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PDA/GPS and PNA Systems
PDA: Personal Digital Assistant (Pocket PCs and Palm devices)
PNA: Personal Navigation Assistant (sometimes referred to as a PND: Personal Navigation Device)

This page includes an overview of soaring PDA/GPS systems, and example systems.

Introduction
PDA/GPS systems (PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant)  and PNA systems (PNA stands for Personal Navigation Assistant) are a great first step to a complete soaring flight computer system.  They offer excellent moving maps and final glide information.  They even automatically calculate wind speed and direction while you thermal.  It is awesome to be able to glance at the moving map display and see reachable airports highlighted on the screen.  That is powerful information at your fingertips.  I often say that the systems below offer 90% of the functions of the high cost systems.  A PDA/GPS System consists of a Pocket PC or Palm computer and a "Generic GPS" or a PNA with a built-in GPS.  The term "Generic GPS" means a GPS that is designed for general purpose use - not necessarily aviation. 

Related Pages

Improved Safety
Pilots that have never flown with a PDA/GPS system think that they will decrease safety because the pilot will be staring at the PDA rather than keeping their eyes out of the cockpit.  It is my opinion that PDA/GPS systems greatly improve safety because the pilot can glance at the display and know instantly whether he/she is within gliding distance of nearby airports.  All soaring flight software available can highlight reachable airports on the moving map.

What PDA/GPS Systems Can Do What PDA/GPS Systems Can't Do
  • Use GPS position and altitude
  • Moving map with waypoints and airspace
  • Final glide calculations
  • Reachable airports highlighted on map
  • Record unofficial IGC flight logs (can't be used for badges or records)
  • The versions with IGC approved flight recorders can log flights for badges and records
  • Tasks
  • Portable (suction cup mount)
  • No cables (depending on GPS)
  • Flight Statistics
  • GPS altitude used for final glide (not best)
  • Pressure Altitude Data (Pressure altitude is generally preferred for final glide calculations.)
    (The systems below which include IGC approved loggers do have pressure altitude data.)
  • Improved safety through quick access to final glide data
  • Wind speed and direction calculated using drift while circling
  • Upgradeable - They can be used with a "Generic GPS" for a low cost
    solution and then used with an IGC approved logger or high end flight
    computer when you can afford one.
  • 90% of what the high cost systems can do
  • Low cost (when compared with $5000 flight computer systems)
  • No Vario or averager (Actually, SeeYou Mobile can use GPS altitude to display a slow variometer value and vario average.)
  • No Speed-to-fly director
  • Canít calculate wind speed and direction using airspeed and GPS data while cruising due to lack of airspeed data which can be provided by a variometer
  • When used with a speed-to-fly vario you must enter MacCready into both devices

Example Systems
Below are a few example systems.  I've tried to pull together all the components you need for a complete system.

How to Acquire These Example Systems
Not all the parts listed on this page are available from Cumulus Soaring, Inc.  I don't sell Pocket PCs because they change too rapidly so Pocket PCs and accessories are available through alliances with PC Connection.  In order to purchase all the parts in some of the systems below, you would need to place two orders - one with Cumulus Soaring, Inc., and one with PC Connection.  I can buy them for international customers if you are also buying other parts from me.


Cool Product - 5V Battery Packs
5V Battery Packs are an awesome accessory for any soaring electronics user.  They 5V Lithium Ion battery packs that are smaller than a PDA, yet able to power a PDA all day long.  They fit nicely in to the side pocket of most any glider and provide 14+ hours of power for your PDA, GPS, flight recorder, smartphone or digital camera or video recorder.  You can see details on the 5V Battery Packs page.


Naviter Oudie IGC with Suction Cup Mount - The Ultimate Portable System
This is a great portable system that can log flights for the OLC (Online Contest) and is fully IGC approved for all badges and records and soaring contests.  The Oudie IGC has a built-in aviation grade GPS and comes with SeeYou Mobile soaring flight software.  The Oudie IGC's built-in battery can power it for over 12 hours. The Oudie IGC also has a built-in variometer (not Total Energy compensated) which works great as long as you keep the airspeed relatively constant.
This system does everything that was previously done with an Oudie 2, 5V external battery and LXNAV Nano flight recorder.

