Tomtom in a private aircraft

Discussion in 'General TomTom Discussion' started by Bond, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Bond

    Bond

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    New to the forum, but a Tomtom user for the last 5yrs. Soo much better than Garmin (at least in terms of customer service IMHO).

    I'm half way through my private pilot lesson right now (about 30hrs). Did my first night flight (with instructor) the other night, and it was very interesting trying to find Detroit City airport amongst the urban neon.

    Just curious - it is possible to turn off the Tomtom lock on roads? I just want to be able to send it to a point, from a point, and let me know the way to get to it (in an airplane).

    Certainly nothing documented I know of - anything 'undocumented'? Doesn't this device have a Tomtom look to it? - https://www.bendixking.com/AV8OR/
    Bond, Oct 23, 2008
    #1
  2. Bond

    sageuvagony

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tampa, FL USA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO 720
    TomToms will always try to lock to a road since they are meant for road use.
    sageuvagony, Oct 23, 2008
    #2
  3. Bond

    1XL-on-XR650L

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Southern California
    TomTom Model(s):
    One XL
    I have not used my Tomtom to navigate in a private aircraft yet (though I am looking forward to getting back into flying again!). In preparation for that day I have practiced using V.O.R's (loaded as POI's), and a piece of 3rd party software called Offroad. Here is the link:
    http://www.webazar.org/tomtom/offroad.php?lang=uk

    This software (when tweaked properly) will "unsnap" from roads, and work just like a Nav radio (VOR) with an arrow that points right to the VOR (or coordinates you have programed in to some point on the ground, like an airport). Like I said, I have only tried this on the ground so far, but I can't come up with a good reason that it would not work in the air. You will need an external power supply (if the airplane does not have a cigarette lighter installed), because my Tomtom ONE XL will only work for about 1 1/2 hour on its own battery. Here is a link to my solution:
    http://www.freewebs.com/randytrent/geocaching.htm

    I have planned to use a bicycle handlebar mount that will attach to the yoke (most of those are clamp type) and should not interfere with the forward stroke (I have not verified this yet). The only draw back that I anticipate would be possible interference with the calibration of the aircraft's magnetic compass. I remember having some problems when I placed a "backup" com transceiver on the dash, and the magnet from the speaker caused the magnetic compass to generate incorrect readings. The Tomtom has a speaker (and therefore a magnet) in the back. Depending on how close it is to the compass, this might be a BIG PROBLEM! Be careful !!!!

    Here is a link to the VOR's in the United States that have already been configured as POI's for the Tomtom.
    http://www.poi-factory.com/node/4720

    I like this POI set because if you configure the poi correctly (some manipulation in a CSV file is required), you can get the frequency to display as a phone number of the POI. (handy for when the sectional is hard to read).

    I have also loaded these POI's into my Garmin hand held (just in case). The garmin should work just as well (it has the option to unlock from roads built in), but its screen size is significantly smaller, and therefore harder to see. It is a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX hand held unit that I use for geocaching and hiking.

    Just as a side note, I found a place to download sectionals:
    http://skyvector.com/

    These look like one could do a screen capture ((JPEG format) and calibrate the edges to correspond to the correct coordinates. These could then be downloaded into the "Offroad" software as background maps which would display just like a regular Tomtom map. I have done this with Google Earth screen captures, and used them on hiking, and dirt bike (motorcycle) adventures (geocaching too!), and they work really well! I wish it were as easy to get raster format maps into my Garmin!
    Good luck,, have fun,, and be safe! Remember, keep your eyes out of the cockpit in VFR conditions! :)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
    1XL-on-XR650L, Oct 23, 2008
    #3
    2 people like this.
  4. Bond

    Bond

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
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    Flying Tomtom

    Wow, I really did not expect a good response from my note - it was a kinda "well nothing ventured.." moment. Thank you most kindly for your response 650 (I bolted my original TT to the tank bolt on my VFR800VTEC - worked really well but dangerous as heck playing with it at speed).

