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GPSS and Thuraya Satellite 'Phones - Robin's "Thuraya" page

Created in 2001. Updated Sunday 26th November 2006. Last update at 1450 BST Tuesday 6 September 2022 UK time.

iPAQ with Thuraya 'phone Robin

Much of this page has not changed since 2001, when GPSS running on full Windows laptops PC were first used with Thuraya 'phones. However, the recent movement of GPSS onto Windows CE, the Pocket PC, iPAQs and Smartphones, means that I, and my friends in UAE, have taken a fresh interest in GPSS/Thuraya. The most recent development is testing of GPSS with the new Thuraya SO-2510 'phone. I welcome contact from those with Thuraya 'phones who wish to help us test this new software with Thuraya. Maybe in time there will be a smart Thuraya 'phone. For more details on GPSS for the Pocket PC, click here

The Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, based in the United Arab Emirates, Hughes Network Systems, based in San Diego, USA, and Sunninghill Systems in UK, have been investigating the use of GPSS with Thuraya Satellite communications since 2001. Mobile 'phone handsets, manufactured by Hughes (the HNS-7100) and ASCOM (the ASCOM21), with PC data cables, can use GPSS for navigation and remote tracking.

testing of GPSS with new Thuraya SO-2510 Sat 'phone ...

Thuraya SO-2510 satellite phone Thuraya SO-2510 satellite phone with GPSS and Robin from Robin on Sunday 26th November 2006 ... Just two days ago my new SO-2510 Sat 'phone arrived from Thuraya. Today it was working with GPSS on my Laptop PC. More testing is expected in the coming days, but here is what I did to get it working... First I did what you might expect: familiarized myself with the 'phone, including it's menu, use of the GPS, and use as a Thuraya satellite 'phone by plugging in a SIM card. This model does not have GSM access, as does the HNS-7100 below, and so must be used outside the house. You may read all about the nice features of the SO-2510, such as it's small weight and size, on www.thuraya.com. The SO-2510 came with a USB cable to plug into my Laptop PC, and I had to download and instal the required USB software driver from the user manual page which is here. The SO-2510 appeared on my Laptop PC as COM5 and I saw this responded to the AT command with OK (using Windows Hyper Terminal) and so I expect to try remote tracking with GPSS over Thuraya soon. To use the SO-2510 as a GPS, I set GPSS to expect GPS data from COM5 and used the SO-2510 menu sequence "Navigation> Location track> Option> On (PC)" - exactly as my friend Saif Hussain Al Jaber at Thuraya advised me by email :-)

I expect to do more tests in the coming days, and hope to put up more information here soon.

from 2001 ...

"Quick Start" - for those with a 'phone

If you have a Thuraya 'phone, data lead and Laptop PC, here is a very quick guide to use of GPSS with the 'phone. If you do not have a GPSS CD, you can download GPSS from the DOWNLOAD Page. Consult documentation with the 'phone and data lead for more up-to-date information than this:


Thuraya is the arabic word for the constellation of stars known as "The Pleides" HNS-7100 or "The Seven Sisters". The Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company operate a mobile satellite system and provide handsets that integrate satellite, GSM and GPS. Coverage will extend to 99 countries, spanning Europe,North & Central Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Thuraya's service rollout begins this year. For more information on the company and their services, visit their web site at www.thuraya.com GPS When within GSM coverage, the 'phones can be used with GSM, but can still be used with Thuraya in the most remote of locations not covered by GSM. The GPS within the 'phone provides accurate location, for display on the 'phone, and transmission by SMS text message to another Thuraya or GSM mobile 'phone. An optional data lead is provided, to permit the 'phone to be connected to a Laptop PC running fax software, or GPS Software from a GPSS CDROM.

Early testing of GPSS with Thuraya

GPS fix In May 2001 HNS purchased a GPSS demonstration licence, and Graham Avis, the HNS-7100 Project Manager, Po River kindly gave Robin Lovelock an HNS-7100 for testing with GPSS. The pictures on this page show a few of the tests being carried out - in Italy, during Robin and his wife June's recent HOLIDAY , and then in Robin's back yard, which is included in the most detailed GPSS Baseline map. Tests conducted so far include voice calls, sending SMS text messages, in-car use with GPSS on a Laptop PC (the mode in which most users will use GPSS), and remote tracking with GPSS. The Po River was a most pleasant test site :-)

Use of the GPS for Navigation

Here is Robin, below, in his back yard, testing the HNS-7100 directly connected to the Laptop PC running GPSS ......

Robin PC Back Yard Map

Remote tracking over Thuraya and GSM

The picture below shows the result of a remote tracking test, achieved by simply adding file GPSSDIAL.CFG as described on the CHASE Page. Robin tracked Paul Hough's car, fitted with a GPS/GSM unit, by "dialing out" from GPSS on the Laptop PC, through the Thuraya and GSM systems. In this remote tracking mode of use, the GPS within the HNS-7100 is not being used, but the modem is. The 'phone number of the remote GPS/GSM unit is held within GPSSDIAL.CFG, and clicking on the "Paul's Car" button results in GPSS dialing out through Thuraya and GSM to make a direct connection with the remote GPS/GSM unit inside the car. The car is then tracked, second-by-second, and the incoming data results in a map being retrieved. Remote UK On the left is the best available in the baseline, but far more detailed maps can be added from the GPSS DOWNLOAD pages, and other CDs such as those from Microsoft used with ARED. Other types of remote tracking include sending GPS positions as a short (SMS) message, from just a 'phone, to a user equipped with 'phone and Laptop PC running GPSS in remote tracking mode - showing all remote positions on the map.

GPS Waypoints from the 'phone

GPSS supports the HNS-7100 ability to store GPS waypoints and send them to the PC. GPSS handles both the $CVWPL line output from the HNS-7100, when you output a waypoint to the PC, and also the standard $GPWPL output by other GPS like Garmins. The destination is updated. You can make the destination control the map, instead of the car, by hitting the / key, to toggle car/destination.

Footnotes added in 2022. e.g. Who visited this "Thuraya" page ?

Who has visited this "Thuraya" page ? - visits since counters added on 6th September 2022.

Robin Lovelock From Robin: It's very convenient for me, that there are so few visitors to this page: just those given the link. See map and words near end of my Home page ;-)

Visit Counter after reply to Microtransat Group The visit counters may give a rough indication on who else is visiting, or has visited, this page. I don't hide or disguise my visits, but they may appear as "Ascot", or miles away, like "Lightwater" or "Southend-on-Sea, England" (on my Lounge PC), or Leatherhead, England" ( on the Study PC). Positions may not be accurate, but times are. These may change at any time, without control by me. e.g. if we have a power cut, or I reboot a router. So, you may see if I'm "working" in the Study, or "playing" in Lounge :-)

Not all visits are seen, and some browsers hide location, but you may find Revolvermaps livestats for Thuraya page interesting.

The video on the right shows several guys visiting at the same time, after I posted the link to my Covid19 page on the Microtransat forum :-)

© 1991-2022 Robin Lovelock.

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