Crew Dog Electronics is touting its low-cost, open-source ADS-B dual-band receiver as an economical alternative to brand name portable products. Based on the non-proprietary Stratux software platform, the receiver provides GPS, traffic, weather and attitude information, and is compatible with all major electronic flight bag (EFB) platforms including Foreflight, iFly, FlyQ, and WingX. The internal GPYes WAAS GPS receiver supports multiple iPads, iPhones, or Android tablets connected via Wi-Fi. High-gain Dmurray14 antennas are optimized for 978 MHz and 1090 MHz frequencies.
Priced at $250, the unit includes a suction mount for window attachment and a rechargeable battery pack for four-plus hours of flying time. On a recent flight that skirted convective activity, the unit appeared to perform identically to a brand name (Appareo 2s) portable receiver.
Sean Chuplis, a former KC-10 pilot and instructor, and current pilot for a major airline, developed the receiver while stationed in Hawaii, where he was assigned to a squadron that operated GIVs and worked as a flight instructor on the side.
“Hawaii is challenging: the weather, wind, helicopter tours, GA traffic,” Chuplis said. He realized an EFB would be ideal for dealing with the flight environment, but “I didn’t have $1,000 at the time” to buy a known, off-the-shelf model, he said.
That led Chuplis, who has a computer science degree from Penn State University, to connect with the Stratux community, a group of aviation enthusiasts that collaboratively developed the software. “The whole open-source concept is to make the software freely available,” Chuplis said. “I made 10 units on my dining room table and put them on Amazon.” Today Amazon ranks his ADS-B receiver as #1 on its list of aviation GPS units. Chuplis has created YouTube tutorials explaining features of the receiver, but if $250 is too steep, he also has a video that details every part, where he sources them, and the cost, so you can build your own.