Best Handheld GPS?

Tell us about the things in your panels and flight bags.
pevend
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:16 pm

Best Handheld GPS?

Postby pevend » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:12 pm

So, who has an opinion as to what the best handheld GPS is (and hopefully some experience to back the opinion up!)? I'll probably be in the market sooner or later.

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champguy
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Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby champguy » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:00 pm

"Best" is a big world depending on who is asking, and what they want, will settle for, or actually need.
Is this for a back up if other more sophisticated equipment fails?
Do you really need maping capibilities, even on a two and a half inch screen, and an AFD?
Will it be used as a "primary" navigator for VFR only with a Sectional as legal current information, and Flight Guide or AFD for facility info?

Shirt pocket handhelds like the Magellin 315, now out of production, can get you across the country on a couple of AA cells.

More sophisticated units like the Lowrance 600C need to be connected to an auxiliary power source even for modest cross country use. The mapping features are too small to be much use, and the airport data is inadequate, and probably out of date by the time you need it. The smallest Garmen is probably not much different.

I would like to hear a candid user report on the newest Av8tor
http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm ... t_id=11727

And perhaps more relevent, is there a modern replacement for my simple old workhorse the Magellan 315. Everything I actually need in a shirt pocket size that will run all day on its own batteries, giving GoTo, distance, direction, ETE and CDI?
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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Dave Higdon
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Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby Dave Higdon » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:08 pm

If you'll allow me, been working over a Honeywell AV80R and believe it an excellent value for the bucks...Honeywell calls it a "handheld MFD" and there's something to that label.

Screen's about comparable to some higher-dollar, heavier competitors; it does all the aviation work you want plus street navigation, as it comes out of the box; it also works as an MP3 player -- comes with earbuds and all...internal battery is good for about 90 minutes to 2 hours; larger aux battery is good for closer to 3.5...also can be plugged into ship's power or a power jack in a ground vehicle to keep it operating and charge the battery...

AV8OR uses a touch-screen interface that's very easy to pick up; you can build flight plans like you would on a Flight Management System, typing in identifiers and it filling in the data; has this very slick horizontal profile-nav function that can be shown across the bottom of the screen -- looking at your flight from an invisible platform off your 3 O'clock position; shows you the airplane altitude, accurate terrain height below your, special-use airspace borders, tops and bottoms, and obstructions -- you can see miles ahead of time whether you need to make an altitude change for whatever reason. While this plays across the bottom of the display, you can pick any one of several other display options for the rest of the screen -- terrain map, IFR/Night display, pseudo HSI...

The nav map is excellent, the color and resolution quite good, the imagery very workable; you have several choices of screen configurations...show terrain elevation by color coding, shows obstructions, their heights; full airports and nav-system databases as well as the landscape and terrain data...

The little box also gives you the option of one of two WxWorx/XM weather datalink inputs, a wired unit or Bluetooth...with the Bluetooth box, you can get the whole set up for a little more than $1,100...under $1,100 for the wired XM box...and about $700 without a weather receiver -- you can add later if you want...

And...it can work with some of the Xeon portable traffic-alert boxes with a software update...and you can get the full country's fuel and services data, updatable daily, for $99 a year...so you can always look for the cheapest fuel -- right on your portable MFD/handheld GPS...

As I said, excellent value for the bucks...a lot of functionality...

https://www.bendixking.com/AV8OR/AV8OR/specs.html

Garmin's 495/496 are also excellent units, as it a used 396...but don't believe they provide the added functionality to match their higher prices...and I'm always broker than my ambitions, so I'll probably buy this demo unit -- but not before I try out the AV8OR Ace EFB that just came out in August...a lot of the same great stuff, plus georeferenced nav charts and IFR plates...and closer to two grand...but for a good replacement for paper...it'd be worth it.

Good luck and happy shopping...

Dave

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RigaRunner
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Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby RigaRunner » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:11 pm

I think there is a new competitor out there, the Garmin Aera line of VFR units. From what I read, these four units are designed for use in both your plane and your car. I would normally be skeptical of that dual mode aspect, but Garmin makes it sound like the unit has everything you need for flying.

Has anyone actually held one of these in their hand? Tried it out in the airplane?


http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2009/11/garm ... adway.html
A commercial pilot, IFR rated, who flies a Cirrus SR22 out of JYO.
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champguy
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Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby champguy » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:37 pm

I'm still kicking myself for passing up the deal I could have had on an AV8TOR the last day at Arlington last summer. It was raining and the poor guy was knocking down his booth trying to raise gas money for the trip home.
If I can make it to Sun-n-Fun I may be able to get a deal there and spend the money I'm saving by flying a Champ and sleeping in a tent.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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Dave Higdon
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Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby Dave Higdon » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:06 pm

RigaRunner wrote:I think there is a new competitor out there, the Garmin Aera line of VFR units. From what I read, these four units are designed for use in both your plane and your car. I would normally be skeptical of that dual mode aspect, but Garmin makes it sound like the unit has everything you need for flying.

Has anyone actually held one of these in their hand? Tried it out in the airplane?


http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2009/11/garm ... adway.html


Got an eyeball and my fingers on the screen for a few minutes at AOPA Summit; very much reminds me of the AV8OR, right down to the street-nav function...looks decent on the screen and worked more easily than other Garmins I've tried.

FWIW...

Dave

pevend
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Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby pevend » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:38 pm

What about screen size in these things? Are the Garmin 595/596 or the AV8OR Ace too big for easy use on a yoke mount? It seems that the GPS in the plane I'm flying is kind of flaky, so I'd likely be using the handheld for primary navigation.

Dave Higdon
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:02 pm

Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby Dave Higdon » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:41 pm

AV8OR Ace will, generally, fit in front of a yoke when used in the portrait mode...otherwise, you can put it on a knee...and the aux antenna on the glareshield if needed...lighter than it looks, too...

FWIW...

Dave

kellyrw
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Location: KVIH

Re: Best Handheld GPS?

Postby kellyrw » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:34 am

A big plus for the AV8OR, IMHO, is the cost of update vs. Garmin. I doubt VFR pilots update every 28 days but if that is a consideration, compare the difference.


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