Stratus Support FAQ

General

If I perform a factory reset, will my flight logs be cleared?

No, performing a factory reset on your Stratus portable receiver will not clear the flight logs. Please note that flight data recording is not available for the Stratus 1 or the Stratus 1S.

What are the dimensions of Stratus portable receivers?

Stratus 2S: 2.6” w x 6” d x 1.25” h and weighs 9.7 oz.

Stratus 1S: 2.6” w x 6” d x 1.25” h and weighs 9.7 oz.

Stratus 2: 2.6” w x 6” d x 1.25” h and weighs 9.7 oz.

Stratus 1: 4.2″ w x 5.75″ d x 1″ h

How do Stratus portable receivers communicate with my iOS device?

Stratus portable receivers connect to your iOS device via a Wi-Fi network. Stratus portable receivers are not Bluetooth-compatible.

Can Stratus portable receivers be placed upside down, such as when mounting to the ceiling of the aircraft?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers can be placed upside down without causing any loss of AHRS accuracy or problems with Wi-Fi communication. This option is especially attractive in aircraft with limited dash space. If you are using the AHRS feature of ForeFlight Mobile, ensure that your receciver is mounted parallel to the aircraft’s centerline (that runs north and south) and the LEDs and Stratus logo are facing the back of the aircraft. Since the internal GPS antenna is located on the top of the receiver, you may see some GPS degradation. To remedy this problem, you can connect the receiver to an external GPS antenna. External GPS antennas for the Stratus 2 and 2S are available from Appareo.

Can I dim the Stratus portable receiver LEDs for flying at night?

Yes, you may dim or brighten the LEDs using the LED Brightness slider on the Stratus Status page within the ForeFlight Mobile app.

How do I register my Stratus portable receiver?

When you purchase a Stratus portable receiver from Appareo or Sporty’s, the unit will automatically be registered. No further action is required to register your receiver.

Why is my Stratus portable receiver’s fan constantly running?

The fan only runs when the receiver reaches a high temperature; the fan should not be on all the time. If your receiver’s fan frequently turns on, or you receive an overheat error, your mounting location is subjecting it to high heat. Refer to How can I optimize my Stratus portable receiver ADS-B reception?.

How will my Stratus portable receiver receive firmware updates?

Stratus portable receiver firmware updates will be available within ForeFlight Mobile. Updates to ForeFlight Mobile will be available via the Apple App Store. Watch a video with step-by-step instructions for updating your Stratus portable receiver firmware.

How can I optimize my Stratus portable receiver ADS-B reception?

ADS-B reception can vary greatly depending on the orientation of your Stratus portable receiver and its location in your aircraft. ADS-B is ground based, meaning the best mounting options provide an unobstructed view of the ground in your aircraft. See the table below for the three mounting options that may improve your Stratus portable receiver’s ADS-B reception. All mounting accessories can be purchased online at Appareo.

Watch Sporty’s video demonstrating how to best place Stratus portable receivers in your aircraft.

Gel pad dash mount Suction cup mount External ADS-B antenna
Pilots flying aircraft with unheated windshields in areas where there is full ADS-B coverage. Pilots who are not seeing continuous ADS-B coverage when flying in ADS-B fringe areas and those who want to mount their Stratus portable receiver off the glareshield. To test if the suction cup mount would improve your receiver’s ADS-B reception, open the Stratus Status page in ForeFlight Mobile while in flight and monitor the number of towers shown in the “Receiving From” field.  Then rotate your receiver on its side and hold it to a window and see if the number of towers reported increases. Many pilots see dramatic improvement in ADS-B reception after moving their receiver to a side window of their aircraft. Pilots who fly in areas with poor ADS-B coverage and those who want the flexibility to place their receiver virtually anywhere in their aircraft. Don’t worry if you can’t see the LEDs on Stratus. The same information is available on the Stratus Status page in ForeFlight Mobile.

What are the dimensions of Stratus ESG?

Bezel Width: 6.38 inches (162 mm)

Bezel Height: 1.69 inches (43 mm)

Rack Width: 6.32 inches (160.4 mm)

Rack Height: 1.65 inches (42 mm)

Depth from back of bezel to end of strain relief on rack (not compensating for wire bend radius): 10.75 inches (273 mm)

Can I buy Stratus ESG directly from Appareo?

