October 13, 2016


aviation ›   ios ›   iPad ›   iphone ›   news ›  

ALERT: Issue prevents Bluetooth connectivity with more than two iOS 10 devices

LCD screen showing (MAX) Bluetooth connections

Summary: If you need to connect more than two iOS devices simultaneously to your Bad Elf GPS receiver, avoid upgrading to iOS 10 if you have not already done so.

After several customer reports we've verified that there is an issue preventing more than two devices running iOS 10 from connecting simultaneously to a single Bad Elf GPS receiver. This affects all of our Bluetooth GPS receivers, as well as those from other manufacturers.

Some additional notes:

  • The Bluetooth status screen on our LCD will show "(MAX)" when this situation is encountered.
  • Devices running iOS 7, iOS 8, and iOS 9 are not affected.
  • Devices running Windows or Android are not affected.

We've submitted a bug report to Apple and are working with them to isolate the issue. We will update this blog post as we get more information.

Announcement: New Bad Elf App and Firmware for the GNSS Surveyor Accessory (Post-Processing and DGPS Support)

Bad Elf GNSS SurveyorWe designed and built the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor to provide affordable mapping-grade accuracy of about 1 meter when used with SBAS and PPP. The Surveyor has reliably achieved accuracy better than traditional external GNSS accessories. After careful research and rigorous testing, we have enhanced the GNSS Surveyor to expose some of the additional capabilities of this very capable accessory.

Last week we released two major new features: high-accuracy raw data collection for post-processing and support for real-time Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) corrections via our app’s built-in NTRIP client. To access these additional capabilities, download the latest app from iTunes and then follow the in-app instructions to upgrade the firmware on your GNSS Surveyor.

Post-processing - Getting Accuracy Below 1 Meter

RINEX header infoInside the GNSS Surveyor resides a very capable GNSS chipset. For those who require even higher levels of accuracy, post-processing is an excellent solution. Now available in the most recent firmware and app release, Bad Elf is providing a means to collect and download raw satellite data.

For those using commercial products, we have also provided a capability to produce a Receiver Independent Exchange Format (RINEX) file for use in many of the most common post-processing tools. The Bad Elf iOS app can produce a RINEX Version 2 or 3 file which you can then export to your email or favorite cloud storage service.

Our testing has demonstrated some pretty fantastic results. Using best practices such as good GPS receiver orientation, reasonable occupation times (10-15 minutes), and good field conditions, we have reliably produced sub-meter results as good as 20-50cm.

Post-processing results

We have tested the RINEX files generated by the GNSS Surveyor with both RTKLib and Trimble Business Center. In addition, Natural Resources of Canada provides an online service, CSRS-PPP, capable of consuming and post-processing data from an L1-only source.

DGPS - High Accuracy Worldwide

Working in an area not covered by SBAS? SBAS is limited to the US and most of Europe plus a few other countries north of the equator. The Bad Elf engineering team recognized the need for a high-accuracy solution in geographies SBAS doesn’t serve.

NTRIP ClientDGPS is an enhancement to GPS that provides improved location accuracy. Ideally, GPS accuracy is approximately 5 meters nominally.  In conjunction with the Bad Elf iOS app and the built-in NTRIP client, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor can consume an RTCM 2.3 stream from local reference stations or a Virtual Reference Station (VRS). Real-time, Internet-delivered, DGPS corrections are applied to the location solution and immediately available to any connected app. Using DGPS, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor’s accuracy can improve to approximately 1.0m to 1.5m depending upon conditions and proximity to a reference station.

In Closing

These powerful features are a free update to the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor and iOS app.  The GNSS Surveyor is the most affordable 1 meter GNSS receiver available on the market today, and it works with a variety of GIS apps on iOS, Android, and Windows.

Want to learn more?  Visit the Bad Elf GIS product page or contact us with any additional questions.
June 28, 2016

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blog ›   launch ›   marketing ›   news ›   update ›  

Announcement: Bad Elf Supports High Accuracy Location in Esri Collector

We have all heard that phrase, “Location, location, location.”

