Getting started with Android
Cumulus is a well established Open Source flight navigation software
made for (but not limited to) soaring pilots written in C++. The
primary hardware targets were Sharp's Zaurus devices and later Nokia's
Internet tablets. Both are able to run Qt software with relatively
little adaptation efforts which made it possible to use large parts of
the desktop flight preparation software
KFlog, created for the KDE framework. The Android Lighthouse
project provides a development kit, called
Necessitas, for integrating Qt C++ applications into the Android
environment with little or no changes, embedded in as native libraries
controlled by the JNI API (Java Native Interface).
- The usage of Cumulus on an Android device is only useful with
a screen resolution of at least 800 x 480 pixels in landscape mode.
Furthermore we recommend a screen diagonal greater than 4" otherwise
you have problems to use your fingers for the operation.
- The device must run Android Release 2.2.x (Froyo) or higher.
- The screen should be good readable in sunshine.
- An external storage medium (SD-Card) is needed for storing of
map and flight data.
- If no internal GPS receiver is available Bluetooth radio or IOIO via USB
is a must for connection to external GPS devices.
- Optionally your device should provide a possibility to access the
Internet for map and airfield data downloads.
- During longer flights you need an external power supply.
- A device mount is recommended for usage in flight.
Package download and installation
The last released package is to find on Google play as
from kflog.org. Download the package and install it on your device.
Permissions required by Cumulus
Cumulus requires the following Android system permissions:
- Location service updates (GPS)
- Internet access
- Bluetooth and Bluetooth administration
- Read and write access for the SD-card
First startup of Cumulus
On the first startup of Cumulus after the installation you should
have an Internet connection running to download the needed maps and
the Welt2000 data file. Cumulus ask you for permission before it starts
any download actions.
It is recommended to setup the font sizes of the GUI and the Menu
labels to a value, which is optimal adapted to your device. To do
that, open the menu item General and touch the entry
Look&Feel in the list. On the page you can see two buttons,
which will open a font dialog, if you press them. Choose a font size,
which is optimal adapted to your device. Make only small changes and
test the results. To get full running a new selected font, it is
recommended to restart Cumulus. Especially the Menu font should be
adapted by you, that it is better usable with fingers.
Configuration of Cumulus
As first you should setup your home data and the radius around it.
To do it, make the following actions:
The maps and all other data as waypoint files, IGC logger files, flight
task file, a.s.o are stored at the SD-card of the Android device. If
your device has already a built in SD-card, this one is normally used.
To see, which SD-card is used by Cumulus, press the Android Menu
button, then Setup->General, Personal. Beside the label
Data Directory the path to the storage directory is listed. You can
access this directory also from your PC, if you couple your device with it
- Connect your Android device with the Internet.
- Start Cumulus.
- Press the Android Menu button, then Setup->General, then Personal.
Add here the name and the coordinates of your home airfield. The
coordinates are important for the right map download. Leave the page
by pressing the green Ok button.
- As next press again the Android Menu button, then Setup->General
and then the tabulator Map Objects. In the last line you can
define a radius around the coordinates of the displayed center point.
Press the button install to get download all maps around the center
point from the Internet.
Airspace files have to be installed in /sdcard/Cumulus/maps/airspaces.
The path /sdcard/... can be another in dependency of the used Android
release. If that is true, please read the previous paragraph.
You can download the airspace files by using your Internet browser and as
destination that directory. On the airspace setting page you can
determine which airspace files should be loaded during run-time by
Cumulus. In Cumulus you can use OpenAir and openAIP airspace
Links where you can find OpenAir airspace data are:
OpenAir airspace files must be installed manually in the required
directory. Download and installation are not supported by Cumulus.
openAIP airspace files can be downloaded
and installed by Cumulus in its airspace configuration settings.
When Cumulus is ready with its startup, it will be in a non-GPS mode.
Do all your flight planning work in this mode. To switch on the GPS,
press the Android menu button and select the entry GPS on. You
can choose then between the internal GPS or a GPS connected via Bluetooth or
via a USB IOIO. A BT GPS must be paired before it can be used by Cumulus.
Only via Bluetooth radio or USB IOIO you can connect to an external GPS device.
Cumulus has two different menus. The Android menu can be opened by
pressing the Android menu button. It provides some shortcuts to the
important setup pages of Cumulus and the GPS switch to control the
mode. To show the application menu, touch the Menu or the S2f
field at the bottom of the value display area on the left side.
Touching the little boxes left of the map can open additional dialogs
for configuration or toggle the display to show another content. Here
are a short list about all:
- Menu/S2f Opens the application menu.
- Mc Opens the McCready dialog.
- Var Opens the Variometer dialog.
- Msl Opens the altimeter dialog.
- Wd/LD Tooggles the display between wind and distance.
- Trk Opens the Flarm radar view.
- Brg Tooggles the display between bearing and reverse bearing.
- Dis/Eta Tooggles the display between distance and ETA.
- Bearing icon Creates a new waypoint at the current
position (a little black square), if you tip on them.
- Arr Opens the available lists (tasks, waypoints, reachables, airfields,
outlandings, navaids) in a tabulator view.
- To Opens the task view, if a task is activated, otherwise
the waypoint list is displayed..
The native Qt GUI part has some restrictions in its usage.
Therefore some GUI elements, e.g. color dialog, are not optimal to
Cumulus provides an online help. Please have a look into it, if you
have questions about the usage. The Online Help is
also to find on the Cumulus web page in two languages, in English and
If you step in problems and need further help, please contact the Cumulus
team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will help you in every case, if we can.
Remarks to Android
A big problem is the variety of OS releases and that the
manufacturers can modify the Android OS provided by Google. That can
cause additional problems during run-time and makes a testing not more
possible by us on every device and for every OS release. Also the
native Qt GUI library port for Android is not yet error free.
Have fun during flying with Cumulus! That are my (Axel
Pauli's) personal wishes to you. I'm the maintainer of Cumulus.
And something more, if you like the App, please tell a friend from it
and don't forget to vote for it on Google Play!
Author: Axel Pauli, 9. October 2014