sf4JC

XCSoar, or SoarPilot, or...

Recommended Posts

Just want some feedback on any freeware programs like these, that would be worth registering FSUIPC for? Or does FSUIPC need to be registered to be able to use these? Is having a PDA or like instrument useful while soaring?

I've got an old PDA (Palm T/X) which I can possibly only use with SoarPilot, but I don't know if I can pay $40 to $70 for registering FSUIPC for one or both FS9/FSX. So any input would be great. Pros and Cons for the software you use also would be great.

sf4JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Scott! I inherited my wife's old Palm Tungsten 3, and was thinking of using it with XCSoar with Condor, but she only has the USB cradle for it, and I wasn't sure if I could make it work. Would either have to buy the serial cable, or a Bluetooth dongle. And it was the same issue that there are not many of the soaring software that will run on the Palm OS.

I ended up using the PC version of XCSoar, and having it display on a second monitor. It's not perfect solution, since you have to take focus off the sim to access the XCSoar interface, but the benefits supercede, depending on what feature you are after. My friend DC is running it on a PDA, but I'm not sure what make and model.

To answer your question about FSUIPC4, yes, you need to register it to enable the GPSOut feature needed to make the PDA software work, but I am a big supporter of registering software that I find to be useful.

The moving map display that you get with PDA software is great, and Ian has implemented that in some of his FSX instruments. There are also all the other features of modern soaring flight computers that you will get, like MC setting, speed to fly, height above goal calculations, final glide, etc. so IMO, they are almost a must have for any serious soaring pilot. It takes some time to get everything set up and configured, and there is an initial learning curve for sure, but the benefits are worth it. XCSoar uses the same datafiles as Cambridge/WinPilot (.dat), SeeYou (.cup), Zander (.wpz), OziExplorer (.wpt) and FS/GpsDump (.wpt)

Since Condor has a really good PDA in the sim, I was really only after a couple of features: one thing the XCSoar does (and probably SoarPilot, too) is support for AAT task, which Condor PDA does not do. Also, it was handy to be able to pan ahead on the map to see more of the terrain, which, again, the Condor PDA did not allow. XCSoar also has a graphical display of where you can glide to from your current altitude and position, base on terrain and MC setting. It is shown on the moving map as a constantly updated "amoeba".

For FSX use, since not all sailplanes have a PDA or soaring computer, it is perhaps even more useful. I haven't used any other software. Anything else you want to know, just ask away!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I inherited the PDA I currently have from my wife as well. It's been real handy at times, but it's nothing compared to todays Android like phones. Man, it would sure be nice if I could just talk my wife into letting me use her phone every once in a while (maybe even ALL the time) for my sim use.

I think I hear you about making the experience more real by becoming a more serious pilot. I haven't made to many attempts to know the CAISet gauges as I should and all it has to offer. Right now I basically just use them for pointing me to the next waypoint and listening for rising and falling altitude (using the old CAISet gauges for this in FSX). I used to have a GPS installed into my VC of some of the aircraft I fly, but I made it too small to know exactly what buttons did what, and then add the use of FaceTrackNoIR, which at the time wasn't allowing me to press the buttons accurately enough. I may have to try that again some time. Anyway, THANKS for the input!

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...CAISet gauges...I basically just use them for pointing me to the next waypoint and listening for rising and falling altitude...

The additional thing to get from the CAISet, is the height at goal, or final glide info that it provides. Even if you are not "serious soaring pilot" (however you interpret that), knowing how much height you will have at the next turnpoint, or if you have final glide height, is IMO pretty basic info. After all, there is no point in continuing to circle in that last thermal if you have final glide height at your MC setting.

To add to what I said about the moving map display, that feature is very useful for ridge task, and/or mountainous areas, where you can see the terrain relief on the map, and plan your route accordingly. Ian has implemented this in a couple of cockpits (ASW28 and LS-18). Using XCSoar, or similar, on a PDA gives you all that for any sailplane. It's often handy to know, not only the direction to the next waypoint, but how close or far you are off the course line.

One other feature I didn't mention, some PDA software also display your vertical speed graphically with your track by using colour. This can be very useful for centering the lift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just bought myself an Android phone, I see that XCSoar does an app for it. Does anyone know if this can anyway connect to a PC to get the NMEA data out of FSX via a virtual port?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ivan,

welcome back!

Maybe an option is using a bluetooth tunnel as a virtual serial port in your case. Though I never got it running because BT is crappy with my WM6.5 P3650.

