This page describes the Preferences 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.
Indicate your full name, the username you have registered on xcontest.org, your password and click on “login to XContest” to check that your details are correct (need an internet connection).
If you have not yet registered, Register on Xcontest website for cloud flights and advanced XCTrack features.
Livetracking sends your positions every 60 seconds to a server and obtains the positions of other pilots 20 km away. If you want to see a track from another pilot using Livetracking, you can select a flight and then you get the track from another pilot and its position when the server obtains his data.
You can send messages to other pilots. Very little data consumption, around 100 KB / hour.
An internet connection is required to have the livetracking features working. With AIR³, the easiest way to get internet is to use a SIM card with data. Make sure that the data of your SIM card are working correctly by opening a browser and check if you can get internet webpages (you may need to enter the Access Point Name (APN) of your internet provider). Reminder: you have to restart AIR³ after inserting the SIM card. Use the standard SIM card size and insert it in portrait mode.
Alternatively, you can share your internet connection provided by your phone (wifi, bluetooth or USB ethernet) but this method is more complex to setup.
Enable livetracking to use the livetracking features. By enabling livetracking, a new Livetracking menu appears to access the livetracking features while flying.
Claim to Xcontest automatically
Once you have activated Livetracking, you also have the possibility to enable automatic claim of your flight 1 minute after landing. Read more details about automatic and manual flight claim on Xcontest website in the Tracklogs page of XCTrack Pro Manual.
The flights are analysed by the server and only real flights will be claimed. If you want to test the Livetracking feature by using your car or by walking, the server will detect that this is not a real flight and you won’t be able to automatically claim to Xcontest.
Edit quick messages buttons
Click on “Edit quick messages buttons” to access the quick messages buttons interface.
AIR³ is preloaded with different messages buttons. You can easily delete, edit them or create new ones.
Click on the + sign to create a new one.
Swipe right to edit
Swipe left to delete
Hold and move to change the position of the buttons
Set your glider (will be indicated within your flight when you upload your flight on Xcontest.org).
Set the trim speed and glide ratio.
Note that these two settings will be taken into account for the computation of different information during the flight.
Read more details about the influence of these parameters in the XCtrack Pro widgets manual. Example: Mark glide distance in the Map configuration of the XC map widget of the Xcontest subsection, Side view widget of the Navigation subsection, Mark glide distance in the Map configuration of the Task Map widget of the Competition subsection, Altitude over goal widget in the Competition subsection.
Set the XC parameters to determine how to determine if a triangle is closed or not and the multiplicative factor in case of flat triangle or FAI triangle.
Note the multiplicative factors of Xcontest World here.
Watch the video produced for Airspace in the videos tuto.
2 types of source can provide information for airspace to XCTrack: information coming from airspace.xcontest.org (see Web tab below) or information coming from an openair file (see Files tab below).
Airspace zones activation can either be determined based on a schedule (usually indicated in the AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication)), and/or based on Notam (Notice to Airmen). In order to know if a given prohibited zone is active or not, the pilot is supposed to read information in the AIP and check the Notams. Airspace.xcontest.org is a tool that is based on algorithms that analyse all these information in order to determine the status of each zone. This is fully automatic, but as any "robot", it can contain errors.
AIR³ provides a second method to get updated airspace info through the Openair2AIR3 feature of AIR³ Manager. Read more details about the Openair2Air3 here.
The Web tab lists all the countries for which you can get airspace information from airspace.xcontest.org. To get the airspace information of a given country, first check the box next to the desired country and click on the “refresh” button to download the available information from airspace.xcontest.org (internet connection required). At each start of XCTrack, you will get the updated information downloaded (internet connection required). If you want the info to be updated after XCTrack is running, you will need to manually “refresh” in this menu.
Be aware that the Automatic data synchronisation in Android settings/accounts/accounts should be enabled. Otherwise, XCTrack will fail to automatically update the airspace info.
The countries containing Airspace zones activation determined by algorithms analysing Notams, NOTAM is indicated below the country.
Obstacles (ski lifts, cables, etc.) can also be downloaded for specific countries separately.
