Author Archives: Marc Andre

Introducing the Balloon Safety Analyzer BSA

For the Europeans 2015 I wrote a software that can analyze all tracks and find high ascend/descend rates depending on distance. The software is very fast, it runs the tracks of a flight with 100 pilots in approximately 10 seconds.
Also, the software can find large ascend/descend rates in proximity of waypoints (e.g. targets) or find balloons within the proximity of another balloon at a given time.

I decided to publish the software freely to everybody who would like to use it. The software currently can only work with tracks from Balloon Competition Loggers and if those are set to 1 second interval.

The software can be downloaded from the BSA page.

New BLM Version 3.0.265

BLM IconI finally found time to publish the new BLM version. I decided to make it a new major version (3.0.265).

Aside of a face lift and introduced version check at startup, this version contains a feature to detect the take-off and landing positions. While we have intensively tested the feature during the last big competitions (Europeans 2015 and WAG Dubai), please use the detected positions with reasonable care.
The algorithm to detect take-off and landing is based on some work from Flytec and uses the barometric altitude, variometer and GPS ground speed.
Please note that sometimes multiple take-offs and landings could be detected. (in low wind conditions or if the balloon is moved)

You can download the new version from the BLM page.

New minor Firmware release 1.3.256

Based on feedback from pilots, I have created a new release of the firmware.

  • Altitude declaration length is limited to 4 digits (instead of 5 digits as before). As discussed during the CIA meeting 2015 altitudes almost always are declared in 4 digits. 5 digits are never used, because this would mean declaration above 10000ft. Removing the 5th digit will significantly reduce the cases of invalid altitude declarations where the user pressed an additional ‘0’ instead of ‘->’ and ‘ok’.
  • Increased the size of some fonts during marker drop and goal declaration. Unfortunately we can’t increase the font on all fields due to space restrictions.

You can download the Firmware from the corresponding pages.

Connecting the logger on Windows 8.1

(Updated March 18, 2015)
During Winter 2014/2015 Flytec has updated all pool loggers with a new USB chip. So now all FAI/CIA owned loggers work smoothly with Windows 8.1. Just install the driver as normal, see here.

For privately owned loggers, please check the Flytec website on how to test if the logger supports Win 8.1. If not it can be sent to Flytec for upgrade which might be for free if the logger is still in the warranty period.

New BLM Version 2.2.252

I’ve just uploaded the new BLM version:
– Fixed an issue with BFA export not exporting 24h time format
– Added declaration position as new mark to the WPT export

You can download the new version from the BLM page.

New minor release: Firmware 1.3.246 and BLM 2.2.247

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.

Howto use the logger with Android through Bluetooth

android-logo-transparent1We’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.
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New major release: Firmware 1.3.240 and BLM 2.2.240

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.

New Firmware 1.2.223

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.