Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: iPad/iPhone in the air

  1. #1
    Biotex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alpine Texas
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like

    iPad/iPhone in the air

    Trying to get a handle on this technology and also trying to determine the best course of action for me to cheaply get gps, weather, current charts etc... into the cockpit.

    I currently have a Garmin 295 but it is small and outdated, so I think I want to mount my iPad using a ram mount system. In preparation, I have been researching the different options. I downloaded a trial version of Garmin Pilot to my iPhone and have been exploring it for the past couple of days. Seems like a quality program well worth the annual fee. I see that ForeFlight is also a good choice, but have not looked past the garmin product yet.

    So here are my questions thus far. What happens once the iPad get airborne? Is it solely using cell towers for it's gps and weather data, or is it also using satelite gps? Or both?
    What about external antennas? Will I need one? I live and mostly fly in an area with poor cell coverage, and don't want to go this direction if I'm going to need cell towers.

    I see this Garmin GDL 39 product which looks nice to have, but I don't have ADS-B coverage in my area so I'm thinking it might be a waste of money.

    So if you had a 295 gps and an iPad, which way would you go and why? I have spent several hours reading reviews and such, but still am lost (no pun intended)!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've been using the iPad with Foreflight for several years now so that's what I can give my opinion on. I haven't used any of the other programs. I know some people who use WingX and seem to like it quite well as it does have some features that Foreflight doesn't offer just yet. As for using the iPad with Foreflight and what you need for GPS that depends a little on which iPad you have. If your iPad is a cellular version that it has a built in gps receiver and you will get gps coverage without using cell towers. This and Foreflight or whichever program you decide on would be all you need for basic navigation use. If you just have the basic wifi version which is what I use than you can go a couple of different routes. The first one I started with was the Bad Elf gps receiver. It plugs into the charging port on your iPad and works really well. It has a port so you can charge it in flight with a cable if you have power output. I used this for a couple of year and never had a problem. If you decide you want to use an ADS-B receiver and you want to use Foreflight than you have to use a Stratus receiver. As of now that is the only ADS-b receiver compatible with Foreflight. I recently purchased a 1st generation Stratus on Ebay for about 350. I've only had a chance to fly with it a couple of times but so far I'm pretty happy with it. If you are in range of an ADS-b tower you should get decent weather updates. As far as traffic it will show some traffic if there is an ADS-b out equipped aircraft in the vicinity that is activating a tower but you won't see all traffic so it shouldn't be relied upon for that. As far as the GPS accuracy if it, I get 1meter accuracy almost all the time and if there is someone else with you that has an ipad and Foreflight they can connect to it as well. Hope this is of some value.
    Bryan

  3. #3
    Biotex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alpine Texas
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the reply Bryan. I have decided to stick with Garmin since that is what I know already. I just found a great writeup that covered a lot of stuff I had not previously seen. I see that a Garmin GLO gps would be a good compliment for the ipad. I would not need my 295 any more. It is hard to see the screen anyways in bright sun which is always in West Texas.

    I see what you mean about which iPad. I just looked and mine appears to be an iPad4 it has model A1460 on the back, so I'm thinking the Garmin GLO is my best bet. I'd like to hear from others before I spend my $$$. Don't want to spend it twice!
    Last edited by Biotex; 09-18-2014 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Barnstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sterling, Alaska
    Posts
    716
    Post Thanks / Like
    Biotex, your iPad is equipped with both Wifi and Cellular so it has a built in GPS antenna. You do not need an external GPS device.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5452?v...S&locale=en_US

    I started out about 5 years ago running both WingX and Foreflight side by side. Back then WingX was superior for low level flight while Foreflight was superior for everything else. Now Foreflight is the undisputed leader and is the most feature rich by far over all other apps. But just like some prefer Androids over Apple, some prefer other apps over Foreflight. Which is all good as it keeps every company on the new feature hunt which benefits all of us.

    I fly with my iPad-Mini panel mounted in the SQ-2, and mounted with a RAM mount where the whiskey compass used to be in the 185. My iPhone has Foreflight installed on it as well (at no additional cost) and provides me with a backup should something happen to my iPad.

    When I bought the SQ-2 it had a Garmin 695 panel mounted. I flew the SQ-2 from Alaska down here to Texas using the 695 and with the iPad RAM mounted. Preferred the iPad/Foreflight combination so removed the 695.

    Did I miss any of your questions?
    Phil Whittemore

  5. #5
    Katmai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Glacier View, AK
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'm going with the GDL393D for my cub. It interfaces nicely with the Garmin Pilot App.

    The coolest thing about it is the AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System).

