ARC Navomatic 300A Autopilot

Hi, I just picked up a R182 with a 300A Autopilot which has been inop for about ten years. Does anyone have a PDF of the install manual that I could "peek" at to check a few things? I want to spend a little time on it to see if it is something simple as my budget dollars are going towards the engine at this time.
Thanks, Stephen

Comments

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Hi Stephen,
    Congrats on the R182! Make sure you post some pics when you have a moment :) Regarding the 300A, I'm hoping that Bob Hart, our avionics guru, will answer your question shortly. Stand by.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Also, try Autopilots Central in Oklahoma.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Congrats! Yes, on photos…

  • edited March 11

    Hi Stephen, Cessna manuals of any kind are difficult to locate. They were issued to Cessna dealers although we seem to have had quite a collection at Eastern Avionics 20 years ago. They were never digitized so you're not likely to find them on the internet. Frankly, if the system has been inop for ten years, I doubt that the problem is simple although the components should be available. But ... you need a shop that "gets" the 300A and they are getting harder to find also. My article from 2015 is still #1 on the internet and I used Bob, the owner of Autopilot's Central as my guru. He has since retired but they are still one of the best shops for legacy autopilot support. Don't spend a lot of money on it though and that can happen quickly especially if the shop is not "really" on top of the 300A. Hand fly until you can afford a Trio Pro Pilot.

  • edited March 12

    Hi Bob, Thanks for your insight and I agree with your comment on the 300A. My partner on this plane holds a FCC license for repairing commercial radios, and he wanted to at least see a schematic before ripping the thing out. We both agreed that we were not going to put much money into getting it back in order. I will check out your article from 2015.
    Thanks again, Stephen
    PS: A number of years ago I used a Magellan GPS which was a great piece of equipment (Better than Garmin) when it came out but the company decided that General Aviation did not have a great future and stopped supporting their equipment. Soon after they spun it into the ground.

  • Hi Stephen, Sadly, there is a lot of very good IFR GPS's that would still meet the "mission" for a light IFR panel but the manufacturers stopped production. The Garmin 155XL/300XL with com. UPSAT GX-50/GX-60 with com. The Northstar M3! None of these had a decent map but with everyone flying with an iPAD and ForeFlight/Garmin Pilot, no one needs a map anymore and now with ADS-B solutions with GPS, no one needs a WAAS GPS anymore. I still think someone could make a very affordable IFR legal GPS with no map and just a Bluetooth output to your iPAD and maybe add a com?

  • I had a 300A auto pilot in my T206G that I spent way too much money on it trying to even get it to hold a straight course. If I didn’t keep even amounts of fuel in each tank it would slowly drift to the heavy wing. After years of frustration and a few thousand dollars I finally got a Stec 50. What a huge difference a few years in technology makes. It holds heading and altitude perfectly, so nice not fighting it.

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Hi Jerry,
    The Stec 50 is a great autopilot! I have a 55X and I feel the same way that you do. Congrats and I'm glad you're enjoying your plane!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • edited April 13

    I had my Skymaster up at APC in Tulsa for a 400A tuneup, and I want to say that they said they no longer support any of the 300 series. Stephen might confirm that or not when he calls. I know they no longer support the straight 400, only the A, B, and IFCS.

    Autopilots Central books an airplane in for a week at a time. If it doesn't take a week to go through the 400, they work on their other work backlog. My 400A had started to have problems, and they got it back to flying as if new. They complimented my avionics guy's work with the NAV integration; it flies an LPV approach perfectly.

    My avionics guy was upfront; he did not have the equipment or experience working on the 400A. The second shop said they would remove it all and send it to APC, but then I would miss out on the flight evaluation and testing. That is a sight to witness. APC's pilot flies the airplane, and in the case of the Skymaster, one tech rides upfront and the other in the back with the seat laid back. Both guys use APC-designed "boxes" that evaluate the autopilot. It took two flights to fine-tune my airplane after the shop repairs.

    They offered some advice concerning the Skymaster; keep the 400A running as the only alternative is costly. The only STC'd autopilot for the C337 is the STEC 55; all the shops said that the installation cost is approximately the same as the autopilot itself. The current 55X is approximately $23K, so about $46K installed.

    I told the boss at APC I was leery of the 55 as I'm flying three of them professionally, and none of them fly as smoothly as the 400A, and all of them, have problems. He said, "Yeah, then there's that. Keep your 400A running."

    I already plan an annual visit to APC, and I have a spare ADI that they have tuned to my autopilot should I need a replacement.

    Michael
    '77 C337G
    KVCT

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator
    edited April 14

    Autopilots Central is the best autopilot shop in the country. A+ on my report card. As for the 55X, I own one and it's the best non-digital autopilot out there. A+ there, too. I've never had any issues with mine. Your statement above says that "all of them" have problems. How can you substantiate that claim?

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

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