Old altimeter, new OS

Well, that was easier than I expected. On the remote chance it helps someone else, here’s how I downloaded altimeter data from an old PerfectFlite Alt15K to my Mac running OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).

The DT4U USB transfer card comes with software to talk to the Alt15K; that’s the good news. The bad news is the Mac version is for Mac OS 8.5 to 9.2.2. That latter was released in December 2001, and your Mac probably doesn’t run it.

So here’s what I did:

I installed Wine. Despite using Macs and Linux for decades now, I’ve never used Wine much, but here it seemed the only way to go. So I followed https://www.davidbaumgold.com/tutorials/wine-mac/. I already had Homebrew installed so that made it easier.

I copied the file “A15K DataCap.exe” from somewhere down in the “Legacy” folder on the PerfectFlite disk into a convenient directory on my hard drive. Then (in a Terminal window) I went to that directory and did

wine A15K DataCap.exe

A bunch of unhappy messages appeared in the Terminal, but the GUI window opened.

Then I observed that if I did

ls /dev/tty.*

with the DT4U unplugged I got


but if I did it with the DT4U plugged in I got

/dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port /dev/tty.usbserial-A403O702

So I did

ln -s /dev/tty.usbserial-A403O702 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com4

after which selecting Altimeter > CommPort in the GUI brought up a dialog allowing me to choose com4. I connected up the altimeter, selected Data > Acquire, and, well, it just worked. I have no idea who last used this thing or when, but this was their flight.Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 3.01.30 PMWith any luck I’ll have similar profiles of a couple of my own flights to view Saturday night.



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