Project image
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$230,002
pledged of $500,000pledged of $500,000 goal
637
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jan 12 2016
$230,002
pledged of $500,000pledged of $500,000 goal
637
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jan 12 2016

About

Update (1/12/2016): Although we were not able to reach our funding goal here on Kickstarter, we still strongly believe in the goal of bringing an affordable, universal ADS-B receiver to market. Please visit http://bad-elf.com/ads-b to learn more about our future plans regarding ADS-B. Thank you!

Update (12/17/2015): Big news! We’ve added two new models that include 1090MHz traffic support: a dual-band model for US pilots, as well as a traffic+AHRS model for pilots flying outside the US. Read the announcement here.

Only 10% of pilots fly with ADS-B weather and traffic information today. As pilots, this frustrates us. ADS-B provides incredible value and improves safety, but current receivers are just too expensive.

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.

Back us today and share this project with your fellow pilots. Together, we’ll make flying safer with affordable ADS-B weather and traffic for every pilot.

Four years ago, our first flight with ADS-B inspired us.

We immediately investigated building our own ADS-B receiver. 

We invested several months researching ADS-B technology, but the expense of full product development and the resulting bill of materials costs were simply too high to bring an affordable product to market. So, we placed it on the back burner and focused on building new high-performance Bluetooth GPS receivers. 

Since then, with a handful of portable ADS-B receivers on the market, the high prices have effectively locked most pilots out. After five years, less than 10% of pilots fly with real-time, subscription-free weather and traffic in the cockpit. As pilots, we were frustrated that more of us still do not have access to these tools. As engineers, we felt a duty to come up with a solution. 

Early this year, we finally found the answer. 

All of the ADS-B receivers on the market use the same hardware design inside, based on a chip called an FPGA. This chip is expensive, power hungry, and generates a lot of heat. We kept looking for innovative ways to receive and decode the weather and traffic signals, without these limitations. After exploring several paths with no improvements, early this year we had a breakthrough. 

Enjoy the same weather, traffic, and AHRS capabilities, at about half the price. 

Finally, you can have an affordable ADS-B receiver without sacrificing quality, safety, or reliability. Our performance and sensitivity are as good as, or better than, every solution on the market. We spent the last nine months validating our solution, both on the test bench and in-flight. We developed a series of prototypes and even built our own ADS-B tower for testing purposes. 

We built the business models and sourced the bill of materials. Our goal as engineers was to discover a solution that succeeded both technically and economically. We now can offer a finished product at about half the price of the competitors.

RF Testing & Functional Prototypes
RF Testing & Functional Prototypes

Choose the model that best fits your flying needs.

Our subscription-free, affordable weather and traffic receiver fulfills the basic needs of many pilots, but for pilots who want the additional safety benefits of a portable, back-up attitude instrument, we also offer a model with integrated AHRS for just $150 more.

Universal app and hardware compatibility mean freedom of choice. 

We’re taking a fresh approach and building our ADS-B receiver around open standards. We will share our interface specifications with any app or hardware vendor without restrictions or licensing fees. 

Universal app compatibility will be a first in the market. We hope the voice of the flying community will encourage all app and hardware vendors to follow. We’ve successfully tested our prototype hardware with the most popular apps on the market, but ultimately it is up to each app vendor to decide what hardware they will support.

Bad Elf has always been app agnostic, so we have great relationships with the development and support teams for every major app. We’ll continue to provide amazing support to any app developer to ensure that our products works seamlessly with your favorite apps.

We need to increase the adoption of ADS-B in the flying community. 

More than 90% of pilots fly today without access to real-time weather, traffic, and backup attitude information. Pilots cite high price and restricted compatibility as the two main reasons that they have not yet purchased an ADS-B receiver. The Bad Elf team needs your engagement to help solve both of these problems now. 

By contributing to this Kickstarter campaign, you’re helping us bring the industry’s first affordable and universal ADS-B receiver to market. 

Join Bad Elf and your fellow pilots. Help us set the standard for universal app and hardware compatibility for years to come. 

If you believe this is a worthwhile goal, please back our campaign and reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver today. 

Together we can make flying safer by putting weather, traffic, and AHRS information into the hands of every pilot.

Thank you for your support!

    - Brett and the Bad Elf team

Pilots have told us over and over again that app compatibility is a top concern – second only to price – when it comes to buying an ADS-B receiver. 