No, Appareo does not sell Stratus ESG directly. Please contact one of our dealers or Sporty’s Pilot Shop for purchase.

Does Stratus ESG need to be installed by an Appareo dealer?

If you are installing your Stratus ESG in a certified aircraft (i.e. under TSO or STC), it must be installed by an Appareo dealer. Additionally, having your Stratus ESG installed by an Appareo dealer with give you the added benefit of a 2-year warranty on the transponder. This warranty cannot be offered if installed by a shop that is not an Appareo dealer.

How much does it cost to install Stratus ESG?

Each Appareo dealer and each aircraft is unique. Please contact your dealer directly for installation cost.

Where should I mount Stratus portable receivers in my aircraft?

There are two mounting options for Stratus portable receivers: a snap in mount or a dash mount. Both are available from Appareo.

For more information on how to best mount your Stratus portable device, review our question on how to optimize ADS-B reception.

Do Stratus portable receivers work outside of the United States?

Stratus portable receivers cannot receive ADS-B weather information outside of the United States since it receives weather information from ground-based ADS-B towers broadcasting on UAT (978). UAT is not available outside of the United States. Additionally, some ADS-B transponders broadcast on the UAT frequency, so this information would not be available outside of the United States.

Other features of Stratus portable receivers, such as AHRS, synthetic vision, and the ability to receive 1090 traffic (available with Stratus 2 and Stratus 2S only), may work in areas outside of the United States. However, please be aware that Appareo is unable to ship to addresses outside of the United States due to restrictions on technology used in Stratus portable receivers.

Do Stratus portable receivers make me ADS-B Out compliant for the 2020 mandate?

No. Stratus portable receivers are ADS-B In only. The FAA prohibits portable devices from transmitting ADS-B Out and on its website states: “Portable ADS-B Out systems, also known as ‘suitcase’ units, should not be operated (transmitting) aboard any aircraft. While marketing associated with these units may imply approval for use by way of an FCC license, the FAA prohibits their use.” The 2020 mandate requires a permanently mounted ADS-B Out transponder such as Stratus ESG.

Do Stratus portable receivers work in helicopters?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers are usable in a helicopter, provided there is adequate ADS-B coverage in the area you are flying to mitigate potential signal blockage due to flying at low altitudes.

What are the current Stratus firmware versions?

Stratus 1: v2.3
Stratus 2: v2.1
Stratus 1S: v1.1
Stratus 2S: v1.1

Battery

Are Stratus portable receivers battery powered?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers include a battery that will provide continuous power for up to 8 hours, which contributes to making operation of Stratus portable receivers wire-free for most pilots. You can charge your receiver using the included 12V DC wall charger.

How long will it take to fully charge the battery of my Stratus portable receiver?

If the Stratus portable receiver’s battery is fully depleted, it will take at least 5.5 to 8 hours to recharge the battery to 100%.

Why is my Stratus 1S/2S power LED pulsing?

A green pulsing Power LED indicates that battery is at 100% charge. A yellow pulsing Power LED indicates that the battery is charging. This is a new feature of Stratus 1S/2S.

Can I charge Stratus portable receivers from a laptop?

No, laptops generally only supply up to 0.5 Amps of power per the USB 2.0. Stratus portable receivers, like iPads, require a 2.0 Amp power source for them to properly charge.

Can I use a USB cable other than the one that was included with my Stratus portable receiver to charge the device?

No, the included 3 foot USB cable is designed to enable optimal charging speed. Many other 3 foot USB cables will not be able to deliver as much power, resulting in longer charge time. Similarly, a longer cable is not able to supply as much power as a shorter one and will also result in longer charge times.

Will the Stratus portable receiver’s battery charge if it is both plugged-in and operating in an aircraft?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers will still charge their battery when running but only if they are plugged into a high-capacity 2.0 Amp charging source and only if the battery temperature is between 0 and 35 C.  If the receiver is plugged in but the battery is too hot or too cold then the receiver may continue to operate but the battery will no longer charge to protect it from damage. The receiver will take longer to charge when in operation than when it is turned off.

