Saturday, 29 November 2014

Kobo Glo Install

I finally got around to installing the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 in a Kobo Glo. Most of the install procedure is the same as the Kobo Mini using earlier versions of the Bluefly. Unfortunately, the Kobo Mini is becoming hard to find. I choose the Glo instead of the Touch as the bezel has more room for the Bluefly. Also, I think the battery is larger to power the LED backlight on the Glo; although we will not use that light for XCSoar

What you will need

Gather the following things:

  • A BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 module. You will not need header or Dupont connector that comes with it; but you will need the small piece of neoprene, some wires and some heatshink if you do not have a case. 
  • A Kobo Glo.
  • A Bluefly Kobo Glo Simple Case, you can download this solid design from Thingverse. Find a friend with a 3d printer or order a copy from an online 3d printing service. I had to update the older Kobo Mini Simple Case as it did not fit well on the Kobo Glo. [The case is not really needed, it makes the install look nice. You can of course just use the heatshrink]
  • Some countersunk M3x6mm screws and hex nuts to attach the case to the Glo. 
  • A good soldering iron and some skill using it. 
  • A drill and the right size drill bits. 
Step 1 - Set up XCSoar on the Kobo

This procedure starts pretty much the same as Steps 1 to 3 in this earlier post. Get the Kobo, make sure it works as a standard eReader, then remove the back cover and back up the internal SD card. Note the back cover of the Glo just pops off (with some uncomfortable force), there are no screws. After the SD Card is backed up install XCSoar as described on the XCSoar download page. When XCSoar is working power off the Kobo. 

Note these funny things about the Glo:
  • The power button on the Glo is a bit weird when the back cover is removed. You might have to squeeze the PCB towards the power button to get it to work. 
  • When the Glo has been powered off, from either XCSoar or Nickel, you need to wait about 20 seconds until the power button will work again. 
  • Sometimes Glo freezes at the start-up screen. A short press on the reset button (the hole near the USB connector) will restart it back to the XCSoar menu. 
Step 2 - Solder the BlueFly module to the Kobo

Start by soldering the four wires to the front of the Bluefly module. The wires will wrap around the edge of the module and through a hole in the front of the bezel. There is much less room behind the bezel on the Glo compared to the Mini. Position the case and module and it should be reasonably easy to work out where to drill the holes for the wires. You might use a bit of double sided tape to hold it in position. 



Trim the wires then solder them to the Kobo. Make sure to connect the Bluefly-Tx to the Kobo-Rx and vice versa. 



Note that there are two other serial ports on the Glo which you might be tempted to use - don't. For some reason any data on these ports causes the Glo to freeze. 

In this install we are not going to use the VBACKUP for the GPS as it is tricky to pick up clean power without damaging the Glo. If you really want to connect it then spend some time Googling and find examples of soldering it to capacitor C12. 

Step 3 - Install the Simple Case

After drilling the holes make sure to put the neoprene over the pressure sensor. Secure the case to the bezel using M3 screws and nuts. 



You will need to trim some of the plastic fins from the back cover and around the nuts to make sure it all fits together. 



Step 4 - BlueFly Configuration

Follow Step 8 from here to configure the hardware settings. I think it is best to set the Bluefly to output mode 2 at five updates per second, then adjust the settings in XCSoar to use the LX driver. This minimizes the amount of data. 

Using it

Note that by default the Bluefly will only power on and off based on button presses. If you wanted the Bluefly to switch on and off as the Kobo is powered on and off then you can close the solder jumper on the Bluefly module. 








72 comments:

  1. Hi Alistair,

    how much is the current drained by VBACKUP? It seems that a little amount of current will be drained whether or not the module is powered, am i right?

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    Replies
    1. According to the datasheet it consumes 7 uA, which means a 1000mAh battery will power the VBACKUP for about 15 years if my quick calculations are correct. However, the battery will be at the end of its life well before that.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Ok, so if i choose to power on and off the module closing the solder jumper, with VBACKUP soldered to C12 i sohuldn't have battery issues, am i right?

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    4. That is correct, provided you shut the Kobo off. If the solder jumper is closed then the Bluefly module will power on as soon as it receives power. The serial port on the Kobo powers off when the Kobo is shut down. However, if the Kobo is on then the Bluefly will be consuming power. If you shut it off with a long press then it will just power back on if the solder jumper is closed.

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    5. And if i will choose to send it to sleep when using Nickel, through implementing init_nickel.sh script ($SLX, not $SLP)? It will only drain 7uA from VBACKUP, right?

