Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Glidingdoc
Sorry to be a pain always asking advice but I would rather learn from other pilot's hiccups rather than waste money on my own or worse.

I love Sky Demon on my laptop but, when I run it on my Acer Handheld Tablet, it keeps getting "stuck". I don't think the Acer has enough power to run the application and battery life seems very short between charges. The question therefore is, do I but a better handheld tablet and run Sky Demon in the air, (I will continue to use it as a flight planning tool), or do I go for a dedicated GPS.

Anyone who knows of me will understand that my navigation is not my strongest suite. On my first solo cross country, (in a Falke Motor Glider, armed only with map, compass and watch), I got horribly lost over the Yorkshire Moors. I called the nice lady on D & D and advised her that I was "temporarily uncertain of my position", and on being asked when I was last certain, had to admit that it was when I was on the runway at Rufforth. Consequently, confidence is low.

I will only be flying VFR and bumbling about the skies at 50 to 95 kts depending on whether I am in the glider or the Pup.

So, do I buy a super tablet with GPS, (and if so, which one), or do I buy a GPS, (and if so which one)? I am a very simple soul and would prefer an uncluttered screen so like the Sky Demon as I can "eliminate" air space above loud base and concentrate on what I am really likely to have to avoid.

Tim & Mark at Gamston have taught me the rudiments of VOR which will help but I would like a picture of where I am. Any advice would be very greatly appreciated.

Steve :?
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By Paul_Sengupta
You can get a second hand second generation Nexus 7 (2013) on e-bay for about 60-70 quid these days, and that's quite a good tablet to run SD on. If you can stretch to £100-£120 though, I'd recommend the Samsung S2 8.0 which is a very good tablet indeed.
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By PeteSpencer
Why do people always go cheap?
Push the boat out and get a iPad mini 5 with integral GPS (or even the previous 4)
Mount it on the yoke if you have one with a Garmin mount attached to a Brodit cradle and the jobs a good 'un. (if not use a RAM suction mount with DIN drilled backplate)
Forget cheapo refurbished Nexus cr ap: I had two of these in a row that didn't work and getting my money back took 6 months and years off my life.

Alternatively do a search on here and spend the next 48 hours getting more and more confused :wink:

Last edited by PeteSpencer on Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By kanga
I had no problems running SD on a 7" 'ordinary' Android tablet, an older then a newer, which I fixed by velcro or elastic+safetypin to a kneepad. If planning a landaway or local flight with deliberate route, as opposed to a local aimless bimble, I would display a planned route prepared on SD on home laptop, saved to cloud, and loaded onto tablet from cloud.. I initiated 'go flying' just before engine start. The tablet would battery easily last 2-3 legs, each of which were comfortably within my 'safe bladder limit' :roll: of 60-90 minutes. I used only the internal tablet GPS antenna without problems in low- and high-wing types. Incidentally, the same (newer) tablet ran and still runs all my 'home' tablet requirements.

In flight, this would require a glance down, obviously. I supplemented it with what I'd had before SD: a very basic and cheap small hiker's (ie, not a dedicated pilot's) monochrome GPS, a 'Garmin GPS II Plus'. On this I entered my own waypoints as lat/long, taken (for airfields) from standard airfield guides (in one of which I found an error, and submitted a coreection to the publishers!); and for other places which I wanted to mark, eg for skirting controlled airspace, by using online maps and reading off the lat/long. I then created a route using those waypoints. This gizmo was small enough to be velcro'ed onto the top of the instrument panel, in my line of sight. In the air, it displayed position related to desired track as a position within a notional 'roadway' of convenient fixed width (1/4 mile, I think), or direction heading and distance to go to (re)join the roadway. This GPS ran on 4 AAs or 12v cable, so I used the 'cigarette lighter' for it.

Between them, these 2 suited all my flying, all Day VFR lowish and slowish, in sunlight and shade.

