May 1, 2009
By Thomas B Haines
Although the Garmin GNS 400/500 series of communicators/navigators is nearly a decade old, it continues to dazzle with its capabilities, but many don’t realize that it can do even more given the right inputs. Connect the systems to an air data computer and they will spew even more information, including automatically calculated true airspeed, density altitude, temperature, and winds aloft. Yes, you can manually enter data to get those readings, but with an ADC it’s calculated and updated constantly. Especially for determining winds at altitude an ADC can be really handy.
Hoping to tap into the 100,000-plus market of Garmin GNS 400/500 units out there as well as other navigators, Sandia Aerospace has introduced a new solid-state digital ADC that allows the Garmins to really sing. About the size of personal digital assistant, the SAC 7-35 ADC can be buried anywhere behind the panel. The system is certified to act as an altitude encoder and it includes an altitude reminder, sounding an alert if the pilot climbs or descends more than 100 feet from the selected altitude. Connect a fuel transducer and it can feed the fuel fields in the Garmins as well.
For more information and to find a dealer near you, see the Sandia Web site.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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