13.1.9 ELT Installation

This entry is part 42 of 67 in the series 13 - Electrical / Instruments

While at Oshkosh, I decided to get an ELT. I wanted one with a built-in GPS so I wouldn’t have to run a wire from the primary GPS to the back of the cabin. I stopped at Artex where they had their latest unit, the ELT1000, on display. I asked the rep if this new ELT required a GPS and was told “no”.  As a bonus, if you bought the unit at the show, you also got a handheld ELT with integrated GPS. Cool!

So I bought one from Dewey and Pacific Coast Avionics.

I got back to the shop and decided to mount it between the gear bulkhead and the whaletail. So I used some leftover aluminum stock for hardpoints and glassed them in using the mounting base to keep them in position and the ELT level.  2014-08-01 IMG_20140801_080951435 (Large)

Then I glassed over the hardpoints with 2xBID.

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And here’s the ELT secured in place.

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Then it was time to pull the cables to the control head. That’s when I discovered the problem.  There were two wires that were identified as “GPS signal”!?!?  And I couldn’t find an antenna connection for the GPS antenna.

So I called Artex.  The first person I spoke to said that the unit definitely comes with an internal GPS. When I asked about the GPS antenna, they said “let me ask someone about that”. I got transferred a couple more times and finally got the head of sales. He told me the unit does not have an internal GPS and that there was no way any of his people would have said that. Yeah… right.

But he did step up and say that if I wanted to return it for a full refund that I he would contact Dewey to make sure I was taken care of.

So contacted Dewey to see what other options were available. After a evaluating the options, I decided to keep the ELT and run a couple wires up to the panel. It would cost more for an ELT with a GPS and I already had the mount installed anyway.

So I pulled a extra wires and mounted the remote control head in the panel.

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For the antenna, I considered an foil dipole on the floor or ceiling but if there were a crack in those locations, it would diminish the signal. So I decided to use the provided whip antenna. For the location, I went with the right side between the gear bulkhead and the whaletail. Mounted vertically, it would be hidden by the box for the vanity panel.  I made a ground plane that had a radius of 7.29″ (406MHz wavelength of 29.17″ / 4 = 7.29″) and mounted the whole thing under the baggage shelf.

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When the side boxes are on, it’s out of sight.

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