March 2006 Issue

Letters: 03/06

Battery Charger Sources
I enjoyed the article about Smart Chargers. The article states that the chargers tested are available in both 12- and 24-volt versions. I visited the Deltran Web site and I cannot find a 24-volt version of the Battery Tender Plus. Any suggestions?

Jonathan Sisk
Lexington, Kentucky


Since 24-volt batteries were not mentioned, am I to assume that these cool chargers are not available for them? I have been using a Sears automotive 12/24-volt charger that has a number of options on it. I use the 2-amp charge when necessary along with a DS500 desulfator to tune-up the Concorde batteries on my Mooney Ovation.


Am I hurting the batteries with the 2-amp charge if I leave it on for a few days with the desulfator on? The batteries are almost five years old. I always read your magazine right after I receive it. I really like the color format.

Ken Summer
Avon Lake, Ohio


Kim Santerre replies: The 24-volt version is available in a couple of models. Probably the best choice is the 24-volt 3-amp version for $75, model DEL-022-0158-1, Power Tender Plus Waterproof. It’s available at: www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?p=DEL-022-0158-1.

With respect to hurting your batteries with the 2-amp mode for a few days at a time with the desulfator, don’t worry a bit. It’s prolonged charging in excess of a trickle voltage that slowly dries out the electrolyte. Also, many of the better Sears chargers have a trickle mode that shuts the charger off periodically—if they have the trickle feature—to prevent drying out the electrolyte. When the battery voltage drops to a certain level, they come back on for a while.


More Flashlights
On a recent visit to the U.S., I purchased a Hands-Free 3-in-1 LED Headlamp from Brookstone’s gift shop. At $35, it has transformed night flying in my Arrow.

The options I have are one LED or three LED illumination or single Xenon bulb for the ice light situation or exterior walk round. Wherever one looks, the headband lamp illuminates the instrument, switch or chart perfectly.

On your next review, I recommend the Brookstone 3-in-1 headband light be included in your evaluation. It works well in New Zealand and I think it probably works well in America!

Brian Souter
Wellington, New Zealand


Great tips, thanks. Find L.L. Bean at www.llbean.com. REI is at www.rei.com and Brookstone is at www.brookstone.com.


With reference to your review of EFB software in the Janu ary issue, have you seen the Voyager system by Seattle Avionics? If the product is as good as their Website, it must be great. It would be a real service if you could at least take a peek and give us some feedback.

Like so many others, I feel the pull of this fabulous technology and will not be able to resist it much longer. Your article was timely and well done. Thanks very much.

Bob Hennigan
Via e-mail


We are aware of the Voyager software, a combination flight planner and moving map. Worth mentioning is that Control Vision also has EFB software and they have recently refocused their marketing efforts on the PC platform and less on PDAs, for which the company is well known. We didn’t cover Voyager in our last review because it wasn’t available in its current form last spring, when we began exploring EFBs. At the time, Control Vision was concentrating on PDAs, not tablet-based EFBs. We’ll look into both in a future issue. See www.voyagerfss.com for more information on Voyager and www.anywheremap.com for Control Vision’s products.


EFBs and GPS
I have been paying particular attention to your EFB articles. The one point I struggle with and something that seems to be lacking from your evaluation is the supported hardware to the various software. In other words, what is the best way to get the moving map and the XM-based weather on the same device and which GPS is best.

I assume there are many portable GPS receivers to choose from. Have you done a review of what works best and with which EFB software? Additionally, I believe that many of us may already have one or more GPS navigators in our cockpit? Who provides a way to easily plug in to onboard GPS and use the EFB software? How best can you get XM Weather? Who provides the antennas? I think many of the EFBs are great, but this, to me, is another crucial question be considered.

Patrick West
Via e-mail


Generally, the EFBs don’t care what GPS is used to drive them. It’s purely a question of size and convenience. For a future article, we’ll be examining various GPS options, especially the Bluetooth wireless technology.