When the airspaces are not updated often enough, XCTrack switches to failsafe mode and displays all the airspaces as if they were all active. You can check the validity of airspaces by clicking on the country in the web tab of Menu/Preferences/Airspaces. This will bring up a new window, containing the validity period on top.
If the information is not recent enough, you will get a message “Valid data: up-to-date activations not available”.
If you want to update the information, just go back to the Web tab and click the “Refresh” button at the bottom after verifying that the country for which you want updates is enabled.
Openair files are text files containing information about Airspace.
All files located in Xctrack/Airspaces will be listed in the Files tab. Click on the one you want to activate to enable it.
Most_recent_OA.txt is a file used by AIR³ Manager to update the Openair file you can get through the Openair update mechanism. See more details in the Openair2AIR³ page
The Activate tab lists all the different airspace zones either downloaded from the Web tab or provided by the Openair file activated in the files tab.
By clicking on a given zone, you can change its status.
By default, all zones are set on Automatic. For airspace zones that come from an Openair file, this means “active”. For airspace zones coming from airspace.xcontest.org, a schedule is provided together with the airspace zone, so that the activation status will be virtually active or disabled depending on such schedule. The airspace is shown on the map (read below explanations about color code) when it is active or will be active in the near future, hidden when it is not.
If you need to change the status, choose between disabled (for today or permanently) or active (for today or permanently).
Airspace zones that will be activated in the near future will be displayed with ‘grey’ color on the map and in the side view. You will get a warning 15, 10 and 5 minutes before the airspace is activated if you happen to be just inside it.
XcTrack works with 4 ‘airspace’ types – Red (restricted), Orange (warning), Green (glider area) and Purple (obstacle).
A restricted zone (red) is drawn on the map, shown in the Airspace proximity widget and the Side view widget when active and generates events when you get near/inside. This zone will be greyed when it will be activated in the near future (see explanations above).
The orange zone (warning) is only shown on the map and the Side view widget but not in the Airspace proximity widget. No event is generated when you get near/inside. This zone will be greyed when it will be activated in the near future (see explanations above).
The green zone is shown on the map and the Side view widget and works in an ‘inverse’ manner – that one is designed for the gliding window airspace inside otherwise prohibited areas.
Using an OpenAir file, an AC Q zone is drawn orange, an AC W zone is drawh green, others are red. There is no schedule available with Openair files.
As indicated in the Main features page, you can also reach the Airspace zones directly on the map, through the contextual menu. Read more how to reach the zone through the contextual menu in the Main features page of XCTrack Pro Manual.
Note regarding zone activation: as indicated in the Web tab info, when the airspaces are not updated often enough, XCTrack switches to failsafe mode and displays all the airspaces as if they were all active. You can check the validity of airspaces by clicking on the country in the web tab of Menu/Preferences/Airspaces. This will bring up a new window, containing the validity period on top.
If you disable this option, you will only get straight lines to determine the limits of the airspace zone. When you are close to it, it might be difficult to identify on which side of the line is the zone. With shark’s teeth, it is easy to identify it (teeth are placed on the side of the zone). When the scale of the map is large enough, you may want to disable this option for readability reason. You can therefore determine under which scale the shark’s teeth should appear on the map.
Another way to identify more easily the zone is to use the fill rendering.
If you choose “Full”, the entire zone will be filled. Full filling may help you to make sure you can identify if you are vertically within the zone (inside, below or above)…. but this may decrease the readability.
“Border zone only” is used to only fill a portion of the zone, next to the limit of the zone.
In order to improve the readability, you may set the opacity of airspace filling with the slider.
Labels on map
For readability purposes, you may want to change what is displayed and for which map scale, vertical borders of airspace zones are displayed.
The first option is to skip “AMSL” shortcut in labels.
The second option is used to make sure you still get the vertical borders for temporary airspaces, even if it is supposed to not be displayed based on the option to only show the labels below a given scale.
The third option allows you to show the labels for obstacles or not.
If you disable the option “show for map scale below XX”, the labels will always be displayed. Otherwise, they will only be displayed for map scale below the set distance.
If you want to avoid labels on all the maps (Xc map, Task map or thermal assistant widgets), set the lowest value for the “show for map scale” slider.
Once you get close to an obstacle or a restricted airspace, you can trigger events and combine the event triggering with a warning display.