Do Stratus portable receivers have any features that prevent the battery from being damaged by extreme temperatures?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers will turn themselves off if the battery temperature reaches -20 C (- 4 F) or + 65 C (+ 149 F). They are designed to be operated between 0 C and 35 C.

Do Stratus portable receivers’ battery have a finite life?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers contain a Lithium-ion battery. If stored and operated in their published temperate range, the battery should be capable of being fully discharged about 300 times before requiring service.

If your battery requires replacement, please e-mail Appareo support.

Can I damage the Stratus portable receiver’s battery if I store or operate it outside of its rated ranges?

Yes, operating and storing a lithium-ion battery when it is too hot will cause permanent damage and void the Stratus portable receiver’s warranty. A fully charged lithium-ion battery stored at 60 C for three months can permanently lose as much as 40% of its capacity. Do not leave Stratus portable receivers in a hot aircraft or automobile when they’re not in use.

Can I leave Stratus portable receivers on the charger for an extended period of time?

Yes, Stratus portable receivers have a safety feature that will stop the battery from being charged once a full charge is reached.

I haven’t used my Stratus portable receiver for a while. It will not power on and none of the LED indicators light up. What can I do to solve this?

If you have not used your Stratus portable receiver for some time and left the battery at a low charge, it is possible the battery level is so low that it cannot power on. Try charging the receiver overnight.  The Power LED indicator in the Stratus 1 and Stratus 2 will change to green during charging when the Stratus battery has charged to 100%. The Power LED indicator in the Stratus 1S and 2S will change to green when charging and pulse when the battery has charged to 100%. If your receiver is still unable to power on, please e-mail Appareo support for further assistance.

I’m not going to be flying for a while and need to store my Stratus portable receiver. How do I keep my receiver healthy so that it’s ready for the next time I want to use it?

If you will not be using your Stratus portable receiver for some time, give it a full charge before you store it. The Power LED indicator in the Stratus 1 and Stratus 2 will change to green during charging when the Stratus battery has charged to 100%. The Power LED indicator in the Stratus 1S and 2S will change to green when charging and pulse when the battery has charged to 100%. Rechargeable batteries slowly discharge over time even when they are not used, so it’s important that you do not store them at a low charge for a long period of time. If the battery goes too long between charges, it can require service to repair.

Compatible Apps and Devices

What apps do Stratus portable receivers work with?

Stratus portable receivers work exclusively with ForeFlight Mobile. Companies other than ForeFlight making claims that they “support” Stratus portable receivers are misleading. They are not endorsed or supported by Appareo, ForeFlight, or Sporty’s and therefore we cannot confirm or verify any unsupported app maker’s claim to deliver a safe and reliable experience.

What should I do if my Stratus portable receiver stops working properly after using an unsupported application?

Unsupported applications have been known to:

  • display inaccurate or incomplete ADS-B information,
  • display inaccurate flight parameters (e.g. AHRS information), and
  • create a denial of service to Stratus functions.

Appareo and ForeFlight do not recommend using Stratus portable receivers with unsupported third party applications that have gained access to the Stratus portable receiver interface without support from Appareo. If you do use your receiver with an unapproved third party application, you can encounter unexpected performance with your receiver or your iPad.

To solve this error:

  1. Shut off and restart your iPad after using a Stratus portable receiver with the unsupported application and then reconnect to the Stratus Wi-Fi network.
  2. Launch ForeFlight to resume normal receiver operations.
  3. Do not activate the unsupported application while connected to the receiver, which would then require Steps 1 – 2 to restore normal operations.

Which iPad or iPhone devices are compatible with Stratus portable receivers?

Using the latest technologies recommended by ForeFlight Mobile will enhance your overall Stratus portable receiver experience. For the latest recommendations visit ForeFlight Mobile.

Due to the amount of data processing required to display ADS-B weather, we strongly recommend using an iPad 2 or newer. Stratus portable receivers are also compatible with the iPad mini, and the iPad Air (with the exception of the Stratus 1). We strongly recommend and iPhone 4 or newer or the third or fourth generation iPod touch.

Can more than one iOS device connect to a Stratus portable receiver?

Yes, all compatible iOS devices in the aircraft can be connected to the Stratus Wi-Fi network.

