Letters: May 2001

Beeper Box Notes
Reference your pre-heater article in the March 2001 issue, its unclear to me why anyone would buy the RS Beeper Box when much less expensive options are available.

Any catalog of home automation products will have numerous gadgets that allow remote telephone control of AC-powered devices. So if you have a phone line in your hangar, youre set.

Even if you don’t, the monthly tab for basic phone service has got to be less than for a pager and no worries about pager dead spots or dead batteries.

Possibly the simplest solution is the X10 Telephone Responder (about $65) in conjunction with an X10 Appliance Module (about $14). Plug the Telephone Responder into the phone line and the AC power line. Plug the Appliance Module into a nearby AC outlet and plug your pre-heater into it.

Then, from any phone anywhere, you can call your hangar and, by pushing buttons on the phone, turn your pre-heater on or off. In fact, the Telephone Responder will control up to 10 different modules, so you can also operate lights, a battery charger, a hot tub-your hangar does have one, doesnt it?-and just about anything else.

From this simple set-up, the skys the limit in sophistication and features. For a typical sampling of goodies, I suggest checking out www.homecontrols.com.

-Rob Lewis
Via e-mail

I enjoyed your article on the RS Beeper Box, but I think there are better alternatives, particularly if having a phone line installed in your hangar is an option.

We have an X-10 system purchased from Radio Shack in our hangar. There’s an optional component to this system that hooks up to a phone line and allows you to call in and remotely turn on or off any appliance.

We usually turn on the pre-heaters the night before a flight; wecan always turn them off if we end up not going. One winter, we had two airplanes in the hangar and could select which airplane to preheat.

The cost for all the components was about $150, as opposed to $369 for the Beeper Box. Phone service to the hangar costs about what pager service would, but has the added benefit of allowing us to file flight plans and get clearances before jumping into the airplane.

-Jay Obernolte
Big Bear Lake, California

You Forgot Us
In response to your recent article on aircraft engine pre-heater products, we were surprised to find that the E-Z Heat Aircraft Engine Pre-heater was apparently overlooked.

We originated the pad sump heaters in 1984 and have since sold we’ll over 30,000 units throughout the world. We have a complete line of sump heaters to fit all piston aircraft engines and the competition which tried to copy our products are still trying to catch up.

We offer a full two-year warranty and the best service and assistance in the industry because of our extensive experience in the engine pre-heating business.

We originated the proven, simple peel-and-stick method of installing the heat pads on the sump and have thousands of units in service installed in this manner. Within the last year, we introduced the lite bright plug on the cordset so the user immediately knows whether there is electrical power to the sump heater.

Our line of engine and prop covers are the only double-insulated covers in the industry and along with our sump heaters assure safe, reliable engine starts in the coldest weather that aircraft and the pilots who fly them can reasonably operate in.

We are the standard in the industry and our pricing structure has always been very competitive and consistent. If you would like to offer your readership additional information on our complete product line, please contact our office or poll our thousands of satisfied customers.

-Todd A. Kirkman
E-Z Heat, Inc.

Contact E-Z Heat at 779 Lakeview Drive, Cheteck, Wisconsin 57728, phone 1-800-468-4459 or www.e-zheat.com.

FloTool Heartburn
I was reviewing some of my past Aviation Consumer issues and happened to see the August 2000 issue. I saw something that brought back bad memories.

I own a 1968 Skylane with the TCM O-470R. I had been using the oil filler shown as item number 8 on page 20. I used it for years without problems until one day at Myrtle Beach, while doing the normal fill method of letting the spout just rest on the oil filler neck opening, I stood the bottle of oil up to drain quicker.

I then squeezed the bottle to increase the rate when the rotatable end of the spout -you called the snout-popped through the filler necks flange. The filler neck had a nice rounded flange going inward but a jagged passage coming out.

If I had pulled on the spout, the snout would have ended inside the motor. Even turning the snout to align with the cutouts in the fillers flange would not allow removal. A mechanic used extra-long needle nose pliers to pull out the snout.

I now use the spout that looks much like the one shown as item number 6. The difference being that it has a full length rotating section with no large changes in diameter. In summary, don’t dare use FloTool 10100 on 1968 Skylanes.

-Mark Byerley
Via e-mail

Hangar Tips
Thanks for the we’ll researched and written article on hangars. I agree on all the recommendations and tidbits you added.

On lighting, two to four 400-watt metal halide lights usually suffice for good lighting. don’t forget the front apron lighting and low-wattage sodium for the walk-in doors.

On the foundation, remember the prescribed steel in the foundation and the floor and apron should have Fibercrete-type reinforcement whether or not you use wire grid.

Most building manufacturers will give you typical foundation drawings that most building code departments will accept. I would also emphasize putting in the plumbing stub ups if at all possible. It usually more than pays for itself when it comes time to sell the building.

-Roger Robertson
Amarillo, Texas