Garmin Aera 500 - seeking opinions

Discussion in 'The Classifieds' started by CBeaulieu, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Does anyone have experience using the Garmin 500? I'm new to aviation GPS's, and was curious if this would be a good one to start with.
     
  2. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I have the 510 -- that's the 500 plus the XM weather, and I love it. As an instrument instructor, it's great to be able to carry a high-end hand-held GPS and weather device into my clients' airplanes. The 5-instrument flight display provides enough capability that I can get the plane down in instrument weather even if I lose everything in the panel (radios, instruments, the works). As I did not have an automotive GPS when I got the 510, the ability to push one button and turn it into a Garmin Nuvi for road use is another plus. And its touchscreen functionality in both aviation and automotive modes is great.

    Add that to an iPad with Foreflight, and you have a pretty powerful electronic flight bag and backup system with you.
     
  3. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the input, Ron!

    I was eyeing the 510, but anything with WX comes with a hefty price tag :hairraise:
     
  4. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    I can do a used Aera for you. I sell lots of gps's and headsets. You can pm Anthony, he just bought a 510 Aera from me.
    Aera 510 $900
    Aera 560 $1250
     
  5. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    I'll second the recommendation on the 510. Works great, easy to read, and competitively priced.
     
  6. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    As I fly professionally, it's tax deductible, so Uncles Sam and Martin are paying about a third of it for me. :wink2: OTOH, there's also the iPad/Foreflight/Stratus option, with the free ADS-B weather available in the most populated portions of the country once you pay $800 for the Stratus box. It's a very different approach to the problem with different strengths and weaknesses.
     
  7. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My Aera 500 was stolen, I replaced it with a Anywheremap Quadra because I got a deal on it, that was a mistake, then I replaced it with an iPad and the Garmin App, that was also a mistake (the iPad is much better for IFR stuff, because the Aera doesn't have any of that) but for a sanely priced VFR Aviation handheld GPS the Aera is hard to beat. I'll probably buy another one even though I have a panel mount GPS and an iPad. My panel mount is a KLN89B and has a laughable moving map and iPad is too big to be practical and is hard to read in the sun, my VFR trips it is usually stuffed in my flight bag and forgotten about.
     
  8. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Yes - have the Aera 500. It replaced an older Garmin Pilot III. Way better graphics than the Pilot and does have much more capacity than I am likely to need flying only VFR. Took a bit more learning to operate and not quite as intuitive as the Pilot. Although I wouldn't go back, the old Pilot did everything I ever needed, NEVER failed (except around Patuxent MD) and was very easy to use. Really is a cost/benefit decision, and for my use, it was a close decision.

    Gary
     
  9. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    When they say the 510 has XM weather support, does that mean it has a built-in receiver and all you connect is the antenna or do you need a separate receiver?
     
  10. cavmedic

    cavmedic Line Up and Wait

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    Its built in. Just pay for the subscriptions

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The receiver is built into the antenna, which is a small hockey puck (smaller than the old one for the 396/496 -- about 3" diameter and 3/4-inch thick) you toss on the glare shield, and it comes included with the 510 -- no extra charge. The antenna has a 3-foot cord which plugs into the 510. Pretty convenient, actually, and way, way smaller than the WxWorx XM and Stratus ADS-B boxes.

    Oh, yeah -- and with XM, for an extra $13/month, you get like 200 channels of Sirius/XM satellite radio -- news, sports, weather, music, talk; you name it, they got it, and it works in your car, too, if you have an AUX music jack or a cassette player (cassette adapter about $20 at Radio Shack). FAA sure ain't broadcasting that on ADS-B.
     
  12. cavmedic

    cavmedic Line Up and Wait

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    If they would support the streaming of the xm via the bluetooth and enable the blutooth in aviation mode would be even better

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hmm...I looked at buying a Pilot III. I figured for the price you can get them for on ebay, you can't go wrong.
     
  14. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I have played around with WXWorx - I have both the Series 1 and Series 2 receivers bought cheap on eBay. I have a whole bunch of rapidly-becoming-oudated stuff that I picked up relatively cheaply but need to dump ASAP if I don't want to end up stuck with it.
     
  15. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    As a low cost (all things being relative), easy to use, drop dead reliable unit - hard to beat.

    Gary
     
  16. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. pigpenracing is good to go, and that is a good price on the 510.

    I'll echo what Ron, and Gary have said although I haven't used it much yet, but it is pretty easy to get accustomed to, and the XM capabilities are nice.

    I've got mine hardwired into ship's power and that is really nice. Thanks Keith!
     
  17. Piloto

    Piloto Line Up and Wait

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    I have the 560 and love it. Best GPS I had. Very fast GPS/XM acquisition even inside the hangar. Very intuitive to use. 100% reliable. Highly recommend.

    José
     

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