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  #1  
Old 07-27-2022, 10:49 AM
CATPart CATPart is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Default Autopilot functionality of mini-x vs mini-ap

I am not an autopilot guy, I have very little experience using one. That being said, I recently purchased a GRT Mini-X, mainly to use as a control head for a Uavionix Tailbeacon-x. I chose the GRT over the AV30 because for a similar price I get more functionality, like an autopilot. After having hand flown my RV4 from the west coast to the east coast (5 yrs ago), I have planned on eventually adding an AP. I thoroughly enjoyed that flight, but there were times an AP would have been nice to have. That is enough for background.

In terms of autopilot, are the mini-x and mini-ap equivalent?

I cannot figure out what the mini-x can do as an autopilot, differentiating it from the more expensive mini-ap. When I go to the mini-ap documentation, it gives me the mini-x manual, and I attached an image of the autopilot page. Some things I read make me think it will follow a route, with turns, I am not sure if it will follow altitude changes via the planned route. I think it will intercept and fly a synthetic approach, but again I just cant tell from the documentation. Sometimes my research makes me think it will only hold the heading and altitude I was flying when I engaged it.

I will not have a certified IFR GPS source, and I dont fly IFR. Still, I want to know what it can do (legal or not) using its internal GPS and route, or maybe an external navigator like an aera760.

Note, I am sure this has been covered before, and I did search this forum first, but did not find an answer.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2022, 11:09 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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I think the X will do what you want. Since you do not fly IFR there is no ‘legality’ question. The main difference is vertical navigation. The X will not track a glide slope, nor does it couple to ARINC data (which is how you get GS data from most certified gps boxes), which the AP will do.
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2022, 11:54 AM
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azrv6 azrv6 is offline
 
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This manual gives some more information that might be helpful. Section 1.1 explains difference in autopilot functionality between Mini-X and Mini-AP.

https://grtavionics.com/media/GRT-Au...lots-Guide.pdf
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2022, 01:03 PM
CATPart CATPart is offline
 
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Thanks Bob, those are some pretty big differences.

Dave, thanks for the link. I had already seen that, and the only thing it really says is "The Sport and Mini-X come standard with full lateral autopilot and altitude hold; Vertical navigation is a software option." I would interpret that to mean it cannot change altitude as defined by a loaded route. I do not see however where the software option is available for purchase. Then that manual says "All GRT EFIS systems have the capability to draw a synthetic approach path to any runway in the navigation database". It then goes on to describe the autopilot flying those approaches, which I assume include VNAV.

Maybe I don't need vertical. I guess if it will follow a route with turns, then it will be my responsibility to keep it from flying me directly into a mountain, as per usual!
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2022, 01:43 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart View Post
Thanks Bob, those are some pretty big differences.

Dave, thanks for the link. I had already seen that, and the only thing it really says is "The Sport and Mini-X come standard with full lateral autopilot and altitude hold; Vertical navigation is a software option." I would interpret that to mean it cannot change altitude as defined by a loaded route. I do not see however where the software option is available for purchase. Then that manual says "All GRT EFIS systems have the capability to draw a synthetic approach path to any runway in the navigation database". It then goes on to describe the autopilot flying those approaches, which I assume include VNAV.

Maybe I don't need vertical. I guess if it will follow a route with turns, then it will be my responsibility to keep it from flying me directly into a mountain, as per usual!
The difference is the Mini-X won't fly any kind of vertical profile provided by an external navigator.

The Mini-X also won't give you turn anticipation.

The basic VFR autopilot that comes "in the box" is basic but capable. If I didn't want to couple to an external navigator to fly approaches I suspect I would have been very happy sticking with the basic functions provided by the Mini-X. I have a Mini-X from the first production run - that thing is solid as rock - it's never given a moment's trouble so I would not hesitate to use it as a primary instrument.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2022, 01:48 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATPart View Post

Maybe I don't need vertical. I guess if it will follow a route with turns, then it will be my responsibility to keep it from flying me directly into a mountain, as per usual!
Yes, you’ll have to manually set a new altitude into the autopilot to climb over a mountain.
Sounds like you were looking for ‘vertical navigation’ or ‘enroute VNAV’ capability. This would have to come from a gps navigator, a much more expensive box.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2022, 03:27 PM
CATPart CATPart is offline
 
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Thanks CJ, That pretty much clears it up.

Bob, I mainly thought it would be fun to play with those vertical features, but manually changing the setting will be good enough. At this point, sounds like the basic AP capabilities of mini-x are perfect for my mission.

Thanks again all.
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