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TruTrak Vizion as an upgrade

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I've got one of the original TT Digiflight IIvs autopilots, with the "display problem", and I love it. The unit should have been sent back years ago and they would have fixed it for free.  But... didn't.  So, now, I have a choice: Have the unit "overhauled" (for $700) or upgrade to the new Vizion unit (for $1200).  

 

If your aircraft already has a TT autopilot, FDUSA can update your paperwork/MRA to reflect the upgrade for a reasonable $150.

 

I'm leaning towards doing the Upgrade to Vizion, because there are some cool new features, like the "Emergency Level Mode" button.  Plus an altitude select mode, coupled with a vertical speed select mode.  Also, the upgrade gives you a 3 year warranty, while the rebuild only gives you a 1 year warranty.

 

The upgrade is a drop-in installation, since they use the same case.  A minor wiring change is handled by a simple plug-in wiring adapter.  You'll need to drill a hole and mount "The Button" used to initiate the Emergency Level Mode.  TruTrak will even send you the upgrade unit immediately, and let you send your old unit back after you've done your upgrade. No down-time!

 

From a safety standpoint, I feel the Auto Level feature is worth every penny, and then some.  Whether it's inadvertent IMC, loss-of-control situations, or pilot incapacitation, I know the wife & passengers will rest easier knowing it's there.

 

I'll let you know how it turns out.

tim

 

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Tim, I'm in the same boat.  I have a IIVS that I just had installed in my 2007 CTSW, that came out of another '07 CTSW.  It has the old green display that is prone to failure, though mine looks fine right now.  My plan is to wait until (if ever) the display starts showing problems, then spend the $1200 for the Vizion upgrade.  The auto level is nice, but I really am looking forward to the altitude preselect feature.  Being able to just "set and forget" your altitude is nicer than having to twiddle the VS rate to get it right where you want it.

 

BTW, my understanding is that TruTrak will upgrade just the display for FREE, since the company acknowledged that the original green displays were defective and have a really high failure rate.  Is that no longer true?  Did we miss the window on that?

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'fraid so... for years they would have done it for free.  But now they charge $700 for the "rebuild/overhaul", and give you a 1 year warranty.  That's more than fair...  I just put it off too long, as the display "wasn't that bad".  My old CT is still very readable, but the new one is so bad you wouldn't know what it says without being familiar with the unit.  Except for the extra $, I'm psyched about the new unit.  And $1200 for an AP with those features is still a great deal.

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'fraid so... for years they would have done it for free.  But now they charge $700 for the "rebuild/overhaul", and give you a 1 year warranty.  That's more than fair...  I just put it off too long, as the display "wasn't that bad".  My old CT is still very readable, but the new one is so bad you wouldn't know what it says without being familiar with the unit.  Except for the extra $, I'm psyched about the new unit.  And $1200 for an AP with those features is still a great deal.

Let me know how it goes and how you like it, I might move up my upgrade schedule.

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I have a TT autopilot with the AP level button.  Thankfully, so far, the only use has been showing off to my flight instructor during the unusual attitudes portion of Wings training.  But, it does work as advertised.  And I enjoy the peace of mind that it brings...

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The TT is an amazing piece of equipment.  It flies my CT better than I can in rough weather.  The "emergency leveling" capability that's now available for those who might want to upgrade is really nice.  We're fortunate to be able to install this equipment and enjoy it's use in our LSA aircraft for a fraction of the cost if installed in GA.

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'Ordered my Vizion...  should be here this week.  'Don't have to send the old unit back until after the install.  Since my screen isn't very readable, they even offered to read the settings on my old one after I send it back. 

Now, to figure out where to install the "auto-level" button....

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'Ordered my Vizion...  should be here this week.  'Don't have to send the old unit back until after the install.  Since my screen isn't very readable, they even offered to read the settings on my old one after I send it back. 

Now, to figure out where to install the "auto-level" button....

In easy reach of your wife.

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Regarding placement of the auto-level button, I agree with Jim's sentiment.  Mine was installed on the far left side of my panel and I question whether or not a passenger would be able to reach it in the unfortunate event that some thing happened to me.

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Tim, I'm in the same boat.  I have a IIVS that I just had installed in my 2007 CTSW, that came out of another '07 CTSW.  It has the old green display that is prone to failure, though mine looks fine right now.  My plan is to wait until (if ever) the display starts showing problems, then spend the $1200 for the Vizion upgrade.  The auto level is nice, but I really am looking forward to the altitude preselect feature.  Being able to just "set and forget" your altitude is nicer than having to twiddle the VS rate to get it right where you want it.

 

BTW, my understanding is that TruTrak will upgrade just the display for FREE, since the company acknowledged that the original green displays were defective and have a really high failure rate.  Is that no longer true?  Did we miss the window on that?

Unfortunately we aren't able to warrant the products indefinitely.  We did extend the original warranty on all those units that had the old green display for an additional year to try and catch everyone that we could.  

 

If anyone has any questions please feel free to get in touch with me.  Give me a call or send me an email to lucas@trutrakap.com.  Thanks!

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Unfortunately we aren't able to warrant the products indefinitely.  We did extend the original warranty on all those units that had the old green display for an additional year to try and catch everyone that we could.  

 

If anyone has any questions please feel free to get in touch with me.  Give me a call or send me an email to lucas@trutrakap.com.  Thanks!

