ACK E-04 406 MHz ELT Frequently Asked Questions

ACK E-04 406 MHz ELT Frequently Asked Questions
ACK E-04 406 MHz ELT Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to install a 406 MHz ELT to legally fly in the U.S.?
No, you can legally fly without a 406MHz ELT installed. The current TSO has not been
rescinded and flying with a TSO 91/ 91a ELT is legal indefinitely until policy is changed.
U.S. aircraft owners may currently install 121.5 MHz ELT’s, to meet FAA ELT requirements, we
recommend our E-01 as a cheap solution (can be mail ordered for $125) to achieve airworthiness,
and accomplish pre-installation needs for the new ACK E-04 406MHz ELT.
Can I fly into Canada/Mexico/Bahamas without a 406 MHz ELT?
As for Canada and Mexico: Canada has not yet required that aircraft flying in its airspace be
equipped with 406 MHz ELTs. The country is planning a two-year conversion period and has yet
to set rules for the transition, according to AOPA. Flying to the Bahamas will not require 406
MHz equipment, but that may change after January of 2011. Mexico will allow U.S. aircraft
using 121.5 MHz ELTs to fly within the country until the end of April 2nd 2010, unless they reach
a mandatory ELT battery replacement date first.
I am based in Canada, will I legally be able to fly without a 406 MHz ELT?
Yes, Canada is currently amending its rules, and generally you are not required to have 406 MHz
ELT unless you fly in certain parts of the country. ”The transition period will allow the aircraft
operators to delay compliance with the 406 ELT requirements until completion of the first annual
inspection of the aircraft after February 1st 2010, but before February 1st 2011.” Mandatory 406
Boundaries in Canada: “Aircraft operated in western Canadian airspace bounded on its east side
by longitude 80deg. West, and south side by latitude 55deg. North, as well as aircraft operated in
eastern Canadian airspace bounded on its west side by longitude 80deg. West and on its South
side by latitude 50deg. North. Will be required to be equipped with a 406 MHz ELT or an
alternate means of emergency location as of February 1st 2009.”
Contact Transport Canada for more information
Do you have Canadian Approval?
Yes, we have Transport Canada TSO approval. The application has been submitted to Industry
Canada and we are awaiting their approval.
*Approval letter posted on 406 page of our website*
Is the ACK 406 ELT approved in European countries?
Yes, we have ETSO 2C126, 2C91a and C142a approval.
*Approval letter posted on 406 page of our website*
What are the benefits to upgrading to a E-04 406 ELT?
The 406 MHz beacons transmitted power is 50x greater than the old 121.5 / 243 beacons.
Location accuracy without GPS is greatly improved over the 121.5/243 ELT’s. And with GPS
location can be as accurate as several hundred feet. With GPS connected, your exact location will
be downloaded to Search and Rescue organizations within 10 minutes of activation. Without GPS
input location can take up to 3 hours, and accurate to 1- 5 km radius.
Can I upgrade my current 121.5/246 E-01 to an E-04 406MHz ELT?
No, we have designed the new E-04 to be the same size and shape as our current E-01 so people
replacing our units can use the same mounting tray and straps without having to modify anything,
however the internals are completely different and modifying an E-01 into an E-04 is not
What is the retrofit kit you have listed for $560.00 U.S.D.?
The retrofit kit is what you would buy if you currently have our E-01 installed in your aircraft. It
will include only the components you need to change over to the E-04. This includes: The new
406/121.5 frequency antenna, the Audible Alert Indicator, Installation Manual, and the E-04
itself. It will NOT include the Remote Control Panel Indicator, Remote cable, Antenna Coax
Cable, or Mounting Tray and Straps.
My plane is in / nearing annual, how would I pre-install for an ACK E-04 ELT?
To easily prepare for an E-04 installation while your aircraft is apart you will want to run the
wiring for the remote control panel indicator, since this is typically run through the floor of the
aircraft. The cable is RJ-11 phone cable, using phone connectors. You will run the cable with the
male end resting where you want to install the remote control panel indicator, and then run the
female side to where you want to mount the new E-04 ELT. This cable part# E0110A can be
ordered directly from us, or your typical avionics parts dealer.
See GPS pre-install question below for instructions.
What will the new 406 installation entail if I already have an ACK E-01 model ELT
The changeover will be quite simple, and we estimate it taking a half hour or less without
the GPS interface. You would simply snap the new E-04 into the mounting tray and
straps you currently have. Then plug the pigtail coming off the E-04 into the female
socket to the remote control panel indicator. Next disconnect the BNC at the base of the
antenna and remove the nut and lock washer holding the antenna in place, then replace
the old antenna with the new E-04 antenna that has the same footprint. Lastly you will
have to plug in the in-line audible alert indicator. The indicator will have two female
jacks on each side. You will simply plug the male pigtail off the E-04, or the male end
connecting into the remote unit into one side. Then plug the male extension cable into the
unused side of the audible alert indicator, and into your remote, or remote cable.
