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Messages - exfirepro

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1
Technical Support / Re: WiFi Dongle stops tablet connecting with PAW
« on: June 30, 2022, 11:40:32 pm »
OK Sean,

Definitely needs further investigation. Let us know when you are back.

Regards
Peter

2
Technical Support / Re: WiFi Dongle stops tablet connecting with PAW
« on: June 30, 2022, 08:55:05 pm »
Hi Sean,

I can’t think why you are getting that - and I’m pretty sure I have never seen that message before.

Can you post a screenshot of your Config Screen so we can see the settings on your USB Ports please. for reference, they should all be on ‘Auto’ except the one your USB to RS232 converter is plugged into - which from your earlier posts was Port 2. A shot of the Networks Screen might also prove helpful.

Regards
Peter

3
Technical Support / Re: Random traffic?
« on: June 29, 2022, 01:32:58 pm »
Hi Andy,

I echo most of what has been said above. Your initial screenshot indicates the reception of a Mode-C response from a transponder. This could be from another aircraft fitted with an actual Mode-C transponder, or a Mode-C (altitude) response from any nearby Mode-S transponder. If you are running a transponder of any sort in your aircraft, your ‘Bearingless Contact Setting’ for Mode-C/S MUST be set to ‘Mode-CS + Filter’. If - as in your case - the filter is not set there is a high probability that the ‘Random’ Mode C responses are from your own transponder.

If you wan’t to reduce Bearingless Alerts from Mode C/S aircraft generally, you could try reducing the Mode-C/S Horizontal Sensitivity to ‘Short Range’ and or the Mode-C/S Vertical Display Range to +/- 1000ft - if you are happy to accept the increased level of risk as these aircraft will be considerably closer by the time you get warnings. (In reality, it is perfectly acceptable to fly on the Short Range and +/- 1000ft settings, but DO NOT risk using the Ultra Short Range Setting unless you are fully aware of the potential effect on warnings.)

My second comment (sorry Ian) is that the Positional Contacts Settings Horizontal and Vertical Display options should ONLY be used if your Electronic Flight Bag (Route and Traffic Display System) doesn’t have it’s own Horizontal and Vertical Display Range Settings (most do - in which case you should leave the PAW ones at ‘Display All’ and set your chosen restricted ranges in your EFB Settings). The ‘Select Audio Warning Zones’ ranges BTW only control transmission of PilotAware Audio Alerts, and will have no effect on audio alerts generated directly by EFB’s such as EasyVFR or SkyDemon.

Hope this helps clarify the situation.

Congratulations on your PilotAware Performance - an excellent example. I take it you have external antennas fitted to your Eurostar. Well done!

Best Regards
Peter

4
Hi Again Neil,

Don’t beat yourself up with this. You were perfectly correct to report your concerns.

Yes we tested iGRID extensively over many months before release, so we could fully understand how it operates in the real world and find out if there were any significant issues. Thankfully, we didn’t find any, but with a relatively small range of aircraft / pilots / GSM devices / and networks, it isn’t outwith the bounds of possibility now that iGRID is out in the much wider community that we may still come across the odd issue.

The important thing is that we all keep an open mind and assess each report objectively to try to establish exactly what is going on, and if and how it relates to PilotAware.

Please keep us informed.

Best Regards
Peter

5
Hi All,

That obviously varies by aircraft (even between individual aircraft within any specific type or model). I changed to a Lithium Battery in my flex quite a while back - which considerably improves starting (it fired up immediately after lying dormant right through the first lockdown). Nonetheless, the initial voltage drop when engaging the starter can still cause PilotAware to drop out briefly and restart.

As I say, the effects will vary by aircraft, but I now only power up secondary systems after engine start. Obviously when operating from controlled airfields, you need radio to request engine start, but I suggest minimising all other secondary systems until your generator has come fully on line.

Regards

Peter

6
Hi Neil,

I have now been testing / using iGRID since early November last year (7 months) without any issues whatever. Whilst I have noticed ‘white noise’ on a couple of very recent flights which has made radio reception difficult on certain frequencies, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in any way related to my mobile phone or iGRID. In my case the interference only affected reception and stopped completely when I powered down my audio mixer, which feeds audio warnings from both PilotAware and SkyDemon on my iPad into my intercom. I suspect the problem may have been due to the unit’s batteries going flat, but haven’t had a chance to go back down to the airfield since to check this. When I manage to do so I will report my findings.

Best Regards

Peter

7
Technical Support / Re: Aircrew Instrument Firmware Update
« on: June 27, 2022, 08:09:54 am »
Hi Guys,

Bob,

I would certainly recommend powering Aircrew from a separate source during updates, rather than from PilotAware - simply to avoid any possibility of any 'glitch' corrupting the update - as you experienced. I have had that happen before, and it can be a real PITA trying to recover the unit if it 'seizes up' during the update process.

