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Connecting GPSout to GPS III Pilot

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Hi,

I have installed GPSout to my modules folder and not changed any othe the parameters.

I am a bit stuck as to how to get the GPS to receive the data now. I am sure it is connecting to the GPS as no other device such as RANT can connect to the GPS while FS2002 is running.

In the Interface setup screen do I select Garmin and then choose to receive data i.e. Request ALM etc etc or do I go to NMEA mode?.

There is also a simlulator mode in the Setup, but I think that is to show you how to use the GPS.

Anyone got any ideas as I am so close yet so far at the moment?. Do I need to select the setting in the INI for garmin and select NMEA in the GPS?.

Thanks in advance. It is much appreciated.

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It's unlikely your GPS will act as a moving map from external data. The GPS V certainly won't, and neither would my older Magellan unit. The idea is that the GPS provides data for use with a moving map program on a PC or PDA.

GPSout provides a similar facility - it will provide moving map data to another PC or PDA over a serial link.

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It's unlikely your GPS will act as a moving map from external data. The GPS V certainly won't, and neither would my older Magellan unit. The idea is that the GPS provides data for use with a moving map program on a PC or PDA.

GPSout provides a similar facility - it will provide moving map data to another PC or PDA over a serial link.

Has anyone achieved this? The GPSIII-pilot manual says it can act as a slave for a panel-mounted GPS when connected to it, so I wonder if that might work?

Have you tried setting the connection mode and also checked the serial connection parameters?

I am considering getting a handheld Garmin and I am wondering if anyone has got these to work with GPSOut, would be very nice to practice the GPS unit at home with the sim..

Tuomas

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I am a bit stuck as to how to get the GPS to receive the data now. I am sure it is connecting to the GPS as no other device such as RANT can connect to the GPS while FS2002 is running.

I don't understand. GPSout is intended to make FS effectively look like a GPS to an external map program, normally running on another PC. Sending GPS outpput data to another GPS sounds rather odd.

I have a Garmin GPS and the only input it can take is feed from an external GPS receiver/amplifier, for more accurate or sensitive operation. The format for that is not NMEA.

If your GPS can read NMEA output from another GPS, then presumably there's some appropriate mode for this. I think you'd need to determine this from its handbook.

Regards,

Pete

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I don't understand. GPSout is intended to make FS effectively look like a GPS to an external map program, normally running on another PC. Sending GPS outpput data to another GPS sounds rather odd.

I have a Garmin GPS and the only input it can take is feed from an external GPS receiver/amplifier, for more accurate or sensitive operation. The format for that is not NMEA.

If your GPS can read NMEA output from another GPS, then presumably there's some appropriate mode for this. I think you'd need to determine this from its handbook.

Think of this as a very good way to practice the use of your own GPS with Flight Simulator. That's the idea. Instead of building a GPS from a small LCD monitor and some knobs into my home cockpit, I might just as well get a small Garmin aviation GPS and use the same unit for both sim flying and for real.

I need to check what format it can read indeed.

Thanks

Tuomas

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Think of this as a very good way to practice the use of your own GPS with Flight Simulator. That's the idea. Instead of building a GPS from a small LCD monitor and some knobs into my home cockpit, I might just as well get a small Garmin aviation GPS and use the same unit for both sim flying and for real.

Yes, but it is pretty much the exact opposite of what GPSout is about. GPSout is effectively "pretending" that FS is just a big GPS, and is producing the same output on the serial port that a real GPS would on its serial port. So in effect you are connecting two GPS's together.

Normally you'd be connecting a GPS (FS in this case) to a PC or similar in order to follow or record the route on a map or something.

What it sounds like you really want is some module that outputs something which looks to the GPS like the signals it gets normally from the satellites. I'm not sure if that is possible. If it will accept standard NMEA as input, rather than output, then it may do what you want. The Garmin I have doesn't.

Regards,

Pete

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What it sounds like you really want is some module that outputs something which looks to the GPS like the signals it gets normally from the satellites. I'm not sure if that is possible. If it will accept standard NMEA as input, rather than output, then it may do what you want. The Garmin I have doesn't.

The thing can be linked wiht a panel mount GPS (scenario: handheld GPS wiht nice moving map but bad reception because it is inside the airplane, panel mounted GPS with less features but a nice antenna outside that gives good reception)

The GPSIII Pilot manual says it can work in slave mode with another GPS. And it also states:

"Aviation In - allows GPS III Pilot to communicate with a GARMIN panel-mounted GPS." - this sounds like the proprietary protocol. But also:

"NMEA - Supports the input/output of standard NMEA 0183 version 2.0 data."

