Author Archives: Marc Andre

New firmware release 1.3.276

Unfortunately a bug in some of the GPS modules (those with SiRF firmware 4.x) started to degrade their GPS reception since the last year. With the help of Volirium, we are able to patch those GPS modules at startup and fix the problem.

The new firmware is necessary for all devices that show GSDe_4.x as the GPS type in the HFGPS IGC file header. But it is safe (and recommended) to upgrade all devices to this new firmware.

After upgrade, the affected devices should list the following GPS firmware version:
GSD4e_4.0.4-P1_RPATCH.06- 06/24/2019 175
GSD4e_4.1.2-P1_RPATCH.10- 04/25/2019 115

You can download the Firmware from the corresponding pages.

Balloon Live is online!

Balloon Live is a new logger project by FAI CIA/NTSC. These next generation logger are developed as a phone app and provide the same functionality as the FAI logger. The app is now available in the app stores and can be used for training and small competitions. Larger competitions (e.g. Nationals, Cat1, etc.) should still use the FAI Logger until Balloon Live is extended with an external GPS and pressure sensor.

The Worlds 2020 will still be flown with the FAI logger. If all tests are successful there is a chance that Balloon Live can be used for Cat1 events by 2021. Until Balloon Live is fully operational, the FAI logger will remain to be supported and can be rented.


New Firmware release 1.3.269

I have just uploaded a new firmware which will fix the “GPS week rollover” event in April 2019.

The GPS week rollover event is similar to the year 2000 issue and affects all GPS receivers. Some of our GPS modules will start to report a wrong date as of April 7, 2019. The introduced fix catches the issue and transparently fixes the date.
Find more information about the GPS week rollover even there:

You can download the Firmware from the corresponding pages.

New Version BSA 2.2.24

I have published a new version of BSA which includes all checks according to COH 2018.

  • Support to check for limit 4. The check only lists violations which occur for 5s or longer as per COH 2018.
  • Calculate the recommended penalty points according to COH 2018.

The latest version can be downloaded from the BSA page.

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.