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vidiot

Wintec WBT-201 @ 4Hz

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No need to buy a new GPS to record more than one datum per second if you have a Wintec WBT-201 and a PocketPC:

1. Download and install the u-blox (maker of the GPS chip used in the WBT-201) configuration software.
2. Using this tool,
2a. set the transfer speed to 57600 Bd (UBX CF-PRT),
2b. set the measurement period to 250 ms (UBX CFG-RATE)
2c. set the dynamic pattern to 5 - Airborne < 1g (UBX CFG-NAV2)
2d. enable SBAS and set it to be applied (UBX CFG-SBAS)
2e. disable NMEA sentences VTG, GLL and ZDA (UBX CFG-MSG)
2e. save the current configuration (UBX CFG-CFG)
3. Log the data from your WBT-201 during your jump with this tool (Unfortunatly, the WBT-201 can not log internally > 1Hz).
4. Load the data recorded in step 4 into Paralog ;)
My Logbook

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No need to buy a new GPS to record more than one datum per second if you have a Wintec WBT-201 and a PocketPC:

I have a Bluetooth enabled BlackBerry, there's now GPS tracking software for BlackBerry that works with both internal (i.e. BlackBerry 8800's builtin Sirfstar III) and external (Bluetooth pucks).

I wonder if there's a way to trick a WBT-201 into talking with my BlackBerry at 4Hz. Or even use the GPS-equipped BlackBerry itself as a GPS logger (keeping it in a leg jumpsuit pocket), now that there's GPS logging software available. I'll obtain it once I have the puck in my hands, for testing, regardless of which I buy...

Either way, I still am on the edge of buying a Bluetooth puck, I'm torn 50-50 between the WBT-201 and the new QStarz BT-Q1000 from my other post. The advantage is that one is configurable to 5Hz internal logging nowadays, completely standalone. (But it uses a different GPS chip, so would love to know if anyone has jumped this one yet...!)

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I wonder if there's a way to trick a WBT-201 into talking with my BlackBerry at 4Hz. Or even use the GPS-equipped BlackBerry itself as a GPS logger (keeping it in a leg jumpsuit pocket), now that there's GPS logging software available. I'll obtain it once I have the puck in my hands, for testing, regardless of which I buy...



That shouldn't be a problem as the GPS streams regular NMEA over BlueTooth. You might have to use the PC version of the u-blox software to configure the device, though.

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Either way, I still am on the edge of buying a Bluetooth puck, I'm torn 50-50 between the WBT-201 and the new QStarz BT-Q1000 from my other post. The advantage is that one is configurable to 5Hz internal logging nowadays, completely standalone. (But it uses a different GPS chip, so would love to know if anyone has jumped this one yet...!)



I have one on the way to me :)
My Logbook

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vidiot, I am very intereested in getting a smaller / better logger... and am intrigued.....

Currently I use paralog and a neptune with a garmin GPS and am somewhat disapointed in the system...

Mostly the gps / neptune data points....

How do you like the WBT-201? OR is it worth it to get the BT-Q1000 that you said you have on the way? One that'll log a 5hz internally....

ALso, how does the one you have perform in the airplane? Good reception, or have to leave it up near the pilot?

thanks_

_justinn

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Justinn,

I'm curious, what specifically disappoints you about Paralog and your GPS data?

Thanks,

Brian



Not paralog, I find that the program is great. It's my recording device.... I often lose data, getting from the front of the plane to the door with my gps, and I don't like it's size....

I want a small logger I can mount to my helmet, push a button and be done. Also I want data better than 1hz......

There are so many great things I could try.... Besides the wingsuit, and my tracking suit. I'd like to get some quantative data on my BASE parachutes.... I feel that my flick gives me a better glide than my rock dragon, but how much better?

I just think it would be cool to get and see that data....

_justin

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WBT-201 (60 x 38 x 16 mm, or about 2.3" x 1.5" x 0.6") is very small, like an audible altimeter - it fits in the audible altimeter slot of a helmet.

QSTARZ (72 x 47 x 20 mm, or about 2.8" x 1.8" x 0.8") is supposed to be ever so slightly bigger, so may not fit, but should be fine in a jumpsuit pocket.

