This page will help you build the most simplest form of AirWhere, we have taken a new board thats just been released and added airwhere to it, there is no soldering and very little work to get the system working.
The install and setup procedure just requires basic computer knowledge, how to download files, install software and make a brew while you wait.
Firstly before you start you will need to register an ID for your unit.
|1.1 ||Proceed to the registration page and type in your email and choose a password and press sign up.|
You will then receive an email asking you to confirm your email address, if you dont receive one, check spam to see if its there or any other issues - contact us.
|1.2|| Once you have verified your email proceed to log in and then press add aircraft and add your details|
Your AirWhere manufacturer should stay at 04 and you can choose an ID for yourself, its 4 digits from 0001 to FFFF, but dont worry about the letters, just choose a 4 digit number if you like - eg 2345.
This will now be your flying number.
|1.3|| If you wish to have pilots names appear in LK8000 or XCSoar instead of just the pilots numbers|
Navigate to the downloads section in the site and at the bottom there is a file to add to LK or XCS when you have installed it. See the downloads page for instructions
You need to purchase the hardware we will be using
- these are available here:- Purchase the heltec board
N.B If you have problems purchasing please contact us, we usually have some stock for quick despatch.
For your information
These new ESP32 SX1276 and Heltec boards are a great way to build a simple and quick AirWhere as it includes many of the components you need in one board. You can add other components to make a stand alone device. These instructions help you setup the board and get a basic AirWhere or Groundstation without the need to solder anything!
The board comes with an adequate antenna to test, we wouldn’t recommend flying with this due to its short range, but it is ok for testing
., we recommend a longer antenna for final use, please see the shop page.
If you would like a case making for your board - please contact us :)
Once the purchased hardware arrives
you will need to install the windows / mac drivers to be able to ‘see’ the board and then install the AirWhere software onto it.
||Load this page and then download the relevant driver for windows and install.
||Extract the zip file to a folder and then run the correct executable in the file.|
If your on 32 bit windows, run the exe with 86 in it and if your on a 64 bit windows run the 64 version. Your version can be found in windows device manager.
||Now you should be able to get a micro usb cable and plug your AirWhere board in..|
Windows should say its found the hardware and that is now working.
||Open windows device manager (control panel – device manager). Find ‘Ports’ you should see a new port there, perhaps com3 or com4 which is your new board.Take a note of this number you will need this in the next step.|
||Create a new folder on your PC.
Name the folder but DO NOT allow any spaces between letters.
||You will need to download into this folder 4 files:|
- ESPFlasherGUI.exe from =https://github.com/neoxharsh/ESP32-GUI-Flasher/tree/master/dist
This is the flasher program you will be using (Windows only, for the Mac see this page)
The next three files are available either on the AirWhere down loads page http://www.airwhere.co.uk/airware-downloads.php
or you may find them under files on the Airwhere-ESP32_Pilots Only page on facebook.
- Bootloader called bootloader.bin
- Partition called default.bin
- Application currently called AirWhereESP32.bin
This may change so check facebook for the live version or for the latest unstable version AirwhereESP32Dev.bin
Please make sure there are NO spaces in any of the file names and the directory it is in, this will create an issue.
||Plug the ESP32 into a microUSB and into a USB port on your computer.|
The OLED may say Heltic and then start counting packets it is transmitting. Ignore this and carry on.
||Double click on the ESPFlasherGUI.exe file and link the Bootloader, Partition and Application files.
||Select and check the COM port (you checked device manager for this number before)|
For example COM11 (even though the correct port may appear in the box you MUST click on the drop down and reselect it or the download will fail).
|| Select the memory size 4MB.
|| Finally press FLASH and immediately after press the PRG on the board once. |
The card will start to write the data, takes about 9s. You may find the programme terminates with a message that says it is rebooting and a flashing light on the ESP32 board. Ok this has probably worked. ( We have seen the buttons on the ESP32 board marked up incorrectly, so if you try one button and it fails with "cant find packet head" or similar, just try the other button, some need it held until the flashing process starts and then let go. )
||Now check to see if you can see the AirWhere ESP32 board on your wifi settings.
So now you have a working ESP32 board with the AirWhere program.
||Search for the new device in your wifi settings and connect to it..
You will be asked for default password 12345678. ( this password could have been changed when the unit was built so check with the builder.)
||Now type 192.168.4.1 in your web browser.
If you are using an android phone please switch your data oﬀ, android will try look for airwhere on the internet and the connection will take a long time.
You will now see a page titled AirWhere ESP32. This is the configuration page.
||Then use the Configure Pilot Info button to enter your details, enter the ID you registered in step one.
