The last cycle of the nav db expired on March 8th. I figured that I should get a jump on things and figure out how to update it long before I needed it, so on March 2nd I read the Perspective Manual. If you go all the way back into the Appendix B they pretty clearly state that you should be able to install a “standby” nav database in the top slot of the MFD and have it copy to the main db card (bottom card). They also say you can enable automatic database synchronization so that if you update the MFD, the PFD will get updated from the MFD. I know that’s a little confusing, but I made a picture below to help.
To upgrade these databases you have to write to the little SD card. I purchased a “Sandisk MicroMate SD / SDHC Memory Card Reader (Static Pack, New, SDDR-113)” from Amazon for $9.99. I wasn’t quite sure if this would work since the title of the product says “reader”, and to me that implies it doesn’t to writes, but I think the world of consumer electronics sees things differently than the world of computer science. In any case, this thing is able to write SD cards just fine.
You also have to download a little Windows based installer app from the Jeppesen website. Luckily I had some old Windows laptop laying around, so I was able to do that without having to install a VM image on my Macbook. Then I called Jeppesen. The guy was pretty nice, stayed on the phone to make sure my download worked, all that good stuff. I then asked about updating the “standby” database. He had never heard of such a thing. He transferred me to Jeppesen support. I explained to them that I was planning to use this update to update the standby database, and again this new guy explained that they had never heard of such a thing. I read him the appropriate section from the Perspective manual, and again he said he had never heard of anything like that.
Well, ok. Garmin says it works, Jeppesen doesn’t know what I’m talking about. If I try it and it doesn’t work, too bad. If I try it and it corrupts things then I’m screwed. But I just had to know – so I tried it.
Turns out that it works just fine!
- Insert card in the MFD top slot
- Boot the system
- Tell the MFD you want to update the “standy database” when it asks what to do with this new card.
- Once things are up, go to AUX/System page
- Enable “Automatic Database Synchronization” between MFD and PFD
The synch from MFD to PFD only takes about 12 seconds for the Nav database, so don’t be afraid to do it just before a flight. I actually did mine in flight. Some of the other databases, for example the terrain database, can apparently take up to 50 minutes, and they recommend using an alternate power source, etc, etc. Sounds like a pain.
Here’s a little helpful picture. This was made with a composite of two cellphone pictures that I took, so sorry about the strange shading. The steps in the picture are just showing the copies, so the numbering doesn’t line up with the numbering above, but I think you get the picture.