Saturday, April 23, 2016

Updating To SkyView Version 14 & Becoming 2020 Compliant

As mentioned in a previous post, Dynon has recently made version 14 available again for the SkyView after making a few software changes that affected older SkyView units. Support for the new GPS 2020 receiver is included in version 14, so have been anxiously waiting for Van’s to post version 14 for the Skyview along with the associated custom configuration files Van’s provides that are unique to the RV-12. Sure, one could go directly to Dynon … but then it would require pounding through the menus and doing a lot of configuring by hand. Now that Van's has released SkyView 14, figured since it was raining outside, now would be a good time to update the SkyView to version 14 as opposed to sanding the cowlings inside the hangar and getting everything inside the hangar covered with fiberglass dust.

Earlier in the month, I loaded Skyview Version 13 and discovered the map display did not work and there was a big red X across the screen. At the time, figured it was probably because the airplane was in the hangar … so it was rolled outside and the X did not go away. After doing a little more research, it was discovered SkyView version 14 is the first version to support the new GPS-2020 receiver module which explained why there was a big red X across the screen … the SkyView didn’t know how to talk to the GPS-2020 receiver module.
The big red X across the middle of the screen is “no Bueno”, installing SkyView version 14 should resolve the issue.

SkyView Version 14 and the associated configuration files unique to the RV-12 are available in the support section under downloads on the Van’s website. The download consist of one large zipped file that when unzipped contains instructions in the form of a PDF file, the large SkyView version 14 .DUC software file and ten configuration files Van’s has put together with .DFG file extensions. The files need to be copied onto a flash drive and somewhere I read they CAN NOT be stored in a subfolder on the flash drive. Not all of the configuration files will be utilized, it all depends on the installed hardware and options.  There are two Garmin configuration files … one for the older SL40 radio and one for the newer GTR 200 radio. There are two autopilot files … an AP simple and an AP expert … the expert file MUST be loaded if the AP & Knobs Panel modules are installed, as they are on the DOG Aviation RV-12. There are also two light dimmer configuration files one if using the Skyview do dim lights and another if using the newer dimmer potentiometer. The DOG Aviation RV-12 will use the SkyView to dim the lights. For less confusion, only those configuration files that will be installed were placed onto the flash drive.

To enter the SkyView’s setup menus, keys 7 & 8 are simultaneously depressed for a few seconds. Prior to entering the system setup menus, the power for the avionics should be switched on including the autopilot switch if the autopilot servos have been installed … the Garmin radio should also be powered on. The first menu item is System Software and is already highlighted so to begin the update process the left joy stick is joggled to the right to take us to the Load Files menu.
 My fingers are about to depress keys 7 & 8 simultaneously to enter the SkyView’s setup menus.
About to insert the flash drive I’m holding into the USB port. The flash drive contains the SkyView version 14 .DUC file and the .DFG configuration files provided by Van’s. This tiny flash drive will be inserted into the USB port under the instrument panel (it could also be installed into one of the USB ports on the back of the SkyView).

After inserting the flash drive, the left joystick is joggled to the right from the System Software menu … this action will take the user to the Load Files menu. At this point, with Load Files highlighted, joggling the left joystick to the right will bring up the list of the files stored on the flash drive inserted into the USB port.
With the Load Files menu highlighted, joggling the left joystick to the right will enter the Load Files menu which will show the contents of the flash drive plugged into the USB port.
Listing of the available files to choose from on the flash drive that was inserted into the USB port.

The first file that will be installed is the SkyView Version 14 .DUC software upgrade. The left joystick is toggled up or down to highlight the file to be loaded. Key 8 (on the bottom left) is labeled as “Load” and is pressed to actually begin the loading of the highlighted file. In the photo below, my finger is on the button and one can see” Load” is the function above the button. Pressing the Load button will take you to a screen asking are you sure? The loading of the file will begin after answering Yes to … are you sure?.
About to press the Load button with the .DUC  file to be loaded highlighted.
About to press Yes to the question … are you sure?
Screen shot of the SkyView version 14 software load in progress.