Although I am sure either is OK, as many of the modern GPS units (-158dbm sensitivity and better) are much better at keeping lock -- sensitive enough to work inside a car's glove compartment, and according to what people say, manage lock everywhere inside the thin metal shell of a Twin Otter without needing to sit by the door. So it seems to almost doesn't matter where on your body you mount the GPS, even underneath your helmet (according to a user of WBT-201), it seems... This assumes modern sensitive GPS chipsets. But more sky is always better (more accuracy, down to 12 inches or 30 centimeters). However, GPSPASSION.com have observed differences in behaviours between GPS chipsets, including averaging that doesn't work very well for certain uses - a product might have an unacceptable lag during slow speed usage or high speed usage. So while I am sure the QSTARZ unit would be fine, I'm hesistant because there might be some unforseen problems with its suitability for skydiving. Or maybe not - might blow away WBT-201. So I'm letting somebody else be the guinea pig! ;)

As these GPS pucks are starting to become remarkably small, I imagine it should now be possible for audible altimeter makers to build GPS logging into audible altimeters soon -- this would be a cool development (combine air pressure logging with GPS logging, would improve accuracy).

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WBT-201 is very small, like an audible altimeter - it fits in the audible altimeter slot of a helmet.




I placed an order for a BT - Q1000 today.... I had to!

After seeing the post earlier, and doing some research, I thought wow, if I could just turn it on to log and forget it.... The size was a major factor 72 X 46 X 20 mm....

My neptune is 60 X 40 X 10 mm.... So I figure I'll either fit it in the audible pocket(s) or drill some holes in my Z1 and use a few zip ties as it's the helmet I use mostly wingsuiting.....

Plus at 5hz logging, WIth an average of 2:30 flights, plus 2 min canopy time, I could do quite a few jumps before filling it up, then go home and dump the data.....

Then later throw the data in paralog when I get home and see how I did.... I like numbers sometimes.... Quanitfying, a 'that felt great!' flight would be cool....

AT any rate, I bet it'll be better than and smaller than my garmin etrex vista c.... and it wasn't that expensive....

_justin

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Unfortunately, the WBT-201 does not "manage lock everywhere inside the thin metal shell of a Twin Otter", at least in my experience (though this was my hope too when I bought it).

In my tests, the WBT must be held directly against the window on a Twin Otter in order to have a good chance of a lock (chance being the unfortunately correct term). Even then, it also seems to depend on where you are (geographic location) and the view of the sky you can get from the window. I've tried using the WBT in the Twin Otters at San Diego, Elsinore, Perris, Cal City, and Taft. I only got a usable signal at Cal City (Otter's GPS repeater turned off for an accurate test), though to be fair, Cal City is the only DZ where I've conducted extensive testing.

The only plane I've actually had success with "turn on and forget" is the Grand Caravan at Lompoc. I had the WBT taped to the back of my helmet (no vacancy in my audible pockets) and I sat in the middle of the plane. Perfect satellite link the entire jump run through landing. I haven't yet tried a small Cessna.

Also, I've found mounting position is indeed important. I did a wingsuit jump where I put the WBT in my suit's chest pocket. Paralog showed perfect GPS logging on jump run (thanks to the GPS repeater I have installed in the plane) but immediate loss of signal at exit. It didn't reacquire until I was under canopy. My rigger has extensive military GPS experience and was convinced that the organic material of my torso was too strong an interference for GPS to connect through.
Brian Drake

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I placed an order for a BT - Q1000 today.... I had to!

That's two budding guinea pigs now. Let's see how the QSTARZ BT-Q1000 performs in skydiving!

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In my tests, the WBT must be held directly against the window on a Twin Otter in order to have a good chance of a lock (chance being the unfortunately correct term)

Thanks for the background information! Someone else was able to maintain a lock inside a Twin Otter, but might have had his mounted externally on top of his helmet (camera platform), and it needs a powerup lock first before it can more easily maintain a lock in the plane. I can't remember which GPS it was, actually -- it might have been a Sirfstar III based unit such as the Foretrex 301 wrist mount (Sirfstar III seems to be more legendary at keeping lock).

