Last updated - 9/20/08.

This section describes the avionics that I am planning on installing. The original page described some of the systems that I was considering early on. Since then, I have made a few purchases, based upon using Tracy Crook's stuff for the rotary engine, and I have a pretty good idea of what other things I will be installing.

The first two items chosen were Tracy's EC2 engine controller, and his EM2 engine monitor. The EC2 is needed to run the rotary, and the EM2 has a few features that work with the EC2, so this was a logical choice.

For my flight instruments and moving map, I was planning on going with two GRT Horizon-1 displays. Of course, that was back in 2006, and a lot has changed since then. Now, GRT has the Sport, with integrated AHRS, which looks about the same as the Horizon, but is quite a bit cheaper at $2800 per unit, plus options (GPS, weather, etc). Also, in 2008, GRT introduced their 10.4" HX display for an extra $2000 per display, so there are plenty of options here.

After following the GRT for awhile, I heard about MGL Avionics in South Africa. Initially, I was a little concerned about shelling out upwards of $10K to a small company outside the US, but after joining their forum on Yahoo, and taking a closer look at what they have to offer, I am pretty much sold on their products.

MGL offers three different EFIS displays: Enigma, Voyager, and Odyssey. Enigma has a small 5.7" display that is smaller than either the GRT Sport or Horizon HS (both 6.5"). The Voyager has an 8.5" display, but as of September 2008, the unit has yet shipped. Odyssey was introduced in early 2008, and has a large 10.4" display, comparable to the GRT HX.

One unique feature of the MGL systems is that the screen layouts are configurable by the user. Up to 10 pages can be configured any way the user wants. Also, MGL offers a simulator that runs under Windows for each EFIS (try before you buy). I wanted to get an idea of how each system might look in my airplane, so I did a mock-up for each of the combinations that I am considering.

The radio and transponder will probably be the MGL VHF-10 tranceiver, and the Garmin 327. I was leaning towards the XCom 760 radio, but it looks like the MGL will do as much for a lot less.

In addition to these I am working on my own interface units for my capacitive fuel senders and a fuse annunciator panel (see "Capacitive Fuel Gauges Project" and "Fuse Status Project" under "Extra Credit").

This is the EC2 engine controller from Tracy Crook that I got back in September 2005. I still do not have my engine setup to use this yet.

This is Tracy C's EM2 engine monitor that I got in October 2005. Here it is not powered up.

I've managed to hook this up and play with the menus and display pages, as well as hook up a few sensors. I like the looks of the EF display, but I just hope I can see it in the sunlight. The LCD version is cheaper and does not look as good, but I am told that it has better sunlight readability.

Here is a mock-up of a dual GRT panel that I originally did in November of 2006. The only change here was to move the XCOM down to the center console. The GRT Sport or the GRT Horizon-1 (HS) should look pretty much the same. Note, that the center stack contains the EM2 and EC2 from Tracy Crook, which are needed for the rotary, plus a Garmin 327 Transponder.

I've heard that the MGL Odyssey is actually too big for a dual EFIS system in an RV-7, so I had to see for myself. Technically, they do fit, but there's no room for my "Special Projects" board, my annunciator panel, or any switches. Maybe I could have one Odyssey and one Voyager or Enigma. Also, notice that I have replaced the XCOM 760 with the new MGL VHF-10 Tranceiver.

Ok, this looks a little more like what I had in mind. Two MGL Voyagers and the MGL VHF-10. Large enough to be readable, and still enough room for switches, and maybe my "Special Projects" boards.

Of course, this could all change over the next two or three years.