But, what does this mean for the world of GIS? Obtaining location accuracy when collecting data delivers incredible value. The smart devices we carry daily in our pockets or the tablets we use for education and entertainment can only reliably deliver an accuracy of about five meters. For some, that is good enough. For others, it has to be better.

Consider standing on a point and looking five meters in any direction. If you are looking for a park bench in the middle of nowhere, it will be easy to find.

However, what if that point you have in your GIS is within a meter? It’s a lot easier to find and locate many items in an area if you know your location is about as far away as you can stretch your arms.

Bad Elf has been working with the Collector team at Esri to provide reliable and highly accurate location services directly to the Collector mobile applications across various platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows). The Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor was designed and built to provide mapping grade accuracy of about one meter when used with the built-in SBAS + PPP hardware. The GNSS Surveyor accessory, combined with Esri Collector, delivers an affordable solution for GIS data collection and mapping with the benefit of higher accuracy.

With the new high performance features built directly into the Esri Collector app, Bad Elf now supplies additional accuracy information right to the app. The screenshot below reinforces the fact that location supplied by the internal GPS is only OK.

Esri Collection 10.4 with High Accuracy Data Collection

Within the most recent beta Esri Collector app, there is a facility to configure external GPS receivers to supply higher accuracy location information. Bad Elf has fully integrated with this facility.

External GPS selection dialog in Esri Collector 10.4

The result of this collaboration offers simplified workflow in addition to definitive location accuracy. With a simple set of configuration steps, Bad Elf receivers provide detailed location data directly to the Esri Collector app.

Field collection professionals now enjoy more robust information. The addition of detailed location information provides accurate, efficient, and economical workflows.

Esri Collector 10.4 integrated with Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor

High accuracy location was once difficult to attain, cumbersome, and costly. Bad Elf brings affordability and accuracy to the next generation of mobile data collection. If your question is “How accurate is my location information when I collect field data?” Bad Elf, combined with Esri Collector, is the solution.

Bad Elf is attending the Esri User Conference this week in San Diego, June 28-30. Please stop by and visit us in the UC Expo, Booth 533.

December 17, 2015


Announcement: 1090 MHz ADS-B Traffic Models Now Available on Kickstarter


One of the most common requests we’ve gotten since we launched the Kickstarter campaign is to support dual-band traffic on both 978 MHz and 1090 MHz.  We were expecting those requests, but we were really surprised by the number of non-US pilots asking us for a 1090 MHz-only traffic and AHRS accessory.  The weather data on 978 MHz is only available within the US from the FAA NextGen system, but traffic and backup attitude information are valuable tools for every pilot world-wide.

At launch we decided to focus on weather and AHRS as the biggest “bang for the buck” features.  But our loyal fans and would-be backers have spoken!  So today, we’re adding two new configurations with 1090 MHz traffic support:

  1. For US pilots, the Bad Elf ADS-B dual-band weather and traffic receiver with AHRS is designed for pilots who want or need to have a more complete traffic picture.  This is handy in regions of the country with limited ADS-B tower coverage or in busy airspace with a mix of piston and turbine aircraft.  We’re offering dual-band traffic support for only $100 more than our single-band AHRS unit, resulting in a $549 price point.
  2. For pilots flying outside the US, the Bad Elf ADS-B 1090MHz traffic receiver with AHRS offers the safety that comes with traffic and AHRS coupled with your favorite EFB app.  This model does not include 978MHz weather support.  We are offering this single-band 1090 MHz model with AHRS for $449 plus $25 for world-wide shipping.

We have spoken with the most popular app vendors in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and expect to have full compatibility with these apps at launch:


Now, we will be supporting four Bad Elf ADS-B receiver models via our Kickstarter campaign:


These new configurations are available on our Kickstarter page today! Please spread the word to your fellow pilots. We have only 28 days left on the campaign. We have already seen 500 leaders in the aviation community step up and pledge their support. We need roughly 1,000 more backers to reach the funding level necessary to turn your pleas for affordable ADS-B into actual product. Are there 1,000 more pilots who will join us? Are you happy with the status quo? Are you waiting for someone else to make it happen?

Thanks again for all of your support!


