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Suggestion Autopilot RS232 serial out

9 Posts
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Topic starter

the autopilot RS232 stream feature is important so that the output of a tablet/windows pc can be used to drive an autopilot.

together with a flyby-waypoint-sequencing optimization (when to sequence to the next in order to get a nice turn/return to the standard routes.

 

3 Replies
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I sure hope this feature is still under consideration? My Trutrak is anxiously awaiting waypoints..

Most tablets do not have a standard wired connection, let alone RS-232. I'd be very happy if this feature would be developed with something like a Bluetooth to RS-232 module in mind, something that most tablets can connect to without sacrificing WiFi or 3/4/5G connectivity.

For Android users something like this would probably be a good start:

https://nl.rs-online.com/web/p/bluetooth-adapters/7694157/

iPads seem to be more picky about their support for Bluetooth ports.

There are cheaper options from AliExpress and other Chinese sources, but for supportability a brand-name adapter would probably work best as base for development.

Bernhard Daenzer Bernhard Daenzer Topic starter 5 January 2021 20:42

glad i'm not the lonely wolf ?

i'm successfully using Elfin EW-10's from high flying

http://www.hi-flying.com/network-device/elfin-ew10-elfin-ew11

great devices and even better value!

currently using it to share the gps/flarm feed across multiple devices (via a small wifi router TL-WR802N with the elfins in client mode)

works very reliably, small, low power, all fed from a single usb port. 

Rob Turk 5 January 2021 21:36

Interesting device for sure, Bernard. Will your setup allow you to get EV4 talking to an autopilot?
My setup is a Stratux that receives ADS-B/Flarm traffic and transmits GDL90 to EVFR4 over WiFi. The Stratux gets GPS from my AvMap UltraEFIS through an RS-232->USB converter. Now all I need is a way to feed waypoints from EV4 to the Trutrak autopilot and I should be fully hands-off. As the WiFi on EV4 is already taken by the Stratux connection I'd love to see NMEA AutoPilot out from EV4 over Bluetooth, and feed that to the Trutrak.

Bernhard Daenzer Bernhard Daenzer Topic starter 5 January 2021 23:36

the key is to break free from the single "roll their own wifi access point" type devices when you want one serial channel in and one serial channel out via wifi...

there's really only two ways to achieve that. either run a small router/accesspoint and have such rs232 to wifi bridges run in client mode (and in the same subnet), which is the option i chose (as it has other advantages, e.g. potentially much easier to also add internet via a 4g router or cell phone hotspot on the WAN side).

the other option is to build your own 2x rs232 wifi bridge using a raspberry pi, esp8266 or other hardware. essentially building yet another "roll your own wifi access point" device, but this controlling yourself and having the capability of handling two rs232 in/outs in parallel.

bluetooth and even less so usb are not ideal uses for serial...

you may want to use bluetooth for other uses like tying into the audio panel/headset and usb with a cable is less flexible and typically would rather be used for external power...

 

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I already have a Ilevil 2 which has AP RS232 out to Trutrak. It only needs the application to send the A/P commands over.  Xavion app already works with ilevil as interface to trutrak AP. It would be fantastic to have the option on EasyVFR

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I would also find this interesting as a solution. I have a now obsolete Dynon D100 and EMS system with autopilot. It is connected to a Garmin 296. It would however be a lot nicer to have it connected to an industrial panel/CAR type android tablet running EV4 for waypoint and planning purposes and maybe then using the tablet/PC for more such as a SDR ADS-b receiver or softRF/OGN tranceiver, camera functionality etc etc.Not sure what a proper GPS source would be or if the internal GPS would be acceptable? 

Steve Styles 5 January 2023 20:33

Hi

i have the same set up, in a sportcruiser, D100/120 and an AP 74 autopilot slaved to Garmin 495. I have driven my self and everyone else insane, by trying to get one of the software companies (SkyDemon in particular) to start streaming the NMEA data, to allow my D100 HSI to steal my plane via the AP 74. But no one is going to do it. So I bit the bullet, and bought a GarminAERA 760. £1500 well spent? I’m still not sure. At least it will talk the AP 74.

but the maps are rubbish compared to SkyDemon.

steve styles

Steve Styles 5 January 2023 20:35

Sorry I meant steer, although steal might be an option!

Tim Peter 6 January 2023 16:45

Hi Steve,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the Garmin AERA 760. I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with that specific device, so I can't offer any specific advice.

I do know that EasyVFR 3 supports the necessary NMEA messages, and I've heard from a few users that they've used EV3 to control their autopilot. Keep in mind that you'll need a yearly subscription to EasyVFR Pro to use EV3.

As for EasyVFR 4, we have not yet scheduled time to port this feature over, as there are always other priorities for the broader community. However, when we do get around to implementing it, the approach will likely be similar to that of EV3. In the meantime, it might be worth trying to get your setup working with EV3.

Best regards,
Tim

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