As indicated in the description of the Airspace proximity widget of the navigation subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual, different colors (color code) are used depending on your proximity with the airspace zone.
A ‘scaled distance’ is used to determine the level of proximity with the airspace zone. Vertical distance and horizontal distance are taken into account to determine the ‘scaled distance’ with a ratio of 4:1, giving more importance to vertical distance proximity versus horizontal distance proximity.
If you cross a prohibited airspace zone, a purple warning event will be triggered (Airspace crossed).
If the pilot is below the airspace zone (horizontal distance away from the border of the zone is 0 m), a red warning event will be triggered (Airspace is really close) once the vertical distance is 100 m. An orange warning will be triggered (Airspace is close) once the vertical distance is 500 m. These vertical distance limits will decrease while you are away from the zone.
For each warning event triggered, you can decide to show an event notification overlay and also suppress next possible event for a defined period.
In the Flight subsection of Menu/Preferences/Sound explained here below, you can enable a sound in relation with these events.
In the Mapping of events subsection of Menu/Preferences/Automatic actions explained here below, you can link an action to the triggered events.
Do not confuse these “warning colors” with the Airspace colors described here above in the Airspaces description (red for restricted, orange for warning, purple for obstacles).
Nearby airspace discovery
Set how far you want XCTrack to look for a nearby airspace. This will affect maximum distance settings in Airspace proximity widget described in the navigation subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.
Watch the video produced for Maps and elevation in the videos tuto.
2 types of maps can provide information to XCTrack: ground altitudes (Elevation/Terrain) directly downloadable from XCTrack and Road maps.
Maps and elevation files are preinstalled with AIR³, based on your location. However, as maps are large files, you may want to add or remove maps. You can free up memory by removing some pre-installed maps. You can use a SD card to extend the memory capacity. Optionnaly with AIR³, you can purchase a 128 Gb SD-card with pre-installed country maps of the world.
RoadMaps provide a lot of information while you navigate. Cities, roads, rivers, forests, railways,…
To download elevation files, just click on the country and click on “Download” (internet connection required).
Make sure that “Display terrain map” is enabled in the Map configuration of the XC map widget or the Task map widget of your page. Read more details about the XC map widget or the Task map widget in the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.
Get the “country.map” file from https://www.openandromaps.org/en/downloads/countrys-and-regions
Note that the file you will download will be a compressed file (ending by .zip). You can’t use that file as is. You will need to uncompress it thanks to an app such as Zarchiver for example. You can easily find such app in Play store.
Unzip the compressed downloaded file with an app such as Zarchiver. Copy/paste the .map file in the RoadMap folder of XCtrack: XCTrack/Map/RoadMap.
You don’t need the additional file (.poi) that is usually included in the zip file.
See next section for more details about Acoustic vario.
You can enable or disable XCTrack to play a sound for various events related to system, flight, competition, livetracking or when you click on a specific widgets.
In order to trigger the events related to Airspace (Crossing airspace border, Airspace red warning, Airspace orange warning), you need to enable the Event triggering as explained in the Airspaces section, in the settings tab, here above.
Acoustic vario can be enabled or disabled. It requires a pressure sensor (external or internal). We recommend to always use the internal very performing pressure sensor of the AIR³. Watch and listen to the video comparing AIR³ vario and a Flymaster vario included in this FAQ.
You can also use the vario button widget explained in the Action buttons subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual to enable or disable the vario sound. Note that both the vario and the weak lift indication (thermal sniffer) are enabled or disabled with this setting.
Mute audio when not flying
Enable it to avoid unwanted sound before takeoff. Once the takeoff is detected (see more details in Automatic actions section below), the vario sound will be unmuted.
See next section for more details about Custom sound.
Volume indicates the percentage of volume based on the current OS volume. If the Android volume is 100% and the volume of vario is 50%, you will get a volume of 50%. If the Android volume is 50% and the vario volume is 50%, you will get 25% volume. To make sure you always have the same volume while flying, it is recommended that you activate the option Set volume to maximum that is detailed in the Android integration section below. Otherwise, the sound volume may be different depending on the way the Android volume has been set prior to your flight.
Lift Audio threshold is the value for which the vario will start making a sound to indicate a lift. This is also the upper limit of the weak lift indication.