If you are an existing backer (especially at the Early-Bird levels) and want to upgrade to one of these new configurations, please read the instructions below:

If you are a backer at the $299 or $449 level: Log into your Kickstarter account and select the new reward tier for the model you want. This will increase your pledge to the correct level.

If you are an Early-Bird backer at the $399 level: Log into your Kickstarter account, but don’t change your current reward tier! Just add $100 to your current pledge level. The total pledge should be $499, reflecting your $50 early bird discount. We’ll ship you the dual-band receiver model.

If you are an Early-Bird backer at the $249 level and want to change to the AHRS+978 model: Log into your Kickstarter account, but don’t change your current reward tier! Add $150 to your pledge (total of $399). We’ll ship you the receiver model that matches your pledge, preserving your $50 discount.

If you are an Early-Bird backer at the $249 level and want to change to the dual band model: Log into your Kickstarter account, but don’t change your current reward tier! Add $250 to your pledge (total of $499). We’ll ship you the receiver model that matches your pledge, preserving your $50 discount.

Before shipping any rewards next year, we’ll be in touch to get your address and confirm the exact model you’ll be receiving.

Any questions? We’re here to help. Just drop a note to kickstarter@bad-elf.com.

December 15, 2015


App Spotlight: iFlightPlanner


iFlightPlanner to Fully Support the Bad Elf ADS-B Receiver

We’re excited to announce that iFlightPlanner will be fully supporting the Bad Elf ADS-B receiver at product launch. iFlightPlanner is a popular flight planning tool that started with a browser-based interface in 2010 and has expanded since then to support the iPad and other mobile tablets/phones as well. All of the flight information is synchronized via the iFlightPlanner Cloud.

We asked John Burnside and Andy Matthews, co-founders of iFlightPlanner, a couple of questions about iFlightPlanner:

Bad Elf: Hi guys! Thanks for supporting us. Please tell us more about iFlightPlanner and what design philosophies and features set it apart from other aviation apps.

Andy: iFlightPlanner is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and we offer a comprehensive flight management solution for private and corporate pilots that can be accessed from any computer or iPad.

iFlightPlanner.com, mobile.iFlightPlanner.com, and iFlightPlanner for iPad combines the versatility of the web with the portability of the iPad and is built on a foundation of safety, usability, and flight planning efficiency.

We treat each flight as an interconnected unit – combining route planning, graphical weather, certified weather briefings, weight & balance calculations, flight plan filing, and the creation of logbook entries – where a modification to one seamlessly updates all others. This prevents pilots from having to work back through multiple menus or different screens to ensure that no step in the process is compromised.

Our members can define sets of personal, equipment, and flight planning preferences that allow them to create a consistent user experience  every time they access iFlightPlanner. This cloud-based connectivity, a concept we first introduced in 2011 with IFlightPlanner for iPad, ensures that pilots have near universal device access to everything they need, wherever they are. We believe this makes iFlightPlanner the most versatile flight planning solution in the industry.

Bad Elf: What have you been hearing from your customers about ADS-B weather and traffic in the cockpit?

John: We’ve built iFlightPlanner on member feedback, and one thing that’s been clear among pilots, especially as new technologies are introduced, is that they don’t want to be forced into purchasing a particular product. They want a choice, and a chance to find the solution that best suits their needs. We’ve never been a fan of exclusivity and we absolutely love the path that Bad Elf and others are forging with ADS-B device interoperability.
The fact that Bad Elf is launching their campaign to introduce an affordable ADS-B device with direct support from the pilot community, with an open interface, is a testament to what can be accomplished when different constituents within an industry work together.

Including the soon-to-be-released Bad Elf ADS-B device, iFlightPlanner for iPad will support ADS-B connectivity for nine different manufacturers and at least thirteen different receivers, including both portable devices and certified ADS-B installations.

