701ZE and 751ZE Camping on a dry lake bed in Utah

Doug Dugger built both of these airplanes. Doug is the west-coast representative for Zenith. He spends much of his time at his shop in Cloverdale CA, helping builders finish their airplanes.

This camping spot is in Utah at 38.972 -113.373 @ 4,775 feet MSL.

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Comment by Wayne Tyson Jr on September 21, 2014 at 9:42pm

Thanks for the details, Steve! But you're right, and unfortunately I'm not a confuser nut. But, man, I think you've got a highly marketable idea. I'm researching the old Southern Immigrant Trail that was active in the mid-19th century, and would like to be able to record my tracks, both in the air and on the ground. I've already busted the bank on the airplane, so now I'm trying to go as cheap as possible on electronic gadgets. Maybe I'll try to make an AoA instrument . . . ha!

I'm really impressed with all your tracks--most of the places I want to go.


Comment by Bob Wood on September 20, 2014 at 5:39pm

What a fantastic shot. Nice stuff Doug and Steve! This pic optimizes fun!

Comment by Stephen R. Smith on September 19, 2014 at 8:56am


Thanks for asking. I am only an average electronic wizard, however I have been programming computers all my life so when I built a 601 XL back in 2007 I made sure there was a space for a Windows tablet in the center of the panel.  I use a combination of off-the-shelf and home-grown software in the tablet.  I have upgraded the computer two times.  At present it is a Microsoft Surface Pro 2.  This gives me many of the features of a glass panel and augments my aging Dynon D180.  I also have a Garmin 495.  The Garmin, the Dynon and the tablet are all linked via serial ports.  This allows the tablet to function as a black box, recording flight and engine data once per second for all flights.  I have over 1,500 hours of CHT, EGT oil temp, airspeed, heading etc.  The tablet also generally has an internet connection via a cell modem.  It is unreliable in the back country or above about 6,000 feet.  But when the connection is up, the tablet reports the airplane's location and current engine and flight data every 10 seconds to a server back in Santa Rosa.  The server shows my location and track in near real time on a web page.  That way, family can keep track of me if they are so inclined.  I will be upgrading my 701's panel sometime after my next trip so that it has the same capability.  All of this is home-spun and not polished enough to make available to others.  You would need to be a computer nut as well as an airplane nut to do all this.

As to why the posted picture (below) does not show up unless you click the white space; its some kind of bug in the website's software.  I re-sized the picture after uploading it.  It showed OK while I was editing it but diapered after I hit the Add Comment button.  Below are two more screen shots from one of the programs I use both in the airplane (moving map and terrain info) and also at home to review past trips and plan future trips.

The first shot is of all my prior trips in both airplanes in the western USA.  The second shot is of a trip I plan to take during the first two weeks of October this year.


Comment by Wayne Tyson Jr on September 18, 2014 at 11:06pm

Steve, are you willing to divulge any further details about your electronic wizardry?

Obviously, I don't know how to post pix, but if one wants to see the one that came out as a blank spot, just click on the torn-page icon in the upper left corner.


Comment by Stephen R. Smith on September 18, 2014 at 9:55am


I have been within 1 mile of Monache two times.  Looks like a nice place.


I have a 495 in my 601 and only a 196 in the 701.  After each flight, I use Garmin's Map Source to pull the track from the GPS and add it to my master track library. I use an open source moving map program (GMap) which I have modified for use in the airplane.  One thing it can do is show all my trips at the same time on any of 6 different maps, including seamless FAA VFR maps.


Comment by Walt Snyder on September 18, 2014 at 8:33am

Nice, Steve, it's going to be a tad chilly, but it sounds nice. Monache isn't listed and is not a public strip, but it's above Sacatar Meadows, which is a private strip shown on the LA sectional. We'll keep you posted. 


This is why it's one of our favorite close spots…...

Comment by Wayne Tyson Jr on September 18, 2014 at 2:42am

Steve, what kind of GPS rig do you have? Are those tracks recoverable as a set of coordinates?


Comment by Stephen R. Smith on September 18, 2014 at 12:46am

I have flown past Whitney 4 times.  I don't see Monache Meadows.  Let me know when you go next time.

I am still planing the details for the up coming trip but it will include: OR, WA, ID, WY, UT, NV.

Doug is busy building a 701 and a 750 Cruzer; no time to play this year.  Les is going if he can get his Viking motor back in working order (drive train "blew up" the other day: 5 minutes of too much excitement).


Comment by Walt Snyder on September 18, 2014 at 12:29am

Really nice, you flew by another strip we play at to the south of Mt Whitney, Monache Meadows, 7,840 ft elevation. I'll let you know when we head up there next. Where are you heading in October? Is Doug going with you?

Walt Snyder

Post briefing at 7,840 ft

Creekside de-briefing at Monache Meadows

Comment by Stephen R. Smith on September 17, 2014 at 11:47pm


You can see by the red GPS tracks (601 travels over the years) I have been near the airstrip.  Closest was about 10 miles.  I tend to stay on the west side of the highest peaks because prevailing winds are from the west.  Often there is a down draft on the east side of the tallest Terrain. I will check it out next time I am in the area.  Looks doable in a 601, for sure in a 701.

As for the picture above that started this conversation, it is from last year about this time.  I have another 3,000 mile trip planed in the 701 for this October.


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