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Thread: EarthX and G3X

  1. #1
    Senior Member jmorrical's Avatar
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    Unhappy EarthX and G3X

    I've chosen the EarthX ETX680C battery for my CarbonCub EX. There is a lot of good discussion here about battery choices... pro and con...so I hope this 'battery' thread does not go off the rails in that direction. I've made my choice.

    I would like to ask how EarthX users integrated the EarthX BMS warning into the G3X. The EarthX Battery Management System (BMS) has a fault indicator light on the case. A black wire spade connector out of the top of the battery case can be used to wire a single warning light on the panel. I have also heard that warnings can be integrated and displayed on G3X where parameters/warnings can be set appropriate for the Lithium LiFePO3 battery.

    Can someone give details on how that is done? Do I wire it to the GEA 24 engine interface module? What connector, what pin, single wire + a ground somewhere? How do I configure it on screen on G3X configuration page?


    Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 12.48.38 PM.png
    Last edited by jmorrical; 03-19-2021 at 07:00 AM.
    Jim Morrical

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    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    Quote Originally Posted by jmorrical View Post
    . I have also heard that warnings can be integrated and displayed on G3X where parameters/warnings can be set appropriate for the Lithium LiFePO3 battery.

    Can someone give details on how that is done? Do I wire it to the GEA 24 engine interface module? What connector, what pin, single wire + a ground somewhere? How do I configure it on screen on G3X configuration page?

    You would need no additional wiring to customize the voltmeter and ammeter red and amber bands for this battery. If you want to wire the battery fault output you could perhaps make use of a GEA 24 GP input. The CubCrafters Exec Glass configuration already uses all 4 of the available GEA 24 discrete inputs. About the only advantage I can see for wiring the fault output to the G3X system is that a fault would probably be recorded in the data log. A panel warning light doesn't depend on anything else to be working and would be much easier to configure.

    I doubt you find any better information than the G3X Touch installation manual. It includes information on how to configure all the available inputs and the resulting displays. Perhaps start with 35.4.32.3 EIS Configuration Options.

    I have to wonder if you would be able to configure the G3X system to be smarter than the monitoring and protection that should be built into the battery.
    Last edited by Andy; 03-04-2021 at 01:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    While this does not answer your question specifically as I run Dynon I would suggest just to keep it simple.

    For a 1 1/2 years I have run the EarthX since airworthiness. I just wired up the LED warning light on the panel. Simple, easy to install and effective.

    As Andy has mentioned, I'm unsure what would be used as parameters that isn't already monitored by the charging system.

    A little off topic but the LED did light up once and reading the decoding information, I had a cell that was slow to charge. EarthX had me send it in and they tested it finding a bad cell. Replaced the battery and I'm go to go now.

    Other than the one issue, the battery has been excellent. I even use a second one as my back up battery.
    Last edited by aeroaddict; 03-04-2021 at 04:45 PM.
    Dan Arnold
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    Senior Member jmorrical's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    I see that Engine Monitor GEA 24 connector J244s pins 41, 42, 43 and 44 are respectively assigned as Discrete In 1,2,3 and 4. As Andy said they are all used in our Garmin installation. Looks like they are related to ignition and backup battery. My primary goal is to get the EarthX Battery Management System fault indicator light repeating on the G3X display as a warning of some sort in place of mounting an alert light on the panel. I found a Van's builder explain his installation in the statement below. That's what I want to accomplish. He however had pin 43 available. I wonder if I could use pin 44 or 45 and program "EarthX Alert" in a similar way.

    I'm not sure if or why I would change Volt 1 parameters with this battery. I understand the lithium battery operational voltages are different from the lead acid battery. My goal is simply to have a warning that the Battery Management System is actively trying to protect the battery.

    The BMS protects from over discharge, over charge >16 volts, excessive temperature, short circuit or bad cells. I don't have a clear understanding of the crowbar at the over voltage relay, but I guess it protects the electrical system from over-voltage.

    Here is what a Vans builder said about his installation:
    "Then I inserted it into J244 connector's position 43 and buttoned everything up. I fired up the G3X in configuration mode and accessed the GEA 24 menu for Discreet Input #4 and designated it as "Active Low", categorized it as "Red" alert and made the alert annunciation come up on the EFIS screen as "EARTHX ALERT". Everything seems to work well and when the lead is grounded to the batteries's negative post (per EarthX instructions) the alert is triggered. Really neat and no LED alert lamp required on the panel."


