AvMap EKP-IV complaints and kudos

I’m using this post to track the problems and user interface deficiencies that I’m having with the AvMap EKP-IV.

  • The damn CF card is busted, and they they’re currently giving me a run-around instead of sending me a new one! was busted, and the replacement came with a return envelope that wasn’t postage paid.
  • There should be a single keystroke to get to the currently active flight plan, instead of having to hit “Menu”, “Menu”, “Flight Plans”.
  • You should be able to name flight plans.
  • Calling the button for the nearest airport “Page” is stupid.
  • Hitting the “nearest” button twice should take you to the nearest airport button instead of forcing you to hit “Page”, “Menu”, “Airport”. If you need the nearest airport, you generally need it FAST.
  • Why do I keep end up in the cursor mode just about every time I go to the map page, even if I haven’t touched the joystick? It should only be in a cursor mode if I move the cursor with the joystick.
  • The joystick is way too sensitive.
  • There should be a half-arc on the display with DTK and TRK on it like the Garmin 296 and 530W have. The only thing close is to use up a lot of screen real-estate for a HSI display.
  • The way the vertical navigation works is stupid – as far as I can tell, you have to put in the top altitude, the bottom altitude and the glide slope every time you use it. In the Garmins, you just say “I want to be at 1000 AGL when I get 3 nm from the airport, and I want to descend at 500 fpm”, and it calculates where to start your descent based on your current altitude and the altitude of the airport.
  • The manual wasn’t included in the box, even though the Quick Start booklet said it would be.
  • The manual, which I downloaded from the web site, sucked rocks.
  • The power switch evidently turns itself on if you just breathe on it. I’ve discovered the batteries dead numerous times, and it’s just sitting on my flight bag.

I’ll probably think of others.

To answer Gordon’s question in the comments below, what I like about the EKP-IV:

  • It has a really great screen. It’s big, it’s bright, and it’s very clear
  • Even better, it’s in “portrait” mode. My original GPS, a Garmin 195, was in portrait mode, and I never understood why they went to landscape mode for later models. I don’t know about everybody else, but I want to see where I am and where I’m going, not where I am and 30 miles to each side. And the AnywhereMap Travel Companion and the new Bendix King AV8OR are landscape mode too. I don’t get it.
  • It’s about the same price as a 296, much cheaper than a 396, 496 or even a 495. I don’t need XM WX yet, but if I do, I like the idea that it will someday be an optional extra on this unit, rather than having to make the decision at purchase time like the Garmins.
  • It was strongly recommended by a friend who had one, sold it to buy a 496 for the weather, but then wished he’d kept the EKP-IV.
  • It doesn’t have a road mode. That way I won’t be tempted to leave it on the dashboard of my car. Let the next car thief steal a Nuvi or other car type GPS and leave my aviation GPS alone!
  • I looked longingly at the AnywhereMap new iPaq Travel Companion, and while it had some amazing features, it was incredibly slow. This one looked like it had some of the features, without the horrible slowness.

3 thoughts on “AvMap EKP-IV complaints and kudos”

  1. I’ve flown the EKP IV, and have used the Garmin 496. The EKP screen is HUUUUUUGE compared to the Garmin, and it’s a kilobuck less expensive. Agree that the flight plan features need help. I’m OK with the joystick sensitivity, but I’d love a hybrid design which used a touchscreen for selection and cursor movement, but hard buttons for navigation. According to the EKP people we talked to at Oshkosh, XM weather will be available “any day now”, but they’ve been claiming that for months, so who knows. Completely agree regarding portrait VS landscape. This was brought up in a webcast with Bendix about the Avi8Or, they claim that if enough people request the feature they will consider adding it in a software update. One benefit of softkeys, I guess.

  2. I have had an EKP4 for several months now and as I am used to the rocker and buttons of my trusty Garmin 395 I can relate to the pains I read above of the page button, etc. I just found out how to access the feature of moving the cursor over an airport and getting full useful information such as the frequency and runway information. Something that can easily be improved. I agree with the “nearest” comments.
    In my case the flash card got sick and I had to buy a new one, download and upload everything back into the new flash card. after several tries I got it to work but still don’t have all of the terrain, roads cities, etc. information. I keep working with customer service, maybe one day it will work like it should.
    I have rechargeable batteries in it, which is important, because I found out that regular batteries are what screwed it up. However, they do not seem to remain charged for more than a few minutes.
    The rocker is sometimes sensitive and sometimes not. Garmin has a much better rocker.
    I am sure when I get used to all of the steps I will love it better but it is sure taking longer to love than my Garmin did.

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