Preliminary Docs for Changes/Additions in SP1.8.0 - 1.9.9


  1. Problem with Metric Conversion of Waypoint Additional Info Screen - Fixed a problem where the runway length on the Waypoint Additional Info screen was not converting/display the lenght correctly when configured for Metric units. The units for the runway length will now be tired to the “Distance” units value. If you have Statue or Nautical miles, you will get the length in feet. If you are using Kilomters, then you will get meters.

Version 1.9.9:

  1. Waypoint Additional Data Problem with Manual New Waypoint - If you added a new waypoint from the moving map the Additional data fields were not being initialized properly. This has been fixed now.
  2. Declared Task vs. Active Task - When a task is activated, an input window will be displayed asking if you also want to Declare the current task as well. If you select Yes to this, the current task you are activating will become the task that will be outputted with the flight info of the next/current flight. If you say No, then the previous declaration information will be retained and outputted with the flight. This allows you to have one task that was previously “declared” (perhaps prior to your flight) and then change the active tsk to be something else entirely.

Version 1.9.8:

  1. Garmin iQue Sim Mode Support -Added a “Garmin Sim” checkbox that shows up on the NMEA/Config screen to allow user to make the software accept data when the iQue is in simulation mode. This option defaults/resets to off when the program starts.
  2. Cleaned up the small vertical line that remains when the Final Glide page status changes from NO GPS or NOSATS to an active state.
  3. Mixed Borgelt B50/Colibri Computer Type -New Computer type of mixed B50 and Colibri. Had to move picklists around on the NMEA/Port screen a bit to make room. If this type is selected, it parses the proprietary NMEA data from both units and uses the information as appropriate.
  4. Fix for Lift calculation -If Use Palt was selected but an alt src other than GPSAlt was selected, would result in no lift calc.
  5. Made the Alt types change automatically if C302, Colibri or the B50/Colibri computers were selected -Can still be changed after this to something else though.
  6. Fix for Treo 600 Users -It seems that when Handspring (now PalmOne) went with PalmOS 5.0 they did away with the call to disable their keyboard daemon. However, that was the call that was causing problems. I had to make the checking a bit more picky so that it will not try to disable it if running on a Treo 600 or more correctly, a PalmOS 5-based Handspring model.
  7. New North Up and Course Up Map Modes -You may now select from three different map orientation modes on the Map settings/config screen. The modes are: Track Up -This is the current orientation method where the glider does not rotate and the rotates as your heading changes. North Up -Magnetic north is always at the top of the screen and the glider symbol turns as your heading changes. Course Up -If you have a waypoint selected or using an Active Task, the direction current waypoint/turnpoint will always be at the top of the screen. If this mode is selected but no waypoint/turnpoint is selected, it will then use the North Up mode. In addition to being able to select the mode from the Map settings/config screen, you can also switch the current mode from the Moving Map. Simply touch the Map Radius value are and it will toggle between the three modes. Note: The North Up mode that has been implemented is not what I would call optimized in that it still makes use of the normal trig calls to calculated the plot x,y values. I intend to work on a optimized northup mode that simple uses lat/long comparisons for plot calculations.
  8. On a Garmin iQue, reading from the serial port in addition to the internal GPS information -This was requested by a Borgelt B50 user. When iQue is selected as the NMEA data transfer type on the NMEA/Port screen, there is a new option that allows you to also “Use Serial”. If this checkbox is selected as well, SoaringPilot will also open the iQue’s serial port for reading NMEA data. It ignores all positional NMEA data which would duplicate what is being read from the internal GPS. However, it will read and use the information as appropriate from an instrument/device connected to the serial port. In the case of the B50, it reads the B50’s proprietary NMEA data
  9. Enhanced Waypoint Information -A new Waypoint Additional Information screen has been added. It can be accessed two different ways. To add/modify information for a waypoint in the database, simply edit the waypoint. There is a button at the bottom of the edit screen labeled “Add. Info”. When this button is selected, a new screen is presented. This new screen has fields for Runway Direction, Runway Length and Radio Frequency. In addition there is a 64 character free-form area for other General description information. When done, select the “Exit” button and you will be returned to the regular edit screen for that waypoint. You MUST then select the “SAVE” button to save this new information into the waypoint database. As with out changes to the waypoint, if you select the “QUIT” button your recent changes will not be saved. In addition, you can easily retrieve this additional information from the Final Glide screen. If you have a waypoint selected or one is active through an active task, if you touch the waypoint Remarks label or field, the additional information screen will be displayed for the waypoint. When opened in this mode, the screen will not save any changes that you might make. It is essentially a “Read-only” view of the additional information for that waypoint.
  10. Problem with reading in data from the serial port if something other than Serial was selected for the NMEA data transfer type -This had actually been a problem for a while but since there was no option but serial for NMEA data, it didn’t show up. Fixing it uncovered another problem that was a potential crash of the PDA. So I fixed that too.
  11. Full Use of the Side Buttons on the Garmin iQue -Also, I added support for all of the functionality of the buttons and jog dial on the side of the iQue. Here’s how things map out:
    • REC Button - Waypoint Select when on Final Glide and Moving Map
    • REC Button (Held Down) - Same as REC Button.
    • ESC Button - Just like it was and just like the upper left silkscreen button. If on any screen other than Final Glide, switch to Final Glide. If on Final Glide, switch to Moving Map.
    • ESC Button (Held Down) - Save as ESC Button.
    • Thumb Wheel Up/Down - Unchanged. Basically works just like the pageup/pagedown hardware buttons.
    • Thumb Wheel In - Add New Waypoint at the current position. Nice thing about this is that it works no matter what screen you are on.
    • Thumb Wheel In (Held Down) -S ame as Thumb Wheel In. This one was fun though because the Garmin documentation says this is dedicated to saving a Garmin Waypoint and they don’t actually provide the keycode for this event. However, I was able to see what keycode is being generated in the simulator and map it. That way there is no confusion over which add waypoint window is opened. It will always be the SP one when in SoaringPilot.
    • You will notice that I made all the held down events the same as their momentary counterparts. They could be mapped to different actions however, I figured that when flying it may be too much to ask the user to differentiate between just pressing it and pressing it for a second or so. With the above, it doesn’t matter how long they hold it, they will get the action and don’t have to look down at least for this. I’ve been using the “ESC” button for a while and find it VERY handy. I like the addition of the “REC” and Thumb Wheel key presses as well. If all PalmOS PDA‘s had these keys available, we could do away with at least the silkscreen waypoint select. Alas, they don’t.
  12. With a high res, DIA screen, the GPS status warnings were not being displayed on the moving map. This has been fixed.
  13. Fixed the moving map “jumping” that occurs with some GPS’ that don’t filter out GPS position fix “wandering” when the unit is standing still. Instead they end up outputting a speed value that is less than 1/10th of a knot as well as outputting a constantly changing direction value. This was causing the map to update and rotate around. Very annoying! I had code in to stop this before but it wasn’t sensitive enough for some units like the NAVMAN. It works just fine now. Basically, if you aren’t moving more than 1 knot, the direction info from the GPS is not used to update the map.
  14. Add support for populating the new additional waypoint fields from SeeYou .cup formatted waypoints.
  15. Added support for reading NMEA data from the PDA‘s IR port.
  16. Added support for the 5-Way Rocker Values to support the Treo 600 and other devices which have this feature. The down and up obviously do page down and page up, respectively. In addition, the right press is mapped to be the same as page down and the left is the same as page up. The center press is currently not used for anything but may in the future.
  17. Added support for the volume up and down buttons on the side of the Treo 600. Like the iQue, the top button (Up Volume) brings up the Waypoint Selection list. This is helpful since the Treo has no “Calc” button to do this with. Also like the iQue, the bottom (Volume Down) button either causes the Final Glide screen to be displayed from any other screen, or, if on the Final Glide screen, switches to the Moving Map screen. This is the same as the “Home” silkscreen key and allows you to easily switch back and forth between the Final Glide and Moving Map screens.
  18. With Paul Gleeson’s help, several key map plotting functions have been greatly improved. These functions are laying the foundation for implementing SUA warnings in the next version. However, that also help improve map performance in the current version, especially on older Palms.
  19. Fixed Memory Issues in the graphing code when running on a Visor, Palm III/IIIx or other PDA running PalmOS 3.X and with limited memory
  20. Enhanced the graphing to be aware of running on a color capable PDA -If not color capable, all graphing done in B&W. If on a color capable PDA, graphing is done in color. Looks pretty nice.
  21. When displaying the Alt vs. Time graph, the terrain elevation is now plotted in a semi-transparent fashion. That way if the glider’s altitude dips below the terrain elevation, it can still be seen.
  22. Enhanced the IR data xfer support to work better with IrCOMM2k ( I make the program wait 10 seconds before it starts sending data to the PC. It seems like it takes about that long for the two devices (PDA and PC) to establish their link and finish the their startup “conversation.” Now for how I had things configured to help people who might want to try this option. it is still a bit flakey but it does work better now that it used to. First, ensure that you are using the latest version which is 2.0.0 Beta 2. Next, ensure that you follow the install procedures on the webpage for turning off the “Wireless Image Transfer”. Also, if you are having problems, please look at their FAQ. You may find the fix there. Once the IrCOMM2k software is installed properly, in order to get a good/consistent transfer I had to enable the Hardware flow control option on SoaringPilot’s NMEA/Xfer page. I also set the Data Xfer speed to 9600 but I’m not sure this matter much. On the PC side, I used both Hyperterminal and SPTerm. Set the port to the one assigned to IrCOMM2k (probably COM5) and the speed to 9600 as well. It doesn’t seem to matter whether hardware flow control is turned on but I had it off. Also, IrCOMM2k puts a small IR icon in the system tray in the lower left-hand corner. If you right click on this, you get three options, “Automatic, IrCOMM2k & Standard Infrared”. With my testing so far I always had it set to “IrCOMM2k”. To actually transfer data, first ensure that you have Hyperterminal/SPTerm running and connected to the port. If you attempt to transfer data from SP before they are running, it will look like SP is locked up. It actually isn’t, it’s just trying to establish the link with the PC. It will eventually finish if you wait. It can take several mintues though. Then point the PDA‘s IR port at the PC’s IR port. In SP, just do the normal procedure for “Transmitting” data. If all is working properly you will see the IrCOMM2k icon change to two small “talking” IR ports. As I said, you will not see any actual data being sent to the PC for 10 seconds. Then the data should be seen in Hyperterminal/SPTerm.
  23. Enhanced the Lift Averaging Function -It now is a true 30 second averager rather than an average of the latest 15 lift calculations. On my Garmin 12xl, the data arrived about every two seconds. With the newer GPS’ the data arrives at about once a second or faster. This meant that instead of an approximate 30 second average it was 15 seconds or less. It now determines how many lift values arrive in a 30 second period and use that number to perform the average. There actually is a max number of averaged values and that is currently set to 60. So it actually is 30 seconds or 60 values, whichever is shorter. However, 60 values would mean that the data is getting into SP at about once every 1/2 second. I’m not currently seeing any devices sending data that fast so it should be enough. If in the future that changes, it is easily altered.
  24. Added support for the Garmin iQue “Up” speed value for lift information -If you are using an iQue, to enable the program to use this information, just select the new iQue value on the NMEA/Port config screen for the “Comp” type. It will then use the info coming from the iQue’s GPS instead of calculating lift from altitude changes. From the testing I have done, this seems to be a very good source for providing lift information. It seems to be accurate and stable. One thing to note though. The iQue does not output this value when it only has a 2D GPS fix. This of course makes sense but can make it seem like it isn’t working.
  25. Fixed a problem in the Task editor where, if configured for Start and/or Finish type of Cylinder, the cylinder radius values were being subtracted from the task leg distances when the same turnpoint was entered twice next to each other.
  26. Added support for using a Compact Flash GPS or serial port -Basically, this will only work on the the Handera 330.
  27. The interface selection for the NMEA xfer port is now a drop-down list -I couldn’t fit all of the interface types on the screen anymore
  28. Fixed a VERY insidious problem in the creation of the IGC “G” lines which would in rare cases create an IGC file that would not validate correctly. This has now been fixed.
  29. Fixed the C320 STF Deadband units to be speed values rather than lift/sink values.
  30. Enhanced Support for the Cambridge 302 -
    1. Reformatted the Transfers screen to make room for new Logger Data button. If C302 is selected as the Comp type on the NMEA/Port screen, a “Logger Data” button will be displayed on the Transfers screen. Selecting this button will allow for interaction with an attached Cambridge 302. You select the data type you wish to transfer and the appropriate To 302/Fm 302 button will be displayed.
    2. Currently, the following transfers are supported:
      1. To the C302:
        • Waypoints -All SoaringPilot waypoints are transferred to the 302. All existing waypoints in the the 302 are removed first prior to the transfer.
        • Glider/Polar Information -The current/active polar information is sent to the 302.
        • Pilot Information -The current/active Pilot information (IGC Info Screen) and the 302-specific information from the Logger Config/Logger Data screen are sent to the 302
    3. Flight Transfer From the C302 -You can now transfer flights from the 302 to either a Flash Card or to the Palm RAM in PalmDOC format. Many thanks to A) Marc Ramsey for his 302 example code and B) Dave Ellis for the use of his loaner unit. I could not have gotten this done without both of their help.
  31. At Paul Gleeson’s suggestion, changing the Moving Map Mode (TrackUp/NorthUp/CourseUp) has been moved from touching the glider on the screen to touching the area of the map scale. This was a good suggestion as it is much easier to find and hit the lower right corner of the screen while in flight that it is to try to touch the little glider symbol.
  32. All interaction with the 302 is now hardcoded to be A)through the serial port and B) at 4800. It no longer matters what values are set for the Data Transfer, the above values will be used.
  33. Implemented a Progress Dialog which shows a changing status for some longer operations. The cancel button is still not operational. I know this but it is just not an easy thing to implement. Perhaps in the future. Also, I have not put the new status window everywhere that it should be yet. Currently it is implemented for getting the list of stored flight logs on the 302 as well as for the flight transfers from the 302. It is also used for transferring waypoints to the 302. I will add it to other places in the future.
  34. As was recently suggested by Edwin (Airwaves), the All Flights output option has been modifed to create individual flights for each flight being outputted with each having a proper igc filename. This occurs when outputting to Flash Card or PalmDOC format.
  35. When a manual waypoint is created and not connected to an active GPS source, the new waypoint will plot immediately on the map.
  36. Modified the Field Elevation field to allow negative numbers to be entered.

Version 1.9.7:

1. Fixed a Problem With Waypoint List Screen With An Empty Database-If the waypoint database is empty and you switch to the Waypoint list and hit the Up hardware button, the program will crash the PDA. This has been fixed.
2. Corrected the Waypoint List to Properly show “Page 0 of 0” When the Waypoint Database is Empty
3. RSA (512 Bit) Encryption of IGC “G” Signature Lines -This replaces the current Blowfish encryption. This is to try to be one step closer to IGC compliance which requires asymetrical encryption. It also means that the old VALI-XSP.exe program will not work with this version. A new version has been created which corresponds with version 1.9.7 and above.
4. New VALI-XSP2.exe Validation Short/DOS Program -This is to correspond with the new RSA encryption. It will only work with SoaringPilot 1.9.7 and above.
5. Fixed Logging Time Problem with Garmin iQue 3600 When Satellite Lock Is Lost -When the iQue loses it’s satellite connection, it starts outputting a time of 12:00:00 (midnite) through the API. This would cause the last logging posit to have an incorrect time value. This has now been fixed so that the proper time is saved.
6. Waypoint Lat/Long Format Now Users Selectable -The waypoint latitude and longitude display format is now selectable on the waypoint editor screen. The options are now (D)DD:MM.MMM or (D)DD:MM:SS.SSS. This new option defaults to (D)DD:MM.MMM but will retain whatever format is selected.
7. Added the parsing of the GPGSA and PGRME sentences to get the satellite horizontal error and satellite vehicle id’s.
8.If using an iQue, retrieve the satellite horizontal error and satellite vehicle id’s.
9.Save the svid’s, hpe and number of sats-in-use into the track log.
10.Using the above sat and error info, now outputs the required IGC “I” and “F” lines along with adding this information to the end of the “B” lines.

Version 1.9.6:

1. Fixed a Problem With Reading in Polar Data Into an Empty Database - If you:
2. Fixed a Problem with the R/A/DAlt Value on the Moving Map - If the selected waypoint was far enough away, the Altitude values would not be correct. This has now been corrected.
3. Corrected a Time Logging Problem When Using the Garmin iQue - When the time on the iQue went past 18:12:12 GMT, the logged/displayed time would reset back to 00:00:00. This has now been corrected.

Version 1.9.5:

1. Potential Program Crash When Reading Configuration Data -If attempting to read in a configuration file with the NMEA port setting different than the current port in use, the program would crash. This has been fixed.
2. Potential Program Crash When Creating a New Polar Entry -When the “New” button was selected on the Polars List to manually create a new Polar entry, the program would crash. This has been fixed.
3. Automatic HOME Attribute Selection -When the waypoint database is empty, if a user either adds a new waypoint manually but doesn’t select the HOME attribute, it will be selected automatically to ensure that there is at least waypoint that has this attribute. In addition, if a waypoint file is read in to a system with no waypoints but there are no waypoints in the file with the HOME attribute selected, the first waypoint in the file will automatically have the HOME attribute added to it.
4. Initial Garmin iQue 3600 Support -If this version is run on an iQue, there will be a new “iQue” item under the “NMEA Input Type” on the NMEA/Port screen. When this option is selected, the program will being reading GPS data from the iQue’s internal GPS using Garmin’s SDK. All other program operation is the same.
5. Dynamic Input Area Support -This version now supports devices with dynamic input areas(DIA), also known as Virtual Silkscreen Areas. The Garmin iQue is such a device as well as the Palm Tungsten 3. When running on a PalmOS 5.0 device with DIA support, the program lowers the silkscreen area when viewing the Moving Map. The moving map remains the same size but the additional screen area is used to contain the previous bottom labels as well as some new information. First, the above/below glideslope arrows are moved to be next to the MC label. The new information that is added includes the current lift/vario(Lft), average lift(AVG) and average thermal lift(Tlft) values. Also there are two large, new buttons at the bottom of the screen labeled “Final Glide” and “Select Way”. Because the Applications and Calculator silkscreen buttons are no longer available, these new button take their place. When the Final Glide button is selected, you are returned to the Final Glide screen. If the Select Waypoint button is selected, the waypoint list is displayed in waypoint selection mode. Finally, if a waypoint is selected, the Final Glide Around the current waypoint/all task points is displayed. The below is an example of what the moving map would look like running on the Garmin iQue:

Version 1.9.4:

1. Potential Program Crash for Reading Terrain Data - If terrain data was in use and the current latitude EXACTLY matched the lower bounds of the defined terrain data area, the program would crash. NOTE: SPTerm had to be modified to fully correct this problem.
2. New Version of SPTerm (1.3.4) - There is now a new version on the webpage (1.3.4) which should be used instead of 1.3.3 for building terrain data. While I have put in out-of-bounds checking into SoaringPilot that will prevent the actual crash, if you have terrain data that was built with SPTerm 1.3.3 you should rebuild it with 1.3.4 to ensure the terrain data is accurate. Also while I was changing SPTerm, I made the program create the “terrain” directory under the SPTerm install directory when the program first runs.
3. SRTM Data Uses Different File Extension - One item I forgot to mention in the description below. When using the SRTM30 data the file that should be extracted from the downloaded .zip file does NOT have a “.dem” file extension. Instead they used a “.hgt” extension. The file size is still the same though (57,600) To allow SPTerm to find and use these files, you need to rename the extracted file, you need to remove the .hgt extension and replace it with a .dem extension.

Version 1.9.3:

1. Cambridge 302 Support for Task Declaration - When you activate a task and you have “C302” selected as the “Computer” type, it will ask whether you want to declare the task to the logger as well. NOTE: All 302 support has been valdiated again version 2.63 of the 302 firmware.
2. New “Logger Data” Page - If configured with “C302” selected as the “Computer” type, a new button is now available on the “Logger Info” screen labeled “Logger Data”. This will open an additional screen that is specific to the 302 that contains information required to do the declaration/configuration properly. Right now the 302 is the only device that requires this additional data. However, the idea is that the screen displayed would match the configured computer device allowing support for future devices to be added. It may be used for future devices.
3. Cambridge 302 Declarations Can Also Include Pilot Info and Glider Polar Info - Whether it sends Pilot Info and/or Glider Polar Info is user-selectable on the “Logger Data” page mentioned above. If Pilot Info is selected it passes the Pilot Name to the 302 making it the active pilot. If Glider Info is selected, it passes the currently selected Glider’s Polar info to the 302.
4. Cambridge 302 Waypoint Transfer Support - If configured with “C302” selected as the “Computer” type, a new “To Logger” checkbox is displayed on the “Transfer” screen when “Waypoints” is selected. If you check this box and touch the “Transmit” button, all waypoints in the attached C302 will first be erased. Then all of the waypoints in SoaringPilot will be transferred to the 302. You can use this to make the waypoints in both devices match. You cannot currently recieve waypoints from the 302 and the “Receive” button is disabled if the To Logger options is selected.
5. Cambridge 302 Ballast, MC Value and Bugs Transfer Validated - Ensured that the transfer of this information is accurate with the version 2.63 of the 302 Firmware. Note that the Bugs value is not actually used by the 302 to degrade the polar information.
6. Polar Performance Info on Polar Edit Screen - As part of adding support for passing Glider Info to the 302, I had to calculate the Best L/D and Best L/D Speed and Min Sink Speed based on the three point polar information. Because they are available I now display them on the Polar Edit screen. You will see them at the bottom of the screen showing the “calculated” L/D and L/D speed as well as Min Sink. I had mixed feelings about putting that info there as it will certainly cause some questions like, “How come my L/D value is 37 instead of 38?” Even given that, it still seemed like useful info to display to the user so I decided to leave it. Be aware that the values do not get automatically recalculated when you edit the various fields on the polar edit page. You must Save the new values and re-edit the selected polar again to see the new performance information.
7. Terrain Elevation Data Usage - This version has the ability to load and read terrain elevation data in order to provide a display of the current terrain elevation as well as an “above ground” (AGL) altitude approximation value. This terrain data will come from a .pdb file that you will have to hotsync into your PDA (explained below). When the program is running, it uses this terrain elevation data to determine the elevation of the ground at your current location. You can see the current terrain elevation on the Flight Info screen. The upper part has a new field which is always updated with this info. If there is no terrain data loaded or you have traveled off of the loaded data, “N/A” will be displayed in the field. In addition, the current terrain elevation is saved with the current flight information. pia03396_small.jpg
The terrain information originates from GTOPO30-formatted data which is readily available via the internet. GTOPO30 is a global digital elevation model (DEM) with a horizontal grid spacing of about 30 arc seconds which equates to about 1 km. I’ve played around with looking at several places both in the UK and in the US comparing the GTOPO elevation with the reported field elevation for the airfield. With a 1km resolutioin, it’s not perfect of course but it does seem to average around 10-20 feet of the actual value for the airfield I checked. That’s not too bad I think. Actually putting in support for reading this information was not too difficult. Also because of the way the data is laid out (every grid square is .0833333333 of a degree on each side) it is a simple/fast calculation to take the current lat/long and go directly to the correct row and column in the terrain file for the elevation information. While a PalmIIIx may not have enough RAM to hold the data it would certainly in no way make the unit any slower. It was very nice that it worked out that way. What took longer though was creating a PC-based conversion program to read in the .DEM information which is HUGE (40deg x 50 deg = ~57Meg), allow people to specify a smaller area (and thus smaller size) and then package that into a .pdb file which can be easily loaded and used by SoaringPilot.

