Category Archives: Tips & Tricks for Officials

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.

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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Instrument error correction

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Switch all devices on with the correct QNH. Let them heat up for 10-15 minutes
  3. Note the indicated altitude for all loggers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Copy the inst_cal.cfg to all SD cards or use BLM to copy it when initializing the SD card.
  7. 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

Guidance documents

With the Scoring WG we agreed to post two guidance documents for working with the CIA loggers. The documents describe how logger handling errors were dealt with during the Europeans 2011 and give recommendations for fail-over procedures.
The documents will be discussed in the CIA forum and during the next CIA conference with the Scoring WG and eventually be included in the COH.

Logger fail-over procedures
Electronic Mark Errors

A new screen might pop up: “New Flight?”

With the latest firmware upgrade of the logger a new question was introduced, that could show up at startup after entering QNH (See image).
Pilots, don’t get confused: The question is simple: Is it a new flight or not? If you start the logger before launch or at briefing and this question rises, the answer is yes. If you want to start the logger after the flight (e.g. at debriefing) to read your declarations, the answer is no.
When a new flight is started, the logger allows you to drop all markers again and also goal declarations disappear from the user interface. Be aware that in any way you cannot clear data from your tracks. The declarations/drops done so far will remain in the track, thus scoring will not be affected.

This functionality was introduced in order to allow to reset the logger in case something went wrong with clearing the so called declaration cache. Of course pilots are not allowed to use this functionality to redrop a marker that has already been dropped in flight. Doing this might be considered interfering with the logger.

No track on the SD-Card? There is still hope!

If the SD-Card is lost, not readable, or if no IGC files can be found on the card, there is still hope! The logger stores all tracks in its internal flash memory. The memory has space for at least 5h (@1s interval). Old data is automatically overwritten.

To download the track from the logger use the BLM.

  1. Start the logger. Press Ok
  2. Do not enter QNH. As soon as QNH is entered, the logger starts recording and might override the track that you are just looking for.
  3. Connect the logger to the PC.
  4. In BLM select “Logger”–>”Download Track”. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Charging the loggers

The loggers have rechargeable batteries. Each logger comes with a power charger. Please follow the following rules.

  • Only official chargers may be used!
  • Never replace the batteries with other types
  • Make sure you connect the right plug in the logger (see pictures)
  • The lights on the bottom of the logger will turn on (constant or blink). Keep the logger charging until both lights switch off

Especially take care to use the correct plug, the charger plug fits into two holes of the logger!

Charge Top View

Converting tracks using GPSBabel

GPSBabel is a free software tool that can be used to convert different track file formats. It can be downloaded from

Convert to different file formats
The following command converts a logger igc file into a OziExplorer plt file. Please note, that 2 files are written. output.plt is the file with barometric altitude while output-1.plt uses GPS (above MSL) altitude.
gpsbabel -t -i igc -f -o ozi -F output.plt

The above example generated OziExplorer plt files. GPSBabel supports many track file formats.

Format   -o parameter
OziExplorer ozi
Garmin PCX5 pcx
MemoryMap mmo

A list of all supported formats is listed on the GPSBabel homepage.

QNH correction
The logger stores the barometric altitude with QNH=1013.25. In order to adjust for the real altitude the barometric altitude must be corrected using the following formula:


This can also be done with GPSBabel:
gpsbabel -t -i ozi -f output.plt -x height,add=[dalt] -o ozi -F output-2.plt
with [dalt] beeing delta alt as calculated in the first line of the formula above. Of course the above line can be called with different file formats as well.