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    6. Not exactly, the module still uses some power via the regulator. There is also some parasitic power drain via the serial pins. I think I did an experiment and decided that the total power consumption of the module when 'off' would drain a full battery in about two years. There are some additional things that could be done to reduce that to zero, but in all practical terms it is negligible.

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    7. Ok, that drain is obviously low enough. Thanks Alistair. I can't wait to receive my Bluefly to complete this mod.

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  2. is the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 working with Kobo Mini? or just with the Glo?

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    Replies
    1. I tested it with the Kobo Mini too. The install procedure is similar. See some earlier blog posts for information about installing the BlueFly on the Mini.

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    2. any knowledge of a blueflyvario on a kobo touch?

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    3. A few guys have installed it in the touch. Check out the xcsoar forums for lots of examples (and pitfalls to avoid).

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  3. Hi Alistair,

    i have a question regarding the sound of the BlueFlyVario: is there any way possible to have the airspace warning sound to be heard by the speaker of the BlueFlyVario?

    thanks.

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    Replies
    1. It is possible, but will require changes to both XCSoar and the Bluefly firmware. I can do the firmware updates, we just need someone to change XCSoar.

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    2. I am surely not qualified enough to do changes to XCSoar, since i remember that you've submitted a request for implementing your power saving script to XCSoar developer section, can you please tell me how to request such kind of changes?

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    3. Submit a feature request in the XCSoar forum.

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    4. Done!

      you can follow it here http://bugs.xcsoar.org/ticket/3445

      Thanks again.

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    5. Update: the new feature request is here: http://bugs.xcsoar.org/ticket/3459

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  4. Question on VBACKUP. Is this a micro-power connection for keeping the GPS module's satellite memory alive? I see on the cct diagram it can be 2.0 to 4.3V, so can be supplied directly from a one-cell Li-Ion.

    Is this where C12 comes in? Is it simply a convenient point to pickup the kobo's positive battery terminal?

    Cheers.

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  5. Hy Alistair. I have noticed that the xcsoar 6.8 alpha has usb-otg support. Is it possible to connect the bfv windows app, over usb to serial connection, useing the kobo usb port to alter bfv parameters ? And also to update firmware?
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrei, I am pretty sure that is not straightforward, even with OTG support. It might be possible for someone to write some nifty linux middleware that works on the Kobo hardware. It would have to make the Kobo usb port appear as a USB serial port on a computer, then pipe data from the internal port to that. I am almost certain that would take me hundreds of hours coding time.

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  6. Another question: Should i unsolder the bfv from the kobo when updating the firmware? I am trying to solder the 4x1P right angle to the pcb in such a manner that i will be able to solder the four wires to the underside of the pcb leaving on the upperside a little bit of the 4 pins to connect the DuPont of the ttl to usb/serial.

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    Replies
    1. Andrei, I have still not tested a firmware update while connected to the Kobo. I always disconnect from the Kobo, then connect to a USB-Serial converter for the firmware update.

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  7. Thank you, i will do that to then.

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  8. I've been having trouble figuring out where exactly the neoprene should go. Does it stick to the plastic cover I've printed, or to the pressure sensor component. Also, which component is the pressure sensor? (sorry, I am not sure what the sensor looks like).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the most recent blog post (http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/ttlgps-support-tips.html) for an image which shows the placement of the neoprene. There is no need to stick it to anything, the cover should press down on the neoprene to keep it in place.

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    2. Im also having issues with the pressure sensor. If I put the neoprene it becomes unstable.
      Is it a problem if I use the BlueFlyVario only with the simpe 3D printed case without the neoprene?

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    3. Ylli - Please see the image in this blog post: http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/ttlgps-support-tips.html. Do not remove the paper from the adhesive side of the neoprene, it is held in place by the heat shrink. Although it does not really matter how you hold it in place, as long as it effectively blocks the light while allowing air through the neoprene foam and into the two tiny little holes on top of the pressure sensor. If you are still having trouble please email me and I will help you out more.

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  9. I don't found the port ttymxc0 on my kobo glo with android kernel. It's possible to config a bluefly vario GPS with a kobo glo kernel android?

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, I am not sure. Who put the Kobo Glo Android Kernal together? You might have to rebuild it so it has the appropriate serial ports available, but I am not sure how to do that.

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  10. Hi Al, is it possible to upload a new firmware to TTL bluefly via KOBO Glo, or I have to unassembly , connect to PC and then assembly into KOBO again?
    Thanks a lot
    Jan

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    Replies
    1. Jan, You will need to unassemble it. I have not yet worked out a way to do a firmware update while it is attached. See the blog post about firmware.

