fbpx
April 7, 2020

Navigation

This page describes the Navigation menu of XCTrack. Check the other sections to lean more about the different features of XCTrack.

Videos have been produced to explain the different features of XCTrack Pro. Check the videos tuto page to learn quickly how to use XCTrack Pro.

Click on the + sign to read the details.

Waypoints

Click on the Waypoints button in the upper right to access the waypoints features.


 

Waypoints used in navigation are read from waypoint files.

Go to the Files tab to activate a waypoint file.

Files

Places

AIR³ is provided with waypoints of cities of 5000 inhabitants or more for all countries. Activate the one corresponding to your country if you want to quickly navigate to one of these.

Alternatively, you can enable “cities” (and/or “takeoffs”) in the Places section of the files tab. This will actually list larger cities only.

Sort waypoints in list by

You can sort the waypoints listed by name or by distance.

Sorting by distance is convenient while flying, so that you quickly get the waypoints around you.

Sorting by name is convenient when you have a long list of waypoints to find the one you are looking for, sorted alphabetically.

Files

XCTrack lists the Waypoint files located in XCTrack/Waypoints folder. Several files can be used at once. Supported waypoint file formats:

  • Compe GPS ‘’.wpt’’
  • Format UTM ‘’.wpt’‘,’‘.utm’’
  • GpsDump (GEO) Format ‘’.wpt’’
  • OZI Explorer ‘’.wpt’’
  • Seeyou ‘’.cup’’
  • XCSoar/WinPilot/Cambridge format ‘’.dat’‘,’‘.xcw’’

The file name/extension does not really matter, the right format is automatically detected based on the file contents.

Imported waypoints

There is one special file in the XCTrack/Waypoints directory, called ‘’’xctrack-imported.wpt’’’.

This file is created by XCTrack when importing a task. The file format is GpsDump (GEO) encoded in utf-8.

Read more details how to import or scan a task in the “Competition task (route)” or  “Create a route/task with the Friendly Air Tool and scan the QR code generated into AIR³ easily” sections below.

 

By only selecting the XCTrack-imported.wpt file in the Files tab, you will only see the content of such file in the Waypoints tab.

Waypoints from this imported task are stored in the XCTrack-imported.wpt file.

If you want to edit a waypoint imported from a task, you have first to “Copy this waypoint to internals”. Read more details how to edit waypoints in the Waypoints section below.

Don’t forget to enable xctrack-internal.wpt in the Files tab to make sure you can select the copied waypoint to Internals.

Select the waypoint to edit in the Waypoints tab. Make sure you select the right waypoint by looking at the  Waypoint file it belongs to (last line of the details).

Read more details how to edit a waypoint in the Waypoints section below.

Internal waypoints

There is one special file in the XCTrack/Waypoints directory, called ‘’’xctrack-internal.wpt’’’. This file serves as a storage for XCTrack “internal” waypoints. It is created and edited by XCTrack by creating a new waypoint, editing waypoints or by copying a waypoint to internals. The file format is GpsDump (GEO) encoded in utf-8. You can modify this file by hand, but be careful:

  1. do not modify the file while XCTrack is running – it can result in losing your edits or any strange behaviour
  2. do not make errors in the file, it could lead to losing some waypoints You can replace the file with another file in any format, which XCTrack understands. It will be converted to GpsDump format on the first edit.

Waypoints

Once the waypoints file is enable, go back to the waypoints tab to see the waypoints.

Same list sorted by distance.

AIR³ is provided with a perpetual licence of XCTrack Pro. One of the very useful feature of XCTrack Pro is the ability to search Waypoints. Just type a couple of characters of the waypoint you are looking for and the search feature will directly filter the waypoints that  contain the characters you have just entered.

 

Once the waypoint selected, you can change the location units: Degrees, Deg°Min’, Deg° Min’ Sec” or UTM.

You can read the distance from your location to the waypoint, the altitude and the waypoint file to which the waypoint belongs.

If you want to edit the waypoint, you will need first to “copy waypoint to internals“.

