iPad and GPS

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by TMetzinger, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    So, Grant and I were at AOPA and I am ALMOST convinced to buy an iPad2 and get WingX or foreflight. There are just a couple of things bugging me.

    I've got a Holux GPS logger, a box about a third the size of a pack of cigarettes. Turn it on and it starts shooting out NMEA sentences over bluetooth, and storing them to internal storage as well, for later retrieval and playback. I use it when flying to capture the flight track for later analysis, and to feed position to my tablet PC.

    Does the iPad work with external bluetooth GPS units, or is this somewhere where Apple has locked stuff down?

    Ideally I'd like to have the iPad getting position data from the Holux and FIS-B/ADS-R from a little gadget I've can test, both via bluetooth SPP.
     
  2. Mike_Flys

    Mike_Flys Pre-Flight

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    I have been using an iPad in the cockpit for over a year with Foreflight. Great tool.

    Yes the iPad works with an external GPS.
    Yes apple has locked stuff down.

    It only works with some external GPSs. I don't think it will work with Holux GPS logger.

    The internal GPS works well. I have had it over 17K ft in a piper Lance.
    I do have a Bad Elf external GPS for it and it gets much better signal.

    There is a bluetooth one as well but I had mixed results with it.

    My $0.02

    Mike
     
  3. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Damn Apple... I get why they lock down stuff that electrically interfaces with their device. But they ought to let people connect to any damn bluetooth device they want.

    That said, maybe if I can connect the Holux as a serial port device, WingX will read it.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The Dual and Bad Elf are the only two that I know of who've bothered to do Apple's format. Standard NMEA GPS's need not apply... :(
     
  5. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Now, if Apple can give a valid reason why NMEA isn't "good enough", I'd love to hear it.

    Otherwise, I guess I'm not getting an iPad for aviation use.
     
  6. Mike_Flys

    Mike_Flys Pre-Flight

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    I use my iPad for flight planning/filing, weather, Electronic charts, AFD, ...great tool.
    However I don't use it for GPS aided Navigation, I use an iFly700 for that.

    Mike
     
  7. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I now see that the way the ADS-B gadget connects to the iPAd is via wifi, and it sends GPS position data too.

    But, just like any other damn in-cockpit weather solution, it costs 1 AMU.

    Grrr.
     
  8. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Even the GPS receiver built into my IPhone works great with Foreflight.

    I'm quickly becoming a Foreflight addict. My wife has picked up on it and I sense that Santa Claus will be bringing me an IPad.

    The Foreflight subscription includes one license for an IPhone and one license for an IPad all in the same subscription. I am NOT planning on having to buy a GPS receiver to supplement the one in the IPad.
     
  9. pericynthion

    pericynthion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you "jailbreak" your iPad (free, legal, easy to do, hard to reverse, some disadvantages) you can use any bluetooth GPS. I did this and use a program on my Android phone as the source of GPS information.
     
  10. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The iPAD doesn't support NMEA???
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Haven't found any docs. Could be NMEA-0183 versus NMEA-2000? The Dual has a switch on it, you set it to NMEA or "Apple" mode. Must not be very hard to figure out/reverse-engineer. Probably a few hours with a serial capture, and any GPS could do it.

    There appears to be another one now...

    http://store.ipadforums.net/gns-5870-mfi-bluetooth-gps-receiver/184A95A7805.htm

    Sold out at the moment on that site.

    As someone else pointed out, jail breaking folks have it all working just fine these days, if you're into that sort of thing.

    http://xsellize.com/topic/66349-btstack-gps-lets-you-connect-external-gps-to-ipad-iphone-ipod/

    For $99, if I needed an external GPS (I don't...), there's no way there'd be enough hours in the day to mess with jailbreaks and hacks for that price.
     
  12. Morne

    Morne Line Up and Wait

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    I have an iPad2. The internal GPS works fine - I've tested it up to 9500' in my Cessna-182E.

    There have been times that the Garmin 195 that came with my plane couldn't lock onto the satellites but my iPad2 was dead nuts on. Thus, I recently moved my Garmin 195 to the right yoke and put an iPad Ram mount on the left. Doesn't even block the instruments.
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Doc; When I get a chance to come see you and we go up to David J & Libby's Cafe for lunch, I'll bring my iPad and let you have a chance to fiddle and and twiddle while we're enroute.

    I also recently got the trial of Garmin's updated MyCast that has some some items that FF doesn't have (yet) that look to be pretty useful.

    I also need to go fly with WingX to see what the hooplah is. I've looked at the trial and can see some of why folks appreciate it. But I need to see the rest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  14. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    As far as I can tell what the issue is is that iOS doesn't support the bluetooth serial port profile.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  15. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    I had my iPad opened to fore flight the other day just driving on the highway and it didn't pick up a gps signal... I even out it up on the cars dash. To see if that would help... Maybe I didnt leave it there long enough? It's an iPad 1 ... Wonder why it wouldn't pick up a signal....
     
  16. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I messed with external GPS(s) for the iPad and then I tried the internal one. Truth is the internal one works perfectly, I've never had an issue, it locks VERY quickly. After playing with external and internal I determined external was an absolute waste of time and money.
     
  17. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I sorta want to have an app that would replace my truck's existing instrument cluster/spedometer with a Aspen or G1000 representation.

    so I'm an aviation geek. I think it would be cool. :yes:

    (But officer, I was only going 75 knots when you tagged me....:rolleyes2:)
     
  18. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But for someone that already has one.... it's a waste to dispose of it. Especially if (like Tim) it serves another function too. It can also save money in that one need not buy the 3G model of iPad (for $$$ more).

    YMMV
     
  19. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I don't understand why people buy external gps for the ipad? Mine has worked great.
    Once or twice the ipad locked up. It looks like the gps has lost its signal as there is no hud readout. So I just do a reboot and all is well.
     
  20. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe that's what I needed to do too and it would have been fine I'll try that next time
     
  21. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because all reports have not been as uniformly good as yours.

    "I don't understand why people don't walk at night in really bad neighborhoods. When I've done it it's worked great" doesn't mean that people shouldn't consider the reports of others.

    In my case, I saw enough reports by people who had problems that the WiFi-only iPad with an external GPS seemed to be the best cost/benefit option. I haven't regretted it for a moment. But I don't lack understanding of others' different reasonable choices.
     
  22. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Looking forward to it! I've gotten pretty familiar with Foreflight although I've had a brain fart that we've already beat to death in another thread.

    I just bought a battery pack to make SURE that I don't run out of power on a long flight. I don't have a cigarette lighter in the plane. I think Santa Claus is bringing an IPad down the chimney. In my little plane, I'm just not sure if there is room for an IPad and still be able to see the instruments.
     
  23. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Hey, a reciprocating saw, your IPad and a Saturday Afternoon should get it done!
     
  24. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've heard of and seen issues with the internal GPS on the iPad 1 but not on the iPad 2. I purchased a 5870 when I got my iPad 2 based on the issues I'd heard about the internal GPS on iPads. So far I've only used it once, just to see if it really works, the rest of the time I used the internal GPS and have had zero problems in several airplanes. I've been surprised to find that it even works in the passenger seats where there's no direct view of the sky above.

    I think I should offer the 5870 for sale.