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Foreflight display of weather and traffic from IFD

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Gring View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Foreflight display of weather and traffic from IFD
    Posted: 01 Aug 2018 at 4:10pm
We've had IFD to ForeFlight connectivity for transfer of flight plans for some time now. However, we are not displaying Weather and Traffic on ForeFlight (although I believe the capability exists given it is shown on the IFD100).

I spoke with ForeFlight at Oshkosh and crickets. Below is an email I received from ForeFlight today based on my query. Seems odd that it wasn't on their radar before this, and it seems odd that Avidyne had not discussed this with ForeFlight. In any case, I suggest that if this is a feature you want to email Kyle so this gets more priority on their roadmap of updates.

----- Begin email from ForeFlight ------


Re: Traffic and Weather transfer from Avidyne IFD 540/440 to Foreflight Mobile

Hello,

Nice meeting you at OSH as well, thanks for the email.

I spoke with our Avionics Team Lead and shared your email with him. The process of integrating ADSB and XM from the IFD540 to ForeFlight has not been initiated. Not by us or Avidyne. So, it is not on the product roadmap as of now but I did pass on the feature request and it is on our radar.

Thank you for your feedback and although I know it can be frustrating to wait for such a feature if or when it does come out, we appreciate pilots speaking up in areas where we can improve.

Best regards,

Kyle


Edited by Gring - 02 Aug 2018 at 7:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2018 at 4:24pm
I've talked to both ForeFlight and Avidyne support about this. They both have said it's in the other's camp. Avidyne says they're outputting GDL-90 data that should be able to be interpreted by ForeFlight. ForeFlight says the data from Avidyne is not standard, compared to other sources. I'm not sure whether there's an issue with the GDL-90 format or the ports and connections Avidyne uses. 

FlyQ EFB does display traffic and weather data from the IFD, so Avidyne is putting something out. 

Avidyne also announced some sort of cooperation with ForeFlight a while back. It is kind of sad this issue can't be resolved in a timely manner. It doesn't sound like it would be all that hard for both parties to sit down at the table. The data is already being transmitted over WiFi. It is a matter of making sure both sides are using the same ports to send and receive information.

I wish the fingerprinting would stop and the issue would just get resolved. Both sides seem to have the right contacts on the other side. Now they need to find the will do get it done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2018 at 11:34pm
This is pretty ridiculous.  Avidyne and Foreflight needs to work together.  This is something that could literally be solved in a single day's worth of meetings between those two.  

Sadly, Weather and Traffic works great on FlyQ, and my Foreflight subscription is up for renewal this month.  I guess I will not be renewing Foreflight and sticking with FlyQ since it actually works. 

I'll shot an email to that Kyle person.  In the past I emailed their support email and asked about WX and Traffic from IFD's and they just said its low priority right now.

Maybe all of us Avidyne customers need to start submitting helptickets and emails to Foreflight to let them know how we feel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 8:19am
We've had several threads about this before. I don't know how FF tracks feature requests internally but I do know that I sent their support team a request on 2 May asking for this-- draw from that what you will.

In this thread, on 3 June Steve said he would "circle back with the Foreflight folks and see what they think the problem is." Then on 8 June, Steve said "We're going to help them complete their test environment and then we'll support them whenever they can start that testing."

Since then, crickets.

My theory, completely unproven, is that Steve's team has been too busy to continually prod FF, into forward motion, and that the FF team frankly doesn't give a hoot in hell about supporting this feature and therefore aren't doing anything themselves. Unless and until one of those things changes, we're going to keep seeing threads like this pop up every couple of months as people discover that an obvious, and promised, interop feature doesn't work properly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviSteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 9:21am
I wish I had better news for you, but the ball is in their court...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dpcraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 9:22am
I sent FF a note last night regarding this issue.. It might help if we can get the user group to bombard them with inquiry's about this desired feature. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 9:41am
Originally posted by AviSteve AviSteve wrote:

I wish I had better news for you, but the ball is in their court...

And its pretty obvious too Steve.  If FlyQ EFB, and many of the other EFB's out there work nicely with WX/Traffic from IFD's then its kind of hard to say its Avidynes fault. :-)   

I think its Foreflight's shoddy handling of GDL90 datastructure because they were so keen on sticking with Stratus / Appareo.  I was really hoping that since that contract is up, they'd get their stuff in gear and start being friendlier to the GDL90 standard.

