This page was last updated on 10 February, 2014.

LK8000 is a fork of the XCSoar Open Source navigation software, released under the GPL v2 license. It runs on three general types of hardware:

LK8000 installation for a PNA with an SD card

This description assumes that you're installing the software and data files directly onto the SD card via an SD card reader attached to your PC.

Setting up the SD card

Preparing LK8000 for execution

Like many embedded operating systems, Windows Mobile/Windows CE must be configured to match the hardware it controls. However, many vendors make other customisations too. Here we are concerned with the vendor's approach to booting off the SD card. Some PNA models are designed to keep additional maps on the SD card and so they boot their navigation software off the card. Others expect an update program on the SD card which, when booted, will update the maps and software in the PNA's built-in memory. This is reflected in the name of the executable on the SD card and this in turn affects us, since Windows Mobile will only boot a program with the name it was customised to use when it is in the expected place on the SD card. We fool the PNA into running the soaring program by renaming it or making other changes, e.g. using a shell.ini file. There is more on this in the notes about each type of PNA and in Creating a shell.ini file.

LK8000 keeps its data files in subdirectories of the same directory, called LK8000, that contains the programs. This directory must be placed in the root directory of the SD card. It cannot be renamed or LK8000 will be unable to find the data files. Detailed directions by PNA make and model follow:

Once you have LK8000 installed on your SD card, you need to complete these steps:

How I do it: an alternative approach

The benefit of this way of doing things is that you can test a new SD card image before copying it to an SD card and you end up with backup copies on the PC of all the SD card images you've created.

I unzip the issued archive into a directory on my PC's hard drive and add the various airspace, polars, maps and turnpoint files into the appropriate subdirectories in the LK8000 directory. Unless the installation instructions for the particular program version say otherwise you can usually add the profile (.prf) and task (.tsk) files from the previous version as well.

I name the directory containing the SD card image, i.e. the programs, data, manuals and shell.ini file, to reflect what's in it. For instance, an SD card image using LK8000 2.3p is put in a directory called sd_lk8_23p.

This makes it easy to check the installation before putting it into the PNA by running LK8000-PC.exe. I use Linux rather than Windows but can run the LK8000-PC.exe version under Wine, a Windows emulator.

You can do the same thing under Windows by double clicking LK8000-PC.exe. LK8000-PC should always run but it won't find the data files unless you've put the LK8000 directory in a specific place. The following is known to work:

  1. Create an 'SD card image' folder in My Documents, e.g. sd_lk8_23p if I'm installing LK8000 2.3p.
  2. Unzip the LK8000 distribution zip file into it
  3. Add the airspace, polars, maps and turnpoint files into the appropriate subfolders in the LK8000 folder.
  4. Optionally add the profile (.prf) and task (.tsk) files from a previous SD card image into the _Configuration and _Tasks folders respectively.
  5. Add a copy of the shell.ini file into the 'SD card image' folder.

You can now run LK8000 by double clicking the LK8000-PC.exe program in the LK8000 folder, but remember to run it in 'Simulate' mode unless you happen to have a GPS receiver with a clear view of the sky attached to one of your PC's COM ports!

I set up a new SD card by plugging it into a reader on the PC, deleting everything on it and then copying everything in the 'SD card image' directory onto it. This card should run immediately when its plugged into your PNA and it is cold booted.

Data sources

These data sources tell you where to get the files you'll need to use LK8000 in the UK.

Set-up notes

Once you've installed the data files on your PNA and used page 1 of System Setup to tell LK8000 the names of the files to use, there are a few settings on other pages that you'll probably need to change to get it working correctly. The rest can be left on the system defaults until you've flown with it a few times and know what you'd like to alter. For instance, I fly over a flat landscape, so I turn the terrain display off because the default white background gives the display more contrast, but this means that I have to change the overlay letters to black to make them easier to read. I also prefer the bottom ribbon to have black letters on a light grey background.

The essential changes are:


Be sure to read the installation instructions that come with the new LK8000 version and don't restore any files it tells you to ignore.