To support this, there is a new version of SPTerm (1.3.3) available through the webpage as well. When you run the new version of SPTerm you will find there is a “;Terrain” menu item now with one menu item which says “Generate”. Selecting this option will open the terrain generation window. The first field on the screen allows your to enter the filename of the terrain .pdb file to be outputted. By default it suggests a filename of “SoaringPilot_terrain_db.pdb” and I would suggest not changing that name. However it really doesn’t matter what you call it because the internal filename is the only one that matters when loading it on the Palm and that name is hardcoded to the proper value. This allows you to have multiple terrain .pdb files with different names to differentiate the area they correspond to. Then you just have to load the one you want to use before you head out to the airfield.

Next, you must enter the upper and lower latitudes’s and the left and right longitude’s, both in decimal degrees with S and W being negative. Then when you select the Generate button, it will produce the .pdb file in the “terrain” directory. However, this will of course give you an error when you first try this because you won’t have the required .dem data. However, it will create the required “terrain” directory under the SPTerm install directory.

To download the GTOPO30 data and make things work properly, you will need to go to:
click on the sector(s) you want to download and do so. Each sector you download will be a .zip file of about 8 or 9 Meg. Inside these zip file are several files however you only need to extract the .dem file into the “terrain” directory under the SPTerm directory. This is the largest file in the .zip file and is about 57Meg. If the area you want to define for terrain information covers more than one sectors/.dem file, you will need to download all required files and place the .dem files into the terrain directory. (NOTE: If you use WinZip please see the note on the download screen for each sector. If you are using WinZip to uncompress the .dem file, please turn off (uncheck) the TAR File Smart conversion found under Options / Configuration (or under Misc. if using Winzip 8.0) The terrain generation allows using a maximum of 4 .dem files. Once the .dem file(s) is in the terrain directory, the generator will work properly and will place the newly created .pdb file in the terrain directory as well. You simply have to hotsync this .pdb file onto your Palm PDA.

Finally, as a result of NASA’s SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) last year, a new topographical dataset is also available in the same GTOPO30 format. It is called SRTM30. SRTM data was used to update the older USGS GTOPO30 global DEM, by averaging the data to 30 arc-sec resolution and replacing GTOPO30 heixels between the latitudes of 60º North and 56º South. The resulting data can be directly downloaded and is now the best available global elevation dataset. Below is an example so you can see the improvements. The left image is the old data. The right is after being updated with SRTM data. As you can see, the right is much more accurate. This is because SRTM30 replaces the wild guesswork of previous data with actual measured values.

The new data uses the same names as the previous GTOPO30 data so once you find the filename you want to download from the GTOPO30 site, go to the following URL and download the same file:
8. Updated Altitude vs Time Graph - Using the stored terrain information, the Altitude vs. Time graph has been enhanced to show the terrain elevation as well. Let’s you see just how close you were to that ridge top. :-)
9. User-Selectable Altitude Display Mode -The options are MSL, AGL and QNH. You can select the mode from the “Final Glide Setup” page. In addition, you can change the mode on-the-fly by selecting the Altitude Label on the Final Glide screen or selecting the Altitude area at the bottom of the Moving Map. The following are specifics about each mode:

  1. MSL -This can have three different sources depending on how you have the program configured:
    1. GPS Altitude -If “GPSAlt” is selected on the NMEA/Port screen for Altitude type, this will display the GPS Altitude coming from the attached GPS.
    2. Pressure Altitude -If a pressure altitude type is selected on the NMEA/Port screen AND “Press. Alt for Display/Lift” is selected, the field will contain the pressure altitude coming from the attached device.
    3. C302 True Altitude -If C302 is selected for computer type, the true altitude coming from the 302 will be used.
  2. QNH -This mode takes the MSL value that would be displayed in MSL mode and adjusts it for the Field Elevation value entered on the NMEA/Port screen.
  3. AGL -This mode takes the terrain information described above and applies it to the MSL value coming from the GPS to give an approximate “Above Ground Level” value. If no terrain data is loaded OR if the current position is not within the bounds of the defined terrain data, “N/A” displayed for the altitude value. This is to signify that you no longer have an AGL approximation and should shift to one of the other altitude modes.

10. Key Sound On/Off Setting - Reformatted the Units Setup page to acomodate the check box to turn off the button sound. Allowed me to display “Time Zone” instead of “TZ” as well.
11. FAI Task Start/Finish Options - There are now start and finish task options which allow the use of FAI sectors. These use a 90 degree sector for the start and finish sectors.
12. Exit Start Cylinder to Start Task - If configured for a cylinder start, the task does not actually start until you enter AND then leave the cylinder.
13. Task Start and Finish Cylinder Radius Values Subtracted From Task Length - If you have selected Cylinder as the task start or finish type, the actual radius of these cylinders is now subtracted from the overall task distance . This makes the task distance value more accurate and makes the various task time calculations more accurate as well.
14.Thermal Waypoint Type -In preparation for the “optional” auto-storing/auto-plotting of thermals, you can now select a waypoint type of “Thrml” on the waypoint edit screen. If you do this, a new symbol is used to plot that waypoint on the moving map. It is a circle with a “T” in it.
15. New Map Symbrols - Related to that, the moving map can now display waypoints with three different symbols. Turnpoints that are “landable” are displayed with a circle with a dot in the middle. Turnpoints that are NOT landable are displayed with just a dot. Finally, as described above, if the “Thrmal” attribute is set, it displays as a Circle with a “T” in it.
16. Map Waypoint Coloring - Due to readability issues on color screens, the waypoint labels are no longer displayed with either the green or red colors. The actual waypoint symbols IS displayed with the correct color. Also, the text label IS still displayed as bold/all capitals letters for in range or normal letters if out-or-range.
17.Moving Map Altitude Value Corruption - Fixed the problem with the altitude values becoming incorrect/out-of-range on the moving map when thermalling (positive sink values) or in ridge/wave lift.
18. Fast & Slow Log Values - The Logger Config screen now has Fast and Slow Log values. Slow is used normally but it will switch to Fast when you get close to a turnpoint of a defined task.
19. Lift Calculation Bug - Fixed a pretty major bug in the way lift was being calculated. Basically I was calculating lift evertime the altitude value was updated. This sounded fine and worked pretty well in most cases. However a reported problem with the Volkslogger lead me to find this issue. The problem is that it was possible that the altitude could change (and thus the lift recalculated) even though there had been no change in time value from the GPS. Thus the actual lift calculation could be off by as much as half of what it should be. The volkslogger was probably the worst case. When I finally reduced down the NMEA data from it getting rid of the extraneous sentences and leaving the GGA, RMC and PGCS, I found that it ouputs the proprietary pressure altitude sentence along with BOTH the GGA and RMC sentences. IOW:
Since I take time from EITHER the GGA (NMEA version 2.0 or above) OR RMC (version 1.5 or below), it was then recalculating lift for every PGCS sentence however the time was only changing for every other lift calculation. Thus while the altitude was changing, every other lift calc would be zero (lift change but no time change) while the next time it would have an actual lift/sink value. However, every time the lift calc function is called, it saves off the last altitude value to be used the next time through to determine a difference. So even though the call with no time change would result in a zero lift/sink value, it was still saving that altitude for the next time through. Thus even though there was a time difference that spanned both altitude sentences, the calculation was only based on half of the altitude difference. This was why the Volkslogger lift/sink value was about half of what it should have been when set to use pressure altitude. Now, I simply make the lift/sink calculation ONLY when the time changes. It should actually make the value a bit more stable as well in all cases.
20. Bluetooth GPS Support - Added support for reading NMEA data from a Bluetooth GPS. If the Palm device is Bluetooth capable, you will now see a “BT” button in the top part of the NMEA/Port screen next to the current “Serial” option. If you don’t have Bluetooth, just the “Serial” option will be shown and selected. I have tested this with my Tungsten T and a BT USB adaptor on my laptop. It works REALLY well. This is certainly an option to consider. The current crop of BT GPS’ will run for seveal hours on their internal batteries. The ENTAC unit has a lithium ion battery with a 6+ hour battery life. So you could just put the GPS wherever is convenient and turn it on. Then turn on your Palm PDA with SP, connect to it from the BT picklist that is displayed and you’re good to go. No cables necessary. Of course the BT GPS can also be powered from the sailplane battery if you would like as well. It’s certainly something to think about.
21. Turn Direction Arrows on Moving Map - On the moving map, when a waypoint is selected, you can now see turn direction arrows just below the waypoint direction in the upper left corner of the screen. There can be one or two arrows, or none at all, depending on how far off course you are. Here are the rules on when they are displayed:

  1. Nothing -If you are within +/-5 degrees of the course, no arrows will be displayed
  2. One Arrows -If you are between 5 and 10 degrees off the require course, you will see one arrow in the correct direction.
  3. Two Arrows -If you are greater than 10 degrees off the required course, you will see two arrows.

22. Multiple Above/Below Glideslope Arrows - First, the above/below arrows are displayed at all times when a waypoint is selected. Previously it was only displayed when in D.ALT mode. Second, there can now be one or two arrows depending on how much above/below you are. The rules for when they are displayed are:

  1. Two Up Arrows -Above 2 Times the Safety Altitude
  2. One Up Arrow -Between Safety Altitude and 2 Times the Safety Altitude
  3. One Down Arrow -Between Zero A.Alt (Arrival Altitude) and the Safety Altitude (marginal final glide)
  4. Two Down Arrows -Negative A.Alt

23. Dual MC/Sink Range On Final Glide Page - For those pilots that are lucky enough to fly in regions of the world with consistent lift over 5 knots (or equivalent), there are now two ranges for the six MC/Sink values on the Final Glide page. The Low range goes from 0 to 5knots/ms or 0 to 500 fpm. The High range goes from 0 to 10 knots/ms or 0 to 1000fpm. The altitude and speed values will match the current range. The current display range is toggled by touching the MC(Speed Opt Mode)/Sink(Distance Opt Mode) column heading/label. The current range value is retained if you exit the program and start it again.
24. Reading SeeYou Waypoints - You can now read in waypoints in the SeeYou .cup format. I have not yet implemented reading the tasks from the .cup format but will do so in the future. Andrej is supposed to be updating his .cup format document to include information on the additional AREA turnpoint information. That will be included as well.

Version 1.9.2:

1. MC Value On Moving Map Not Displayed in Selected Units - The moving map will now show the MC value in the correct units.
2. Final Glide MC Values Incorrect for m/s and fpm Lift Units - While fixing item #1 I found that no matter what lift units were selected, the final glide screen speed and altitude values were still being displayed using knots. This has now been fixed.
3. Colibri/LX Wind Parsing Error - Was parsing the incorrect field numbers for the wind speed and direction being outputted in the LXWP0 sentence.
4. No Data Timeout Value Not Saved Properly - If SP was configured with AutoOff disabled and changes made to the No Data Time out field would not be saved. The value will not be saved regardless of the AutOff option.
5. Flight Info Screen Now First On “Find” Button Chain - This was done to make sure there is no confusion on over which silkscreen button was selected when on the Final Glide page. In the next version I will make it a user-selectable option of whether the Flight Info screen is first followed by the waypoint list (in view mode) or vice versa.
6. Waypoint List Title Bar Now Shows the Mode - In addition to showing which altitude mode is currently in use, it will also show which mode the window is being displayed in. If it is in view mode (accessed through the menu or the Find button chain) the window title bar will say “Waypoint List-” and the altitude mode. If it is in waypoint select mode it will now say “SELECT Waypoint-” and the altitude mode.