The NMEA sounds like it *might* work. I guess the only way to find out is to try it. I do need a GPS anyway when flying, so if it works in FS and GPSOut.dll it'll be a nice bonus.

Tuomas

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The GPSIII Pilot manual says it can work in slave mode with another GPS. And it also states:

"Aviation In - allows GPS III Pilot to communicate with a GARMIN panel-mounted GPS." - this sounds like the proprietary protocol. But also:

"NMEA - Supports the input/output of standard NMEA 0183 version 2.0 data."

The NMEA sounds like it *might* work.

That does sound promising, yes. Please let me know. If it needs any other NMEA messages I can even add them to GPSout if you know what they are.

Regards,

Pete

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That does sound promising, yes. Please let me know. If it needs any other NMEA messages I can even add them to GPSout if you know what they are.

Regards,

Pete

OK I will. I guess there is just one way to find out..

Tuomas

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OK I will. I guess there is just one way to find out..

I downloaded the manual for the GPS III Pilot from the Garmin website, and browsing through that it really doesn't look hopeful to me. I can't reproduce bits here (it's a PDF file), but for NMEA 0183 format is simply says "supported by the GPS III Pilot and enables the unit to drive up to three NMEA devices". In other words provide positional output.

The only inputs mentioned are DGPS (differential GPS) which are corrections from land units, using RTCM protocol, and the proprietary Garmin protocol for downloading and uploading routes, waypoints, map data and so on - not real-time control (I've got the protocol and it is for such static data as normally exchanged between PCs and GPSs, before and after journeys).

Regards,

Pete

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OK I will. I guess there is just one way to find out..

I downloaded the manual for the GPS III Pilot from the Garmin website, and browsing through that it really doesn't look hopeful to me. I can't reproduce bits here (it's a PDF file), but for NMEA 0183 format is simply says "supported by the GPS III Pilot and enables the unit to drive up to three NMEA devices". In other words provide positional output.

Yea. Check out the GPSMap 196 manual as well - the quote was from that one.

Tuomas

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OK I will. I guess there is just one way to find out..

The only inputs mentioned are DGPS (differential GPS) which are corrections from land units, using RTCM protocol, and the proprietary Garmin protocol for downloading and uploading routes, waypoints, map data and so on - not real-time control (I've got the protocol and it is for such static data as normally exchanged between PCs and GPSs, before and after journeys).

Hi!

Yea, the GPS doesnt want to listen to NMEA (got the gpsmap196 now for real world flying) - even though it says it supports NMEA input. Maybe it just does for some other commands than position data and thinks that it has a satellite receiver for a reason and doesnt care about position NMEA sentences?

I wonder what the Garmin protocol means by the "A700 Position Initialization Protocol" and the "A800 PVT Data Protocol"?

Quote from the doc:

A800 PVT Data Protocol

The PVT Data Protocol is used to provide the Host with real-time position, velocity, and time (PVT) data, which is transmitted by the GPS approximately once per second. This protocol is provided as an alternative to NMEA so that the user may permanently choose the GARMIN format on the GPS instead of switching back and forth between NMEA format and GARMIN format. The Host can turn PVT data on or off by using a Device Command Protocol (see Section 6.3, Device Command Protocols, on page 17). PVT data is turned on when the Host sends the Cmnd_Start_Pvt_Data command and is turned off when the Host sends the Cmnd_Stop_Pvt_Data command. Note that, as a side effect, most GPS products turn off PVT data whenever they respond to the Product Data Protocol."

I also mailed Garmin tech support about it - I know it *can* be done somehow since for example ALSim FNPT devices (http://www.alsim.com) can accept normal real-world Garmin GNS530 and 430 units for simulator use.

Hmm.

Tuomas

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I also mailed Garmin tech support about it - I know it *can* be done somehow since for example ALSim FNPT devices (http://www.alsim.com) can accept normal real-world Garmin GNS530 and 430 units for simulator use.

Tuomas, please email me at petedowson@btconnect.com. I have a test version of GPSout for you to try, with "Series 400 Aviation" format support, as best as I understand it at present. I tried to send it via the private mail service here, to no avail I'm afraid -- I'm getting some messages stuck in my "OutBox" and not getting sent. I've no idea why. I've asked Admin here but not got a reply yet.

