HI all,

I am planning on putting a MGL Odyssey will all the bells and whistles in my CH801  backed up by the MGL  airspeed/Alt  digital isntrument.

I am flying 110percent VFR and not alot of cross country  so  i feel confident i dont need to add any steam back up.


Looking for opinions on this,  anything welcome.   I was also looking at the Dynon EFIS/EMS  but seemed to be a bit more pricey.


 anyhow with thoughts?



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For your backup airspeed and altitude, use your GPS. The Garmin handhelds (I know for sure, because I own one, but maybe other brands as well) has a flight panel display that is remarkably useable. I have a GPS 496 and currently fly it in my old Stinson. It will move to the Zenith when that plane is flying. The flight panel display in the 496 is accurate and useable. It is all GPS derived, so you get actual MSL altitude. However, you get ground speed for a speed instrument. If the winds are calm, it will also be airspeed. If there is wind, it will not quite be airspeed, but it will be good enough to fly with for backup purposes. You need a GPS for nav anyhow, just be sure you get one that can generate a flight panel display and you have your backup instruments covered. It will even work in an aircraft total power failure situation, because the GPS is a portable device and has its own batteries that take over if the plugged in power quits.


This link shows the flight panel in the top third of the screen of a GPS Map 696, my 496 gives that same panel display as an available page. It works great, I have flown the Stinson under the hood using only that GPS display to simulate loosing everything in my Dynon equipped Zenith once it is built. It went so well that I abandoned plans to put backup airspeed and altitude displays into the Zenith. Less weight, less money spent. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/alt-image.do?pID=14859&img=productI... VFR flight would be duck soup with this GPS panel display, and I have acually flown under the hood with it, as mentioned earlier.

thanks for that, i have been tossing around getting a 496 as well as a backup.. may still do it but as the MGL Odyssey has GPS i will have to save a few pennies to back up with the GPS, i was thinking of backing up speed and altitude wtih the MGL airspeed/altimeter digitial unit..  thanksf or all the info and the site.


 cheers  josh

Joshua - You might have at least a turn coordinator (with the little airplane)(steam) and vertical card compass (along with your others mentioned). Even though you will be VFR you never know when you may be in a situation that requires basic instrument flying. i.e. adverse weather.

Most GPSs have an HSI panel but that may be a situation where you have to flip from page-to-page.

I would also try, if possible, to monitor oil temp and CHT/EGT with analog (2" instruments).

My two cents


Hi chris,  good idea on the turn coordinator,  the MGL odyssey  has 12 channel thermocouple inputs so i should have all engine inputs on that,, MAP, fuel flow, boost ( supercharger) fuel pressure, etc.   also the MGL Odyssey has a HSI, seems to work quite well i am told.

like you said,  better to be safe than sorry.


 cheers  josh

Gottcha - The reason I suggested the engine instruments was in case of some type failure with the glass ones..... I know, highly unlikely, just my personal belief in redundancy. 

Safe Flying!


Joshua! Did you check the graphic resolution on the Odyssey? It seems like Gen 2 is much better than their original version.
I looking at the same choices for my panel... Dynon Skyview vs MGL Odyssey gen 2. I love the fact that MGL supports XIO for video feed and the ton of programmable options for any types of sensors. Very flexible.
That way I could have multiple cameras fed right on one of the 9 the displays of the odyssey. Also look at their V10 comm radio. It tunes the radio automatically when you select an aiport freq code on the menu screen... great feature.

It's nice to have all these fancy EFIS in our planes but for us Canadian flyers NavCan will not release the canadian map in digital format to the EIFIS manufacturers. You guys are lucky to have all the Nav data right on your EFIS. Maybe one day they will wake-up and provide the same services to canadian pilots.

good idea on the V10 comm.. have been looking at that,. and will check it out more, was going to just get a Garmin sl40 but if i have the odyssey i might as well go wtih the V10.   i am flying in Kenya, so will see what maps they have for me!  i also like the XIO  tons of things you can do wtih that.  thanks for the input
I have been flying with my Dynon FD180 for 3 years now and have had no problems at all. The only "back up " I have is a whiskey compass.  I have my GPS for back up speed and altitude, and have practiced using it as a speed source for patterns and landings.  There are no back up engine instruments, or fuel gauges.  In the event of electrical failure, the EFIS has an internal battery (as does the GPS)  that will fet you to a divert field.  For VFR flying, thats all you need.  Save panel space, weight, and money.
I am switching over the "round dials" in my 701 to the Dynon display to save panel space, and the only backup "round dial" I added is a small 2 1/4" airspeed indicator, because I don't always have my GPS with me.  As far as backup engine instruments go, you really don't need any to get your plane safely back on the ground in the event of an EFIS failure, but I really like to know my actual airspeed on approach and landing.
I like the idea of the small glass units and considered one when I was putting my 701 together. The only reason(other than being old fashioned) I didn't was I didn't like being dependent on one display for all my engine gauges. The ones we had at work failed occasionally(but we had 3 in there) and I reckoned if I was way out in the boonies(like maybe backwoods Alaska, or Canada) on a long trip and the display failed, that wouldn't be too good. I'd just have to fly it with no engine info.I know they're reliable but Mr. Murphy has always followed me around a lot

HI Joe,

   my last plane had all steam guages for flight and dial for engine.  you are right i am sure MR murphy will be stalking me, especially as i am going to be doing all my flying in the bush in Kenya.  i may consider a few VDO guages  Tach, oil pressure, etc.   for redundancy.. they are easy and cheap to add on.

thanks for the input.




You are making a very good choice with the MGL product. Like you, I think that it offers more for the money. Even the new Xtreme EFIS is a great deal for somene one a budget (like me). At only $1100 it is a lot of panel for the money. If you add the attitude and compass sensors you can't ask for a more complete AHRS system.


Here is the MGL link for all of the info and prices, http://www.mglavionics.com/html/xtreme.html. Another great thing about this new little panel is that it fits into a standard 3 1/8 instrument mounting hole even though the panel screen is rectangular.


Like many of the others who have responded I am using my GPS as backup, but at the price of the Xtreme you could add another panel to your Odyssey as backup. If you decide to use GPS you should check out Garmins new Aera series. Like the MGL, they offer more bang for the buck. I have the Aera 510 that is XM Weather capable and it's only $1299 from Aircraft Spruce. The Garmin also has its own battery backup in case of electrical failure so it is a great choice.


Wishing the best,

Bill Carter

American Light Sport Aircrafters, (Builder Assist Center)



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