    This gives you a mini G600/1000 on your iPad. It even has synthetic vision! Great for those bad weather days.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    Some current screen shots of Garmin Pilot's plain view and next with Wx and obstacle overlaid. Next is Foreflight's aerial view and then the same with Wx and obstacles overlaid. Finally the Foreflight chart view followed by the same with Wx and obstacle overlays. The Foreflight aerial view is my fav but it requires a data connection. I don't prefer the chart view at all. The Garmin standard view is not dependant on a data connection. All three Wx overlays need a data connection. I have not used a Stratus receiver with Foreflight. I do have a Garmin GDL39 3D and it provides the same services as cell through ADS-B. It also offers synthetic vision, which was the big sell for me. Pick your poison. or if you aren't withoin cell range and don't have ADS-B coverage and want Wx you should probably look to a GPS that includes XM weather services through a subscription. I've never used one of those because XM doesn't cover Alaska.

    These screen shots were all taken within a minute or two of each other and represent equal Wx conditions. The user can adjust the opacity to allow the underlying map view to show through. Both apps offer several other overlay options, too, but these are the ones guys seem to want.



    Attachment 17087Attachment 17088Attachment 17089Attachment 17090Attachment 17091Attachment 17092

  7. #7
    SJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Kansas City, USA
    Posts
    14,278
    Post Thanks / Like
    I use foreflight for armchair flight planning and for charts, approach plates, etc. I have not played with Garmin Pilot but SB's review above is good. The GPS is NOT that good in the iPad (any of these devices for that matter) and in some older iPads required cell to even get a gps lock. If you are going to use it a lot for enroute, I think investing in at minimum a bad elf and way better a GDL 39 or Stratas is a smart move.

    One more important thing about iPad and other tablets. These things were made to carry to your house and school. It does NOT have to get that hot for the iPad to shut down for thermal overload - mine does it on the boat, and ask any of the iCub owners about theirs. The "aviation" devices like the 296,496, 796 etc are built for a much harsher environment and much wider temperature ranges. I don't know how cold and iPad can get, but I do know a 90 degree day or not much sunshine will shut it down if it is doing much processing.

    I have never had a handheld Garmin STB for anything other than abuse on my part. As much as I would love a new 796, the trusty eight or nine year old 496 will still be on top of the panel today as we file IFR out of here to get to MN - of course, there is a 430 to do the "real" work...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    SJ, my iPad mini (current model w/retina display) has excellent GPS. I don't use my iPad as my primary GPS but I may in the next plane. Mine's definitely earning my trust. I'm waiting for somebody to make an engine sensor package that'll bluetooth a full engine monitor display.

  9. #9
    Biotex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alpine Texas
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Barnstormer View Post
    Biotex, your iPad is equipped with both Wifi and Cellular so it has a built in GPS antenna. You do not need an external GPS device.
    I started out about 5 years ago running both WingX and Foreflight side by side. Back then WingX was superior for low level flight while Foreflight was superior for everything else. Now Foreflight is the undisputed leader and is the most feature rich by far over all other apps. But just like some prefer Androids over Apple, some prefer other apps over Foreflight. Which is all good as it keeps every company on the new feature hunt which benefits all of us.

    I fly with my iPad-Mini panel mounted in the SQ-2, and mounted with a RAM mount where the whiskey compass used to be in the 185. My iPhone has Foreflight installed on it as well (at no additional cost) and provides me with a backup should something happen to my iPad.

    When I bought the SQ-2 it had a Garmin 695 panel mounted. I flew the SQ-2 from Alaska down here to Texas using the 695 and with the iPad RAM mounted. Preferred the iPad/Foreflight combination so removed the 695.

    Did I miss any of your questions?
    Barnstormer, I am aware that the ipad has a built in antenna, but read that it can drop out intermittently and you have to reboot the ipad to get it going again. I figured an external gps was cheap money since they are around $100. I may try just the ipad by itself and see how it goes. I too plan to keep the software loaded on my iphone as a backup. Then I always have the portable 295. Thanks for sharing. No further questions at this time. BTW, I will look at ForeFlight.

  10. #10
    Biotex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Alpine Texas
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    I agree totally!

  11. #11
    Barnstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sterling, Alaska
    Posts
    716
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    ...XM doesn't cover Alaska.

    That is good to know. My experience with ADS-B weather in the mountains of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Idaho has been it is usually non-existent. I've had much better luck with Wx provided over cellular connections, but of course when in an area without any cell connectivity the Wx isn't available. I was beginning to think about XM Wx but if it's not available in Alaska then I sure don't want to go that route.




    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    ...but I do know a 90 degree day or not much sunshine will shut it down if it is doing much processing....

    That's interesting. I've never had mine shut down in either plane. Did get an overheat warning once in the 185 because the hot Texas summer sun was shinning directly on it's back in the X-cradle. I pointed one of the air vents at it, the warning disappeared.


    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    SJ, my iPad mini (current model w/retina display) has excellent GPS. I don't use my iPad as my primary GPS but I may in the next plane.

    I have the same iPad Mini and would certainly agree that it has excellent built in GPS. I do use it as a primary, and only in the SQ-2, and use an ancient Apollo as back up in the 185.


    Quote Originally Posted by Biotex View Post
    Barnstormer, I am aware that the ipad has a built in antenna, but read that it can drop out intermittently and you have to reboot the ipad to get it going again.

