. Everyone flying in IMC needs to carefully consider the consequences of their choices.

--------
Bob Turner
RV-10 QB




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Kelly McMullen



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Location: Sun Lakes AZ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Bob I agree a lot with what you said. I contacted Bob Archer when I wasn't clear on the instructions and wanted to know what was critical. My point was as you say,  50 nm range is generally acceptable for VOR in the lower 48. (I routinely flew IFR a non-radar route in Alaska that had the midpoint cross-over 110 nm from each VOR and cat whiskers were needed and GPS didn't exist).

I have seen the Archer antenna performance degrade more than 50% when the wing tip was painted with metallic paint. I see no drop out of ILS, even where my localizer intercept is about 12 nm out and GS intercept around 8 nm out. To some degree this is also the same argument of whether to use RG58 for VHF radios or RG-400. (totally different requirements than transponder and GPS that operate at and above 978 Mhz.) Sure, I'd like to have radar altimeter and Cat III approved autopilot...but I don't need either one, and have no problem planning legs that have forecast above Cat I minimums and alternates that at least meet alternate requirements or better. Yes, my IFR GPS antenna install is strictly in accordance with TSO/manufacturer's requirements, on top of the canopy, not under anything.

Kelly
Quote:
Sent from my IBM-360 main frame


On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 1:34 PM, Bob Turner <bobturner(at)alum.rpi.edu (bobturner(at)alum.rpi.edu)> wrote:
Quote:
--> RV10-List message posted by: "Bob Turner" <bobturner(at)alum.rpi.edu (bobturner(at)alum.rpi.edu)>


bcondrey wrote:
> And one more variable...  the Archer Nav antenna is very finicky about how it’s installed.  I’ve seen a LOT that weren’t done very well and had resulting degraded performance.  Most issues I’ve seen were routing of wiring (not along the antenna leading edge) and the antenna not as far forward as possible.  For those with heat shielding for halogen wingtip landing lights, the antenna should be as close as possible to the shielding material without actually touching (that info direct from Bob Archer himself several years ago).  Finally, I’ve seen creative installs where the strip along the wing edge wasn’t fully electrically connected to the wing (either under the nutplates or direct to the outboard rib).
>
>
> Bob
>
>
> > -->
> >
> >
>


I agree 100% with Bob’s post, above. I have personally seen installations where the ground leg was 8” away from the rib, and connected to it by a piece of wire. I’ve also seen one that was backwards, with the ground leg out in the wing tip, and the radiating leg attached to the rib! Little wonder some report poor performance. Ideally these need to be installed with proper test equipment; lacking that, at least a working knowledge of what is important and what is not. As an aside, I have my backup com on an Archer. Due to the difficulty getting vertical polarization out in the wing tip, it is not as good as my external whip. However, it is nowhere near as bad as many others report. I believe this is 100% installation related.
Tim: I agree with much of what you wrote. IFR is serious business. I would never install my primary nav antenna (gps) contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions, even if it wasn’t technically illegal to do so. I would not accept my Archer nav antenna if my GS dropped out on a turn to final (it doesn’t). I wouldn’t accept it if I couldn’t pick up a VOR 50 nm away (I can). But I am willing to accept that 50 nm range is about the limit in the 3 o’clock direction (antenna is in the left wingtip). At the same time, there are some downsides to cat’s whiskers. They need matching networks, which seem to attract moisture over time. A walk around my home field will probably turn up one with a missing element. They’re ice magnets. And people washing airplanes really do poke themselves on them! As the saying goes, engineering is the art of compromise. Everyone flying in IMC needs to carefully consider the consequences of their choices.

--------
Bob Turner
RV-10 QB




Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=477425#477425






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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:07 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Okay, this is a very valuable thread that is helping me figure out a few
things that I should have figured out sometime ago.  I'll share my
experiences in the hope it helps others and I'll ask some questions
looking for more insight.

First, my GPS setup is 100% by the book and works flawlessly.

I originally installed 2 Archers - a Nav and a Comm.  The Archer Nav is
my sole Nav antenna but I had a whip or whisker for my other Comm.  I
long ago got rid of the Archer Comm but I'll come back to that.  I've
made a good number of ILS approaches to various airports in IMC.  I fly
into a good number of larger airports and the ILS is assigned by
default.  Generally no problem but I've consistently had problems with
the KAGC's ILS for 28.

