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Dual-band ADS-B Receiver compatible with IFDs

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HenryM View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 1:20pm
Is there ANY dual band ADS-B receiver that I can get to replace my SkyTrax/MLB-100 receiver to display traffic and weather on an IFD-540?

Freeflight documentation mentions an FDL-978-RXD, but that one seems to be vaporware. It is not available anywhere. I've heard of an MLB-200 or MLB-100B, but that was quite a while ago and I haven't heard any recent news.

I have an AXP-340 with an MLB-100, but traffic displayed is not the same as what I see with even a lowly Stratux home-made portable system on an iPad EFB. I would much rather have a dual-band receiver that does not need to fully rely on ground stations for most information. I think most of the planes I see are transmitting on 1090MHz, with only a few sporting UAT transponders.

I would really prefer to keep my Avidyne stack, including the IFD-540 and AXP-340, but I'm getting close to just swapping out the transponder and MLB-100 in favor of something like a Lynx NGT-9000, or maybe the new Garmin GNX375, if it can display traffic and weather on the IFD-540.
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Michael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Michael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 4:46pm
According to AviSteve:

Release 10.2.3.1 will add many new features including the following enhancements:

  1. Adds GLAS (GPS Legacy Avionics Support) for support of Proline 21 in CJ and King Air
  2. Adds improved ADS-B Weather and Traffic integration with Foreflight
  3. Adds ADS-B textual TFRs, AIRMETS and SIGMETS.
  4. Adds support for Garmin G5 HSI
  5. Adds support for Lynx NGT-9000 Remote Transponder
The release has been delayed but should be out in April from what I understand. I'm considering this.

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HenryM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 4:49pm
That might have to be what I do. I’d prefer to just replace the MLB100, but I may have to get rid of the AXP-340 too. I was hoping there was a dual-band receiver option.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DavidBunin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2019 at 8:24am
I'm still hoping they'll come out with something like the Sandia STX360.  That is UAT Out and dual-band In.  The only thing it is missing for me are the audio alerts for traffic, which Avidyne took away from the IFD in a recent software "upgrade".

Last I heard, Sandia was stalled in certification so not sure when such a product would come to market, but that is what I want:

UAT for the output (because I would prefer to have the anonymous mode) and dual band for the input.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2019 at 11:13pm
What is the status of the replacement for the Skytrax 100.
It's been ~2 OshKosh's ago since I was promised there's something in the works.
I've got a piece of equipment I paid for that has never worked reliably for traffic
and weather.   It irks me to think I have to fork over the money for a Garmin 345
to resolve this issue.
rpostmo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 8:16am
While I have always been disappointed that my Skytrax 100 is not a dual-band solution, it has reliably worked as designed for the four years I've had it.

How has yours not been reliable?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 6:47pm
Originally posted by rpostmo rpostmo wrote:

What is the status of the replacement for the Skytrax 100.
It's been ~2 OshKosh's ago since I was promised there's something in the works.
I've got a piece of equipment I paid for that has never worked reliably for traffic
and weather.   It irks me to think I have to fork over the money for a Garmin 345
to resolve this issue.
rpostmo

There has been promises for years on this, 2 months isn't even a drop...  Don't hold your breath.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 7:22pm
The replacement of the SkyTrax 100 is the SkyTrax 100B that Avidyne announced earlier this year and is currently selling. It is still a single-band UAT receiver. 

Freeflight Systems is supposed to be coming out with a dual-band solution anytime now. They said Pctober when I inquired perhaps 6 months ago. We'll see if it actually happens. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 10:31pm
I often get messages on the IFD that the ADS-B info is not available.
I forget the exact wording.  Even when I don't get the message, I will
rarely see any traffic....less than 10% of the time does traffic show up
on the IFD 540 and IFD100.  Weather shows up more often, but it is
overall unreliable, and thus to me pretty much worthless.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2019 at 10:27am
Be sure that you understand what your issues are before you decide that replacing the Skytrax is the right solution, or you may end up with a new box and the same problems.

Depending on what your message(s) is/are, there are other posts on this forum that talk about how the "No TIS-B" and "No SIGMETS" messages are more of an IFD software issue.  Replacing the Skytrax would not solve that problem.