For the benefit of anyone else reading this thread, I hadn't updated my Aircrew for a while so (even though it was already running a 1.09 Beta Tester), I just ran a full update (remote from the aircraft and powered with the cable which normally feeds my printer from my laptop as I couldn't find my 'spare' USB A to USB B) to confirm the process. The update was deliberately performed using my 'older' iPad Mini 3 (running iPadOS 12.5.5) and all worked as expected - except that I had forgotten that in order to connect the iPad to the Aircrew, you have to first download the update (by opening the Aircrew Updater App on your Tablet, Phone or PC) while connected to the internet), then scroll through the Aircrew / Config settings to 'Update' and Press the Button to select 'Update', which starts the process and importantly activates the Aircrew WiFi Hotspot, so it appears on the tablet/phone/PC WiFi List allowing you to connect the Pad to the Aircrew Device and start the installation process.

Dave / All,

You will presumably be aware that James had to cease production of Aircrew a while back during Covid, as he simply couldn't obtain the required chipsets due to the World shortages. He has spent considerable time and effort redesigning the board, so that an alternative chipset can be used and my most recent news was that new units should be available to order in July.

In the meantime, communication has been a bit 'sketchy' so I need to speak to James again and get an update on his latest developments!

In particular, I must have missed the G-meter Screen. Looks interesting - though not sure my Inspector (/CFI) would be keen on me 'exploring the limits' in my flexwing.

That said, Aircrew is still one of the most useful devices in my aircraft.

Best Regards

Peter

8
Technical Support / Re: Bandit on my tail
« on: June 24, 2022, 12:39:39 am »
Interesting Paul,

Any corroboration (or evidence in support of that hypothesis) would certainly be of great interest to the Team.

Best Regards as always

Peter

9
Technical Support / Re: IGrid and phone reception
« on: June 24, 2022, 12:36:30 am »
Hi Marioair,

I have been testing / using iGRID with significant reliability via my mobile phone at a variety of altitudes and locations throughout the UK, since October 2021.

As @steveu says, it's very easy to check coverage after each flight by logging in to https://aircrew.co.uk/playback/groundstations/ , leaving the 'Station' set to 'All' and selecting the appropriate transmission type, your aircraft ICAO code and the approximate time and duration of your flight. You don't even need to have downloaded the PAW track file as the reports are compiled direct from the secure Pilotaware Database.

Tip: If the transmission profile and 'map' doesn't appear, adjust the start time of the search to be just after your actual take-off.

In view of the fact that we are utilising our own mobile device contracts to make use of the GSM network(s) which we are already paying for - albeit to uplink data in flight as a supplement to direct reception by Pilotaware from other aircraft or ATOM Uplinks, with - as far as we can determine - no measurably detrimental effect on the networks themselves, I personally am comfortable with the principle using the GSM networks in flight, but as Lee has already intimated, it would definitely not be a good idea to, for example, try to use 'lack of a reliable signal at altitude' as a stick to prod the network providers with, when such use of their networks is at best on the margins of our mobile device contracts.

Better IMO to simply monitor our own coverage and use the results to determine whether we can each improve coverage within our own aircraft, by for example repositioning our GSM device, or switching to a different device or network provider.

It is, however, important from the development point of view to keep an open mind and to keep discussing results within this forum, obtained in a variety of situations and with the broad variety of equipment and network providers open to us.

Best Regards

Peter


10
Technical Support / Re: Bandit on my tail
« on: June 23, 2022, 11:46:11 pm »
Hi Joe,

The 'normal' scenario, with this type of ghost alerts, is that they are triggered by a second EC device in your aircraft - usually your own transponder, or by a ground uplink from a flarm or similar device, but I see from your Home Screen that you are running the newest software, which includes algorithms specifically designed to stop this sort of alerts. To be effective, however, it is essential to run your device in the 'Mode C/S Plus Filter' setting if you have a secondary EC device such as a transponder. A screenshot of your Configure Screen would be helpful so we can check the settings.

From screenshot 1, it would also appear that in your case the alerts might be being triggered (or at least exacerbated) by what seem to be sudden or very rapid changes in your reported altitude, which would appear to need further investigation.

Perhaps Lee would care to comment.

Best Regards

Peter

11
Technical Support / Re: WiFi Module doesn't fit in Rosetta
« on: June 23, 2022, 11:37:07 pm »
Hi Sean,

The cable in the lower left port is a USB to RS232 Serial Adapter - used to provide GPS data to your transponder in order to generate ADSB-Out. This port (USB Port 2) is the most practical for allowing the cable to exit the end cover of Rosetta and will have been specifically configured in the PAW Configure Screen to provide the GPS data at the correct Baud Rate to match the Transponder, so it has to stay in that port. In practical terms therefore, your alternatives are limited to: -

1). The cheapest option - put the GPS dongle outside the case on a short USB male to female extension cable (but keep it the right way up - i.e. with the ceramic antenna uppermost), or...

