wiki:FS Guide
Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on 03/28/10 16:44:08

The FS Guide

This guide describes the details about the functions and features of FS. Also see the QuickGuide for a short intro, and NetworkScoring for info on setting up an advanced scoring network.

Installing FS

Requirements

  • Any PC running Microsoft .NET 2.0 You can use Windows update to install .NET 2.0 directly from Microsoft if it is not installed on your PC.
  • 2 MB free harddisk space for FS itself, you might want some more for tracklogs and such.
  • Optionally MS Excel, for making the pilot list in Excel.

FS have been tested on Windows 2003 Server, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, but (teoretically) it should work on any platform as long as .NET 2.0 is installed.

See the Installing page for more info on installastion under Linux.

Download FS from here: CurrentVersion. You will get the file fssetup.exe, run it. It will ask where you want to install FS. Make a folder somewhere on the disk and click OK. FS will then install itself in that folder you made.

FS will not make any icons on the desktop or start menu for now. Look in the FS folder where you will find the program files that you can start directly.

  • FsComp.exe - The main program for setting up and scoring a competition.
  • FsFlight.exe – A basic tracklog data viewer.
  • Participants.xlt - A MS Excel template for quick and easy registering of users. You need to have macros enabled in Excel.
  • lc.xls - A MS Excel workbook for viewing Leading Coefficient graphs. You need to have macros enabled in Excel.

General information

Since the use of FS is quite different than earlier scoring software the scorer should be aware of the general information and concepts in FS. There are many details that are not described in full here, and we recommend the scorer play with the demo data and set up a few test competitions before trying to run a competition with FS for the first time.

About the database and competition data

A competition consists of a folder with a .fsdb file and then eventually a folder for each task containing tracklogs. The FS database is the .fsdb file, this is a text file with XML code that can be edited by hand if needed. The tracklogs are in GpsDump .kml format.

When using FsComp edits are not committed to the .fsdb file until you save the competition using the "File/..." menu. If you are unsure of the edits you've done, use "File/Save? As..." to save it with a new name. This way you can keep a backup in case the edits gave unexpected results. When opening a comp (Ctrl-O) FsComp will remember the last .fsdb file saved and suggest to open this.

Also note that FsComp will not alter the tracklog files in any way.

Always keep a backup of your .fsdb file and tracklogs, especially after finalizing scores for one day. The data folder can be stored on a USB key for easy backup and transportation between computers.

About pilot IDs

There are two IDs used in FS and GpsDump:

  • COMPID: a number that identifies the pilot in a competition. This must be unique for the pilot in the competition. It will save you a lot of time to let the pilots in your club or organization have the same number over time, as it's written to the GPS, and eventually you will remember each pilot's number. For Cat 1 comps it is normal to use the WPRS ranking of the pilot as COMPID.
  • CIVLID: The ID a pilot is given the first time he/she is registered in the CIVL database. This will normally happen after one has been in a FAI Category 1 or 2 competition. Any pilot that has been in a Cat 1 or 2 competition after 2001 should be in this database. The CIVLID is used when uploading results to the CIVL database where it is used to generate the World Ranking (WPRS). When registering pilots in FS you can get pilot details including CIVLID from the CIVL database by typing the pilot's name and pressing the "Search CIVL db" button (if you have already filled in details and just need the CIVLID, press the button to the right of the CIVLID field).

About the error margin when checking tracklog

Under "Tools/Options?" one can set an error margin in percent of turnpoint radius.

The error margin is default 0,5%. This is 2 meters for a 400 meter radius turnpoint. 200 meters for a 40km radius turnpoint. This is used because there are a number of different ways the GPS devices calculate distance which may give slightly different distance.

If you do not believe this is necessary you should do a simple test - create the same two turnpoint task of about 50-100km in a few different types of instruments, then look at the distance shown. We wish these differences could be documented by the makers of the instruments, but it have not been successful so far.