Sink Audio threshold is a value that can help you identify a fall in a descending air mass. An easily recognizable specific sound will be played when you reach this value.
Weak lift indication volume is the way to identify weak air mass going up. It is a ‘double beep’ on the same tone. It beeps in the (-0.5, lift threshold) range. It beeps only when the short average > long average, as to avoid sudden double-beeps during lift and also suggest that you are moving to a faster-lifting air. Remember that in calm conditions, you are supposed to go down. If you are not going down (example – 0.1 m/s of vertical speed), it means that you are flying in an ascending mass of air.
If you don’t want to hear the weak lift indication, set the volume to 0%. If you want to hear it, set a volume. The percentage indicates the percentage of volume based on the current OS volume. If the Android volume is 100% and the volume of weak lift indication is 50%, you will get a volume of 50%. If the Android volume is 50% and the weak lift indication volume is 50%, you will get 25% volume. To make sure you always have the same volume while flying, it is recommended that you activate the option Set volume to maximum that is detailed in the Android integration section below. Otherwise, the sound volume may be different depending on the way the Android volume has been set prior to your flight.
Averaging interval is used to compute a value to determine ascent or descent, out of the data that are provided by the pressure sensor (see Menu/Preferences/Connection & Sensors/Calibrate here below. Note that the averaging interval of the acoustic vario has no influence on the averaging interval that can be set in the Vertical speed widget, the Vario Bar or the Glide Ratio explained in the Flying subsection of the XCTrack Pro Widgets manual. Acoustic vario and these widgets both use data from pressure sensors, but different strategies can be adopted to obtain average info. You may want to get a very short average for acoustic vario, but want to have visual information on the strength of the thermal based on a much larger time interval.
Average lift indication can be enabled or disabled if you have not activated the Custom sound described here below (Classic mode). Average lift indication is a feature that changes the “color” of the tone depending on the strength of the lift. The tone changes once you get in the 0.5-1.5m/s range (averaged in the value set in the next feature, 10 s by default), and then from 1.5-2.5 it starts doing ‘tik-tak’, 2.5-3.5 ‘tik-tak-tak’ etc.
Averaging interval for strength indication is the value taken into account by the average lift indication described here above.
Custom sound is a Pro feature of XCTrack. If you are using a standard version and want to get the custom sound, consider subscribing (see more details in the section Subscription & Pro below.
To access the custom sound features, start by enabling it (click on the menu).
Can be enabled or disabled. By enabling it, the frequency will change during the time interval set in the Cycle/Duty explained below depending on the variation of your lift/descent.
Reset to profile
Gives you access to specific profiles.
Save/load sound profile
Save your favourite profile once you are happy with your customisations. The saved profile can be found in XCTrack/SoundProfiles folder (see files with .xcvsp extension).
You can customize the vario sound through 3 different parameters: frequency, cycle and duty.
Click on the parameter you want to change. You can set a value for each step going from a descent of 7 m/s to a lift of 7 m/s. For each step, you can either slide up or down your finger to increase or decrease the value, or directly set a value manually by tapping on the number on top.
Frequency changes the pitch of a tone (Hz).
Cycle is a total duration of a tone and a pause (ms).
Duty is the proportion of a tone duration in each cycle (%)
To listen to the vario sound, unmute by tapping on the speaker button.
You can decide to hear the vario sound either based on the pressure sensor info provided to XCTrack, or by using the slider at the bottom, allowing you to test the sound for the different steps of lift or descent.
Another way to hear the custom sound is to replay one of your flight. Read more details how to replay a tracklog in the Tracklogs page.
The slider contains a thick portion. This corresponds to the range between the sink audio threshold and the lift audio threshold. If you have not set a value for the weak lift indication volume, this means that you will not hear any vario sound between these two values. Read more about the Weak lift indication volume, the sink audio threshold and the lift audio threshold here above.
By default, XCTrack will use the language set for the OS. However, you may want to use a different language.
Check more details about units used by many widgets in the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.
You can choose between 5 different display themes. However, note that the display theme chosen will be influenced by the Map theme selected (see Maps details above). Using AIR³ Manager, you can select a theme for XCTrack and AIR³ Manager will choose both the right Map theme that fits with XCTrack display theme.