Waypoints belonging to “internals” can be edited.

 

Note that you can also create a new waypoint directly from this page. However, read below an easier way to create a new waypoint directly on the location you want to create it.

Edit the waypoint according to your needs. To exit the field edition, click on the back button (small triangle).

Click on “OK” to save your changes.

To create a waypoint, you can “add a waypoint” directly from the Waypoints menu… but you will need to enter all the details, including the location.

You can also create a waypoint through the contextual menu on a map as explained in the Main features page of the XCTrack Pro Manual.

1) Swipe up with your finger to enter a special editing mode

2) Long press on the place you want to create a new waypoint to get a contextual menu

3) Choose “Create a new waypoint” in the  contextual menu. Read more details about map widgets : XC map widget in the Xcontest subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual and Task map widget in the competition subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.

XCTrack Contextual menu


Back to takeoff

As indicated by the name, this navigation mode is used to indicate the direction of the takeoff.


Triangle closing

The triangle closing navigation mode is used to give you the direction of the best triangle you can fly depending on your position and the flown distance.

It navigates to the nearest point on closing cylinder first.

When you close the triangle (you have just crossed the closing cylinder), it navigates to the takeoff.

Using this mode, you should consider activating the XC tools related to triangles of the XC map widget available in the XC map settings subsection. Read more about these tools in the XC map widget configuration in the Xcontest subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.


Waypoint (Go to)

The waypoint navigation mode is  a simple way to navigate to (GO TO) a given waypoint.

Check the Waypoints explanation here above for more details on the way to activate a waypoint file, search for a waypoint or create a new waypoint.

The waypoint navigation mode is not considering any circle around the waypoint and will keep indicating the direction of the given location of the waypoint. Consider using the competition mode if you want to reach a circle around the waypoint.

The waypoint navigation mode is only considering one waypoint. Consider using the competition mode if you want to make a route and  pass through different waypoints.

There is another method to Navigate to a point on the map through the contextual menu on a map widget (Read more details about XC Map or Task Map widgets in the XCTrack Pro widgets manual). Once you  have the contextual menu, choose Navigate to a point on the map and XCTrack will guide you to this point. Read more details how to get the contextual menu in the Main features of AIR³ in the XCTrack Pro Manual


Competition task (route)

Competition navigation mode can be used for competition, to navigate through different waypoints (route) or just to go to a waypoint with a given circle around it.

For competition, read more details about the different widgets available for competition in the competition subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.

A video tuto for competition has also been produced. Watch it in the video’s page.

More details can also be found about compliance for FAI category 1 competitions in the FAQ


 

On the EDIT tab, enter all the task properties as seen on the task board.

 

 

At any time, you can “Clear task” to come back to the default settings and remove the different waypoints.

Determine the type of race.

Determine the type of start.

Determine the type of goal.

Measuring distance

XCTrack supports both FAI Sphere and WGS-84 ellipsoid for computing distances. Choose it in the drop down menu. Most competitions nowadays seem to require WGS-84 model. The two formulas give slightly different results. Depending on your Earth location you can expect the difference of about ~0.5%, with FAI sphere formula giving bigger distance in usual competition venues. This is important to have in mind nowadays with large cylinders becoming popular in PG comps in recent years. On 50km cylinder radius the difference between FAI sphere formula and WGS-84 formula can be about 200-300m, which can very easily result in making the cylinder in XCTrack yet missing it in the view of the scoring software (!).

Set the time of the start and the task deadline.

Click “Add turnpoint” to enter the Waypoints screen and add all the turnpoints of the task.

Enter takeoff, or not?

It does not matter if you enter the takeoff as a waypoint or start your turnpoints list with the first turnpoint (usually SSS). First turnpoint if automatically marked as TAKEOFF.

