TCAS for GA?

LAXSaabdude

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In light of the recent tragic news, I think this may be a timely subject.

Since flying for the airlines, I have become spoiled by TCAS. I am constantly amazed a the amount of traffic that I never see, but is pointed out to me by TCAS.

I know that there are a few budget systems available for GA aircraft. Does anyone have any experience with these systems? What are the pros and cons?

LAXSaabdude.
 

CaravanMan

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I don't know what type of budget you would need, but I used to fly a Saratoga and an Arrow with two types of TCAS; both went through the Garmin 530. The Saratoga had "Skywatch" and the Arrow had a version that fed off of ATC radar (Terminal). The Toga's was nice, because it worked all the time and had a range up to 10nm or so, maybe 20, I forget. The Arrow's was nice because it also showed the track of the target, however it only worked when you were near Class C, B airspace. The Skywatch saved me a few times. :)
 

Crimson03

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Google FLARM I understand that is very popular w/sailplane pilots in Europe. If I recall correctly it broadcasts position from gps position to the same units within a couple of miles. Allegedly the manufacturer will not bring it to the US because of liability concerns. Keep those eyes outside folks.
 

FlightTraker

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I went from an airline to GA. The best affordable (cheap) system that I have found is the TrafficScope VRX by Surecheck Avionics. It is not as nice as having a real TCAS onboard, but is does make a difference.
www.surecheck.net


FlightTraker
 

LAXSaabdude

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FlightTraker said:
I went from an airline to GA. The best affordable (cheap) system that I have found is the TrafficScope VRX by Surecheck Avionics. It is not as nice as having a real TCAS onboard, but is does make a difference.
www.surecheck.net


FlightTraker
Does the TrafficScope interrogate traffic on its own, or does it rely on ground radar?

LAXSaabdude.
 

SCT

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Ryan International markets their TCAD as a cheaper alternative to a TCAS. They are made for piston singles/ twins and turboprops. The company is owned by the origional inventor of the StormScope, Paul Ryan.
 

FlightTraker

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LAXSaabdude,

Trafficscope gets it data off of xponders, it also can distinguish between Mode S and regular signals.
 

LAXSaabdude

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FlightTraker said:
LAXSaabdude,

Trafficscope gets it data off of xponders, it also can distinguish between Mode S and regular signals.
OK, thanks. Someone mentioned that some of these devices only function in close proximity to Class B or C radar though. Does the TrafficScope work pretty much anywhere, or do you have to be in a radar environment?

LAXSaabdude.
 

Vector4fun

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Dude, to my knowledge, both the Trafficscope and Monroy units are passive only, that is, they listen for replies to ATC radar. That can be long range or terminal radar though, so in the east, they do work most areas above 3500' or so, lower of course, near any terminal radar sites. TIS service, through a Garmin 330 Xponder for example, only works around Mode S terminal radar sites, and I think there's less than 50 of those in the U.S. I have an earlier Monroy unit on the glareshield. It comes with a kit to hardwire into the aircraft's audio panel, but I haven't done that yet. I'd need a separate xponder type antenna and coax as well. I'd really like to do that when I have an extra $400 not already spent on something else more pressing....
 

LAXSaabdude

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Thanks all for the replies. Definite food for thought. I am hoping to buy or build an airplane in the not-so-distant future, and my primary area will be pretty busy with GA traffic,. There are, however, a couple of Class B airports within about 20 miles, so that may work with some of these systems.

LAXSaabdude.
 

dmrogers

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wheelsup said:
I used BF Goodrich's TCAS in the A36 and B58 for about a year. It was excellent, and had a 2nm and 6nm range. Best thing since sliced bread.

This was the system:
http://www.aircomavionics.com/weather.htm#sky

~wheelsup
We've got this system and use it in our bonanzas as well. I believe that it is limited to 2500ft below and 3500 feet above. An outer ring of 6 miles shows traffic, it's altitude, and relative motion. When this traffic enters the inner two mile circle, an audio alert sounds "TRAFFIC! TRAFFIC!" If it is on a converging path.

This system works on transponder replies from other aircraft, so it becomes useless if the other guy:
has his off
is inop
is a stock piper cub.

It helps as a lot when clipping around at low altitudes. With your eyes momentarily distracted away from the outside.
 
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