XCTrack is usually used with full screen. However, if you want to keep your Android icons on top and the system buttons on the right, you can disable the “Full screen” option.
Orientation doesn’t require more explanations.
Finally, you can also change the “Repaint frequency” for quicker or lower repaint of the screen, but take into account that this will influence the energy consumption.
AIR³ is preconfigured to take advantage of its 7″ large screen and the different specifications (sensors, brightness, physical buttons, etc.). Through AIR³ Manager, you can select different profiles according to your level (Kiss, Easy, Expert) or your sport (paramotor). Go to AIR³ Manager menu (3 dots on the top right) and choose XCTrack interface. Once you have selected the profile and theme, click on “Change interface” and validate to apply the changes in XCTrack at the next XCTrack start. AIR³ Manager will interface with XCTrack to configure the pages, the settings according to your level or your sport. You always have the opportunity to add or remove pages, change any layout or any settings in XCTrack.
At any time, if you are not happy with the changes you have made, you can reset all XCTrack changes with AIR³ Manager by clicking on the Reset button in the XCTrack interface menu of AIR³ Manager.
Pages layout allows you to create a new page (click on the + sign).
When you create a page, select the type of page you want to create.
Choose thermal assistant if you want to automatically switch to this page once a thermal is detected, with the default settings for such page (see more details in the “Automatic actions” section below). If you have created more than one page “thermal assistant”, the last one will be used for the automatic action. Do not confuse the Thermal assistant widget explained in the Air subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual with the Thermal assistant page. The “Automatic action” is linked to the page and not the widget.
Choose XC Assistant or Competition to create a new page with the default widgets provided with such pages, or choose empty to start from a blank page.
To delete a page, move a page or duplicate a page, hold the page and drop it a the right place (trash, copy icon or move it to a different place.
Select for each page, the ones that are hidden or visible depending on the navigation type (back to takeoff, triangle, waypoint and competition task). Enabled means that the page is visible with every navigation type.
Select “Key bindings” to link the short press or long press of an available button to a given action. This can be pretty useful if you wear winter gloves that can not be used with touch screens.
Can be set on Automatic, Manual or No detection. Automatic detection is based on speed and lift.
If you set the landing detection on Automatic, once XCtrack detects a landing, a new IGC will be created if a takeoff is detected afterwards. So, in case you are flying in heavy wind conditions and may stay at the same place at a very low speed, facing the wind, you may prefer the “‘manual” setting so that you would need to confirm “just landed” or “still flying” in case a landing is detected.
Can be modified if you want to have XCTrack detect more quickly the takeoff or avoid detecting a takeoff due to GPS inaccuracy move.
Mapping of events
Displays the events mapped with specific actions. Click on Edit next to the event, to modify it.
Click on “show all events” to display all the possible events, including the ones that are not set.
Mapping of events
For each event, you can choose an action amongst Page switch, Altering Display State or Altering Application state.
One of the main feature used with automatic actions is the switch to the thermal assistant page.
By default, once circling in thermal is detected, the page is switched to the thermal assistant page. Once XCTrack detects the pilot stopped thermalling, the page is automatically switched back if you have also set the second mapping of events related to “Stoped thermaling”. The detection of thermalling start/end is based on the following rules:
- XCTrack detects start of thermalling if there has been at least 90 degrees change in heading (not bearing) in last 30 seconds AND the vertical speed averaged over last 30 seconds is -0.5m/s or more (less the 0.5m/s sink or lift)
- XCTrack detects end of thermalling if there have been less than 30 degrees change in heading in last 30 seconds AND the vertical speed averaged over last 30 seconds is less than -0.5m/s
Another useful mapping of event used with AIR³ 7.1 was the Altering Display Stage set to Full backlight once the take off was detected.
Thanks to the very bright screen of AIR³ 7.2, this automatic action has been disabled as it is not required anymore to have the full brightness to get a good readability. However, new brightness button widgets have been created together with the release of AIR³ 7.2, so that the pilot can now easily decrease or increase the brightness depending on the readability conditions while flying. Read more details about these brightness buttons widgets in the Action buttons subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets manual.
