PCAS?

RomeoTango

New Member
Please post your experience with the MRX ,it does not provide azimut but it seems to do the job well.

Regardless of performance keep on looking out!:)
 

Hernandezcfi

Well-Known Member
I use it daily and it works great! It's annoying to get a hit and still not find the traffic but it does it's job by getting your head out of your #$@ and look outside.

Range is not as accurate as I would like but again...it gets you looking when traffic is near. I scooped one up after I witnessed a midair.
 

jspeed87

Well-Known Member
Do you think a flight school would allow pcas for private pilot training? It's a non controlled airport that's why i'm thinking about it.
 

RomeoTango

New Member
I use it daily and it works great! It's annoying to get a hit and still not find the traffic but it does it's job by getting your head out of your #$@ and look outside.

Range is not as accurate as I would like but again...it gets you looking when traffic is near. I scooped one up after I witnessed a midair.
What is the ratio of hits and finding the traffic?
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
I posted not too long ago about my PCAS (do the search function, geez!!!! (just kidding, mang!)).

I absolutely love it. Well worth the $500 bucks. The battery life is pretty short and when you get the low battery warning, it dies pretty darn fast. The day it was supposed to be delivered, I was almost taken out by a Cirrus. I thought how ironic it would have been to be killed in a mid-air and have the new, unused PCAS sitting on my front porch after being delivered. EVERY cross country trip I have taken, I have requested flight following only to be told 10 minutes later "sorry, unable flight following... squawk 1200..." So, it does an AWESOME job of helping out the situational awareness. The range accuracy is pretty darn close, at least close enough for me.

As for ratios of hits/visual contacts, I would say for me it's about 30%...but some of that traffic is behind/below and can't be acquired visually anyway.
 

Tiger815

Well-Known Member
I don't have experience with the Xaon products but I have been flying with a Monroy ATD-300 which is a competing product for about 2 years and have enough experience to offer some insights to the usefulness of such devices.

First they require an active transponder before they tell you anything. Second they use pseudo-ranging, meaning the range displayed is based on the strength of the signal recieved and a "mapping" of a "nominal" transponder signal. A strong transponder signal far away, will display closer than it really is, and conversely, a weak signal close by will display further away that it really is. Therefore the range information is subject to quite a bit of error, but is reasonably accurate most of the time but you must understand is is highly dependent on the postional relationships of the aircraft. Altitude indications (the difference from your altitude) are based on the other aircrafts mode-c vs your mode-c, so they tend to be fairly accurate. That said, I found a used to greatly over-estimate how far above the horizon to look for an aircraft. Any plane close enough to your altitude to be a factor will be within about +-2" of the horizon. When I first started using the Monroy, I'd be looking much higher up when the unit indicated a plane at 3 miles +500'. Now I find traffic much faster since I've learned where to concentrate the scan.

A major consideration regarding range is that transponder signals are very much "line of sight". Since the purpose of a transponder is to tell a ground based radar where you are, the antennas are mounted on the bottom of your aircraft. Unless mounted to a permanent antenna under a 337, all of these "transponder detector" units have their antennas on the upper side of the aircraft (on the glareshield), sometimes blocked from above/behind by the wing. This will limit the effectiveness of the unit, but can still increase safety if you are aware of the limitations.

I fly a low winged aircraft and know that there is a blind spot below me both ahead and behind as well as above and behind. Therefore I concentrate more of my scan ahead and below looking for aircraft climbing into me were the "transponder detector" can't see. I cant see behind me, so I still have to worry about faster aircraft overtaking me, but I will bank the airplane back and forth (but maintaining my course) if I get an alarm and can't find the target. Hopefully, that will allow the other pilot to resolve my postion. Never ever, ever make an evasive manuver based on the input from one of these units unless you have made visual contact and determine evasive action is needed. That said, rocking the wings may provide a change in aspect so another pilot can see you but an evasive manuver based on one of these units is just as likely to turn you right into the other guy unless you've found him visually.

All in all I'm pretty happy with my ATD-300 and think it is a good addtion for safety though it is no subsititute for an active visual scan. I've also flown in TIS equipped aircraft and feel the "transponder detector" type units are a good value safety wise though supplementing one with TIS would be the best available solution for small GA aircraft.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
I've also flown in TIS equipped aircraft and feel the "transponder detector" type units are a good value safety wise though supplementing one with TIS would be the best available solution for small GA aircraft.
Great info thanx for posting. Is TIS ground radar based?
I have TIS, all the airplanes I fly have a Mode S transponder

TIS relies on the radar station to provide the contacts. Unfortunately this only works out to 55 miles line of sight from a properly equipped radar station. SLC is equipped, but I am about 45 miles south. Add in my local terrain and I can get TIS advisories from SLC if I am above 8000 feet or so, but then only for a few miles. So for me it is in effect, useless
 
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