Some receivers, such as Appareo’s Stratus and Garmin’s GDL39, only work with a single app. While this exclusivity has significant benefits when it comes to the integration of app and hardware, it certainly comes at a cost in terms of pilot freedom and long-term innovation.

Our goal with the Bad Elf ADS-B receiver is to have seamless integration with your favorite apps, but without the lock-in of a vertical solution. We’re taking a fresh approach with our receiver in the following 3 ways: 

  • Open Specifications: We are basing our interface protocol on open standards, and sharing our specifications with app developers and other hardware vendors without any restrictions or licensing fees. 
  • Compatibility modes: Our receiver implements the same protocols used by several existing receivers, allowing it to work with most of the major apps today. While we consider this a short-term solution, it has allowed us to validate our prototypes without requiring any upfront investment from app developers. We will continue to support and update these compatibility modes as long as needed. 
  • Over-the-top support for our app partners: We know that app developers are very busy. Each additional ADS-B receiver they integrate requires more resources for development, testing, and support. Bad Elf is committed to supporting the app developers by providing the following resources:
        - Direct access to our development and support teams
        - Remote support, as needed
        - Hosting an annual aviation app industry workshop   
        - Free beta and production receiver hardware units   
        - Access to our bench-top ADS-B tower simulator
        - Internet accessible streaming weather and traffic test sources
Based on discussions since we launched this project, we expect to be announcing full support and compatibility with the following apps over the next few days.  Positive discussions are on-going with every major app vendor.

iOS Apps (US Coverage) 

iOS Apps (EU/AUS/NZ Coverage, Traffic+AHRS)

 

Android Apps

If you are an app developer, we invite you to join us in making ADS-B receivers universally compatible. Email us today at kickstarter@bad-elf.com and we’ll add you to our list of compatible apps. 

If you are a pilot and would like to see your favorite app support the Bad Elf ADS-B receiver, let your app vendor know! Together, we can make flying safer by getting affordable weather and traffic information into the hands of every pilot.

 The following features are supported by the Bad Elf ADS-B Receiver.

We've flown with every ADS-B receiver on the market, and focused on the features that provide the most value to every pilot flying with the iPad today.

* We will support all app vendors that would like to integrate our receivers, and update this page as those vendors come on board. If you are an app developer, we invite you to join us in making ADS-B receivers affordable and universally compatible. Email us today at kickstarter@bad-elf.com and we’ll add you to our list of compatible apps.

Any reference to a specific app or receiver is strictly intended to illustrate product capabilities and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the app, app developer, or company referenced. 

The primary focus of our R&D efforts over the last nine months has been on validating the performance of the various sub-systems of our solution, both on the lab bench and with in-flight testing.

During the last month we started working on the single-board prototype that combined the following main features:

  • Wi-Fi connectivity to EFB apps running on the iPad or iPhone
  • GPS
  • ADS-B Weather (FIS-B over 978MHz)
  • ADS-B Traffic (TIS-B/ADS-R over 978MHz)
  • AHRS

You can see these features in action in our Prototype In-Flight Demo video below: 

Now that these primary features are working in our prototype, our next steps are to finalize the hardware design and do a beta hardware production run.  We'll provide these units to our app partners and beta testers, as well as continue development on the following secondary firmware features:

  • Flight Data Recorder
  • Weather Replay
  • Barometric Pressure sensor data flowing into apps

In Bad Elf’s development and testing, we have successfully streamed weather, traffic, and/or AHRS information into the most popular apps on the market today. This research activity was conducted internally to prove out Bad Elf’s hardware functions.

* Any reference to a specific app in the video above is strictly intended to illustrate product capabilities and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the app, app developer, or company referenced.


"Bad Elf has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a new Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast receiver it plans to sell for $299—roughly half the cost of existing units."
"Bad Elf has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a new Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast receiver it plans to sell for $299—roughly half the cost of existing units."
  
"It’s the industry’s first affordable weather and traffic receiver for the iPad and other tablets, starting at just $299.”
"It’s the industry’s first affordable weather and traffic receiver for the iPad and other tablets, starting at just $299.”
"The company has been testing prototypes for several months and this week, it’s launching a Kickstarter program to continue development with a goal to bring products to market sometime in mid-2016."
"The company has been testing prototypes for several months and this week, it’s launching a Kickstarter program to continue development with a goal to bring products to market sometime in mid-2016."
"Whenever disruptively priced products come into a mature market, that’s newsworthy and Bad Elf’s effort certainly is that."
"Whenever disruptively priced products come into a mature market, that’s newsworthy and Bad Elf’s effort certainly is that."
  
