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UNIT OVERTEMP - your experience?

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afassas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 2:16pm
I am currently dealing with the 2nd occurence of a UNIT OVERTEMP error on my IFD-540. 

My saga begins with a massive avionics upgrade project for my aircraft.  My new avionics stack from top to bottom is:
  1. PS Engineering PMA450a audio panel
  2. L-3 Lynx NGT-9000+ ES transponder w/ ADSB-Out and ADSB-IN and more
  3. Avidyne IFD-540 GPS Navigator, COM, NAV
  4. Garmin GNS430 legacy GPS Navigator, COM, NAV
Additionally, an Aspen PFD1000 and MFD500 with all the unlocks were also installed.

The 1st occurrence happened after 6 flights and 4.5 hours of flight time from installation of my new to me, factory refurbished unit.  The 1st error was UNIT OVERTEMP (36).  The fix for this permanent error is a trip back to Avidyne and a thorough inspection for any damaged or failed components; only with that clean bill of health, then the error flag is reset and the unit returned to the customer (me).

After the repaired/returned IFD-540 was reinstalled in my aircraft and and installation configuration settings made and returned to service by the shop, I picked up the aircraft and made a successful 11 minute flight to my home airport.  No issues.

I went to my airport with the plan to upgrade databases and check and/or restore some personal setups on my IFD-540.  All of this was done with ground power and the engine not running on a 76 F degree day, while in the hangar.  After 20 minutes of my electric Master On, Avionics Master On, and PMA450a, Lynx NGT-9000+, and IFD-540 ON; my IFD-540 displays a red UNIT OVERTEMP (6) error again.  I have a support ticket opened with Avidyne technical support currently and am being instructed that the IFD will again have to be returned to Avidyne.

Has anyone else had this issue?  Is this a unit or installation issue causing my problem?

I just want to fly and have my airplane whole and healthy.


Edited by afassas - 14 Jun 2018 at 2:31pm
Alex Fassas
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Gring View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 2:20pm
Did you check to see that both the internal fans are running at the appropriate speed (~10k rpm)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote afassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 2:50pm
Originally posted by Gring Gring wrote:

Did you check to see that both the internal fans are running at the appropriate speed (~10k rpm)


Yes,  see my photo of the fan speeds and internal temps.



Also, pics of the internal temperatures.



I just got off of the telephone with Avidyne Technical Support.  After reviewing the units 1st trip back to them and repair actions taken, plus seeing the error, fan speeds, and internal temps, they are thinking that a temperature sensor itself may be bad, and falsely causing the error.  They have seen a temperature sensor fail like this, but it is infrequent.  This still requires a 2nd trip back to Avidyne to correct the issue and reset the error.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 2:59pm
I believe if the unit goes above 60c it triggers the overtemp notice, and I don't think it resets and requires intervention from the factory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luchetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2018 at 4:44pm
I had both my 440 and 540 showing this alert on the same flight during the first summer flight after installation. These units are very sensitive to adequate ventilation. I had to lay two ventilation tubes being fed by outside ram air. Since then I have had no other occurences but in my view this has happened more than it should.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AzAv8r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2018 at 8:49pm
We fly in Arizona.  Intense sun, ground ops with air temperatures in excess of 100 deg F (but cruise at altitude to keep the air temps below 80).  Have never had any overheat problems with our IFD 540.   We do not have a cooling fan, although a small (7/8" SCAT) duct brings outside air to the back of the stack.

I'll have to look at the temps the next time I'm doing a warm flight.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2018 at 10:43pm
I also have a cooling fan, but honestly don't know where it goes.  I'm in the CA desert and fly in air temps over 115 and I've never (knock on wood) had a problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2018 at 12:28am
Originally posted by luchetto luchetto wrote:

I had both my 440 and 540 showing this alert on the same flight during the first summer flight after installation....

What was the ambient temp?

Also, what kind of aircraft, and are the side edge vents unobstructed?

Overheat has not been much reported here, that I recall, and there are a lot flown in areas far hotter than Switzerland.

* Orest


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luchetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2018 at 3:22pm
I have a TB21 and the sun was coming from the back. The ground outside temp at that time was about 30 degrees Celsius. Both screens were getting uncomfortably hot to the touch. In the TB centre stack the radios do not stand out but then the side vents are also not physically covered there are about 3mm of space each side. I have an avionics fan but it is not sufficient only the ram air ducts helped to solve the problem. Not all issues are reported on this forum.

Overheating is an issue that has occurred to a number of IFD owners and in my case to both boxes on the same flight at 16000ft. Cabin temperature was comfortable, so it must have been installation related which means they aren‘t as tolerant and flush mounting requires extra ventilation from the back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2018 at 11:34pm
Yes, the Socata panel does compromise the IFD side vents' air flow, which will run your temps up. You might need to look at an auxiliary fan behind the panel.

* Orest

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GBSoren71965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2018 at 8:35am
Now you have me worried. I have an IFD440 in a TB20. I have not had any overheat issues with mine, but this will be my first summer with the IFD.

I did fly it to the Bahamas in March with no issues, and just got back from a flight to Salmon ID. On the return trip to MN we landed in Gillette WY, it was HOT, Ipad overheated but no issues with the IFD.

Anything I should do proactively?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luchetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2018 at 5:37pm
The Socata does have a tube attached to one of the outside Naca vents wich will direct outside air to the centre avionics stack. Check that this tube is correctly attached to the attachment point on the stack. The stub where the tube is attached to is made of plastic and could have warped over time. I had to lay a second tube from the other Naca vent to get enough air to the stack. The fan does work but was not sufficient in my case. 
There are other TB owners here that have not experienced my problem. Might be dependent on where in the stack the boxes have been mounted and what other boxes are below or above them. It is clear that flush mounting deteriorates the heat dissipation through the side vents of the bezel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GBSoren71965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2018 at 10:06pm
Is it more of an issue with the 540? Or does the 440 suffer from the overheating issue as well?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2018 at 11:39pm
Originally posted by GBSoren71965 GBSoren71965 wrote:

Anything I should do proactively?

Well, it looks like you are not having a problem. You could just keep an eye on the annunicated temp, directly or by checking the logs - -  but you are not even getting a warning. 

* Orest 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luchetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2018 at 3:37am
Before getting the red overheat warning you will see a yellow one. This does not need a visit of the box in the factory. If you have a second navcomm you should switch the IFD if you should ever get the yellow warning. I have a 540/440 combo and both went red during the same flight within 5 min of each other.
If you want to proactively do something check whether your ram air duct is correctly attached to the left hand naca vent and the plastic stub at the back of the avionics stack.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote luchetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2018 at 3:38am
switch off I meant
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