FAA’s ADS-B Weather and Traffic Information in the Cockpit
Introduced more than a decade ago by the FAA, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) provides weather and traffic information to all aircraft equipped with an ADS-B receiver, such as the XGPS170, subscription-free. The portable XGPS170 ADS-B In receiver provides ADS-B weather and traffic broadcasts to a variety of compatible EFB apps (sold separately) for display on an iOS, Android or Windows tablet.
The XGPS170 provides the following ADS-B In services:
- Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B). FIS-B provides regional and continental NEXRAD radar imagery from the National Weather Service, as well as NOTAMs, METARs, TAFs, PIREPs, winds aloft and other valuable in-flight weather services. FIS-B also includes information on temporary flight restrictions (TFR) and special use airspaces (SUA).
- Traffic Information Service Broadcast (TIS-B). The TIS-B information is air traffic information obtained from ATC radar and broadcast from ground radio stations. This information greatly enhances pilots’ situational awareness and aids their visual orientation of nearby aircraft traffic.*
- The XGPS170 can also receive position reports directly from a nearby aircraft operating ADS-B Out transponders on 978 MHz.
- The XGPS170 additionally provides traffic information from some aircraft operating ADS-B Out equipment at 1090 MHz through the ADS-R rebroadcast from ground stations.
*ADS-B traffic broadcasts are only transmitted from the ground transmitters in response to an ADS-B Out transponder operating on your aircraft or another aircraft in the area.
The removable ADS-B antenna on the XGPS170 allows pilots to connect to an external antenna on the aircraft. (This should be a dedicated, passive transponder antenna.)
Growing number of compatible EFB Apps
The XGPS170 does not restrict you to just one EFB app. Dual works with nearly all of the EFB app companies on the market so you have the widest range of options on Android, iOS and Windows platforms, including: AerovieReports, Avare, AvNav, DroidEFB, FltPlan Go, FlyQ EFB, iFlyGPS, myWingMan EFB, Naviator, Pilotbrief Optima, TrueMap and WingX Pro. Please see the “Apps” tab for the current list of apps and equipment supporting the XGPS170.
Useful Status Tool App
Similar to the popular XGPS150, the XGPS170 also comes with a useful Status Tool App (available free on the iTunes store, currently iOS only). The app is a simple utility application, which shows detailed device and reception information.
Highly Accurate GPS
The XGPS170 includes a WAAS GPS receiver with fast location acquisition (under 30 seconds), with position updates up to 10 times per second. The GPS location information is wirelessly transmitted via Bluetooth to Apple and Android devices.
Useful In and Out of the Plane
At your destination, the XGPS170 becomes an ideal navigation assistant. Take this small and portable receiver with you to the car, on a boat or hiking. The XGPS170 works with pretty much any app that requires location information, including apps for car and marine navigation, golfing, geocaching, hiking and many others. (Although the GPS receiver works on the ground anywhere in the world, please note that the weather signal typically cannot be received on the ground in most places.)
Wireless Bluetooth Connectivity
The XGPS170 wirelessly sends GPS and ADS-B data to up to two iPad devices simultaneously, leaving each iPad free to connect to other wireless devices via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Bluetooth Advantage over WiFi
Because the XGPS170 uses Bluetooth, the WiFi connection on your iPad is left free for other uses, such as connecting to the Internet (for weather services, flight plan updates, etc.) or to another accessory like an AHRS. There are no hassles with switching between networks and no service interruptions.
Built-In Rechargeable Battery
The XGPS170 has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 5 hours of continuous use. The included 12-30V cigarette lighter adapter charges the receiver (or the iPad) in a car or in an aircraft. The XGPS170 can also be charged using the wall charger that comes with the iPad.
Useful Non-Slip Pad Included
The included non-slip pad holds the receiver securely in place on an aircraft’s glareshield, car’s dashboard, or boat’s console.
Set Up is a Breeze
It takes less than a minute to pair your iPad with the XGPS170, and the receiver will remember your iPad the next time you want to use it.
Universal Design for Many Apps and Devices
The XGPS170 is compatible with all iPad, iPod touch and iPhone devices, as well as other Bluetooth-enabled (SPP required) smart phones, tablets and laptops (Android, Blackberry, Windows and OS X devices).
In addition to EFB apps, the XGPS170 works with most apps that require GPS, including apps for car navigation, marine chart plotting, golfing range finders, geocaching, hiking and many others.
ADS-B Weather (FIS-B) Reception
ADS-B Traffic (ADS-R/TIS-B) Reception
Bluetooth wireless connectivity:
- Connects to up to two iPad devices simultaneously
- Leaves each iPad free to connect to other devices/service via WiFi or Bluetooth
Works with iOS, Android and Windows EFB software as well as select GRT EFIS devices
Use with the included removable antenna or connect to an external antenna
Built-in Rechargeable Battery lasts up to 5 hours of continuous use
WAAS GPS also works with apps for car & boating navigation and many others
12-30V charger included to charge the receiver or the iPad
- The receiver can also be charged using the iPad wall charger
Adjustable brightness LEDs for day and night flying*
Includes a non-slip pad to keep the XGPS170 securely in place on the glareshield or window.
