Charging Stratus 3 from a USB-C Port

The Appareo Stratus 3 has a USB-C connector on the device, and comes with a USB-A wall charger and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. It seems intuitive that one could also charge the Stratus 3 from a USB-C port or charger, but Appareo tech support confirmed to me this does not work.

Since the world is moving to USB-C and I am preparing to install USB power ports in my aircraft panel, I wanted to know if I could install only USB-C ports in the panel, and charge the Stratus 3 from one of those ports with some combination of adapters and cables.

I confirmed the Stratus 3 will not charge from a USB-C to USB-C cable from a USB-C port. No charge light at all. Tech support was correct.

For a base reference point, I connected the wall charger and USB-A to USB-C cable that came with the Stratus, and found ~5V, 1.1A for about 5.5 watts of charging power flowing to the device.

I tested a USB-C to USB-A adapter (this one from Amazon, I do not receive commissions) plugged into a USB-C port, and the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable from Stratus, and the charge light lit normally. A USB tester showed 5 volts, 1.2 amps for about 6 watts of charging power. I connected my iPad to the Stratus while powered in this way, and it showed connected, Genuine Stratus: Yes, all appeared well.

I tested this same setup with a variety of USB-C sources. My macbook, my macbook’s USB-C charging brick, and a cigarette lighter USB-C charger in my car. All worked and charged the Stratus 3 normally, at about the same 6 watt rate.

Bottom line, yes, it works. There appears to be no need to install a USB-A port in your airplane to power the Stratus 3, modern USB-C ports with an adapter will work just fine.

P.S. Unfortunately, my plan to use the Stratus 3 simultaneously with Foreflight and XAvion (for real-time emergency glide preparedness) appears it will not work. Yes, the Stratus 3 supports the open GDL-90 protocol, but ForeFlight will not enable the Stratus when open mode is enabled. So it appears one can use the Stratus 3 with multiple devices at once, but all devices must be either running ForeFlight, or all devices must be running a non-ForeFlight app. We can’t mix and match. Not cool ForeFlight, not cool.