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The FTDI Chip Serial Adapter ads an RS-232 serial port to any
PC. Since many soaring instruments need to connect to a PC for data
transfer (waypoints, airspace, flight logs, etc.), and new PCs don't have
serial ports, this little device is a great accessory.
It works great with Cambridge, LX Navigation, EW, ILEC, and all
other soaring instruments and PDAs I've tested with.
Connecting a PDA or PNA to your PC
for use with Condor
Customers using Condor may want to connect their PDA to the PC for use with
Condor. Using a PDA with soaring flight software together with Condor
is a great way to get more familiar with your soaring flight software.
Also, most (if not all) soaring flight software products can do final glide calculations around multiple turnpoints - Condor's in-cockpit software PDA can't do that. Condor sends NMEA GPS data (position and altitude) to the PDA - as if a real GPS was sending data while in flight. Below are several options for connecting PDAs and PNAs to PCs for use with Condor.
- Connections to PDAs Using Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a low-power wireless radio connection. Some (but
not all) PDAs and PCs have Bluetooth built-in. If both your PDA
and your PC have Bluetooth capability, this may be the easiest way to
connect them. However, I don't have any experience with this
method of connection - so I don't know whether it is easy or difficult
to setup. I have not been successful at getting my Naviter Oudie to connect to my Windows 7 (64 bit) PC. I was also not successful at getting my Windows Vista PC to connect to my Oudie. If it works for you - great.
- Connecting to a Naviter Oudie using a Goddard Condor-Oudie-1p5m Cable
The Goddard Condor-Oudie-1p5 cable makes a clean and simple connection between the PC and Oudie. From the outside it looks like a simple USB cable, but it actually contains a USB to serial converter. It also powers the Oudie with 5V. At $40 it is a great deal too.
- Connections to PDAs Using the PDA's
The FTDI Chip USB Serial Adapter has a
standard DB-9m (male) connector - just like PCs used to. If your
PDA was provided with a desktop cradle with a DB-9m connector (such as an iPAQ h3800), you can
connect it directly to the FTDI Chip USB Serial Adapter. It can't power your PDA, but most PDA cradles
include power supplies for powering and charging the PDA. However,
most newer PDAs were provided with desktop cradles with USB cables only.
This adapter won't work with USB cradles.
- Connections to PDAs When You Don't
Have a Desktop Cradle
If you don't have a desktop cradle for your PDA, or your PDAs desktop
cradle doesn't have a serial cable with a DB-9f (9-pin female)
connector, then you may want to use the Goddard Condor-PC-5V-DB9f-0.3 cable. It includes a 5V wall power supply for powering the PDA and
2 DB-9f (female) connectors. One connects to the FTDI Chip USB Serial Adapter and the
other connects to a standard PDA power/data cable - such as a Goddard I38C-1.
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FTDI Chip USB
The FTDI Chip USB Serial
Adapter ads an RS-232 serial port to any PC. Since many soaring
instruments need to connect to a PC for data transfer (waypoints,
airspace, flight logs, etc.), and new PCs don't have serial ports, this
little device is a great accessory. It plugs into a USB port on
the PC. A DB-9m connector is available for connection to your soaring devices.
Cable Length: 10 feet (3 m)
Drivers are available for the operating systems below:
- Windows 8
- Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
- Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
- Windows XP
- Windows 2000
- Windows 98
- Windows CE
- Mac OX X
Tested and Works Great With:
- Cambridge GPS-NAV
- Cambridge 302
- Compaq Aero 1500 PDA
- EW Model D Flight Recorder
- Garrecht Volkslogger
- HP hx4700 PDA
- ILEC SN10
- LX Navigation Colibri, LX20, LX4000,
LX5000, LX7000, LX7007
It is very important that you download and install the drivers on your PC. The cable will not work without the proper drivers. Download the drivers using the link below. Look for the "Setup Executable" link in the "Comments" column of the "Windows" row.
A direct download link to the .zip file containing the executable file is availalbe here:
- First you must install the drivers for the USB to serial adapter cable on your PC by running the executable file available at:https://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM21228_Setup.zip.
Download the .zip file to your computer, double-click it to open it and see the file inside. Then double-click on the
CDM21228_Setup.exe file that is the only file inside the zip file. It is an executable install program that automatically installs the necessary drivers onto your PC in the correct locations.
- After you have installed the drivers, connect the USB to serial adapter cable to your PC's USB port.
- Use the Windows Device Manager to figure out which comm port is used by the USB to serial adapter cable. In the screen capture below it is listed as the "USB Serial Port (COM 13)". The important information is that the cable is using comm port 13. It is likely to use a different port on your computer. Set your soaring on the PC to use the comm port shown in the Device Manager.