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Altitude Reminder Device - Recommendations?

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Altitude Reminder Device - Recommendations?

Old 5th Jul 2013, 12:27
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Altitude Reminder Device - Recommendations?

Hi all

I'm trying to find a small, simple device that I can pop on the dashboard and use as an altitude/heading reminder -- ie. something I can quickly dial in cleared levels etc and save me having to keep looking down at my plog.

Ideally like something non-electronic that doesn't require installation, beyond just velcro'ing it to the dashboard.

Anyone have any recommendations? Trying to find something that is a bit more robust than this Altitude Reminder - Sporty's Pilot Shop

...but has the added functionality of the heading option (yet isn't as expensive) as this: P2 Aviation Sky Buddy Heading and Altitude Reminder 2500

Thanks in advance (and apologies if this post is in the wrong place...it felt kinda 'tecchie'...)
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Old 5th Jul 2013, 12:32
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Post-it note? (Seriously!)
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Old 5th Jul 2013, 12:45
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Post-it note probably a little out of my price range.... ;-)

On a serious (post it) note - I was aiming to get away from lots of bits of extraneous paper in the cockpit and the need for having to write, and rewrite things continually.

The routes I tend to do -- and just for clarification I'm talking GA pottering down to Le Touquet type flying at the minute -- are multiple legs of c.10 minutes each...so lots of heading changes, lots of routing through different airspace limitations. Be great if I could just reach up and twiddle/fiddle/push a couple of dials or buttons and there it is in front of me, rather than having to reach for the pen every few mins.

But I take the point on simplicity!
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Old 5th Jul 2013, 14:13
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If im vfr I use one of nav aids and put my heading at the top if there isn't a heading bug. As for alt I end up scribbling them down on plogs, charts, back of hand, co pilots sleeve....
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Old 5th Jul 2013, 15:12
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When doing my ATPL I built a pen holder to fit onto my clipboard which was easier to use than the spring type. Much to the amusement of my fellow students, but it meant that I could store the pen with the lid off and grab it instantly to write something.

Later, when I was flying the Dash 8, which didn't have any altitude bugs () the company fitted some little 3 digit MDA reminder units to the glare shield that were plastic with a mechanical push button for each digit. An MDA reminder could be set fairly quickly, and by the look of it more easily than the rotary dial ones you've mentioned, but I don't know who made them, sorry.

For a couple of quid each, you could buy two small calculators from Staples and mount them somewhere suitable and it would be easy to punch in a heading and an altitude quickly?

They would double up as....erm calculators too !!

Last edited by Uplinker; 5th Jul 2013 at 15:17.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 04:52
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If you have a digital adf radio thats not in use at the moment, dial the altitude in the display eg, 400 for 4000'. If you have an adf radio with a standby frequency, use that for the reminder.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 09:46
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Post it note or use your smartphone.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 11:57
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Got to invent an iPhone app for this one..
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 15:03
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Option1: Some kind of customized dial or thumbwheel number selector, thats not connected to anything... e.g. those combination locks on some briefcases.

Option2: Etch-a-sketch (better than a post-it note, coz it's re-useable). How you can actually fit it to an airplane is anyone's guess, but it's a manual version of option 3.

Option3: A scratch pad, drawing app on your iPhone where you can just scribble in numbers.

Option4: MagicMarker & mini white board.
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Old 6th Jul 2013, 17:55
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That sort of thing is really common in Oz due to the requirement for IFR aircraft in CTA to be equipped with an assigned altitude indicator or altitude alerter. I made one for a Navajo I manage here in the US. I felt like I was missing something after the Oz fleet & then flying turbine equipment with altitude selectors.

I used an electro-mechanical digit selector I bought from an electronics surplus shop. They had hundreds of them salvaged from various devices. The type I used can have as many or few digits as you like - just add or subtract digit 'units' until you have what you want. 5 digits, in my case. It uses a + push button above each digit to increment, and a - push button below each digit to decrement. Other types, as a previous poster wrote, can use a thumbwheel instead of push buttons but the effect is the same.

I mounted it in a spare 3" instrument cutout after removing the electrical contacts from its rear. Probably didn't need to remove the contact spades but I didn't want to chance anything catching or rubbing on them. My mounting also includes a cradle to face it up towards me a bit. Makes it easier to use & read.

You could use two. A 3 digit one for heading, & 4 or 5 digits for altitude. They should both fit in the same 3" cutout if you have an unused one.

Last edited by Tinstaafl; 6th Jul 2013 at 18:03.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 05:33
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I just ordered two of these to go in a Bonanza.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASSIGNED-AL...QAAOSwRSBeE1Qo

It is equipped with a great, modern glass cockpit of PFD, ND and G1000 yet there is nowhere to rapidly and accurately record and display important values of flight such as assigned altitude. There are too many button pushes and knob rotations required. (Or pieces of paper with myriad ink scribbles then circled, underlined or overwritten!)

Here is an old school bit of kit that will serve the single pilot IFR operator well.

PG

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Old 6th Oct 2020, 09:34
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I really think that if you're fitting one of these you should go back to step one and think about how you're recording clearances while in the aircraft.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 16:41
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Originally Posted by Popgun View Post
I just ordered two of these to go in a Bonanza.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASSIGNED-AL...QAAOSwRSBeE1Qo

It is equipped with a great, modern glass cockpit of PFD, ND and G1000 yet there is nowhere to rapidly and accurately record and display important values of flight such as assigned altitude. There are too many button pushes and knob rotations required. (Or pieces of paper with myriad ink scribbles then circled, underlined or overwritten!)

Here is an old school bit of kit that will serve the single pilot IFR operator well.

PG
Doesnít the G1000 have a dedicated knobs for altitude and speed bugs? Itís been a while, but I thought they were there.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 17:44
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Yes, it has. At least for altitude. My experience is limited to SEP and MEP Garmin equipped aircraft.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 19:16
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Originally Posted by Banana Joe View Post
Yes, it has. At least for altitude. My experience is limited to SEP and MEP Garmin equipped aircraft.
Yes G1000 for sure
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 12:04
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Chinagraph on wind/sidescreen...
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 15:41
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If it’s not EFIS try a blob of blu-tack on the altimeter...
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 08:08
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Originally Posted by Fursty Ferret View Post
I really think that if you're fitting one of these you should go back to step one and think about how you're recording clearances while in the aircraft.
Easy for those of us flying Airbus etc - we just dial the new clearance straight into the FCU. Or we use the MCDU scratch pad. And we also have a PM who can write clearances on the PLOG, and we even have tables to write on!

If you are single pilot, hand flying a basic machine, it is not so easy.

The snag with the thumbwheel type of device is that it can take up to five presses to select each new digit - ideally you need to be able to press the exact numbers first time. I would still go for two basic calculators mounted somewhere to record headings and altitudes.

Think about the visibility of the displays in the dark and check if they power save - they could turn off at an inopportune moment !
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 15:45
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Iím having a bit of trouble understanding what exactly youíre trying to do. The g1000 has dedicated selectors for altitude and heading bugs. 2 of each, in fact. Wouldnít installing a 3rd lead to an increase in workload?
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