 

Thanks for the post.  I spoke to your techs at Oshkosh, what a great bunch of guys!  I don't blame you guys at all...you were fixing the display issues for free for years, nobody could say you didn't take care of customers.  I bought a second-hand Digiflight, so I just missed the deadline.  Not a problem, if the display starts giving trouble I'll just upgrade it to the Vizion.  :)

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Got the unit and installation was a snap.  Except for adding the "AP LVL" switch (not done yet), the installation could be done in 30 minutes.  Remove the old unit by popping out the panel (6 screws?), unscrew the 4 holding the AP to the panel, loosen the two screws holding the serial port connector, and loosen the pitot connection.

Re-install required the pitot connection being screwed back in, a pre-done serial adapter being inserted and tightened, and the AP tightened back to the panel.  The panels screws go back in and you're done.

 

They give you a little blue momentary contact switch that can be installed anywhere, but should likely be put somewhere in the center of the console (access by both seats).  It's pretty small, maybe a little bigger than a Chiclet, requiring a 3/8" hole.  There are two strands of wire that come from the serial adapter that need to be soldered to the connectors on the switch.  Leave plenty of slack.  

 

After doing the Altitude calibration and Gyro setup, the product worked nicely on my CTsw right out of the box, with the default settings.  Since the screen of my old unit was unreadable, I was not able to note my old settings.  I may tweak my settings a bit, using some settings Lucas, at TruTrak, suggest may work better for the CT.

 

It's worth noting that the 3 different TT Digiflight Autopilots I've used all worked a little differently, possibly due to personal settings or firmware differences.   My first one would automatically go to track and altitude hold with the touch of the main button.  My 2nd unit would go to track hold, but required another button push to go to Alt hold.

 

The Vizion goes to track hold and vertical speed hold with the touch of the main button, UNLESS you are climbing  less than 500 feet per minute.  If you are climbing less than 500 fpm, then the unit goes into track hold and zero vertical speed, which is not exactly the same as altitude hold.  With the Vizion, another click or two may be needed to pick an exact altitude to hold at.

The 0 Vertical Speed Mode is particularly useful in turbulence where maintaining a specific altitude may give some APs fits, or a smoother ride is desired.

I have not mounted my AP LVL button yet, so I haven't tried the upset recovery mode.

 

Don't forget that a MRA will need to be issued by Flight Design (some paperwork and $150).

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Just talked to TruTrak and my autopilot upgrade just got more complicated and expensive.  My 2008 CTLS has the vertical autopilot head on the left side of the panel.  TruTrak does not offer the vertical configuration for the Verizon pilot, only the horizontal head and the circular head(two sizes, 2 1/4 and 3 1/8).  Only option appears to be to buy a blank face plate from FD and have it cut to accommodate the Verizon autopilot. Waiting for a quote from FD on a blank face plate.    Sure would like to get the Verizon with the altitude select and auto leveling but I may have to just pay the $700 to get my old autopilot reconditioned to fix the screen problem.

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Replaced my Digflight IIvs with a Vizion 385.  All functions worked during test flight until I encounter some moderate turbulence.  The autopilot got into a diverging pitch oscillation.  I used setup parameters suggested by Lucas at TruTrak.  I'm guessing that the parameter that would affect this is "VRT Activity" which I set at 4.  Any suggestions on whether I should increase or decrease this parameter?  I sent an email to TruTrak with this question but have not gotten a response yet.

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Replaced my Digflight IIvs with a Vizion 385.  All functions worked during test flight until I encounter some moderate turbulence.  The autopilot got into a diverging pitch oscillation.  I used setup parameters suggested by Lucas at TruTrak.  I'm guessing that the parameter that would affect this is "VRT Activity" which I set at 4.  Any suggestions on whether I should increase or decrease this parameter?  I sent an email to TruTrak with this question but have not gotten a response yet.

 

Seems an easy thing to confirm, but hard to know if it's set too sluggish or too sensitive...what is the adjustment range?  Maybe you could try setting it at 2 and at 6 and see which way shows improvement, though you might have to wait for a bumpy day.  You should not have to wait long in November!  :)

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Since I normally fly alone I didn't want to spend too much time heads down playing with the autopilot parameters. The VRT Activity setting is about 10 parametts into the setup process. Short of any suggestions I plan to try a VRT activity setting of 6.

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Since I normally fly alone I didn't want to spend too much time heads down playing with the autopilot parameters. The VRT Activity setting is about 10 parametts into the setup process. Short of any suggestions I plan to try a VRT activity setting of 6.

 

Understood.  If that doesn't fix your issue, maybe land and try resetting to 2 and try that.  Either there is not enough activity to correct deviations as they occur, or there is too much activity and it is over-correcting and shooting past equilibrium when it tries to correct.  Anyway, I think there is a good chance the VRT ACT setting will get you where you want to go.

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A diverging oscillation generally indicates a reversed pitot and static connection.  An easy test is to engage the autopilot on the ground then blow into the pitot tube.  You'll need to seal your mouth around it and apply light pressure (as if simulating airspeed).  If the elevator removes in response to the application of pitot pressure, then your connections are reversed.  

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Lowered the vertical activity setting to 2 and things stabilized.  Interesting that at low power settings everything works OK but at cruise the pitch servo "clutches out" in turbulence.

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BTW, I wondered if I could use the stick switch on my DigiFlight IIVS as a poor man's emergency leveler. I put the airplane in a pitched up 45 degree bank, then held the button for 2 sec to engage heading & altitude hold. The plane stayed in that attitude and bled off speed. The AP annunciated increasing trim and the pitch servo started slipping. I ended the experiment and disconnected.

 

Moral of the story is there is some extra algorithmic magic in the leveling feature of the Vizion system.

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