The Dual Electronics Bluetooth GPS was one of the first wireless GPS accessories available for the iPad and is still one of the best ways for pilots to add GPS position data to an iPad. The small receiver communicates wirelessly to an iPad via Bluetooth, and is a great way to get reliable, accurate position information for popular apps like ForeFlight Mobile, Garmin Pilot and WingX Pro. And the device’s rechargeable internal battery lasts up to 8.5 hours, roughly the same battery life as an iPad.
Along with the portable GPS receiver, Dual also offers a companion GPS status app available free in the iTunes app store. While you don’t need to install the app to use the GPS, it can prove helpful when troubleshooting GPS or battery issues. The app shows detailed information from the GPS receiver including:
- The number of GPS satellites in view and their signal strength
- Your current location, or an indication that the device is still waiting for satellite information
- Whether or not the GPS receiver is actively connected to the iPad/iPod touch/iPhone
- The battery level of the GPS receiver
- Whether or not the GPS receiver is charging
We’ve found the app to be especially useful during preflight to check the GPS’s battery level, and to help position the receiver in the cockpit for optimum satellite reception. You can download the free app here: Bluetooth GPS Status Tool.