Top Hat rooting and installation guide for the Nook

  • Android Market support
  • IOIO OTG support

THIS PAGE APPLIES ONLY TO FOLKS WHO HAVE NOOKS. If you don't have a Nook, read no further -- just install Top Hat on your Android device from the Android Market.

Problem: You want to run Top Hat on a Nook because the Nook has a wonderful screen. To do this you need to "root" the Nook. The process below describes how to do this.

* You must have a email account prior to starting.
* Your account must be linked to a account. These accounts are both free, so you can create them on your PC by going to and then
* The bootable SD card with with any version of the 2012 or 2013 Top Hat Nook root for the Nook simple touch. Click here to create the bootable SD card from scratch. If you already have an older (before June 6, 2013) Top Hat boot sd card, click here to upgrade it.
* WIFI internet access.
* A little over an hour (less if you've already created the bootable SD Card)

  • To "power Off/On" the Nook, hold the button on the back for 10 seconds it will prompt you before shutting down. After it shuts down, wait about 15 seconds and repeat to start it up.

  • To "hard reboot" the Nook, hold the front "n" button and the back power button together for 20 seconds. Repeat if necessary.

This procedure will wipe out all personal data on your Nook and create a rooted version of the Nook that runs both Barnes & Nobel software and Android.

1) Insert the bootable Top Hat SD card into the Nook and Power Off/On. At the menu choose "backup and restore" > "restore" > "Stock_Nook_1.1.2_unregistered". This will reset your Nook to a factory new Nook, version 1.1.2 and takes about 5 minutes. When complete:

2) Remove the SD card and "hard reboot" the Nook to bring up the B&N software.
Follow the B&N setup wizard to create a Barnes & Noble account or use your existing B&N account if you have one already and register the Nook with B&N. Please don't skip this step! When it asks you for your credit card, click "skip" and then "Register credit card later". This creates an account with Barnes & Nobel with your email and has its own password. Don't forget to write down the B&N password.
One final note: you cannot change the email used for this registration at a later time, so make sure you use the email address you want. Continue with steps below.

3) Insert the SD card, power Off/On. Click "install zip from sdcard" > "choose zip from sdcard" > "". This takes about 2 minutes.

4) Remove the SD card, click the "back" button (left side of the Nook) and click "reboot system now"
After it reboots, slide the screen saver. You'll see the Android welcome screen! (you're almost done)
Click on the Android icon, then click "skip" at the tutorial and "skip" again at the sign in prompts.
When it prompts you to use the ADW.Launcher, check the checkbox at the bottom of the popup and select the ADW.Launcher. Click "Ok." You'll see the Android desktop!

5) Open the Application List (button center of bottom of screen) and select YouTube from the list of apps displayed (swipe left to page 2).
On the YouTube screen, click the menu icon (three lines button at top of screen).
Click "My Channel". Enter your email and password. Be sure to enter your full email with the "" extension. Answer the prompts and allow permissions if requested. You may see an error "There was a problem with the network [401]." This is ok (and expected). Exit YouTube.

6) Start Gmail. Sign in using the same email information. Tell it to sync using the menu button and "Refresh" _twice_ and let it sync for a few minutes. Answer the prompts and allow permissions if requested. You may see a "Network connection was not reliable" error, or it will simply flash back to the desktop. This is ok (and expected), exit Gmail when it fails.

7) Insert the SD card, power Off/On. Click "install zip from sdcard" > "choose zip from sdcard" > select "".

8) Remove the SD card. Put it in a safe place. Insert a blank SD card that you will keep in the Nook while you fly. This will contain all your Top Hat data. Click "back" (left button on Nook) and click reboot system now.

Slide the screen saver and you'll be at the Android desktop. Open the "SearchMarket" icon on the desktop and sign in with your email. Search for "Top Hat Soaring" and install Top Hat.

Click the application list icon (bottom center of screen). On page two (swipe right to left), open the app called SuperUser. Under settings scroll down to the second page and uncheck the checkbox next to "Notifications." Exit back to the desktop. This prevents lots of annoying popups in the future.

The first time you run Top Hat, it will prompt you to "Allow superuser permissions." Say yes. Top Hat will exit. Then restart Top Hat.

If you have never used XCSoar or Top Hat before, you will need to download maps and waypoint and airspace files onto your sdcard into a folder called /sdcard/xcsoardata. For info on where to get these files, see Top Hat Downloads.

You should never need to "root" you Nook again. You can install upgrades to Top Hat and install other apps via the Android Market. You can also read B&N ebooks (great feature after a landout) by pressing the "n" button on the face of the Nook.

Have fun!

Nook basics:

How to use the rooted Nook. Click here for the basics!

Installing Top Hat on the Nook:

Click on the SearchMarket icon on the Nook desktop and type in "Top Hat Soaring." It should popup and you can then install it from the Market screen.

Running Top Hat on the Nook:

You can connect your Nook to a GPS source one of two ways:
1) Recommended: use an IOIO OTG box. The IOIO OTG is a more robust solution with respect to connection loss than is the serial cable connection.
2) using a serial cable. (no longer recommended)

To connect using an IOIO OTG box (recommended)
The IOIO OTG box is the newest version of the IOIO. Note that the older "IOIO V1" boxes don't work with the Nook - they must be "IOIO OTG"
  1. Plug in your IOIO box to your Nook using a normal micro USB cable.
  2. In Top Hat, select the port "IOIO on UArt 0."
  3. In Top Hat, select the GPS driver if you see your GPS in the list, otherwise select "Generic." It may take Top Hat up to 30 seconds to find the GPS once it starts.

To connect using a serial cable:
  1. Plug in your USB OTG cable and your GPS source into the Nook before starting Top Hat
  2. In Top Hat, select the port "Nook NST USB Host."
  3. In Top Hat, select the GPS driver if you see your GPS in the list, otherwise select "Generic." Turn off bidirectional sync if available for your driver. It may take Top Hat up to 30 seconds to find the GPS once it starts.

Using your rooted Nook as an e-book reader

Hit the "n" button on the Nook to show the Barnes & Nobel e-book menu.

To switch from e-book mode back to Android mode, you'll notice a tiny black arrow midway up the right side of the screen. Press that arrow, and you'll see the "Savior menu" appear which includes a Android Home button that returns you to Android.

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