Version 1.9.1:

1. Final Glide Around All Task Points - When a task is active, the FGA field on the Final Glide page will now display altitude information (depending on your selected altitude mode) from your current position around all remaining turnpoints. Paul Gleeson used an earlier beta version which included this, in a 3 day competition in the UK. He was able to win the Novice class with a handicapped speed of 116kph in a DG100. Of the FGA info he said, “It was very useful to know that soon after my first turnpoint, I had enough height to fly the rest of the task. I’m sure this contributed to my speed as my final glide started well before I made the last turnpoint.” Hopefully others will find it useful as well.
2. MUCH Faster STF Calculations - Hamish Baker (Paraglider Pilot in the UK) found a problem with the Speed to Fly calculations when using Parasail polar info. He diagnosed and found the problem and fixed it. In the process he also optimized the STF calculation for both the Speed and Distance Optimization modes making them noticeably faster than before. The difference is quite remarkable and Hamish should be commended for this wonderful contribution. This one item alone will help lower powered Palm users more than anything else.
3. Temporary Waypoint Selection When Task is Active-This is an enhancement which has been requested by several users. If a task is active and you select the “Calc” silkscreen button from the Final Glide or Moving Map screens, you will now be presented with a window which, among other things, allows you to essentially place the current task “On Hold” and select a temporary waypoint. After selecting the “TEMP” option, you will then be presented the Waypoint list in “Selection” mode. If you select a waypoint and then touch the “Calc” button, you will be returned to the previous screen as always. However the selected waypoint will now be the temporary waypoint. This temporary waypoint will then be used for all calculations. If you then want to continue on the task, you can easily resume the task where you left off by selecting the “Calc” button again from the above screens and selecting the RESUME option. If you choose the TEMP option but then decide you don’t want to have a temporary waypoint, simply don’t select a waypoint from the waypoint list and the current task will remain active.
4. Map Scale Values - This item actually consists of two changes:

  1. There are now more Map Scale values when using the PageUp and PageDown buttons on the moving map. The options are now:

0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 50, 80, 100, 120, 150, 200, 250, 300

  1. Also, the above values are now displayed and used in the selected distance units. Previously, it was always using nautical miles but simply converted for display in the selected units. Now, if the units are set to kilometers and the mapscale says “10”, it means 10km and the map is drawn with a width of 10km.

5. Task Info Additions - With Paul Gleeson’s help, the task information displayed on the Flight/Task Info screen has now been significantly enhanced. All of these values are automatically updated as the task is progressing with final values saved for later review as well. The new fields include:

  1. Task Total Distance - This is the same value as displayed in the Task Editor for the total task distance.
  2. Task Current/Accomplished Distance - This value is updated as you fly the assigned task. After the task has been completed, if this flight is then selected for review later, the distance of the task that was accomplished (all or partial) will be displayed as well.
  3. Elapsed Time Since Task Was Started - This was in previous version but the label is now changed to “Elap”
  4. Current Task Speed - This is the current, effective speed for the task. This value is updated while the task is active based on the current elapsed time and the distance accomplished. The final value is also saved with the flight when the task is finished (completed or partial). Also, this information is displayed in the current user-selected speed units in the left field and then always displayed in kph in the right field.
  5. Estimated Arrival/Task Completion Time - This time is updated while the task is active based on the current calculated task speed and the distance remaining in the assigned task. The final value is saved with the flight when the task is finished (completed or partial).

6. Percent Thermal Graph Additions on Flight Info Screen - When a flight is not actively being logged, there is now a second button at the bottom of the Flight/Task Info screen labeled “%Th/TIME”. Depending on whether there was a task assigned to the selected flight, this button will display one of two graphs:

  1. %Thermal vs. Time Graph - This graph will be displayed if no task was assigned for the selected flight. It will display a bar graph with 6 different bars each representing 1/6th of the total flight time. These six bars represent the percentage of time you spent thermalling during each of those 6 time periods.
  2. %Thermal vs. Task Leg Graph -This graph is similar to the above except that it presents a bar for each task leg. Thus it represents the percentage of the time while working on a given task leg that you spent thermalling.
  3. Thermal/Cruise Sensing with EW, Colibri or 302 - Fixed a parsing issue causing problems with the thermal/cruise sensing when configured for EW or Colibri while connected to a computer running Sailors of the Sky(SotS, soaring simulator with it configured for NMEA output. Actually, it wasn’t specific to SotS. You would have seen it in the real world as well if flying with either a Colibri, EW or Cambridge 302. Both were causing havoc with the thermal/cruise sensing code. It’s all taken care of now though. SotS was a BIG help in getting this working correctly though as well as troubleshooting and testing other items as well. It wasn’t parsing the LXWP sentence (item above) correctly so the wind info was not even being used from that sentence. If you have not yet tried Sailors of the Sky, I would HIGHLY encourage you to give it a try. It is an OUTSTANDING gliding simulator and the only one which supports multiplayer operation. In addition, using the optional NMEA output it is THE best way to get used to using SoaringPilot with essentially real-world conditions and operations BEFORE you actually get in a real glider and fly. You just connect your Palm PDA to your computer and turn on the NMEA output in the SotS configuration. When the simulation starts it will begin outputting NMEA data for the location of the glider you are flying. If you have waypoints loaded into SoaringPilot for the scenery you are flying with in SotS, everything will be displayed as if you were actually flying there. If you want to just learn how to use SoaringPilot with Sailors of the Sky, SotS has a full automatic mode where the computer essentially “flies” the assigned task for you stopping to thermal along the way as necessary. That leaves you free to just try the different functions of SoaringPilot at your leisure.

8. Waypoint List Always Calculates Values Before Display - Previously the values on the waypoint list were updated in the background so to be sure the information in the list was current you would need to wait a few seconds once the list was displayed for the values to be updated. Now, with the updated/faster STF calculations (Thank-you Hamish!!), the values can be calculated BEFORE the list is displayed without the user having to wait a long time for the list to display. So when the list is displayed now, the values are correct. They will continue to be updated automatically as the glider moves as well. In addition, the values are also updated before the list is displayed when changing the current page of the waypoint list with the PageUp and PageDown buttons.
9. System ROM ID and Logger UID Displayed and Outputted in IGC Flight Output (Robert Hawley) - This item was done to support the current Canadian competition rules and allow SoaringPilot to be used for flight verification for competitions in Canada.
10. Logger “No Data” Timeout Value Now User Configurable(Simon) - Previously, this value was hard-coded to 30 seconds. Therefore, if a flight is being logged and no data is received from the attached GPS within 30 seconds, the flight would be stopped. If the connection was restored, a new flight entry would be added. While this would not normally be a problem when in a glider, if you wanted to use SoaringPilot for other uses (ex. logging data during hiking, etc.) there could be periods where GPS coverage was not available causing multiple flight log entries. I have now exposed this setting so it can be set to a higher value if you wish. I would HIGHLY encourage you to leave the value at the default of 30 seconds for gliding usage. However, the choice is now yours.
11. Auto Thermal Zoom Has Hi and Low Settings (Miha Razinger) - Miha is a paraglider pilot and he suggested that the previous auto thermal zoom radius or .5NM was too large for paragliders. An option has now been added to the Map Setup page to allow you to select a Low or Hi map zoom factor when thermalling. The low value represents the current .5NM values while the hi option will zoom down to .3NM instead. The other option “O” allows you to turn off auto thermal zoom completely.
12. Auto Task Zoom Now Available and Configurable (Paul Gleeson) - Again, with Paul’s wonderful testing support and advice, auto task turnpoint/taskpoint zooming has now been added. When enabled on the Map Setup page and a task is active, as you approach a given point of the assigned task, the map will automatically zoom down through a set of “stairsteps” progressively lowering the map radius yet keeping the taskpoint on the screen. This auto-zooming is driven by the size of the current taskpoint. So a large AREA turnpoint of several miles will be handled differently from a smaller FAI turnpoint sector, for instance. Once the taskpoint is accomplished, the map will automatically zoom back out to the original map scale value that was in use when the auto-zooming began. There is one caveat to this auto-zooming. For a given task point, if the map has already been automatically zoomed once and you then manually change the map scale with the PageUp/PageDown keys, the manually selected map scale will be used without further zooming. This manual value will remain in effect until the taskpoint is accomplished. After that the map will auto-zoom back out as described above and the auto-zooming for the next taskpoint will begin when appropriate.
13. Two Range Rings On Moving Map -Two Range Rings, centered on the glider symbol, can now be enabled and displayed on the Moving Map. They are configured from the Map Setup page allowing you to set the radius of each ring as you see fit. If you set the value of either one or both rings to “0”, the ring will not be displayed on the map.
14. Task List Will Now Wrap Around Like the Waypoint List - When using the PageUp/PageDown keys to move through the saved tasks, if the PageUp key is pressed from the Active Task slot, the last stored task will be displayed. Also, if the last stored task is being displayed and the PageDown key is pressed, the Active Task(first) will be displayed.
15. Task List Total Distance Round Down - When the task distance is displayed, the value is rounded down to the displayed precision. That way if the displayed distance is 300km you can be assured it is REALLY 300km and not 299.6km, for example, which might invalidate any flight distance award claims.
16. Added Support for Imperial Gallons (Myles Lemon) - Myles requested that Imperial Gallons be added for ballast units since some glider manuals use this for units.
17. Modified the Find Button Screen Order - It now is:
Final Glide-Waypoint List-Flt Info-Task Edit-Wind Info-Final Glide Setup-Moving Map
Doing this allows for easily switching between the Waypoint List and Final Glide Page with the Find button AND between Final Glide Page and Moving Map with the Home button. Given the confusion with getting to the waypoint list with the Calc button (in select mode), this seemed like a good thing to do.
18. Current MC Value Determination While Thermalling - The Current MC Value in Distance Optimization when thermalling is now determined based on the current MC setting and the averager value when thermalling began. Previously it was using the averager value while thermalling. The positive averager values would cause the altitude fields to show incorrect values. In addition, the saved averager value is also used to “kick start” the averager values when the program shifts from thermalling back into cruise mode.
19. GPS Disconnect Audible Alert - An audible alert will now be sounded if there is an active flight AND the software does not get data from the GPS. Depending on the speed of your PDA, it may take from 3 to 10 seconds for the software to make the “no data” determination. Once the alert begins sounding, it will continue to sound until the connection is restored or the “No Data” timeout value (described above) is reached and the flight logging is terminated.
20. Deactivating The Active Task No Longer Clears the Task Info-Previously, when you deactivated the active task and selected a GOTO waypoint, the taskpoints for that task would be cleared out of the “Active Task” slot in the Task Editor. It no longer does that but just deactivates the task.
21. In Range Waypoints Displayed in All Caps on Moving Map -If a waypoint is in gliding range, in addition to being displayed in bold and, if on a color screen, in green letters, it will also now be displayed with all capital letters. It does not actually change the waypoint label to all capital letters but just displays it that way. If someone makes their waypoint labels normally with all CAPS, they could get confused I guess but there isn’t much I can do about that plus the other indications are still valid.
22. “BL” No Longer Overlaps GPS Status Info - On the Final Glide screen, the “BL” (Backlight On) and “NO GPS”/”NOSATS” status indicators in the upper right hand corner of the screen no longer overlap. Note that I had to change “NO SATS” to just “NOSATS” to make things fit properly. I’m sure this will not be a difficult adjustment for everyone. :-)
23. Fixed Parsing of Wind Info from LX/Colibri - The parsing of the LXWP0 sentence from LX Navigation instruments was not parsing the wind information correctly. This has now been fixed.
24. Fixed a Problem Where Saving Your Configuration to DOC, Memo or Flash with the current mapscale set to something less than 1.0, it was only saving the value of “0”. So when you read it back in, the mapscale would be set to zero and could not be anything higher. I fixed the output and put in protection for the value getting read in as zero. If it is zero, it will set it to 2nm.
25. Fixed a Problem With the Wrap Around of the Waypoint List where it would display an empty page and say “No Waypoints” if there were enough waypoints to fill all the pages.
26. Fixed a Case Where a Blank Screen would be displayed when declaring a task to an EW logger.
27. Fixed a Bug with the Task Editor where removing an entry from the Active Task (even if it wasn’t active at the time) would reset any waypoint that was currently in use. Even if no waypoint was in use, it would cause unknown values to be displayed for the bearing and range on the Moving Map.
28. Fixed a problem with the Waypoint List when using a high resolution screen, the list would be displayed in a reduced size on the screen.