    This is from the Garmin G3X Manual showing Connector J244 and the last few pin details.
    Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 10.56.45 PM.png
    Last edited by jmorrical; 03-05-2021 at 07:14 AM.
    Jim Morrical

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    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    Quote Originally Posted by jmorrical View Post
    My goal is simply to have a warning that the Battery Management System is actively trying to protect the battery.
    If you really want to have the warning on PFD/MFD you seem to have two options:

    1. Combine two of the ignition warnings to one discrete input (CC does this on aircraft that don't have an AFCS control panel but use a separate LVL button).

    2. Investigate the use of a GEA 24 GP input. Garmin says they can be configured as discrete inputs but I have no experience of doing it.

    One day I may experiment with the GP inputs as I would like to have a pilot activated event marker in the recorded data.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    2. Investigate the use of a GEA 24 GP input. Garmin says they can be configured as discrete inputs but I have no experience of doing it.
    Seems easy enough to use a GP input for your battery alert. You will need an external "pull up" resistor if the battery alert is not high when inactive. See "26.5.12 GP (General Purpose) Inputs" and Figure 30-2.2 for wiring examples.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    I had to wait for the fuel truck to fill the self service fuel tank so I experimented with GP input configuration. It seems easy enough to configure for any alert you would like e.g. -


    lunch alert.png


    The puzzle is that GP inputs support AFCS LVL so I don't understand why CC chose to compromise the ignition alerting for aircraft with a LVL button but no AFCS control panel.
    Last edited by Andy; 03-05-2021 at 02:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jmorrical's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    The EarthX Battery Management System Fault Indicator is to be wired as Active Low. I am not clear what that means except that I know the manual says that I must include a 'pull up" resistor. I'm trying to understand it.

    The Figure 30-2.2 shown below is from the Garmin G3X Manual, Rev. AM showing GP (General Purpose) Inputs. I have a couple questions.

    1. Andy suggests I use GEA24 connector P243? The GP 7 Lo (pin 28) and GP 7 (pin 29) are available along with pin 18 in my installation. As already mentioned I understand a 5K pull up resistor and a wire to aircraft ground are required. There would be three pins added to the P243 connector. All are available.
    2. Is it also correct that I could use GEA24 connector P244 for the same purpose? This connector has GP 3, GP 4 or GP 5 available using available pins 12, 15, 31 respectively along with pin 50. All are available in my installation. Only two pins with the 5K pull-up resister would be required and there is no LO pin to connected to aircraft ground.
    3. Or is P243 my only option for some reason I don't understand?



    Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 3.41.12 PM.png

    This photo shows my GEA 24 configuration page. Note the Discrete and GP positions...GP 6 and 7 are further down on the page not shown. I was just playing with GP 3 adding 'Battery' to become familiar with assigning configuration.

    IMG_3332.jpg
    Last edited by jmorrical; 03-13-2021 at 08:11 PM.
    Jim Morrical

  9. #9
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    Quote Originally Posted by jmorrical View Post
    The EarthX Battery Management System Fault Indicator is to be wired as Active Low. I am not clear what that means except that I know the manual says that I must include a 'pull up" resistor. I'm trying to understand it.

    "Active low" means that the signal will be low voltage, or ground, when the signal is in the "active" state. For your battery monitor the "active state" is when it indicates a fault. The inactive state is when battery operation is normal.

    A signal that is active low may be open circuit when not active or it may be "pulled up" to a fixed voltage. If the signal source does not "pull up" the signal line then the signal sink must do it. If the signal line is not "pulled up" when inactive the discrete receiver will not be able to see the difference between the active and inactive states.

    You should check the voltage of the fault signal line from your battery. If it is zero volts when the battery is not faulted than you will need a pull up resistor somewhere on the line. It doesn't matter whether it is at the battery end or the GEU end.

    You can use any GEU connector that has a free GP port that is configurable as a discrete input. Only one GEU pin is needed if the alarm signal is pulled high at the battery. If the alarm signal is not pulled high at the battery you will need to pull the line up at the GEU.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Default Re: EarthX and G3X

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    "Active low" means that the signal will be low voltage, or ground, when the signal is in the "active" state.
    Garmin provides a more specific definition:

    "When configured as Active Low, the inputs conform to the following specification:
    Active: Vin < 3.5 VDC, or Rin < 375 Ω
    Inactive: Vin > 8 VDC, or Rin > 100 kΩ"

    Ref G3X Touch Installation Manual rev AM section 26.5.9.

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