    I have a vague recollection of maybe that happening to me once with a very early version of the iPad, but certainly have never had that happen over the last 3 or 4 years.


    Yours is a forth generation, I can't imagine that happening. If you do feel the desire to invest in an external GPS be sure it is WAAS, otherwise it may not be as good as what you already have in the iPad.
    Phil Whittemore

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've seen references in the Garmin manual to a Baron Mobile Link. Apparently it adds XM weather to the Pilot app. Anyone have any experience with this? It looks complicated. https://www.wxworx.com/wings-overview

  13. #13
    Barnstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sterling, Alaska
    Posts
    716
    Post Thanks / Like
    Stewart, I do really like the Garmin Pilot's plain view. Are you able to adjust the transparency of the weather or obstacle overlays?

    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Some current screen shots of Garmin Pilot's plain view and next with Wx and obstacle overlaid.....



    Attachment 17087Attachment 17088Attachment 17089Attachment 17090Attachment 17091Attachment 17092
    Phil Whittemore

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yes, adjustable.

    I never paid attention until I did those screen shots but the difference in the Wx radar is surprising. The clouds have been thick around here lately.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lake Lanier, GA
    Posts
    1,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    ForeFlight has 75% of the market. I wonder why.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    I prefer Garmin for the GPS part but Foreflight is far better for charts and documents. There may be a way to view downloaded charts in Garmin but I haven't found it. I've only scratched the surface of either app's capabilities.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Meanwhile,...
    Posts
    4,907
    Post Thanks / Like
    A lot of portable devices don't like sun in an airplane. Phones, Pads and even my Delorme in-reach overheats if clipped on top of the glare shield in the 180 where I kept my SPOT. Problem solved by moving it to the passenger side grab handle which has turned out better anyway as I can see the display to verify it's doing what my IPhone tells it to do.

    I've had an interesting issue with my 796 twice now on long XC trips it has locked up when I'm using hard to work my way around weather, requiring a cold boot to reset which is annoying and then can take up to 8-10 minutes for the full return of Wx. It has done this both times when I've run 3.5 hours of so then stopped for fuel etc. when I have left it on to keep the Wx current and then I climb run another 2 hours or so and all of a sudden it then it gets sluggish and locks up with no errors or messages displayed. My guess is that as it saves the Wx data it is not recycling the earlier used memory to make room for more the current data and when it overflows it's done.

    I've called Garmin and they have had this reported by others and they want me to update the firmware which I'll do before the next long trip in a few weeks.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lake Lanier, GA
    Posts
    1,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    The reality is whatever GPS you pair most likely has a Garmin chipset within it. Very few people make their own GPS chipsets. If they do it is usually highly specialized units.

  19. #19
    Barnstormer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sterling, Alaska
    Posts
    716
    Post Thanks / Like
    Stewart,

    Ok, I installed Garmin Pilot on my iPad-Mini and I see what you like. In particular I like the airport/airspace overlays on all maps. That's very cool. Need to talk with Foreflight about this. I'm installing GP on my iPhone right now. That may be where it really shines cause the iPhone is what I use exclusively in the Stearman. And with oil, smoke and wind blowing in my face it can be really hard to see the airports on the sectional.

    And maybe all this puts an emphasis on why I prefer the iPad over anyone's hardware. In a blink of an eye I change change apps. In retrospect probably what I disliked about the 695 was the "old school" way of interfacing with it. Buttons and Dials and Switches. I mean can you imagine?! How quaint.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	compare.jpg 
Views:	169 
Size:	794.7 KB 
ID:	17099
    Phil Whittemore

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like
    Flew today using Foreflight and 1st Gen Stratus. Must have changed altitudes 4 times to avoid the traffic I was seeing. I'm starting to think I liked it better when I didn't know there was traffic there. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	iPad Stratus image.jpg 
Views:	156 
Size:	142.9 KB 
ID:	17103

  21. #21

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    88
    Post Thanks / Like
    Keep the 295 as it wont fail. Use Garmin or foreflight on the Ipad, whichever you prefer... Keep the Ipad charged and out of the sun..

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,274
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I prefer Garmin for the GPS part but Foreflight is far better for charts and documents. There may be a way to view downloaded charts in Garmin but I haven't found it. I've only scratched the surface of either app's capabilities.
    FYI, The Garmin support guys showed me what I'd been missing. In the primary map menu I have choices of what view I want. I've used the VFR map. If I select VFR chart I see a standard sectional view and can scroll around as I wish. Like I said, barely scratching the surface.

    Attachment 17157

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-08-2012, 05:36 AM
  2. Replies: 78
    Last Post: 05-06-2012, 07:08 AM
  3. Replies: 78
    Last Post: 12-28-2011, 10:42 AM
  4. Uploading pics from iPad and iPhone?
    By Iflylower in forum Website Q & A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-21-2011, 04:20 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •