NMEA/Port Settings

This screen as accessed from the “Settings Menu”

The screen is split into 2 sections.

NMEA Input Config

NMEA Input Type

This sets the communication type and speed between Soarpilot and the GPS unit. Options are

  • Serial - GPS connected via the serial port.
  • IR - GPS connected via the Infrared port.
  • BT - GPS connected via Bluetooth.
  • USB - Special option for the USB port on a Tungsten E using a Kirrio cradle/cable GPS to USB interface.
  • STap - Special option for running SoarPilot on the StyleTap platform.
  • ExtGPS - Special option to select the connection from the Palm OS Preferences / Connection list. It must be called “ExtGPS” and allows you to access SDIO GPS (or other) devices that require a special device driver to operate.

The speed is selectable from 1200 to 115200 baud.

If you have selected a BlueTooth input, then there is an option to re-transmit the NMEA data to the Palm serial port. This option can slow down SoarPilot, so should only be used if required.

Calc Dev

Is used for GPS units that do not calculate the magnetic deviation. When checked, Soarpilot calculates the deviation based on the position information from the GPS.

Use GGA Checksum

Is used to get Soarpilot to check the checksum on the GGA NMEA sentence for altitude, to ensure correct data is being receive.

MSL Adjust

This field is used to make a fixed offset from the GPS altitude information from the GPS. Normally, using a the MSL or WGS84 options below will produce an accurate result.

Alt Ref

  • MSL - is the standard setting and is what 95% of the people will use. MSL is what the GPS GGA line is supposed to output for the altitude value.
  • The WGS84 option is for some GPS units (Sirf II-based) do not output MSL but output the height above the WGS84 ellipisoid. In this case, it uses the correction value being outputted in the GGA line along with the height to correct the altitude value back to MSL.

See the GPS Status screen to see actual values from your GPS unit.

For example - If you have a Holux 230 Bluetooth GPS, you want to set it to WGS84. If you have it set to MSL and the altitude ALWAYS looks WAY off, check the GPS Status screen and see if the GH value has a value and is approximately the amount that is off. The GH value for your area will not change much as you move around. If there isn’t a value for GH and likely your GPS isn’t outputting a correction value. In that case, you’ll have to use the MSL Adjust field (above) to make the correction manually.

Logger / Vario Support


Used to select the type of flight computer connected to Soarpilot. Connection to the flight computers below gives the following features and benefits to Soarpilot:

Computer Wind Data True Airspeed Use MC Polar Potential (Bugs) Ballast Pressure Alt Lift Data Alt. Setting
B50 (B500)
EW Model D
EW Micro
Tasman Tasman Development Use Only
In addition SoarPilot will automatically display the traffic data from the Flarm device, even if Flarm is not selected as your flight computer.

Also the following data transfer functions are available

Computer Declare Tasks Clear Declaration Download Flights Delete Flights Transfer of Waypoint, Pilot, Glider data
EW Model D
EW Micro

If you are using an EW Micro SD logger, you can now write to the SD card in the Palm, and later insert this into the logger to declare a task. The same is true for a Flarm with an SD card interface.


Used to set the source of the altitude information used in Soarpilot. See also the QFE/QNH screen. See above tables for which logger can provide pressure altitude information to SoarPilot.

Use Pressure Alt for Final Glide

This option controls if Soarpilot should use the pressure altitude received from the logger/vario for the primary altitude reference, rather than the MSL altitude data received from the GPS. Note: This option is only visible with a pressure altitude source selected in the Alt field, but not the C302 , as this provides an very accurate MSL reference, and the QNH value required to adjust to Flight Level (FL)

Data Transfer Config

Data Xfer Type

This sets the communication type and for transfering data into and out of Soarpilot

  • Serial - Use the serial port. A program SPTerm is then required on the PC to handle the data transfer
  • Memo - Use the Palm internal Memo format. This is not recommended as long files need to be split over several memos. Using Memo to transfer flights is not supported.
  • DOC - Use the Palm DOC format.
  • IR - Use the IR serial port.
  • Card - Use an SD memory card.
  • BT - Use the Bluetooth serial connection.

Note: Card and BT option are only visible when your PDA supports this.

Data Speed

Sets the speed of the serial data connection. The speed is selectable from 1200 to 115200 baud.

Flow Control

Options to use no flow control, or hardware flow control on serial connections. Note: Hardware flow control requires a fully wired serial cable.

To see more information on how to use these transfer methods, see Saving/Exporting the Flight Log.

soarpilot/nmea_port_settings.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/11 10:41 by amegens
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