GpsDump is a program for communication between a PC and a GPS Unit. GpsDump can up/download tracklogs, waypoints, CTR data, ++ to most popular GPS devices in the free flying community.
GpsDump can read/write most popular formats of tracklog and waypoint files. It's very small and efficient. USB downloads are handled very quickly, and USB to serial adapters are supported and well tested.
Latest version of GpsDump can be found on Stein Sørensen's homepage.
Downloading a tracklog in standard mode
- Select COM port under the "Misc" menu.
- Connect the GPS to the computer and turn it on. (Depending on the GPS-model you might need to set it in a certain mode before starting download.)
- Start the download by clicking on the appropriate button in GpsDump or use one of the menuitems or short-cuts under the "Logs" menu. (Depending on the GPS-model you might need to do something on the GPS now.)
- Once all points are downloaded they will be shown in a list in GpsDump.
- Select all (or the section) of the points and save the log (Alt-S, Ctr-A, Ctrl-S does the job).
- You will get a dialog that shows you some statistics and a box for entering a description. All this will be saved inside the log when you press the "Save" button.
The resulting log is in GpsDump KML format (.kml). This means it is an extention of the Google Earth KML format and if you double click on the file it will be shown in Google Earth if you have it installed on you computer. This format is used by FS and also by The FlightLog.
When using GpsDump together with FS to run a competition use GpsDump in Competition Mode. This is done under the Misc menu.
Note! You can run as many instances of GpsDump as you like on a single computer. So if you are good at multitasking and got 12 COM ports ... In real life we've found that handling more than 4 start getting confusing.
Screenshot of GpsDump in Competition mode
At the start of the competiton
Setting up GpsDump
- Use FS (or some other tool) to create a FS database file (.fsdb) that has all the participants.
- Select "Competition Mode" under the "Misc" menu.
- Check the "Competition mode enabled" box.
- Click on the "Read pilot list" button to select the FS database file.
- Click on the "Set comp. time" button to set a earliest start-time for tracklogs. Any points recorded before this time in UTC will be removed.
- Open a waypoint file ("File/Open? wpts.") and select all (or some of) the waypoints (Alt-S, Ctrl-A).
Upload waypoints to the pilots
- For each pilot simply select the correct menuitem under the "Wpts" menu to send waypoints. This brings up a "Select pilot" dialog.
- In the combobox with all the pilots listed you find the correct pilot (you can type the first few letters of a name to quickly find a pilot).
- In addition to the waypoints from the waypoint-list, two pilot-id "turnpoints", named "COMPID" and "CIVLID" (if there is one), will be uploaded with the id's encoded in the coordinates (set coordinate format to DD MM SS and you should be able to recognize the id).
COMPID will be used by GpsDump to suggest a default filename for the tracklog when downloading tracklogs later.
After each task - downloading tracklogs
- Open one (or more) instance of GpsDump and set in Competition Mode. It should remember the fsdb file selected earlier, if not select one.
- Start the download same way as in Normal Mode. GpsDump will first attempt to find the COMPID or CIVLID waypoint to identify the GPS (some GPS models do not give this away).
- A dialog (similar to the one seen when uploading waypoints) is shown where one can select pilot (if COMPID or CIVLID was found a pilot is suggested).
- Select the correct pilot or accept the one suggested. If the pilot is not in the list just type in the name and a COMPID that is unique for the pilot in the competition (CIVLID is optional so leave it empty unless you have the correct one).
- Remember to set a folder where the tracklogs should be saved. A new folder for each task is a good idéa.
- Press "OK" and the download begins (for Garmin/Serial? this might take several minutes, for other models normally less than a minute).
- When the download is finished the tracklog is saved and a message box tells you so.
- ready for next ...
FS must have the tracklogs in GpsDump KML format.
Also, in order for FS to identify the tracklogs, the filenames must be on the form suggested by GpsDump in Competition Mode.
GpsDump suggest filenames on this form: "<pilot name>.<time tracklog was saved>.<CIVLID>.<COMPID>.kml"
The minimal requirement for tracklog-filenames is "<COMPID>.kml" or "<whatever ...>.<COMPID>.kml".
Notes on various instruments
- One should initiate the download in GpsDump (ie press the "XC-Trainer (MXP)" button or use the Logs/... menu) before pressing "SEL" in XC-Trainer. GpsDump will wait "forever" for XC-Trainer to start sending data so no need to rush.
- Do not use TNC to send the log. This will give you whatever local time the instrument is set to. MXP will give UTC time which is what you want.
- In some cases you might get some error from GpsDump while trying to download a tracklog. In these cases first try again, then try MXP 1s 19K, then MXP 3s 19K ... If MXP simply will not work for this instrument on this PC & COM port, try it on a different PC or COM port if you have one. Or try the TNC 1s 57K or 9.6 (set local time to same as UTC time first).
- You will need the Garmin USB drivers for communication with a Garmin GPS via USB. These drivers are not included with GpsDump, but can be downloaded directly from Garmin, you can find a link on the OtherSoftware page.
- When using Garmin serial cable set the GPS to GRM/GRM mode.
Brauniger/Flytec? GPS models
- Older firmware versions (Compeo/5030 version 2.15 and earlier, Competino 1.14) have some issues with tracklog download, where the pilot/scorer have to select what flight to download. The newer firmware versions present a list of all the flights in the memory of the instrument, where the newest flight is selected. With some of the older firmware GpsDump will download the oldest flight on the instument. To fix this, select the relevant flight and press enter on the instrument to see the flight details screen before starting the download.