It's kind of hard to point the finger at Avidyne on this one, since their stuff is working with all the other players.  Its a Foreflight issue. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shufflehuff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 12:23pm
I currently send them a note on the first day of the month every month. I have been doing so for the last six months or so. I also had a discussion with them at OshKosh, but the people I really needed to speak with were not there. I spoke with Grady Hughes. He said he was going to run it up the flagpole. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 12:26pm
Can you elaborate what the exact technical problem is, Steve? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviSteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by HenryM HenryM wrote:

Can you elaborate what the exact technical problem is, Steve? 
No, I really don't know.  Last I heard, they just didn't have a wiring harness that allowed them to hook up ADS-B source to the IFD and that's preventing them from debugging/testing.  We've offered to help them get a harness built or even to build one for them.
Steve Lindsley
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 2:15pm
So neither Foreflight nor Avidyne have just looked at the WiFi traffic to see what is going on?

Has either side looked at the specs of the other as to what ports are expected to have the GDL-90/Capstone stream and what is is supposed to look like?

Stratux code is publicly available and works with ForeFlight. It should show exactly what needs to be done to connect. They did it without FF help. 

FF also says they're open to straight GDL-90 code now. Do they publish a spec for what they expect to see?

I think with the latest FF there's a setting for using the GDL-90 code. Next time I'm out, I'll see if I can set it when connected to the IFD. This is a new setting within the last release or two of FF. You have to be connected to see it, so I can't try it out until I go to the airport, maybe this weekend.


Edited by HenryM - 02 Aug 2018 at 2:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 2:59pm
Originally posted by HenryM HenryM wrote:

So neither Foreflight nor Avidyne have just looked at the WiFi traffic to see what is going on?

Has either side looked at the specs of the other as to what ports are expected to have the GDL-90/Capstone stream and what is is supposed to look like?

Stratux code is publicly available and works with ForeFlight. It should show exactly what needs to be done to connect. They did it without FF help. 

FF also says they're open to straight GDL-90 code now. Do they publish a spec for what they expect to see?

I think with the latest FF there's a setting for using the GDL-90 code. Next time I'm out, I'll see if I can set it when connected to the IFD. This is a new setting within the last release or two of FF. You have to be connected to see it, so I can't try it out until I go to the airport, maybe this weekend.

Henry,
If you have any suggestions on where to look in FF, I will give it a shot tonight.  I am planning on heading out to the hangar this evening.  Can't do much flying because of the weather, but I do get full GPS signal in the hangar on the IFD.  I'll look around FF and see if I can find it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2018 at 3:12pm
I think once you're connected, you can go into ForeFlight, More on the bottom right hand corner, then Devices and there's a setting for the ADS-B device to use GDL-90 data. 

I assume this is provided FF knows enough to see the IFD an an ADS-B device. I'm not 100% sure the setting is available for the IFD. It is for devices hat FF recognizes as an ADS-B input, like Stratux and such. They also have a FF proprietary stream that gives FF additional control over the device and lets more information through. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2018 at 9:23pm
I tried to see if ForFlight could be coaxed into using the GDL-90 data from the IFD, but it doesn’t recognize that the IFD provides ADS-B data.

ForeFlight only thinks the IFD can provide GPS information and flightplan send/receive.

ForeFlight’s view of the IFD-540


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2018 at 9:49pm
yea, well, we already knew that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2018 at 4:06pm
Aaand… Foreflight 10.3 dropped today, conspicuously not featuring Avidyne ADS-B data integration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CubedRoot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2018 at 4:09pm
Originally posted by paulr paulr wrote:

Aaand… Foreflight 10.3 dropped today, conspicuously not featuring Avidyne ADS-B data integration.


Well,
I am pretty sure we all expected that.  It seems there is a stale-mate between Avidyne / Foreflight on making this happen.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khuffine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2018 at 11:21pm
I got the same reply from Oshkosh talks with avidyne ,foreflight and Xm. Avidyne said xm code was too large and FF said wasn’t there fault. I expect our elected officials to not tell the truth but when you pay big money I expect a truthful answer. I make choices by what the box can do. Marketing needs to help us out and give us the straight skinny on what will work. I am too old to listen to a sales job. Just facts please so I can make good decisions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cruiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 8:34am
The source (Avidyne) must provide data that the destination (Foreflight) can connect to.
The burden is for Avidyne to conform to a standard. (GDL90 in this case.)
the burden for Foreflight is to include these options in their units.

If Avidyne says it is outputting GDL90 and other products are working with it then I suspect the total burden is on Foreflight to figure out how they get the data.

Avidyne cannot do anything but assure they output a standard format and it sounds like they are doing that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 8:59am
I'm not so sure it even needs to be standard, but rather published (which Avidyne has done). The Garmin Pilot feed is not standard capstone and ForeFlight is picking it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 11:07am
On the other hand, Stratux, an open source project, outputs GDL-90 data used by many different EFB’s, and ForeFlight is able to display the information. It appears that Avidyne is doing something slightly different. They could look at the Stratux code and see all the details of what is required for a successful connection. From what I have heard from a developer, the issue appears to be as simple as picking the right port to which to send data.