Version 1.9.0:

1. EW Logger Task Declaration Support - When a task is Activated or Re-Activated AND “EW” is selected as the Computer type on the NMEA Port screen, the user will be asked if the current task should also be declared to the attached EW datalogger as well. There are other additional dialogs which can be displayed during this declaration:

  1. “Transferring...” dialog will be displayed during the transfer
  2. “Declaration to EW Logger Succeeded!” dialog will be displayed if the transfer is successful
  3. “Declaration to EW Logger Failed” dialog will be displayed if any problems with the transfer are encountered
  4. “Too Many Turnpoints in Task” dialog is displayed if the current task has more than 6 turnpoints excluding the Takeoff and Landing turnpoints if defined in SoaringPilot. The EW only supports tasks with a max of 6 turnpoints including the Start and Finish turnpoints, and does not support the concept of Takeoff and Landing turnpoints.
  5. “Logger is active! Changing declaration could invalidate flight claim.” dialog will be displayed if you attempt to declare to the EW when the SP logger is active indicating that you are flying.
  6. “Clear Logger Task Declaration?” dialog is displayed if the ACTV button is selected from “Active Task” with no turnpoints in it. This is a convenient way to clear the current task declaration in the EW Logger.
  7. “Clear Declaration Failed” dialog will be displayed if item #6 fails for any reason.

2. Colibri Wind Can Now Be Used - If attached to a Colibri datalogger and “Colibri” is selected as the Computer Type on the NMEA/Port screen, the wind data from the Colibri/LX20 will be parsed and used instead of the internal wind calculations done but SP. If you do not wish to use the Colibri wind calculations, just unselect it as the computer type. Wind speed and direction are the only items being read in this mode. Pressure altitude will still be read if “Colibri” is selected as the Pressure Altitude source in either case.
3. Waypoint L/D Value Removed- This value on the Final Glide settings screen was no longer being used by the program. So it has now been removed.
4. On the Final Glide settings screen, the ToDo and Notepad buttons now increment/decrement the Safety Altitude value by 10 units depending on the units selected for altitude.
5. The “Pilot/Glider” screen has now been renamed to “IGC Info” on the menu. In addition, to support the EW task declaration, two new fields have been added to hold the user’s GPS Model and GPS Serial Number.
6. The GPS Model and GPS Serial Number are now outputted in the new IGC HFGPS line. The field they define are:
However, I ended up outputting it as:
The 12 is hardcoded and the altitude is empty. The other two fields aren’t exactly what they define but their just text fields anyway. Besides, SP can’t be an approved logger so what do I care? ;-)
7. Fixed a bug where the label for the the current turnpoint of a task would first be drawn with bold letters then over-drawn with regular letters. It should have just been drawn with regular letters indicating that it is out of range. This has now been corrected.
8. The “Cse/Spd” & “Bear/Rng” data and labels on the Final Glide screen have now been switched. This puts the Cse/Spd info in the same location on the screen for both the final glide and moving map screens.
9. It also has been brought to my attention that when I described the Task enhancements below, I forgot to include a description of the “T” and “L” options in the lower right hand corner of the screen. So the following is an attempt to take care of that: The “T” and “L” stand for Takeoff and Landing, respectively. If they are NOT selected, the first and last turnpoints in the list are then the Start and Finish turnpoints and treated accordingly. If you have “T” and/or “L” selected, then the first and/or last turnpoints would be treated as either a Takeoff and/or Landing point with the second and/or next to last turnpoints becoming the Start and Finish.

Version 1.8.9:

1. Fix for program crash if trying to read in nonexistent file from a Flash Card (Janos Bauer)
2. Fix for problem with the Wind Info screen where, if wind calculation is switched off and velocity unit is kph or mph, every time one comes to the wind info dialog, the value of wind direction gets manipulated(conversion factor for knots to kph)(Manfred Kargl)\ 3. Fix for how the field elevation value gets applied. The field elevation value was being added to altitude values rather than subtracted. It now is used properly. (Janos Bauer)
4. The Field Elevation value can now be entered for normal GPS altitude as well as the pressure altitude values. This allows you to change GPS altitude to an AGL approximation value. The only time the field elevation value isn’t used is when the Cambridge 302 is selected as the configured flight computer type. In that case, the true altitude value is read directly from the 302.

Version 1.8.8:

1. IGC “G” Record Addition and Validation - Even thought SoaringPilot’s logger is not an “IGC Approved” logger, I have added IGC “G” security records to the flight output. In addition, a DOS Validation program (VALI-XSP.exe) is now available on the Downloads page of the SoaringPilot webpage. This program can be used to validate and flight info output by version 1.8.8 and above. While the IGC and the US Racing rules do not allow SoaringPilot’s logger output to be used for flight verification, I have been approached by representatives from Canada, Slovenia and Brazil who believe that with the addition of the “G” lines and corresponding validation program, SoaringPilot’s logger output can be used in those countries for competitions. I applaud those individuals for having a realistic point of view on this topic and hope the rest of the soaring community will come to it’s senses as well.
2. HI-RES 320×320 Pixel Support on PalmOS 5.0 Units - On PalmOS 5.0 units with HI-RES screens, SoaringPilot will display the map in 320×320 mode providing a mode detailed map presentation.
3. Above/Below Glide Slope Arrow on Map - When in D.ALT altitude mode and a waypoint is selected, an UP or DOWN arrow will be displayed in the upper left corner of the screen below the Final Glide altitude and speed info. If on glide slope, nothing will be displayed.
4. Current McCready(MC) Value on the Moving Map - The current MC value is now displayed on the Moving Map. In addition, when in manual MC mode, the value can be changed from the moving map using the same buttons as the Final Glide screen (Right two hardware buttons - Todo and Notepad).
5. Button for Add New/Manual Waypoint from Moving Map Changed - To support the above MC value and configuration, the current button (Notepad) had to be changed. It is now the far left hardware button (Calendar).
6. Current Altitude Mode Displayed on Moving Map - The current altitude mode (DALT, RALT, AALT) is now displayed on the moving map as the label for the altitude.
7. Final Glide Altitude Mode Selectable from Moving Map - The current altitude mode can now be selected from the moving map. This is done by touching the area of the screen where the final glide altitude and label are being displayed. When touched, the area with be displayed in inverse mode then will return to normal when the mode is changed. As described above, the label for the FG altitude will also change.
8. All Final Glide Info on the Moving Map Moved to Bottom of Screen - When a waypoint is selected, the recommended final glide altitude, speed, current MC setting and Above/Below GS Arrow will now be displayed at the bottom of the screen instead of the in the upper left hand corner. In addition, the values have been grouped with the similar types of values currently on the bottom of the screen. Altitude values are together, as are speed values. The current MC value is displayed above the current course value (CSE) and the Above/Below GS Arrow is placed above the Map Scale value when in D.ALT mode.
9. Sign of the Headwind Value - There is now an option on the Wind Info screen which allows you to configure whether the Headwind value on the Final Glide screen is shown as positive(+) for HW and negative(-) for TW (this is the current orientation and the default value) OR negative (-) for HW and positive(+) for TW.
10. Waypoint In-Range/Out-of-Range Status Displayed on Moving Map - This is an item that has been requested several times. When on the moving map, waypoints that are In Range are displayed with their label in Bold letters. Those that are Out-of-Range are displayed with their labels in normal letters. This determinization was made using the normal STF calculations. There is one MAJOR caveat about this item. The most accurate method for making this determination proved to degrade the map update rate significantly. However, by making one small change, the determination of In Range or not became slightly less accurate but restore the speed to the 1.8.7 level. With the more accurate method, a maximum glide distance value was being calculated using values to make that distance as large as possible within the bounds of the STF calcs. This max distance was then used when drawing the waypoints. If their current distance was outside this value, then they would be drawn with normal text as out of range. However, it is possible that some of the waypoints may lie within a boundary area that would make them theoretically unattainable even though they fall within the max distance. The max distance value is calculated using a direction which applies any wind as a direct tailwind. If the waypoint should lie upwind of your position, it may not be attainable. The most accurate method for making this decision is to use the max distance value to get rid of those waypoints that are definitely too far away, then use the STF calculations for each of the waypoints within the max distance using the actual direction, elevation and current MC values for those calculations. However, it was this additional work on each of those waypoints which was affecting map performance. It does not make the moving map totally unusable but it does slow down how often it gets updated to a point where some might find it significant. Others may not. So to allow for this, a setting has been added to the “Map” Configuration screen called “Accurate InRng Calc.” If you select this option, then you will be getting the more accurate calculations described above. If it is unselected, it will just be performing the in range check using the max distance value. I do not feel that using the less accurate calculations is a bad thing, you will just need to be a little wary of heading for a waypoint near the fringes of the ones with Bold letters.
11. Waypoint In/Out of Range Status Displayed in Color - If you are using a PDA with a color screen, in addition to the above Bold or Normal text as described above, the text will also be displayed in either Red, for out of range, or Green for in range. This is my first foray into color support. I will add more as time goes on.
12. New Stored Configuration Items Added - Configuration items have been added for the following items and will be stored when the program is exited. The screen where they can be found is shown in parentheses:

  1. SUA Max Altitude (SUA Config)
  2. SUA Active/Inactive Types (SUA Config)
  3. Data Transfer Type (NMEA/Port Config)
  4. Use GPS Time To Set Palm Time (Units Config)
  5. Display Wind Arrow on Map (Map Config)
  6. Final Glide Info on Map (Map Config) This includes the final glide altitude and recommended speed as well as the above/below glide slope arrows if in D.ALT mode.
  7. HW/TW Sign.

13. Waypoint List Calculates Initial Page Values - When you switch to the waypoint list page, the range, bearing and altitude values for the seven displayed items are now calculated before the page is displayed. Previously, the items would be displayed but the values could be wrong until the background recalculation catches up and updates them.
14. Fixed a problem where the setting of PDA time from the GPS was consuming excessive CPU usage.
15. Fixed a problem in the logger where the previous log entry would be corrupted on the next flight if a task is activated before the logger begins logging.
16. Fixed a problem with reading in data from through the serial port which was introduced with the addition of Memo/DOC/Flash Card functionality.
17. Fixed a problem where not all fields of the waypoint structure were getting initialized correctly when a manual waypoint was created from the moving map. This had the possibility to crash the PDA requiring a “paperclip” reset.
18. Fixed a problem with the wind calculations which could result in a wind speed value which is abnormally high.

