Smart Coupler II

Smart Coupler II LE

(click on image for a closer look)


How are the couplers installed?

All Smart Coupler models are installed so that they accept data from your GPS receiver in NMEA or Aviation data format, translate it to external CDI format, and forward it to your autopilot. All models are supplied with a pre-wired harness that includes a panel connector so that you can plug your hand-held GPS receiver into the aircraft. This connector can supply power to the GPS receiver and accept the NMEA data from the receiver. As the connector(s) on the hand-held GPS receiver itself vary from one manufacturer to the next, you must procure the appropiate cables to go between the receiver and the supplied panel connector from your GPS receiver's manufacturer.

If you are installing a Smart Coupler with a panel-mounted receiver, you cut off the harness's panel connector and make the appropriate connections at the rear of your receiver. You will need to consult your receiver's installation manual.

If you already have an autopilot tracking source (such as a VOR or LORAN receiver) connected in your airplane, you will also have to install a switch so that you can choose VOR, GPS, LORAN, etc as your autopilot's signal source. This switch is a double pole switch, as there are two wires that must be switched.

Installation data:


Original Smart Coupler Smart Coupler II Smart Coupler II LE
Components on instrument panel

5-position DIN connector

Green indicator lamp, 1/2" dia

5-position DIN connector

1 1/8 in. x 3 3/16 in. control panel with processor

5-position DIN connector

3/4 in. x 3/4 in. control panel

Required panel cutouts 5/8" dia hole, 3/4" x 1 3/16" reqd. clearance for the DIN connector; 3/8" dia hole for the indicator 5/8" dia hole, 3/4" x 1 3/16" reqd. clearance for the DIN connector; 2 7/16" x 1 1/32" cutout behind control panel 5/8" dia hole, 3/4" x 1 3/16" reqd. clearance for the DIN connector; irregular cutout behind control panel
Components behind panel Processor enclosure None -- enclosure mounts through the panel behind controls Processor enclosure
Harness Harness pre-wired -- only 6 connections to aircraft Harness pre-wired -- only 5-6 connections to aircraft Harness pre-wired -- only 5 connections to aircraft

Installations that use panel-mounted receivers do not require the 5-position DIN connector on the panel. It is discarded, and the wires are terminated at the rear of your receiver.

The processor enclosure for the Original Smart Coupler and the Smart Coupler II LE mount anywhere behind the panel. The Smart Coupler II has a control panel that is 1 1/8 in. x 3 3/16 in. in size and is completely self-contained except for the DIN GPS panel connector. See the picture above.

The LE model has a 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. control panel that is connected to the processor enclosure with a supplied 24 in. cable.

Installations that use a hand-held receiver use a 5-position DIN panel connector to connect to your GPS receiver. A mating connector is supplied so that you can terminate the power/data cable(s) that connect to your GPS receiver. You must purchase this cable from your GPS receiver manufacturer. Only three of the five positions are used -- power, ground, and the NMEA-0183 receiver output signal. In this way, the receiver is powered by the aircraft, and the NMEA signal is brought into the panel. The Smart Coupler II's harness is long enough so that the DIN connector can be mounted anywhere within 24 in. of the control panel (or processor enclosure in the case of the LE).

The green indicator supplied with the original Coupler is 1/2 in. in diameter and requires a 3/8 in. hole.


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