Gear: Portable Weather

Garmin’s new GDL 52 offers some distinct new advantages over the previous model.

Garmin GDL 52
Garmin’s GDL 52 offers GPS, ADS-B and Sirius XM as a full package of data for portable tablets or smartphones.Garmin

Garmin's new GDL 52 combines GPS, ADS-B and Sirius XM to provide a full package of data to a portable tablet or smartphone, and even some panel-mounted avionics.

The wireless device connects to iPads and smartphones through Garmin’s Pilot app as well as Garmin’s portable GPS systems, such as the aera 660, 795 and 796. It also links to the G3X touch-screen avionics suite and can be hard wired to the displays. Up to two devices can use the GDL 52 data concurrently.

Passengers can listen in on Sirius XM audio channels either through a Bluetooth headset or compatible audio panels. Garmin boasts a five-hour battery life for the GDL 52.

Available for $1,199 at Garmin. The GDL 51 is also available on Amazon.

Garmin GDL 52
Garmin's GDL 52.Garmin

1) GPS: The GDL 52 incorporates GPS, providing constant position information. This feature is not available on the unit's sister product, the GDL 51, which includes only Sirius XM satellite data.

2) ADS-B: The ADS-B feature on the GDL 52 streams subscription-free weather and traffic information to compatible portable and panel-mounted devices.

3) Sirius XM: Sirius XM allows you to stream weather, music, news and other audio entertainment from a satellite. The service requires an annual subscription for $191.88 plus taxes and fees.