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Chirping


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I have recently, maybe later than most, seen a chirping cache here and there around my area. Curious about this new unkown cache, I looked up a few things. Some things baffled me, but others were intriqing. Is garmin going to allow this ability to Iphones as I believe Droids have the ability (I think)? Are they going to post updates for old Garmin models to get it or only allow the newest models to have it? Will different GPS makers make their own style or will it be mainstreamed and universal to use them? Battery life on chirper?

 

I love the idea of the cache, but is it to early and to much of a pain in the butt right now. The cache postings I've seen have read "Find a gps friend who can chirp". I want to chirp, lol.

 

Thompy8

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Its not like a software update will magically make older units and phones compatible with Chirp. The Units and phones need to have the ANTY+ hardware installed on them. So only newer units will be compatible. I don't know if Garmin makes the hardware available to the other manufactures but if they did there would probably be a royalty attached to it. So the other manufactures won't be too open to adopting it. This hardware also tacks on so cost to the unit so it may be a while if ever before it becomes a standard feature on all price levels of GPSr.

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No current smartphone that I know of includes the necessary ANT+ hardware to talk to a chirp.

 

Actually most smartphones have the needed hardware, just no drivers or software.

Even if someone would code that, the CHIRPs are probably protected to be Garmin-Only.

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Actually most smartphones have the needed hardware, just no drivers or software.

Even if someone would code that, the CHIRPs are probably protected to be Garmin-Only.

The do lock themselves to the first GPSr that communicates with them, it can be transfered, but shows there is some form of encryption/authentication.

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Sony is doing a software upgrade. Maybe they share the WiFi 2.6ghz radio..

 

Wifi, bluetooth and ANT+ all operate on the same frequency. But you can't use a bluetooth chip to connect to your wifi or vice versa, because they're different protocols. In the same way you can use neither of them to talk to an ANT+ device. So unless the phone actually includes an ANT+ chip, you're out of luck. Saying that "most smartphones" include the necessary hardware is a bit of a stretch. It's not just a matter of having the right software on it.

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Sony is doing a software upgrade. Maybe they share the WiFi 2.6ghz radio..

 

Wifi, bluetooth and ANT+ all operate on the same frequency. But you can't use a bluetooth chip to connect to your wifi or vice versa, because they're different protocols.

Protocols are handled by software. Garmin could just license the ANT+ protocol stack. Notice, I use words like "could" and "maybe". The line between SW and HW gets really fuzzy when DSPs are involved. When Garmin upgrades its Sirf chipset, is it a HW change or a SW change or in between(firmware change).
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Protocols are handled by software. Garmin could just license the ANT+ protocol stack. Notice, I use words like "could" and "maybe". The line between SW and HW gets really fuzzy when DSPs are involved. When Garmin upgrades its Sirf chipset, is it a HW change or a SW change or in between(firmware change).

While it is true that "protocols are handled by software", there is often a base layer that is embedded in the hardware and cannot be modified. For example, there are distinctly different bit timing schemes used for IrDA, HPSIR and ASKIR, and processors that integrate one or more of those functions, and standalone IR chips will control that timing directly. Only if you started from scratch with your own IrDA diode assembly and wrote the whole modulation thing from scratch would you be able to talk to one of these devices without having another of its kind to use.

 

A different example would be Bluetooth. The basic frequency hopping scheme (and a host of other stuff) isn't typically determined by external firmware. These sorts of functions are determined by the chip/module. Sometimes, that function can be halted or forced to one setting by an external signal for RF testing, but the frequency hopping algorithm, for an example, is not controlled by external firmware. You buy the BT chip, and you get that RF functionality. Only rarely are such sorts of chips capable of having their base functionality reflashed in the field. In the case of Bluetooth chips, it's to keep everyone honest when it comes to the FCC and EC rules for these parts. Often, the BT chips will even contain one or more of the Bluetooth profiles (what they use to refer to various higher level 'stacks'), and you may send commands to choose from one or another, but you do not get access to the raw un-decoded signal to create your own low level profile. Sometimes, the profiles are external, and you could write your own profile or emulate others for which standards already exist (for example, one of the several audio profiles or the Bluetooth Printer Profile) -- but you don't get to mess with the baseband operation (except perhaps for power) or the basic underlying Bluetooth protocol stack.

 

The idea is that these chips come with the lowest level stacks already in place, and if they're not compatible between devices, they're not going to talk nice to each other. Just because a device might have an onboard transceiver that operates at the same frequency as some other device doesn't mean that it is possible to write firmware for either device that would allow them to talk to one another.

 

As for Garmin upgrading SiRF chipsets - do you mean, as an example, between SiRF and Mediatek? They're not drop in replacements for one another. The Garmin side firmware must change. Or do you mean the fact that sometimes a Garmin release will include new firmware for the GPS chip in addition to the firmware for the Garmin product itself?

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Protocols are handled by software. Garmin could just license the ANT+ protocol stack. Notice, I use words like "could" and "maybe". The line between SW and HW gets really fuzzy when DSPs are involved. When Garmin upgrades its Sirf chipset, is it a HW change or a SW change or in between(firmware change).

While it is true that "protocols are handled by software", there is often a base layer that is embedded in the hardware and cannot be modified. For example, there are distinctly different bit timing schemes used for IrDA, HPSIR and ASKIR, and processors that integrate one or more of those functions, and standalone IR chips will control that timing directly. Only if you started from scratch with your own IrDA diode assembly and wrote the whole modulation thing from scratch would you be able to talk to one of these devices without having another of its kind to use.
Perhaps you should read up on the Philips Remotes that mimic all IR codes with the timing described in pronto files. IR in the khz range is easily handled in software.

