Which GPS receivers and autopilots are compatible with the Smart Couplers?

With the exception of the Magellan SkyStar (see below), all modern GPS receivers are compatible. The Smart Coupler II requires that the receiver either transmit NMEA 0183-2 sentences GPRMB and GPRMC or transmit "Aviation Format" data from its data port. (Aviation Format data is sometimes called ARGUS data.) Porcine Associates does not know of any hand-held receiver claiming to have an NMEA-compatible data output that will not work with the Smart Coupler. Most panel-mounted receivers transmit Aviation Format data. Panel-mounted receivers already have a course mode output, but you will need a Smart Coupler to have heading and intercept mode with any receiver.

The following receivers warrant special mention:

  • Panel-mounted receivers (including the King SkyMap): The installation instructions included with the Smart Coupler assume that you will use a handheld receiver that is not wired to your aircraft. Here are additional instructions for installing a Smart Coupler with a panel-mounted receiver.
  • ControlVision AnyWhere Map: This software will work with certain restrictions. Check here.
  • Magellan 5000A: This receiver does not transmit NMEA data but does transmit Aviation format data, so it is compatible.
  • Magellan SkyStar series: These receivers require -12 V on the RS232 receive line to power their RS232 transmitters. The Smart Coupler does not provide this voltage source. You must provide a -12 V power supply to use these receivers with the Smart Coupler. With the -12 V, the receivers are compatible.
  • Garmin 100: This receiver could be purchased with or without a tray for panel mounting. With the tray, the 100 has the attributes of a panel-mounted receiver; i.e., it has a tracking output built in. With or without the tray, the 100 is compatible with the Smart Coupler. The Garmin 100 has a flavor of Aviation Format data that the Smart Coupler does not understand. You must use the NMEA 0183 output data format option.
  • Tremble Flightmate: This receiver does not have a data output, so it cannot be used with a Smart Coupler. The Flightmate Pro does have an output and is compatible.
  • Ross LCA-200: Use selection 0183-2 and select Nautical Miles. Do not use 0183-1 or 0183-3.

An autopilot must have a VOR tracking input to work with the Smart Coupler. If you can couple your autopilot to your VOR receiver, you will be able to couple it to your hand-held GPS receiver using one of the Smart Couplers.

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