Author Topic: Track File Missing  (Read 793 times)

rogerabc

Track File Missing
« on: July 31, 2021, 01:52:21 pm »
I am running a PAW classic with Charge4 power supply & Juicebitz cable.

Recently swapped to external antennae & very pleased with vector analysis & atom grid reception.

I have recently been downloading tracks post flight to assess the antenna performance on aircrew website and noticed a couple of times that no track file was stored despite the unit operating normally during the flight.

Looking for any suggestions to diagnose this please.

Regards,

Roger


exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2021, 08:10:13 am »
Hi Roger,

I have seen this before on a couple of occasions and just reported a specific case of missing track files from another user's Rosetta to Lee last weekend. I haven't had any feedback yet as to what might have been the cause though. I will post any update on here.

Best Regards

Peter

Ancien

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2021, 06:09:27 pm »
I have had this a few times.
It is usually the return flight that is missing.
Today no record of the return. The PAW appeared to be working perfectly. Ground stations and traffic all appearing on screen.
Samsung tablet using PAW gps and android phone using its own gps both screens were the same and all good.
???
Bob

Gonch

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 09:26:30 pm »
Hi All

I to have had this. Once was on a return or 2nd or 3rd flight in a day, so wondered if being the same date caused an issue for multiple tracks?

Today The Rosetta appeared to connect and Skydemon used it for GPS, but no traffic was showing. One aircraft was a full ADSB equipped HMCG helicopter, that took off at my 12 o'clock 5NM away and closed, passing at same height, 1/2 mile abeam. Nothing on skydemon, logged into Pilotaware interface and it was showing on the Radar screen. But again unfortunately after the flight there appears to be no track file to download.

After the flight I looked on ADSB Exchange for the heli, and it showed its route and the source as ADSB

Any ideas
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 09:29:05 pm by Gonch »

exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 10:34:51 pm »
Hi Gonch,

I would be surprised if the ‘missing’ track files are related to the fact you have carried out multiple flights on the same date - even if the PAW was left running between flights. I regularly fly multiple flights and have never personally noticed any ‘missing’ track files in over 6 years using various iterations of PilotAware - though I DO have direct personal experience of track files missing from at least one other user’s PAW when I was trying to investigate after recent reports of other aircraft ‘latching’ to the user’s aircraft during a couple of flights on two successive days.

The obvious suspicion when no traffic is showing on your traffic screen (but there is definitely traffic about) would be that either your traffic filters are set too tight, or that you have inadvertently chosen ‘Use Location Services’ rather than ‘Use PilotAware’ after selecting ‘Go Flying’ - Easier to do than you might think if you started SD while the aircraft was moving. But in either case a Track File would still (normally) have been created in PilotAware simply by the fact it was running. The fact that no track file appears to be present is of concern. I know Lee has some thoughts as to possible reasons, but I don’t think he has solved the issue definitively yet (or if he has, he hasn’t advised me of his findings). One thing he did say is that it might be possible for him to locate logging details from the flight in the case of a missing track file by interrogating the microSD card direct, provided nothing has been changed on the card (though I think this is a ‘long shot’).

Hopefully Lee will respond when he reads this.

In the meantime, it would help to know which PAW software version you are running and also if you can post a screenshot of your Home and Configure Screen settings (after leaving the unit running out in the clear for long enough to establish a good GPS fix and have a chance of receiving some traffic.

Best Regards

Peter
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 10:38:18 pm by exfirepro »

Gonch

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2021, 04:49:21 pm »
Hi Pete,

Thanks for the reply.

I don't have any screenshots yet, but the software version is the latest official (non beta release).

I'll recheck the Skydemon settings, but I think they looked good post flight, and have been fine before.

The other thing I forgot to mention is the flight isn't showing up on the Vector chart either.

Thanks

exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2021, 09:49:15 am »
Hi Gonch,

If you give me the Reg I’ll take a look on the database.

