LEVEL button on SV-AP-PANEL

Lon

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Jul 10, 2019
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Does the LEVEL on the SV-AP-PANEL work when the SkyView HDX autopilot is set to Simplified mode?

My (newly-acquired) RV-12 is equipped with two autopilot panels: the SV-AP-PANEL and the SV-KNOB-PANEL. The LEVEL button is one of the buttons on the SV-AP-PANEL. The Skyview Installation Guide says "...the buttons on the SV-AP-PANEL are enabled only when the SkyView AP is set to EXPERT mode...." This suggests that the LEVEL button will not work when the autopilot is set to Simplified mode.

I fly with the autopilot set to Simplified mode; and indeed, my LEVEL button does not work. The LEVEL feature works if I activate it my pressing Main Menu > Autopilot > Level.

The RV-12 is such a pleasure to hand fly that I rarely use the autopilot, and when I do, I use it in Simplified mode. Shouldn't the LEVEL button work regardless of autopilot mode? In an emergency, I wouldn't want my non-pilot flying companion to have to remember to press Main Menu > Autopilot > Level. The LEVEL button is sitting in plain sight, and in an emergency, I would want my non-pilot companion to be able to simply press it.
 

XPRSAV8R

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Jul 9, 2019
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Houston Area
No, it doesn't. However, you can configure your own LEVEL button by grounding a wire coming out of the SV harness. I have one on the control stick. As you said, it's quite helpful and convenient if you inadvertently fly into weather, get vertigo, suffer spatial disorientation, etc.

See SkyView System Installation Guide - Revision AD, page 10-15.

Make sure you understand this well, plan your schematics and test your wiring carefully.
 

DBRV10

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Jun 15, 2008
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Brisbane, Qld. Australia
You have the SV-AP-PANEL........its feature rich. You are crazy not to enable expert mode, and then learn how to use it.

I never use LEVEL, but everything else I do.

Notes to those learning the features;
1. STUDY the manual. Please, it opens up the world of good things when you do.
2. Think of the AP as this........YOU control the setting, the Flight Director (FD) responds to your settings, the Auto Pilot (AP) just follows the flight director. So, you tell the FD what to do by setting a destination or desired result, then you tell it how to get there. Example being you want to follow a NAV flight plan, so put it in NAV and if outside half scale tell it how to get there using HDG mode. You set 9000' and then how do you get there? Use IAS mode to climb to the assigned altitude.
3. ONLY ever climb in IAS mode, the airline folk will get this, and descend in VS mode.

So come on over to the "bright side" ;-)
 

Lon

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Jul 10, 2019
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Before I bought my RV-12, I rented a Cirrus SR20 equipped with a Garmin Perspective and a Cessna 172 equipped with a G1000, so I do know how to use the Dynon autopilot Expert mode. And I agree with everything DBRV10 says about how capable it is. But my RV-12 is such a pleasure to hand fly, I virtually never use the autopilot, and when I do, it's only for a few minutes. I also plan to teach my non-pilot wife how to use the autopilot, in case of an emergency. So that's why I prefer Simplified mode.

Question: If I set the autopilot to Expert mode, will that automatically "turn off" the SV-KNOB-PANEL? I hope not, because the KNOB-PANEL has a very convenient BARO knob, along with HDG/TRACK and ALT knobs.

I will test this myself the next time I fly. But I'm wondering whether I can set the autopilot to Expert mode -- and thereby make the LEVEL button live -- but activate the SV-KNOB-PANEL (by pressing and releasing the red button between the Throttle and the Choke) instead of pressing the AP button on the SV-AP-PANEL.
 

rvator51

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Sep 21, 2007
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Location
Peoria, AZ
Before I bought my RV-12, I rented a Cirrus SR20 equipped with a Garmin Perspective and a Cessna 172 equipped with a G1000, so I do know how to use the Dynon autopilot Expert mode. And I agree with everything DBRV10 says about how capable it is. But my RV-12 is such a pleasure to hand fly, I virtually never use the autopilot, and when I do, it's only for a few minutes. I also plan to teach my non-pilot wife how to use the autopilot, in case of an emergency. So that's why I prefer Simplified mode.

