ADS-B WX on the cheap?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by talkingbob, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hello,

    One of the main reasons I got my Garmin 496 was to have terrain/wx/and GPS all in one.


    Since most aircraft I now rent have the GPS/Terr. covered already, I was thinking that I might be able to get a portable ADS-B WX solution for about the same amount of money that I would get selling the 496.

    I do already have an Android "HTC Merge" device with wifi...


    Any and all thoughts on this are always appreciated.
    Thanks for reading!



    - Jon C.
     
  2. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    what's cheap?
     
  3. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, I see a 496 for sale on eBay for about $700 current bid, and that's in the ballpark of most of the ADS-B IN receivers out there. When you factor in the savings from canceling the XM subscription, the cost of ADS-B is covered. Your question then is which one would work with your HTC Merge. Most of them work with iPads. Garmin Pilot with the Garmin GDL 39 may be your only choice.
     
  4. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I said "on the cheap" to mean "doesn't have to be pretty". It can be "hacked together", so to speak.
    Also, I am frugal, so cheap additionally implies financially inexpensive. However, I am well aware how vague a term that is!


    Anyone had experience with the Garmin Pilot App? It looks like there is some sort of subscription for it, but am uncertain how much that would be.
    Sporty's has a "standard subscription" to Garmin Pilot on sale for $50 right now...
    http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/17279

    I thought the whole point of ADS-B WX was to NOT have a subscription. Am I missing something?



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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think that this is the first time I have ever seen "ADS-B" and "cheap" in the same sentence.
     
  6. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    "On the cheap" generally isn't a concept that is particularly compatible with aviation.

    The Garmin Pilot application requires a subscription for the application, not the ADS-B data. The application gets you current VFR and IFR charts for a one year term.

    SkyRadar also makes ADS-B receivers and I believe might have their own app, but I'm not sure of Android support. Also, I don't know if the SkyRadar receivers are battery powered or require ship power


    JKG
     
  7. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Owner of one airplane that I fly sometimes bought GDL-39 and wired it to display on the panel 496. It's quite pretty and works well around major airports here. Shows traffic too (rebroadcast by ground stations, as I understand). It was $700+, which is ways cheaper than anything I saw thus far for FIS-B. NavWorx box is $2500+antennas+misc.

    I was most impressed that he ordered it next day after Garmin announced it availability at Oshkosh, and they shipped the unit in about a week thereafter. Those avionics mega-monopolies are good for some things sometimes. Only took a few days to set it up, too.
     
  8. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First of all, thank you all for the numerous and quick replies - wow!

    Maybe I should rename my post title to "Lowest cost FIS-B WX for non-ipad user" :)

    zaitcev - From my research, it looked like the GDL-39 only displays TIS-A traffic on the 496 and no NEXRAD/TAF/METAR data. Am I wrong?

    JGoodish - Coming in at $600, the SkyRadar-L seems like the winner for the actual receiver hardware. Thanks for letting me know about it.

    Now I just need to find the best inexpensive/free app (that will work on android) and I'll be set!


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  9. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Supposedly weather is there, although this picture only shows NOTAMs:
    https://twitter.com/nmsportaviation/status/231422323025129473/photo/1

    Just as the upgrade happened, I had medical denied, so only flew with instructor. I'll try to take a picture of weather screen next time.
     
  10. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not saying it's the most economic option, but the additional cost of acquiring an iPad (16 Gig iPad 2 can be had for $340) might be worth looking into.

    I have Foreflight anyway, so the cost of ADS-B is "free" to me, once I buy the receiver.
     
  11. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    zaitcev - So sorry to hear about the medical :sad:


    Your photo shows what looks to be a 696/695 which makes sense. In case anyone else was wondering, here's the Garmin compatibility chart I found:
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=93601


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  12. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The GDL will work with the Garmin Pilot app on the Android at $10/month.

    The only other aviation map app of note on the Android that I'm aware of is Naviator, which costs $50 annually. I don't see that it has any ADS-B capability, though.

    Wing-X is supposedly available on Android, but I don't see much about it on the site. The Sagetech Clarity line of ADS-B receivers explicitly says not compatible with Android at this time.
     
  13. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    The 396/496 will not display FIS-B weather products from the GDL39, according to Garmin.


    JKG
     
  14. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is the set up I now enjoy. ADS-B weather (and traffic, when a ground station is pinged by an aircraft with a squitter) displayed on the Nexus 7 tablet using the Garmin GDL-39, attached via Bluetooth.

    It works great!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    As an aside, I think "squitter" sounds like something that happens when you eat food that sat out too long.
     
  16. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Haw! Agree.

    One thing everyone needs to know about the ADS-B system is that all those bajillion ground based antennas are NOT transmitting data all the time. They need to be "triggered" by a squitter -- on an aircraft that is equipped with ADS-B out.

    I failed to understand this before shelling out the $800 for the GDL-39. I looked at the map, showing near-complete coverage of ground antennas in South Texas, and went "Oooo, free traffic and weather!"

    Not! Free weather, yes, but until a nearby (like, less than 20 miles away) aircraft is squitting, the GDL-39 sees nothing in the sky. Once that "squit" hits the ground station, voila! -- traffic info is broadcast and displayed, and it's really cool.

    Until that happens, though, you see nothing. And with so few aircraft squitting, you see nothing most of the time -- despite having all the ground antennas complete in my neighborhood.

    I've been told that the FAA has done this to "encourage" everyone to get ADS-B OUT, not just "in". I personally don't see the need for "out" if "in" can display traffic as seen by controllers on their scopes -- but what do I know?


    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  17. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    The reasoning, Jay, is that ADS-B is intended to eventually replace most of the radar sites completely, and it will work only if all the planes are squirting and squirting and oozing data.
     