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    2. I have modified the connection, soldering the 4 right angle pins with the right angel on the upper side (where the button is), then on the underside i have connected (to the pins of the right angle pins) the wires leading to the kobo connection; after this, cut the 4 long pins in a maner that they fit exactly in the 3D printed case and also be able to connect the du-pont connector to it (it`s about half of the original lenght). When connecting the bluefly to the pc, just use the tx and rx connection, leaving the gnd and vcc connection free, but you shuld powerup the device. In essence - the bluefly gets power from the kobo battery and the signal comes from the pc. Hope this helps. If you wish i can help with photos.

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    3. And also for ease of connection i have used wires from IDE PATA pc hard drive connection, insted of the one deliverd by Al.

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  11. Sorry,no time to sirch dipper, how to update xcsoar 6.7 to 6.8 on Kobo mini?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry, I do not understand what you mean by "sirch dipper"

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  12. Very often ,device screen freezing, some buggs ? Possible to fix this somehow with update xcsoar or codding ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please address any questions about xcsoar to http://forum.xcsoar.org/. There is a much wider range of users there who might be able to help if you can produce repeatable errors.

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  13. Hi Alistair,
    "After drilling the holes make sure to put the neoprene over the pressure sensor"
    I want to be sure : the pressure sensor is the "G.top013" piece ? You put the foam side of the neoprene over the sensor, and stuck the adhesive side on the case ?
    Also, there is a transparent film provided. Is it a a heat shrink film ? Where do we have to use it ?
    Can you provide a picture of the BlueFLyVario once installed, just before putting the case ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      G.top013 is the GPS sensor
      The pressure sensor is the piece near the G.top013
      This is the little silver rectangle with two little holes
      between the G.top013 and the black microship
      then after you have the speaker

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    2. OK, thanks.
      Is it necessary to use the heat shrink film if I already use a 3D printed case ?

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    3. OK, thanks.
      Is it necessary to use the heat shrink film if I already use a 3D printed case ?

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    4. Saul,

      Please see the image in this blog post: http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/ttlgps-support-tips.html. I do not remove the paper from the adhesive side of the neoprene, it is held in place by the heat shrink. Although it does not really matter how you hold it in place, as long as it effectively blocks the light while allowing air through the neoprene foam and into the two tiny little holes on top of the pressure sensor.

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  14. So if I use a 3D printed case, i don't need to put the neoprene, as there won't be light on the sensor ?

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    Replies
    1. It depends what material you print with. If any light gets through then I will still use the neoprene. You may as well use it anyway.

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  15. Hi Alistair,

    I have installed XCSoar and soldered the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 to a Kobo Glo as per your instructions. However, I am unable to get the two to talk. Could you please specify the settings in Config/Devices when in XCSoar?

    Thanks,

    Sami

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami, Please read these blog posts carefully:
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/blueflyvariottlgps-simple-case.html
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/kobo-glo-install.html
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/blueflyvariottlgpsv10-released.html
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/blueflyvariottlgpsv10-improvements.html
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/ttlgps-support-tips.html
      http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/more-bluefly-and-xcsoar-integration.html

      Step 6 in the second post provides some information about settings.

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  17. Hi Sir...
    i have a two kobo and BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 module.

    program is LK8000.
    Configuration.
    1. Device Name : Generic and BlueflyVario
    2. Port : /dev/ttymxc0
    3. Baudrate : 9600 / 8bit

    last time i'm work install the finished hardware kobo.
    however Now Not connecting BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 module.
    Anytimes kobo displaying GPS: NO DATA RX...
    two kobo is same problems....
    Please Help me...
    How can i setting and Check point?

    thanks for all imformation.

    email : pomaworld@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, i have too this problem !!
      i stay many houres to resolving but any thing!!
      Please help us .. i have connct kobo glo by tel net for this setting
      """
      Now communicate with the BlueFly over the serial port using commands as follows:
      stty ospeed 57600 ispeed 57600 -F /dev/ttymxc0 'changes baud settings to match BlueFlyVario.
      stty -F /dev/ttymxc0 raw 'makes sure the terminal program in linux sends off characters as they arrive. .......... """

      Thanks

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    2. Hi, are you have Barometer Altitude on the LK8000? I cant figure why I don`t have it on the LK8000

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    3. Have you changed the outputMode on the BlueFly to LK8EX1?

