Foreflight basic Q

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Aviacs

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I can barely use a cell phone, so probably screwed this up....

After several weeks trying, managed to download Foreflight plus (1 year paid subscription) onto a purpose acquired ipad air, the medium sized one.
Intention was to use it in the club planes i fly, and eventually in my Sonerai2 when that is complete.

Playing with the program (Foreflight) here in the house over another few weeks, i can get weather, understand the basic functions, etc.
Made a nice mount for it.

So today took it out in the car on a trip with my wife, to practice , and it won't acquire anything. No weather at any airports, no nav data on the split screen, nothing except more or less canned charts and airport info. No tracking. No gps. My wife talked me through enabling all the position stuff on the ipad. Still no joy. Actually, that was the exact term the came up on the Foreflight screen "no joy".

Is it necessary to have a separate data plan with the ipad, for Foreflight to work away from my home network?
I guess i thought that was what i was paying Foreflight for, a dataplan specific to flying, but accessible anywhere in continental US?
Is that the likely issue, or am i doing something else wrong?
Or even: "Foreflight knows when you are in a car and will refuse to cooperate"?

Thanks for any enlightenment.
smt
 

Aviacs

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Nevermind, found the answer online:

  • NOTE: a Cellular Data plan is not required to use ForeFlight Mobile, or to get a GPS location fix.
  • If you do have a Cellular Data plan, we recommend you turn off Cellular Data while in-flight (for battery savings and to reduce the chance of hearing interference in your headset). Do this in the Apple Settings application under Cellular Data, or from the Control Center (displayed by swiping down or up on the correct part of the screen. See this Apple article for more details.
So maybe the unit just does not work well on the ground.
I'll keep searching online.
 

Hephaestus

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You need to be connected to another device to receive updated adsb data (alternatively use an internet connection). ipad itself doesn't have the hardware to receive and decode ADSB data. Needs another box.
 

davidb

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If your iPad doesn’t have cellular capability, it doesn’t have an internal gps. You don’t need a data plan but you do need the gps for position and track. Weather info is hard to get on the ground through ads-b because it is line of sight from ground based stations and you’d need a Stratus type receiver for that anyhow.
Without WiFi, gps, ads-b, or cellular you have nothing except the files saved on the iPad.
 

Toobuilder

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You probably saw weather when in the house because you were connected to WiFi and were pulling it from the Web. As others have said, when NOT connected to the Web, position needs to come from a GPS, and ADS-b needs to come from an ADS-b receiver that can talk to the tablet. Plenty of low cost GPS solutions such as the Garmin Glo, but the best bet is a GPS/ADS-B unit like a Stratux (or include an AHRS with a Stratus)
 

Rhino

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I will add to what has been said that you don't actually have to have an active cellular connection to have a GPS in your iPad. It merely has to be a model that includes cellular capability. I can't speak for whatever model Air you bought, but my iPad Pro has a GPS because it is cellular capable, even though it has never actually had a cellular account established. If your model fits that configuration, it could still have an internal GPS. It's easy to verify. Just open Maps while mobile. If the cursor moves with you, there's an internal GPS installed. But based on what you posted that doesn't sound likely.

There is another option you may be able to use for testing. You may not want to use it since you mentioned you can barely use a cell phone, but if your phone has the ability to be used as a mobile hot spot, and assuming your cell plan allows it, your iPad can connect through it via wifi to get to the internet. I do that with mine sometimes when I'm not at home just so I can browse with a larger screen. That won't get you ADS-B data though.
 
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davidb

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One can use their cellphone as a hotspot for a non data iPad. Cell phones do work in flight when low and slow near cell towers. Also, ForeFlight subscriptions allow one to load and use it on one’s cell phone in addition to the iPad.
 

Rcgreaves

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Kudos for all the very well-informed responses above here’s my two cents worth firstly you need to choose to be a student of the iPad and cell phone for this technology just like all The other ones you have mastered and let’s face it this has more justification than Facebook use correct? ForeFlight has an exceptional online tutorial library for the beginner then there are numerous postings to YouTube so one needs to use a grain of salt before excepting some of the recommendations out there. Sportys has a very good training video series for sale🙄 I had to commit to using it every couple of days before I reached the using Weather stage. I reached out to a flying buddy and we worked my problems together much less frustrating. I use the scout ADS B antenna it’s the bargain of the bunch .one of the vendors -maybe it’s the Sentry has a carbon monoxide detector built-in. Also Apple store CS was helpful
 

Aviacs

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Thanks to all, for all the thoughtful and informative responses.

Last night I researched the model ipad Best Buy sold me last july and 2 things stand out.
1.) it appears to be a refurbished model - i was vaguely aware it was not new, but believe it was represented as new, but scratch 'n dent
2.) My brief, walking into the store was that i did not know anything about tech but required an ipad, very specifically with an internal GPS to work with Foreflight plus. I don't expect them to know what aviation apps run on an ipad, but do expect them to provide the equipment (internal GPS) requested.

Here the paper trail is sketchy as to sequence of events, but both my wife & I remember that the original model proposed did not contain a GPS. An "upgrade" to the one purchased was proposed with assurance that it had GPS in the unit.

I played with the device occasionally to try to learn iPad, but mostly it sat around. During the fall, finding a TW instructor for my late biennial proved impossible locally (including separate deaths of 2 different potential instructors.) Winter occurred. Got busy skiing. Started to use the iPad for com (emails, texts) with wife since i did not have a cell phone.