AIR³ 7.2 has a 10.000 mAh battery. Read more about autonomy in the FAQ. Thanks to the automatic action generated once the battery level has reached 5%, you can continue to fly with the acoustic vario and XCTrack continues to track.
AIR³ is provided with an accurate GPS and powerful pressure sensor.
We recommend to always use the internal very performing pressure sensor of the AIR³. Watch and listen to the video comparing AIR³ vario and a Flymaster vario or Oudie vario included in this FAQ.
However, you still have the opportunity to connect an external sensor (example XCTracer Flarm can provide you with Flarm aircrafts around you in a similar way you can see Livetracking pilots).
Note that if you are using an external sensor, you will not comply with FAI CIVL rules and your IGC file will not be FAI compliant.
Once you have connected an external sensor (GPS and/or pressure), you can choose between the internal and the external sensor. Read also more details about the GPS/Baro source settings in the Action buttons subsection of the XCTrack Pro Widgets manual
Choose the type of external sensor to connect. Don’t forget to set the connection right at the system level. For example, the bluetooth sensor will not be accessible if the bluetooth is not enabled in the system.
Choose Calibrate to calibrate the sensor (see below) or Acoustic Vario to directly enter the Acoustic vario menu (see also Menu/Preferences/Sound/Acoustic vario explained in the Sound section above.
Click on “Calibrate” to calibrate the pressure sensor.
Pressure displays the direct info provided by the sensor in Pa. Just below the pressure, the frequency of pressure information received by XCTrack per second.
Altitude is the direct conversion of the standard pressure into altitude. The second value is the mean value and variant computed from raw values for the last 20 seconds.
The Smoothing slider allows you to apply a low pass filter on the data to avoid taking into account data coming from the sensor that are not coherent. The value corresponds to the weight of the low pass filter (by lowering the number, you limit the possible wrong values, but you also limit the vario sensitivity in case of big lift).
Lift is the resulting altitude difference per second computed after smoothing.
As of XCTrack 0.9.4.4, a GPS time fix feature is available to solve the GPS week number roll over bug.
Just click on the button to use it.
Make sure you get a GPS signal and an internet connection.
The time obtained from GPS may not be correct due to an old/buggy firmware. For verification, an internet connection (to get correct time from timeserver) and GPS signal reception is required at the same time. You can fix the incorrect gps time if the difference is greater than 1 minute. Tracklog with fixed GPS time is valid for XContest, but not FAI CIVL compliant (not eligible for FAI 1 level comps and official record claims).
Most of the features indicated in this section are self explained.
“Set volume to maximum” is useful to determine the volume you want to get during your flight, no matter what level was set in the system prior to takeoff. By setting up the volume to maximum, you can get a level of sound that is always the same (determine the percentage of such maximum in the Acoustic vario features). If you don’t set volume to maximum, the percentage set in the Acoustic vario features will be applied to the level that is set in the system when you launch XCTrack. Note that you can always change the level of sound after takeoff by changing the level of sound of the system (get the system menu before using the volume up or down button). Whatch the video here. Read more about sound volume in the Sound section above.
The testing and debub section is mainly used for advanced users. Most of the features are self explained.
Export your configuration by saving all your different settings, including layout and widgets. The file saved (.xcfg) is located in XCTrack/Config/ and can be shared through different methods depending on what app have been installed (Mail, Whatsapp, Google Drive,…)
To import a configuration file, make sure to place it in the XCTrack/Config/ folder.
AIR³ is provided with a perpetual licence of XCTrack Pro. The licence is linked to the instrument and not the pilot.
If you like XCTrack, consider supporting further development with a small amount of money. Click on “Donate” and follow the steps.
Note that if you want to subscribe to get the Pro version on a different device, the subscription will be linked to the pilot. Make sure your credentials are correctly entered in the Pilot section (see above).
XCTrack Pro contains many features that are not available in XCTrack (standard). There will be more and more additional features available to the Pro version in the coming releases. These new features will be available to the pilots that have subsribed to the Pro version through the upgrades.
If you are using XCTrack with another instrument and would like to get the Pro version, you can get the Pro version by subscribing. Check your Pilot’s credentials in the Pilot section detailed above (Menu/Preferences/Pilot).
Each euro will give you access to 1 month of XCTrack Pro.