Garmin released a flurry of press releases leading up to Oshkosh AirVenture, including news about incorporating subscription-free ADS-B weather information into its various current portable units and other mobile devices via its new GDL 39 ADS-B receiver. If you’re using Garmin Pilot on your mobile device, the GDL 39 can also provide WAAS GPS data using Bluetooth technology.
The GDL 39 features ADS-B “In” datalink technology that allows it to receive free Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) weather information over the FAA’s 978 MHz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) uplink. The weather information includes NEXRAD radar, METARs, TAFs, winds and temperatures aloft, PIREPs, NOTAMs on a compatible Garmin aviation portable or through the Garmin Pilot app on an iPad or Android device.
The GDL 39 can also receive ADS-B position reports directly from other aircraft in the vicinity. Because the FAA permits ADS-B broadcasts on two frequencies (978 UAT and 1090 ES), the GDL 39 contains both receivers so you can get a comprehensive view of all ADS-B “Out” equipped targets.
With built-in Bluetooth capability, the GDL 39 can wirelessly send the data it collects to compatible apps like Garmin Pilot, and soon on the aera 795/796 (the aera 560 requires a hard connection). The GDL 39 is capable of simultaneously providing wireless data to two devices while hardwired to a third. As opposed to using a WiFi link, Bluetooth lets you stay connected while on the ground so you can continually receive the latest weather reports as long as you have a data connection; no manual switching of networks is required. Set it up once and it will automatically remember and pair with your mobile device the next time.
If wireless connectivity isn’t an option with your device, a wiring harness can be included with your GDL 39. The device can go up to 4 hours between charges with an optional battery, and a cigarette lighter adapter comes included for onboard power. As technologies continue to develop, Garmin says software updates will be available through your Garmin aviation portable via Garmin Pilot and a separate utility app on your mobile device using the Bluetooth connection.
The MSRP is $799. For more information, visit www.garmin.com/aviation.