  18. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    I could be wrong, but the "out" I thought was how others saw you. So for your example, you saw some traffic when that guy got close enough to your tower to trigger it, but you only saw the planes with an out, and he didn't see you.

    So if in your area, there are 10 planes flying, two with out, and all 10 with in, all 10 will only see 2 planes.

    At least I think that's how it works.
     
  19. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Jay - I'm glad you like your setup. Thank you for the input.

    It seems that right now I have narrowed it down to 2 options:


    $800 GDL-39 + $50/year Garmin Pilot subscription = $800 + 50/yr
    OR
    $480 Skyradar-L + $150 ipod touch + $25/year Skyradar app (may not have to subscribe for WX) = $630 + 25/yr


    Also, I am uncertain why people say that I would be unhappy with the ipod touch screen size? The GPSMAP 496 screen is certainly low-res and small as well, and I used that fine...



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  20. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    In looking at that particular app, if the size of the screen doesn't bother you, then I think you're good to go. The iPad version just looks like a blown up version of the iPhone version.

    However for some apps (like Foreflight), it's not just the size of the screen. What you see on it from the iPad vs the iPod touch is different, and you lose some usability due to it.
     
  21. snoboy

    snoboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Without trying to sound rude, yes you a missing some of it. The ADS-B weather still needs some method to interface. When you purchase/subscribe to Garmin Pilot you are signing up for the entire set of VFR, IFR Lo and High, WAC and TAC charts in a moving map. You are receiving all the Approach charts for the entire country plus all the airport diagrams AND these will all be updated every 28 days, 56 days and semi annually as required for as long as you subscribe. You also are receiving a wonderful live weather app with NEXRAD radar, metars, TAFs, lightning, fuel prices, Airmets, Sigmets. Te weather app will work whenever you have a wifi or cell phone connection. The Garmin GDL39 will alow you to get the same weather while actually flying. I have Garmin Pilot and Naviator both on my Motorola tablet. Both apps have their strong points and I like both equally but for different reasons.
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  22. talkingbob

    talkingbob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Quick update:

    Just bought a used 3rd generation ipod touch for $75. This should make the total cost $555.

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  23. Bret Craytor

    Bret Craytor Filing Flight Plan

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    Have you looked at cyoung's Stratux? can basically build a receiver for under 200 US$ using a Raspberry Pi, and other parts, which will get you UAT and 1096ES traffic, and you can pick the platform for your visualization with a multitude of Apps. Even Android.

    Bret C.
     
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  24. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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  25. flyingron

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  26. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been trying to hold off until they get a good ahrs solution with foreflight, but that package is very tempting!
     
  27. StevieTimes

    StevieTimes Line Up and Wait

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    avare is a decent android app that gets traffic... does it not get weather as well? this plus Stratux = low cost.
     
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  28. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    I built the original Stratux Raspberry Pi option with just the UAT reciever and it works great.
    Nice to see the advancement in packaging with OpenFlight
     
  29. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    +1 Stratux or Flightbox + AVARE app on tablet or phone. No sub required.

    ADS-B IN weather/traffic for 250 for the flightbox (200 ish if you source and assemble the parts yourself) and your current tablet/phone.
     
  30. hankrausch

    hankrausch Pre-takeoff checklist

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  31. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Does the gps on the flightbox stratux work better than your phone/tablet gps? My phone and tablet both have awful gps performance, my flight path recordings look like constellation drawings, my 360's look like triangles or worse, my altitude fluctuates 50-100 ft. from one sample to the next(and back) so the profile looks like a saw tooth.

    I'm using avare.
     
  32. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    Depends on the phone/tablet you're using, I suppose. My Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and my Galaxy S5's internal GPS worked great. I'm now using an S7 Edge, so I don't know if it'll work as well, but I assume it will. Altitude will probably vary by 50-100 ft or so on a phone since it's going to be low in the cockpit and not have access to the satellites that are at a low angle relative to the horizon (which are the ones you need for accurate altitude). If it's an Android device, you may want to go into the location settings and make sure the location setting is set to use "high accuracy" "high power" or "GPS/Wi-Fi/Mobile Networks" setting.

    In Avare you can go to the GPS settings and do position source "all available" and "short GPS period" and see if that helps.

    As far as the GPS in the Flightbox is concerned, the altitude info should be better if it is mounted in line of sight to GPS satellites low on the horizon.
     
  33. ssokol

    ssokol Filing Flight Plan

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    @exncsurfer - the GPS included in FlightBox is WAAS capable and typically reports accuracy of something like 10 meters. Occasionally 5. It's a good chipset (Ublox Neo-7) but it does have to put up with noise from the wifi transceiver, a brushless fan, and the Pi. I tend to think of it as a nice backup to the GPS on my tablets (iPad Mini 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2) but it works fine as a primary for those who have wifi-only tablets w/o GPS.

    We're probably going to start offering a slightly better, slightly more expensive GPS option for people who want to remote-mount the GPS. I had lots of people at Sun-N-Fun who asked how to blind-mount the box and use a transponder or DME antenna. The remote GPS will make it easy for them to still get a good GPS signal, even with the box velcro'd out of sight.
     
  34. ssokol

    ssokol Filing Flight Plan

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    @hankrausch - my reason for wanting the dual band is pretty simple. Even with ADS-B out (which I have - really good for testing stuff) the traffic picture is incomplete without both bands. This is especially true at low altitudes where either you don't have access to a tower (for TIS-B radar / ADS-R) or where the other traffic is too low for ATC radar to pick it up. As we get closer to 2020 it will be more and more useful to be able to receive direct traffic info on both bands.