iPad Mini w/ ForeFlight: help!

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by ShaneBoruff, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. ShaneBoruff

    ShaneBoruff Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello,

    I'm going to be using the iPad Mini with Foreflight when I fly. My question is: is there a big difference in cellular data or just using foreflight with an iPad mini with wifi only.

    Will I be subject to less content if I have an iPad with only wifi and no cellular when I fly? Thanks! Looking for everyone's input.
     
  2. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    No difference in Foreflight but the wifi only iPad doesn't have internal GPS while the cellular models do. That's a big deal unless you're planning on adding an external GPS receiver.
     
  3. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

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    The internal GPS of the cellular version works quite well and you won't have to deal with a separate device for the GPS. I like to keep things simple.
     
  4. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You can pay an extra $100 for the cell/GPS version and never turn on the cell phone service, or get only the wifi version and buy an external GPS for $100.
     
  5. ShaneBoruff

    ShaneBoruff Filing Flight Plan

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    So the iPad mini 4 doesn't have the internal GPS? I feel like someone said it does but I'm not sure. I'll ask apple also when I go to buy it.
     
  6. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    wifi model-no. Cellular model-yes. And like murphey said, you don't have to activate the cell service to use the GPS.
     
  7. ShaneBoruff

    ShaneBoruff Filing Flight Plan

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    Cool thanks for the input, still learning alittle so a lot helps.
     
  8. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You can get adsb traffic and weather if you spend that extra money on a stratux instead....if I'm not mistaken.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    GPS can either be in the iPad (requires the cellular chipset even if you don't put cellular data service on the device) or external to it.

    GPS inside a Stratux works fine but Stratux being DIY to assemble it (if you want to save any money) is going to run about $200 all in for a homebrew one with a GPS chipset installed and you'll need to make sure you use one of the recommended GPS chipsets, and either use someone's pre-designed and 3D printed cases that will hold the two receivers, antennas, and the chosen GPS add on board on top of the Raspberry Pi... or you can stuff it all in a larger project box like I did for future updates/messing around with it.

    Other external GPS sources exist that will work with certain EFBs like ForeFlight as well. See their documentation for compatibility.
     
  10. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    ForeFlight offers a gizmo for ADSB In for $100.

    Been flying with the Bad Elf external GPS for years and like it a lot. One reason is when my iPad was obsoleted because of iOS bloat, I could buy a cheaper new one (no internal gps) and use the Bad Elf with it.

    Cheers
     
  11. RalphInCA

    RalphInCA Cleared for Takeoff

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  12. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I meant he can spend the extra money on the stratux gps with adsb and have both for close to the same money as the internal gps on the iPad which does not have adsb... again, unless I'm mistaken.

    I ordered the Merlin from Seattle Avionics. A little pricier than a stratux but has AHRS and a warranty in a nice fan cooled case already built....and is WAAS Gps

    https://www.seattleavionics.com/merlin.aspx
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  13. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Yeah, a Stratus or Stratux or equivalent is a very good investment. Gives you weather and transponder traffic, i.e. situational awareness. The gear and costs are inexpensive.
     
  14. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Stratus 2B $899

    Scout $199

    Both have ADSB In, Scout only works with ForeFlight.

    Cheers
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Gives you weather and the traffic the FAA deems useful to your safety because of someone else's "hockey puck". They don't find all traffic worth sending to everyone in a "safety" system. (Beat head here.)
     
  16. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    That's what I mean by transponder traffic, Nate. Yeah, primary radar would be better, but for the price you pay seeing everything with a transponder is a damn good thing. Still need the old Mark II eyeballs, of course.
     
  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You don't see everything with a transponder. That was my point. If it's not in someone who has ADS-B OUT's "hockey puck" you'll never see it aboard an ADS-B IN only aircraft. FAA does NOT send ALL transponder equipped traffic up the 978 MHz tower signal. Only "participating" aircraft (meaning they have ADS-B OUT) will trigger the transmission of traffic in a particular chunk of the sky.

    It's a very broken "safety" system. Very very very broken. That "feature" should have NEVER been allowed in the engineering specs for a safety system, and the engineering people working on it should have said STOP. And used a special word that keeps stupidity like that from happening in safety systems, "NO."
     
