Thursday, August 16, 2012

Suunto Ambit, soon with free apps

I haven't been writing for a while, I sold the GPS pod since I was mostly using my iPhone to log my runs and rides. I still have my T3C (but my wife are using it now), but this summer I bought the Ambit, and I really like it.
It has all you need for mapping, and is more like a T6C. Yesterday Suunto has announced that it will allow people to really customize it them-self with a firmware upgrade coming in November:

When looking at my last post in 2009 about the programmable watch prototype from Texas, it seems like the Ambit will be like that platform (but better hardware).

What do you think, is the Ambit the first sports watch with upgradeable firmware?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Texas Instrument introduces DIY sports watch

Texas Instrument has released a development kit amazingly cheap only $49. It includes a watch that has temperature and altitude/barometer sensors, and also a 3-axis accelerometer (like the Wii remote).
It also has a wireless link to other sensors like HRM, pedometer or USB-dongle. The bad thing is that the link is 868 or 915 or 433 MHz. It is not 2.4GHz ANT+ like the Suunto and Garmin equipment.
Anyway, there exists HR-belts with R-R measurement. The watch also has log functionality for several hours.
The display is a bit limited compared to the dot-matrix type of the Suunto watches, but since you can program it freely, you can get lots of info output with some creativity.
Included are a lot of open source sample programs.

If we cannot get what we want from the Suunto watches, this could be a candidate. It is a lot cheaper than a T6C for sure. And freely programmable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Use the T6 USB cable with GPS Pod

Here's part of a message with photos from Daniel Rubio who apparently made a hack to connect the original T6 USB-cable. I have a T3C watch, so I have not tested this.

Hi Anders, taking your notes I have modified the GPS POD and added three external contacts without wires to be able to use the Suunto interface cable. It works wonderfully.

Here's some pics of my modification...
1- This is the outside...I used the metal pin from DIL IC sockets.

The pin-out as seen in the pic are:
TX to POD, GND, RX from POD

2- Note the cut out needed (for connection pins) on the plastic part that holds the PCB in place
3- Details of the Suunto I/F cable connected to the POD and the laptop

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Suunto GPS pod to GPX downloader

I have compiled the source that I got with the new GPX option. I used the free version of visual studio from microsoft.
But it turns out that the time and date was not converted from GPS-time-of-week in the source that I received, so it was useless with all normal GPX uploading, if you want to use the time to calculate instant speed for example.

However, I found source code at another place to convert the time and included this in the source as well, and now you get time and date in the GPX file, even with milli-seconds if you configured the GPS to log with this.

Here is a link to the .exe file:

And here is the source:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Logfile directly to GPX

I put together a small conversion Basic program in OpenOffice to convert the logfiles to have real date (instead of GPS time, which is Time of week in seconds, and week number since 1/1 1980). This tab separated file I had to upload for conversion online, to get a GPX file. It was then opened with the Traxmeet uploader program, that then uploaded it to my account at traxmeet.

Yesterday I received sourcecode that I requested from Fasttrax. It is c-code for talking to their GPS modules (which is inside the Suunto GPS Pod). The source code actually has more functions than the compiled .exe version that you can download, and now supports GPX writing directly from the GPS Pod!
What does this mean?
I should be able to compile this to a new .exe file which has GPX export directly, and also I could compile it (with some modifications of the serial port handler, which is made for windows) for OS X, and Linux and even other systems.
All commands are possible to send, to set or get the time for example, and also to extract the almanac and ephemeris as I was talking about earlier.
I will experiment with this, and get back on it when I have something usable. I'm also planning to make an adaptor, that could be put on the opened Pod to get an USB-serial port connection, without any soldering!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Plotting of route

Here is some first plots from the Suunto GPS pod. It is very accurate, only around 5 meters of track, maximum. The altitude was not set to use decimals, so it is not so good looking, but you can configure the GPS to use that instead. The batteries went dead just before the point were I turned around so it did capture the complete route, but I did not go corrupt either!

Traxmeet route 19 may Anders

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A-GPS with the Suunto Pod

The next step to do after finished logging software support would be to use ephemeris and almanac data, either from another itrax unit or from other online source.

This would help to keep the startup time to minimum, if the almanac and ephemeris are up to date.