Kushal Das

FOSS and life. Kushal Das talks here.


sparcy -- command line utility for Spac Systems Limited GPS loggers

Few days back I bought a new GPS data logger from Sparc Systems Limited , GDL 3204. It comes with a nice 3 page manual. The last page explains the data format of the logs. The device works in a very nice and easy way, it is having 32 channels.

We already had a nice python script to parse the log and create gpx files. But for me , every time "cat"ing the device and then convert the log is a difficult task.

Sparcy , which can get the data from the device and convert them into gpxfor you. If you already have the raw data, you can convert them to gpx too. People from #osm helped me a lot to understand how latitude and longitude calculations are done. RPMs are available here.

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From BrokenMoko to OpenMoko, a late night journey

Last few days I was looking for a GPS device to test how they work and if I can do some OpenStreet Map work and I am not in condition to buy anything.

A BrokenMoko was lying on the table we use, from the time I came to Pune. TangoGPS is the GPS application in it. I tried a lot to figure out how to use that and failed. Later at night joined #openmoko , people (Specially Zorkman and Dave) tried to help me in every known way so that I can turn that on. Figured out the unit was running some FSO build (no idea what it is).

Finally around 1AM , <Zorkman> asked me to install some 2008.8 build into the SD card and boot from there. They told me all steps one by one :) Steps are:

  • Connect the OpenMoko to your system , create a USB connection
  • write a proper /etc/resolv.conf
  • Prepare the SD card by partitioning and formatting.
  • Download these roofs and kernel.
  • on the FR: mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/mokokernel
  • scp 20080826-asu-stable-uImage.bin root@
  • on the FR: mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /mnt/moko
  • scp 20080826-asu-stable-rootfs.tar.gz root@
  • on the FR:tar -C /tmp/20080826-asu-stable-rootfs.tar.gz -xzvf /mnt/moko
  • download http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Om2008.8-update/gta02v5_and_up-u-boot.bin
  • Read how to flash
  • Boot from SD
  • opkg update && opkg install gpsd
  • opkg install http://www.tangogps.org/downloads/tangogps_0.9.3-r1_armv4t.ipk
  • echo GPS_DEV="/dev/ttySAC1" > /etc/default/gpsd
  • Turn on GPS hardware from setting menu
  • on the FR: /etc/init.d/gpsd start
  • edit your ~/.gconf/apps/tangogps/%gconf.xml and replace it with this.
  • edit /usr/share/themes/Moko/gtk-2.0/gtkrc and replace it with this.
  • Now fire tangogps and enjoy
Don't forget to get out of the house to test it :)