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Topics - exfirepro

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Technical Support / MOVED: SafeSky App
« on: June 06, 2021, 11:44:19 pm »
This topic has been moved to General Discussion.

OGN-R PilotAware / Closure of Melisa Jenkins’ OGN Range Tool
« on: August 02, 2020, 11:00:32 am »
I have just seen a post over on the OGN Forums from Melissa Jenkins, to say that she has finally decided to shut down the OGN Range Tool she set up over 6 years ago on I have passed on our thanks to Melissa for the great help her range tool provided to us in setting up the original OGN-PAW Rebroadcast Stations.

Melissa’s site has been superseded by an updated and (since other commitments affected Melissa’s ability to commit time to her site), more reliable, range tool, set up a year or more ago by Angel Casado and hosted on  IMO this is now the best of the publicly available tools for testing the range and coverage of OGN and PilotAware ATOM-GRID Stations.

Just thought you’d like to know.



Technical Support / Reliable Power Sources and Powerbanks
« on: July 26, 2020, 11:34:05 am »
With almost 5 years involvement in PilotAware Development, Testing and Support, I have seen and experienced a broad range of problems, issues and solutions in a wide variety of aircraft and situations. Amongst these, the importance of using an effective and reliable Power Supply and Power Cable to Power PilotAware (or any other electrical/electronic device) remains top of my priority list.

Despite it being stressed over and over again - in User Instructions, Quick-Start Guides, Videos, Talks and Presentations and on this Forum, many of the ‘faults’ and ‘problems’ reported on here, or seen at rallies or while visiting airfields still turn out to be due to a less than optimal Power Supply.

By now even beginners should know that... To ensure effective, reliable operation, PilotAware requires a Power Source capable of sustaining at least 5 volts - even when drawing current at up to 2.1 amps.

...yet we still continue to see faults due to inadequate power supplies.

In my own case, I started out by using a combination of Powerbanks and ‘wired’ USB supplies of various origins - including various self-contained hard-wired multi-USB port units, some of which worked, some of which didn’t - or did, but periodically wiped out my audio or radio comms with ‘white noise’.

Whilst I rapidly came to rely on the Anker PowerCore Powerbanks for their portability, (I now have several in different capacities), I wanted to establish a reliable ‘aircraft based’ power supply for long distance touring. I therefore tried various USB adapters plugged into appropriately wired and fused cigarette/cigar lighter socket(s), but found a tremendous variation in performance. In one test with a batch of 10 ‘single port’ adaptors from a well known brand, 8 of the 10 generated sufficient radio frequency noise when tasked to charge an almost flat tablet, to completely wipe out my comms (and that was without PilotAware).

I eventually found the original black and red bodied Anker PowerDrive (single outlet) and PowerDrive 2 (twin outlet) devices, which are now recommended by PilotAware. I have found these to be completely and consistently reliable when plugged into a suitably rated and fused socket * - but even they can be overcome if you are tempted to try running both PilotAware and your tablet or phone from the same device - especially if the tablet or phone isn’t fully charged, when it tries to draw too much current - at which point noise appears through the PAW audio as the voltage drops and if charging is allowed to continue, PilotAware may well disconnect, lose gps fix or simply shut down. (For this reason, PilotAware recommends that you do not plug a second device into the ‘spare’ socket if using a PowerDrive 2). I have also tried a couple of the newer ‘Carbon Effect’ Anker PowerDrive 2 unit’s (successfully) but have not tried the latest IQ and PD versions.

* I have come across some sockets in aircraft, with wiring that I wouldn’t trust with a low-power device let alone one drawing high current, and others not fused in any way. Remember, these cigarette lighter sockets are running at 12 volts. A short-circuit with inadequate wiring and no fuse or circuit breaker is likely to result in a cockpit fire. If in any doubt - employ an expert. This is not the place for well-meaning DIY!

After trying various options myself, I fitted one of Jeremy Curtis’s excellent ‘Harkwood Charge4’ power supplies to my plane back in May 2016 and have never looked back. The Harkwood ‘Charge4’ and ‘Charge2’ Power Supplies are designed in the UK specifically for aviation use and are now EASA approved. I have had no issues whatever with my ‘Charge4’ and can highly recommend it and its smaller ‘Charge2’ sister, which I recently added to my collection as I seem to be running out of USB sockets again  :-\

I have over the years also used a fairly wide (but now ageing) range of (mainly) Anker Powerbanks for long-term testing at home and in the air. They are especially useful to allow testing in aircraft which don’t have effective built-in power supplies (or when I run out of sockets).

To summarise, I have personal experience of - and am happy to recommend any of the following : -

Harkwood Charge2 or Charge4 aviation power supplies ( )

The black and red bodied Anker PowerDrive (single outlet) and PowerDrive 2 (twin outlet) devices (with the above condition)

The newer ‘Carbon Effect’ Anker PowerDrive 2 unit’s (with the above condition) (though I haven't tested the full range)

The older (though still available) Anker PowerCore 10000, 13000 and 20100 Powerbank units.

However, we regularly get enquiries like - ‘Will this, (or that) specific powerbank or power supply work with PilotAware?’

While we can look at the manufacturer’s specification and make an intelligent ‘guess’ - I for one have little or no experience of other brands or of the newer Anker units and we can’t possibly know with any degree of certainty unless we have used or tested the actual device(s) over an extended period.

So this is where you come in...

If you have experience of long term reliable use of any powerbank or power source other than the ones covered above and are prepared to recommend it/them unconditionally for use with PilotAware, please let us know ** and I will make up a ‘sticky’ list of recommended devices to help other users choose reliable equipment.

Alternatively if you use or have used another unit regularly, but have doubts or limitations - such as ‘don’t use this one to power a tablet or phone at the same time’ - or simply ‘don’t use this one’, - please also let us know **.

** In either case, please provide Manufacturer’s specific part code or detailed description or a link to the specific device on the site you purchased it from.

Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Best Regards

Peter Robertson
(PilotAware Development Team)

General Discussion / Popham Trade Show Cancelled due to Coronavirus
« on: March 16, 2020, 10:22:23 pm »
Just saw this in a couple of posts elsewhere.

Confirmed by the BMAA’s Geoff Weighell and on Popham’s website - The show is cancelled (not postponed). Next show will be on Saturday/Sunday 1st/2nd May 2021.

What a disappointment (though I can understand why). I will miss it....



OGN-R PilotAware / PAW OGN-R on Ian Fallon's PAW Users Map
« on: October 30, 2017, 11:19:47 am »
Hi All,

I have added  a separate map 'layer' to Ian Fallon's map for PAW OGN-R stations to make them easier to see amongst the ever growing throng of PAW users.


OGN-R station 'owners / installers' please  feel free to add your OGN-R stations to this layer, preferably using the standard format I have set up. Any probs please get in touch.



p.s. I have added a few 'known' ones to get things started.

General Discussion / Fly the Tyne
« on: May 26, 2016, 01:02:31 pm »
Any PAW users doing 'Fly the Tyne' this weekend? I am presumably too late now to register, but may take a trip down to Eshott to see you all off (as long as that's outside the NOTAM area of course - still need to check, but it should be.



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