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Old Oct 07, 2011, 10:20 PM
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GPS Dataloggers

I have had a little time to research gps dataloggers and just as I suspected, there are a lot of choices out there. Here is the best single web page I have found that shows what is available that is in our price and size range: http://www.semsons.com/datalogger.html

We are looking for devices that will log in a format that can be translated to FAI/IGC. NMEA is a common format most of the dataloggers have available. The translation can be done by GPSBabel.

Once a log file is translated into an FAI/IGC log file, it can be loaded into Winscore which is the program we use for scoring. Within this program you can view the track that the log file recorded.

The only way we are going to know which of these devices is best for our use is to try them. I propose that everyone that has the time and money buy one and try it. You can test it by just turning it on and walking around the block. Or put it in the car when you are running errands or going to work. Then download the tracks to your laptop or pc in NMEA format or whatever other format they might use that can be translated. After translating to FAI/IGC, load it into Winscore and see what you get. You could also load the track into whatever mapping software you might have (GoogleEarth, Streets and Trips, etc) to see how accurate the track is.

I have listed the devices below that I think may work best but I could be completely wrong. Feel free to try any others you think may work. Or if you see a reason one of those listed below will not work, let us know. If you have any questions, feel free to ask John Elias. Well ok, maybe you could ask the questions here and we will all learn from the answer.

Canmore GT-730FL-S

Navin miniHomer

iBlue 821E

i-Blue 860E

Perhaps we should post here which unit we are buying so not everyone tests the same thing.

Questions? Comments? Better ideas?

Rick
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Old Oct 07, 2011, 11:10 PM
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Rick

Thanks for digging up the logger info. We do need a reliable logger source. The prices look real good compared to the skytrace logger. The one big advantage of Ralph's Logger is that they output in IGC format. If we use the loggers other than skytrace it will add one step to the scoring process for the file conversion. This is only an issue on the last day of the event, when everyone wants to get on their way.

Does anybody know when Ralph Weaver will have his new loggers for sale?

I plan on ordering one of the loggers Rick listed. Probably the "i-Blue 821E Slim GPS Data-Logger". I will also download the igc file conversion software. Once I have used the logger and software I will report back here with my findings. I think even those with the skytrace logger would benefit by having a second backup logger on-board. With a price between $50-70$ it is cheap insurance in case of a logger malfunction.

John
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Old Oct 08, 2011, 05:26 AM
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Hi,

I'm just an interested viewer here
But concerning GPS Loggers... I'm using the GPS Logger from SM-Modellbau in Germany. It is working with the IGC format; SM-Modellbau GPS Logger
If you are using Jeti or Multiplex RC you could can even use telemetry functions and use it as a vario.

Regards,

Bob
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Old Oct 08, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Although I haven't been able to do any serious XC flying with it, I have been using the Graupner GPS module which is available as an accessory with their HoTT series of TX combos. More

As it's incorporated into the RX telemetry system, it gives a lot of usable data in real time and includes a vario. Can't really tell you about NMEA compatibility, however, as it's around 3000 miles from me at the moment and I won't be playing with it again until December.

I think it's worth consideration, however.
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Old Oct 09, 2011, 01:36 AM
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Any chance the eagle tree osd has that option. With the software I believe the data used is converatble to google earths format which ever that is. I've thought about eagle tree and other makers osd's since they have the return to home function with a settable altitude which I view as nice if navigating terrain.

Here's a glidder specific device by them.
http://www.eagletreesystems.com/Sail...sailplane.html
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 10:55 AM
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If you find one that works well, let me know and I'll see if we can get the SkyTrace GPS software to read the data. The SkyTrace software not only converts to IGC, but does geoid correction (Google it) for better altitude accuracy.

I ordered a couple of potential candidates last week to see if they are easily adaptible to sailplane need. I'll keep you posted.

I started doing a new SkyTrace, but time is limited. When I did the first one I had 1 one year old, now he's 5 and his little brother is 2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmw00/6...in/photostream
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 03:24 PM
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Old Oct 17, 2011, 09:55 PM
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I ordered the Iblue 360E gps logger and received it Saturday. I was able to do some testing and it seems to work very well. The unit is no larger than the Skytrace logger and has a hard case for protection. It also has a self contained lithium battery for up to 12 hrs of use before re-charging. This is a nice feature as you can load it into your glider without the need for a separate battery.