Subscribed Foreflight + mid March, began working with it at desk & sometimes at airport.
Completed BFR just over a week ago. Poor Wx since. Scenario with iPad described above.

Price was never the question at BB - just a specific tool with specific component for a specific task.
Nonetheless there does not seem to be a resolution, some 9 months later, with BB.

Club airplane C140 has a Stratus ADS-B in/out.
Prewar J3 does not have an electrical system.
Eventually, (1 year, +/-) Hope to use the system in a Sonerai 2.

It sounds like connection with a Stratus 3 for use in any airplane could be a solution?
Other than locking into Apple/iPad, (not a fan, but seem to have one anyway :) ) is Foreflight sentry comparable to Stratus 3?
Sentry seems to have a 50% longer battery duration, and generally about $200 cheaper?

Believe me, i did/continue to try to understand online sources for info, but there is not a lot that is fully coherent across products.

Again, thanks much!
smt
 
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Rhino

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Yes, Stratus 3 works with Foreflight. Stratus 3 actually works with a bunch of apps:

Not sure how the Sentry compares.
 

kent Ashton

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Identify your ipad model number here. It will likely be "AXXXX" on the back of the ipad or in the settings that identify the model. If you didn't get a version with cellular capability, you didn't get GPS (my understanding). Foreflight will work on Wifi to find your location but in the airplane it needs the GPS.

A company named "Dual" make a small GPS that sits on your glareshield and will give you the GPS but the cellular ipads are easier.
 

Aviacs

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Thanks for the equipment comments, and the link to Apple comparison page.
Very helpful.

Identify your ipad model number here. It will likely be "AXXXX" on the back of the ipad or in the settings that identify the model. If you didn't get a version with cellular capability, you didn't get GPS (my understanding). Foreflight will work on Wifi to find your location but in the airplane it needs the GPS.
I think that has been established, and the fact that i feel hosed by Best Buy. Especially after turning down the first offer due to lack of internal GPS; & trusting the sales person ("tech") on the second day that the "new" unit offered/bought did include it. Model # is MUUR2LLA. Verified this morning, does not have internal GPS.

At this point the question is whether to continue with the existing iPad air 3 as the display, and add a GPS such as Stratus 3 or Foreflight Sentry.
Or to pass the existing iPad on to someone deserving; & buy a new iPad air 4 with cellular. Pro-con opinions or alternatives welcome. :)

I did buy a cell phone as unspoken courtesy to the wonderful airline captain that worked with me & signed my BFR. So we could coordinate schedules, etc. However, i chose an android platform.

I do not know how to use a cell phone as a potential "hotspot" to acquire position data for the iPad; & suspect it might be cumbersome for me; nonetheless i am open to links to tutorials.

thank you for the continuing advice!
smt
 

Toobuilder

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The Stratus (and Stratux) products offer GPS, ADS-b and AHRS in one small package for a few hundred bucks. coupled with your iPad and Foreflight, this gives you a legal sectional display with moving map, traffic, weather, a bunch of other good pilot info, AND a very capable big screen EFIS.

This is more capability than plenty of airliners you have flown across the ocean had.

Buy a used Stratus and dont bemoan the lack of a built in GPS on your iPad for even a second.
 

Rhino

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I do not know how to use a cell phone as a potential "hotspot" to acquire position data for the iPad; & suspect it might be cumbersome for me; nonetheless i am open to links to tutorials.
I could probably accomplish that if you identify your phone model and who your cell carrier is. But keep in mind, this will probably only work for testing on the ground. Your iPad probably won't use two or more wifi connections simultaneously, so you wouldn't be able to use it with both your phone and ADS-B receiver at the same time. That shouldn't be a problem operationally if your ADS-B receiver has a GPS, but you need to keep this in mind when transitioning between testing and operational use.
 

pfarber

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I would not rely on cellular iPads as they get hot enough when in use. I have a Status ADS-B in with GPS and it works fine. The only downside to external boxes is you also need a battery, or USB port to charge/power. Not a huge issue.

I plan on long XCs as my main mission. I'm curious if my iPad Pro will say alive for 5+ hours of constant use in the summer in an E/AB cockpit.
 

BJC

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I plan on long XCs as my main mission. I'm curious if my iPad Pro will say alive for 5+ hours of constant use in the summer in an E/AB cockpit.
Mine will not, a newer one may.

I use a two port USB charger to keep my Stratus II and my iPad alive. The cheap ones are likely to cause interference; buy one for airplane use.


BJC
 

Aviacs

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For me it seems to be down to Foreflight Sentry (12 hrs battery, $499) vs Appareo Stratus 3 (8 hrs battery, $699) Stratus has flight data (don't think i need that?) it also has option to connect remote ADS-B or GPS antenna which could be useful if the system makes it to completion with my Sonerai2 project.

Currently, the club C140 has a Stratus panel mount ADS-B in/out and small ifly GPS. So anything with my iPad is redundancy.
The prewar J3 is non-electric, so ipad would be primary, & battery life would be a useful factor.

Or, in the C-140, should i be able to use the existing ADS-B in/out to run my iPad?
I keep reading on the 'net and it leads to more questions and more equipment that is unfamiliar.
I am, nonetheless, committed to plugging along so long as it does not antagonize the membership.

smt
 
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