Using The RS-232 Interface Cable

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Using The RS-232 Interface Cable

FlightBox can be connected to an EFIS or MFD using the Open Flight Solutions USB-to-RS232 interface cable, available from the Open Flight Solutions web store here. The cable outputs ADS-B data in the industry-standard GDL-90 format. To use the cable you must have version 1.4r1 or later.

Prerequisites

If your FlightBox has an internal USB GPS you will need to order the remote USB GPS as the internal GPS and the RS232 adapter will not fit into the box together.

If you intend to use the Remote USB GPS, we highly recommend getting a simple, inexpensive two-port USB hub like this. The hub allows you to connect both the GPS and the RS232 adapter to the top/center USB port. Without the hub, you will need to modify your case to access the available (top / right) USB port.

If you do not intend on using a USB GPS with your FlightBox, we recommend you use a short USB extension cable like this to bridge between the USB port on the Raspberry Pi and the USB-to-RS232 adapter.

Installation – RS232 to EFIS/MFD

  1. Connect the orange TX lead to an available RS232 RX (receive) pin on your EFIS or MFD.
  2. Connect the black ground lead to a ground pin or point on your EFIS or MFD.
  3. Do not connect any of the other leads, and make sure that they do not connect with each other.

Installation – USB to FlightBox

  1. Remove the top from your FlightBox.
  2. Depending on the version of FlightBox you have, you may need to remove the U-shaped snap-out at the end of the case nearest the USB ports. (If the box has a rectangular cut-out at the end of the box, you do not need to make any changes.)
  3. If your FlightBox has an internal USB GPS, remove it.
  4. Connect the RS232 adapter to the FlightBox in one of the following ways:
    1. Connect the RS232 adapter and the remote USB GPS to a two-port USB hub, then connect the hub to the top/center USB port on the Raspberry Pi.
    2. Connect the RS232 adapter to a USB extension cable, then connect the USB extension to the top/center USB port on the Raspberry Pi.
    3. Use a Dremel tool to expand the cut-out on the box and connect the RS232 adapter directly to the top/center USB port on the Raspberry Pi.
  5. Replace the top.

Configuring The RS232 Interface

  1. Power on the FlightBox.
  2. Connect to the FlightBox’s Wifi network from a computer or mobile device.
  3. Open the web browser on the computer / device and point it to 192.168.10.1 – this will load the Status page.
  4. Use the Menu option to select the Settings page.
  5. Adjust the “Serial Output Baudrate” value as needed by your EFIS or MFD.

Consult your EFIS/MFD vendor for detail on how to configure the RS232 input. In general you will need to make the baud rate match the baud rate set on the FlightBox’s Settings page.