HTH. Other solutions are, obviously, available.
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By Paul_Sengupta
PeteSpencer wrote:Why do people always go cheap?
Push the boat out and get a iPad mini 5 with integral GPS (or even the previous 4)

Why? It's no better for running SD than the Samsung S2 really. And they're both the same screen format.

And you can bank several hundred pounds to put towards avgas!

Most people have no problems with their second gen Nexus tablets. The first gen works for running SD but can be a little slow. But at this point I'd be more inclined to get the Samsung if the slightly larger screen format suits.
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By stevelup
I'm going to bring out the D word! It's been a while....

It is disingenuous to say that a current iPad is no better than a budget Android tablet that was discontinued three years ago.

It is absolutely patently untrue! Yes, it works. Yes it might be adequate. But it's certainly not the best possible experience.
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By Rob P
I am not quite sure what an 'experience' is when related to tablets running SkyDemon is, but the 'adequate' one given by a second gen Nexus always seems to get me from where I am, to where I want to be with minimal fuss and no overheating issues. This means that I only have the one device in use, safe in the knowledge that should I need it (I never have) I can switch on the phone currently in my pocket and crank up the copy of SkyDemon on that. This obviates the need to badger SkyDemon to allow me even more mobile devices to be logged in simultaneously as back-ups to the back-up as others apparently need to.

However, heeding the advice not to be a cheapskate, for reasons of spending money on kit rather than giving it to the taxman, my company (in other words, me) has just bought a Huawei M5, 8.4" tablet. It seems a few micro-seconds faster than the Nexus, and so I am obviously now getting the better experience. I can't say I am overly excited by those savings of microseconds yet, but hopefully there will come a time. Cost about £190 when the VAT is refunded.

Review here: ... w-3672616/

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:13 am, edited 7 times in total.
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By PeteSpencer
Dave W wrote:Many do. Many have to.

Its a mistake to assume that most on here want to penny pinch when it comes to important things aviation.

Peter :wink:
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By Rob P
If the penny pinching in some way affected safety or enjoyment then certainly few here would. When there is no appreciable difference other than some vague 'better experience' then I think avgas gets the vote.

Rob P
By Balliol
I have an ipad mini that is just sanitised and used for SD flying and flying apps. Second hand ones are quite reasonable I think (make sure you get one with GPS in) and in my experience it 'just works' and I have never had a lock up or GPS loss. I would say whatever you get make sure you don't have to end up faffing with external battery packs etc.. as that just creates so much potential for failure and messing around.. It will transform your flying experience when you get sorted :thumleft:
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By kanga
malcolmfrost wrote:.. I certainly wouldn't contemplate using a handheld GPS that you enter waypoints yourself as Lat/Long. The possibility of error is too great.

I'd always start with a wax crayon line on a paper chart, on which I'd measure by ruler and protractor distances and rhumb line tracks. I'd then enter the lat/long into the little GPS, and look at the resulting calculated figures. Gross errors would be (and occasionally were :oops: ) instantly obvious. It was the only way to do things before tablets and SD, and I found it a useful discipline even thereafter. I would only then see if the numbers tallied with those yielded by the equivalent SD exercise and Plog; I tolerated differences of a degree or a nm or so, reflecting the accuracy of my flying .. :wink:

This approach may have prevented me from an error ISTR reported in a magazine in those early days. Someone using a dedicated pilot's GPS preloaded with a database of air-related places used it to prepare a flight to 'Oxford'. He brought up 'Oxford' on the gadget's screen and entered it as desired destination. He had not realised that the first 'Oxford' listed in the gadget's database, which displayed only a single line at a tine, was not Kidlington but Weston-on-the-Green; each with their own ICAO location indicator which he failed to check. He ended up flying through a paradrop and near a ballon tether :roll:

Obviously, once a waypont was entered and verified, it was available for use thereafter as often as required. I assume there was a limit to the number of waypoints I could enter and retain within the gizmo's database, but in ~20 years of flying with it I never reached that limit.

Each to their own, indeed ..