Installation complete.
What antennas are you going to offer for the new E-04 ELT?
We will offer two different antennas: the basic whip antenna with every E-04. This antenna will
have the same footprint and installation procedure as our previous antenna for an easy swap out.
This antenna will be swept back twenty degrees, and slightly longer than the antenna for the E-01,
and recommended up to 250Knots. We will also have available a high speed blade type antenna
manufactured by Sensor Systems and rated to MACH 1. (Part# S65-1231-1)
Do I have to use the ACK antenna with my E-04 installation?
Yes, you have to use our antenna or a COSPAS/SARSAT / FAA TSO C-126 approved antenna
meeting our VSWR requirements. You may not use any previous generation ELT antenna with
the E-04 406MHz ELT.
I have an Ameriking ELT installed, Can I use the existing remote control indicator?
Yes, you can use the same remote control panel indicator as the AmeriKing products use.
Does the ACK 406 ELT have a built in “Self Test” procedure, and how frequently
do I need to test the ELT?
The “Self Test” on the ACK E-04 ELT is performed from the aircraft cockpit by pressing the
“Reset” button when the ELT is in the “Armed” mode and is not operating. This test sends a
single 406MHz burst followed by 3 audio sweeps of the 121.5 MHz transmission.
The audio alert indicator replies with a single beep if all systems are “Ok” or a series of beeps to
indicate various fault conditions. The ELT checks for the following during the “Self Test.”
-Battery condition
-Transmitted power
-Frequency lock
-Data error
-Antenna mis-match
What is the weight of the ACK 406 ELT transmitter and mounting?
1.75 Lbs.
Do all your new ACK E-04 406 ELT’s have GPS interface?
Yes, every E-04 ELT we build will have a GPS interface.
Do I have to connect the GPS interface for my ELT installation to be legal?
No, the GPS interface is optional but recommended.
What GPS data formats, and baud rates do you’re new E-04 ELT’s accept?
The new E-04 will accept Bendix/King, Garmin aviation format @9600 baud, or NEMA 0183
input @1200, 2400, 4800, or 9600 baud.
Can I interface a handheld GPS into the ACK E-04?
Yes, virtually all handheld GPS devices output the NEMA 0183 data format.
How does the ACK E-04 handle the GPS data input?
The E-04 receives the data input from your GPS at the same rate your GPS outputs the data.
(Typically once per second) The ELT uses the last data received from your GPS as its location
when the ELT is activated either manually or by the crash sensor.
What will I need to interface my GPS into the new ACK E-04 ELT?
You will need 3 shielded wires, 24 gauge or greater. (Power, Ground, and RS232 Data) The A+
and A/C ground wire will need to reach where aircraft buss power is available, to your ELT
mounting location. The RS-232 data line needs to extend from your navigation equipment data
output, to your ELT mounting location.
What kind of connector does your E-04 ELT use to connect to my GPS?
The GPS interface uses a 4 pin MINI DIN circular connector. The mating plug will be supplied
with the ELT.
Are you going to use Duracell D-cell batteries to power the new E-04 ELT?
No, the ACK 406 ELT will use a sealed lithium battery pack.
How long will the batteries last, and how much will they cost for the E-04?
The lithium battery pack will be good for 5 years from the expiration date printed on the battery.
The battery pack is estimated to cost around $100 U.S.D.
Do I have to register my E-04 ELT for a legal installation?
Yes, you MUST register your E-04 ELT with the authority regulating ELT’s in the country in
witch it is installed. You can face possible sanctions or fines for operating a 406 MHz ELT
without registration.
How do I register my ACK 406 ELT?
In the U.S. we supply ELT’s using the serial number standard location protocol. The ACK 406
ELT will be supplied with a postage paid registration card that must be completed and mailed to
the NOAA before activating the ELT, or you may register online with NOAA.
Can I reprogram my E-04 ELT?
Yes, users may reprogram the ELT, different aircraft formats may be programmed using our
windows based PC software interfaced through a USB port dongle which is available for
purchase. The dongle and software may be purchased directly from us. Most users will take it to a
local avionics shop for reprogramming.
Can you put me on an E-mail/Mailing list to notify me when the E-04 is released?
We do not offer this service. You will have to revisit our website for the most current release
Where can I buy an ACK E-04 ELT?
We do not sell direct, so you would have to purchase your new ACK E-04 ELT through your
local avionics shop or avionics parts supplier.
If I have some obscure question that is not on this list who can I ask?
You can E-mail us at with your question, or you can always give Greg,
Jose, or Mike a call here at ACK and we will do our best to answer your questions. The phone
number is (408) 287-8021 and believe it or not, a real live person will answer the phone, with out
having to go through a 10 step recorded program.
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