Welcome to the official homepage for the FAI/CIA balloon competition loggers.
The logger project started 2007 and is hosted by FAI/CIA/NTSC. Since then professional devices based on the hardware by Flytec and firmware by Marc André have been engineered. Currently FAI/CIA owns a pool of 110 devices and these devices are used throughout the world for balloon competitions including World and European championships. Since May 2013 the devices may also be bought by individuals or organizations.
This homepage also contains lots of information for pilots and officials about using the loggers.
As decided by the FAI/CIA plenary, the loggers can now be bought by any individual or organization. The devices are available through any Flytec dealer.
Find more information and prices on the buy-a-logger page.
All loggers are entitled for unlimited firmware upgrade. Support documents and instructions can be found on this homepage. Hardware support is provided by Flytec and software support by the New Technology Subcommittee of the FAI Ballooning Commission.
The purchased loggers may not be rented in pools to competitions outside the country of the owner. See details on the buy-a-logger page.
Unfortunately the balloon loggers have an issue connecting to Windows 8.1 or later with USB. This affects the real-time track access and firmware upgrade. The manufacturer of the USB/Serial converter chip inside the device took the opportunity with Windows 8 to enforce a generation change of his products.
See more details on Flytec website.
A trick exists to still make a connection work on Windows 8.
At this time all pool loggers are affected and don’t work with Windows 8.1. The private loggers can be fixed, see also the Flytec website mentioned above.
I have relased a maintenance release with a few improvements in the logger firmware and related adjustments in BLM:
- Added temperature correction for display contrast. Also with startup code 111 the contrast of the display can be adjusted.
- Renamed insterr.cfg to inst_cal.cfg based on user feedback.
- Fixed an issue which rarely caused corrupt ICG file signature.
You can download BLM and Firmware from the corresponding pages.
We’ve been asked if the logger can be connected to a Android device. Yes, it is possible, but only if the logger has a Bluetooth module. The Bluetooth module is available as an option for private loggers, but it is not implemented in the pool devices. You need some tricks to enable it which I will present in this post. Please note that the logger unfortunately can’t peer with an Apple device (iPhone / iPad) due to license restrictions by Apple.
I’ve just released a major version for the logger firmware (version 1.3) and BLM (version 2.2). This firmware introduces several new functions:
- The logger records variometer information
- The logger has a new “Navigation” screen which shows ground speed, heading and variometer.
- A new user.cfg configuration file allows user specific configuration which doesn’t affect event configuration.
- Declarations can now also be in 5/4 format. This format must be activated by configuration.
- Improved GPS detection and support for latest Flytec hardware
- Support for Bluetooth (Only available for private owned loggers with Bluetooth modules).
- Shows SBAS/WAAS status and records the status to the IGC file
- Improved precision of stored GPS position
Important: This new firmware changes the IGC file format. The new format is currently supported by eKLIPS, Boxy, BScoring. I don’t know about the other software. Check a recorded track before the first competition flight and update scoring software or downgrade logger if needed. I will keep the 1.2.x firmware online.
Also the SignatureLib was updated, because the signature key of the IGC files are changed to improve security.
You can download BLM and Firmware from the corresponding pages.
I’ve published a new maintenance release of the firmware. The new release contains support for the new hardware series from Flytec. Additionally I’ve added a few new features:
- Support for inHg QNH
- Support for >2GB SD Cards
The new firmware can be downloaded in the Official’s section.
Please note that a special installation procedure is necessary to connect the device to Windows 8.
- Install the driver normally.
- After installation copy and replace the (ser2pl64.sys or ser2pl.sys) into the Win8 directory: C:\Windows\System32\driver. Use ser2pl.sys for 32-bit systems and ser2pl64.sys for 64-bit systems
Note: Make sure the device is not connected when performing the steps above!
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The FAI logger allow instrument error correction to adjust for instrument error and drift of the sensors. The instrument error adjustment is configured using a separate config file (inst_cal.cfg) which is placed on the SD card. I’ve written many emails telling officials how to do this. I think it is time to post it…
I suggest to do the correction whenever possible. If you don’t use it, make sure the inst_cal.cfg file doesn’t exist on the loggers.
- Make sure the devices don’t have any inst_cal.cfg on the SD card and that the altitude is set to barometric. Probably best is to not use any SD card at all.
- Switch all devices on with the correct QNH. Let them heat up for 10-15 minutes
- Note the indicated altitude for all loggers.
- Use the Excel sheet to calculate the instrument error. If the reference altitude is known, it should be entered. If it is unknown, the median will be used. In that case the loggers are corrected among each other, but the absolute altitude might have some offset.
- Use the Excel sheet to create the inst_cal.cfg file. This file has the format XXX=123 with XXX being the 3-digit serial number and 123 being the altitude correction in decimeter. This value will be added to the measured altitude to get the indicated altitude. A single inst_cal.cfg file can contain the instrument error for all loggers used in the event.
- Copy the inst_cal.cfg to all SD cards or use BLM to copy it when initializing the SD card.
- Optional: Start all loggers again and check if the indicated altitude is within a small offset (Usually within 8m).
Important Note: The instrument error file on the logger is only used to adjust the indicated altitude. The altitude stored in the IGC file is not modified. Thus the same instrument error must be added during scoring. Do not use the header information in the IGC file, but use a separate database to prevent cheating possibility.
Remark: Pre 1.3.246 firmware release the file was named insterr.cfg. Based on feedback the file was renamed to inst_cal.cfg. Versions 1.3.246 and later automatically rename insterr.cfg to inst_cal.cfg if no inst_cal.cfg exists yet.
Download Excel sheet