Thinking about getting a Garmin 496. Worth It?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by P51P28, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    Hey everyone. First post and very glad to be here. I currently use a Garmin 396 and a discussion came up last weekend with a co-owner about upgrading to a 496. Just wondering if its worth investing $500? Thanks for your thoughts!

    EDIT: The 496 in question will be used IN ADDITION with an iPad with Foreflight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 8:34 AM
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,901
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Why?

    I’d get a old iPhone or ipad for a fraction of that and just mount it with a charge cable and install foreflight if you want to go that route.
     
    wayneda40 and MBDiagMan like this.
  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    6,701
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    The features are the same, but the processor is a little faster and the screen a little sharper.

    I've got one sitting at the hangar that I'll let go of for $400. I switched up to the 696.

    I've got all the mounts, antennae, and an Airgizmo panel dock and angle adapter, all included in price.
     
  4. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    Thanks a lot for the offer! I'll definitely get back to you.
     
  5. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,766
    Location:
    Miami
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    alfadog
    In your shoes, I would spend a bit more and get a nice used 696.
     
  6. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,032
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    I used both models until about 8 years ago (when I switched to an iPad and sold it). I would not bother making the switch from 15 year old technology to 14 year old technology.
     
    wayneda40, MBDiagMan and Bill Watson like this.
  7. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    25,874
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    I wouldn't bother with a handheld aviation navigator in today's day and age with the connectivity one can get. An ADSB antenna of some stripe connected to your favorite iDevice can give you unparalleled situational awareness.
     
    wayneda40, MBDiagMan and Bill Watson like this.
  8. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    Good point.
     
  9. Joe Christian

    Joe Christian Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, 6 miles SE of Tinker AFB
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Joe Christian
    I have a 496 in the Tiger interfaced to my GNS430W so any waypoints that are entered on the 430W also show on the 496. I also have an iPad connected to a Stratus 3i. They both have their pros and cons. On a cross country flight, I probably look at the 496 more than I look at the iPad. I have the 496 connected to the audio panel so I hear its voice alerts (obstacles, terrain, 500 ft) over my headphones.

    If it wasn't connected to the 430W, I probably wouldn't use it as much.
     
    benyflyguy and GMascelli like this.
  10. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    I just like the having another degree of redundancy. The 496 seems like a good option. Simple, portable, robust, reliable. etc
     
  11. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,930
    Location:
    M94 Airport Manager
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skywag
    The 496 also has "marine" mode, where you can load "blue charts," which is fabulous.

    [​IMG]

    It also does auto, which is now worthless.
     
  12. AK737pilot

    AK737pilot Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Messages:
    73
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Chris
    I’ll put in a recommendation for the Aera 660. It’s a great little unit! Fast and responsive. The screen is super bright.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    rtk11 and Mtns2Skies like this.
  13. Cruzinchris

    Cruzinchris Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Messages:
    98
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cruzinchris
    The 496 has airport diagrams. The 396 does not.
     
    P51P28 likes this.
  14. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2,013
    Location:
    NEPA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    This is what we have in the club plane with xm weather tied into it. Quite handy right on the yoke. Only really use it for weather though
     
  15. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,623
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    I have a panel mounted 696 in my RV-6. I really didn't want to join the borg that is Garmin, but I love the 696.
     
    Ravioli likes this.
  16. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,569
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    I switched from a 496 to an iPad and cell phone with foreflight. I still use the 496 for boating. Very good unit.
     
  17. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    How does the refresh rate of the 496 compare to the iPad?
     
  18. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6,485
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74
    I've had a 496 and a couple Aera series. Seriously, if you really want a portable, the 696 or an Aera are leaps and bounds better for not much more money. But the bigger picture is why do either?Get an iPad mini and your favorite EFB and you blow any portable sky high. Tell us, how much are you wanting to spend on this adventure?
     
  19. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,569
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    I chose the I Pad over the 496 for a Quaker refresh’s . I was considering the 696, but went with the stratus and foreflight.
     
  20. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Reasonable facsimile
    I have a 496 that I use for XM. I think XM has a better radar, but the ads-b display on the iPad has much better resolution. I don't have a good way to mount the 496, so it rarely gets used. If anyone wants to buy it and the XM hockey puck, I'm open to offers.
     
