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Old October 1st, 2009, 05:44 PM   #1
Ray RMCN172RG is offline
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Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Did anyone see this at Oshkosh or actually have one in use?

http://www.seattleavionics.com/SkyPad.aspx

It looks like as good an all around package as I can find.
PC usable for other functions
Flight Planner
GPS
Weather
Interactive Charts and Plates

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:49 PM
Posted in reply to RMCN172RG's post "Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Talking Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Looks really cool.
Be interesting to see if it is as easy as they claim along with durablity.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

It does look pretty good but I didn't see any specs on the brightness of the display. Typically laptop displays are too bright for night use at the minimum setting and too dim at the highest setting if direct sunlight is involved.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 01:18 AM
Posted in reply to gismo's post "Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

I have the SkyPad and LOVE IT!

I have been on the sidelines regarding EFBs....always waiting for the perfect unit. While at Oshkosh this year, I had the opportunity to try FlightPrep's ChartCase and Seattle Avionics SkyPad. Both units are well thought out and will likely serve you well. I thought the SkyPad had the upper hand...here is why.

- For me, the user interface and process of navigating around to the various tasks seemed a bit smoother.
- The SkyPad is fast. Charts come up fast and changing from one style to another is quick & easy (ie, switching from Lo-Enroute to Approach plates). Frankly I was surprised that the SkyPad was faster than the ChartBook as I had read just the opposite. This might vary by user but it was my experience.
- The SkyPad is very customizable. I'm a CFII and I have certain things I like when I am flying solo and some additional information when I am teaching. The SkyPad makes this simple.
- Lifetime charts. Seattle Avionics offers a "Lifetime Chart" subscription. It ain't cheap but I am only 45 years old and hope to fly another 20+ years. Seattle Avionics just signed a 3 year deal to supply data for the Bendix/King AV8OR unit so the company should be financially secure for many years to come.
- The team. I have to say that I genuinely liked the team at Seattle Avionics. I spent several hours at their booth at Oshkosh. I got to interact with the CEO and the President and got to see how they interacted with other pilots and non-pilots (including my 6 year old daughter). They are genuinely good people and very very sharp. To me, this is important in a small company. They were there first thing in the morning each day with a smile on their face and ready to help. I appreciated this.

- Cons.
* I like the hardware but frankly it is a bit too large. I think a 8" tablet will prove to be the ideal form factor for me. The convertible (ie, has a physical keyboard) is nice but really adds to the bulk. The SkyPad is 8.9" diagnal screen. This is perfect for approach plates but more than I need while in cruise. The nice thing about Seattle Avionics model is that when new hardware comes out, I simply xfer the software to the new unit. Their licensing allows for the software on up to 3 units.
* External GPS. Its not a major pain but I really would like to see a tablet with an internal GPS. I don't need a WAAS GPS as SkyPad shows my aircraft on the approach plates but not having to deal with one more device and not having to carry the charger in my flight bag would be nice.
* ViewAnywhere screen would be nice. The screen is viewable and usable in direct sunlight but I do have to focus on the screen to garner the information I need. Having 800-1000 nits would be nice.

Hope this review helps. I've really enjoyed my unit and am glad I made the choice I did.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 04:06 AM
Posted in reply to RMCN172RG's post "Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

It's available today (11/27/09) for about $800. That's $300 off. And lifetime subscriptions are between $100 and $250 off, too. I'm tempted to get one, but we already have a 496
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=11028504473...IUPOqE9sEYHg==
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Old November 27th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #6
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Well I ordered the base unit on sale. We'll see what we think when it gets here.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:10 PM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Skypad users - Any more inputs/reviews??

I've beeen doing a lot of research and thinking about buying one, just looking for some recent comments.

Thanks!!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Also, check out the IFly 700:

http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/Home.aspx
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgruber View Post
Also, check out the IFly 700:

http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/Home.aspx

Wow -- thanks for the link -- great looking product!!
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #10
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Still have not used the Skypad on a real cross country, just a few day waste my time flights. I have worked with the flight planner a lot and like it's capabilities.

Since the original purchase I 've added the Yoke mount and a kneeboard style velcro holder. After flying with the unit on the kneeboard decided that was not very useful. The yoke mount in portrait mode gives a visual perspective similar to an approach plate or Chart on a yoke clip.

I have been able to power the unit on in the airplane parked outside the FBO, connect to the wireless and get a final weather update while prepping the aircraft. I have not added the XM weather since I am not doing any real X/C flying.

I have all the available Charts, plates, airport info A/FD inormation loaded in it. That requires leaving it turned on in my office for a few hours each month to update everything. On my planning PC I only auto load the most used sectionals and let the program download anything else it wants during the planning process.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #11
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nortonious View Post
Skypad users - Any more inputs/reviews??

I've beeen doing a lot of research and thinking about buying one, just looking for some recent comments.

Thanks!!

I've owned the original Skypad since last September (bought it at Oshkosh). I have been at times impressed with the in flight capabilities and at others beyond frustrated. Keep in mind they just introduced what looks like a new lenovo tablet pc which replaces the one I have and fixes some of the screen issues shown below.

