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SailOnLine and VRTool

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:28 pm
by jf44
Hi Omar,
Very happy to see that VRTool is always used and helps virtual sailors.

Is it possible to get in VRTool the position of a boat from a SailOnLine course ?

I know it's possible to do that with qtVlm. I have explained the trick here (in french with links to english sources)

But for VRTool, lacking of a NMEA interface, it would be easier to use the server URL, like you did for VirtualRegatta before September 2016...

For exemple a skipper logged on a SailOnLine course can get his boat data using a single URL
Code: Select all

which return a XML like page.
Code: Select all
   <start_time>2017/02/13 18:00:00 1487008800UTCC</start_time>



The token is generated at login time on SailOnLine interface and can be found with the Firefox's module HttpFox, so the user may input such a link in VRTool.

My question is, can you program a patch for VRTool which read the boat data and display it (with speed, direction, etc.) ?

Last but not least, would it be possible to have some day in VRTool the NMEA and AIS protocol as input, like Bluewater Racing ( and qtVlm ( have ?

Best regards.

Jean F.

Re: SailOnLine and VRTool

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:07 am
by omar
VRTool does have a NMEA interface and accepts AIS messages since version 2.30.
I did some work on sailonline interface a couple years ago.

At that time, I was able to connect to SOL server using
Brainaid's NMEA proxy server. It is a little complicated
setup, I'm affraid, but worked at that time.

Just select "TCP/IP Client" mode, set host, port and connect.
The proxy will feed GPS, AIS and instrument messages.
It means your boat position and nearby boats.

See Brainaid's Sailonline Toolbox at

Also check vrtool release notes at the time: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3041

And ... ne/?page=1

As you see, VRTool does have NMEA/AIS connectivity, so it
might work with those other sources you mentioned.

As for winds, VRTool has interface with NOAA GFS,
with various config possibilities, and can read GRIB 2
files from other sources (ZyGrib, UGrib..).
I'm not sure how SOL generates its winds.


Re: SailOnLine and VRTool

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:08 am
by jf44
Thanks a lot Omar.
I have found where to configure the beast!
It's in "Afficher / GPS / R├ęglages/ Type de connexion NMEA / TCP/IP Client"
In english "Display / GPS / Settings / NMEA connexion type / TCP/IP Client"

With the Brainaid's Toolbox server it's exactly what I need.

I have now to get a better map and convert the SailOnLine polar to VRTool polar.
Perhaps for that somebody can help me ?

Re: SailOnLine and VRTool

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:20 am
by jf44
I managed to get a csv polar from Brainaid's Toolbox, then
added header and footer like the VRTool xml polars files
Code: Select all
<polars boatname="MyBoat_X_Y">
<sail name="Merged" id="1" bmpfile="" iconindex="1" visible="0">
20;0;0.980058;1.990424;2.972183; ...

First row : TWS
First column : TWA
Cell separator ";"
Decimal point "."

That's all.

Re: SailOnLine and VRTool

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:44 pm
by omar
Yes. That's the XML format for polar data in VRTool.
You can also use CSV format, more common in VR races.

XML format is more powerful, since it allows representing
multiple sails separately. In you case you choose to provide
a single "Merged" sail. That's fine, but you loose "sail change indications" feature.

Thanks for sharing your experience using VRTool with SOL.