My preliminary tests show that it locks on to the satellites quickly and so far very reliably. It comes with some software specifically designed for geo-tagging photos, but it also allows for downloading track files in a NEMEA format. This file can then be converted to an "igc" file by using "GPS babel" or "G7 to Win" programs which are available for free. The "igc" file can then be used by "Winscore" for scoring in our contests.

I will do some more testing, but it looks like this unit will work well for logging our flights and can be used for scoring during our contests. The cost was only $55 dollars plus shipping, and I think it would make an ideal backup for the skytrace, or if you do not have a logger I see no reason why it could not be used as your primary logger.

As I said previously, I will do more testing to make sure it does what we need it to do, so it might be best to wait before purchasing. I should complete my tests in about a week.

I would recommend everyone have two loggers on board for contest flying. When you consider the time, effort, and expense required to compete in a typical XC contest, an additional $55 is cheap insurance to make sure your flight is properly logged.

Now if Ralph could modify the Skytrace software to be able to read directly from the "I-blue 360E" logger that would be perfect!

John
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Sounds like a good solution. Where did you get the Iblue? I may order one myself.
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 07:02 PM
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Ralph

I ordered it from Semsons from the link Rick provided in the first post above.

Go to this link where it is on sale for the weekly special:

http://www.semsons.com/i86migpsdalo.html

The only software I have that can read the logger is the software that came with the logger. If you think you may be able to modify the Skytrace software to read directly from the I-Blue logger, I could send you my logger if it would help.

John
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 07:42 PM
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I did find this today on www.soaringcafe.com and thought that it may be of interest in this discusion.

http://igcreader.com/
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Old Nov 03, 2011, 11:11 PM
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I have completed my testing of the Iblue 860E GPS data logger and it will work with our Winscore scoring software. It seems to have no trouble locking onto satellites. If you need a logger or want a backup logger I think this unit will work well for our application. Its is very small in size and weight and it has its own internal battery. Price is $55 at: http://www.semsons.com/i86migpsdalo.html

John
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ellias View Post
I have completed my testing of the Iblue 860E GPS data logger and it will work with our Winscore scoring software. It seems to have no trouble locking onto satellites. If you need a logger or want a backup logger I think this unit will work well for our application. Its is very small in size and weight and it has its own internal battery. Price is $55 at: http://www.semsons.com/i86migpsdalo.html

John
Good grief! You can't even buy the GPS receiver component for that price let alone the surrounding electronics.

Great find!

M

ps: please keep your flights under 18,000 METERS!
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ellias View Post
I have completed my testing of the Iblue 860E GPS data logger and it will work with our Winscore scoring software. It seems to have no trouble locking onto satellites. If you need a logger or want a backup logger I think this unit will work well for our application. Its is very small in size and weight and it has its own internal battery. Price is $55 at: http://www.semsons.com/i86migpsdalo.html

John
I can second what John said. It's $55 plus shipping, arrived in less than a week, is a very nice self contained unit with it's own internal battery that is supposed to last all day, and can export a kmz file that I had no trouble getting into google earth.

I didn't know about antenna orientation and didn't have room in my 2meter TD fuselage to lay it down flat on it's back. So I flew with it laying on it's side and had no problems recording flights.

This was a good find.
Thanks Guys,

Mike
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 09:00 PM
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I recently purchased the Canmore GT-730SL-S GPS data logger. It's about the size of a small flash drive with the integral USB connector, and appears to have similar characteristics to the Iblue unit (built-in battery, etc.). Data can be exported to Google Earth, and comes with photo-logging software that displays Google maps and distance/speed/altitude graphs.

I just put a patch of Velcro on it and attach it to the inside of a sailplane's canopy, switching it on just prior to launching.

It's available from the same source for under $50:

http://www.semsons.com/cagtusbtrstd.html

Handy gadget!

Roger
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