    I was imagining how the TT could work in the air and I also came to the VOR method. The 'needle' (TT arrow) would always point to your next waypoint (you could plan the flight in advance I guess). To/From flags would be indicated by the arrow direction. I presume it would also give distance to, and ETA estimations. I wonder whether the high-wing cessna will cause an issue with satelite reception? I will be trying this out.

    Incidentally, student pilots are not supposed to use GPS. We're supposed to learn VOR, DME, NDB and dead reckoning. All these have their place, and I am studying them. The GPS thing is a curisoty for now.

    Funnily enough I also have a Etrex Vista (greyscale), but being nasty Garmin, the screen is damaged (guessing an internal conector issue, since vibration causes vertical lines, followed by complete shut down. Battery removal is the only was to reset). I'm sad 'cos I liked that old Garmin (it went to Everest with me, and still has the track log). I'm toying with sending it for refurb. but at $90 it's pricey. And I can hang-on Garmin customer support for 3/4hr without speaking to a real person...

    I'll let you know how the 'hack' goes.
    Bond, Oct 23, 2008
    #4
  5. Bond

    sageuvagony

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
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    Location:
    Tampa, FL USA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO 720
    Wow 1XL-on-XR650L, you are awesome! +Rep
    sageuvagony, Oct 23, 2008
    #5
  6. Bond

    1XL-on-XR650L

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Southern California
    TomTom Model(s):
    One XL
    There are some threads about this "vertical line screen" problem on other forums. At least one post I saw indicated that the free software/firmware upgrade from the Garmin site solved the problem with the older Etrex series,,, you might give that a try,, what to heck,, its free!
    1XL-on-XR650L, Oct 24, 2008
    #6
  7. Bond

    driz

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
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    How Is It Working For You In The Plane.

    I just got a gen 3 and am looking into the same thing. I have a Cessna 150 and have used a Lowrance 99 portable loran for many years. The tomtom should be much more useful in every respect. I am curious how you set yours up and got it working. As for location to locate unit I would put it on the windshield down low or off to the side a bit, wherever its not in the like of sight in front of you.
    There is only one big word of warning and you already know it, just keep it always in mind. KEEP YOUR EYES OUTSIDE THE AIRPLANE ESPECIALLY WITHIN 5 MILES OF THE AIRPORT. Sure you already know it but it's easy to get mesmurized with any of these and the other nav instruments and run right into something. You should be able to plug your power cord right into the planes cigarette lighter for power unless they removed it instead of mounting the inline fuse to accomplish an AD of long ago. Sort of stupid taking it out though.
    driz, Nov 10, 2008
    #7
  8. Bond

    Alus

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    TomTom Model(s):
    One XL
    AirNavigator with HSI for TomTom devices

    Hi All,

    I just (and specifically) registered to this forum to resume this old thread with this message:

    Actually, I wrote a simple application (really essential) for TomTom devices that does something like what is requested here. It allows to use a TomTom to fly an already prepared flight plan. The program will act as an HSI.

    Would be really nice to have some comments and opinions from who, of this forum, can be interested, in this project.

    Alus
    Alus, Jan 21, 2013
    #8
  9. Bond

    Alus

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    TomTom Model(s):
    One XL
    And here the link

    Because my previews post was my first post thus I was not allowed to post a link so...

    My small app and all the information's are available for free here:
    http://www.alus.it/airnavigator/

    I hope it can be useful.

    Greetz,

    Alus
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
    Alus, Jan 21, 2013
    #9
  10. Bond

    canderson Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
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    8,190
    Location:
    Colorado
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO720 GO 740 GO1535 GO1605 VIA130
    @Alus
    Impressive piece of work, and the display is very nicely done! It's a shame that this will only work on the older units and only a handful of the new ones. It should work on several of the new Start series units (Start 40/45/50/55) that are built on the old platform. The Start 50/55 has a 5" screen, too.
    canderson, Jan 21, 2013
    #10

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