Any experienced users of Garmin GNC 300XL?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by BigBadLou, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    TX - the friendliest state

    Display name:
    Lou
    If you own a GNC 300XL or have flown with it extensively in the past, I am curious about any useful feedback you might have.
    Any high points, low points of the design? How is the usability? Does it feel just like the old KLN 8x or 9x series units? How about DB updates?

    Thanks in advance
    Lou

    Edit: I posted this question specifically in this forum because I am looking to maybe have to use it for IFR.
     
  2. DGlaeser

    DGlaeser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI

    Display name:
    DGlaeser
    It was one of the first (maybe even the first) IFR GPS certified, so it doesn't do any of the neat stuff the current units do. Very basic.

    The interface is pretty much Garmin knob twiddling for entering flight plans and approaches. Only LNAV approaches of course.

    If you fly an approach with a course reversal, you have to manually put the GPS in Suspend mode prior to crossing the FAF the first time, and then UnSuspend when back inbound.

    If you have to hold, again you have to manually suspend, and then manually set the inbound course (and un-suspend when leaving the hold).

    The display does not show holding patterns or course reversals.

    There is no 'load' for approaches, they are immediately activated.

    DB updates are pretty much the same as others - load the card via your computer and stick it in the unit.

    If you are going to use it IFR, make sure you play with it in advance - and keep the quick reference guide handy so you can find stuff easily. The menu system is way different than anything else - only knobs, no convenience buttons.

    But it works just fine. Have one in my RV-7a and have been flying with it both VFR and IFR for 8 years.
     
  3. JHW

    JHW En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,320
    Location:
    Peoria, IL

    Display name:
    Jeff Wright
    I have a straight 300, not the new-fangled XL version

    same thing though. As mentioned it's pretty basic by modern standards but it works well and i find the interface much better than the KLN units
     
  4. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    TX - the friendliest state

    Display name:
    Lou
    Thank you, gentlemen, for the great feedback.
    If I end up buying a plane with one of these units, I will surely read the whole manual and practice on the ground and on VFR flights before going into IMC, trust me.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,733
    Location:
    Conway, MO

    Display name:
    LTD
    One thing worth noting is that the unit is no longer supported by Garmin. Mine went Tango Uniform last July...it was still supported at that time and Garmin replaced the unit at their flat rate of $800 (or whatever it was).

    Apparently I snuck in under the wire because they discontinued support a few months later. If it dies again today...I toss it into the trash.

    But, the first one lasted twelve years, hopefully this one will give me good service also.

    I've always liked it. It does everything I need especially since I have the equipment to shoot an ILS also.
     
  6. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    3,621
    Location:
    Colorado

    Display name:
    coloradobluesky
    Can you still get database updates?
     
  7. JHW

    JHW En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,320
    Location:
    Peoria, IL

    Display name:
    Jeff Wright
    yes, no problem. and 300/300XL (and i think 150XL) share the same database
     
  8. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    3,621
    Location:
    Colorado

    Display name:
    coloradobluesky
    The older IFR/GPS's work just fine if they dont break and you can get database updates. All the enroute you want and LNAV minimums. Combine it with an ILS and you can get in pretty low.
     
  9. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    TX - the friendliest state

    Display name:
    Lou
    Howdy again.
    I am reviving this 1-y/o thread because I have another question about the same GPS.
    Now that I own an airplane with one, I want to know how to use my GNC 300XL to its maximum potential.

    My question pertains to editing routes:
    How can I insert a waypoint into a route?

    I read the documentation (of course) and know how to append a waypoint to a route but the manual does not mention inserting a waypoint.
    I grew up on Bendix-King who allows waypoint insertion so I am spoiled. So far, I have not found a way to do the same on the Garmin.

    Can you experts please help?
     
  10. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Dallas, TX

    Display name:
    Harold Rutila
    If I recall correctly: Press the RTE softkey. Press the CRSR softkey. Use the small knob to enter your first waypoint. Press ENTR softkey. Continue entering waypoints until you're done.

    As far as I know, there is no way to insert a waypoint like there is in more modern GPSs.
     
  11. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,881
    Location:
    Western Washington

    Display name:
    Skywag
    No problem........just like a 155XL
     
  12. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,881
    Location:
    Western Washington

    Display name:
    Skywag
    Actually, start here and go through all the tutorials.
     
  13. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Display name:
    Paul B.
    I had my GNC-300XL installed in 2003. I flew a lot of VFR and a lot of IFR with it. It's a great unit. I don't know how many approaches I flew with it, but it was a lot over 11 years. I yanked it in 2014 to install my Avidyne IFD-540. I sold the 300XL on ebay. I hope it found a good home.
     
  14. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,164
    Location:
    TX - the friendliest state

    Display name:
    Lou
    Very nice! An undocumented feature!
    Thank you, this is the best answer.
    And I will watch the other tutorials. I know how to use maybe 80% of the functionality but want to know all of it.
    Again, thanks.
     
  15. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    110

    Display name:
    Flyzone
    I have a VFR version of the Garmin, a 250XL, and I believe you can insert waypoints into an existing route by cursoring to the waypoint where you want to insert a new waypoint. Proceed to enter your new waypoint. A new entry will be immediately inserted as soon as you begin entering the new waypoint. I have to believe the 300XL works the same way since it is nearly identical in most respects. This has been a bulletproof unit with an excellent radio and not a single problem in the 15 years I've had it.
     
  16. Cary Green

    Cary Green Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1

    Display name:
    N2897M
    I know this thread is old but the GNC XL series remains a widely-installed unit that pilots continue to encounter. I am putting together a mini-series that will help pilots better understand the GNC 300XL and its relatives (150XL, 155XL and 250XL). TheFlightPractitioner on the tube for those who are interested!
     
  17. Cruzinchris

    Cruzinchris Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Messages:
    140

    Display name:
    Cruzinchris
    The 300XL has an excellent Comm radio built in. That is why mine stays in the panel.
     
  18. Ted Ricci

    Ted Ricci Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
    Messages:
    34

    Display name:
    Tedricci
    I upgraded to a 530W and kept the 300xl as a back up gps/com. Mine's been in the plane since 2003 and still works just fine.