The SkyView version 14 software load takes quite a while to complete … there are a few phases of loading and configuring that takes place along with a reboot of the SkyView once the software instillation completes. After the Skyview reboot takes place, the setup menu needs to be entered again by pressing buttons 7 & 8 simultaneously and navigating back to the Load Files menu so the remaining Van’s configuration files on the flash drive can be loaded one at a time. The Van’s configuration files are very small and load almost instantly. After the file loads, pressing the “Done” key returns to the Load Files menu and the next file to be loaded can be highlighted using the left joystick … and the process is repeated for the next file.

Because the DOG Aviation RV-12 has the optional autopilot servos and the SkyView AP & Knobs Panel modules installed, the Van’s AP expert configuration file needs to be installed (if the AP & Knobs Panel modules are not installed, the user should use Van’s AP simple configuration file instead).
The Van’s AP expert file is selected and my finger is about to push the Load button.

The next configuration file loaded was Van’s configuration file for the ADS-B 470 module. Van's supplies two ADS-B configuration files ...  one for the ADS-B 470 module installed and another configuration file if the 470  module is not installed.
About to load the Van’s configuration file for the ADS-B 470 module.

Continuing the fun, the next file loaded was Van’s configuration file for the GPS-2020 GPS receiver module.
The Van’s configuration file for the GPS-2020 GPS receiver module highlighted and ready to load.

About the time Van’s began offering the Garmin avionics package as an option, the panel lights dimming circuit was modified and a potentiometer was placed on the center panel section to dim the lights using a knob in lieu of the SkyView. The Dynon Skyview can to do this function but guessing the Garmin unit can’t, which apparently necessitated the changeover to a manual dimmer. As such, there are two configuration files for dimming the panel lights depending on whether or not the newer panel knob is installed. There is a Van’s configuration file for Knob-Dim and one for EFIS-Dim. The avionics package was purchased around the time of the changeover, so the DOG Aviation RV-12 does not have the dimmer knob.  As such, the EFIS-Dim configuration file is the appropriate one to load because the SkyView will be controlling the panel lighting brilliance.
The Van’s EFIS-Dim configuration file is selected for instillation. This file is used for RV-12’s that shipped prior to moving the instrument panel lighting control to a knob on the center instrument panel section.

The last Van’s configuration file that needs to be installed is the one for the Garmin radio. Van’s has a file for the older Garmin SL40 unit and one for the newer Garmin GTR 200. This configuration file will allow the SkyView to push frequencies from the SkyView’s screen directly into the standby frequency on the radio. It also allows for the radio to update the SkyView screen if the frequency is selected manually using the knobs on the radio. This is really slick … as an example, when using the map it is possible bring up a box filled with information about a particular airport you plan to land at. Say you want to contact approach … using the joystick on the SkyView, the approach frequency in the information box menu is highlighted … once highlighted, the approach frequency can be sent directly to the Garmin radio by pressing one of the buttons on the SkyView which will cause the highlighted frequency to be “pushed” to the standby frequency on the Garmin radio. Sweet! No fussing with tuning knobs on the radio. Plus, on the DOG Aviation RV-12 there is a switch on the Tostin control grips wired to the Discreet Input 1 on the Garmin GTR 200 radio that was configured to transfer the “standby” frequency to “active” by pressing the switch on the Tostin grips. So frequencies can be selected, transferred to the radio and made active without ever needing to touch the Garmin radio. Because the Garmin GTR 200 is installed in the DOG Aviation RV-12, the Van’s configuration file for the GTR200 is installed to make the above magic happen.
About to install the Van’s configuration file for the Garmin GTR 200 radio by pressing the Load button.

Once the SkyView version 14 software was installed along with all the appropriate Van’s configuration files, to check the status of everything, I powered down the SkyView and Avionics and then powered everything up again and entered into the Setup Menu and selected Network Status. Because I’m treating this as an initial install, the configure option was selected.
Selecting System Setup and about to push the joystick to the right to enter the SkyView Network Setup menu.
Selecting Configure from the Network Setup menu and about to push the joystick to the right to enter the Network Configuration Menu.
From the Network Configuration menu, pressing the Detect button my finger is on will begin a scan of the SkyView hardware components.