Example System with Naviter Oudie IGC and Suction Cup Mount
Naviter Oudie IGC
System
Naviter Oudie IGC
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total: $1219.85

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


Naviter Oudie 2 with Suction Cup Mount and 5V Battery Pack
This is a great portable system that can log flights for the OLC (Online Contest).  The Oudie has a built-in GPS and comes with SeeYou Mobile soaring flight software.  The 5V Battery Pack can power the Oudie for over 14 hours.  The Oudie can log flights which are accepted by the OLC (Online Contest).  However, the Oudie's "PDA Logger" is not approved by the IGC and therefore can't be used for badges or records.  The new sunlight readable version of the Oudie is easy to read even in bright sunlight. 

Example System with Naviter Oudie, Suction Cup Mount and 5V Battery Pack
Naviter Oudie2
System
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Battery-5V-8000mAh-w-charger
The USB to mini-USB cable used to connect
the battery pack to the Oudie
is included in the box with the Oudie.

Total: $743.85

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


LXNAV Nano or Nano3 with Naviter Oudie2 and 5V Battery Pack
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great portable system.  The Nano or Nano3 provides GPS data to the Oudie2.  The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie2 can send an official task declaration to the Nano or Nano3.  The 5V Battery Pack powers both the Nano or Nano3 and the Oudie2 with 5V for over 12 hours.  The system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LXNAV Nano with Naviter Oudie and Socket Mobile Power Pack

or
This is a fantastic portable system.
 
LXNAV Nano
or
LXNAV Nano3
GPS Flight Recorder
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
works great with the Nano
Battery-5V-8000mAh-w-charger Cable-Nano-Oudie-SMPP-1
"Y" Cable for connecting the
Nano to a Naviter Oudie
and 5V Battery Pack.
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price with Nano: $1263.80
Total Price with Nano3: $1368.80

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


Naviter Oudie 2 with LX Navigation Colibri II and 5V Battery Pack
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great portable system.  The Colibri II provides GPS data to the Oudie. The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie can send an official task declaration to the Colibri II.  The 5V Battery Pack powers both the Colbri II and the Oudie with 5V for over 12 hours.  If you buy the suction cup mount for the Oudie, the system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LX Navigation Colibri II with Naviter Oudie and 5V Battery Pack
LX Navigation Colibri II
IGC Approved GPS flight recorder
with vario, Thermal Assistant,
and simple navigation 
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
works great with the Colibri II
Battery-5V-8000mAh-w-charger Cable-Nano-Oudie-SMPP-1
"Y" Cable for connecting the
Colibri II to a Naviter Oudie
and 5V Battery Pack.
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price: $1323.80

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


LXNAV Nano or Nano3 with Naviter Oudie2 - Powered by 12V Glider Power System
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great system for installation in a sailplane.  The Nano provides GPS data to the Oudie2.  The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie2 can send an official task declaration to the Nano or Nano3.  The NanoPower adapter is powered with 12V from the glider's power system.  It powers both the Nano or Nano3 and Oudie2 with 5V.  The new sunlight readable version of the Oudie is easy to read even in bright sunlight.  The system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LXNAV Nano and Naviter Oudie

or
LXNAV Nano
or
LXNAV Nano3
GPS Flight Recorder
LXNAV-NanoPower Adapter
and Cable-USB-miniUSB
Connect to glider's 12V power system
and it powers the Nano or Nano3
and Oudie with 5V.
Both items are ncluded in box
with Nano or Nano3.
LXNAV CC-NP-Oudie
Cable for connecting Oudie to NanoPower cable
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price with Nano: $1149.85
Total Price with Nano3: $1254.85

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or

Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Paul E. Remde

8661 Connelly Place
Savage, Minnesota 55378
USA


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