Question: If I set the autopilot to Expert mode, will that automatically "turn off" the SV-KNOB-PANEL? I hope not, because the KNOB-PANEL has a very convenient BARO knob, along with HDG/TRACK and ALT knobs.

I will test this myself the next time I fly. But I'm wondering whether I can set the autopilot to Expert mode -- and thereby make the LEVEL button live -- but activate the SV-KNOB-PANEL (by pressing and releasing the red button between the Throttle and the Choke) instead of pressing the AP button on the SV-AP-PANEL.
AP in expert mode does not turn off knob panel. I have been using it in expert mode to set alt and heading/track bug and variety.
 

XPRSAV8R

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Jul 9, 2019
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Houston Area
I can attest that the SV-KNOB-PANEL works independent of AP mode.

Btw, I was like you in that I wanted my non-pilot family to be able to fly the plane temporarily or in an emergency. It helps if you have a certified navigator. Then you can fly with the AP-PANEL using that as a source while teaching them to change the source to SkyView without a flight plan and have them use the KNOB-PANEL for ALT and TRK/HDG.
 

kellym

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Sep 29, 2013
Messages
94
I can attest that the SV-KNOB-PANEL works independent of AP mode.

Btw, I was like you in that I wanted my non-pilot family to be able to fly the plane temporarily or in an emergency. It helps if you have a certified navigator. Then you can fly with the AP-PANEL using that as a source while teaching them to change the source to SkyView without a flight plan and have them use the KNOB-PANEL for ALT and TRK/HDG.
No need to change nav source. Keep it simple for non-pilot. Punching HDG and ALT buttons engages those modes and disables Nav mode. (it helps to have heading/track dialed close to what you want before engaging HDG/TRK) Punching ALT maintains current ALT, as opposed to using the up or down, which enables climb/descent to selected altitude.
 

Lon

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Jul 10, 2019
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Thanks to all of you who responded to my original post. I followed the advice to switch to Expert Autopilot Mode, but now have two more questions.

1. Even after switching to Expert Mode, the Level button on my SV-AP-PANEL still does not work. Worse yet, none of the buttons on that panel work -- not even the AP button to turn on the autopilot. The plane is new to me, so I'm guessing that the panel has not been connected properly. But if anyone has a simpler explanation for why the SV-AP-PANEL doesn't work, I will be absolutely delighted to hear what it is.

2. When I get to Expert Mode through the display by pressing MENU > Autopilot, the Expert Autopilot Mode menu does not show anything labeled Level. Even the photo in the Dynon HDX Pilots Guide doesn't show anything labeled Level. (The photo below is from the Pilots Guide.) So, if a plane does not have an SV-AP-PANEL (or, like me, doesn't have a panel that works), how do pilots activate the Level feature at all when in Expert Mode? (When I'm in Simplified Mode and press MENU > Autopilot, the Simplified Autopilot Mode does have a Level "button," and it works perfectly.)

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 4.00.29 PM.jpg
 

bob m

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Jul 13, 2019
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Have you verified that the network recognizes the AP-Panel per Figure 196 on page 18-2 of the Dynon Skyview (etc.) Installation Guide? Go to Setup Menu>System Setup>Skyview Network Setup>Configure>(right click)>Detect (button) You should see all the networked items including the AP-Panel. At least that is where I would begin my troubleshooting.
 

Lon

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Jul 10, 2019
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Have you verified that the network recognizes the AP-Panel per Figure 196 on page 18-2 of the Dynon Skyview (etc.) Installation Guide? Go to Setup Menu>System Setup>Skyview Network Setup>Configure>(right click)>Detect (button) You should see all the networked items including the AP-Panel. At least that is where I would begin my troubleshooting.
Yes! Thank you Bob.

The network recognized that my SV-AP-Panel was connected, but the panel was trying to run on an older version of the Dynon firmware than everything else connected to the network. I have no idea how that happened. But the "how" doesn't matter. I updated the firmware to the latest version, and now the AP-Panel works, including the Level button. So thank you again, a lot.

Lon
 
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