Regards,

Pete

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Tuomas, please email me at petedowson@btconnect.com. I have a test version of GPSout for you to try, with "Series 400 Aviation" format support, as best as I understand it at present. I tried to send it via the private mail service here, to no avail I'm afraid -- I'm getting some messages stuck in my "OutBox" and not getting sent. I've no idea why. I've asked Admin here but not got a reply yet.

Actually I got the attachment fine. I had the same problem when sending the doc pdf to you - I didnt see it being attached. But you probably got it anyway.

But nevertheless. THANKS! Guess what? The thing *works* right away!

The feeling is magical, it updates very nicely, about once per second (which is the data sending frequency too) - looks just like in real life!

Wow. I am totally psyched. Thank you so much for this. I'll do some more testing so I can tell you how it exactly works, if everything is accurate etc - but it definitely made the GPS alive in "slave"mode when flying the sim.

Check out this pic:

aau.sized.jpg

Tuomas

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Actually I got the attachment fine. I had the same problem when sending the doc pdf to you - I didnt see it being attached. But you probably got it anyway.

No, no. That wasn't the problem. It wasn't anything to do with the attachment. The message went into my "OutBox" and stayed there, never moving to "Sent". When checking this I found TWO other messages, to the same person, still in the OutBox, one dating from a week ago! The second message was an answer to almost a repeat of the first, presumably because the author never got the reply.

Those two mesages are STILL there, but the one to you has gone. I don't know what is going on. I've put some queries out to the Simflight operators, but I think they are all at Miguel and Andrea's wedding today! :D

But nevertheless. THANKS! Guess what? The thing *works* right away!

The feeling is magical, it updates very nicely, about once per second (which is the data sending frequency too) - looks just like in real life!

Ahthere's lucky, eh? :)

I'll do some more testing so I can tell you how it exactly works, if everything is accurate etc

The main thing I need you to check is the Track degrees. I've assume degrees TRUE, but they may need to be MAGNETIC. The doc doesn't say. Please try it in a region of large MagVar (eg. Seattle E 20 degrees MagVar) and let me know.

Regards,

Pete

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The main thing I need you to check is the Track degrees. I've assume degrees TRUE, but they may need to be MAGNETIC. The doc doesn't say. Please try it in a region of large MagVar (eg. Seattle E 20 degrees MagVar) and let me know.

Yes. In Seattle, with zero wind (GPS only knows about ground track, so wind messes that up since it has no idea where the plane's nose is pointing at. With the Mooney autopilot steered straight north, HDG on-screen display shows 360 and the GPS says 020. So yes, looks like it needs to be Magnetic.

The GPS also seems to be offset slightly from the coordinates FS displays, but maybe it just gets confused with the coord <-> heading + groundspeed error because the heading is off by the magnetic variation.

Tuomas

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Yes. In Seattle, with zero wind (GPS only knows about ground track, so wind messes that up since it has no idea where the plane's nose is pointing at.

I am trying to compute Track, I'm not providing Heading. To do this I'm using the ambient wind values. I already do this for (for instance) FliteMap, and it seems to get the right values. Are you saying this isn't working in this format? It's the same Track figure as sent to FliteMap and others.

With the Mooney autopilot steered straight north, HDG on-screen display shows 360 and the GPS says 020. So yes, looks like it needs to be Magnetic..

The "HDG on screen" on the aircraft instruments is Magnetic, so you were facing Magnetic North, right, not True North (as you would be, for instance, in slew mode after pressing Space)?

The MagVar in Seattle is, what, 20 East? Right? So 360 MAG = 20 TRUE.

So the value of 20 shown on your GPS is correct if it is supposed to be showing TRUE rather than MAG. On my Garmin this is a user option -- many folks use TRUE (I do) because it helps with Maps -- usually Grid lines or somesuch are aligned with true north, NOT magnetic.

Before I do any changes here you need to check things like that. You can't just assume them.

But please also check it again with winds. It should give correct track too, maybe not accurately (the only real accurate way is to compute from successive coordinates, whch is what a GPS does).

The GPS also seems to be offset slightly from the coordinates FS displays, but maybe it just gets confused with the coord <-> heading + groundspeed error because the heading is off by the magnetic variation.

