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TSO Qualifications
July 23, 2014
6:10 pm
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jnmarshall
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Any update on meeting the TSO requirements with the Skyguard?

August 7, 2014
6:23 pm
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Don Houtz
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About 2 months ago, the FAA told us of some changes they
wanted us to make in the ADS-B transmitted message. We did
this with some firmware changes and some minor modifications
to our hardware. Unfortunately, when any changes
are made the FAA requires all testing to be repeated. We are in
that phase and should have it completed in a few weeks.
Then we must prepare all the reports and documentation again.
This will take a month or 2, so we hope by sometime this fall,
we will submit our request for TSO certification again.
Then it will be up to the FAA to review and respond again.
Not sure how long they will take.

Don
SkyGuardTWX

November 12, 2014
8:44 pm
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robmorgan1
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It is now November, any update???

November 26, 2014
2:54 am
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ckreling
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Hi there

As a happy recent owner of the transmit only unit (I use Stratus for receive) I am also very interested in the TSO status.

Thanks

January 20, 2015
8:15 pm
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Don Houtz
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We just recently resubmitted our request for TSO-C154c authorization to the FAA. This is round 2 after making
some changes to the design and firmware as requested by the FAA during our round 1 request. We now wait for the
FAA to review all the documentation we provided to them. We do not know how long it will take them to come back with a
response, but we do anticipate they will want additional information and/or documentation.
As soon as we receive their response, we will post an update on this discussion forum.

Don
SkyGuardTWX

January 27, 2015
3:14 pm
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jnmarshall
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Don Houtz said

We just recently resubmitted our request for TSO-C154c authorization to the FAA. This is round 2 after making
some changes to the design and firmware as requested by the FAA during our round 1 request. We now wait for the
FAA to review all the documentation we provided to them. We do not know how long it will take them to come back with a
response, but we do anticipate they will want additional information and/or documentation.
As soon as we receive their response, we will post an update on this discussion forum.

Don
SkyGuardTWX

Can you clue us in on any of these changes? I'm curious to know if we will be required to hardwire the box into ship's power or utilize external antennas. Or will the portability of the current unit actually meet the TSO requirements and we can move it from plane to plane?

January 31, 2015
5:01 pm
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SouthEastLSAservices
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In order to meet TSO the FAA states it cannot be portable for the mandate. No telling if they will change the rule.

February 8, 2015
10:48 pm
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VIN2020
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So if it is installed then it is now not portable?

February 9, 2015
11:30 pm
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Don Houtz
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All: Let me explain some further details on what the
requirements of a TSO'd ADS-B Transceiver must be.
according to the current regulations. All TSO'd units must be "installed"
somewhere in the aircraft. This means they must be physically
attached to the aircraft via some type of mounting bracket or
tie down strap. We have developed a mounting kit, but cannot
offer that at this time because we are not yet TSO'd. The FAA does
not want aircraft owners to physically mount/attach non-certified equipment
in a certified aircraft. One can argue that if you put a yoke mounted
Garmin 496 in your aircraft, then that is attached to the aircraft, but the
FAA considers this as a "portable mount".
Another requirement will be to have an externally mounted belly antenna
for the ADS-B OUT Transmitter. This is easily accomplished with
the current models by purchasing a UAT certified antenna and
the appropriate length coaxial cable These can be had for under
$200. And lastly, the TSO'd unit will be required to connect to the
aircraft avionics power bus through a dedicated power circuit with
a 5amp breaker ON/OFF switch. Again this can be done with the
current models at your local avionics or A&P shop. As far as the
ADS-B IN receivers portion of the Transceiver, these do not need to
be TSO'd, so you can use either the portable antennas that we provide
with the unit, or you can go ahead and install belly mounted certified
antennas. Again, this can be done on the receiver portion for under
$200 per antenna.
Assuming these install requirements are met, then the unit would no
longer be considered as a "Portable Unit" but rather a "Remote Installed Unit".
All of these requirements assume you are installing in a certified aircraft.
If you are installing in a non-certified or experimental aircraft, then you can
do whatever you want for the installation.

Our intentions were never to achieve TSO-C154c certification on a "totally
portable unit". We currently classify our units as portable so that we are
able to sell them while we are going through the TSO certification process
which can take several years to complete. If we did not have a revenue
stream coming in, then we could never afford to fund the development/work
required to achieve the TSO.

Recently, these has been a lot of pressure on the FAA to relax some of the
requirements for ADS-B OUT equipment for General Aviation Aircraft.
Discussions are ongoing between AOPA, EAA, others, with the FAA, but at this time
we must follow the existing requirements. As we get closer to Jan. 1, 2020,
it is my opinion that if the FAA wants to have ALL aircraft equipped with ADS-B,
then they will have to relax some requirements as it will be impossible for
200K+ GA aircrafts to be retrofitted. Just think about it, we have approx. 1320
work days until Jan. 1, 2020. With 200K aircraft to go, this works out to about 1500 installs
per day!

Hope this helps explain things further
Don
SkyGuardTWX

February 10, 2015
1:13 am
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PA-22
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Don:
There is an order of magnitude error in your calculations. 1500 installs/day times 1320 days equals 1,980,000 (roughly 2 million) installs. It should be 150 installs per day. That's more doable. As of my posting here in Feb 2015,there are approximately 1250 working days left; if there are 200K airplanes needing installations, that comes out to 160 per day! And as more owners procrastinate the daily rate will rise. ====Ralph

February 10, 2015
2:20 pm
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jnmarshall
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Thank you Don for that update and info. I'm happy to say it's not unexpected. Only one item was not mentioned or discussed and that was the GPS input. The one currently being used is a very basic serial feed typically used for consumer electronics. I don't believe it will hold up well mounted on the exterior of the plane. Are you revising that or will we need to consider another source for the input?

