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3. Gaggle Flying
4. Gear Setup
5. Flymaster Setup
6. Flytec 6030 Setup
7. Spot VS Delorme
8. XC Task Clinic
9. GPS Comparison
10. Sprint Tasks
11. DIY Cell Mount
12. DIY Flight Deck
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14. Incidence Reports
15. Creating Waypoints
16. Creating Airspace
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GPS Comparison

This is a quick snapshot of GPSs (and now apps) that I have found work for flying competition XC flights after several years of helping others setup instruments and scoring tasks. There may be more out there and if you want to see yours added send me a note with all the details currently listed. I am obviously biased towards the units I use right now: Garmin GPSMap 76S and Flymaster B1 Nav. If you would like me to be more biased to your unit then send me a free one or make checks payable to Aaron Price. My general recommendation is get something cheap and easy to use for your first unit that others are familiar with like Garmin GPSMap 76S or 76CSx or if you are really on a budget start checking out the XCSoar app. Eventually you'll figure out what you like and don't like and can move up to a more dedicated unit like a Flymaster or Flytec

A quick note needs to be mentioned that I've found many pilots showing up to meets with units that just don't seem to cut it. These include but are not limited to: Garmin GPS 76 (memory too small), Flymaster GPS (no competition route settings), FlySkyHy (iphone app - just doesn't seem to work right), Ascent H1 (no waypoint management). The bare minimum requirements for a GPS are: upload waypoints, set a route from point to point, either set cylinder size or show distance to next, must have manual advance to next waypoint, download trackog. Nice to have features include: auto-advance to next waypoint, create new waypoint, airspace map, map screen of task, topo or similar map

