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FreeFlight Ranger FDL-978-RXD dual-band supported?

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CubedRoot View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 10:52am
I have an IFD-540 and a Skytrax 100 and am pretty disappointed there is no dual band offering for ADS-b in on my IFD.  I still have to lug around my Stratux in order to receive 1090 on my tablet, which always has more relevant traffic than what is shown on the IFD via the Skytrax :-(

So, with Avidynes recent announcement that the FreeFlight Rangers would be the go-to solution for ADS-b in, I did a little browsing and found this model:  FDL-978-RXD which is a dual band version per their documentation here:  http://www.freeflightsystems.com/images/products/RANGR%20RX.pdf

Now, is this unit supported by our IFD's?   Any idea of how bad it would be for my shop to "swap" the Skytrax 100 out for one of these units?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 11:26am
I would prefer to have the dual-band solution, too.  (Currently have an MLB-100 installed.)  I, too, am using a Stratux to get dual-band data today and would like eventually retire it in favor of ADSB data flowing through my IFD and out to tablets via wifi or Bluetooth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 9:34pm
they have said privately that they are anticipating having a simple upgrade pathway from the mlb to be announced at either SNF or OSH
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2018 at 2:15pm
Originally posted by ddgates ddgates wrote:

they have said privately that they are anticipating having a simple upgrade pathway from the mlb to be announced at either SNF or OSH

I wonder (hope?)  if this upgrade solution would be dual-band.  If its not too spendy, and indeed dual band, I would probably opt in for it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2018 at 2:01pm
I see the FDL-978-RXD in the linked document, but can't find it anywhere else. IS it a new product, not yet available? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2018 at 6:37am
I cannot understand why you have to install another avionics box in your airplane to get ADSB in when you have all this WiFi magic happening in your IFDs!?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2018 at 7:20am
Originally posted by MarkZ MarkZ wrote:

I cannot understand why you have to install another avionics box in your airplane to get ADSB in when you have all this WiFi magic happening in your IFDs!?

Not sure what you mean.  The FAA doesn't transmit ADSB-in data via wifi, so *something* additional has to be present in the plane to receive the signal and deliver it to the IFD.  If you're implying that there are less-expensive and easily attainable boxes (like a Stratux) that can receive ADSB-in and then publish the data via wifi to attached devices, then I think the limitation is not a technical one but rather a regulatory/paperwork one:  The issue of an uncertified device feeding the ADSB datastream into a certified panel GPS.

Who knows what might be allowed in the future, but as of today (and for the foreseeable future) I don't think that's in the cards, so an approved device like an MLB100/Skytrax 100 (or whatever Freeflight device(s) replace that unit) is required.


Edited by MysticCobra - 13 Jul 2018 at 7:24am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2018 at 3:12pm
Allowing GDL-90 data from a WiFi device, like a Garmin GTX-345 with an internal GPS source, would simplify installations by not requiring extra wiring. 

Is there a regulation that prohibits the IFD to display uncertified data? How about data from a fuel totalizer, or the like, that could be off?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2018 at 9:35pm
well Osh has come and gone, and I didn’t see any announcements about an upgrade path to dual band for us skytrax users. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 3:02pm
Any updates on this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 6:53pm
This has been the most bizarre part of ADS-B.

_Years_ ago, Aspen announced a dual band ADS-B receiver "coming soon" - at least 4 years ago.

Maybe a year ago, at least some of us who bought the MLB100s were contacted and told that a "new solution" was coming soon, and that there would be an upgrade path for us - nada.

There have been _rumors_ that those of us who bought MLB100s had units which had at least the hardware to do 1090 MHz as well, but not software activated, and that when Navworx exited, that tantalizing possibility ended.

Almost all of us have non-certified components (in my case Stratux/Flight Box) which will not only do dual band, but also has an AHRS unit, so from the standpoint of tech, it can't be that hard?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2020 at 7:01pm
I’ll be honest, this has been the most disappointing part of my whole Avidyne stack. The Skytrax unit I have is a poor performer and I have way more targets using my portable adsb receiver than the equipment I paid a boat load of money to install. The fact that Avidyne hasn’t done anything to even offer an upgrade path is very disappointing.

It’s to the point that is much rather trust my portable adsb receiver and ForeFlight for weather and traffic than I do my skytrax. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rpostmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 6:55pm
Clayton at FreeFlight says the 978RXD   dual frequency unit will
be available in August.  I've requested a quote.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 7:03pm
did they say if it will be a simple plug and replace for the skytrax100? 

It would be nice if it was a simple swap out with the existing units and maybe a new antenna install. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 7:37pm
I'm interested in this unit. I will upgrade my MLB100 as soon as I can. I sent an e-mail to Freeflight Systems to inquire. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 10:41am
Has anyone gotten any other updates?  I am considering buying a Lynx if we can't get a decent dual band solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 11:51am
Freeflight didn't respond to my e-mail. I think I've written twice before with the same results. No reaction whatsoever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 12:19pm
Why consider buying from a company that doesn't respond? If they don't respond to you as a potential customer, what can one expect once they have your money?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 12:24pm
They have a reasonable reputation. I probably will wait a while once a product is available to see how it does. 

Their dual-band receiver is the only one I'm aware of that can replace the MLB100. I'd be interested in hearing from others that don't require a complete new transponder. 

I could replace my AXP340/MLB100 combo, but I would rather just replace the MLB100 with a dual-band receiver when one becomes available. In the meantime, I'm getting by with the single-band solution that I already have. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 12:36pm
I'm in the same boat.  I'd much rather just replace the MLB100 in my tail since it would be pretty trivial for the shop to do.  No new wiring runs, etc.  Just changing the pins around more than likely (I have the older Navworx made Skytrax).  I do like my AXP340 because it has physical buttons for the numbers.  And it works really well.  If I can simply change the ADS-b receiver, thats my preferred solution
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2020 at 5:49pm
We certainly cannot have that pesky Stratus box info coming in on our expensive certified panels. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 10:49pm
although it sounds tempting saying it's now available, they've been promising a dual band receiver since 2013, so I'm not waiting for them.
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