I have a similar problem with Vista 64 and WM 6.5 since the WMDC does no longer support virtual com ports, and all 3rd party virtual com port drivers are expensive payware, because of mandatory driver signatures.

bests,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ivan, if you get it working, can you please come back and tell us? I downloaded the software a while back in hopes of using it on my wife's old Android phone and never could get it working. At the time, I was thinking it was maybe because of me only having the free version of the FSUIPC module. If this procedure works with the free FSUIPC, it would be great to know. I've actually put FSUIPC into my budget for next year already if things go well, but it would sure be nice to play around with XCSoar until then.

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't know why I get my hopes up all the time?!?! GRRRRRRRRRR. (Hehehe) I keep forgetting that no mater what you want getting the NMEA data to, you HAVE to have the registered version of FSUIPC to get it, unless the program has that capability like FSMovMap for example maybe, or even CCS2004 for that matter. Am I wrong on this?

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news Scott Xcon works. I disabled my GPSout in FSUIPC and run Xconn.

Unzip and Install the Xcon software.

Now you need to find the Wi-Fi address of your Android. Make sure your Android is wirelessly connected to your router.

On the Android, goto settings -> Wireless and networks

In that menu select the connected Wi-Fi network. Note the IP address at the bottom of the screen.

On the desktop tray right click Xconn and choose properties.

"Tick" TCP protocol.

Enter the IP address of the Wi-FI address found above. and Enter 4353 for the port number this must match the port number in the XCSoar devices set up.

You may get a connection error TCP cant connect to IP Address:4353.

The way I found to get around this is:

Close the Xconn program by choosing "Exit" in the desktop tray

Make sure XCSoar is running on the Android. (see XCSoar Device setup below)

Load up FSX, load the flight.

When FSX is finished loading then run Xconn again and it should connect up.

Any further error messages should be a simple Xconn exit and then run the Xcon program again. It's a good idea to have a Xcon shortcut on your desktop window.

In XCSoar Devices,

Select A -> disabled

Select B

Port = TCP Port

TCP Port = 4353

DRiver = Condor Soaring Simulator.

xcon.gif

Use the Wi-Fi Address from the Android connection and put in the box above in place of the 192.166.0.1 shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so here is where I stand at the moment. I'm actually kindof speechless, to say the least. I've actually got it working with the free version of FSUIPC, so I'm thinking, does Xconn even use the FSUIPC module? Just for kicks, I tried it on FS2004 despite knowing it works only for FSX, and yes, it doesn't work in FS2004. So now all I have to do is save up some money for the FS2004 version of FSUIPC to get XCSoar to work with it. Wow, I sure wish I would have been studying XCSoar to understand all the features/functions and know what all I need to download and such. This is going to be great, it's one more thing to immerse myself into the sim environment.

THANKS guys for pointing this out to me!

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott

If you find that FSUIPC does not work for FS9 you could try the GPSout utility from the PocketFMS link the Peter gave in a post above.

You will need to download and configure com0com from the condor site.

]http://forum.condorsoaring.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12538]

Then in the GPSout.ini file set Port=CNCA0.

I have not got FS9 to test it out but cannot see why it should not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, IT WORKS! That's one of the things I was missing Ivan. I got it working just as I was about to leave the house this morning. I had sort of made a mess of things last night, so I started from the beginning and worked myself through it. One of my tries last night was to change the CNCA0 to COM2, and I think it would have worked but I didn't have the hub2com set up correctly again I think. I tried so much stuff last night, I lost track of where I was at times. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! It was so frustrating! When I woke up this morning, I thought I'd have another go at it, and sure enough, I got everything set up correctly just minutes before I needed to get ready to get out of the house.

Now, is this public knowledge, because I found little to no help searching the net for a solution in FS2004. I'm kinda wondering if this is well known, how come I never heard of it. Also, can I make it known by "Pinning" a post in the forums, or is that somehow a no-no. I just cannot believe through all my searching through the years, I never stumbled across this solution. I must have been so close, yet so far from the solution.

But, WOW!!!! I am excited!! So the next question is going to be, will this work in Prepar3D?

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's great, but a little overwhelming at first. I was finally able to get the maps working in XCSoar before noon today. Had kindof a busy morning with other things, so not much time was given to using and understanding the software, but I haven't really put any effort into reading the manual for it yet either. You can bet I'll be a little more acquainted with it before the weeks over though.

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have good news about XCSoar and Prepar3D......It Works!!! Though I only tested it for a little while. Just use the same settings as in FSX.

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.