My next toy

E_Dawg

Moderator
Hey guys and gals;

after I get my instrument rating (inside of two months hopefully) I'm considering getting a cheap handheld GPS that I can use as a situational awareness aid when I go blundering into IMC. I was just wondering if anyone had opinions on the low end of the market... thanks everyone

I'm not too worried about the airspace I'm in or the altitude in centimeters; just something that can give me a pretty good idea of where to go in an emergency
 

I_Money

Moderator
LOL, Ed and his toys, the digital camera is coming soon, no guy can play with something so much in the store and not buy one!
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Iain; I am not getting a digicam; I think before I spend, and most of it ends up in the aviation basket at the end of the day!!!
 

I_Money

Moderator
OK, I just think you will probably pick one up in the next year or so.

Anyways back to the question, I say go to Ebay and look there!
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Ed,

While it is a little pricey, I decided to go with the Garmin 196 primarily because it also has road and water navigation features. Like Iain said, I would just do a search on eBay for a cheaper version…

Good luck!
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Ophir,

Do you use yours for road nav as well?

Since I haven’t purchased the additional “road map” software, it only has the major interstates and such. I think buying that will be my next splurge! It sure has been great for aviation though!
 

drumminpilot

Well-Known Member
Hey Ed, after reading in Flying (I think?) about one of their writers getting a 100 dollar GPS from Wal-Mart, I decided to go check them out. I ended up buying the Garmin e-trex Legend for around 250 bucks. It's got all the bells and whistles, plus moving map, and it's the size of my cell phone (Nokia 3300), so it fits in my pocket. The map is very detailed, so in an emergency it'll help out pretty well. It's waterproof, and freakin amazing. I highly recommend it. I've shot NDB apps off of it (VMC of course!) and it worked perfectly. It runs off of 2 AA batteries that last from 18-20 hours continuous. That is the best 250 bucks I've ever spent!
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
I have been trying to upload Map Source off a buddy's computer but to no avail. I have really only been using it for aviation. On the other hand, It seems like i am never going anywhere I don't know the route, with the exception of being in the airplane.

I would like the topo features of Map Source though.

I have rationalized that the 196 will pay for itself in time due to the ability to get me to places directly and quickly. I have been flying a /A 1969 C182 and I have loved having the moving map on the 196.
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Wow, see now THAT is what I'm missing! I have a desktop computer, laptop, PDA, cell phone, digital camera, etc., but no GPS! Dangit!!!
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Ophir,

Have you had trouble with the yoke mounting device for the 196? I can’t seem to find a suitable place to mount the thing in the cockpit, so I just set it on the dash and glance at it when I need to. Since I fly a different airplane every time, this method also enables me to get better satellite reception without using the auxiliary antenna. It would be nice to be able to formerly mount it though… Any ideas?
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
i have been having to remove the approach plate clip that is installed in all these new 172's I have been flying in order to get the thing to mount on the yoke. The older 182 I was flying didn't a clip on it. And. 182's have a substantially beefier yoke bar so the clip works quite well with them.

A buddy of mine has the Garmin dash mount that has a clip on it (essentially it is a bean-bag). That seemed to be pretty nice considering every plane I have been in has a dash!
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
Are you planning to fly solo IFR in general aviation aircraft Ed? That can be dangerous. I'm not saying it can't be done; but it requires a lot of concentration if you have to shoot an approach or climb and descend frequently. A GPS is definitely a good idea if you're going to be flying through the soup. You may want to buy a handheld nav/com radio too. Fly safe and be careful in the clouds!
 

av8sean

New Member
I disagree, a competent instrument pilot should be able to safely pilot a general aviation airplane without an autopilot-- or GPS for that matter in IFR conditions.
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I disagree, a competent instrument pilot should be able to safely pilot a general aviation airplane without an autopilot-- or GPS for that matter in IFR conditions.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sean,

I don't think mav's intention was to imply that it was "necessary" for a flight in IMC, just a good thing to have.

I also firmly believe that one should be competent without the use of a GPS in both VMC and IMC. However, after achieving that level of competency, then why not take advantage of the added safety a GPS unit offers?
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
Are you planning to fly solo IFR in general aviation aircraft Ed? That can be dangerous. I'm not saying it can't be done; but it requires a lot of concentration if you have to shoot an approach or climb and descend frequently. A GPS is definitely a good idea if you're going to be flying through the soup. You may want to buy a handheld nav/com radio too. Fly safe and be careful in the clouds!

[/ QUOTE ]


mavmb1, thanks for the heads up. Yes, I do intend to acutally use my rating after I get it (
); but I am also well aware of the challenges which is why I am doing virtually all of my IFR training either in actual IMC (which we RARELY have lately) or simulated at night. I have a NAV/COM transciever and would definately like a dependable GPS for terrain and situational awareness (as a supplement to my primary means of navagation of course).

As for the recommendations thanks, as always. So the 196 is a great GPS... I'll have to stop my daily 7-11 visits for nearly a year to save up for that thing
(maybe I will; maybe I won't; addictions die hard). Any more recommendations? How 'bout a GPS Pilot III?
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Oh and drummingpilot that sounds like a good deal; I think I have seen that at a camping store, but I thought it was more for ground navigation (for backpackers and campers) than flying. Once you get the GPS how do you load the maps on it?

And you 196ers how long do your batteries last?
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
And you 196ers how long do your batteries last?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not real sure. I just monitor the battery indicator, and I haven't really kept track of the hours I've actually used the unit. There are also variables to consider like the intensity of the backlighting for example...
 

drumminpilot

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I thought it was more for ground navigation (for backpackers and campers) than flying. Once you get the GPS how do you load the maps on it?

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey Ed, it actually has all the airports in the database. Just location, not like runways and stuff. It has a base map of the entire US, but you can get extremely detailed maps off of the MapSource CD you run to the GPS from your PC. As for Navaids, I used the coordinates and plugged them in manually. Worked great though. You can also buy a clip mount, that works great for a yoke, or I also use it for when I go mtn. biking or 4 wheeling.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
holy s@&$ those replys were fast!

I'll probably head over to el cheapo wall mart tomorrow and see what they have. I'll also look into that 196 but it's probably out of my budget for now!
 
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