Click here to download the XGPS170 product manual
* Adjustable via iOS Status Tool app only
Important note about charging your XGPS170:
The XGPS170 includes a smart charging circuit which is designed to safely draw current from the power source without risk of damaging either the XGPS170 or the charging source. For the fastest charge in the least amount of time, Dual strongly recommends using either the included 12VDC charger, or the USB wall charger which came with your iPad or Android tablet.
Other USB chargers, like generic cell phone chargers, will supply power to the XGPS170, but do not provide enough current to charge the XGPS170 in a reasonable time. If you use a cell phone charger, the XGPS170 may not charge completely and charging light on the XGPS170 may not turn green.
Additionally, we have received reports from XGPS170 owners that inexpensive, “no-name” USB wall chargers are not working at all with the XGPS170. If you are experiencing long charging times, short battery life, or the charging light never seems to turn green, please try charging the XGPS170 from the 12V charger which came with the product or the wall charger that came with you iPad (or Android tablet).
Download the Apple iOS 6 bug fix here.
- IMPORTANT: iOS 8.4 fixes GPS issues.
- In iOS 8.3, there was a bug which blocks position information coming from Bluetooth GPS devices. The symptom was that your GPS looks like it is working, but your apps do not show your location. (Not all apps are affected, but most are.) The problem affects the XGPS150, XGPS160 and XGPS170 as well as Bluetooth GPS devices from other manufacturers.
To fix the issue, we have been working with Apple while Apple had released the developer beta versions of iOS 8.4, which seemed to have corrected the problem, but information about beta versions are confidential under the Apple Developer Program, so we had to wait until the public iOS 8.4 release to officially share any details.
As of June 30th, 2015, Apple released official iOS 8.4 for iOS users, which includes the fix for the location data issue with GPS-equipped accessories. In Apple’s words (in the update log), the iOS 8.4 update “fixes an issue that prevented GPS accessories from providing location data.”
Right after the release, we have installed the official iOS 8.4 in iPhones, iPads, iPods and tested them with our XGPS150A, XGPS160, XGPS170 and various applications. We are confident to announce that the bug that prevented Apple devices from obtaining location data from external GPS receivers such as XGPS products has been resolved in iOS 8.4.
So if you didn’t or haven’t had a chance to update your iOS to 8.4 yet, we strongly recommend that you update your iOS devices to version 8.4.
Lastly, we would like to thank you for patiently waiting until the iOS 8.4 release and using Dual XGPS product.
- How do I make the GPS Receiver work with my Android tablet?
- Android tablet owners will need a “helper app” which connects the GPS data from the XGPS170 to all apps on the tablet. We recommend using one of two apps which are available for free on the Google Play store: Bluetooth GPS or Bluetooth GPS Provider.Instructions for making the XGPS170 work with Android devices:• On the XGPS170, move the mode switch to the left (towards the USB connector). Then turn on the device.• If you have Android version 2.x or 3.x installed on your tablet:
• Configure the tablet to use mock locations: go to Settings->Applications->Development and enable the Allow mock locations option.
• Next, pair the XGPS170 with your tablet:
• On the tablet go to Settings->Wireless & networks->Bluetooth Settings. Look for XGPS170-xxxxxx in the list of devices.
• If it does not appear, tap the “Find nearby devices” button and wait a few moments.
• Once the XGPS170 appears in the list of devices, tap the device name in the list. The tablet with think for a few moments and then say “Paired but not connected.”• If you have Android version 4.x installed on your tablet:
• Configure the tablet to use mock locations: go to Settings->Developer options and enable the Allow mock locations option.
• Next, pair the XGPS170 with your tablet:
• On the tablet go to Settings->Bluetooth. Look for the XGPS170-xxxxxx in the list of devices.
• If it does not appear, tap the “SEARCH FOR DEVICES” button in the upper right corner of the screen and wait a few moments.
• Once the XGPS170 appears in the list of devices, tap the device name in the list.If you are using Bluetooth GPS:• Download, install and open the app on the tablet
• Open the Settings screen by clicking the Overflow icon (the three dot icon) in the upper right and check the options for Reconnect and Use Unsecure Connection.
• Exit the Settings screen and go to the Main tab:
• Make sure that Enable Mock GPS Provider is checked.
• Select the XGPS170 from the pulldown menu at the top of the screen.
• Click the Connect button.
• The app will begin to communicate with the XGPS170 and show you information about the connection.If you are using Bluetooth GPS Provider• Download, install and open the app on the tablet
• Open the Preferences screen by clicking the Overflow icon (the three dot icon) in the upper right corner..
• In the Choose GPS receiver popup menu, select the XGPS160.