The fact that we offer both iPad and web-based platforms is proof that we’ve wanted iFlightPlanner to be accessible from the very beginning - not only in terms of device access, but with price points as well. The value pilots can achieve by flying with iFlightPlanner and an affordable ADS-B device such as the Bad Elf ADS-B, will be unmatched.


iFlightPlanner is popular with corporate and charter operators, where flight planning is often a shared responsibility between pilots and dispatchers. For office-based staff who may not have access to an iPad or prefer desktop access, iFlightPlanner’s powerful web-based interface sets it apart from tablet-only EFB app solutions.

iFlightPlanner has done some innovative integrations as well, most recently with FuelerLinx and Hangar Network. FuelerLinx is a leader in the contract fuel purchasing and dispatch process where Hangar Network serves as a resource for aviation-related real estate listings. They also support exporting flight plan files that are compatible with modern avionics from Garmin, Dynon, Advanced Flight Systems, and other modern avionics-installations, minimizing tedious flight plan entry.

Here are some screenshots of iFlightPlanner in action:



We’ll be featuring iFlightPlanner in our next in-flight demo video!



You can download iFlightplanner from the Apple App Store, or visit the iFlightPlanner website for more information.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Kickstarter page and reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver today. We need your help to bring this affordable receiver to market.

December 14, 2015


App Spotlight: iFly GPS by Adventure Pilot


iFly GPS to Fully Support the Bad Elf ADS-B Receiver

Another app vendor that jumped on board immediately after we launched our Kickstarter project is Adventure Pilot, the developers of the popular iFly GPS line of apps and portable devices. iFly GPS provides a consistent user interface across a range of platforms: iPad, Android, and even dedicated sunlight-readable aviation GPS portables, all of which can connect to our ADS-B receiver. Adventure Pilot also offers bundles that combine their aviation apps with portable and installed ADS-B equipment.

We asked Shane Woodson, Vice President of Adventure Pilot, a couple of questions about iFly GPS products:

Bad Elf: Hi Shane! Thanks for supporting us. Please tell us more about iFly GPS and what design philosophies and features set it apart from other aviation apps.

Shane: At iFly GPS, our goal is to deliver the perfect combination of affordability, capability and usability for both VFR and IFR pilots. We offer one of the first portable navigation solutions with a pilot-friendly interface, universal between multiple platforms, whether a dedicated device or an iOS or Android device. Adventure Pilot openly integrates with partners such as Bad Elf to better provide pilots a choice of ADS-B products to fit their budget.

We pride ourselves on our intuitive user experience that focuses on quickly providing the pilot with all the needed information while reducing the amount of time the user is looking down.

iFly GPS is a collaborative user experience based on feedback from thousands of pilots. By listening to our fellow pilots, CFIs, and monitoring aviation trends we are able to develop a practical and simple-to-use aviation app for pilots.

Additionally, pilots are continually frustrated with small buttons and text sizes that Apple and Android devices use. We custom build our app with in-app adjustable fonts and large buttons for any pilot’s eyes. Exhaustive efforts are taken to use high-contrast colors to improve sunlight readability on those devices with lower screen brightness.

We offer comprehensive & simply affordable subscriptions starting at $69.99 for VFR and $40.00 more for IFR. Our Multi-Platform Upgrade for only $19.99 more allows up to 3 devices on one subscription whether on iOS, Android or iFly devices.

iFly GPS is designed by pilots, tested by pilots and recommended by pilots.

Bad Elf: What’s been your experience flying with ADS-B weather and traffic in the cockpit?

Shane: Once you’ve flown with ADS-B Weather and Traffic, you’ll never look back. With 20/20 vision and relatively young eyes, it was a true eye-opener to see just how much traffic that is potentially missed… pun intended. Here is my story. Flying between DFW and Austin in my C-172, I noticed traffic approaching from behind. It was a good 2500’ above me so I just monitored it. As that plane began to descend and close in quickly, I watched his track, altitude and more as he crossed overhead. He proceeded to descend and turn into my flight path. This could have been catastrophic, but I was able to spot him ahead of time with ADS-B Traffic on iFly GPS, allowing me just enough time to descend and bank away from him, avoiding a major incident.
On another night flight back from KEDC-Austin Executive with my father, as we were approaching KLNC-Lancaster we could easily see the strong frontal boundary of storms due to having ADS-B weather on my iFly 740. While there was no immediate threat, we were able to divert slightly and avoid the outflow boundary from the massive storms. We arrived just 15 minutes before a major thunderstorm hit the airport and we watched it pass while safely inside the hangar.

