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Problems with Flarm on Ipad


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DerekL
DerekL
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Skydemon on ipad 2 with powerflarm core. Latest software version on Ipad and Skydemon. The Ipad connects to the butterfly connect network with correct key.This can be seen in ipad setup wifi. Sometimes Skydemon works first time via powerflarm go flying and then drops out with error mesage "lost GPS signal" then "Failed to establish a connection with the Butterfly connect unit"
Nothing I then do will re-establish contact even rebooting ipad and Flarm core. Next time I try it works or not. Skydemon works fine with normal Go Flying. Tried new ipad but no different.Any ideas?
Paul Mahony
Paul Mahony
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Hi,

I have a suggestion:

There's a great USA website called Sporty's iPad for Pilots (http://ipadpilotnews.com/2012/01/ipad-frequently-asked-questions/) where there are tons of tips for pilots who use iPads in the air. They recommend NOT using the iPad's built-in GPS because of problems like you have with it dropping out and then not reconnecting to either devices and/or software - see below. The website also recommends using a Blue-Tooth GPS receiver with the iPad and then turning the Airplane Flight mode to ON. This turns off the internal GPS and the Blue-Tooth, 3G and Wi-Fi. To use your Power Flarm with the Butterfly Connect, manually go into settings and switch on your Wi-Fi.

The 3G/LTE model of the iPad includes an internal GPS. The GPS is completely separate from the cellular radio, so you don’t even have to have an active data plan for the GPS to work. And while the on-board GPS does work with all the popular aviation apps, it was made for ground use and is not always reliable in the air. It has a tendency to drop offline, especially when switching between apps or sleeping the screen. It’s not necessarily a question of accuracy, but of reliability. For this reason, most iPad pilots–even those with a 3G/LTE iPad–opt for an external GPS. At around $100, it’s cheap insurance.

And:

When I put the iPad in Airplane Mode before flight, I cannot get the internal GPS to work, and the Dual Bluetooth GPS or Garmin GLO GPS will not connect to the iPad. What’s wrong?

Airplane Mode disables all wireless connection points on the iPad, including the internal GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular data. If you’re planning on using the iPad’s internal GPS, you need to leave Airplane Mode OFF since this disables the internal GPS. If you’re using an external GPS, go ahead and turn Airplane Mode ON, but then manually go back in to the settings and turn on either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to allow your third-party accessory to connect. This will ensure all other non-essential wireless radios are turned off, which will increase battery life and reduce the possibility of interference with panel-mount avionics.

I hope this works for you!

Paul
DerekL
DerekL
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Hi Paul

The problem is not with the internal GPS. Skydemon uses the Flarm GPS and the problem is that the wifi connection from the Butterfly Connect Unit to the Skydemon App keeps dropping out but the Ipad still shows a good wifi connection. Could anyone with a Power Flarm working on an Ipad help me with the correct Flarm configuration? Any other idears?

Derek
Paul Mahony
Paul Mahony
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Hi Derek,

I have PowerFlarm core and it works fine but I'm not sure that you are correct when you say that SD uses the Flarm GPS. My understanding is that the Power Flarm's GPS antenna is connected to a GPS receiver inside the PowerFlarm Core box which then uses this GPS positional information (together with the pressure sensor giving barometric altitude information) to predict your short-term future flight path and it continuously transmits this to nearby aircraft by digital radio message.

I understand that SD gets its GPS information from either the built-in iPad GPS receiver or an external one such as Garmin GLO, not the Power Flarm GPS.

Paul
DerekL
DerekL
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Hi Paul

Maybe Tim could come back on theGPS used. Skydemon works perfectly using "go flying" but keeps dpopping out when using " Power Flarm Go Flying" The network keeps dropping out.
There are no Skydemon settings to alter but I am not certain about the Power Flarm config file settings to use.

Derek
Paul Mahony
Paul Mahony
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Hi Derek,

I strongly agree with you! Considering that Tim and his team must have gone to some time, expense & trouble to incorporate FLARM into SD, there has been an awful lack of advice / user instructions / Power Core configuration file explanations, etc., from the SD team on how to make it work.

I particularly want to know how I can use the Wi-Fi capability of my iPad as it talks to the Power Flarm core / Butterfly Connect router whilst at the same time enable it to simultaneously use its 3G capability whilst flying for weather & NOTAM updates. Normally, if you have a Wi-Fi connection enabled on an iPad, it overrides the 3G functionality.

I have been told that there is a way to configure the iPad in the Wi-Fi settings (something to do with manually configuring Subnet Mask addresses or something like that) so that it will receive Wi-Fi and 3G signals simultaneously.

I'm hoping some Apple boffin or someone on the SD team could explain how this is done! Ermm




Paul
stevelup
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One thing you could try would be to edit the WiFi connection that is in use for the Butterfly Connect and remove the default gateway. That may* stop the phone from trying to use it for anything else.

* pure hypothesis - never tried it, and have no real way of testing it right now.
Tim Dawson
Tim Dawson
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SkyDemon uses the Flarm output for everything, including GPS position, when you are connected to a Flarm device.

There isn't much documentation on the whole setup because there really isn't much to it. You connect your iPad to your Butterfly Connect's WiFi bubble (that part should be in the documentation associated with your Butterfly product) then just press the button in SkyDemon.
Geoffl
Geoffl
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I have the same problem as DereckL, I never get more than 40 minutes of continuous conection, the Butterfly has been changed but to no avail, I followed Grilla's comments and looked at Sporty's IPad for Pilots site, they recommend when using 3rd party equipment with the IPad, that the airplane mode is switched on, then re-enable WIFI.

I did this yesterday, the Butterfly connected immediately, it took a few minutes to locate me, but I was hopefull that my 9 months of problems and frustration were sorted, after only 7 minutes, it lost position, indicating "Waiting for Location Data" not the usual "Failed to Establish Connection With The Butterfly Connect Unit" 3 minutes later it found me and stayed connected for the next 15 minutes before indicating "Waiting for Location Data" again. After 10 minutes I gave up and reverted to the IPad internal GPS.

This is a serious and distracting problem, that needs sorting, much better to use our eyes outside the cockpit.

I have put up with this because I believed that the 2 companys involved would sort out this problem and make my flying safer. At the moment it is doing the reverse.

If anyone has a fix, please let the rest of know.
Tim Dawson
Tim Dawson
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It sounds to me from the description above that the TCP connection between SkyDemon and the Butterfly Connect is being disconnected. When no data arrives over this connection for 10 seconds we automatically clear all navigation data as a safety measure, which is why you get the "Waiting for Location Data" banner instead of old (and inaccurate) data left onscreen forever.

I will ask our contact at Air Avionics to comment on this.
GO

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