Regards

Peter

Gonch

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2021, 02:21:39 pm »
Hi Pete,

Just been down and got the screenshots. She was at the back of the hangar, but with the doors open so got a GPS lock and the traffic and local ground station was showing in Skydemon.

Other thing I didn't mention before, was on the night of no Track log or traffic in skydemon I would have passed at least four ground stations.

The reg is G-WNTR and the is hex ID is 401D1E

Thanks

« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 02:52:26 pm by Gonch »

exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2021, 11:58:32 pm »
Hi again Gonch,

Thanks for the additional info.

From the screenshot of the PAW Home Screen, I can see no clear evidence as to whether or not your PAW is transmitting, though I must admit I find it difficult to interpret the current Up / Down P3i reports - and from the recorded ‘Uptime’, at the time of the screenshots the unit had obviously only been running for 4 minutes with a 2D rather than a 3D GPS fix - but read on below.

OK, so from what I can see, we have a PAW equipped (metal bodied) PA28, (possibly with a Mode-C or S transponder*) with a significant number of PilotAware P3i only reports* from Ground Stations - between 31st March and 10th August 2021, at varying ranges between 1 and 60 Km (with a few spurious reports from further afield). In the majority of cases the reports are nearer to the shorter end of this range than the longer. This would imply fairly significant limitation of transmission range, especially towards the ground - probably due principaly to obscuration by the aircraft metal bodywork, engine and occupants. In this connection, can you please advise where and in what orientation the PilotAware is mounted. (Photos would be very useful).

* Due to data storage limitations, the database does not currently report data from pure Mode C or Mode S transponders.

From the reports I did find, I would conclude that you operate mainly (but not exclusively) in or around the region of EGHN,  EGHJ and EGHP (and from the data most probably out of EGHN). Is that correct?

Despite the number of Ground Station reports recorded, the PAW Vector Coverage and Range Tool shows no results whatever for your aircraft, though this can be explained by the fact that the Vector reports are based on data from the last 30 days or so only (with the last flight recorded by any PAW Ground Station on 10 August 2021, this explains the lack of any current Vector reports).

Looking at your configuration settings, I can see that you have Mode C/S Settings set to Ultra Short Range and +/- 500 ft (which is extremely tight unless operating primarily from and in the vicinity of a commercial airport), but as you have Mode C/S Select set to ‘Disabled’, this is fairly academic in any case as with this setting NO Mode C or S contacts will be passed to your display screen. I would suggest setting Mode C/S Select to Mode C/S - or Mode C/S + Filter if you are running a transponder, and with the range and vertical reporting distances set much wider - at least until you confirm that such reports are being received.

I would also suggest that you need to open up your receiver range settings in both PAW Configure and your chosen Nav System (which controls ‘Known Position’ reports) to maximise potential for reception of traffic and then try to improve transmission and reception by varying the position of your unit, or trying alternative antennas (such as the PAW Internal Dipole Antennas or better still PAW External Antennas, and analysing the signal reports after each flight using the Vector Range Tool. Screenshots from your Traffic Screen / Nav Display after opening out the Filters will also be of assistance. I am happy to help you with further ongoing analysis of data.

I hope this helps explain what appears to be going on, though it doesn’t of course explain the missing track file(s) - except as I suggested earlier. Please keep in touch.

Best Regards

Peter

Postscript: what was the date and route of the flight(s) you referred to earlier?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 10:01:30 am by exfirepro »

exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2021, 10:14:08 am »
Gonch,

Looking again at the data from 401D1E this morning, it is clear that the number of data ‘pings’ recorded is significantly lower than I would expect to see. I have also tried a ‘Ground Station’ search using the Aircrew Groundstation Track Reporting Tool, but can find no reports for 401D1E for the last 2 dates (1st and 10th August 2021) where data is present on the PAW database - including searching for any EC transmission type from that aircraft. This implies that the aircraft is not running a transponder (please confirm) and again points me towards a lack of effective P3i transmission outside the metal aircraft body.