Do I need to buy the Stratus portable connection kit with Stratus ESG?

You may continue to use your Stratus portable receiver independently, but purchasing the connection kit will allow you to take the Stratus portable receiver off the glare shield or window and stow it out of the way when using Stratus ESG. The portable receiver will use the aircraft’s mounted antennas for excellent GPS and ADS-B reception, and will be supplied power from the Stratus ESG.

GPS

Do I need an external GPS antenna?

The external GPS antenna is an optional accessory for your Stratus 2 and Stratus 2S. Stratus 2 and 2S contain an internal GPS antenna that will be sufficient for many pilots. The GPS antenna, however, provides many more options for placing Stratus in your aircraft and resolves reception issues caused by heated windshields. An external GPS antenna can be purchased online.

Do Stratus portable receivers provide GPS location information?

Yes. Stratus portable receivers include a GPS/WAAS receiver and will provide GPS information to ForeFlight Mobile. Since Stratus portable receivers are battery operated and can operate for up to 8 hours, the receiver will keep a constant GPS signal and make that available to ForeFlight Mobile.

Do Stratus portable receivers provide GPS information for applications other than ForeFlight Mobile?

No, Stratus portable receivers can only provide GPS signals to ForeFlight Mobile.

Can I use Stratus ESG’s WAAS GPS signal to feed other avionics such as a navigator or emergency locator?

No, the WAAS GPS position is only available to the transponder for ADS-B out purposes, and, if connected, a Stratus portable ADS-B in receiver.

Why is my Stratus receiver is reporting poor GPS accuracy when connected to Stratus ESG?

A firmware update may be required for the Stratus receiver to ensure data is reported properly. If the Stratus firmware version is older than what is listed below, please perform an update using the instructions found here.

Stratus 2S: Version 1.1
Stratus 1S: Version 1.1
Stratus 2: Version 2.1

How do I prevent interference between my Stratus portable receiver’s external GPS antenna and other avionics?

When damaged, the optional external GPS antenna that works with Stratus portables may emit noise that could interfere with other on-board GPS receivers.

To prevent this, when handling the external GPS antenna, avoid pinching the cable or bending it near the antenna itself. If you suspect that your GPS antenna may be damaged and causing interference, disconnect the antenna from the receiver. If the interference stops, replace the GPS antenna.

NOTE: This applies only to the external GPS antenna; the GPS antenna located inside the Stratus portable is not susceptible to this issue.

Ordering

Where can I buy Stratus portable receivers?

Stratus 2S can be purchased in the Appareo Web Store. Stratus 1S is only available for purchase through Sporty’s Pilot Shop.

Where do you ship Stratus portable receivers?

Due to regulations on technology used in Stratus portable receivers, they may only be shipped to addresses within the United States.

Can I order Stratus portable receivers over the phone?

Yes, we would be happy to take your order over the phone if you are unable to place your order online. Please call +1-701-356-2200 between 8 AM and 5 PM CST, Monday through Friday.

What is the return policy for Stratus portable receivers?

If you purchased your Stratus portable receiver from Appareo, please visit the Stratus Return Policy page. If your Stratus portable receiver was purchased from Sporty’s Pilot Shop, please visit Sporty’s Customer Care Center for return information.

Traffic

Can I get traffic information from Stratus portable receivers?

Yes, Stratus 1 and Stratus 1S receive traffic on the 978 MHz (UAT) frequency. Stratus 2 and Stratus 2S receive traffic on both the 978 MHz and 1090 MHz (ES) frequencies.

The traffic you see on ForeFlight Mobile is only ADS-B traffic. ADS-B traffic only includes the air-to-air traffic received directly from another aircraft and traffic rebroadcast to your aircraft from an ADS-B ground tower. Air-to-air traffic reports are only reported from ADS-B Out equipped aircraft. You will only receive ADS-B traffic from a ground tower if two things are true: 1) your aircraft, or another one nearby you, is ADS-B equipped, and 2) you are in communication with an ADS-B ground tower. Coverage varies based on your location as shown in the ADS-B coverage map.

Remember, ADS-B traffic, even at its best, is not a complete picture of nearby traffic and is not a substitute for looking out the window when fulfilling your responsibility to see and avoid.