  18. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I like having an active cellular account on my Ipad with foreflight so that I don't have to worry about locating wifi on the ground to get weather, file, activate and close flight plans etc. The cellular version has the GPS built in so you could get by with just adding the scout ADSB in receiver to get traffic and weather.
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Same here. That, and should the Stratus, Scout, Stratux or whatever break, you've still got positional situational awareness. I'm still amazed that consumer electronics costing hundreds can give you this kind of navigation. I recall a time when it was the province of specific aviation GPS units that cost thousands.
     
  20. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Please don't use Gizmo when referring to external gps receivers like the "sport" and such.

    Air Gizmo makes panel docks for dedicated aviation portables which are far superior to an app on some tablet crapeziod.
     
  21. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Would be interesting to know how the software "patch" works for ForeFlight AHRS.
     
  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    On Stratux? The "naughty" version that gets around ForeFlight's blocking of non-approved AHRS?

    My guess would be that it just lies to ForeFlight about what it is. There's no cyrptographic identifier in the commercial "approved" products that confirms a device is what it claims to be when it handshakes initially with ForeFlight. (Not that the two manufacturers couldn't add such a thing pretty easily via a software update and mandate that there would be a "drop dead" date beyond which both the devices and ForeFlight had to be on a particular version number (with the crypto handshake added to each) or they'd "stop working".

    The source code for both the non-naughty and naughty versions is out there, so a diff of each would tell the exact details. Not a super hard thing to do. Probably just a different identification string sent to FF lying about what device FF just connected to.
     
  23. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, you're saying the gizmo that holds the device that gives you the information is "far superior" to the device and software?
     
  24. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No. I said that dedicated aviation portables are far superior to tablets and apps.
     
  25. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    How so?
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    This ought to be good.

    :popcorn:
     
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  27. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Didn't know the word "gizmo" was trademarked/copyrighted/patented:rolleyes:

    Cheers
     
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  28. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    1) Dedicated Aviation Portables cost more. Everything that costs more is better. (joke)
    2) Direct sunlight does not cause them to over heat. (fact)
    3) The battery lives are generally longer. (my observation)
    4) The buttonology (or user interface) is more like airplane stuff than a video game. (my opinion)
    5) They don't have annoying OS updates... and much better... a 10 year old aviation portable still works, but a 10 year old tablet cannot accept the current OS and the current apps won't always run on the previous OS. (my observation)

    I know I'm just an old fuddy duddy on this... but there remains the idea that you can either do one thing well, or you can do many things, but you can't do everything well. Tablets and Apps do many things. Just not very well. (my opinion)
     
  29. Lando

    Lando Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Get the cellular version so you have GPS built in - it's definitely worth the extra $. I've had my Stratus lose connection in flight and ForeFlight didn't miss a beat as far displaying my position. It's also nice to have if you're "playing" around on FF while flying commercial or simply planning a flight from an unfamiliar location.
     
  30. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Agree having both internal and external gps would be best, especially handy with a data plan. If concerned with cost savings and accuracy though, I'd vote for the external.
     
  31. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I have the wifi mini. Definitely no GPS. If you can get your hands on a used stratus or something similar, that would be great. I use a stratus 2 for GPS and ADS-B in to get weather. My stratus has never lost connection, but I'm sure it happens.

    My advice is get a mini that has more than 16 GB. Mine is getting to the point where I'm almost full.
     
  32. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I just tether mine to the cellphone which is always in my pocket (a rooted droid). Saves the cost of yet another data plan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  33. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I've been doing that for 7 years. And with the availability of WiFi ever-increasing, even that has been rare. I think I last did it about a year ago (maybe longer) while waiting for a commercial flight at a big airport with horrible passenger WiFi.
     
  34. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does your old GPS "run current apps?"

    Stuff that works keeps on working. Nobody sends a kill signal (although Microsoft was thinking about doing that.)

    You just can't count on enjoying new features.

    The radio in a 55 Chevy still works. It doesn't have navigation or even FM.
     
  35. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    IPad pilot apps are far more feature rich, user friendly, intuitive to use, and better at keeping updated than any panel GPS I've owned or observed. Hands down!