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  18. Hi Alistair,
    I just received the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 module and connected it to my Kobo glow. The Kobo is getting very unresponsive. Only with USB power connected it works a bit (full battery). I can start up and enable the telnet server. Here I can see data is coming in from from the module. I have set the baud rate to 57600, as suggested and 5 lines per second.
    But as soon as I go to Fly or SIM in XCSoar 6.8, the touch screen is unresponsive, so I cannot do anything.
    Also, as soon as I remove USB power, the Kobo hangs up. Hardware reset button does not work: Only waiting 20 sec, re apply power, it comes into XCSoar again.
    And, when I go into Nickel and get at the Kobo software the same problem: Remove power and it freezes.
    Any tips to get it to work correctly?
    Thanks, Kas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you confirm you have Glo and not the Glo HD.

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    2. Yes, it is absolutely the glow.

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    3. Well, I unsoldered the wires, did a factory reset of the Kobo Glo, re-installed XCSoar, soldered the wires again. Now stuff is working: I have a barometer reading in XCSoar and a GPS waiting for fix.
      No more time, have to go. I'll come back later.
      Kas

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    4. Hi, i have too this problem !!
      i stay many houres to resolving but any thing!!
      Please help us .. i have connct kobo glo by tel net for this setting
      """
      Now communicate with the BlueFly over the serial port using commands as follows:
      stty ospeed 57600 ispeed 57600 -F /dev/ttymxc0 'changes baud settings to match BlueFlyVario.
      stty -F /dev/ttymxc0 raw 'makes sure the terminal program in linux sends off characters as they arrive. .......... """

      Thanks

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    5. I have sent you an email. Fro me to try to understand what is going on please:
      1. Send an email with some photos which show the wire connections between the Bluefly and the Kobo.
      2. Send a copy of a NMEA log which shows about 20 minutes of data with the Bluefly and Kobo on. The GPS patch antenna should have a clear view of the sky in all directions, and not be moved during this period.
      See here for how to record a NMEA log: http://blueflyvario.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/ttlgps-support-tips.html

      I will look at the wire routing to see if there might be a problem affecting the stability of power, and analyse the NMEA log to see the HDOP value over the 20 minute period.

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  19. Best regards :)

    Is the case is same for Kobo Glo and Kobo Mini?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have used a different case for the Mini. See an earlier blog post for the Mini case.

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  20. Hi Alistair,
    I want to put a 5000 mah battery in my kobo glo.
    Do you know where can I download a case spacer to copy it with a 3D pinter ?

    REGARDS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Search thingverse for 'BlueFly' or 'BlueFlyVario' and you will find a few different designs from other guys.

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    2. Alistair,
      Thank's a lot for your reply but I don't find spacer case for KOBO GLO on thingverse...
      Do you have a link ?

      REGARDS.

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    3. I am sorry, there are few on there for the Mini, but none for the Glo. I missed that you had asked this question in the Kobo Glo blog post.

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  21. Hi Guys,
    I have got a BlueFly TTL vario with Kobo mini. I want to upgrade my Kobo. I thought I purchase a Glo or Glo HD, but I'm not sure whether both version is working fine with the Bluefly?
    So is it a good idea to buy a Kobo glo HD?
    Thanx a lot!
    BR
    Bela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bela, It should work with the Glo as described in this post. It will work with the Glo HD, but with the older model BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS (before v11) you need to add a 10k pull up resistor between V and BlueFly-Tx (this is included on the v11).

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  22. Is it possible to use these versions of Kobo ereader?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kobo-E-Reader-E-book-1GB-Wi-Fi-6in-N647/282033747250?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150604093004%26meid%3D19ffbbef3c2f43f2ac36e723088e16c5%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D272099230983&rt=nc
    or this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kobo-Mini-Ereader-Touchscreen-2GB-WIFI-5-Inch-2-Colors-/272099230983?var=&hash=item3f5a60c507:m:m2QvXC8n-xYT4S4w_8cUW8A

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  23. Hi, I have the Kobo Glo HD and just waiting for my BFV TTL v11 to arrive.
    The Glo HD has four different serial points that I could solder onto. two together at the top right and one bottom left, one bottom right (all as you look from the back). Which serial connection do I use?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should use J4, which is the one at the top right when you look at the board.

      Delete
  24. Hello Alistair,
    Is the printed simple case presented on this page also compatible with the BFV TTL v11, in terms of size? I just ordered 2 units and 2 Kobo Glo (not HD), and I wanted to know if I can use this case.
    Thank you,

    Julien

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the shape and size of the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v10 and the BlueFlyVario_TTL_GPS_v11 are the same.

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