I've been flying into KAGC a lot over the last few years and I often get
vectors for the ILS to 28.  I noticed that my AP generally missed the
left turn for the intercept and the GS was jumpy.   I would just have to
disconnect it to hand fly it.  I gave up on the AP and still found it
difficult to get the intercept precisely  so I just got in the habit of
requesting the RNAV and have  no problems.  Recently I decided to try a
few in VMC and found that the needles were simply unuseable**.  I did a
few more tests at other airports and had no problems with needles -
steady as a rock.  But not at KAGC 28.  I've wanted to blame the ILS but
based on this thread, I'm convinced it's the Archer (my Archer is split
to feed two NAVs).  At this point after 6 years, I'm planning to put
some whiskers on.  It's not that I fly a lot of IMC or a lot of hard and
low  IMC, it's just that I file every flight, I work to stay current,
most of it is east of the Mississippi and sometimes, not always
predictably, I do an approach to minimums.  It all has to work.

I don't really understand exactly what static wicks do, when they are
most needed and why I might consider them.  Based on this thread, I
think I encountered a single situation where I needed them.  I'd
appreciate your comments and any pointers to more information.  What
happened was this: About 5 years ago I flew from NC to Phoenix.  Coming
into Phoenix from Santa Fe I was up over 10K and was slam dunked into
Phoenix's airspace.  As I started a high speed descent I ran through
some snow virga (!!) and simultaneously lost the Nav radio I was using. 
I swear there was lightening in my peripheral vision.   I slowed down,
changed radios, declared 'unable', got some vectors, and finally put it
down in sunny Scottsdale.

The radio had been using a whisker antenna but was now dead.  Got some
help from someone here on the list (it's been awhile but thanks again)
to try and trouble shoot it since I didn't want to fly across the
country with a single Comm.  It stayed dead but during the course of
flying around Phoenix I discovered that the Archer Comm antenna just
wasn't performing well enough to be my sole antenna for such a cross
country trip.  So I spent some time swapping antenna's on my working
radio to get home.

Was this possibly caused by some kind of static discharge?  Is that what
might have killed my radio?  Is that what static wicks are designed to
prevent?

Anyway, I continued to fly with the Archer Comm and actually used it as
my 'primary' radio.  It worked fine most of the time.  But occasionally
I'd have a comm problem and would have to switch to get maximum range. 
Conversely my belly mounted whisker would have problems  when on the
ground and I'd use the Archer.  Finally I removed the Archer and mounted
a 2nd belly whisker.  Now when I have problems on the ground (KCLT
ground at Wilson Air for example) I switch to the other radio on the
other whisker and I'm able to communicate.  It's clear to me now that
the whiskers far outperform the Archer Comm, but that's pretty well
understood by Archer users.   It's a sleek backup solution on the Comm side.

At this point I'm starting to shop for some Nav whiskers and the easiest
way to add them to my 7 yo plane.  I'm thinking that I will not be
installing static wicks but think I need to recognize that as a
limitation though I'm not sure how to mitigate the risks in that area. 
I need to learn more there.

Bill "haven't scared myself in the '10 yet and would like to keep it
that way" Watson

** so how can a successful ILS be completed in the soup with unuseable
needles?  Jumpy needles overlaying a synthethic vision display with a
flight path marker can let you convince yourself that you just did an
outstanding job handflying thru some nasty turbulence, as long as you
turn off the flight director.... is that too much technology?

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Kelly McMullen



Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Posts: 1120
Location: Sun Lakes AZ

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:28 pm    Post subject: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

IIRC Bill, I think it was your plane that I assisted with some crimpers and/or connectors for your RG400 modifications.

I think if you replaced that Archer com antenna with a second nav antenna so that each of your nav units had an antenna without a splitter, your problem on the ILS would go away.

My previous plane had two navs, one with remote GS and the other with built-in GS, all running off one cat whisker antenna, with two splitters to get signal to all units.

On some approaches one of the ILSs would be weak and flakey (technical term).  I have to Archer Nav antennas, one each to individual nav coms with GS. So far I haven't seen any problems.

Kelly

Quote:
Sent from my IBM-360 main frame


On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 8:06 PM, Bill Watson <Mauledriver(at)nc.rr.com (Mauledriver(at)nc.rr.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> RV10-List message posted by: Bill Watson <Mauledriver(at)nc.rr.com (Mauledriver(at)nc.rr.com)>

Okay, this is a very valuable thread that is helping me figure out a few things that I should have figured out sometime ago.  I'll share my experiences in the hope it helps others and I'll ask some questions looking for more insight.

First, my GPS setup is 100% by the book and works flawlessly.

