Monthly Archives: May 2016

Fix For Data Drop Issue, Vacation Next Week, Friction Mount

 Service Bulletin: Fix For Data Drop

Many users have contacted me over the past few days with reports of a new issue. In flight (or when near an ADS-B tower) the data flow from FlightBox periodically stops. It typically happens after 5 – 10 minutes of operations, does not cause the wifi connection to drop, and is remedied (temporarily) by a disconnect / reconnect. It only impacts systems running UAT – users with 1090-ES systems in Europe and Australia are not impacted.

After a bit of research, it turns out that our friends at the FAA recently changed weather providers and that some of the new weather data is a bit dirtier (less scrubbed for format errors) than before. Specifically, the format of certain AIRMET messages causes a fault in the Stratux software that kills the process. The issue required a very minor tweak to the code to remedy.

We have an update available that will […]

By |2016-05-31T23:05:03+00:00May 31, 2016|Blog Post|39 Comments

The Case Of The Missing Traffic

For the past several weeks I’ve been receiving reports from FlightBox customers of “missing traffic” – traffic observed visually or on some other system (TIS, TCAS) but not seen on their EFB application from ADS-B. In some cases the answer was a simple misunderstanding of the way ADS-B traffic currently works, but a subset of the reports sounded suspiciously like we had a problem – somewhere. Either a bug in the Stratux software that powers FlightBox, or something going on with the ADS-B network.

Yesterday morning I decided to figure out what’s going on – or at least give it my best shot. From my own experience and from customer reports, we have no problem seeing aircraft that are equipped with ADS-B Out. What is missing is the rebroadcast secondary surveillance radar data – the copy of “everything in your hockey puck” that you’re supposed to get if you have ADS-B Out. I figured that […]

By |2016-05-23T13:18:41+00:00May 23, 2016|Blog Post|23 Comments

The Challenge of AHRS and the AHRS Challenge

$4,000 Bounty For A Working AHRS Software Implementation

As most of you know, we’re working on a hardware add-on for FlightBox that will include AHRS – the sensors and software necessary to drive a virtual attitude indicator or provide attitude data to a synthetic vision system. We’ve made good progress on this. Our hardware engineer has selected components and is currently working on the board design. What may not seem obvious is that the hardware is the easy part. Software is where the real challenge begins.

Attitude_Director_Indicator.svgIf you’ve ever played with a motion-sensitive game on a smartphone that may seem counterintuitive. A $100 Android phone can easily determine attitude, right? Well, yes – in some situations. It’s easy to accurately determine attitude when standing still or moving at a steady pace. It’s far more complicated when you take into account […]

By |2016-06-20T17:01:05+00:00May 20, 2016|Blog Post|8 Comments

The Re-Learning Curve, Remote GPS

Re-Learning Curve

This isn’t my first entrepreneurial rodeo, but it’s been a while. I’ve spent the past several weeks re-learning several lessons. The first of these is that platform changes are never as easy as you expect. We recently switched from using the Raspberry Pi 2 to the new Raspberry Pi 3. In theory the change should have been quite simple and a small net positive for both users and Open Flight. I ordered two of them the day they were released and put more than 25 flight hours on them before we made the switch. But – as anyone in the IT field knows – just because something works perfectly on one system (or two) is no guarantee that it will do the same on all systems – even theoretically identical semi-embedded devices like the Raspberry Pi. I re-learned the hard way that a larger sample is mandatory.

At the end of April we […]

By |2016-05-10T20:58:51+00:00May 10, 2016|Blog Post|69 Comments
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