There is no doubt, ADS-B Weather and Traffic brings unprecedented safety and awareness to pilots and this project by Bad Elf is poised to make it available to all pilots. This project offers amazing value and we are thrilled to be part of the collaboration.


There are a few features we love in iFly GPS. The first is RealView™, which provides downloaded, geo-referenced satellite images of over 12,600 public and private airports in the US. This is great for planning your arrival at unfamiliar airports and FBOs, without the need for Internet connectivity.

The second is the integration of small visual gauges on the main map screen, including an Attitude Indicator (driven by AHRS) and side-view terrain and airspace plot. App developers have to strike a delicate balance to not obstruct charts or plates, but these are features that really improve situational awareness.

And finally, the NRST button is always in view. This is handy when ATC requests a position report or in the case of an emergency.

For pilots looking for a seamless user experience and high-definition charts on both iOS and Android, iFly GPS is worth checking out. If you spend just 5 minutes talking to Shane and the rest of the team, you’ll see why their customers are extremely loyal. The folks at Adventure Pilot provide amazing customer support, listen to their customers, and love to fly.

Here are some screenshots of iFly GPS in action:



We’ll be featuring iFly GPS in our next in-flight demo video!



You can download iFly GPS from the Apple App Store, or visit the Adventure Pilot website for more information.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Kickstarter page and reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver today. We need your help to bring this affordable receiver to market.

December 10, 2015


App Spotlight: FlyQ by Seattle Avionics


FlyQ to Fully Support the Bad Elf ADS-B Receiver

One of the first app vendors to enthusiastically support our ADS-B receiver is Seattle Avionics, the developer of the popular FlyQ app. They have been building flight planning and navigation tools since 2002. They also provide the navigation data that powers more than 20 other app vendors and avionics companies including Aspen, Bendix-King, and Dynon.

We asked Keith Russo, Vice President of Seattle Avionics, a couple of questions about FlyQ:

Bad Elf: Hi Keith! Please tell us about FlyQ, and what design philosophies and features set it apart from other aviation apps.

Keith: FlyQ EFB is Seattle Avionics premiere application for the Apple iPad. It is the highest rated aviation app in the Apple App Store. We believe competition contributes to innovation. For example, our ‘2-tap’ design philosophy reduces workload by eliminating the ‘hunt and peck’ typical in today's apps. The cockpit is a complex environment and the pilot shouldn’t have to endlessly tap on the iPad trying to find information or remember how to use the app. Information should be easily accessible within two taps.
FlyQ EFB is hardware agnostic, a philosophy shared with Bad Elf. We believe your choice of aviation app shouldn’t eliminate your choice of hardware. FlyQ EFB supports devices like GPS, ADS-B, and AHRS whether portable or installed avionics from virtually every manufacturer.

Bad Elf: What’s been your experience flying with ADS-B weather and traffic in the cockpit?

Keith: As an instructor pilot for over 30 years, it has been interesting to witness the evolution of weather dissemination technology. For me it began with calling FSS on the phone, walking into the local FSS office, or calling Flight Watch on the radio. With today's technology such as the internet and ADS-B portable receivers, pilots are empowered by the wealth and quality of information available in near real time.

The ability to see nearby aircraft sharing your airspace or to access the latest meteorological reports and images enhances safety like never before in the history of aviation. ADS-B is the ‘must have’ gadget and belongs in every pilot’s flight bag. 


Personally, there are two features that I love in FlyQ. The first is the ability to configure the various tab bars, controls, and menus to auto-hide after 2 or 6 seconds of inactivity. Decluttering the screen gives you unrestricted views of sectionals, approach plates, and taxi diagrams. FlyQ is designed to give you the information you need quickly, and get out of the way.

The second feature I love is the accessory status bar in the upper right corner of the screen. I’m probably slightly biased as an accessory vendor! At a glance these icons shows the connectivity, battery charge, and status of connected accessories including GPS, ADS-B, and AHRS. No guessing or digging thru menus to know FlyQ and your accessories are fully operational.

