For the last two years, Appareo’s Stratus 2S and Garmin’s GDL 39 3D have dominated the market for portable ADS-B receivers, but Dual Electronics has carved out a successful niche as well. Their strategy has been to offer affordable receivers that work with a wide variety of apps, making them our top picks for pilots flying with FltPlan Go or WingX.
Dual recently introduced the upgraded XGPS170D, a weather and traffic receiver that replaces the XGPS170 (which Dual sold for many years). The main difference with the 170D compared to the 170 is that the 170D adds a 1090 MHz receiver. This dual band reception allows it to receive more traffic targets, especially helpful for airplanes that do not have ADS-B Out installed already. Since 1090 MHz has become the most popular option for ADS-B Out upgrades, the 170D should enable pilots to see more air-to-air traffic targets, even when out of range of a ground station.
Flying with the 170D is easy: just charge up the battery, place it on the dash of your airplane using the included non-slip mount, and turn it on. The device connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, and can support two devices at the same time. The number of compatible apps is long, including:
- iOS: WingX Pro7, FltPlan Go, Aerovie Reports, iFlyGPS, FlyQ, AvPlan EFB, eKneeboard, and Pilotbrief Optima.
- Android: Avare, FltPlan Go, Naviator, AvNav EFB, AvPlane Lite, DroidEFB, and iFlyGPS.
- Panel avionics: GRT Avionics HX, Her, and SX
The new Dual XGPS170D is available now for $599.99, and is a good choice for VFR pilots or anyone looking for an affordable way to get GPS and weather on your favorite EFB app. It’s $150 more than the Stratus 1S, but the Stratus lacks the 1090 band; the 170D is less than the comparable GDL 39 model.
The Dual XGPS190 is the top-of-the-line option, with all the features of the 170D, plus AHRS for backup attitude. At $849.99, it’s $50 less than Stratus and the comparable GDL 39 model. If you want backup attitude or synthetic vision, this is definitely the way to go.