Flying Reviews Dual Model XGPS170 ADS-B GPS Receiver

New compact Bluetooth receiver is strong on design and function and improving in compatibility.

Dual XGPS170 ADS-B

Dual XGPS170 ADS-B

Dual Electronics’ compact and stylish ADS-B receiver caught our eye the first time we saw it. It took a while, however, before we got a chance to fly it, in part because Dual was working awfully hard to get the model into production and in part because, once it did, the units were hard to come by, as they were back-ordered.

The biggest challenge for makers of portable ADS-B receivers is that two of the three most popular moving-map/charting apps, ForeFlight ­Mobile Pro and Garmin Pilot, are proprietary when it comes to pairing with ADS-B receivers. Garmin Pilot only works with Garmin’s units, chiefly the GDL39, and ForeFlight requires that users pair it with the Appareo Stratus, which was developed jointly with ForeFlight and Sporty’s. Complicating matters is the fact that those two apps are — at least in our estimation — the best moving-map iPad apps currently available. So users who want those apps can’t use the Dual ADS-B product.

The good news is there are several third-party apps that are compatible with the Dual box: Hilton Software’s WingX Pro, AOPA’s FlyQ, Bendix/King’s Wingman and Flight Guide’s IEFB. (The developers of WingX have gone out of their way to work with third-party developers — a move we applaud. It also gives us a great app with which to test such products.)

Dual’s ADS-B is a single-channel receiver, getting transmission from UAT-equipped airplanes (with 1090 returns only through repeaters). The unit works great. We tested it on a long flight from California to Texas, and it excelled at the three most important things a portable ADS-B receiver needs to do: It efficiently received weather broadcasts; it stayed connected reliably to the app we used to display its data, WingX Pro; and its battery lasted a long time. Dual claims six hours of life for the receiver under normal conditions. You can also keep it plugged in; it’s powered by a mini USB cord.

Dual comes equipped with a couple of other features we like. Along the side of the receiver is a little switch that lets you pair the device with either an ­Android or an Apple tablet (or phone). In this case, we tested it only on an iPad 3, but we were easily able to establish a connection on an Android device as well. We also like that you can use the aptly named Dual product as either a stand-alone GPS receiver or a combination GPS/ADS-B receiver.

  • Manufacturer: Dual Electronics
  • Weather: Yes
  • Traffic: Yes
  • 978: Yes
  • 1090ES: Yes
  • Dual Band: Yes
  • Attitude: No
  • GPS/WAAS: Yes
  • Price: $799.99
  • Compatible Apps: WingX, Pro7, Avilution, Naviator, FlyQ, MyWingMan, Flight Guide and GRT Avionics EFIS

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