For flight planning it is very good, though there are so many other choices out there now including good free web based ones that I would think twice if I were making the same decision again.

I really bought it for in flight moving map/efb use and not really the planning aspects as I can get those anywhere. When it works, it works very well.

Positives:
- Decent interface once you get used to it
- Everything is georeferenced if you have the correct subscription level
- Very capable flight planner

Negatives:
- Multiple problems, all get fixed after at least working with support for a while (sometimes a long while): Fuel prices stopped working, ASOS data stopped showing up for one or two monthly update cycles, Airplane symbol was pointing the wrong way while in flight, etc.

- Daylight readability is not very good.
- Voyager hangs from time to time if you don't get the GPS going before you start it
- Unless you take an extra step of locking the screen orientation you will find in flight that it rotates the display for you and requires you to restart voyager to get it going again.

- More wires, seperate gps which you have to recharge
- It is big. That is great for looking at plates and charts, but in my Cherokee my lap is currently the best place for it and that can be a problem at times.

-----

At this point while I really like what I have with the skypad I have been considering selling it and moving to something which has a quicker startup time and does not involve Windows. I would eventually like weather capability. The Garmin Aera combined with paper plates is one option. Another might be an iPad in the future, or a Kindle and a Garmin.

If you have more questions feel free to PM or post here.

Bottom line: I like it a lot, but there are so many other options out there right now you should consider all of them and figure out what is important to you.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:17 PM
Posted in reply to kgruber's post "Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgruber View Post
Also, check out the IFly 700:

http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/Home.aspx
Thanks to all for their replies. I'd really like to try the Skypad2, but wish they would offer a risk-free trial as the above product does. Heck, I'd be willing to pay the shipping both ways for a demo model, but the 20% restock fee is kinda steep if i don't like it.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:28 PM
Posted in reply to RMCN172RG's post "Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

I ordered one and am now returning it. Very unreliable with windows 7. Locks up. Only 1 hour battery life,etc. Just not as advertised. I hate paying Garmin fees, b ut when I power a garmin on, it works. Not as fancy but in the cockpit, dependability is the best ability!
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Old July 8th, 2010, 01:48 PM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmeredith View Post
I ordered one and am now returning it. Very unreliable with windows 7. Locks up. Only 1 hour battery life,etc. Just not as advertised. I hate paying Garmin fees, b ut when I power a garmin on, it works. Not as fancy but in the cockpit, dependability is the best ability!
That must be the skypad II with the Lenovo computer. They claimed much better battery life than that. I see were FlightPrep has also moved to that platform.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 09:37 PM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmeredith View Post
I ordered one and am now returning it. Very unreliable with windows 7. Locks up. Only 1 hour battery life,etc. Just not as advertised. I hate paying Garmin fees, b ut when I power a garmin on, it works. Not as fancy but in the cockpit, dependability is the best ability!
Sorry to hear about that. My buddy and I decided to try one of these for free for 30 days. http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/Home.aspx Liked it enough to keep it.

Don't know what your needs are, but this is a prety nice setup for the VFR pilot, can almost be an EFB.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #16
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nortonious View Post
Sorry to hear about that. My buddy and I decided to try one of these for free for 30 days. http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/Home.aspx Liked it enough to keep it.

Don't know what your needs are, but this is a prety nice setup for the VFR pilot, can almost be an EFB.
I have no interest in it, but if anybody is, they've got a non-published deal on these units right now:

Quote:
If you have been thinking about getting an iFly 700 but are waiting for a deal, now is your chance. I have 10 units that have been returned and/or used for demonstrations. So even though they are in perfect shape, and include the same warranty and 30 day guarantee as a new unit, I'm selling these for $445. This includes all the accessories that come with a new unit, and you can choose a full-size hard case, or a small soft carrying case. They also come with 2 free months of Enhanced Subscription.

This deal is not available on the online store, so give us a call to order: 1-888-200-5129. Please leave a message if you get to our voice mail. First come, first served.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:11 PM
Posted in reply to RMCN172RG's post "Seattle Avionics - Skypad"
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

Re: the IFly....

Not sure if it's their web guy, or the pilot / author himself, but somebody needs to learn how to spell... especially "insturments" (that's misspelled 3 times on one page... and it's not the only thing spelled incorrectly on that page):

http://ifly.adventurepilot.com/MoreI...0/Default.aspx
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Old July 9th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

The Unit I returned was a Skypad not a ifly. The Ifly looks cool but I need xm weather. I spent the cash and bought an Garmin 696.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: Seattle Avionics - Skypad

I bought their software (Voyager) for a tablet PC which runs AviationSafety.com TrueFlight just fine. The Voyager product has nice flight planning but their moving map GPS was buggy as hell and would often lag a good deal or stop working. Seattle Avionics would not offer me a return on their junk software either.

I eneded up buying it and finding it unusable while they strung me along for months saying that their newest version was coming out and told me to wait. After the new version came out and I found it unusable they would not honor a return.

Be very wary of dealing with Seattle Avionics. Their business practices are poor.

I now use only TrueFlight with XM Weather and have taken it aross the country and back twice in my Lancair. They also offer a small tablet called the Cheetah http://aviationsafety.com/
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