Here are some screenshots of FlyQ in action:



We demonstrated FlyQ working with our prototype hardware in our first in-flight demo video, in case you missed it:




You can download FlyQ from the Apple App Store, or visit the Seattle Avionics website for more information.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Kickstarter page and reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver today. We need your help to bring this affordable receiver to market.

Introducing the Bad Elf ADS-B Receiver. Finally, Affordable Weather & Traffic.

Finally, Affordable ADS-B

For years we have heard from you, our loyal customers and fans, just how much you wanted reliable and affordable ADS-B weather and traffic information in your cockpit. Together, we have the opportunity to make aviation history.

In 2010, Bad Elf brought aviation-grade GPS to the iPad. Today, we’re announcing the first affordable ADS-B weather and traffic receiver with universal app compatibility for just $299.

For pilots who want the safety benefits of a backup attitude source, we’re offering a model with AHRS for just $150 more.

We’re announcing this today as a Kickstarter campaign. That means we need your help to raise the funding to make this a reality. By backing our campaign, you’ll get the Bad Elf ADS-B receiver at an amazing price, and you’ll be helping us bring affordable ADS-B weather and traffic within reach of every pilot.

If you hurry, you can be among our early bird supporters and get an additional $50 off these prices.

Back us today and share this news with your fellow pilots!

Bad Elf Customer Appreciation Program


Five years ago this month, we introduced the first Apple-approved plug-in external GPS receiver to the market. That product was the Bad Elf GPS for 30-pin Dock Connector, which grew out of a humble skunkworks project.  Since then, we have learned and grown more than we ever expected. We owe that success to our customers, many of whom have been enthusiastic supporters since those early days.

As our way of saying thank you, we are offering a customer appreciation upgrade program for the month of September. For folks looking to upgrade to a new Bad Elf GPS unit with more features, we’re offering up to $100 cash back when you trade in your old device.

The process is simple:

  • Buy a new Bad Elf GPS for Lightning Connector, GPS Pro, or GPS Pro+ from the Bad Elf Online Store
  • Send Bad Elf your old device and the rebate paperwork
  • Qualify for a rebate of $50, $75, or $100
  • Offer valid on qualifying purchases during the month of September 2015



Please visit our Bad Elf Customer Appreciation page for more information!

And once again, thanks for supporting Bad Elf over the last five years.  We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store for the next five!

August 13, 2015

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apps ›   blog ›   ios ›   iPad ›   iphone ›   marketing ›   news ›   update ›  

Bad Elf's Cleared to Update Program


At Bad Elf, our goal is to provide exceptional service to the pilots, boaters, GIS professionals, and adventurers who use our products.  Today we're announcing our Cleared to Update program, which is designed to provide timely information to you regarding compatibility between Bad Elf's products, new iOS operating system releases from Apple, and major updates from our app partners.

One of the strengths of the app-based innovation on iOS is the speed at which updates are made to the hardware, operating system, and apps. These updates improve design, functionality, and security. However, the pace of updates adds some complexity and risk for customers using these solutions in mission-critical environments where downtime is not an option.

Our Pledge

We test Bad Elf accessories with all iOS releases available from Apple, including betas. We will notify our customers immediately if any critical compatibility issues are discovered, and we will work closely with Apple and our app partners to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Whenever a new iOS update is released to the public, we will perform another test pass within 48 hours and report the results via our website page and social media.  In the event we find a critical issue, we'll immediately notify everyone via the Bad Elf mailing list as well.


Our Recommendation to You

If you rely on Apple iOS devices or Bad Elf products for mission-critical operations, we strongly recommend that you wait at least a week before installing any updates to iOS, apps, or firmware. This time period is usually adequate to identify any critical issues and gives vendors time to notify their customers.

Coming Soon: iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9

Based on announcements from Apple, we will likely see several new iOS releases in the next 2 months.  We're not aware of any issues based on our testing or customer reports, but please follow our recommendation: wait a week before doing any updates, watch for updates to our Cleared to Update page, and check with your app vendors to make sure everything is working well.

We're committed to ensuring you have the best experience possible with Bad Elf products in the air, on the water, and in the field.  Together, we can minimize some of the risks for mission-critical users of the iPad and iPhone. 

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