If you start your turnpoints list with the first turnpoint, make sure to mark this waypoint as SSS (otherwise taken by default as takeoff). Takeoff is never a target of navigation, but is used to correctly compute the task distance (see Measuring Distance above).  You can specify the radius for the TAKEOFF turnpoint, but this radius is never used and even not displayed in the turnpoint list, unless you unmark the TAKEOFF flag (by converting it to SSS, pressing on the SSS button).

SSS, ESS

SSS stands for Start of Speed Section. This is usually called start cylinder in Paragliding competitions, but XCTrack uses the SSS term just because it is easy to remember and short. ESS stands for End of Speed Section and is generally used in competition tasks. ESS is the cylinder (unless it is identical with goal line), where the task clock stops.

EXIT type turnpoints?

Except for start turnpoint cylinder, XCTrack does not distinguish between ENTER and EXIT cylinders – you have to cross the cylinder boundary in order to make the turnpoint. This works very well for all the tasks ever seen in paragliding scene. For common enter turnpoints XCTrack navigates you inside the cylinder in order to make the turnpoint, for (rare) exit turnpoints the XCTrack navigates you the shortest way outside.

Save battery?

Do not worry about quiting XCTrack if you wait on the takeoff too long. Once you leave the task edit screen in XCTrack, the task is saved and you can safely quit XCTrack or turn off the device right away. The task will be loaded and ready to fly once you start XCTrack again.

Distance check

After putting in the task, check the distances at the bottom of the EDIT screen with the task board. The min distance is the shortest distance calculated from the takeoff all the way up to the goal line (or to the boundary of the goal cylinder if goal cylinder is used). If the TAKEOFF turnpoint is not specified then the distance is computed from your current location. The distance through centers is the task distance not counting in the turnpoint cylinders, useful as reference value for checking with simple instruments.

SHARE, IMPORT, EXPORT, SAVE…

To scan or import a task, share or save a task, open the menu on the top right.

There are multiple ways to share a task with your fellow pilots on a competition.

  • QR code
    • In the Menu/Navigation/Competition task screen press menu button and choose Share task by QR code / NFC
    • On the receiving AIR³, go to Menu/Navigation/Competition task, press menu button and choose Scan task from QR code; use the AIR³ camera to scan a task.
  • Email
    • Use Share option in the menu and choose Email.
    • On the receiving AIR³, save the task_*.xctsk attached anywhere on the AIR³ (but remember where it is downloaded). Open XCtrack in the receiving AIR³ and use the “Import task from a file” feature in the Competition menu.
  • Whatsapp, Google drive, etc.
    • You can share the task*.xctsk file directly with any other instrument using any installed apps able to transfer a file. Use the Share option to send it through whatsapp (or another compatible app) or save it to Google Drive.
    • On the receiving AIR³, save the task_*.xctsk received as attachment anywhere on the AIR³ (but remember where it is downloaded). Open XCtrack and use the “Import task from a file” feature in the Competition menu.


Create a route/task with the Friendly Air Tool and scan the QR code generated into AIR³ easily

You can quickly create a route, using the Friendly Air Tool and scan the QR code generated. Here are the step by step details:

 

 

Open your browser and go to the Friendly Air Tool.

Click on the “Route generator” button.

 

 


Click on the map on the take off to create your first waypoint, click on the map for each turnpoints you want to create and that allow you to avoid airspace zones. Once finished, click again on the last turnpoint to close the route creation mode.


Click on the “Route generator export” button.

 

 

With XCTrack, go to Menu/Navigation/Competition task. You can scan the QR code or import the file you would have downloaded in order to share it by email/whatsapp or any other means.

 

Fly and enjoy your flight, well prepared. Just follow the direction given by the arrow!


Example of a QR code generated.

Test it! (Note that you will need XCTrack 0.9 or above).

You will get your task ready to fly…

Once the task imported, with XCTrack 0.9 or above, you can edit your task (change the type of race, SSS crossing type, radius of each turnpoint,… You can also change the name of the imported waypoints by  “copy waypoint to internals” button. You can then edit the waypoint, including changing its name or setting the right altitude.


Next section

en_USEnglish
fr_FRFrançais en_USEnglish