After the scan is completed, I think the SkyView rebooted or I rebooted it (can’t remember which) then navigated back to the Configuration Menu to check the status of everything. All the entries should be in white text. Yellow text means there is a version of the software that is newer and by using the joystick that software can be loaded. Red text means something is wrong … as an example, if the auto pilot servos are installed but not powered up, the first two entries in the list below will be in red text.
Result of the network scan … all is well and everything was detected correctly. There is no yellow text indicating newer software is available and no red text indicating the hardware can’t been seen or there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Looking at the above list of items, some may be thinking, that can’t be right … where is the 261 Transponder, ADS-B 470, GPS-2020, ect.? They do not appear on the list of “Network Devices” because they are not on the SkyView’s system “ buss”, instead, they are wired directly to the five SkyView’s serial ports which have their own configuration menus that will be looked at next. Serial port 1 will feed GPS position information to the ELT (emergency locater transmitter). Serial port 2 is wired to the optional Dynon ADS-B 470 module (which in my case is installed). Serial port 3 is wired to the Dynon 261 Transponder. Serial port 4 is wired to the Garmin GTR 200 radio and provides the push pull capability mentioned above. Serial port 5 is wired to the Dynon GPS-2020 GPS receiver (or GPS-250 receiver if the new 2020 compliant GPS receiver is not installed).

To view the menus for the serial ports, keys 7 & 8 are pressed simultaneously to enter the Setup Menu then the left joystick is pressed down to highlight System Setup. With the System Setup menu highlighted, the left joystick is joggled to the right to enter the System Setup menu. The left joystick is moved down until Serial Port Setup is highlighted. Joggling the left joystick to the right will enter the Serial Port Setup menu. By default serial port 1 will be selected … moving the left joystick down will select the remaining serial ports.
Serial port 1 only feeds GPS position data out to a single wire that runs to the ACK 406 ELT unit to keep the ELT informed of the current position so it can be transmitted in an emergency.
Serial port 2 sends and receives from the optional Dynon ADS-B 470 module (which is installed in the DOG Aviation RV-12).
Serial port 3 sends to and receives data from the Dynon SkyView 261 Transponder.
Serial port 4 is wired to the Garmin GTR 200 radio and sends and receives data that provides the push pull capability discussed above.
Serial port 5 is wired to the Dynon GPS-2020 GPS receiver module (or GPS-250 receiver if the new 2020 compliant receiver is not installed).

Apparently, SkyView version 14 has updated software for the 261 Transponder as well, because when looking at the Transponder Setup menu settings (under the Set Up menu) there was yellow text saying there was a newer version of the software available. (Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the screen before allowing the software to update. After the update the status field for the transponder showed “Power Cycle” in red text and the compliant field said NO. After powering the SkyView off then rebooting the SkyView, returned to the Transponder Setup menu and was pleased to discover the  text was white and the avionics are now 2020 compliant.
Pointing to the wonderful word “Yes” for 91.227 compliant … meaning the hardware in the DOG Aviation RV-12 now meets the year 2020 regulations set forth in 91.227 mandating aircraft operating within certain controlled airspaces to be equipped with ADS-B out transmitting the aircraft’s altitude along with position coordinates from a compliant GPS source.

One would think at this point you would be good to go … but not so. Now that we have a fancy GPS receiver, we need to load map and terrain data into the SkyView. I’ll cover that in the next post but below is what the display looked like after installing the maps ... no more red X where the map should be. Amazingly, the whole time the software and maps were being installed it was raining outside (rather hard at times) so the hangar door was never opened during the software instillation and the hangar is all metal ... yet the map on the SkyView showed my proper location!
There is no longer a red X where the map is. Amazingly, even being in a 100% steel hangar with the hangar door closed due to moderate rains, outside the GPS-2020 receiver was able to bring up the map showing my correct location!