Waypoint Basics

SoarPilot uses its own waypoint database 1). Waypoints can be imported from various sources and a few of the popular formats are supported. This chapter does not describe howto import waypoints, it merely describes the various waypoints screens that are currently implemented in SoarPilot.

Waypoint List

This screen will show when you select from the Navigation menu the Waypoint List command or use the shortcut /W. It shows a listing of waypoints in SP database. The title bar will show the selected sort order and the distance settings as set in the Final Glide screen. The top row shows 4 command buttons that can be used to control the order of the list as described below. The active button will have it’s label name underlined.

The waypoint list itself will show in the first column the waypoint name, the 2nd column is the distance to that waypoint from your current , the 3rd column is location the course to fly from your current location and the last column depends on the altitude setting of the Final Glide screen and can be the R.ALT 2), D.ALT 3), A.ALT 4) for each waypoint with safety height already taken into account. The full waypoint name of the selected waypoint, and the altitude setting are shown in the title bar.


If there is a ! after the altitude value, this means that the waypoint has a zero value entered into the elevation field, and therefore may not be valid.

If there is a ~ before the waypoint name, this indicates that this has been marked as a “Land” type waypoint. i.e. landable, but not a full airport. This is useful to see the difference when you have the list sorted in Airport order. (See below)

You can scroll through the list using the following hardware buttons

Button Function
Calendar Move one item up in the list. Moving to the previous page if required, but not past the start of the list
Phone Move one item down in the list. Moving to the next page if required, but not past the end of the list
Page-Down Move a page up in the list. Or to the last page if at the start of the list
Page-Up Move a page down in the list. Or to the first page if at the end of the list

If you tap the Calc button (or the Voice Memo button on the side of a Tungsten T) while in the waypoint list this will set the sort order to nearest airport and goto the first page. This is useful to quickly find the nearest landable places.

Pressing the Memo button is the same as tapping the screen Go button and will select the waypoint as the current waypoint.

Waypoint List Command Buttons

Button Description
Dist Sort all waypoints on distance from current location
Airport Only waypoints that are tagged Airport will be visible in the list, they are automatically sorted on distance. 5)
Name Sort the waypoint list alphabetical on name, hit it again to toggle between ascending/descending sort
Last List all waypoints that have been used recently

For the Last sort order, the time stamp is set when you goto a waypoint, or activate a task which contains the waypoint. Waypoints without a time stamp i.e. not used yet, are not shown on the list. The last used time stamp for each waypoint can be viewed and edited on the additional waypoint info screen. The time stamps can be reset by deleting and reloading the waypoint data.

Button Description
Edit Load selected waypoint into Waypoint Editor. The same can be accomplished by double tapping on a waypoint in the list.
New Start Waypoint Editor and create a new waypoint from scratch
Search Start a search in the waypoint list. The bottom row will show an edit field where a (partial) waypoint name can be entered using the grafiti area on your palm. Then tap the Search button again to search to list.

Search Waypoint
GO Set selected waypoint as destination. SP will switch to the Final Glide or Moving Map screen.
TEMP Set selected waypoint as a temporary waypoint and put the task on hold. See Selecting waypoints with a task active

Waypoint Edit

Command Buttons

Button Description
Save Save the modifications for the waypoint from the editor screen into the database
Quit Leave the editor without saving modifications
Info Open the additional information screen for the current waypoint
Delete Delete the current visible waypoint from the database

The waypoint editor screen contains the following information:

Name The name of the waypoint as it appears on the Map display. Tap anywhere in this edit field to change the name of the waypoint.
Dist Distance to this waypoint from current location, informational only
Bearing Course to fly to get to this waypoint from current location, informational only
R.Alt Required Altitude to reach this waypoint, informational only. This field will change to R.ALT, D.ALT or A.ALT depending on the distance mode as set in the Final Glide screen.
Elev Elevation of the waypoint. Tap in this edit field to change this value
Type The next two rows define the type of waypoint, see table below
Radial1 Only used for waypoints of type Area, otherwise N/A.
Radial2 Only used for waypoints of type Area, otherwise N/A.
Max.R Only used for waypoints of type Area, otherwise N/A.
Min.R Only used for waypoints of type Area, otherwise N/A.
Remark Can be used for additional (short) information for this waypoint
Lat: The latitude for this waypoint, can be in format ddd.mm.mmmc, dd:mm:ss.ssc or UTM
Lon: The lontitude for this waypoint, same format rules apply as for latitude.

Waypoint Types

The Waypoint Type fields are toggles and define what type of waypoint this is. A combination of fields can be toggled, but of course some of these combinations just don’t make sense ;-). To see how the various waypoint types are displayed on the moving map, go here.

Type Description
Airport An airport with a runway
Turn A turning point
Land “Land-able”
Mark For compatibility with the Cambridge format, has no function in Soarpilot
Thrml A temporary thermal waypoint. Displayed on Map display as a circled T
Area Area type waypoint - Used in assigned area tasks, see description below.
Start Start of a task
Finish Finish of a task
Home When checked this waypoint marks your “Home” airfield. Only one waypoint in the database can be marked as a Home airfield. The Moving Map screen will also centre on this Home waypoint when no GPS is connected
Ref Pt If selected, the program will display the Bearing or Radial and Distance to the waypoint independent of an active task or selected waypoint. This is displayed at the bottom of the Moving Map screen.

Area Waypoint Type - 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:


Character Meaning Example
1 - 4 Radius in nautical miles - In this case 3.0 nautical miles 0030
5 - 8 Floor of the area (not used by Soaring Pilot at this time) 0000
9 - 12 Ceiling of the area (not used by Soaring Pilot at this time) 0000
13 - 15 Left Radial of the area (use 000 if not needed) 030
16 - 18 Right Radial of the area (use 000 if not needed) 270

Waypoint Additonal Information

This screen shows the additional information that can be stored for each waypoint:

Remark Identical to remark from waypoint edit screen
Runway Direction Compass course for runway in degrees 0-360
Runway Length The length of the runway in meters of feet (depending on your units setup)
Radio Frequency Self explanetory
General Info Room for some personal notes ;-)
Used Date stamp when this waypoint was last used as destination or in a task
1) when the option “Use SoarPilot Waypoints” is checked in the Final Glide settings
2) R.ALT = Required Altitude
3) D.ALT = Difference between Current and Required Altitude
4) A.ALT = Arrival Altitude
5) Great function when you’re out of thermals and need a place to land.
soarpilot/waypoint_basics.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/08 10:21 by pgleesonuk
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