At this stage, both companies are just pointing fingers.  If the two companies would sit together for a couple of hours, the issue could be resolved. So far neither one seems to want to do that due to other priorities, and of course each one thinks the other company should do the work. Both say they are using standard, published interfaces. 

I’ve written to both companies, and neither has shown much interest in talking to the other company to get the matter resolved. I don’t think one company is completely right and the other completely wrong. They just don’t seem to have the time or inclination to do something about this particular issue. 


Edited by HenryM - 28 Aug 2018 at 11:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 1:46pm
At this point I am picturing the Avi-FF relationship like a married couple that's fighting. One spouse won't talk to the other, and when asked why merely says "You know why."

In this case, FF says the data stream they're getting from Avi is bad in some way. But they haven't tested it, and (IIRC) don't have an IFD to test with anyway, even though AviSteve has offered. Emails to the FF support team don't seem to have sufficed to get them to try harder. Shrug. Might be time to start using FlyQ.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 4:37pm
I am not a ForeFlight customer, but throughout their existence until very recently they have consistently projected a stance of "My way or the highway".  You want FF?  You buy an iPad.  You want ADSB?  You buy a Stratus.  Ask them if they have any plans to support alternate platforms or ADSB receivers, and you get a straight-up, "No."

With FF, the customer isn't always right, they are.  Their business has been successful, so that's worked out quite well for them.  But for years it hasn't worked out so well for customers who were interested in seeing FF support non-iOS/non-Stratus devices.  

I think this current situation with Avidyne is at least partially a result of FF's past business choices.  Now that they're finally starting to support more devices than just Stratus, it's not very surprising that the progress is somewhat slow and painful.  It's not something FF has a lot of practice doing, and it's clear that they're broadening their support only grudgingly, not enthusiastically.


Edited by MysticCobra - 28 Aug 2018 at 6:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cruiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 6:41pm
Still the customer is stung by not getting what they want.

Avidyne cannot know what every ADS-B receiver company is doing. It can only supply a standard (or open source) that others can connect to.

I see this as totally Foreflight problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LANCE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2018 at 8:59am
Originally posted by MysticCobra MysticCobra wrote:

I am not a ForeFlight customer, but throughout their existence until very recently they have consistently projected a stance of "My way or the highway".  You want FF?  You buy an iPad.  You want ADSB?  You buy a Stratus.  Ask them if they have any plans to support alternate platforms or ADSB receivers, and you get a straight-up, "No."

With FF, the customer isn't always right, they are.  Their business has been successful, so that's worked out quite well for them.  But for years it hasn't worked out so well for customers who were interested in seeing FF support non-iOS/non-Stratus devices.  

I think this current situation with Avidyne is at least partially a result of FF's past business choices.  Now that they're finally starting to support more devices than just Stratus, it's not very surprising that the progress is somewhat slow and painful.  It's not something FF has a lot of practice doing, and it's clear that they're broadening their support only grudgingly, not enthusiastically.

Huh? 
Wow if this is broadening their support grudgingly, I can't imagine what it will be like if they start doing it enthusiastically . . lol.


 







They support two way flight plan transfers very nicely for the IFD's and I expect when Avidyne and Foreflight work together instead of blaming each iother that they will display weather from the IFD.

I think it's great that they pick one platform (either iOS or Android) and focus all their attention on that, rather than dividing their focus between two platforms.  There are a few good tablet apps out there and competition keeps making all of them better.


Edited by LANCE - 29 Aug 2018 at 10:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2018 at 1:35pm
Foreflight and Avidyne both claim they support the GDL-90 data format. and that is what is being sent out by Avidyne to move ADS-B data. However, the same ports need to be used on both sides for the data to flow. It sounds like they are "this close" to having something that works. I wish one engineer, on either side, would just implement the fix. It does not involve a whole new development project. 

Both companies claim to partner with each other. Let's see that partnership at work! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote teeth6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 7:09am
The latest response from FF to me after the release this week:

Hi Larry,

Dominik here.

We appreciate and understand your concerns and questions regarding the integration. We are committed to adding functionality and connectivity. However, we are only able to announce features as they occur. We are not able to pre-announce plans or projects.

We have no timeline on announce regarding ADS-B weather and traffic from the Avidyne IFD's. We do hear you, and we appreciate your inquiry. We have noted your vote for this integration to be added so that you can see ADS-B weather and traffic on your iPad with ForeFlight.

Regards,

Dominik
Pilot Support Team
team@foreflight.com
www.foreflight.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 7:45am
Dominik, You've cut and pasted the same response to this request ForeFlight has been providing for over a year. This is getting ridiculous at this point. The Avidyne IFD series has been a serious market contender to Garmin since it's introduction and I find it unacceptable that ForeFlight doesn't fully support this platform and continues to kick the can down the road.

