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Alternative electronics

Dave Morton

Student Pilot
#1
There's a guy called Dean who's advertising on FB an alternative circular trim gauge as used on Quiks, GT450's etc for £75 and is also devising headsets for around £125 (google cubyte avionics).
I know of him as he has a machine at our place and seems to know his stuff, his aim he says is to supply cheaper gear and hopefully he's successful, the price for such items from our limited number of suppliers is pretty high and for £125 for a new headset I'll certainly buy one for a spare as It'll probably cost that much to have new batteries fitted into an old set that I use for victims passengers..
 
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#2
The LED trim gauges are very similar to ones available on Fleabay for about a tenner as motorbike fuel gauge indicators amongst other things (typical item number: 114484776700). They are very simple devices based on an LM3914 bargraph driver chip (or similar) in dot mode driving 10 rectangular LEDs. To be honest, I repaired a P&M version a while ago where the wire had come off the PCB and the quality of constriction was awful, certainly not good enough for aircraft use, even a microlight. I doubt the Fleabay ones could be much worse quality as it is a very simple unit. The fuel gauge marking could be covered up and there's only 3 wires to connect. OK, the colours are different and they operate in bar mode but £75 still seems an awful lot of money for what they are! More P&M rip-off for the unwary!
 
#3
More P&M rip-off for the unwary!
Erm...

Question the regulations that make it a practical monopoly...

Question the costs of regulation that make it a massive financial risk to import or set up a factory ...

Question the costs of the regulators and what value they add,

Rather than just complain.

I'm not defending P&M but ask about the cost of getting and maintaining that "factory" approval.

Ask why all the countries without it are able to fly without their aircraft all falling out of the sky...
 
#4
When identical genuine branded industry standard parts are available from reputable suppliers at a fraction of the cost of exactly the same part from P&M, you have to question why. Safety-critical and structural parts I can understand to a point, but there are many examples of non-critical or non-approved parts that seem to have an excessive mark-up added.

Microlighting is supposed to be an affordable sport, but maybe it's getting/got out of reach for many. I suppose it's like everything and priced at what the market will bear, but it seems to be a shrinking market certainly for the flexwing side of the sport.
 
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