Version 1.8.7:

1. If you had previously read in SUA data prior to version 1.8.6, you will need to delete the SUA data and read it in again. The pre-processing of SUA data was modified to make the plot/no-plot decision more efficient.
2. Incorrect Final Glide Around Turnpoint Calculations - Again, the calculations for the final glide around a turnpoint just weren’t quite correct. With Paul Gleeson’s help, I believe it is now correct.
3. Memory Card Insert Event Fix - Fixed one other bug with the memory card insert/removal events. It wasn’t seeing the insert/VFS mount events. Those events are used to determine whether the “Card” option is displayed on the NMEA/Port config page. Now, if on the that page and you insert or remove the card, the “Card” button will be displayed or removed as appropriate. In addition, Sander van den Berg uses a HandEra 330 and he confirms that the VFS code works just fine on his PDA.

Version 1.8.6:

1. Incorrect Final Glide Around Turnpoint Calculations - The calculations for the final glide around a turnpoint were not using the correct start altitude. This has been fixed and the altitude value in the FGA field now displays the correct value for all three altitude modes. Special Thanks to Paul Gleeson for catching the problem and helping get it right through a couple of iterations.

Version 1.8.5:

1. Borgelt B50 Selection Bug - When Borgelt was selected, it would change the Polar Potential value to 0. Normally the program only allows this value to go down to 75%. However, this value is used in the Speed to fly calcs and a 0 value gave some VERY bad values which caused the program to freeze. So now, it correctly maintains what was there before. Thanks to Mark Fisher
2. Task AREA Turnpoint Display Bug - Fixed a problem when AREA turnpoints were used in a Task, the correct areas would not be displayed with the correct turnpoint locations. Thanks to Alessandro Cremonesi
3. Single “HOME” Waypoint Enforcement - The program will now attempt to ensure that only one waypoint has the “HOME” attribute selected. When reading a waypoint (.dat) file, the first waypoint found with the HOME attribute will be used. If any additional waypoints have the attribute set, the waypoints will still be read and stored but will not be stored with the HOME attribute set. When editing waypoints in SoaringPilot, if the user selects the HOME attribute for a waypoint and saves it, all other waypoints will be cleared of the HOME attribute if selected.
4. Final Glide Around A Turnpoint - The L/D field has now been replaced with a field which shows the final glide altitude around a turnpoint. In it’s most basic usage, this will allow you to select somewhere to fly and to have some idea how much altitude is required to fly there and home. This is something I have regularly wanted to know when flying around my home airport. I hope others find this useful as well. This field can show one of two altitude values depending on whether a task is active or a single “GOTO” waypoint has been selected.

  • Single “GOTO” Waypoint - The altitude will represent the required altitude to achieve the current waypoint PLUS the altitude required to fly from the selected waypoint to the current “HOME” waypoint.
  • Active Task Turnpoint - The altitude will represent the required altitude to achieve the current turnpoint PLUS the altitude required to fly from the current turnpoint to the finish turnpoint.
  • The calculated altitude is based on the STF calculations using the current recommended (”*”) speed value (Speed. Opt. = Current MC Value, Dist. Opt =Current MC + Current Avg Sink.). In addition, the relative wind for both the course to and from the waypoint/turnpoint is used.
  • In both cases, the Safety Altitude is considered for both turnpoints. However, if the current waypoint/turnpoint is the HOME waypoint or Finish Turnpoint, respectively, the safety altitude is only used once.

5. New Data Input/Output Options - One of the areas of the program that I routinely get questions and problem requests on is the actual data transfer to and from the program. Additionally, I regularly get asked about USB and/or IR support. In an attempt to provide wider transfer support options, in addition to the serial port, I have now added support for the reading and writing of the following sources. There is now a selection option for the Data portion on the NMEA/Port setup screen. More detail is provided for each option however in general, all data that can currently be outputted to the serial port can now also be saved to any of the below options as well. Once saved, the data can also be read from the same sources. In addition, using these new formats, data can now be uploaded and/or downloaded from the Palm PDA via any connection method supported by the Palm Desktop (serial, USB, network, IR, etc.). The data read does not have to originate from SoaringPilot. This also allows for the user to upload data in one of these formats and then have it read into the program. This also allows for the saved data to be downloaded from the Palm as well.

  • Filenames - Before discussing the details of each new transfer method, I have to cover file naming. Each data type which can be outputted by SP has now been given a specific filename which will be used when outputting the data. More importantly, these are also the file names that SP will be looking for when reading data back into the program. This was done to simplify the the input/output functionality for the user as well as to alleviate the need for adding file selection windows to SoaringPilot. Note: that when outputting individual flights, SP now creates and uses a legal IGC filename as defined by the standard. This is similar to the functionality found in SPTerm. The following table shows each type, whether it can be inputted and or outputted, and the required name:
Data Type Req. Filename In Out
Configuration config.scg X X
Waypoints waypoints.dat X X
Polars polars.spl X X
Tasks tasks.spt X X
All Flights allflightdata.igc X
Individual Flight IGC Name X
SUA Data suadata.sua X
  • MemoPad - All data can be outputted to entries which can be read/edited by the MemoPad application on the Palm. Then during Hotsync, the data will be hotsynced as well. For instance, you could output the configuration from SP using MemoPad format. Then if you exit SP and run MemoPad, you will see the data in the list of memos. In the MemoPad case, the first line of every memo is used as the title. So for MemoPad files, the appropriate file name is added as the first line of the file. In this case, you would see an entry called “*config.scg”. If this entry is selected, you will see the contents of the entry. If you wish you could now modify the contents, save the changes and then read the configuration back into the program. Or, once a hotsync operation is performed, the data could be edited on the user’s PC. Note that there is an asterisks (”*”) before the name of the file. When reading the memopad entry, this tells the program to treat that line as a comment and not attempt to parse it with the normal parsing for that data type. However, for SP to find this data properly, the filename MUST be the first line the MemoPad entry and it MUST have an asterisks preceding it.
  • There is one MAJOR drawback to using the MemoPad though. The MemoPad application requires each entry to be a size of 4KB or less. This is fine for Configuration, a few Polars, a few Waypoints or a few SUA entries. However, larger data cannot use this method. In fact, flight output is disallowed completely. If other, larger amounts of data are outputted, the data will be broken into multiple MemoPad entries leaving it to the user to put them back together after hotsync. So the usefulness of the MemoPad is a bit limited but still can be useful as an easy means backing up configuration data and reading it back in.
  • DOC File Format - This transfer method makes use of a file format called the PalmDOC format or just DOC for short. Most electronic books are published in this format and there are many free or inexpensive eBook readers for the Palm. The nice thing about this format is that the actual file size is essentially limited to the amount of RAM available on the PDA. Thus, this format can be used for reading and/or writing of all data types including flight data (IGC) output. The names of these DOC files will/must match the names listed above. However, unlike the MemoPad entries, the filename does not have to be the first line of the file. In the case of IGC output, it CANNOT be the first line as there is no concept of a comment line in an IGC file.

6. Infrared (IR) - This is also a new data transfer option and essentially sends data just like the serial port. This works VERY well from one Palm/PDA to another. However, it does not work well with Windows 2000 and above because Microsoft removed direct support for Serial IR from the operating system. There is an Open Source project called IrCOMM2k( which looks very promising for providing virtual COM to IR functionality. I have tested the latest released version and it is possible to get data to be transferred. However, you must be VERY patient and ensure that the IR connection is opened before you attempt to send data. Their webpage talks about a 2.0 version which looks like it will have several improvements. I am hopeful that the product will become more usable in the future. I have been told though that this serial IR functionality works very well with Linux. Also, if you have still have Win95/98, you may find this option useful as well.
7. Several Usability Enhancements from David Lane

  • Touching any one of the following “labels” or “fields” on the Final Glide screen takes you to the Waypoint List screen in the same way that touching the silkscreen calculator button does:
    • WPT: label
    • The waypoint field
    • Rmk: label
    • The remark field
    • Bear/Rng: label
    • The bearing or range fields
  • Touching either the following “labels” or “fields” on the Final Glide screen takes you to the Wind Info screen:
    • HW
    • The head wind field
  • The Wind Info screen now contains two fields which are duplicates of those found on the Final Glide Setup screen:
    • Calculate Wind Info
    • Update Final Glide Headwind

8. Polar Calculations Used for All Altitude Calculations -All calculated altitude values now make use of the Polar STF equations. This includes the altitudes on the final glide, waypoint list and moving map screens. Thus the L/D value on the Final Glide configuration page is only used as a secondary calculation if the STF calculations should fail (ex. no polar data)
9. GPS Time Used to Set PDA Time - The received GPS time is now used to automatically set the time on the PDA. It will only set the time when the GPS has a good satellite lock. Currently this is not a configurable item. Because of this it is very important to set the timezone value on the Units Setup screen. Since the GPS outputs GMT, the timezone value is used to set the Palm time to the correct, local time.
10. True Wind Arrow On Moving Map - I believe this was actually in 1.8.4 but it wasn’t documented in the release notes. The moving map now displays an arrow indicating which direction the wind is actually coming from relative to the glider’s direction of flight. In addition, the actual calculated wind speed is shown on the end of the arrow.
11. Moving Map Usable Without GPS Signal Lock - Previously, the map was usable when no GPS was attached. Now it is also usable when the GPS is attached and turned on while it does not have a signal lock.

Version 1.84:

