Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Dual Electronics XGPS170
A new portable passive ADS-B receiver
Devices like this are a bargain for pilots needing in-flight weather data. unlike competing satellite-based systems, ADS-B weather doesn't require a subscription.For technical reasons, the FAA decided to offer a different data channel for low-altitude general aviation operators—that's the 978 MHz system used by the XGPS170 and other passive devices. A network of ground stations has been installed covering most of the continental U.S. (and parts of Alaska), that offer a rebroadcast function. This system translates between the two data channels, so that aircraft equipped with 978 MHz equipment can see 1090 MHz Mode-S traffic (and vice versa). The ground stations can also relay traffic that is detected by ground-based radar.
In order to get reliable traffic indications on the XGPS170, you'd also need to install a 978 MHz universal access transceiver (UAT). If someone else with a UAT happens to be flying nearby, then you might see some traffic—but the ground station would be relaying traffic based on a volume around that aircraft, not around you. Given these limitations, I can't recommend the XGPS170, or any other passive 978 MHz ADS-B receiver, for traffic awareness.
On the other hand, I'm delighted to recommend the XGPS170 as a completely functional GPS and weather awareness device for pilots who fly within U.S. ADS-B coverage. Devices like this are a bargain for pilots needing in-flight weather data—unlike competing satellite-based systems, ADS-B weather doesn't require a subscription.
Dual's suggested price for the XGPS170 is $799.99. For more information, visit http://gps.dualav.com.
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