• In the GPS Connection Method popup menu, select Insecure (Reflection).
• Exit the Preferences screen and go to the Main tab.
• Click the Start button.
• The app will begin to communicate with the XGPS170 and show you information about the connection.The tablet will now be connected to the XGPS170, and apps on the tablet can use the data from the XGPS170.To use the XGPS170 subsequently, just make sure that “Bluetooth GPS” is open and running on the tablet.
- How much does the XGPS170 cost?
- Is there educational pricing?
- Yes. If you are flight instructor, CAP member, USCG Auxiliary member, or student enrolled in a Part 141 school, please contact us for more information.
- Will the XGPS170 work with the iPad?
- Yes, the XGPS170 will work with all generations of iPad devices, including the iPad mini, and it will connect to two devices simultaneously.
- Will the XGPS170 work with the iPhone or iPod touch?
- How do I charge the XGPS170?
- You can use the USB wall charger which came with your iPad, or the included cigarette lighter adapter. You can also charge the XGPS170 from a USB port on a computer. (Some inexpensive USB wall chargers do not work well with the XGPS170. If you experience trouble charging your XGPS170, try using a different charger.)
- Does the XGPS170 work with Android?
- Yes. Check out AviationMaps from Avilution, Naviator from 123West Software, iFlyGPS from AdventurePilot and Avare from Apps for Aviatiors.
- Which EFB apps does the XGPS170 work with?
- The XGPS170 is the most widely supported ADS-B receiver on the market. Right now, the XGPS170 works with iFlyGPS from AdventurePilot, Avare from Apps for Aviatiors, eKneeBoard from AnywhereEducation, FlyQ from AOPA, myWingMan from Bendix King, and WingX Pro7, plus AviationMaps and Naviator on Android. The XGPS170 will also be supported soon by Jeppesen and GlobalNavsource. What about ForeFlight? We have been working with ForeFlight in an attempt to have support for the XGPS170 added to their app, but we have been unsuccessful. ForeFlight has decided not to support the XGPS170 at this time.
- At what altitude should I expect to be receiving ADS-B signals?
- It depends greatly on your location. In our area in flat Florida, we start picking up signals around 800 feet. But our test pilots around the US report receiving signals anywhere from 200′ AGL to 1500′ AGL.
- In the Status Tool app, I see the METARs and NOTAMs “light” blinking pretty regularly. Why don’t I see the FIS-B light blinking?
- The Status Tool app is showing you what’s being received on a moment-by-moment basis. METARs and NOTAMs are broadcast over ADS-B very frequently. On the other hand, Regional NEXRAD is broadcast every 2.5 minutes, and the transmission lasts about 15-20 seconds. CONUS NEXRAD is broadcast every 15 minutes and the transmission also lasts only about 15-20 seconds. So it’s very easy to miss the FIS-B “blinking light” in the app, particularly if you’re busy flying the plane.
- Why don’t I see any traffic?
- As you probably already know, the ground system only broadcasts traffic information when it detects a certified ADS-B Out transponder operating at 978MHz. Not many aircraft have this equipment installed yet. UPDATE (7/13): The FAA is in the process of rolling out an update to the ADS-B system which allows 1090ES equipped aircraft to appear to 978MHz receivers. This will make a substantial improvement in the amount of traffic you will see, particularly around airports with commercial traffic.
- I can see that there is CONUS NEXRAD weather over parts of the US. Why don’t I see that in the Status Tool app?
- The weather display box only shows a 100 mile radius around your location, so CONUS weather will not be displayed.
- Will the XGPS170 work outside of the US?
- The FAA’s ADS-B service is only broadcast in the US, so the XGPS170 will only receiver weather information in the US. The FAA’s current coverage map for ADS-B is here. However, the GPS feature of the XGPS170 will work anywhere in the world.
- Will the XGPS170 work with ADS-B in Europe or Australia?
- No, the XGPS170 is tuned to 978MHz, and the European and Australian systems broadcast on 1090MHz.
- Is the XGPS170 a single or dual frequency receiver?
- The XGPS170 is a single frequency 978 MHz receiver.
- Which is better: a single or dual frequency receiver?
- A single frequency 978 MHz receiver will provide most pilots with everything they need: weather plus GA and commercial traffic. A dual frequency receiver will allow you to see signals from commercial traffic directly, whereas the 978MHz receiver will see signals from commerical traffic via the ground ADS-R system. But the information displayed in your EFB app will be the same. A single frequency receiver will also have the benefit of longer battery life as well.
- Can I use a WiFi accessory on my iPad while using the XGPS170?
- Yes. Because the XGPS170 uses a Bluetooth connection, you are free to use any WiFi accessory simultaneously, e.g. an AHRS or traffic receiver.
- Can I use another Bluetooth accessory with my iPad while using the XGPS170?
- Can the XGPS170 be connected to more than one device simultaneously?
- Yes, up to 2 devices.