Tips & Tricks

Beam Receive Off

To extend the battery life time of your Palm, make sure to switch off Beam Receive

To switch off open Palm Preference → General settings 1). This saves power because the IR diode in your Palm is shutdown.

Enhance Performance

Install tools like AfterBurner and/or QuickBits (see links page) help to squeeze the most performance out of your Palm (may affect battery life time!).

There is also a tool for Palm OS version 5 devices called Lightspeed.

Serial/COM port Loopback Software

Mixw COM port loopback

The MixW Serial Port Bridge driver emulates a software null-modem cable between two virtual COM ports on your PC. This driver works for Win2K and WinXP only. This software only null-modem (no hardware required!) can then be used to tie a Palm Emulator running Soaring Pilot and f.i. SeeYou in IGC playback mode with NMEA stream enabled to get acquinted with Soaring Pilot features. Of course other GPS emulators (see links page) can be used as well to provide an NMEA input stream to Soaring Pilot in POSE 2) or one of the Palm Simulators 3).

Pearson Virtual Serial Port Lite

There is a freeware version of this loopback software that creates one virtual/loopback serial connection. You can download it from Pearson Computing

com0com is another freeware solution that can be used to create virtual serial ports.

Resolving Bluetooth Problems

These steps may help resolve some Bluetooth problems when SoarPilot cannot connect, or crashes while doing so.

  • Remove the SP config file. This can be done using the FileZ tool
  • Check the list of known bluetooth devices. If this list is too long, SoarPilot has a a problem (often this list grows because of mobile phones, that are near to your Palm)
  • Remove the File “Bluetooth Device Cache” from your Palm (FileZ can be used for this too.)
  • Restart SoarPilot, and set to Bluetooth connection
  • If you are using a Tungsten T ensure that you have installed the Tungsten T update that is available on the Palm webpage (or in the files section of the Soaring Pilot Yahoo group). There is only one for the “T”. It has some bluetooth fixes that has allowed some people’s connection problems to be resolved. It also fixes music play back/sound issues as well but that’s obviously not related to this. Also, note that if you reset your Tungsten T (hard reset) of run the battery all the way down, the update MUST be reinstalled. The update is not a flash upgrade so it is lost when the device gets completely reset.
  • There is also a useful program to be able to control the devices in your Bluetooth cache and clear it called BTcachED available here.

Nexian HandyGPS/Handspring Visor Connection Steps

  1. With the Visor powered on, insert the GPS and the HandyGPS software self starts. Do not turn off the visor after this or exit the HandyGPS software.
  2. Accept the ‘use at your own risk’ page
  3. Select OK on the present position page to get to the GPS Launcher page.
  4. If SP is not offered as an available application, select the ‘Insert Application’ button and then choose SP
  5. Once SP is in the GPS Launcher, choose it.
  6. It will then ask if you want to ‘switch to SoarPilot application’. Repond yes and it will then load SP and run it.
Older HandyGPS models do not contain the required firmware to launch another application (other then the UbiGo Mapping software), see below screenshots of the Setup page of the HandyGPS with and without this feature:

Go To App setup Too old...

SD Card only installation Procedure

The next procedure can be used to install Soaring Pilot using an SD card only. You only need a PC with a suitable card reader once to prepare the SD card, after that only the SD card is required to restore a completely empty PDA with Soaring Pilot, waypoints, airspace, etc.

This method can also be used when you’re having troubles getting HotSync to work or simply don’t have access to a HotSync cradle.

SD Card Preparation

  • Keep in the PDA an SD card with the following folders and subfolders:

(You can put folders and files on the card using a PC and a card reader.)

  • In the Launcher sub-folder, store the following file VFSExchange.prc (this is freeware you can find on the web, f.i. here) or look in the ‘Files’ section of the Soaring Pilot Yahoo group (download). Optionally, also store RFBackup.prc here (Red Feline Backup).
  • In the SoarPilot sub-sub-folder, store the following files:
    • config.scg (as exported from SoarPilot)
    • polars.spl
    • waypoints.cup
    • SUA file if you have one
  • In the Add_On folder, store the following files:
    • MathLib.prc (needed for SoarPilot)
    • Soaring.prc (SoarPilot itself)
    • SoaringPilot_terrain_db.pdb (SoarPilot terrain data base)
    • Filez.prc (optional, useful, freeware)
    • SiEd.prc (optional, useful, freeware)
    • Any other programs you like to have on hand, e.g., iSilo, bigclock, etc.

Restore SoarPilot

To restore SoarPilot, if the internal Palm memory is blank:

  • Start up Palm and set date and time, etc.
  • Insert SD card
  • Navigate to the card rather than internal memory
  • Run VFSExchange directly off the card
  • Uncheck “go to imported application”
  • Navigate (within VFSExchange) to the Add_On folder on the SD card
  • Import the following:
    • MathLib.prc (needed for SoarPilot)
    • Soaring.prc (SoarPilot itself)
    • SoaringPilot_terrain_db.pdb (SoarPilot terrain data base)
    • Filez.prc (optional, useful, freeware)
    • SiEd.prc (optional, useful, freeware)
    • any optional additional programs you want
  • Return to “home” (exit VFSExchange) and the internal memory
  • Go to “unfiled” (or “all”) programs menu
  • Start up SoarPilot
  • Make sure “card” transfer method is selected in Settings, NMEA/Port
  • Click on the menu bar and then Settings, Transfer
  • Import the Polars, Waypoints, SUA and finally Configuration
  • Go to Settings, Polars and verify the correct polar is selected
  • Go fly!
  • After flying, export the flight log to the SD card right away. Later you can copy the flight log from the SD card to a PC using a card reader.

You can also run RFBackup (on the Palm, directly off the SD card) to back up all the Palm memory items to the SD card, and you can then restore everything from the SD card via RFBackup next time the internal memory is blanked out. This is an alternative method to the VFSExchange method of restoring individual files and configurations.

2) The Palm OS Emulator is a hardware emulator program for the Palm Powered platform, emulating 68K-based device hardware in software. With it, you can test and debug Palm OS software on a Macintosh, Unix, or Windows-based desktop computer.
3) available for download from the Palm Developers site
soarpilot/tips_and_tricks.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/30 13:28 by amegens
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