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First Time Loading Jeppesen questions

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wpierce View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 11:21am
Currently I'm a VFR only pilot, I purchased an IFD 550 for my Mooney last year and plan on getting my IFR cert in 2022. I've never loaded the Jeppesen charts and plan on doing this very soon, I have a couple of questions.

1. How long does it take to load all three data bases?
2. Will a trickle charger keep the battery strong enough to complete the upload process? (12 volt M201)
3. Do I need to rent an APU for the day?
4. If I update all three databases does that lock me in to that price point or can I just get a 2 database going forward?

Any thing else I should be asking but don't know what to ask?

Thank you for your guidance.
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dmtidler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmtidler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 12:55pm

  1. Below are the typical database update times listed in the IFD5XX manual. In my experience they are fairly accurate. Loading the three highlighted databases together followed by the IFD reboot when finished takes approximately 10 minutes. Keep in mind once the databases are up to date, charts are updated every 14 days (every other Friday) and nav data / obstacles are updated every 28 days (every 4th Thursday). In other words, to keep the IFD databases fully up to date so that you don’t have to confirm an out-of-date database on IFD startup, you would have to do perform either a chart or nav data / obstacles update three out of every four weeks. For IFR flight, it is generally permissible to have an out-of-date charts (and obstacles) database on the panel IFD if you have current charts accessible elsewhere. The nav data database should be current for IFR flight.

  2. In my experience, a healthy aircraft battery should not even need that. My IFD is part of a radio stack controlled by an avionics master switch; I personally turn off or pull the CB on electrical equipment I don’t want to run during the update (2nd nav-com, DME, turn coordinator, etc.) to both reduce unnecessary power cycles on that equipment as well as reduce electrical load on the battery during the database updates. While I have an external power unit available, I generally use it only if I’m going to power the avionics for longer than just database updates.

  3. Renting an external power unit for database updates should not be necessary.

  4. I believe Jeppesen permits changing IFD data subscriptions at any point; however, I would suggest you contact them directly for specifics.

While database updates are really easy to perform, I would recommend reading the IFD PM section regarding database updates to make sure you have a good understanding of the process. One technique I will offer that has served me well through nearly five years of hassle-free database updates, I don’t insert or remove the USB flash drive while the IFD is powered. I insert the USB flash drive before turning on the avionics power switch and leave it in until the after-update reboot is complete and the avionics power switch has been turned off.

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wpierce View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wpierce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 2:46pm
Thank you dmtidler, this helps a lot.

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HenryM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 4:22pm
I only get a Nav database subscription. Obstacles don't change much, and I prefer to see charts on Foreflight on my iPad. Foreflight also includes obstacles. It takes seconds to update the whole US nav database on my IFD540.

I had a charts subscription for a while, but eventually switched to just Nav. I didn't find the screen of the IFD540 on the center stack of a Cessna 182 that readable to make the charts practical. Instead I have my iPad near me, and I can zoom in as needed. I prefer to keep the map and other data blocks visible on the IFD while I look at charts on the iPad. I use the IFD to follow a flight plan and to drive my autopilot.

I update obstacles once in a while, but don't subscribe on a regular basis. I use Foreflight for much of the reading of maps and charts. I don't rely on the IFD for obstacle clearance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wpierce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 4:39pm
Thank you, Henry. I figured that since this was the first time to get the Jeppesen stuff I would get all 3 then go to just the charts. I also made sure that the "bundle" I was looking for would allow me to use the charts on Foreflight as well as the IFD.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 5:10pm
You would want just Nav Data, not charts. Charts are approach plates.

I think you're better off buying Jepp charts for mobile devices through Foreflight, rather than Jepp. At least it used to be that way, because you could use them on more devices if you got the chart bundle through Foreflight. Jepp only allowed installation on one mobile device. Recently, I think the mobile device licenses from Jepp were no longer usable for Foreflight.

I suppose if you want to use the IFD100 app to view charts, you'd benefit from the chart subscription for the IFD550. I don't use that app much. I would find it more useful if I had an IFD440. With the larger IFDs, I prefer to use that screen for most functions and Foreflight on the iPad. However, I'm sure others have different preferences. My iPad is not dedicated to my plane.

It makes sense to get everything for now, to figure out what your preferences are. If you decide to change before the end of your subscription time, Jepp will credit any unused time you have left on any of these subscriptions. 


Edited by HenryM - 03 Jan 2022 at 5:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Froethel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 7:37pm
I look at this a bit differently.  I purchase all I need.  I figure I spend way more on scotch that this database costs.  Just my $0.02 
Frank
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HenryM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2022 at 7:47pm
i concur on purchasing all I need. I just don't use charts on my IFD540. I can't read them well on a small screen an arm length away from me. If I could read them well, I'd get them. However, I don't like spending money needlessly on something I have no use for. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eloigorri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2022 at 12:46am
Also bear in mind that once you load the charts, you cannot unload / delete them, so if moving forward you drop the charts subscription you will start to get the "charts out of date" warning every time you boot up the IFD unit.

Apparently it will be possible to unselect the charts as being required in v10.3...

Cheers  -E
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atomsite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2022 at 12:33pm
I believe you only need the NavData to fly legal IFR. Better to use a tablet to look at charts than the small screen on the Avidyne. Or even old school, and look at paper charts. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have redundancy. (The DPE might make you use paper charts anyway. It varies.)

Edited by atomsite - 09 Nov 2022 at 12:40pm
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HenryM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2022 at 4:53pm
I use the charts on Foreflight. I can't read the ones on my IFD540. I agree with the prior post, and use my tablet for the approach charts rather than the IFD. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2022 at 8:20pm
Same

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HenryM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2022 at 12:21pm
I suppose if you use the IFD100 app, charts on the OFD might be useful. Flying alone in my Cessna 182 I prefer ForeFlight. I can see how other setups would be different. 
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