  21. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6,485
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74

    I sold my 496 a couple years ago with the Airgizmo, bare wire, box and all accessories for $350.
     
    Groundpounder likes this.
  22. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,623
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    My experience is the 696 is rock solid in all conditions. The ipad doesn't mind shutting down if you leave it in the sunlight and it gets hot. I can't have that in an aircraft with a bubble canopy.
     
    Ravioli likes this.
  23. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,352
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    I still prefer having a panel mounted, ship powered, handheld device for redundancy if I'm doing any real IFR. Nearly every airplane I fly seriously has one.
     
    P51P28 likes this.
  24. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    My thoughts as well. Nothing wrong with having a backup. The only disadvantage I see in having a 496 or any other Garmin portable are the subscription fees. Oh well. Better safe than sorry.
     
  25. Ted Ricci

    Ted Ricci Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tedricci
    I love my 496. It sits nicely at the top of the stack and does more than my gnc300xl. 20190910_123606.jpg
     
  26. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,854
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    After reading the original post I was convinced this was a 10 year old necro-thread.

    I just can't see the use of a mono use item like a 496 that needs all sorts of cords and wires to work. My iPad mini just shows up and works. You can a do a lot more with that $500 on an iPad than you can with a 14 year old navigator.
     
  27. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    25,874
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    We’re talking about an independently powered handheld device for VFR flight. No handheld is legal for IFR, never has been. My iPad gets ship’s power anyway. A usb converter slides in the 9 volt outlet and a lightening chord goes into the iPad.

    I think wiring a handheld into you ship and placing it on the panel is the height of stupidity. Handheld technology changes quickly. Why lock yourself into old technology? I didn’t even look at aircraft with this kind of arrangement when I was shopping.
     
  28. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    Made an edit to the original post. Added: "The 496 in question will be used IN ADDITION with an iPad with Foreflight". The 496 will be used as a backup and or primary.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  29. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    6,701
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    I'm with you! Here's mine:
    panel.jpg
     
  30. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,253
    Location:
    Southern California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rtk
    Well... if you want a 496, mine might be for sale. I bought an Aera 660 (which I highly recommend) and just need to insert it into the panel. When I do, my 496 and the AirGizmo mount will be for sale.
     
  31. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    25,874
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    My phone serves as my backup, since it is the second device on the Foreflight subscription.
     
  32. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    How often do you have to pay for Garmin database updates on the Aera 660?
     
  33. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,392
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    If you have a Garmin 430, 650, etc, I would recommend getting the Onepak, it gives all the databases for a year plus database updates for the Aera, plus upgrade your GP to premium level...they start around $650.
    If I’m not flying IFR, then I will let it lapse till I do.


    Tom
     
  34. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    Thanks Tom. The Aera 660 looks pretty nice. This will replace a 396 we currently have. It looks like you pay just $150 for a year of updates? How many times approx does Garmin update their databases during the year?
     
  35. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,501
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ElPaso Pilot
    Glad yours hasn’t quit yet, but the iPad is a general consumer device, and yes, they just work until they don’t.

    I have an iPad and an old crusty 296 and they make a nice matched set.

    Basic navigation in the yoke with the 296, and the fancy weather and traffic on the iPad.

    And when I forget to shield the iPad from the sun and it shuts down, or it locks up and needs a reboot, the 296 is still going. Software updates are few and far between (and yes, the 296 is still supported.)

    I just don’t trust a consumer device as a sole primary navigation device. 2 sources, 2 different operating systems on electronics for me.

    Sometimes it’s good to be doing less and being reliable, not more.
     
  36. P51P28

    P51P28 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ZD
    I totally agree. The exact reason I want an additional device. :thumbsup:
     
  37. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,392
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    $150 + free GP premium upgrade.

    The navigation database is every 56 days, just like the panel mounted gps boxes.

    GP with premium upgrade is better for IFR than the Aera. I use the Aera as a poor mans MFD.


    Tom
     
  38. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,854
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    A portable Garmin navigator is still a consumer device, and yes, they work until they don't. That's pretty much true of any electronic device. I've flown about 2000 hours behind 396s and 496s. I've had two crap out on me in flight, so nothing is perfect.

    I agree that overheating can be an issue. I also keep a backup iPhone (and prior generation iPad) ready to go as well.