"The portable single-band 978 MHz device represents a "breakthrough" in ADS-B technology, utilizing technology that is cheaper and less power intensive than competitors' products."
"The portable single-band 978 MHz device represents a "breakthrough" in ADS-B technology, utilizing technology that is cheaper and less power intensive than competitors' products."
"(Bad Elf) announced last week that they are expanding into the portable ADS-B market, with plans to develop two new models."
"(Bad Elf) announced last week that they are expanding into the portable ADS-B market, with plans to develop two new models."
 
                   For further press inquiries, please e-mail kickstarter@bad-elf.com.

Special thanks to: David Carr, Sarina Houston, Eric Hake, Brian Katz, Tom Letts, Jared Kadis, Chad Verdaglio, Scottsdale Airport, RED Digital Cinema, Red Bull, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Grimaldi's Pizza. 


Risks and challenges

Not Bad Elf’s First Rodeo

Since 2010, Bad Elf has shipped GPS receivers to pilots worldwide. We expanded our product line from a single GPS product to more than a dozen products. We have the experience to bring quality products to market and the commitment to support them in the field for years after launch.

Technical Performance

For this project, we spent the past nine months eliminating the potential technical risks of our approach, both in the lab and through in-flight testing. We even built our own benchtop ADS-B tower to validate the performance of our receiver design. We will continue to use these tools during product development to ensure that we maintain technical performance.

Project Management and Sourcing

We now have a clear plan to move from prototypes to beta production and then on to full production. Our manufacturing and app partners are on board. Our schedule accounts for the common schedule risks, including component shortages, enclosure mold tweaks, FCC testing, and more.

Plans & Planning

In our planning process, we identify a variety of potential risk types and the most likely contingencies to deal with them. Should we miss any of our projections or encounter any unexpected roadblocks, we’ll be sure to keep you informed while working quickly to solve the problem.

Bottom Line

Our technical approach works well in a variety of live and simulated environments. We have years of experience in manufacturing and sourcing since our first product. Our hardware manufacturing partners have repeatedly earned our confidence. We have a proven track record in working with app vendors. We’ve done our best to minimize the risks to the point where the risks of doing nothing outweigh the risks of bringing this product to market.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank You for your support!

    We'll keep you updated on the project status. Your name will be included on our backers page.

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    Bad Elf Coffee Mug

    We're creating a unique coffee mug design for backers of our project. Your name will be included on our backers page.

    Only ships to: USA, Canada, Mexico

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    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    ADS-B Receiver (Weather & Traffic)

    Reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver at our Kickstarter price of just $299.

    Only ships to: USA, Canada, Mexico

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    Pledge $449 or more About $449

    ADS-B Receiver (Weather, Traffic, & AHRS)

    Reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B receiver with AHRS at our Kickstarter price of just $449.

    Only ships to: USA, Canada, Mexico

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    Pledge $449 or more About $449

    ADS-B 1090 MHz Traffic Receiver with AHRS

    Designed for pilots flying outside the US, this model provides traffic and AHRS data only (no weather) at our Kickstarter price of just $449.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $549 or more About $549

    ADS-B Receiver (Weather, Dual-Band Traffic, & AHRS)

    Reserve your Bad Elf ADS-B dual-band receiver with AHRS at our Kickstarter price of just $549.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Meet the Bad Elf Team, plus receive two ADS-B receivers and a pile of Bad Elf swag.

    We'll host you in Scottsdale, AZ for a fun day of flying adventures and cap it off with an entertaining dinner with the Bad Elf team.

    Travel expenses not included.

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    ADS-B Receiver (Weather & Traffic)
    SPECIAL EARLY BIRD PRICE

    Be among the first to support us, and grab your weather and traffic receiver at an extra special price.

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    Reward no longer available 200 backers
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    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    ADS-B Receiver (Weather, Traffic, & AHRS)
    SPECIAL EARLY BIRD PRICE

    Be among the first to support us, and grab your weather and traffic receiver with AHRS at an extra special price.

    Only ships to: USA, Canada, Mexico

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    Reward no longer available 200 backers
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Funding period

- (59 days)