  1. Cambridge 302 Support. When selected on the NMEA/Port screen, the following support for the 302 is enabled:
    1. Parsing Support/Usage
      1. Pressure Altitude
      2. Vector Wind Speed and Direction (True Wind)
      3. Component Wind
      4. True Altitude
      5. True Airspeed
      6. Average Vario
    2. 2-Way Interaction - Changes made for these values on either the 302 or in SoaringPilot are changed/reflected in the other.
      1. McCready Setting
      2. Ballast
      3. Bugs (Not currently settable on the 302 or used in the 302’s calculations)
    3. Intend to provide further support for the 302 in the future including:
      1. Transfer of polar info from SP to the 302
      2. Transfer of Flight Logs from the 302 to SP for later transfer to a PC. Intend for this support to include transferring to a memory card if available using VFS (PalmOS 4.X and above)
      3. Transfer of an Activated Task into the 302 as the Declared Task
  2. Special Use Airspace (SUA) Support. SUA files using the Tim Newport-Peace format (same as used by Cambridge PalmNav) can now be read into SoaringPilot. They will then be displayed on the moving map. This is done through the “Transfers” page. In addition, you can turn off the various types of SUA’s from the new SUA configuration page. For safety reasons, all SUA types are turned on when the program is first run. Also on the SUA configuration page is an “Only Display Below” altitude. Any SUA’s with a base of less than the entered value will be displayed on the moving map.
    1. Important Note: As I suspected, because of their relative complexity, displaying SUA’s does indeed have an impact on the refresh rate of the moving map. I have tested it on a Sony Clie with a 33 Mhz CPU, Afterburner’d to 42 Mhz), with the SUA’s for the Norfolk, Virginia area loaded (Norfolk Int, Oceana NAS, Norfolk NAS, Langley AFB, Patrick Henry Field, etc. Total of 33 SUA’s with 177 points), and while the map is still quite usable, the slowdown is still noticable. For this reason, I would keep the number of SUA items to an absolute minimum. In fact, if you are using an older Palm PDA (less than 20 MHz CPU without Afterburner), I would not try to use more than a handful of SUA’s. Even then, I would keep them as simple as possible. Displaying a wave window or exclusion area should not cause any problems with these PDA‘s but anything more complex may impact performance too much. On the positive side though, I’ve test this on the PalmOS 5.0 simulator and the performance is outstanding. My advice is that if you are considering buying a new Palm PDA that you wait and buy one of the new ARM-based PDA‘s later this fall.
    2. A good starting source for SUA data is
    3. For the United States, I would suggest using the Airspace program with the US DAFIF files. These are routinely updated allowing you to easily keep your information up-to-date. For you Europeans, a partner program called Eurospace does the same thing. For the South American, Australian and New Zealand-ers, John Leibacher was also going to check with Carl Ekdahl (programmer for Airspace and Eurospace) to see if he would created similar programs for those areas of the world.
  3. Other SUA/Mapping Enhancements - The plotting of SUA data is now about 5-10 times faster. Very cool!
    1. Fixed a problem with parsing SUA types. Was not catching those items marked as CLASS B, C, D, or E. They were getting marked as generic CTA’s. Thus they would not get turned off if those class values were deselected on the SUA settings page.
    2. Integer-Based Sector Plotter - I finally found a good integer-based sector/arc plotter. For you tech types, it is based on Bresenham’s algorithm. This has increased the speed of plotting sectors by many times. It is remakable how much faster it is. The best thing is that this speed increase comes even though the entire sector is now being plotted instead of just a series of dots like it was before. They look just like the other circles and poly lines. It really is impressive how much faster this algorithm is. The downside is that at high zoom level (0.5 nm & 0.25 nm) the plotting of sectors can become skewed.
    3. Integer-Based Sine and Cosine Functions - With the help of some code from the Embedded Systems webpage (, all sine and cosine calculations are now using integer approximations instead of the normal floating point functions. For the tech types, since the Palm doesn’t have a math coprocessor, doing normal sine and cosine calculations requires a significant amount of processing time from the main CPU to accomplish. Integer-based versions, while still using the main CPU, require less processing time. For everyone else, this means that these calculations are now significantly faster. Why does this make any difference? If you remember your right triangle trigonometry homework from high school, sine and cosine are used to calculate the X and Y component values for a line of a given angle. This is required for the plotting of every object on the map. Thus by increasing the speed of the calculations, all map plotting is now faster as well as almost all general range and bearing calculations on other screens. Again....Very Cool!
  4. Plotting of Waypoints and SUA Data Turned Off When Thermalling - In an effort to increase the plotting speed of the map while thermalling, the plotting of waypoints and SUA data is turned off when the program switches into THERMAL mode. It does continue to draw the waypoint connecting line, track trail and, if activated, the task.
  5. More L/D Display Info - This field has certainly been the subject of quite a bit of debate. I am also not sure how useful it is but for now it will remain. The next version will probably allow the user to select from a couple of options for the bottom field on the final glide screen. I have changed the calculations slightly for this version making it a bit more stable. Not perfect but a bit more stable. Here are the changes:
    1. Updated every 10 seconds rather than every position update. This allows the distance traveled to be a bit larger before making the calculation. This should make it more accurate.
    2. L/D Field changes to “TH” when in Thermal mode.
  6. Backlight Status. If the backlight is on, the letter “BL” will be displayed in inverse mode just below the number of sattelites on the Final Glide page.
  7. Backlight Activation Protection - The power button now must be selected twice within 2 seconds before the backlight is toggled either on or off as appropriate. This is to help protect against the backlight being turned on inadvertantly and running the battery in the PDA down faster.
  8. Moving Map Usable Without GPS. The moving map will now display even when a GPS is not attached. When the program first starts, it searches the waypoint database for the first waypoint with the type attribute of “HOME”. If found, then it will use this waypoint as the starting point for the glider location on the map.
  9. Altitude Calculation Correction. The arrival altitude calculations on the Final Glide and Waypoint List now properly use the component wind for the direction from the current location to the selected waypoint instead of from the current location using the currect course over ground.
  10. Calc Wind Info & Update Final Glide Headwind Options now NOT Linked. If you turn off the Calc Wind Option, it does uncheck the Update option. However, now you can just re-check the Update option without the Calc Wind Option being checked. This allows you to manually enter a wind speed and direction on the Wind page and it will be used for the various calculations.
  11. Reformatted Final Glide Screen - As I said in a previous email, with input from Dave Robertson (fellow TSS member) I have reformatted the final glide screen. I believe the layout is now much easier to read. As you will see, this has allowed for the L/D field to move over to the right hand column.
  12. Final Glide Screen Waypoint Direction Arrow -This is pretty cool if I do say so myself. The reformatting also allowed enough room to implement a direction arrow which continually points in the direction of the selected waypoint or turnpoint. This has been a requested enhancement from several users. With the additional space and the fact that it really wasn’t that difficult to implement, it has now been added. I hope you find it useful. I wasn’t sure how useful I would find it but I now believe it is pretty nice to have.
  13. Delete Warning Windows for Waypoints & Polars - A warning dialog is now displayed when delete is selected on the Waypoint or Polar editor screens allowing the user to cancel the operation if it was selected inadvertantly.
  14. Polar Potential(Bugs) Not Applied At Program Start & New Polar is Selected - If a polar potential value of less than 100% is entered, the value will not be used automatically when the program is exited and run again, or if a new Polar value is selected. This has now been corrected to use the entered value. This was a potentially major bug found by Paul Gleeson.
  15. Moving Map Waypoint Altitude Display - If a waypoint is selected for use, the altitude value (based on the current altitude mode) for that waypoint will be displayed in the upper left corner of the screen just below the bearing to the waypoint. This altitude, like the altitude values on the waypoint list screen, is based on the Manual L/D value from the Final Glide settings screen.
  16. Several bug fixes including a couple which could cause the program to crash.

Version 1.83:

  1. Fixed SEVERAL problems in the Task editor. A couple of the problems were bad enough to cause the program to lockup unexpectedly requiring a reset of the Palm. (Pedja Bogdanovich)
  2. Deconflicted the duplicate shortcuts on the menus
  3. Fixed problem where uploading data without comments at the beginning of file would cause the first item to not be parsed. Comments are now not required.
  4. The total distance on the Task Editor will now not includes the distances from/to any designated Takeoff (”T”) and Landing (”L) points.
  5. Fixed a problem with the flights drop down list on the Flight Info and Transfer screens which would lockup the program if no flights had yet been logged. (Nick Sanders)
  6. Allow waypoints in Cambridge/Winpilot format to be fight padded to 80 columns. This is how the Welts2000 program outputs waypoints in this format. (Jef Peeraer)
  7. Graph button was always graphing the wrong flight data if the program was still connected to and receiving data from a GPS. This has now been fixed. (John Mittell)
  8. Remaining Auto-Update windows will now not corrupt the menu when it is opened. This includes Flight Info, Wind Info and Waypoint List.
  9. The Flight Info drop down list will now update properly if on the page when the flight ends.
  10. Worked around a problem with the logger not saving the flight info correctly when the Satellite lock is lost. Found that some GPS’ continue to output the UTC when the lock is lost and some do not. Now if the lock is lost, the Palm’s time will be used corrected for the timezone based on the timezone value on the Units Setup page. So ensure that the timezone is configured correctly. (Hans Van Weersch)
  11. Added an “Are you sure?” window at program exit to help keep from inadvertantly exiting the program due to a mis-selection on the Nav menu.

Version 1.82:

  1. Fixed the battery status indicator on the Final Glide Page which was getting corrupted when displaying a battery level less than 10 percent.
  2. Battery status will now replace the “B” with a “C” if the PDA is being re-charged. (suggestion from Hans Van Weersch)
  3. Fixed the problem where a new turnpoint could not be added to the “Active Task” if it was empty.
  4. Increased the number of decimal places displayed in the radius values for the Task configuration from 2 to 3 places. This was done to help conversion problems where the radius values must be entered in statute miles but the users wishes to operate with distance units of nautical miles. This will probably be changed in the future to support separate units for radius values but I didn’t want to change the configuration structure now and force everyone to reenter their data.
  5. Fixed a problem where the end of task was not correctly being determined when using a circular (beer can) finish type.
  6. Because of problem 5, the end of task sound was continually being sounded while in the finish region. This has also been fixed.
  7. Fixed a task start issue where the task would not get marked started properly if the task as activated when A) the flight hadn’t started yet and B) the current position was within in range of the start point.
  8. Fixed a problem in the Altitude vs. Time display which would cause the program to lockup if attempting to display a flight with more than 5 characters in the altitude (ex. 9,999 vs. 10,000).
  9. Fixes several problems with the Flight Info page information. The page will now display the proper data for the given timezone setting taking into account changes in the UTC day as well as changes in the date due to the timezone driving the time into the next or previous date from the UTC date. (Thanks to Stuart Smith for catching this)
  10. In addition, if the Flight Info screen is being displayed, the flight drop down list will be properly changed to reflect the new flight and the “GRAPH” button will be re-displayed.
  11. Fixed a pretty major problem with plotting sectors for turnpoints on the moving map. This was not a problem for plotting full circles.
  12. All three soft buttons on the waypoints list screen will now be displayed immediatly. Previously, the two distance sort buttons were not displayed until all the waypoints had their bearing/range/altitude values re-calculated. This could take a long time if several hundred waypoints were loaded, especially on a slower PDA. While the buttons are not displayed, please be aware that you should switch to the waypoint list and give it 5-10 seconds to recalculate the currently displayed waypoints before trusting the calculated information being displayed.
  13. As with the Final Glide Page, the Flight Info screen also now NOT corrupt the menu items when the menu is being displayed. Still have to add this to the Wind Info and Waypoint List screens.

Version 1.81:

  1. Fixed a potential program crash if you added a new waypoint from the moving map using the Notepad button, then tried to select the “AREA” attribute for the new waypoint. (Thanks to Louw Pieters)
  2. On the Final Glide Screen, the menu will not get overwritten by an update to the underlying text. This currently only applies to the Final Glide Page but will be extended to all screens which update dynamically. Palm doesn’t make it terribly easy to do this but figure out a way.
  3. New Altitude vs. Time Graph - When SP is not currently logging data, a new “GRAPH” button will be displayed at the bottom of the Flight Info Screen. When this button is selected, a new screen is displayed which will plot the currently selected flight in a Altitude vs. Time graph. The maximum altitude is shown at the location on the graph where it occurred, and the start and stop times are shown along the bottom of the graph for the beginning and ending of the graph. As I said, the GRAPH button is ONLY displayed if the program is not actively logging a flight. That means that this new feature for the “Post-Flight-On-The-Ground-Bragging-Rights” portion of a flight. It is disabled while logging is active and thus while in flight, so as to keep from providing a distraction in the air. In addition, long flights can take a few seconds to plot and would affect the reception of serial data from the GPS. Other graphs may be provided in the future but this is the main one I wanted to implement.
  4. Re-Enabled returning to the Final Glide screen from the Waypoint List screen using the Applications silkscreen button.
  5. A new version of the pre-canned polars database is included as well with the SGS 1-34 polar information corrected. Note that loading this file WILL overwrite your current information. So if you are happy with your current polar info, I would NOT suggest loading this file.