I originally installed 2 Archers - a Nav and a Comm.  The Archer Nav is my sole Nav antenna but I had a whip or whisker for my other Comm.  I long ago got rid of the Archer Comm but I'll come back to that.  I've made a good number of ILS approaches to various airports in IMC.  I fly into a good number of larger airports and the ILS is assigned by default.  Generally no problem but I've consistently had problems with the KAGC's ILS for 28.

I've been flying into KAGC a lot over the last few years and I often get vectors for the ILS to 28.  I noticed that my AP generally missed the left turn for the intercept and the GS was jumpy.   I would just have to disconnect it to hand fly it.  I gave up on the AP and still found it difficult to get the intercept precisely  so I just got in the habit of requesting the RNAV and have  no problems.  Recently I decided to try a few in VMC and found that the needles were simply unuseable**.  I did a few more tests at other airports and had no problems with needles - steady as a rock.  But not at KAGC 28.  I've wanted to blame the ILS but based on this thread, I'm convinced it's the Archer (my Archer is split to feed two NAVs).  At this point after 6 years, I'm planning to put some whiskers on.  It's not that I fly a lot of IMC or a lot of hard and low  IMC, it's just that I file every flight, I work to stay current, most of it is east of the Mississippi and sometimes, not always predictably, I do an approach to minimums.  It all has to work.

I don't really understand exactly what static wicks do, when they are most needed and why I might consider them.  Based on this thread, I think I encountered a single situation where I needed them.  I'd appreciate your comments and any pointers to more information.  What happened was this: About 5 years ago I flew from NC to Phoenix.  Coming into Phoenix from Santa Fe I was up over 10K and was slam dunked into Phoenix's airspace.  As I started a high speed descent I ran through some snow virga (!!) and simultaneously lost the Nav radio I was using.  I swear there was lightening in my peripheral vision.   I slowed down, changed radios, declared 'unable', got some vectors, and finally put it down in sunny Scottsdale.

The radio had been using a whisker antenna but was now dead.  Got some help from someone here on the list (it's been awhile but thanks again) to try and trouble shoot it since I didn't want to fly across the country with a single Comm.  It stayed dead but during the course of flying around Phoenix I discovered that the Archer Comm antenna just wasn't performing well enough to be my sole antenna for such a cross country trip.  So I spent some time swapping antenna's on my working radio to get home.

Was this possibly caused by some kind of static discharge?  Is that what might have killed my radio?  Is that what static wicks are designed to prevent?

Anyway, I continued to fly with the Archer Comm and actually used it as my 'primary' radio.  It worked fine most of the time.  But occasionally I'd have a comm problem and would have to switch to get maximum range.  Conversely my belly mounted whisker would have problems  when on the ground and I'd use the Archer.  Finally I removed the Archer and mounted a 2nd belly whisker.  Now when I have problems on the ground (KCLT ground at Wilson Air for example) I switch to the other radio on the other whisker and I'm able to communicate.  It's clear to me now that the whiskers far outperform the Archer Comm, but that's pretty well understood by Archer users.   It's a sleek backup solution on the Comm side.

At this point I'm starting to shop for some Nav whiskers and the easiest way to add them to my 7 yo plane.  I'm thinking that I will not be installing static wicks but think I need to recognize that as a limitation though I'm not sure how to mitigate the risks in that area.  I need to learn more there.

Bill "haven't scared myself in the '10 yet and would like to keep it that way" Watson

** so how can a successful ILS be completed in the soup with unuseable needles?  Jumpy needles overlaying a synthethic vision display with a flight path marker can let you convince yourself that you just did an outstanding job handflying thru some nasty turbulence, as long as you turn off the flight director.... is that too much technology?



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bill.peyton



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: VOR/GS/LOC Antenna and Static Wicks Reply with quote

Bill,
Your GS issue is the same issue I had with the archer antennas. So I replaced them with a tail mounted dipole (cat whisker). Problem solved!

The archer antennas worked great for VOR and LOC reception, just not the GS, which is not surprising since the GS frequency is in an entirely different band (330mhz) for which the antenna is not matched. Resulting signal strength is low and coupled with the directivity caused by the airframe and antenna mounting location, does not make it an ideal candidate for a GS antenna.

The issue you had with P-static I also experienced, but not on the -10, on a slow 130kt Piper Archer. Total comm failure in IMC. I installed wicks on the archer and never had the issue again. It's interesting to note that the Piper had a storm scope installed and that prior to installing the static wicks I would see numerous false targets. After the wicks the false targets disappeared. It was fortuitous that Piper actually had an option for the wicks, so it was easy to add them on.

As far as the -10 is concerned, I built it knowing I would install wicks. I fly in IMC quite often and have never had static issues.


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