Read this article from Sporty’s to learn more about how ADS-B traffic works.

Read this article from ForeFlight to understand how traffic will appear on ForeFlight Mobile

 

My aircraft is equipped with a Stratus portable receiver and an approved ADS-B out transponder. Why do I not see traffic information displaying on ForeFlight Mobile?

Specific settings may need to be adjusted on your transponder to properly trigger, receive, and display traffic information. Contact your certified avionics technician for more information on adjusting these settings. If you have Stratus 1 you will only receive single-band 978 MHz traffic.

Make sure that you are running the latest version of ForeFlight Mobile. Next, connect to your Stratus portable receiver and check on the Stratus Status page in ForeFlight to ensure that the device is running on the latest firmware version. Firmware upgrades are done from the Stratus Status page by tapping on the firmware version. Finally, ensure the Traffic layer is turned on in ForeFlight.

Why do I see a “ghost” aircraft mirroring me in ForeFlight Mobile while I am using my Stratus portable ADS-B receiver?

If your aircraft is not equipped with an ADS-B Out system, ATC can rebroadcast your Mode-C target to nearby ADS-B Out equipped aircraft. If you receive that transmission, it can cause your own aircraft to be displayed as a nearby target, usually slightly behind your actual position and +/- 100 to 200 feet in altitude.

The only way to remove the “ghost” target is to turn off the Traffic layer in ForeFlight Mobile. If you have ADS-B Out installed on your aircraft, ensure that you have the “Ownship ADS-B” option selected in ForeFlight Mobile. Click here for instructions on how to perform these tasks in ForeFlight Mobile or contact ForeFlight support for assistance.

Weather (ADS-B)

What is ADS-B?

ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, replaces traditional radar with modernized subscription-free weather and traffic information received from ground stations and ADS-B Out equipped aircraft. ADS-B is the technology implemented by the FAA to provide surveillance and improved situational awareness to both pilots and air traffic controllers.

For more about ADS-B, visit the Stratus homepage.

What weather products are available from ADS-B?

Stratus portable receivers receive and transmit to ForeFlight Mobile CONUS NEXRAD, regional high-resolution NEXRAD, METARs, TAFs, TFRs, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, NOTAMs, pilot reports, and winds/temperature aloft. Each product is integrated with ForeFlight Mobile’s Airports and Maps features.

Do Stratus portable receivers replace XM weather?

No, the information provided by Stratus portable receivers and XM differ. XM Weather offers a wider array of information and more coverage. This table will help you compare and contrast Stratus portable receivers and XM and help you decide which in-flight product is right for you. Many pilots will find adequate ADS-B coverage within the areas they fly most frequently. Refer to the ADS-B Coverage Map to determine if there is coverage for your region.

Are there any subscription fees associated with ADS-B weather?

No, but Stratus portable receivers do require a current ForeFlight Mobile subscription. ForeFlight Mobile Pro subscribers will enjoy improved position accuracy when using a Stratus portable receiver as a GPS source.

Are there different types of ADS-B ground stations?

Yes, there are four different types of ADS-B ground stations: surface, low altitude, medium altitude, and high altitude. The FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual, Table 7-1-2, helps compare each station type (Last updated: 4/4/14). The station type varies based on the ground station coverage where you are flying.  Learn more information about ADS-B station types and how they interact with your Stratus portable receiver.

ADS-B Weather Stations FAA Table

Do I need an external ADS-B antenna?

It depends. Most pilots will not require an external ADS-B antenna and can thus operate completely wire-free. Stratus portable receivers include a specially tuned, high-performance internal antenna that will get good reception in many aircraft. Some aircraft, however, may require a remote antenna due to signal attenuation caused by the aircraft type, altitude, and coverage. The position and mounting of the Stratus portable receiver will also impact ADS-B reception. If you find you need a remote antenna, you may purchase the external ADS-B antenna from Appareo’s Stratus accessory page. Please note that external GPS antennas are compatible with Stratus 2 and 2S only.

Does the ADS-B LED light turn on when it receives air-to-air ADS-B traffic?

The ADS-B LED is not activated by air-to-air ADS-B traffic; it is only activated when an ADS-B signal is received in the past three seconds from an ADS-B tower.