Any value of XM weather?

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Any value of XM weather?

Post by soarer20 »

I have ADS-B in with an Stratux but due to overheating of my ipads I purchased a Garmin Aera 660. The Garmin is awesome, very little glare, large screen, easy to use, and doesn't seem to overheat.

I need to add traffic and weather for the Garmin and was considering the GDL-52.

Is XM weather valuable for my SLOW DA-20 A1 for my realtivly short cross country flying (2-4 hr flights)?

Any feedback from anyone who owns a GDL-52?
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Re: Any value of XM weather?

Post by chili4way »

Unless you have known issues receiving ADS-B (FIS-B) weather, I think you probably do not need to spend money on a Sirius XM subscription. Unless the difference in a) specific weather products or b) ground vs. airborne access would make a difference in the quality of your ADM on your specific short VFR flights, just take advantage of ADS-B.
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Re: Any value of XM weather?

Post by Colin »

It is really hard for me to say. I cross the country a lot. I love it. I mostly do it during the summer months and long range, strategic planning around summer storms means having these weather products is *really* useful.

The XM picture:
I just flew SMO – TUS – FTW to drop the plane at annual. A large, unforecast storm snuck up from Mexico and engulfed Midland (MAF), directly in my path. Should I go around to the south? Around to the north? There was so little traffic due to the pandemic that I couldn't go by that. Fortunately, with the XM there is the added information of cell movement and lighting strikes, so I went south. The remnants of the storm left behind were pretty easy to pick my way through. I guess a couple decades ago I would have been asking ATC a *lot* of questions about their radar returns, but the truth is those are two dimension and I was at 13.5k and had some margin up and down. A fellow at 9.5k went further south than I did.

The ADS-B scan (twenty minutes prior, I believe):
If I *only* had the XM (which was true for decades) I probably would be more conservative. Since I have both, plus the visual out the window and the advice and updates from ATC, I feel better about the paths I chose.

The most important tool is a complete willingness to make a u-turn. The moment it is not playing out the way I think it is, I will reverse course, which I have done. I know it can close up behind me, but those situations are very rare and I work to avoid them, mostly staying around the edges like this.
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Re: Any value of XM weather?

Post by CFIDave »

In your situation where you're already using something other than a G1000 for display (iPad or Aera 660), I would think free ADS-B weather would be good enough.

But if you were G1000-equipped and relied entirely on the MFD without an external display, then ADS-B weather would be far more limited than SXM weather. Due to Garmin software limitations (for both Legacy G1000 and NXi), ADS-B weather displayed on the G1000 MFD lacks lightning, turbulence, icing, cloud tops, graphical AIRMETS, and Center Weather Advisories. These "new" ADS-B weather products that the FAA added last year all show up just fine on external displays.
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Re: Any value of XM weather?

Post by Tim H »

Slight clarification to:

"These "new" ADS-B weather products that the FAA added last year all show up just fine on external displays."

They do not display on the Android version of Garmin Pilot via the GTX-345R. I contacted Garmin and they said adding these new products to the Android version of Garmin Pilot is "in the pipeline".
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