February 12, 2015
3:49 am
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PA-22
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Don:
I am curious about how the Skyguard TWX Pro transceiver, after it is certified under TSO-C154c, will be able to receive the altitude encoder information as required in Advisory Circular 20-165A, Section 3-4, Barometric Altitude Source? Will the current unit have to be modified with another input port to receive the altitude encoder signal (identical to that sent to the transponder) for the permanent remote installtion? Or is there a strategy to add the encoder information to the ADS-B Out signal and still keep the transceiver box as it is currently? ====Ralph

February 22, 2015
5:04 am
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PA-22
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It is by no means a guessing game. You might want to Check Advisory Circular 20-165A as well as TSO-C154c (applies to UAT)_and TSO-C166b (applies to 1090ES) for current certification and installation standards for ADS-B Out. 
ADS-B In requires either a TSO-C166b- or TSO-C154c-compatible device, along with a processing system and cockpit display that conforms to TSO-C195. The new advisory circular for ADS-B In is AC 20-172A.
Last week the FAA has proposed a change to these documents to permit equipment that is not TSO'd itself, but still meets the same performance criteria as TSO'd equipment, opening the door for experimentals to use non-TSO'd equipment. ======Ralph

March 9, 2015
5:03 pm
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jscott.planes
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FWIW, you can email the FAA at 9-AWA-AFS-300-ADSB-AvionicsCheck@faa.gov and include your N-number, ADS-B transmitter, GPS make/model numbers. They will email you back the results from your last flight. I did this yesterday following a flight. The FAA report says my SkyguardTWX "may need some software updates" and shows it as failing to meet performance standards. In sifting through the report, the only performance standard I see that causes it to fail is that it does not provide barometric altitude, which apparently will be required in 2020. I will be happy make the report available to anyone that wishes to see it.

Don, I would also be interested in your comments regarding Ralph's question above about sourcing pressure altitude for the SkyguardTWX unit. Since my unit is in an E-AB aircraft, being portable isn't an issue as long as it meets performance specs. However, mine fails to meet performance specs primarily due to the lack of pressure altitude. With a wood and glass airframe, the antennas provided with the portable unit work just fine mounted in the turtle deck. I'd hate to think it's going to become a throw away unit in another 5 years.

Thank you.

-Jeff

March 10, 2015
1:47 pm
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zn105
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What did you provide for GPS information

March 12, 2015
10:33 pm
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jscott.planes
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zn105 said

What did you provide for GPS information

While the FAA wants you to list your gear, you can be pretty generic with it and they will still send you the results. For instance, for ADS-B system type, I wrote "UAT". For GPS, I wrote "WAAS". Since listing the type and brand doesn't really pertain to the performance, I didn't see any need to list it. Apparently the FAA didn't either since they sent me the results.Smile

FWIW, the accuracy of the GPS included with the SkyGuard unit meets spec. Mine failed to meet performance standard because there is no pressure altitude.

My performance report is available at:
http://jeffsplanes.com/KR/2013.....Flight.pdf
The FAA's guidance for reading the report is available from the same site at:
http://jeffsplanes.com/KR/2013.....%20BII.pdf

Interestingly enough, my Skyguard fails to meet the ADS-B rule because of no pressure altitude, but otherwise meets performance specs. Another plane flying along with me using a Dynon Skyview unit feeding a Trig transponder transmitting 1090ES also asked for a report on his unit. His unit meets the ADS-B rule, but fails to meet the performance specs due to the inaccuracy of the GPS receiver. We will both have to spend some more $$ come 2020. Cry

-Jeff

March 14, 2015
7:00 pm
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Jim Logajan
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PA-22 said

Don:
I am curious about how the Skyguard TWX Pro transceiver, after it is certified under TSO-C154c, will be able to receive the altitude encoder information as required in Advisory Circular 20-165A, Section 3-4, Barometric Altitude Source? Will the current unit have to be modified with another input port to receive the altitude encoder signal (identical to that sent to the transponder) for the permanent remote installtion? Or is there a strategy to add the encoder information to the ADS-B Out signal and still keep the transceiver box as it is currently? ====Ralph

There are probably several possible ways by which the Skyguard will eventually provide barometric altitude source, but here is one way that occurs to me (it has its issues of course): the mode C transponder that is still required to be on board already broadcasts both its barometric altitude and its transponder code in response to an interrogation signal, so in effect that information could theoretically be obtained and used by an ADS-B transceiver without a direct physical connection between the two units. Also, it seems plausible that one should be able to adopt some minimum signal strength threshold that allows an ADS-B receiver to distinguish "own aircraft" transponder responses from those of transponders nearby - even an adjacent aircraft on the ground - given how quickly signal strengths should drop off. So one could (in theory) continue to punch in codes only once to the old transponder and the ADS-B unit should be able operate parasitically from the transponder (unless the standards or regs disallow such operations!)

March 16, 2015
2:15 pm
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zn105
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A great idea in concept. The Skyguard should be able to distinguish our own planes easily because we tell it what our specific Mode S code is. Seemingly easy way for the skyguard to pick up our manually inputted squawk code and certified pressure altitude

March 16, 2015
7:34 pm
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dstclair
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A competing product recently announced from NavWorx has a product that clips onto the coax of the transponder and 'sniffs' the squawk code and pressure altitude.

April 5, 2015
7:25 pm
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tmyers
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Has there been any give or additional information on acceptance of the WASS GPS puck included with our SkyGaurd untis?

At one time there was discussion on a sealed attachment for the puck to allow it to be on the outside of the aircraft but I haven't heard any more on this subject in awhile.

Alas I bought my unit in the same time frame as Ralph and I don't think we are included in the upgrade.

Interested to see what the FAA comes back with.

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