More Serial Ports

Discussions and updates about the new Mini EFIS line.
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GordonTurner
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:31 pm

More Serial Ports

Post by GordonTurner »

I love (almost) everything about the mini. I am realizing though in my planning how limiting it is having only two serial ports.

I don't know but I suspect that the dedicated trig transponder interface is really a pre-configured serial port. Isn't there any way to unwrap that and make it another serial port? Would this only require a software change? Is there actually a hardware limitation driving the two serial port limit? Do you guys have any ideas how to free up another port? I see two pins marked "future development", are those useable for something?

Would it be possible to configure the trig transponder port to be EITHER transponder or autopilot, selected by user or even selectable at purchase and configured by you?

I would happily pay extra to have some kind of option.

Thanks, Gordon
jclark
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:15 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by jclark »

GordonTurner wrote:I love (almost) everything about the mini. I am realizing though in my planning how limiting it is having only two serial ports.

I don't know but I suspect that the dedicated trig transponder interface is really a pre-configured serial port. Isn't there any way to unwrap that and make it another serial port? Would this only require a software change? Is there actually a hardware limitation driving the two serial port limit? Do you guys have any ideas how to free up another port? I see two pins marked "future development", are those useable for something?

Would it be possible to configure the trig transponder port to be EITHER transponder or autopilot, selected by user or even selectable at purchase and configured by you?

I would happily pay extra to have some kind of option.

Thanks, Gordon
Short answer is YES you can get another port.

PIN #9 = Serial 3 OUT and PIN #10 = Serial 3 IN **IF** there is NO Remote Magnetometer configured.

Contact me offline if you have further questions.
Info mixed in below.

James
jclarkmail
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GRT_Jeff
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:11 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by GRT_Jeff »

The Mini-B/X/AP has 3 RS232 serial ports. Serial Port 3 is normally used for the magnetometer, but it can be used for any purpose. The Trig Transponder port is not RS232, so it can't talk to an autopilot. We don't have any options for more ports yet.
recapen
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:28 pm

Rumours of a Serial port expansion box

Post by recapen »

Just getting my Mini-AP up, running and configured.
So far, the only shortcoming is lack of adequate serial ports to support all of the features available.
When I bought mine, there were rumours of a serial port expansion box that would allow the use of the full feature-set and options unhindered by the port limitations.

Selecting between options is a short-term fix - but kinda sad to have additional capability unused due to infrastructure.

Meanwhile, great product!
Sportsman
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:04 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by Sportsman »

I've been in this same position... and then GRT introduced the Safe-Fly GPS module which adds three serial ports to the Mini. Great idea!

Now I just have to figure out the best configuration to "share" information between installed hardware. With a GNS480 and SL30 providing GPS and NAV information to an HX and Mini-X I want to be able to use the HX as my primary navigation display but still be able to use either the 480 or SL30 information on the Mini-X.

I'm open to suggestions as to how best to obtain this functionality.
GRT_Jeff
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:11 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by GRT_Jeff »

All of the GNS480 and SL30 information will go over the display link between an HX and Mini-X.

If you want redundancy in case of HX failure, that is where you might run into some limits. A full GNS480 connection would require ARINC-429, which the Mini-X doesn't support. The Mini-AP can do it but would need an ARINC-429 module on its own serial port. The 480's GPS position and flight plan data could be wired through any port, though. The SL30 data can be wired through any port.

If you don't need the 2020 GPS, we also have a serial port combiner module with 4 serial ports that will start shipping soon.
Sportsman
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:04 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by Sportsman »

"If you don't need the 2020 GPS, we also have a serial port combiner module with 4 serial ports that will start shipping soon."

Ohhhh really!?!?!? I don't need the extra GPS receiver, so was considering the SafeFly GPS simply as a means of adding serial ports. A port combiner really is the function I'm looking for so this might be a better fir for our needs.

I don't have any experience yet with flying the GRT EFIS equipment so every time I play with it in the hangar I learn something new. The mysteries of the inter-display link are MANY. Today I was playing with nav source selection on the HX and was seeing the same nav source being selected on the Mini, thanks to the inter-display link. I'm going to have to do some more thinking about redundancy since a faulty HX or Mini could potentially cause incorrect information to be provided to the other display via the inter-display link. Hmmm...
recapen
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:28 pm

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by recapen »

Really interested in the serial port combiner - Please let us know when it is released!

I only need one more port - for now.....
GRT_Jeff
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:11 am

Re: More Serial Ports

Post by GRT_Jeff »

The serial port combiner is available now.
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