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Misc. electronic conspicuity boxes: Garrecht / Air Avionics / TRX-1500A / Air Connect / PAW / PilotAware / LXnav / PowerMouse / FlarmMouse / Flarm / Uavionix / SkyEcho / SafeSky

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The other portable product with a following in the UK is PilotAware, but these guys have unhelpfully decided to emit only a proprietary signal rather than the industry standard ADS-B. Like FLARM they are effectively a ‘pay to see me’ product, so I won’t touch them. One would hope they would fall by the wayside as ADS-B adoption gathers pace, but unfortunately they were early entrants and have significant market share – and crucially their kit receives ADS-B so the incentive on their users to switch is not great. Compared to SE2 their product is a home-brew mashup (based on a Raspberry Pi) that usually requires wires in the cockpit, but a certain sector of GA probably enjoys fiddling with it.

Not quite a fair representation.

I have Pilot Aware.
Many of the ‘Active’ aircraft at my field do.
We also have now installed a ground station.
So I can see Mode A Mode C Mode S Adsb and Pilot aware aircraft.
Everyone with Pilot Aware can see my Pilot Aware signal or my Adsb out.
Pretty solid solution to me.
If received directly mode A and C are bearingless but with a groundstation they are not.
Bearingless targets are ‘marmite’
You like or dislike.
For me I’d rather know there was a conflict and struggle to see it, than not know there is a conflict and hopefully it goes away.

United Kingdom

I think you also have to remember the history here.

PilotAware would never have been invented if SkyEcho was on the market then.

But at the time that it was invented, there was no way of getting any traffic in or letting someone know your position without spending at least a 4 figure sum. And for those renting, it didn’t matter how much you willing to pay, there was no way of letting someone else know your position.

Then along comes PilotAware. For about €50-€100 you could detect anyone transmitting ADS-B (not hugely useful at the time, but nice to have) and anyone else with a PilotAware. You could also let other PilotAware users know where you were. You could also get a ‘proximity warning’ for mode A or mode C traffic. This was a lot better than nothing, and for most, ‘nothing’ was the alternative.

Given its low price many saw it as a no-brainer. It’s since developed in such a way that with ground stations in the UK, you can get positions on non-ADSB and non-PilotAware traffic and you can get weather data too.

But if it was invented today, I think it would struggle for market share without any ADSB out. But at the time it was revolutionary, and because of it’s market position, now it’s a reasonable option.

For people like me (rent an aircraft with installed certified ADSB out but not in) it’s perfect. I get the best of both worlds.

EIKH Kilrush

I understand the background and why they did what they did, but it won’t be the future and when there’s a perfectly good open standard out there (ADS-B) I’m not going to support proprietary technologies operating a ‘pay to see me’ business model.

EC isn’t just about what you can see, it’s about making yourself visible and the right thing to do is emit ADS-B. Their continued viability as a business depends on them not adding ADS-B out! I think of it as Betamax.

I can appreciate it works as full a solution if you have a Mode S -ES transponder already (or all of the aircraft you fly do), but that isn’t the case for me. The TB10 has plain Mode S and the PA17 has nothing.

Apart from anything else I’m not keen on filling the cockpit with the additional antenna, power supply and GPS source, plus associated wires, that a PilotAware requires. SE2 has all of these built into one little box the size of a packet of cigarettes, and its in-built GPS allows me to use it in place of the GPS receiver on my tablet/phone.

Last Edited by Graham at 08 Jun 18:57
EGLM & EGTN

I’ve just found out this new app today -
https://www.safesky.app/en/news/new-version-1-1-1-id48

Has anyone tried it in-flight? It looks like a good addition to ‘see & be seen’ concept for VFR folks flying in lower altitudes, especially if you have a dual-sim device to improve connection stability.

NEW VERSION 1.1.1.

This new version brings a wealth of new features allowing the pilot to step up in pursuing safety for all.
SafeSky is updated as often as possible to make it faster and even more reliable.

List of new features:
Support for more traffic sources: Pilot Aware, Fanet, XC Guide, FlyMaster, Garmin InReach, Naviter, Spider, Spot and others. All this in addition to OGN, FLARM and ADS-B.
New setting to disable the Startup Disclaimer.
Stability: Improved starting the app while in the air.
Stability: added warning message when internet settings are incorrect.
New visual alert on radar when a danger is detected – Screen will be flashing when alerts are detected.
Czech Republic

Graham wrote:

I understand the background and why they did what they did, but it won’t be the future and when there’s a perfectly good open standard out there (ADS-B) I’m not going to support proprietary technologies operating a ‘pay to see me’ business model.

It’s actually open source, not proprietary. The protocol is open for anyone to implement.

ADS-B is good (and I emit ADS-B, and would encourage everyone to emit ADS-B, and have their transponder do it if they can afford the install cost because the emitted power is quite high from a 1090ES box) but the PilotAware provides not just ADS-B targets, but data from the OGN (Open Gliding Network, most glider clubs now have a base station – which will add FLARM and OGN beacon information) and multilaterated Mode-S data which pure ADS-B in won’t be providing for a long time. For me PilotAware is about what it’s receiving, not what it’s transmitting (given I already transmit ADS-B).

Last Edited by alioth at 09 Jul 14:45
Andreas IOM

@igor the Safesky product came up here.

IMHO it is useless.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Is there anyone here with experience flying with PA Rosetta in France? Do you see a relevant amount of non ADS-B traffic with a position (mode S via ATOM grid)? I am considering to buy it as a “better than nothing” option, I am aware of the possible limitations of the system.

LFST, France
Do you see a relevant amount of non ADS-B traffic with a position (mode S via ATOM grid)?

In Belgium: no

I decided for myself it’s better to see nothing than to see something now and then.

…but seeing everything is even better so I’m going for ADS-B + TAS.

Last Edited by airways at 12 Oct 18:28
EBST, Belgium

airways wrote:

I decided for myself it’s better to see nothing than to see something now and then.

What’s the rationale behind this? I would think that “something” is still a plane that could collide with you if you don’t see it.

airways wrote:

…but seeing everything is even better so I’m going for ADS-B + TAS.

This for me is not an option, unfortunately. I am looking for something handheld to bring in and out of aeroclub planes when I use them.

LFST, France
What’s the rationale behind this?

Two things:

- a false sense of safety
- in the case of Rosetta: a lot of heads down time trying to figure out the non-bearing targets.

Without the use of external antennas, you will miss out on a lot of traffic, especially heads on. Maybe this is aircraft type specific, and you might be lucky. But I had some good scares with that thing.

EBST, Belgium
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