Do you have ADSB-out?  Without that, traffic data from the ground is not guaranteed.  With it, traffic should work fine, and if it doesn't, then you may have antenna installation issues, or settings in your transponder (which reports whether you can receive UAT or 1090) or your IFD that are limiting the traffic shown.

Note that if your transponder says you can receive both UAT and 1090, then the ground may not be resending 1090 targets near you (expecting you to get those directly), or may be broadcasting traffic on 1090 (expecting you to pick up that signal).  Since the Skytrax only receives UAT, you may be missing that traffic.  You can improve that situation by changing your ADSB-out settings to say you can only receive UAT (978), in which case the ground will re-send any 1090 targets in your area, and only send that data to you via UAT.  (Arguably, this situation would be less confusing if you replaced the Skytrax with a dual-band ADSB-in receiver, but you should still be getting good traffic data today if your settings are configured correctly.)

I don't know what "weather is overall unreliable" specifically means, but weather should work.  I use it all the time, and it agrees well with my yoke-mounted tablet fed from a Stratux box.  Occasionally, one will have newer weather data that the other doesn't have (and it's not always the tablet or always the IFD that gets it first...seems about 50/50) and I can't explain that, but the differences are "rare" (doesn't happen every flight) and usually don't seem to last more than 5-10 minutes.  It's like maybe a data packet got garbled, and it took the next data cycle to clean it up or something.  If it's not working consistently, then there's probably an antenna or setup problem that needs to be resolved.

There are plenty of folks flying with the MLB100/Skytrax 100 that are getting good performance from the box.  There is no reason why you can't, too.


Edited by MysticCobra - 06 Oct 2019 at 10:37am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2019 at 11:21am
Originally posted by MysticCobra MysticCobra wrote:


... 

Note that if your transponder says you can receive both UAT and 1090, then the ground may not be resending 1090 targets near you (expecting you to get those directly), or may be broadcasting traffic on 1090 (expecting you to pick up that signal).  Since the Skytrax only receives UAT, you may be missing that traffic.  You can improve that situation by changing your ADSB-out settings to say you can only receive UAT (978), in which case the ground will re-send any 1090 targets in your area, and only send that data to you via UAT.  (Arguably, this situation would be less confusing if you replaced the Skytrax with a dual-band ADSB-in receiver, but you should still be getting good traffic data today if your settings are configured correctly.)

+1.

Through a lot of searching, we found out that if your Xponder is reporting dual frequency in capability - then ground doesn't send anything, assuming you get it primarily.  Kind of a problem for those of us who have both the Skytrax and TAS-A ; the Skytrax needs the Xponder to report 978 in to get the TIS-B and ADS-R; the TAS-A needs the Xponder to report 1090 in to get the UAT rebroadcast to get all its inputs.  So you can have one or the other but not both.

And then also, there hasn't been lack of clarity around what the IFD-s send out by wifi - from what i can glean here, it is NOT a composite of active traffic and ADS-B, rather if you have a capstone-like input (Skytrax), it outputs this to tablets.

I personally have found that my Stratux seems to perform better for traffic - (but that is dual frequency in).  Weather seems to be about the same between the Stratux and the Skytrax.




Edited by ddgates - 06 Oct 2019 at 11:21am
David Gates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2019 at 3:33pm
There should be a user defined bit that you can set in the maintenance mode of the transponder.  Just set it to receive UAT only.  That wakes up the ground sites.  If you set it up as both (UAT and 1090), then the ground sites wont wake up and transmit. 

Edited by tony - 07 Oct 2019 at 3:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2019 at 7:31pm
Thank you all for the f/u.  I have a IFD-540, AXP-340, and the MLB-100
all installed at the same time in about late 2015.  It seemed to work adequately
after installation, and at times I have had both weather and traffic.  If it is indeed
a single band exclusion only, I'm surprised at the absence of other equipped aircraft
where I fly.  Not only that, but when I'm flying in proximity to another aircraft of
a friend that I know has ADS-B out, he doesn't show up on my screen.  I've had some
avionics work done since the original installation, but I doubt any setting changes
have occurred that might degrade the performance.   At OSH it seemed that my
problem was known and a solution was in the works.  I suspected it was a Navworx
issue...which is a dead end.  Next time back at the avionics shop (which is top-notch)
I'll ask them to go through all the settings again.
Bob
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