Friday, December 26, 2008

Zaon XRX LongEz Collision Avoidance

I bought the Zaon XRX for my LongEz as I read it could remote interface with the Garmin 496 which I have mounted in the front of my canopy so it's like a head-up display.

The Zaon XRX comes with leads which allow remote mounting so that it paints onto the screen of the 496 (and I beleive, the 396) with direction and relative altitude.

However, it has to be calibrated to align with the aircraft, and is designed to live on the cockpit coaming of a "normal" aircraft; the setup screen/ranges etc is visible in that mode. Initially I thought I'd mount it in the rear, on the floor. But that's not really practical as you need to get to it for various reasons, not least of which is to be able to turn it on. So I ended up mounting it on the flat part of the pilots seat back, alongside the headrest. It gives a slight background noise. On a trip from FL to CA it warned me twice before I saw the traffic (which was no conflict) so I guess it works.

When flying in formation with Richard Richmond, I had to endure an hour of warnings and a flashing red dot on the screen as if I had turned it off, I wouldn't have been able to reach to turn it back on again until getting on the ground.

So it works, although the ergonomics diminish its utility. I think that in a Cozy there would be more room to mount it on the "coaming" as intended, where it would be great.

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