I guess for getting close to "power up and forget" operation, you really need to get it to obtain a lock on the ground first, and wait a few near the jump door to ensure it reacquires automatically (while waiting for the load in front to exit)...

As I see the specs of the newer GPS's have re-acquire times of 1 second or so, it would appear that as long as you get an initial lock on the ground, reacquisition should be nearly immediate when stepping outside the jump door. So even if you lose lock inside the plane, some of these loggers should be "fire and forget" friendly enough. Hopefully. But in practice, is this true for the QSTARZ? Let's find out!

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The only plane I've actually had success with "turn on and forget" is the Grand Caravan....

Also, I've found mounting position is indeed important. I did a wingsuit jump where I put the WBT in my suit's chest pocket. Paralog showed perfect GPS logging on jump run (thanks to the GPS repeater I have installed in the plane) but immediate loss of signal at exit. It didn't reacquire until I was under canopy.




Yup, That's my garmin, minus the gps repeater... When I have it on the chest strap, poof, nothing from leaving till canopy.... We have a grand caravan and a king air....

I will be very excited when I get this new one, to see what happens.... 3 day fedex shipping!

My current plan is to mount it to the back of my helmet.... We'll see when it arrives how that goes...

I'll keep you all advised.


_justin

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You bring up a good strategy, which I haven't tried yet.

I always acquire a link on the ground then turn the unit off. But then I turn it back on to reacquire at about 2-5 minutes before jump run (to, at least I thought, increase my odds of getting a signal).

I suppose if the unit cannot quickly reacquire, it goes into search mode which is too slow to link immediately on exit.

I'm optimistic to try this new style (turn on again only right before exit), but even then, it's far from the "turn on and forget" approach we're all looking for.

....Well, that is unless you're DZO/pilot is cool enough to let you install a re-radiating antenna system (GPS repeater). With this system, I can use any GPS logger hassle-free. Of course, if your DZ has multiple planes, this can get cost prohibitive (or pointless unless you can always make sure you're on the GPS repeater equipped plane).
Brian Drake

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The smart loggers should have a separate button to keep GPS always on, but turn on/off the logging feature separately. Or have enough memory to keep logging all day long.

You have to leave the GPS on, in order for it to automatically re-acquire signal quickly and resume logging with no user intervention. So in theory, properly designed logger should be something like:

1. BEGINNING OF DAY: Turn on the GPS on the ground. You must leave GPS on all day long for fast reacquire times.
2. JUMP RUN: Press a separate logging button to turn on logging
3. LANDING: Press a separate logging button to turn off logging
(I think this is now doable at 5Hz with the Q1000 with its 100,000 datapoint capability, since it has a switch to turn on/off logging)

-OR-

1. GEAR UP: Turn on the GPS and logging before putting on the gear. Make sure it has a few minutes of good lock for it to stabilize before entering plane.
2. EXIT: Just make sure you do a poised exit for 2 seconds
3. LANDING: Turn off the GPS and logging.
(I think this is now doable at 5Hz with the Q1000 with its 100,000 datapoint capability.)

-OR-

(works only with loggers containing enough memory and battery power for all-day operation, and near-immediate lock capability.)
1. BEGINNING OF DAY: Turn on the GPS and logging on the ground.
2. Forget about it, leave it on all day long.
(I think this is now doable at 1Hz with the Q1000 with its 100,000 datapoint capability, <1sec reacquire time, and 20+ hour battery life. There's only 86,400 seconds in one day)

The GPS can intermittently lose lock, but would immediately reacquire in intermittent bursts in the plane, and immediately at exit. By keeping GPS "hot", you have reacquire times of 1 second instead of 30 seconds.

In non-skydiving situations, I have noticed that if I bring a good GPS unit (i.e. Sirfstar III based units and similiar) out of reception for 5 minutes (i.e. indoors - or put it in a Faraday cage such as a metal box), then bring it back to full sky (i.e. outdoors), it locks on almost immediately. That's what makes these modern GPS units so much better in urban canyons. Warm start is not bad, but you should do hot start...

This is what happens when I put my BlackBerry 8800 GPS indoors into the basement, standby mode (Sirfstar III) and forget about it indoors, then I bring the GPS back outdoors -- it reacquires lock almost immediately.