Sorry, you'll need to be MUCH more explicit there. When you say "offset slightly" what do you mean? What is "slightly". I am sending the position FS uses to 1/100th of a minute accuracy. That's all the protocol allows.

I've no idea what you mean about confusion. It gets sent explicit Latitudes and Longitudes. there's nothing in those which will be modified by track, groundspeed or magnetic variation.

Pete

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I am trying to compute Track, I'm not providing Heading. To do this I'm using the ambient wind values. I already do this for (for instance) FliteMap, and it seems to get the right values. Are you saying this isn't working in this format? It's the same Track figure as sent to FliteMap and others.

The Garmin manual does not seem to explain anything like this, but at least on the FS GPS the Track is equal to the magnetic heading, since it shows the same as the plane's heading gyro and compass. Plus the bearing, track etc actually do have a small "m" next to the degree sign. Both on the FS2004 GPS and on my Garmin.

The "HDG on screen" on the aircraft instruments is Magnetic, so you were facing Magnetic North, right, not True North (as you would be, for instance, in slew mode after pressing Space)?

The MagVar in Seattle is, what, 20 East? Right? So 360 MAG = 20 TRUE.

So the value of 20 shown on your GPS is correct if it is supposed to be showing TRUE rather than MAG. On my Garmin this is a user option -- many folks use TRUE (I do) because it helps with Maps -- usually Grid lines or somesuch are aligned with true north, NOT magnetic.

When navigating on the air, one does take the magnetic variation into account. So when I do the track calculations at home before the trip, I first measure the TRUE track heading from point A to point B plus the distance. I then check the magnetic variation, and calculate the *magnetic* course from point A to point B. This is what I use when on the aircraft, since all the instruments show me magnetic headings.

Map grid is indeed aligned to true north. I think in this case the GPS should show me magnetic values. When it tells me to set course to north, it makes sense if I can just turn so that the turn coordinator and compass show north.

This is also how the FS2004 GPS seems to work.

But please also check it again with winds. It should give correct track too, maybe not accurately (the only real accurate way is to compute from successive coordinates, whch is what a GPS does).

The winds seem to be a problem - the GPS gets very confused somehow if I put a LOT of crosswind. The same situation here:

SIM: HDG 340, zero wind, airspeed 117KIAS, 2000ft MSL:

* FS GPS: Track 340°m, groundspeed 121kt

* Garmin: Track 000°m, groundspeed 121kt

SIM: HDG 340, wind 040 at 24kts, airspeed 117KIAS, 2000ft MSL:

* FS GPS: Track 329°m, groundspeed 111kt

* Garmin: Track 056°m (!!), groundspeed 112kt

Also the track seems to change lots over time, and the plane on the GPS screen moves totally sideways. So I dont know what is going on, with light winds the error is so small one doesnt notice it much, but with strong winds it makes stuff go totally strange. I dont know if this is an issue with the track being "off" by the magnetic variation, or if it is a problem with something else. I also wonder.. what if we gave the GPS just coordinates? Would it figure out heading and airspeed by itself? This might be worth testing. Is it hard to make a version with configuration option for true vs magnetic heading, and a toggle to turn each data field sending on and off? I could play with it and see if there is a solution to the errors, and what exactly makes them..?

I tested same wind in Finland (magvar 5E) and it is working much better. Somehow I think the whole weirdness might just be because of magnetic vs. true track. The GPS does some calculations by itself too and I guess the 20 degrees offset in that makes those go totally strange - since even in 24kts crosswind the Garmin vs FS offset in 5E magvar is just 5 degrees.

Sorry, you'll need to be MUCH more explicit there. When you say "offset slightly" what do you mean? What is "slightly". I am sending the position FS uses to 1/100th of a minute accuracy. That's all the protocol allows.

I've no idea what you mean about confusion. It gets sent explicit Latitudes and Longitudes. there's nothing in those which will be modified by track, groundspeed or magnetic variation.

Pete

Ok. Here's the data.

FS: W122*39.64

Garmin: W 122° 39.418'

But the location seems to be approximated by the GPS, when I pause FS, the gps "anticipates" the movement anyway and just takes corrections from the serial port data when it is sent, so the movement is not "jump to new place every second" but rather a smooth movement that is corrected every time a new location is received. Maybe the mag vs true confuses this as well..?

Tuomas

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The Garmin manual does not seem to explain anything like this, but at least on the FS GPS the Track is equal to the magnetic heading, since it shows the same as the plane's heading gyro and compass. Plus the bearing, track etc actually do have a small "m" next to the degree sign. Both on the FS2004 GPS and on my Garmin.