GPS Vario New Cost Used Cost Ease of Use Battery Life Battery Type Logging Capacity Connection Type Save Distinct Tracks Multiple Waypoint Files Screen Type Touch Screen Thermal Tracker Live Tracking Map Screen Topo Map Airspace Navigation Type Pros Cons
Flymaster Live Yes $880 $600 8 30 hrs rechargable li-ion 83 hrs @ 1sec interval mini usb yes no b/w no yes yes yes no yes auto and manual live tracking through cell network, customizable screens, airspace warning, instant task download, instant track upload, weather alerts, large screen expensive but not as bad as Flytec, no topo map, flimsy construction, screens scratch easily and need to have a 90deg polarization put on them if you fly with polarized glasses.
Flymaster Nav Yes $700 $600 8 30 hrs rechargable li-ion 83 hrs @ 1sec interval mini usb yes no b/w no yes no yes no yes auto and manual customizable screens, airspace warning, large screen expensive but not as bad as Flytec, no topo map, flimsy construction, screens scratch easily and need to have a 90deg polarization put on them if you fly with polarized glasses.
Flymaster B1 Nav Yes $600 $450 9 20 hrs rechargable li-ion 50 hrs @ 1sec interval mini usb yes no b/w no yes no yes no yes auto and manual customizable screens, large screen no topo map, flimsy construction, screens scratch easily and need to have a 90deg polarization put on them if you fly with polarized glasses.
XCSoar (Android app) depends on hardware $0 $0 3 depends on hardware depends on hardware depends on hardware (lots though) depends on hardware yes yes depends on hardware yes ? yes yes yes yes auto and manual free app for android phones or tablets, shows course over topo, many advance features learning curve is quite steep, need a stylus to control the app in the air, screen can be difficult to see on most phones are tablets (super amoleds are OK and e-ink displays are best), interface is quite buggy about some things. IGC track log file produced by this program is not universally accepted at all competitions.
Garmin GPSMap 76s no n/a $100 7 10-12hrs 2 x AA 13hrs @ 5sec interval proprietary serial port no no grey scale no no no yes yes no manual inexpensive, rugged, very reliable when fully understood, shows roads and other points of interest, floats, has functionality for marine use, aviation and hiking (versatile!) small screen, no auto-advance of route, grey scale screen, low battery life and small track log memory, stupid proprietary cable required and serial to usb converter cable, slow serial port downloads, small buttons, small memory means you have to clear out your track memory every time, no way to put different size cylinders on the same waypoint, different firmwares seem to alter functionality more than I'm comfortable with. Have to set route and proximity separately and can only set 10 cylinder sizes
Garmin GPSMap 76CSx no $300 $130 6.5 10-12hrs 2 x AA 13hrs @ 5sec interval mini usb and proprietary serial port no no color no no no yes yes no manual inexpensive, rugged, very reliable when fully understood, shows roads and other points of interest, fast usb download/uploads, micro sd card expansion, floats, has functionality for marine use, aviation and hiking (versatile!). These units seem to support the concept of distinct tracks better that the 76s but I don't have as much experience fiddling with them. small screen, no auto-advance of route, low battery life and small track log memory, small buttons, no way to put different size cylinders on the same waypoint, have to set route and proximity separately and can only set 10 cylinder sizes
Garmin GPSMap 60CSx no $300 $150 6.5 10-12hrs 2 x AA 13hrs @ 5sec interval mini usb and proprietary serial port no no color no no no yes yes no manual rugged, very reliable when fully understood, shows roads and other points of interest, micro sd card expansion. Difference between 76CSx is this doesn't float and layout of buttons is different, connects to computer as extra drive for easy drag and drop. These units seem to support the concept of distinct tracks better that the 76s but I don't have as much experience fiddling with them. Unit seems to connect to PC as external drive which makes it simple to download and upload. small screen, no auto-advance of route, low battery life and small track log memory, button layout is not great for flying, no way to put different size cylinders on the same waypoint, have to set route and proximity separately and can only set 10 cylinder sizes
Garmin GPSMap 78SC no $420 $300 6.5 10-12hrs 2 x AA 13hrs @ 5sec interval mini usb and proprietary serial port no no color no no no yes yes no manual rugged, very reliable when fully understood, shows roads and other points of interest, nice color screen, 1.7GB built in memory. Comments: non 'S' units have no compass or pressure sensor, non 'C' units don't come preloaded with maps. These units seem to support the concept of distinct tracks better that the 76s but I don't have as much experience fiddling with them. Unit seems to connect to PC as external drive which makes it simple to download and upload. small screen, no auto-advance of route, low battery life and small track log memory, no way to put different size cylinders on the same waypoint, have to set route and proximity separately and can only set 10 cylinder sizes
Flytec 5020 yes n/a $300 6 ? 2 x AA with backup 2 x AA 120hrs @ variable interval proprietary cable yes no b/w no no no no no no auto unknown, I see only a few people use them. Obviously they are tough enough to last many years if pilots are still flying with them. Comments: rebranded Brauniger Competino proprietary data cable required, big and clunky, no map page
Flytec 6015 yes $650 $450 6 40hrs 2 x AA 291hrs @ variable interval mini usb yes no b/w no no no no no no auto and manual Long battery life, tried and tested units, durable, battery backup feature. Comments: rebranded as Brauniger IQ Basic expensive, less space for waypoints and tracks then 6020/6030, no user definable fields
Flytec 6020 yes $989 $500 5.5 30hrs 2x AA and backup of 2x AA 145hrs @ variable interval mini usb yes no b/w no yes no yes no no auto and manual Multiple screens with map page, airspace, airspace alarm, large screen, battery backup is great, some very sophisticated options for advanced pilots. Comments: rebranded as Brauniger Competino+ expensive, some weird design decisions make it difficult to figure things out without a manual, buttons are not always clear what they do, few firmware updates
Flytec 6030 yes $1300 $900 5.5 30hrs 2x AA and backup of 2x AA, built in charger for NiMh batteries 145hrs @ variable interval mini usb yes no b/w no yes available with bluetooth add-on through phone yes no no auto and manual Multiple screens with map page, screen has double the pixel density as 6020, frequent firmware updates to match latest competition rules, airspace, airspace alarm, large screen, battery backup is great, some very sophisticated options for advanced pilots, can recharge batteries, many extra features over the 6020. Can get other add-ons like bluetooth and air sensors and things like that. Comments: rebranded as Brauniger Compeo+ expensive, some weird design decisions make it difficult to figure things out without a manual, buttons are not always clear what they do.
Flytec 7030 yes $1600? $1300? ? grey scale yes yes yes yes auto So many! unit looks great but not realease yet. very expensive, maybe difficult to use without stylus since there are no buttons
Digifly Leonardo Pro (BT) yes $650 $350 6 30hrs rechargable lithium and AA backup 100hrs @ 1sec interval Proprietary connection yes no b/w no yes no yes no ? auto It comes with a proprietary cable but also comes with really nice application to download, upload and configure elements of the device, battery backup is great, 3 different screens including map, pretty easy to enter tasks. although it doesn't support TRUE multiple waypoint files is does support 2 distinct sets. I'm not sure if there is a difference between the two but I don't think there is. Comments: BT means bluetooth addition Proprietary cable, low resolution screen, lots of data that is not needed is displayed but can't be removed easily, buttons can be a bit hard to push . Some design elements are not the easiest to get around when figuring the device out. I wanted to give it a 7 in ease of use but there are a few aspects that bring it down to 6.5
Naviter Oudie 3 yes $980 n/a 9 12hrs internal rechargable practically unlimited, 8GB mini usb yes yes color touch yes ? yes yes yes auto and manual Easy to use out of the box. Large color touch screen works with thick gloves. Can personalize the screen with 50+ different data boxes. Can store unique settings for multiple wings (hang/para). Can store multiple waypoint files. Easy route entry. Shows 3D terrain and airspace. Warns if approaching restricted airspace. Has thermal tracking modes. Charges with wall wart or USB port. Easy updates of software, maps and airspace with computer connection. Bluetooth and headphone connection. Oudie 3 uses SeeYou Mobile software out of the box but can use others like XCSoar. Sumbitted by Scott Macleod. Larger and heavier than most units. Lots and lots of options that is a blessing and a curse as it takes a while to learn all the features (I defaulted back to near stock settings as they covered everything I needed). Battery life is not as good as FlyTec. Need to charge nightly if doing 10 hour flights.

GPSMap Aviation Series (96)

Garmin has a series of GPS units labeled as x96 for aviation. I have not seen any paraglider pilots use these series but I assume they would work just as well as some of the other GPSMap series. Likely they have some additional cool features but I haven't done enough research to see if they would be worth it for the additional cost.

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