[July 9, 2013]

When I determined I couldn't easily fix my Appareo Stratus unit last week, I called up Appareo to see what they could do for me. I didn't like much of what I heard from them - basically, it would be an expensive repair to the tune of possibly a few hundred dollars. The service rep told me I should also call up Sporty's to see what they could do for me. I called up Sporty's and the support rep basically told me I was still covered under warranty and to ship it back to them. I was shocked as to how easy going they were. The original unit had a 1 year warranty which expired about 4 months ago in April. 8 days after I sent them my old unit, I had a box waiting for me when I got home (and there was the 4th of July holiday in the middle of the week)! Wow, I didn't expect this back so fast.

Everything was in the box, just as if I would of purchased it new - brand new packaging, charger and USB cable.

There was a piece of paper included indicating this unit was "overhauled" and not just refurbished. This unit has some minor differences from the original unit. The plastic casing was felt more like a plastic, whereas the previous case felt more like a rubber. I don't know if they changed this because of overheating or not - i.e. heat conduction in rubber vs plastics. I was pretty psyched to get this so quickly, because I have a cross country trip planned to the Chicago area this coming weekend.

So I should be set to go with my new Appareo Stratus ADS-B receiver, right? Well no, not really. On my trip to Tangier Island, the ADS-B receiver failed, along with my iPad overheated. While ForeFlight and the Stratus receiver are a nice combination, I feel like it really isn't "airplane friendly". The main issues I have with the iPad/Stratus combination as the following:

1) Overheating
2) Readability / Brightness
3) Size
4) GPS performance

When the ADS-B receiver broke, I broke down and purchased a used Garmin 696. This is one slick unit. Just from playing around with it at home, I like the following:

1) Screen Brightness - this thing is extremely bright and sunlight readable
2) Size - looks like it will mount perfectly under my throttle quadrant
3) Maps - Wonderful maps - A well balanced hybrid in between the GRT maps and the Foreflight VFR charts.
4) XM Audio - A nice feature for in flight entertainment
5) XM Weather and ADS-B option with a GDL-39 - nice to have XM weather to get info on the ground.

With the unit inside it had excellent GPS reception, getting locked onto 6 satellites.

The maps are way cool. Perfect representation of landmarks and airspace. I am looking forward to flying with this unit in the very near future!



Last Modified: September 4, 2017