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Bluetooth Devices

Gaggle can connect to a variety of Bluetooth devices, like variometers and fuel sensors. By connecting a Bluetooth device you can use it to report pressure values, gps values, and climb rate values for Gaggle to use.

Gaggle supports the following protocols when communicating with Bluetooth devices:

  • $D, $PDGFTL1: Digifly format
  • $LK8EX1: BlueFly and other variometers
  • PRS, _PRS: General barometer format
  • $BFV, $BFX: BlueFly format
  • $GPGGA, $GPRMC: GPS Information
  • $LXWP0, $LXWP1, $LXWP2, $LXWP3, $PLXVF: XCTracer and a few other devices
  • $POV: Open Vario format
  • $XCTRC: XCTracer

Gaggle has support for many of the popular variometers used by pilots like SkyBean, BlueFly, DigiFly, LebipBip, and more. If we don’t support a device yet then please get in touch, and we will look at adding support for you.

Blueooth Screen 1

Bluetooth Screen 2

Connecting a Bluetooth Device

To connect a new Bluetooth Variometer you can tap the “Connect New Device” button. If you haven’t done so already, give the needed permissions for Gaggle to use your phones Bluetooth. If Gaggle has Bluetooth permissions then you will see a list of all the Bluetooth devices nearby (make sure your variometer is on and waiting for a bluetooth connection). Tap the name of the variometer that you want to connect to and Gaggle will connect. Gaggle automatically find the type of device that you are connected too, and you are now ready to use your variometer to go fly.

A note on bluetooth connections: Gaggle will only connect to your variometer when it needs too, this means that a connection will only be made after you start a flight recording and not before. Gaggle wil also automatically retry connections if they fail. If you are using a Bluetooth variometer while flying and the connection is lost, like when the device shuts off, then Gaggle will gracefully fall back to the internal sensors of the phone after about 5 seconds until the connection to the device can be restored. You will be able to see if the Bluetooth connection is active when the Bluetooth indicator appears on the Altitude Instrument Widget.

See your Bluetooth variometer’s details

Tapping on a Bluetooth device brings up its detail page. On this page you can see:

Device Info: This provides basic information for the device like the Manufacturer, Model Number, and Name. Incoming Data: If your device is on and Gaggle has established the bluetooth connection then all the raw data, like GPS coordinates, barometric pressure, climb rate, and anything else being transmitted by your device is displayed here.

From this screen you can also choose which of the sensor values Gaggle must use. For the settings that are toggled on, the values received from your Bluetooth Device will be used instead of the internal values from your phone when recording your flight (Gaggle will still fall back to the internal sensors if the bluetooth connection fails).

Gaggle can use the following information from GPS devices:

  • GPS - GPS Location, Speed, and Altitude.
  • Variometer - The raw variometer information sent from the device.
  • Pressure - The barometric pressure reported by the device.
  • Fuel Sensor - The current fuel reading reported by sensors.