When you press ‘Submit’ the device will try to return to the home page but remember you have just renamed it’s identity from what it was originally to say a new Access point with your new ID; so you need to:
||Reconnect this wifi device then refresh 192.168.4.1.
||Click ‘Pilot Info’, input your pilot details, your Wifi SSID and Password..
This will allow you to upgrade the software via your Wifi connection.
||When you’ve completed the settings press submit.
The unit will restart so go back to the home page again once its started.
||Press ‘Configure Hardware’ and under ‘Radio board’ select ‘Heltec (sx1276)’.
the other choices depend on what you are building and have attached.
||Select in flight software either LK8000 - Android or LK8000 - XCSoar .
(as we want to connect to an android phone in this version).
||In connection mode choose wifi. Again press submit and reconnect to home page..
Sometimes this take a couple of mins, if it hangs, refresh your browser 192.168.4.1. You should now be back on the home page for your device. If the page times out, just refresh and it will appear again.
WiFi mode allows the board to be used in a simple set-up or for testing purposes.
Currently it works with XCSoar and LK8000 but its in development with XCtrack as well (beta). XCTrack will be fully integrated with AirWhere shortly.
For your information
If you are using an Android device such as a phone or tablet and it has a GPS installed then there is no additional wiring for the ESP32 to work as AirWhere with your device and show other AirWhere users. The set-up entirely depends on what flight software you are going to use. If its XCSoar / LK8000 or XCTrack (beta). AirWhere doesn’t have a built in GPS on the board so you will need to get the Android device to send its internal GPS data to the AirWhere. There are a number of ways of doing that but the easiest way I’ve found is to use the free application called ‘Share GPS’. This can be found on Androids Play Store.
||Go to Androids Play Store and download ‘Share GPS’, once it is installed run the application.
||Click on ‘Connections’ and ‘Add’.
||Click on ‘Activity’ and select the first option - ‘Share my gps with a laptop or tablet’.
||Choose the option ‘Use TCP/IP to send NMEA GPS to PC’.
||Tick ‘Connect on App Start’. (if you have the premium version) then name it, e.g. ‘airwhere’.
||Set up as ‘use UDP instead of TCP’.
||Input ‘Host’ as 192.168.4.1 and ‘Port’ as 10111 .|
When complete it will be set to ‘idle’. To start the server, first make sure your android device is connected to the AirWhere wifi access point and then click on ‘Idle’ which will switch to ‘Connected’. When your phone gets a GPS fix the T:0 on the heltec board will be increasing in value, this is your data being sent out. If you have added your wifi details as your device gets a fix you will be shown on live tracking page.
Choose LK8000 or XCSoar
||Connect to the AirWhere home page by connecting to its wifi and going to 192.168.4.1.
||Click Configure Hardware..
Then under ‘Flight Software’ choose ‘LK8000 - Android’ and under Connection mode choose ‘Wifi Mode’ and click ‘Submit’. The board will restart.
||Check that the ShareGPS software is now showing connected.
(if you have setup the app correctly).
Now you need to let LK8000 know where to get the AirWhere data from.
||Press the menu button bottom right, then ‘config’, ‘config’, ‘LK8000 Setup’, ‘Device Setup’.
||Device A should be ‘Internal’ .
||.Device B should be ‘Generic’, ‘UDP Server’, ‘Port 10110’.
||Press close.and then a line saying restarting comm ports will come on screen, then detected FLARM, this shows your system is working.
||Press the middle of the bottom info bar and the FLARM screens will come up, check the airwhere video sections for usage.
Hint - to see traffic on the main map, go to ‘config’ and on page 13 at the bottom ‘enable traffic’.
That’s it, Airwhere is now configured!
||Connect to the AirWhere home page by connecting to its wifi and going to 192.168.4.1..
||Click Configure Hardware. Then under ‘Flight Software’ choose ‘XCSoar - Android’ and under ‘Connection mode’ choose ‘Wifi Mode’ and click ‘Submit’. The board will restart..
||Check that the ShareGPS software is now showing connected .
(if you have setup the app up correctly).
||Double click on the plane icon at the bottom and bring up the menu. Click ‘Config’ and click.
||Device A should be set to ‘Built-in GPS & sensors’ and
||Device B should be set to UDP Port, TCP port 10110 and Driver FLARM.
If the AirWhere is on and the ShareGPS is in a ‘Connected’ status then XCsoar will show that its receiving FLARM data (that’s just AirWhere data).
When AirWhere sees another user it will be shown as FLARM traffic in the XCsoar application.
Please if you do build an AirWhere in this way, as it is so cheap and easy to do please do donate a contribution to the project, the project has taken 2 years and thousands of hours of work to get to here and we have to pay for server fees - many thanks. Our paypal is email@example.com for any donations to keep this project alive :)
Have fun with the project!