Copyright © 2016  Grand Rapids Technologies, Inc.

Electronic Flight Instrumentation for Experimental Aircraft Since 1991

Backing Up & Loading EFIS Settings

A very useful tool that could save you hours of frustration, EFIS Settings Backup feature allows you to save your settings on a USB stick and reload them at a later date or in a new display unit.

To make it easy, back up each display unit separately with its own USB drive. Information does not take up much memory–Much less than 1 MB. This process will save all display unit settings, user waypoints, and flight plans. Note that it will not save logbook files–those need to be downloaded separately.

How do I use it?

  1. Insert the USB thumb drive into the display unit.
  2. Turn on the system. Go to SET MENU > DISPLAY UNIT MAINTENANCE.
  3. Right at or near the top is EFIS Settings Backup. Highlight this and push the knob.
  4. Highlight Backup All Settings and push the knob. Answer YES at the prompt. The system will back up all the display unit’s settings onto the USB drive.
  5. When it comes time to restore your settings, use the Restore All Settings option.  

Can I save  settings files for multiple display units on one USB stick?

Yes. Note the first setting in the Backup All Settings menu, Backup Directory. The default value is Main Directory, which saves the SETTINGS.BAK file onto the root directory of the USB stick (meaning it is not inside a folder).

The display unit will only recognize files named SETTINGS.BAK as settings files. If they were both stored in the main directory, one of the files would need to be named something different, which the display unit would not recognize. To get around this, highlight Backup Directory, press the knob and turn it one click. You will see BACK0000. Keep turning the knob to enter your display unit’s serial number, then press the knob to enter. This will tell the display unit to create a folder on the USB stick by that name. The display unit will recognize this file folder as its own settings folder and open it to retrieve the SETTINGS.BAK file when it comes time to restore settings. Now, you can use the same USB stick to store the settings for multiple display units– just repeat this step with each display unit before saving their respective settings files.

Why would I need to do this?

If you decide to upgrade your display unit, save your settings before you send it in so that you can easily restore them when you get your unit back. Some hardware updates wipe the settings clean. Or, in the case of an upgrade from one type of system to another, you can avoid having to reprogram many settings in your new display unit. For example, during an upgrade from HX to HXr, this process will fill in most if not all of your new settings, saving programming time. You will still need to go through the setup menu and program the settings that are new, but it will save you some time.

This is especially important for aircraft that do not have good wiring diagrams. Many second- and third-owners of kitplanes call us for help with their system and have no idea how the serial ports are wired, and have no documentation about the electrical system. If you do not have a good set of paper wiring diagrams specific to your airplane and you lose your settings, you could be in for a lot of detective work if you do not have a saved backup.

During troubleshooting, sometimes our techs find it useful if you can email us a copy of your settings file. This is especially useful for autopilot settings. Often we can quickly see where something is not set up quite right, and save you a lot of phone time and frustration.