14th May 2012, 21:31
Know GPS' have been to death in various forms on here, but wanted to specifically compare the Garmin 296 against the AWARE.
The former I've used in the past when panel-mounted and recently bought a second-hand one. However, find it not quite optimal for the kind of SE England VFR flying I do (costly updates, lack of touch screen, clunky menus, slow boot-up, lack of pre-loaded VFR waypoints, etc). And it's practically useless for non-aviation applications in Europe without further costly updates it seems.
Tried AWARE for the first time the other day and find the airspace updates a huge selling point, plus the smaller, lighter box and more appropriate level of functionality. Understand battery life is an issue compared to Garmin. What about durability.....(know Garmins have reputation for being rock solid)?
Is there something I'm missing that makes the Garmin worth keeping or worth thinking twice about with replacing for an AWARE?
Probably not an option for me, due to cockpit space and cost, but does anyone run both VFR for different benefits?
Would really appreciate everyone's thoughts?
15th May 2012, 20:29
Take my advice, sell your 296 and buy an Ipad and get Skydemon or even get it on a smaller tablet or windows device or perhaps their own device. It is amazing. My 296 is sat in a cupboard since i got this.
For reference I use Skydemon now and I can safely say it is by far the clearest depiction of airspace, weather and anything else on my Ipad3. I also ran it on an Ipad one and it was a little slow to start up but fine once it was running.
15th May 2012, 20:49
I agree with the post above. Ditch/sell the Garmin and the Aware buy an iPad and use Skydemon. You really won't regret it.
16th May 2012, 13:02
I have a panel mounted 296 and I would to some extent agree on the 296 shortcomings. However I own it and it works reasoanbley well.
One big improvement was to add a number of 'useful' waypoints - search the net and there are a whole variety which people have put together - makes my unit much more useful.
16th May 2012, 15:51
I have an Aware 5+ and the battery lasts about 2.5 hrs. I always have it plugged into the fag lighter anyway but I did do a trip without it being plugged in just to see how much battery life there is. I haven't had any major issues with it and I've dropped it onto a concrete pan from the side window of a 172. The Aware team give you good backup should you need it. Sometimes their monthly downloads are a bit wonky.
Having said all that........if I was in the market for a new GPS and I had the extra £200 over the 5+ I would go for the Skydemon, not so much for the actual unit but their flight planning software is far superior. IMO. Plus our club has Skydemon set up for flight planning on a wall mounted flat screen telly and has two of the units, so it's a 'Skydemon club'.
And having said all of that.....as long as you get some kind of airspace awareness from whatever unit you choose then it's done it's job.
16th May 2012, 21:33
Thanks for the input, guys. Already been using SkyDemon for planning, although not taken it airborne yet. What can you say, truly brilliant piece of software....!
Perhaps I should have said that I'm looking to used in the relatively confined space of a Jodel.
So size of the unit also comes into the equation and afraid an iPad (wonderful though I'm sure it, is coupled to SkyDemon) is effectively too large.
Another concern is that I'd like the unit line-of-sight, since any looking or reaching down can easily perturb the stick, which is quite sensitive.
Hence why the palm-sized solution sucker-mounted to the canopy is my favoured option.
Anyone assessed the SkyDemon device vs AWARE? Worth the extra £££?
16th May 2012, 22:38
The ordinary vanilla AWARE is pretty damned good.
Got me out of serious trouble two years ago in nav on the spot, out of 20 miles of low cloud. Then last year flew well down into, & back from France inc. missing all the no-go bits around Paris whilst dodging cloud and rain on & off the preferred route.
Personally its less cluttered screen, no need to plot anything in, the (almost) impossibility of pressing the wrong tit in the air and the swordfish type nav. needle makes it an excellent nav aid.
Battery is OK if one forgets to plug into the a/c 12 volts source, or when I sometimes use it in a microlight without volts.
Mind you I do have a chart and an old Garmin with GSpeed and true track on board.
21st May 2012, 19:48
gasax - hi, do you have any references for those Garmin waypoint databases online?
22nd May 2012, 12:17
I'm presently using a gliding database - which I currently cannot find a link too!
However this might be an alternative Aviation Data for GPS Devices (http://www.vfrdata.com/airshow.org.uk/vfrdata.com/vfrdata.com.html)