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Old 10-12-2017, 03:57 PM   #41
philiplane
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Originally Posted by N33GG View Post
+1

Everybody that thinks avionics installation and modification is so clear cut should start their own avionics shop and show everybody else how it is done.

Just my .02
Well, I've done avionics for two decades, as a tech and as a shop manager, in small airplanes, light jets and turboprops. It really is clear cut if you approach it the correct way. There is no excuse to exceed a budget if the job is planned correctly from the start. Therein lies the problem...the majority of shops do not have a planner to evaluate and write the job. So they ballpark it and then get into trouble. The funny thing about planning is that it has to be done anyway to ensure wiring is correct, documentation is correct, and the right parts get ordered the first time. But shops will spend countless un-billable hours doing it piecemeal once the job is already underway. When your tech takes an excessive amount of time, it's usually because he didn't have clear instructions from the start, and a checklist to follow.


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Old 10-12-2017, 04:12 PM   #42
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Just one of the entirely asinine, backwards, and outdated things about aviation. Blame the FAA for not doing its job as a regulator.

It isn't the shop's fault. Every avionics job is to some degree 'custom work'. Imagine if, for instance, every time you needed a new charger for your iPhone you had to go buy bare copper wire, a soldering iron, and USB connectors and solder them up and shrink wrap them yourself.

That's the state that aircraft avionics are in. If you want to fix it you need to fix the FAA's way of doing business.

The point here is not that the work was complicated or expensive, but rather the fact that the shop handled their end of the transaction poorly.

While I think it is true that the shop has almost no control over the FAA-driven requirements and the resulting expense, I think the sticker shock most certainly is the shop’s fault.

As soon as the shop realized the cost of the job was going to significantly exceed the quote, they we’re obligated (in my opinion) to contact their client to discuss & obtain approval before proceeding.

Let me frame this another way:

I build eCommerce systems. Let’s say I work out a deal where I am going to build an eCommerce website for my client. I inform my client that it will take me 100 hours at my rate of $100/hr for a project total of $10k.

The project ends up taking me 250 hours to complete because my client’s local & state government tax rules are complicated and sometimes difficult to interpret. This requires a lot of unexpected additional analysis and coding for me to solve, but I soldier on and complete the project without informing my client of the additional time and cost involved (I mean, he knows eCommerce is expensive & tax rules are a mess, right?). When I’m done, I give the client a bill for $25,000 and an explanation that his state is non-standard in its tax rules.

Should my client just accept my bill for 2.5x the quoted price because his local and state government tax rules are complicated and beyond my control?


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Old 10-12-2017, 04:58 PM   #43
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"That's the state that aircraft avionics are in. If you want to fix it you need to fix the FAA's way of doing business."

So, when did the FAA dictate which connector must be used for avionics?

As the function provided by the various avionic boxes has increased over the years, the connector systems have increased in density.

Remember, we are talking about a Nav/Com and audio panel. This stuff has been around for many many years. No reason to under estimate and then over charge doing this work.

This is not the fault of the FAA.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:47 PM   #44
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So, when did the FAA dictate which connector must be used for avionics?
Never.

And they should have done so during the F16's development in the early 1970s. Their failure to do so is why we still have to custom wire every single airplane that gets new avionics.

They let Honeywell, Garmin, Collins, Boeing, etc dictate to them what should or should not be done. They are a failure as a regulator.


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Originally Posted by Ray93J View Post
As the function provided by the various avionic boxes has increased over the years, the connector systems have increased in density.

Remember, we are talking about a Nav/Com and audio panel. This stuff has been around for many many years. No reason to under estimate and then over charge doing this work.

This is not the fault of the FAA.
Surely you have seen the back of an instrument panel? The OP said he was moving things as well. I would suspect that it was the moving part that got him.

It is the fault of the FAA, they are the gatekeeper. The computer business has gone from nothing to existing in every home in the western world in 30 years. You can assemble one from parts with a single phillips screwdriver.

Aviation on the other hand at bare minimum requires custom harnesses for each and every avionics job, and that's after 60 years. In many cases soldering of data-carrying wires, too. In 2017. It's a bad joke.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:37 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by RNC View Post

Surely you have seen the back of an instrument panel? The OP said he was moving things as well. I would suspect that it was the moving part that got him.

It is the fault of the FAA, they are the gatekeeper. The computer business has gone from nothing to existing in every home in the western world in 30 years. You can assemble one from parts with a single phillips screwdriver.

Aviation on the other hand at bare minimum requires custom harnesses for each and every avionics job, and that's after 60 years. In many cases soldering of data-carrying wires, too. In 2017. It's a bad joke.
This is missing the point. The complexities are irrelevant, regardless of their source. The issue at hand is not technical, but a matter of effective expectation management by a business with its client.

I think it is fair to say it is the responsibility of the professional avionics technician hired to:

- exercise mastery of his or her craft

- assess the full scope of the work to be done (take a look under/behind the panel and rationalize what has been requested: installation, removal, relocation, etc.)

- provide a detailed quote that accounts for each detail of the request and the 60+ years worth of potential variability that may complicate the job

The last item is the meat and potatoes of why we would ask a professional tech to quote a job in the first place. We are asking the tech to apply his or her knowledge and experience - the very things that establish the value of his or her time as an avionics technician - and give us a quote for what he or she thinks it is going to take (based on his or her knowledge and experience) to get the job done.


Sidebar: true, you can assemble the computer with parts and a screwdriver, but that computer is not going to be useful for much more than paperweight until is it configured with an operating system and other software + peripherals necessary to make it productive. A decent computer assembler knows this and will ask if you want those details factored into the price of the build.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:09 PM   #46
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When I had my 430W and audio panel installed they avionics guy gave me an estimate/quote. He came highly recommended by several friends that are also aircraft owners. His work was fantastic. He even did a bit more work than we discussed. The price he quoted/estimated was actually more than he charged me. I was thrilled. He did take a long time to complete the work but I knew that going in because he has a full time job other than avionics installs. I guess Iím very lucky.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:00 AM   #47
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Is there an avionics shop out there that will guarantee the amount of hours worked? If not it sounds like a good idea.

I second the idea: "He should've at least called when he found out that the time is going to be double"

Maybe this is something that newbies get fumed over but I would tell him if you do that again I will take my business elsewhere. Fool me once...etc

Sometimes you just have to set boundaries. I'm a good person but I wont be taken advantage of!


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