Uavionix Tailbeacon....not for M4

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Mog
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Post by Mog »

I don’t gather that everyone is having trouble with the tail beacon. In fact I helped another person instal one last week with no issues so far. Just seems that the older planes are not made quite as cleanly as the newer models maybe? Problem with the skyBeacon is that you really have to update your other wing tip light with a dummy skyBeacon (cheap enough). But if you already spent good money on lights then you are going to have to remove them and sell them hopefully. Also, for me, my wing tip lights seem to get knocked around a lot. But I’m super protective of my rudder so that light position is less vulnerable in my case. It really comes down to personal preference, but if you are having programming/electrical issues with the tailbeacon you are likely to have the same with a skyBeacon.

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Andy Young
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Post by Andy Young »

Mog,
All good points, except I don’t get why you’d need to put the dummy on the other wing tip. You mean for aesthetic reasons? Guess that’s never been a concern for me.

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Mog
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Post by Mog »

Yes, for aesthetic reasons. Only a problem if it’s your problem though ;-). I drive big ugly rusty trucks and frankly I don’t find my airplane to be overly attractive, but I do like things to be symmetrical so I would fall into the “if you replace oneâ€￾ category. Plus for me it would have been a bonus because it would have given me strobes I believe. Mostly all just opinions though and we all have them. Ideally I will get my engine overhauled in the near future and maybe even repaint or recover my plane. After that the ADSB market will have matured and I will go full in on avionics at this point. The tailbeacon is just a stop gap for me at the moment.

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ragwing8
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Post by ragwing8 »

Andy Young wrote:Just curious: given the struggles some people seem to be having getting the Tailbeacon to work, why not just go with the Skybeacon (wingtip version)? That’s what I’m using, and it was quite painless to install and set up.
I may eventually do that, although bypassing the power supply for the strobe on one wing isn’t exactly “painlessâ€￾ for me. I guess I could purchase the other wing skyBeacon with the strobe to cut out the power supply altogether, but with that added expense and time to re-wire them, I may as well go with a new compliant transponder, that would work in Canada as well.

I’m hoping the replacement Tailbeacon will solve the problem. Any ground wire that is grounded to the rudder frame even eventually has to go through the hinge as well, so I’d rather not waste time with that.
63 M-4 "Old number, 26"

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Andy Young
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Post by Andy Young »

ragwing8 wrote:
Andy Young wrote:Just curious: given the struggles some people seem to be having getting the Tailbeacon to work, why not just go with the Skybeacon (wingtip version)? That’s what I’m using, and it was quite painless to install and set up.
I may eventually do that, although bypassing the power supply for the strobe on one wing isn’t exactly “painlessâ€￾ for me. I guess I could purchase the other wing skyBeacon with the strobe to cut out the power supply altogether, but with that added expense and time to re-wire them, I may as well go with a new compliant transponder, that would work in Canada as well.

I’m hoping the replacement Tailbeacon will solve the problem. Any ground wire that is grounded to the rudder frame even eventually has to go through the hinge as well, so I’d rather not waste time with that.
Ah. I assume then that you have a single strobe power supply mounted in the fuselage somewhere. I had two independent power supplies, one at each wingtip, so bypassing the left one (and removing it) was quite simple.

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taildragger
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Any luck?

Post by taildragger »

Hi,

Curious if you have had any good luck getting the tail beacon to work? Cessna 172 in the hanger across from me has been experiencing the same problems as you with no luck yet either. This is the route I was going to go soon so extra curious. Thanks.

Scott

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Post by Mog »

Just FYI, I assisted in installing another Tail Beacon on an M4 today. Install was on a Razor Back covered plane. Everything went as expected and the report came back all clear on two flights. This install we were able to use the screws that the tail beacon came with and just tapped the holes to the correct size.

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Post by iceman »

just did my M4 but did the wing tips since i have droop tips and i didn't want that fin sticking out on the tail.. haven't flown it off yet due to shitty weather here in so kal...
Iceman

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ragwing8
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Post by ragwing8 »

Still trying to get mine sorted out.

It will not pick up the transponder. I returned one, but the replacement has the same issue.

I’ve spent hours on the phone with support, and taken multiple flights. Nothing. Too much time invested in this thing now.

The WiFi chip is glitchy as well. It will connect to the app on my iPad, then it will drop and not rec-connect without shutting everything down and re-starting.

Support says maybe there is too much noise in my electrical system. That’s a first. I hear nothing on my headsets with all the lights on and radio transmissions are reported to be clear and strong.

Uavionics has a great idea, just not so well executed, IMO.

Any money and time I might have save using Tailbeacon, has long since been spent trying to get it to work.

Gonna just go with a new transponder, and forget about it.
63 M-4 "Old number, 26"

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ragwing8
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Post by ragwing8 »

Akafrank wrote:I'm curious how you have the unit grounded. I had a long talk with uAvionics about my install problem and they mentioned to also be aware of grounding problems. They said while the hinge provides an adaquate ground for the light, sometimes it causes problems for the tail beacon communication. In anticipation, I ran a hard ground wire to the rudder control arm which should provide a solid connection to the frame.

Ralph

Akafrank
Ralph,
Can you be a little more specific about how you installed the ground? A picture would be awesome if you have time.
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Tailbeacon

Post by Sullivan »

Mine needed a spacer and my A & P ran a ground through the rudder into the fuselage. Looks like he followed the power wire for the tail light. Passed the inquiry no problems. Older M 4.

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ragwing8
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Re: Tailbeacon

Post by ragwing8 »

Sullivan wrote:Mine needed a spacer and my A & P ran a ground through the rudder into the fuselage. Looks like he followed the power wire for the tail light. Passed the inquiry no problems. Older M 4.
How did he fish the wire through the sleeve(loom)?
Where in the fuselage did he terminate it.?

And oh, where did he get the spacer? If I keep mine I may need one. I don’t like how much strain it is putting on the fabric.

Thanks
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Tailbeacon details

Post by Sullivan »

He made the spacer out of aluminum. I believe he used the power wire as a guide and grounded to a bolt where the fuselage comes together at the rear. Would post pictures but don’t see how. If you e mail me I can attach.[/url]

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ragwing8
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Re: Tailbeacon details

Post by ragwing8 »

Sullivan wrote:He made the spacer out of aluminum. I believe he used the power wire as a guide and grounded to a bolt where the fuselage comes together at the rear. Would post pictures but don’t see how. If you e mail me I can attach.[/url]
PM sent
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Post by Akafrank »

Ragwing8

I PM'd you.

Basically, I ran a wire from the remote avionics rack mounted behind the baggage compartment. It's just a shelf but is welded to the frame and has several holes to attach a wire to. I then just followed the power wire out of the fabric on the tail and attached the wire to one of the bolts that connect the rudder steering arm that controls the tail wheel. This should make the rudder frame a solid ground.

I never installed the Tailbeacon and instead replaced the transponder, it was actually only $700 more since I got the $500 rebate for the transponder.

Ralph

Akafrank

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