Mar 222017

The weather is surely set to change soon(!!??), so with that in mind, now is a good time to make sure your Nav Toy is up-to-date for the new season.

The 2017 BGA TP List is now available. Details of the changes at:

The TPSelect program is a great way to access this data, and you can download it at:
This program automatically accesses the latest TP data, and outputs turning points in any format (including subsets for devices with limited capacity e.g. Garmin Pilot GPS) , and once installed you never need to visit another web address again.

Probably keeping airspace up to date is even more important and that is handled by a companion program called ASselect. Get it here …
This gives you choices for the optional output of ILS feathers, Glider Sector (e.g. Daventry Box), unlicenced Airfields to name but a few, and allows you to output in a format suitable for your own device.

I use them both and they work like a charm – Enjoy!


 Posted by at 5:09 pm

  3 Responses to “Update your Nav Toy!”

  1. Hi Mark .
    I had meant to talk to you last weekend about ‘Nav Toys’ ! Time ran away and I didn’t get round to it .
    Steve Ward and I will be with you for the XC course next month . With that in mind should we be looking at loggers/GPS equipment before the course and if so would you have any top tips please ? There is a lot out there as you know . Room (or lack of it) in the K6 cockpit has to be a consideration too .
    If you time for a quick call that might be the best way to point me in the right direction , as it were !

    Many thanks Mark.

  2. As you say, there are loads of possibilities, but I’m going to narrow it down to two ideas (and wait to get shouted down!!)

    Both use Naviter Oudie hardware – decent size sunlight readable screen, and importantly with the interfaces you’ll need in future to connect to posh vario/flight computers and Flarm devices. Buy them in the UK from Navboys or LX Avionics.

    “The Dogs” – Oudie IGC (circa £850)
    Completely self-contained, with 12 hour battery life, See You Mobile software (which I use) and an integrated full spec IGC logger which you can use all the way up to Diamond badge level, and regional, national (European and World!) competition.

    “Cheap and Cheerful” – Oudie Lite (£330) and FR300 Position recorder (£100)
    Limitations: Less than two hours battery life so you’ll need to sort out an external power supply; No software, so add one of the free packages, LK8000, which Rob Hanks uses, or XC Soar (talk to Dave d’Arcy). The FR300 is self-contained and can be used up to Gold badge level, BUT it uses GPS altitude (the full IGC ones use barometric altitude), so you must clear any height requirements by an additional 100 metres (e.g. your Silver height will need to be an 1100m gain, rather than 1000m)

    Whichever device and software you go for, the crucial thing is that you are fully conversant with its use BEFORE you take to the air. All the systems give you the ability to “playback” old flights (take your pick from thousands on the BGA Ladder!) enabling you to get really familiar with using the software on the ground. Fiddling about with these devices in the air is NOT an option.

    BTW – Anyone who says “You can do it all with a map” has missed the phase “used to be able to” from their sentence! Maps are important, don’t get me wrong, but airspace infringement is an issue to be taken very seriously, and these devices are a whole quantum leap ahead in that department.


  3. Mark asked me to add a few notes about the Kobo option, as he has no experience with it. Unfortunately, I have little experience with the other systems, so I can’t offer a comparison – I’ll just describe the Kobo. I believe Dave Crowson is expert.

    If you want more information, or want to play with a Kobo, please contact me 07796972778.

    Kobo have produced a family of E-book readers. They have included a serial port, which allows you to wire in a gps, and enough computing power to run a moving map at a good speed.
    The main advantages are:

    They’re cheap:
    I have two Kobo Minis, each bought for about £30, second-hand but as-new condition on EBay. There are plenty available. Gps £19 inc postage from UK. First one was about £12.50 from Germany, but slightly more expensive after postage. Could work out cheaper if a group of you got together. The Kobo mini is a 5” screen, which seems about right for a single-seater, but there are bigger screens in the family.

    They are easy to read in strong sunlight:
    They have used a very good daylight readable screen, which uses very little power compared to most systems. The brighter the sunlight, the clearer the picture. On the downside, the display is black and white (or grey), but this doesn’t prevent it from displaying everything you need.

    They don’t need external power:
    As a result of the screen technology, the Kobo will run all day on its internal battery, though it can be externally powered, or fitted with a bigger battery if desired.

    The navigation software is free:
    XCsoar runs on the KOBO. It seems to have all the major features you’re likely to want, and map, waypoint and airspace file updates are readily available, also free, though manual.

    Conversion is easy diy or fairly cheap commercially:
    You only need minimal soldering skills (4 wires), and the software upload is easy. Step-by-step instructions available for both. There are people prepared to do it for you at a price.

    1. Monochrome display.
    2. No sound on airspace alerts. (Not part of basic conversion, but can be done with extra hardware)
    3. No interface with other instruments. (in basic form, though again, can be done with extra hardware, and there is an option with built-in vario. I assume this is cockpit pressure not total energy, but haven’t checked)

    I used these instructions to modify and program my units (three of the index items, Kobo/XCsoar hardware, software installation, setup and operation)
    http://www.50k-or-bust.com/Kobo XCSoar/Kobo XCSoar.htm

    XCSoar is described here http://www.xcsoar.org

    This site offers ready-built units as well as self-build instructions, though I haven’t used it: http://gethighstayhigh.co.uk/

    Geoff Dailey 24.3.17

 Leave a Reply