Upgrade Your Transponder?

Many pilots flying with a GTX650 / GTN750 / G500 / G600 / G1000 or their xi/txi versions ask us, if they can display weather information as a layer on their displays. In general this is possible but you will need an ADS-B in capable transponder to make it work. In nearly all cases this means a GTX345 (or its versions GTX345R, GTX45) is required.

Those are the suggestions we usually provide:

If you already have a GTX345, great go ahead and display the weather on it. The additional steps are easy and cheap or in some case it is a pure configuration task.

If you have an ADS-B out capable transponder like the GTX330ES or GTX335, we suggest to keep it and look at the satellite weather on your iPad. The GTX345 is an expensive device which costs around 5500 Euro in its standard version and over 7000 Euro with diversity plus installation work and taxes. Honestly we thing this expense is not worth the extra feature if your existing ADS-B out transponder is working fine.

If you have no ADS-B out capable transponder at all (like GTX330 non ES, GTX327 etc.) we suggest to upgrade. Maybe to a GTX345 and also see the weather on your Garmin devices but at least to an ADS-B out capable device. The added safety of broadcasting ADS-B is huge and we should make no shortcuts at this point.

Finally whenever spending money on a transponder upgrade, think about antenna diversity. Canada is the first country requiring diversity ADS-B transponders. This means usually two antennas are installed. One is sending signals to the ground and the other one up in the sky. In Europe so far this is only required for bigger aircraft (5.7t MTOW, 19 seats or 250kt TAS). But it would be a pitty to spend a fortune on a new panel and transponder just to find out the next trans Atlantic trip through Canada is not possible.

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