WOW! Finally, a potential solution to give us a low cost EFB plate display device
and downloadable monthly plate subscription that does not cost an arm and a leg.
Heck, we need all those bucks to buy 100LL!
This set-up looks like a winner folks! Big
kudos to the folks at ReaderPlates for providing us with extremely affordable data massaged from
the NACO database.
See the amazing way that
ReaderPlates organizes the plates on the Sony Reader in their screenshots
Well here are excerpts from an excellent
write-up/pirep from a Beech
Talker on his first experiences with the new
Sony Reader ($278
@ Amazon.com) + an affordable $10/month subscription to
Talker Mike Brannigan has posted some great comments and pics.
Here is a 6/12/2009 pricing pirep on the Sony
Reader from Bo owner Greg G.:
Sony Reader PR505, $270 at www.Costco.com
Includes a bonus AC adapter (for charging in the
hangar w/o a computer USB interface)
Current Target price is $300 without AC adapter
Or if you're too big a CSOB to pay the
$10/month for the organized ReaderPlates product then take a look at the FREE
NACOmatic IAP pdf downloads
HERE created by
Doug Ranz. Please be kind and drop a little something in his tip cup after your
Read the entire
BeechTalk thread and see
many more of Mike Brannigan's pics
Below are some extracted pics from Mike's
Thank goodness there's an IAP electronic
viewer solution available to those of us who can't or won't throw down the mega
bucks for those other options (you know what they are, grins).
Here's my Pirep after having used the unit:
Since I had free access to a Sony Reader PRS-505, I decided to
www.readerplates.com product a
1st: purchase a minimum 2GB SD or Sony pro duo card (I got an
8GB unit off eBay from China for $20 and yes, it works just fine).
The readerplates subscription ($10/month) can be cancelled at
any time so I was only putting $10 at risk.
Takes a good while to get the file unless you are on a nice
corporate or T1 connection to get the 1.3 GB of download.
All the IAPs, SIDS & STARS are in there and are easily placed
on the 2GB card that you have purchased, either with the card in the Sony Reader
or in an adapter connected to your computer for transfer.
A little fiddling with the PRS-505 to get the buttonology down
but it gets you there to any state, city and airport combination you navigate
to. Speed of page turns is decent and the battery life on the thing is quite a
few hours (how many I don't know, but I played with the unit for a couple of
hours and the battery did not move off full).
The screen technology uses encapsulated ink that is turned on
and off (creating a pixel or not) by some sort of electrical pulse, therefore,
once you hit the ink capsule with energy you're done using power. So energy use
only occurs during page "turns". The encapsulation technology is an area that I
am working with my client so we had one of these units on hand.
Readability in office conditions and outside was good for me.
In low light conditions you'll need an overhead light or flashlight pretty much
as if you were using a paper chart.
Your near vision eyesight will need to be in good shape. I do
not think that 20/40 near vision will get you there BWTHDIK......My eye doctor
keeps me well tuned and with my glasses (20/20 near vision) the reader plate
size was no problem in the full view and in the larger section view. With my
contacts and cheater readers I was not too keen on relying on for a critical
frequency or DH number. This is about the only caution I would have on this unit
is the near vision eyesight for those of us who have passed into that eyesight
change, needs to be in very good shape. <vbg>
This unit won't change my SOP of having 8.5 x 11 paper printed
charts for my destinations and possible alternates, however, for $10/month I
have every US chart at my fingertips in a device that does not cost several AMU
(~$250), does not rely on a rotating hard drive, does not use a Bill Gates OS
and has a battery life that exceeds the endurance of my 136 gallons useable
Here are thumbnails of the PRS-505 Reader w/ReaderPlates on my
Cygnet Flight Desk. Click any image for the full high resolution image:
Reader Screen Off
Full Portrait Plate
Landscape Top of Plate
Landscape Bottom of Plate
Back to Full Plate View
All in all, I'm inclined to give this EFB system the CSOB thumbs up!
Here's another pirep from Bo owner and Beech Lister Tim R.:
OK, I took the plunge and bought (well, acquired) a Sony
PRS-505 reader. I then bought for 10 bucks per month the entire countries'
approach plates. As previously mentioned, they show up sorta small on the
reader, you can change the orientation to zoom in enough to make them quite
readable, but then you have to page up and down - not bad if you know what
(and where on the page) you need to be.
It is awesome to have no interfiling, no paper, just this nice
4 oz reader. The organization on the reader is pretty logical - pick the
State, then look at the table of contents to find the airport, select the
airport, then you see all the different types of plates available - SIDS,
STARS, APP, Airport diagram. Requires some button pushing, but not cumbersome
at all, and compared to paging back and forth on toilet paper <g>
I like the IFR atlas from Air Chart enough to stop using the
gov't charts (although I will miss being able to plaster them across the
windshield when flying into the sun). The reader by itself is pretty
incredible. In the purchase, you can download 100 classics (out of copyright)
books, so I am working my way through some Joseph Conrad books :)
Sony PRS505 Battery
When your Sony PRS505 Battery lays down, here's a place to
get a replacement for about $34
Sony PRS505 Service Manual
After receiving his replacement battery, Mike
M. offers the following thoughts from his experience:
I bought a replacement battery for my Sony Reader PRS505 from
BatteryShip.com. The so-called instructions weren't - they were more like - be
careful doing this. They did not tell me what to do. The battery is smaller than
I thought - it is about 1" by 2 " & very thin. The tools provided by them were
exactly the right tools for the job.
I used a clean work table with good lighting and a magnifying
glass. You need all that. The top & bottom end plates obviously come off after 4
screws on the back are removed. I got the bottom end plate off but could not get
the top end plate off; it was held up by something at the top left. I'm pretty
sure the battery is in the bottom center of the unit; that is where the DC plug
is. But looking in there, there were a bunch more miniature screws to remove but
it looked like the rocker switches would fall out. I could not see the battery.
I put it all back together. At first, the on-off switch would
not work. I took it apart again & back together again & got the on-off switch to
work. So I'm back to where I started.
Be careful out there folks.
Hope you get it sorted out Mike.
See a step-by-step disassembly of the PRS505 at Flickr
Above pic from Igorsk at Flickr. See his disassembly
Another Step-by-Step disassembly procedure
HERE in Chinese. Use Google translate tool from the Google Toolbar (you do
have the Google toolbar right? If not, get it
to get English.