 

A different example would be Bluetooth. The basic frequency hopping scheme (and a host of other stuff) isn't typically determined by external firmware. These sorts of functions are determined by the chip/module. Sometimes, that function can be halted or forced to one setting by an external signal for RF testing, but the frequency hopping algorithm, for an example, is not controlled by external firmware. You buy the BT chip, and you get that RF functionality. Only rarely are such sorts of chips capable of having their base functionality reflashed in the field. In the case of Bluetooth chips, it's to keep everyone honest when it comes to the FCC and EC rules for these parts. Often, the BT chips will even contain one or more of the Bluetooth profiles (what they use to refer to various higher level 'stacks'), and you may send commands to choose from one or another, but you do not get access to the raw un-decoded signal to create your own low level profile. Sometimes, the profiles are external, and you could write your own profile or emulate others for which standards already exist (for example, one of the several audio profiles or the Bluetooth Printer Profile) -- but you don't get to mess with the baseband operation (except perhaps for power) or the basic underlying Bluetooth protocol stack.

Can't you just buy a 2.6ghz analog radio transceiver chip with internal or external DSP to handle all digital layers. What to you mean by "baseband"?

 

The idea is that these chips come with the lowest level stacks already in place, and if they're not compatible between devices, they're not going to talk nice to each other. Just because a device might have an onboard transceiver that operates at the same frequency as some other device doesn't mean that it is possible to write firmware for either device that would allow them to talk to one another.

Single function chips do have low level stacks in silicon. Multipurpose chips are programmable.

 

As for Garmin upgrading SiRF chipsets - do you mean, as an example, between SiRF and Mediatek? They're not drop in replacements for one another. The Garmin side firmware must change. Or do you mean the fact that sometimes a Garmin release will include new firmware for the GPS chip in addition to the firmware for the Garmin product itself?

I was trying to say since Garmin can change Sirf DSP firmware in their GPS, Sony maybe can change DSP or CPU FW to add ANT+ without a stand alone ANT+ chip.

 

Your shouting leads me to believe I struck a nerve. I am only speculating and not accusing anybody of being wrong.

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Can't you just buy a 2.6ghz analog radio transceiver chip with internal or external DSP to handle all digital layers.

Theoretically yes, but processing GHz signals in software in realtime is beyond the processing power of normal PCs, let alone smartphones.

 

I was trying to say since Garmin can change Sirf DSP firmware in their GPS, Sony maybe can change DSP or CPU FW to add ANT+ without a stand alone ANT+ chip.

Those chips are much more than just a radio transceiver with a firmware on top of it. A change in software/firmware can't turn a bluetooth chip into an ANT+ chip or any other combination thereof.

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I think for the chirp to survive they need to work with Groundspeak to integrate it into the site as well as the official apps. I don't want to have a separate app I have to use just for the Chirp caches. I would be nice to just have it built right into the official app itself. Once this happens I think you will start to see many more Chirp caches out there.

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Protocols are handled by software. Garmin could just license the ANT+ protocol stack. Notice, I use words like "could" and "maybe". The line between SW and HW gets really fuzzy when DSPs are involved. When Garmin upgrades its Sirf chipset, is it a HW change or a SW change or in between(firmware change).

While it is true that "protocols are handled by software", there is often a base layer that is embedded in the hardware and cannot be modified. For example, there are distinctly different bit timing schemes used for IrDA, HPSIR and ASKIR, and processors that integrate one or more of those functions, and standalone IR chips will control that timing directly. Only if you started from scratch with your own IrDA diode assembly and wrote the whole modulation thing from scratch would you be able to talk to one of these devices without having another of its kind to use.
Perhaps you should read up on the Philips Remotes that mimic all IR codes with the timing described in pronto files. IR in the khz range is easily handled in software.
On that note, I'm afraid that we're going to be talking past one another. There are no devices that 'speak' all of those IR languages I mentioned above, nor can firmware be written to cause any of them to do so. That Philips device has no clue at all about IrDA timing protocols (only CIR). Of interest, some number of IrDA chips are capable of dummying up CIR. So while an IrDA enabled device might be able to talk to your television, it doesn't fly the other way around. Edited by ecanderson
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Your shouting leads me to believe I struck a nerve. I am only speculating and not accusing anybody of being wrong.

No - just used it to pull out the key phrase or sentence in some awfully windy paragraphs.

OK, sometimes when people state opinions as facts by using absolute phrases like "can not be done" or "does not exist" instead of "in my opinion" or "maybe", I like to suggest otherwise. No anger. Just me being contrary. I was wrong about IRDA etc. BTW

 

I replied to this thread because I thought Sony Erickson doing ANT+ is cool and I still think it is cool and I hope more phone companies follow.

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I replied to this thread because I thought Sony Erickson doing ANT+ is cool and I still think it is cool and I hope more phone companies follow.

It would certainly be interesting to see if it gets wider adoption. The ANT+ standard has been around for a while, as has the necessary hardware, but it's been pretty much a niche thing so far. That said, it really does seem that for most applications, Bluetooth is already better established, and whether a benefit or a curse, already has a lot of profiles standardized. (ANT also has profiles, but they are centered more around "sensor data" and include things like "heart rate", "weight", "speed and distance", etc). A Class III Bluetooth device (short range) will perform a similar function as would ANT in most of the markets for such wireless comms already, and has a far wider following. Because of its adoption in so many audio devices, a lot of people think of Bluetooth as an audio RF link, but it's capable of all kinds of data transfers. I think the 2nd most popular is the wireless keyboard/mouse combo. There's probably no reason that ANT couldn't have been used for just such an application, but you can see that this isn't the case. ANT has some advantage in power use, but if a device isn't being coin battery powered over long periods, it's not a big deal. No one really cares a few mA one way or the other what's plugged into a USB port to manage a wireless keyboard and mouse, for example.
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