2). Replace the existing GPS with a GPS Mouse (which has a standard width plug) which will then allow the new WiFi module to fit into the top-right port.

Sorry, a bit of a compromise, but the only practical options to retain ADSB-Out from your Transponder via GPS feed from your Rosetta and add iGRID.

Best Regards

Peter

12
Technical Support / Re: Dipole Antenna Fell off - options forward?
« on: June 23, 2022, 08:23:23 am »
Hi Alex,

The 'standard' 869.5MHz PilotAware antennas - (the ones supplied to screw directly onto Rosetta) are technically known as 'Sleeve Dipoles'. You can see an excellent description of how these are designed and constructed in the first part of this video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcho1gJ2xEQ (up to about 4mins 20 secs).

There is technically nothing to stop you running a sleeve dipole on an SMA male to SMA female 'extension cable' of appropriate length - remembering that the shorter the cable, the less potential signal loss. They usually work fine in that configuration as they don't need a ground plane. Just make sure the cable you buy is good quality for the frequency we are using and that the connectors are SMA - not 'reverse polarity' RP-SMA - which has the centre pin in the wrong connector, and try to mount the antenna out in the clear away from for example metal window or door frames.

I've never taken one of the 'standard' Rosetta 1090MHz antennas apart yet, but from their length, I suspect they are simply tuned 1/4 wave monopoles. The reason they are not 'advertised' as compatible with the Classic, is that - as you know - the standard Classic 1090 antenna has it's own cable, terminated in an MCX male plug, which plugs directly into the dongle, whereas on the Rosetta the antenna mounts directly on the case onto one end of an installed SMA to MCX pigtail - the other end of which is already plugged into the dongle. Again, there is nothing to stop you using a Rosetta 1090MHz antenna onto an SMA female to SMA male 'extension' with your 'Classic' then adding an SMA female to MCX male adaptor on the end of the cable to plug into the 1090 dongle. Or you could of course use an SMA female to MCX male cable if you can find one.

Having said all that, remind me what type of aircraft you are flying? If you are changing your antenna setup anyway, have you considered upgrading to external antennas? I did that quite a while back on my flexwing and as a result am seeing vastly improved coverage and range from my setup over all previous antenna options.

Definitely worth thinking about.

Best Regards

Peter
 

13
Technical Support / Re: Audio over HDMI
« on: June 17, 2022, 01:50:22 pm »
The problem with the passive version of these [Ground Loop Isolators] is that there is a massive drop in signal level... good if you have mixer with gain to boost back up to the right level, but if you are simply using it in line then it's problematic - it was deal breaker for the installs I tried it on. I made sure all power leads to PAW and intercom had ferrite beads on them.

Yes, Steve, I agree, it’s always best to look for the actual reason for interference and deal with it appropriately - often as you say by fitting ferrites to power and other signal cables, or simply re-making a dodgy connection or replacing a potentially high-resistance earth.

I have, however, come across a couple of cases where the interference to audio was clearly coming from the Raspberry Pi in the PilotAware - and was being output to the intercom via the audio jack. In both cases, ferrites on the audio lead were of no help whatsoever, but fitting Ground Loop Isolators was effective, and probably the only solution (short of replacing the Raspberry Pi).

As you say, not always the best solution, but can certainly worth trying.

Best Regards

Peter

14
Technical Support / Re: 3G/4G Dongle and iGRID
« on: June 17, 2022, 09:14:40 am »
@Biker,

I have just looked up your suggested Dongle online. ( https://www.waveshare.com/sim7600e-h-4g-dongle.htm and https://www.waveshare.com/wiki/SIM7600G-H_4G_DONGLE for anyone interested).

The  ‘external’ GSM antenna should certainly improve the signal over the small internal one in the type of Dongle Lee and I (and others) used for testing (see https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/373110430035? ) - in my case mounted and powered out in the clear on a small portable power pack away from the Rosetta itself. BUT the device you refer to is clearly intended to be directly mounted into (and powered from) it’s ‘host’ via a USB port, whereas PAW is configured to connect to an ‘external’ GSM Hotspot via WiFi - so I doubt the one you have suggested would be compatible without significant modification to the PAW software.

Lee might be interested in looking into the concept however to see if there is any potential mileage there.

Regards

Peter

15
Technical Support / Re: 3G/4G Dongle and iGRID
« on: June 17, 2022, 08:41:34 am »
Hi Both,

Yes, sorry Steve, as I have said before elsewhere - I am not decrying your results with your Huawei MiFi in any way - I just haven’t seen enough evidence (yet) to prove the effectiveness of currently available MiFi Units as compared to my own (consistent) results with my Mobile Phone.

I have revised and expanded my earlier post to clarify my viewpoint and remain happy to be enlightened.

Best Regards as always....

Peter

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