Version 1.8:

  1. Polar Database w/ full read/write support (Thanks to David Lane) . Including a pre-compiled list (70 so far) of glider polars using the attached .pdb file.
  2. Full Task Support w/Moving Map plotting and full read/write support both in the waypoint file as well as within the flight output. Includes support for “Area” tasks by using the new “Area” waypoint type.
  3. Turnpoint completion tones with separate tones for completion of Task Start, Turnpoint and Task Finish.
  4. Area waypoint output with normal .dat format using additional info. Should not cause problems with programs which do not support this additional information. Will attempt to get various display programs to add support for this additional info (area radius, left/right bearing if needed and ceiling value)
  5. Full Borgelt B50 Support and framework for adding support for other similar Super Varios.(Thanks to Marc Ramsey)
  6. Fixed/Improved Wind Calculations (Thanks to Marc Ramsey)
  7. New “Transfer” page consolidates all data input/output functions (Thanks to David Lane)
  8. QNH/Field Elevation setting available when using Pressure altitudes. (Thanks to Didier Kuttel)
  9. Reworked window ordering and button usage to standardize for all screens. See below for more details.
  10. Sony Clie fix/support - (Thanks to Hans Van Weersch) Program will now use New Serial Manager for versions of PalmOS which supports it (PalmOS 3.2 and above). Old Serial manager calls will be used for older versions. All PalmOS versions of 3.0 and above still supported.
  11. Pressure Altitude Support for LX Colibri and Garmin Etrex Summit
  12. Fix for parsing Waypoints in meters as well as the problem described above.
  13. New Altitude Display of difference between required and current (D.ALT) (Didier Kuttel)
  14. Flight Info Page Automatically Updates and includes Task times as well.
  15. Support for both FAI and WGS84 earth flattening models in the Task definition using the FAI’s approved calculations.
  16. Loss of GPS signal doesn’t immediately stop the logging of a flight. It now uses the timeout value on the Logger configuration page and will wait that number of seconds for the signal to be restored before stopping the flight. Loss of signal will be properly marked in the Flight Output.
  17. MANY other internal fixes and enhancements.
  18. Detailed Description/Usage:
    1. Window Ordering & Standardized Button Usage - For the window ordering, the moving map screen is now right after the final glide page in the Find button order. There is also a second Find button chain for all other screens not in the primary chain of screens. As before, the primary find button chain contains only the screens which might be necessary for access in flight. To access the secondary chain, you must manually change to one of those screens (not too difficult but shouldn’t be required in flight), then you can use the Find button to switch between all of the screens. For the button standardization:
      1. Applications silkscreen button - Now changes the display to Final Glide screen no matter what screen you are on. This allows you to quickly return to the final glide screen. If you are on the Final Glide Page and the Application button is pressed, it will switch to the Moving map. Combine this with the moving map being second in the chain, you can use either button to easily toggle between the two screens. This capability was possible in 1.71 as well using the hotsync button. However, most users do not have a hotsync button on their connection cables so this provided only limited user support although it is still available in this version. This button now provides this capability for all users.
      2. Calculator silkscreen button - This button is now dedicated to switching to the waypoint list for those screens that require it for waypoint/turnpoint selection. Those screens include the Final Glide, Moving Map and Task Editor.
      3. Notepad hardware button - Along with the other functions assigned to this button in previous versions, when on the Moving Map, this button now replaces the function assigned to the Calculator button for creating a new waypoint at the current location.
  19. Polar Database - This replacement for the old Polar screen is pretty self-explanatory with the View/Edit, New & Delete buttons at the bottom of the screen. Whichever polar is selected becomes the active polar used by the calculations. As I said above, you will also find a pre-built polar database attached. I would suggest hotsyncing the .pdb file into your palm right after loading version 1.8. It’s actually interesting to see the performance difference between various glider types. For instance a Nimbus 3 can REALLY go along way on a thousand feet!!!
  20. Full Task Support - This includes a Task Editor and display of the task on the Moving Map. The definition of a takeoff and landing point in addition to the start and finish points is also supported. For the moving map display, the task depiction can include a start/finish (separately configured) line or circle, turnpoint FAI sector, Circle or Both. The defined active task is used to automatically change the active turnpoint upon completion of the previous turn point. Additional turnpoints can easily be added to an active task while in flight with just a couple of user actions. In addition, turnpoint completion tones are included with separate tones for completion of Task Start, Turnpoint and Task Finish.
    1. Here is the definition of the various buttons used to interact with the task editor as well as for interacting with the active task from other screens:
      • Applications (Arrow) silkscreen button - Return to the Final Glide Screen
      • Calculator Silkscreen button - Delete the highlighted waypoint from a task OR Add Waypoints to a task. Gets added after the highlighted waypoint. User is presented with a dialog window when the button is pressed asking whether the ADD or Delete action show be done. Cancel is also available. ADD is the default action which means you can simple press the Calculator silkscreen button again and it will switch to the waypoint list to allow you to add a new waypoint/turnpoint after the currently highlighted one.
      • Schedule/Calendar Hardware button - Add a new Task
      • Phone/Address Book Hardware button - Copy current task to a new task and switch to the new/copied task
      • Notepad Hardware button - Delete current task. If it is the “Active Task” it simply clears the task thereby deactivating an active task. An “Are You Sure” dialog window is presented with CANCEL being the default action.
      • Up/Down arrows on the screen - Move currently highlighted waypoint up or down in the current task.
      • PageUp/Down Hardware buttons - Down goes down one page of waypoints. Once it gets to the bottom of the current task, will switch to the next Task. Page Up button does the opposite.
      • ToDo Hardware button - Reverses the order of the waypoints in the current task.
      • ACTV/REACT button on the screen - If you are on a task other than the Active Task, it copies the current task to the Active Task and activates it. If you change the “Active Task”, the ACTV button becomes the REACT button telling you that you must hit the button to activate the changes.
      • If you hit the Calculator silkscreen button from either the Final Glide or Moving Map screens and there is an Active Task, you are presented with dialog window asking you if you want to add a waypoint you are going to select, to the Active task (added before the current waypoint in the active task thereby becoming the active waypoint in the task) or deactivate/clear the active task and simply add it as a goto waypoint.
      • While adding support for tasks, I also added a new AREA waypoint type to try to support the new area task type being used this year. In the waypoint editor, if you select AREA as a type, it will allow you to enter a sector (if they are the same, you get a circular sector) and an outer radius. Then if you add this waypoint to a task it will be drawn as the area you defined overriding the turnpoint type settings from the Task Config window.
      • On the Map Config window, you will also find four push buttons (1, 2, 3 & ALL)to allow for tailoring the task display. When you have a task defined and configured to display the task on the map, it will always draw a connecting line between all of the waypoints in the task. However, the pushbuttons define how many of the waypoints will be drawn with it’s associated additional decorations (sector, line, circle, etc.). I did this to lower the overhead of drawing the task to try to keep the map redraw usable on slower palm pilots. Even on my Palm Vx, when I was drawing the decorations for all waypoints, it had a significant impact on the map performance and could sometimes cause problems parsing the incoming NMEA stream. This is especially the case when configured to draw FAI sectors. I have a very fast algorithm to draw full circles but sectors must currently be calculated through trig functions which have a significant impact on the performance. So to help alleviate this impact, the push buttons allow for the following:
        • ALL - Self-explanatory
        • 1 - Draw only the next waypoint, the one you are currently headed for.
        • 2 - Draw the next waypoint plus the previous. This allows you to see the info of the last and next waypoints.
        • 3 - Draws the next and previous waypoint plus the one after the current waypoint. This allows you to see where you are headed after you attain the current waypoint.
  21. Area Waypoint Type - In addition to the description above in the task section, the program will also allow for the output of this additional area information in the waypoint output. Using a format similar to the Cambridge dataport guide’s definition of this data for the Remarks of their internal “C” line, if the waypoint is designated as an AREA waypoint, when the data is output into a .dat file, an additional field will be added to the end of the line for that waypoint. This information is output with both the Waypoint and Task output formats. I will be submitting these additions to the various display programs so they will hopefully add support for displaying these area waypoints/turnpoints. The format for this additional data is:
    • 003000000000030270
    • First 4 characters - Radius in nautical miles - In this case 3.0 nautical miles
    • Next 4 characters - Floor of the area (not used by Soaring Pilot at this time)
    • Next 4 characters - Ceiling of the area (not used by Soaring Pilot at this time)
    • Next 3 characters - Left Radial of the area (use 000 if not needed)
    • Next 3 characters - Right Radial of the area (use 000 if not needed)
  22. Full Borgelt B50 Support - Thanks to some very good work by Marc Ramsey, the following information is derived either directly or indirectly from the B50. If the B50 is selected from the “Computer” picklist on the NMEA/Port screen, and Base MC, Percent Performance (Bug Factor) or Percent Ballast values differ from the values received in the last PBB50 sentence, the values are updated with the values from the B50. If the final glide or final glide settings form is active, the fields are also updated. If the B50 is selected, the ground speed values passed to wind calculations are adjusted to use the True Airspeed value from the B50. In addition, the lift calculations will use the vario reading from the B50 for average lift and average thermal lift. The final glide screen has also been modified in general to display the current thermal average (updated continuously while climbing) in place of current lift. The current lift measurement is not terribly accurate or useful when GPS altitude or pressure altitude from a logger is being used. The current average lift (approx. 30 seconds) is still available and having updated thermal average can be very helpful in determining when to leave a thermal.
  23. Fixed/Improved Wind Calculations - While implementing the B50 support, Marc also determined that the average wind calculations would produce an inaccurate direction value if the current wind directions were at or near 000 degrees. This has been fixed and should be more accurate.
  24. New “Transfer” Page - Many thanks to David Lane for ALOT of very good work on this window. This new page consolidates all data input/output functions for the programs. From one screen, you can now input/output flight data (all or single flight, output only), waypoints, polars, tasks and general configuration data. With the exception of Config data, you can also delete all data for the various types as well. To use the window, simply select the data type to output and the appropriate buttons will be available. The Receive/Stop button functions the same as described in online user’s manual.
  25. QNH/Field Elevation Setting - With some help from Didier Kuttel, if configured to use a source of pressure altitude (Volkslogger, Colibri, etc.) on the NMEA/Port Config window, a Field elevation entry field is displayed. The value filled into this field is then applied to all display and calculations however the actual pressure altitude value stored into the flight log data. This field may be filled in through graffiti or the keyboard OR you may use the Page UP and Down buttons to increment/decrement the field. The increment is 1 however you can hold down the up or down button and the field changes pretty fast. This screen is not currently on the primary button chain as it seemed like this would be a value that would get filled in before takeoff and probably not changed in flight. If this is an incorrect assumption, please let me know.
  26. New Altitude Difference Display - This is a new (third option, D.ALT, along with R.ALT and D.ALT) option when on the final glide page and the column label for the final glide altitudes is selected. When in this mode the difference between required and current altitude is shown. This essentially will show you how far above or below the required glide slope or altitude needed to attain the current distance.
  27. Automatic Flight Info Screen Updates - When the Flight Info screen is being displayed and a flight is active, the various time fields will update automatically. Also, if a flight is active, the flight picklist will be inactive only allowing for the display of the current flight. In addition, new task-specific timing fields have been added. These values will begin updating automatically when a task is active and the start point (line or circle) has been attained. They will continue to update until the finish has been attained or the logger is stopped (through whatever means) which ever comes first.
  28. Support for FAI and WGS84 Earth Models - With all the discussion on rec.aviation.soaring about the approved change to the FAI distance requirements that will take effect in October to use the WGS84 in FAI earth models, Soaring Pilot now allows you to select from three different earth models (Sphere, FAI and WGS84) on the Units Setup page. The option selected will determine the earth flattening model that will be used when calculating the distances on the Task Edit page. The default value is WGS84 however, since at least the recently released US contest rules still require the FAI earth model, it was included as an option. It will eventually be removed when no longer required. All other distance calculations still use standard Spherical calculations as was done previously. This is because the earth model calcs are more CPU intensive and slower, and because the difference is not appreciable when actually flying to a destination.
soarpilot/readme.pdf.txt · Last modified: 2006/10/25 11:24
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