We don't believe that you hear us, and we don't believe that our vote counts. I'm not alone here, in all of my discussions with your team at previous Oshkosh events and others your team doesn't even know how to spell Avidyne. From a consumer perspective, it doesn't even look like it is on your radar, let alone in a queue to be developed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 1:15pm
It's pretty clear what is happening here. Any manufacturer will go after the low-hanging fruit first, and in aviation that means the largest potential market / installed base which is Garmin. The same applies with adding aircraft STCs for things like autopilots. Just look at Genesys STC roadmap for the 3100.

FF is the leader in their market, so it is a bit odd that Avidyne isn't more proactive on this towards FF. It is in their own interest since existing FF users could and likely do make avionics choices based on what works with FF.
Vince
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rangemaster_Tango Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 1:39pm
I believe this is a Foreflight problem.  Evidence?  Look to the other apps such as FlyQ and others.  I have been an FF user since about 2012, but just this month let my subscription expire.  I have started using FlyQ and FltPlan GO.  It will take some time to get comfortable, but hey, at least I'm not paying for FF anymore after repeatedly asking for this enhancement and waiting for more than a year.  I will probably go back to FF if the function is added soon, but the more comfortable I get with others, the less likely it is.  

P.S.  I love my Avidyne equipment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 4:51pm
The basic technical issue appears to be that foreflight expects GDL90 packets to be sent via UDP messages to port 4000 of the devices running the application.   Both Stratus and stratux implemented this by knowing what devices requested an IP address from their internal dhcp server.  The open connect spec says this in summary: https://www.foreflight.com/connect/spec/ I'm unsure if they have another mechanism other vendors can use but thats what's publicly available.

Avidyne appears to send data out to  various network ports, some are UDP (GPS).  But it looks like  GDL90 packets are only sent if you establish a TCP connection to port 5678 on the IFD.  Perfectly valid implementation but requires the application to use a connected socket.

So everyone appears to be adhering to the GDL90 message standard, but unfortunately that only talks about wired serial links so network implementation is kinda up to you. One could imagine building a simple proxy to connect to the IFD and relay out via UDP messages.  Personally I wanted a backup portable anyway so don't care enough to even try.

So I can see both sides of the argument. I've built software systems long enough to know what a PITA API interfaces and compatibility testing can be.  A certified device like an IFD has hurdles that foreflight doesn't, but has a large user base so you don't make changes lightly either.


Edited by pilotken - 30 Aug 2018 at 8:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 5:50pm
pilotken,

What is simpler, from a software point of view (I know certification is another matter): have the IFD use UDP to send data to port 4000, or have ForeFlight implement a socket to receive data over a TCP connection on port 5678?

If you want it to be possible to connect to an external WiFi network like the IFD can, but Stratus/Stratux can not, does the answer change?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote teeth6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 6:53pm
Gring,
Did you send that response to Dominik?   Please let us know if you get a reply from them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 7:57pm
It's probably not a technical decision, either one is a valid approach and not that hard to implement compared to the work already done.   So it's usually a business decision.  In networking protocols lots of times it's easier to conform to what the bigger market leader wants or sets a semi-standard that's been made public.  That way you capture a larger market segment. Sometimes people like to have a more closed system to maintain control and compatibility (like the G company).  Even Foreflight was somewhat closed before.

If it were me I'd probably implement the open protocol in parallel as an option rather than expect an app vendor to keep dragging along a different interface into the future.  Also other players seem to have adopted the interface so it sure would be nice to tell the EFB vendors they have an open protocol option for the base system.  Since all of this has emerged in only the last few months it's understandable it's not there now!  

Now does it change if the IFD is a guest on a different network?  I'm not sure, you could do the broadcast UDP trick.  Anyway I'm guessing a bit there not knowing all the ins/outs of the IFD protocols. I'm probably wrong about some details!


Edited by pilotken - 30 Aug 2018 at 8:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2018 at 8:25pm
Thank you for the enlightment, pilotken. 

I tried to get more technical details from ForeFlight, but this is all they responded:

Quote Thanks for your passionate support of the Avidyne hardware.

Adding support for ADS-B from Avidyne is definitely on our "want to do" list, but we cannot provide any specifics about the work that must take place for us to offer that.

I will be sure to let our Product Management team know about your request for Avidyne support.

Regards,

-Josh

Perhaps if more people would write in, the priority would rise from “want to do” to “must do”. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

It would be great if Avidyne also did their part to do what it takes. The Stratux code is available open-source to see what is needed to broadcast ADS-B data in a way most EFB’s can read it. 

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