I will try to speak to James - the Aircrew Developer - to see if he can shed any additional light on my findings.

Best Regards

Peter
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 10:18:16 am by exfirepro »

PaulSS

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2021, 03:26:20 pm »
Hi Peter,

Quote
I will try to speak to James - the Aircrew Developer

If you do speak to him, tell him there may be a problem with his website, as I'm unable to access it (it may be just me of course but I've tried Safari and Chrome and neither go further than about 20% of the 'complete line' at the top of the screen).

I wrote to him a couple of weeks ago, using the link of the website (which I could access then) and haven't heard anything back from him. Maybe that's the website as well...or he's gone into hiding.

Cheers,

Paul

Gonch

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2021, 04:09:37 pm »
Hi Peter,

Sorry for the delay

Yep, PA28 with mode S, not ES or ADSB. Since day one we have been using the PAW Internal Dipole Antennas. At the moment I have positioned the 869.5 aerial on the left and 1090 aerial on the right, both at the aft of the windscreens, and the GPS antenna on the right - towards the front of the glare shield (see attached photo).  The actual unit is strapped under the instrument panel out of the way of the avionics, hands, feet and the sun.

We operate out of EGHF, and recently a local ground station unit has been online - PWSolent.

The mode C/S settings are set like that as we dont use bearingless targets, Is this not correct?

The date of the most recent missing track was 22/09/21, and was just a bimble around the solent/IoW area.

Although we do have a functioning mode S Garmin Transponder installed, as this is a group aircraft I can't be sure how others are using it.

Thanks

exfirepro

Re: Track File Missing
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2021, 08:28:50 am »
Hi Gonch,

Thanks for the additional info and apologies for the delay in responding.

All understood on the aircraft and the internal antenna installation. The only comment I would make is that I would suggest moving both antennas a bit further ‘forward’ on the screen to try to reduce obscuration to the rear by the window frames - otherwise that positioning is about as good as you will get from an internal installation.

If you don’t want Bearingless traffic reports then... Yes, you would set Mode CS Select to Disabled - though with the high percentage of pure Mode C and Mode S Aircraft, I would strongly advise you to reconsider using this option. If you decide you DO want warnings for otherwise Bearingless traffic, but don’t want warnings for aircraft you are unlikely to see, I would enable Mode CS (+ Filter as you have a Mode S transponder) and set the reporting Range to Short Range and your altitude filter a bit wider than +/- 500 ft.

Having said all that, there are definitely no P3i reports on the PAW database from your flight on 22/09/21 which supports my hypothesis that your PAW wasn’t transmitting (or at least not outside the aircraft). Even in absence of a track file, transmissions would have been picked up by at least the PWSolent Ground Station. The flight on 24/09/21 shows only 2 P3i ‘pings’ (a few seconds worth of transmission) from your aircraft received by PWSolent at less than 1Km and nothing more.

I managed to get hold of James (the Aircrew Developer) last night and he did a more extensive and in depth search for me from his database, which confirms that although your aircraft has been transmitting Mode S regularly, there are virtually no reports of effective P3i transmissions from the aircraft since early August at least. This would lead me to suspect either a fault with the Rosetta unit itself or (possibly more likely) an issue with the P3i antenna. First thing to check is that you have the correct antenna connected to the correct port on the Rosetta (the P3i antenna is the longer of the two). If this is OK, I would suggest removing the unit and antennas for testing outside the aircraft. To do this, you will require the ‘internal’ P3i antenna from the aircraft plus a ‘standard’ P3i antenna for comparison, or you could return the unit (and antennas) to Ash at PilotAware Support for more extensive testing.

Please keep me posted.

Regards

Peter

p.s. @PaulSS - James sends his apologies, you are correct - the Aircrew website was down for a short while due to an admin error, now sorted out and hopefully all back to normal.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 06:52:13 pm by exfirepro »