Okay. If it is permanent fixed to magnetic, I'll change to that.

The winds seem to be a problem - the GPS gets very confused somehow if I put a LOT of crosswind.

Odd. I'll try to simulate something here. It's a bit awkward not having a device, I may have to write a little program to display things.

Also the track seems to change lots over time

I'm using the "ambient wind" value, which will change as you fly, especially if you have variable winds or turbulence set. But otherwise it shouldn't, as the same steady wind will be making me do the same calculations over and over. Strange. I'll see what I can find.

what if we gave the GPS just coordinates? Would it figure out heading and airspeed by itself? This might be worth testing. Is it hard to make a version with configuration option for true vs magnetic heading, and a toggle to turn each data field sending on and off?

Well, it's a lot more programming -- currently it's pretty much a single line of code to format the data I already have (for NMEA sentences) into the Aviation format.

In FS2004 I can get the actual Track value your FS GPS displays. I didn't really want to make GPSout FS-version dependent, but I certainly could use the value to find out what's going on.

I tested same wind in Finland (magvar 5E) and it is working much better. Somehow I think the whole weirdness might just be because of magnetic vs. true track.

Okay. Since I'm rather tied up today, I may send you a version which just provides Magnetic instead of True, and let you try that and report. If I have to mess with Track I'll look at that tomorrow. Okay?

Pete

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Ok. The last test version seems to hit the spot.

aav.sized.jpg

The track is within a few degrees which is OK, since there's a slight delay (it's a different thing than the aircraft heading anyway)

So summary: The "dont send track" did leave the track direction to the last known value, so the plane moved "sideways" or even backwards if you did an U-turn :) So it needs to be part of the sent packets (or, one thing we didnt try yet: send packages with track "---" (unknown) - it *might* then figure it by itself. Just leaving it out didnt work here. But setting magnetic course seems to give sensible results. I will do some more through testing and I'll let you know. If you ask me, this is "good enough" for the public version, stuff seems to work and I managed to find a few airports in marginal VFR with it :)

And yea, now that the track is more correct, the location seems more precise too.

A big thanks! This is awesome!

Tuomas

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I will do some more through testing and I'll let you know.

With crosswinds too, please.

If you ask me, this is "good enough" for the public version

Well, I might detect FS2004 and read the FS GPS "track" value if possible, as I'm concerned that variable winds and turbukence will make a right mess of it! Tomorrow.

Regards,

Pete

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I will do some more through testing and I'll let you know.

With crosswinds too, please.

If you ask me, this is "good enough" for the public version

Well, I might detect FS2004 and read the FS GPS "track" value if possible, as I'm concerned that variable winds and turbukence will make a right mess of it! Tomorrow.

Regards,

Pete

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With crosswinds all is well up to, say, 40 knots or so. Then the module starts to output C000 for track, and of course the GPS responds to that. With moderate crosswinds the stuff is fine. You can see it from the serial port data too - looks like the GPS is responding to the protocol correctly.

FS2004 GPS of course displays correctly even with insane (100kts) crosswinds, so it might make sense to detect FS2004 and use that value instead of your own computed one when it is available.

But for "normal" crosswind values where one dares to go flying with a GA plane, the thing seems to work fine. I'll try to test on some real scenarios once I get my homecockpit to a flyable state again..

Tuomas

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Pete, the latest one you sent me seems to work beautifully. The track is exactly the same (I can see it because it rotates after the one sec delay compared to the FS GPS, which is the transmit frequency. Very nice. I'd say push it out, it does its job and this definitely is good news for everyone wanting to connect their Garmin aviation GPS to the sim for testing.

Also I'd be interested if this works with other brands, since the A400 is said to have other names like "ARNAV" and "KING" - that suggests other brands use the same stuff.

Anyway, good night and thanks much for the help. This is truly awesome and very very valuable for me.

Tuomas

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hey people!!good day for you, i are a novice on the forum and i have a question, some one can tell me step by step how to make the GPS III work on GPSOUT?I have try many configurations settings and nothing.Pete Downson, you can send to me the same program than you send to tuomas(erichitec@hotmail.com)?oh yes, excelents job on the FS module, congratulations!!!!!

Thanks to all!!!(P.S.:Sorry about my english hehehhhe)

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