The battery life in certain pucks (i.e. Q1000) is over 20 hours, so keeping GPS on all day long is necessary for fast (less than 1 second) reacquire times, which is useful when it's your turn to jump out of the door... Basically on the QSTARZ, slide the switch to "LOG" at jump door, slide the switch to "NAV" to turn off logging (but keep GPS always on). Basically, don't slide switch to "OFF" until bonfire/beer time... This will keep fast reacquire times on the QSTARZ.

Question is... what happens when logging is downloaded to Paralog. Will it require the big gaps in logging as separate jumps, for example?

So essentially, best not to turn off the GPS if you want fast reacquire times. (Needs a GPS units that has all-day battery constantly-powered life though). Basically, GPS needs to be fully powered and stable before entering the airplane, if you want fast re-acquire times. If you want to stretch battery life, then turn off GPS when landing, then power the GPS up before you gear-up. Hopefully that gives time for the GPS to stabilize into a multiple-satellite lock before you even enter the plane...

Please note -- this knowledge is based on my ground testing, not air testing. (and some hearsay from Foretrex 301 owners, and I think one other WBT-201 ownwer) Long reacquire times by modern (-158dbm capable) units only happens at power-on state or when the fix is lost for an extended period, so based on my testing, GPS should be on before entering plane and off after landing. Not turned off anytime between. Foretrex 301 owners attest to this fact that it reacquires a lock relatively fast at the jumpdoor this way. Battery life is plentiful in modern units. No need to turn it off at any point in the plane anymore. This isn't a problem with non-emitting devices such as Foretrex 301, but pilots miht be concerned about Bluetooth emissions during takeoff, I'm not sure if QSTARZ can have its bluetooth turned off while keeping GPS internally turned on.

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Just for what it's worth.I had no problem keeping a lock in a C-130 on routh to a demo we did in a stadion.
The wintec logger seemed to do just fine.
If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes???
My logbook

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Why don't you simply log a couple of jumps and send me the data?

Data from which GPS? If you mean the QSTARZ - I don't have it yet. I did look at Wintec, but not my own.
(Still waiting for guinea pig data from one of you before buying the QSTARZ Q1000BT unit.)

At the moment, I only have the BlackBerry 8800's internal GPS (based on the very good and popular Sirfstar III GPS chip -- same chip used in the Foretrex 301).

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the wintec 201 is awesome...
logs in the plane(grand caravan) perfectly and in valleys mostly very nice.
and klaus, i have a big pile of data coming your way.
just got back from switzerland and some of the data sets look weird...some are fine, like this one.
phantom from the high nose, yay! i have to work on MY performance, though.
google earth file.

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I had no problem keeping a lock in a C-130



If that is the case, I would say that there was a GPS repeater in the A/C. Having spent several days recently inside a C-130 doing GPS related stuff, I can absolutely guarentee you that you would not have a GPS fix unless a repeater was being used or you were sitting in the cockpit.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Question is... what happens when logging is downloaded to Paralog. Will it require the big gaps in logging as separate jumps, for example?



Paralog (currently) requires every jump to be a seperate track. I turn the unit on before boarding and turn it off after landing.
My Logbook

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Is the Wintec WBT-201 still the preferred "puck" logger or has something better come along?

Better would be better antenna for more reliable reception in Twin Otters.

Better could also be > 1 hz through Bluetooth even if reception is same as WBT-201.
Brian Drake

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Is the Wintec WBT-201 still the preferred "puck" logger or has something better come along?



I am using QStarz BT-Q890 + Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. It's about the size of Pro-Track or Neptune. It can log data with frequency with 1Hz to 5 Hz. It does not have internal memory, but I think a bit more advanced version, the BT-Q1300, does.

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Better would be better antenna for more reliable reception in Twin Otters.



Don't know how its reception compares to that of Wintec.

Better could also be > 1 hz through Bluetooth even if reception is same as WBT-201.



Qstarz has Bluetooth and USB interfaces, and it's possible to get data with 5 Hz frequency through Bluetooth.

And it's quite fast getting a fix if you have fresh AGPS data loaded in the device.
lego

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