About GpsDump

FS works well in combination with GpsDump when all communications with GPS devices is handled by GpsDump. FsComp and FsFlight read the tracklog files saved by GpsDump. GpsDump can also convert a range of formats to KML, IGC files are for example very common and easily converted with GpsDump. You are not locked to GpsDump, and may use any software you like to get the tracklogs downloaded, just make sure it is stored in KML format and named correctly for FsComp to read and process it.

You can run many instances of GpsDump at the same time. We found the practical limit to be 4-5, typically you will have one instance of GpsDump for each instrument type/cable. The USB downloads are so fast that you normally handle three serial and one to two USB ports at the same time, having pilot ID waypoints is very useful in this scenario.

GpsDump have a competition mode, where it relates to the participant list from FS. This makes it possible to register pilots GPS units by uploading a special ID waypoint to identify the GPS units. This saves a lot of time and avoids human errors when downloading tracklogs during the heat of the scoring.

In competition mode GpsDump will store tracklog files in the following format: [Pilot name].[Datetime].[CIVLID].[COMPID].kml This makes it possible for FsComp to match the files to the participants, and automatically check the tracklogs.

GpsDump also have the option of applying a filter when downloading a tracklog. This filter is very useful with Garmin GPS units that sends the whole tracklog, as the filter keeps the tracklog files clean, and only stores tracklog points that apply to the relevant task. The tracklog filter works in UTC time as most GPS devices store tracklog in UTC, and it it recommended to set it to filter anything before the start window open time. Flytec/Brauniger? integrated instruments will send only relevant data for the selected day, so the filter is not so relevant for these instruments.

Setting up a new competition in FS

You should create a folder for your competition, we recommend to place it under My Documents\FsComps\compname

Start FsComp.exe, you will be greeted with a fairly empty window, don't worry, it will soon be full of data.

Select "File/New? Competition" and enter details then save the competition with "File/Save? Competition..." to the folder you just created. If the competition is a CIVL cat 2 (or 1) comp registered on http://civlrankings.fai.org/?a=303 then you could use the competition_id that is used there! A .fsdb file has now been created with comp details.

If you've already run another comp using FsComp with mostly the same participants, just copy the .fsdb file, then edit the details, delete the tasks, then remove/add participants...

Adding Participants to the database

When the competition have been set up, you will have an empty list of pilots.

By selecting the empty row and pressing Enter (or right-click and choose Edit or New) you get a dialog for entering a new pilot. Keyboard shortcuts: Insert - new pilot Delete - delete pilot Enter - edit pilot (or new if on empty row)

Select one or more rows by using normal windows mouse/key combinations - clicking and dragging, shift-click, or ctrl-click, and use the "Delete" key to remove participants (you're asked to confirm each deletion).

Using Excel to enter participants

Another option to get participants into a .fsdb file is to use "Participants.xlt" This is an Excel Template which you just double-click on to create a new spreadsheet, then add participants directly in Excel anyway you like. Follow the instructions written as comments in the spreadsheet. Note that you will need to have macros enabled in Excel for the spreadsheet to work.

Using Excel gives you the option of adding more information per participant, like paid status, mobile number, etc. It will save you some time in the long run. Note: after you have checked tracklogs of the first task and created results you should not use this to add/update participants as it will remove flight data and results from all tasks.

Importing participant list from other external sources

If you have a RACE database or a CompeGps .pil file with participants, you can import pilots from these files using "Tools/Usefull? stuff/Import pilotlist from ..." to initially populate the particpant list.

If you are importing from a RACE database when having used it together with CompeGps you should select "pilNumber" as Pilot Id field from Race, as this is the field that CompeGps use when manipulating the RACE db and is the ID used in the tracklog filenames.

If you have a bunch of tracklogs, you can use "Tools/Usefull? stuff/Create pilotlist from tracklogs". The tracklogs must have file names as made by GpsDump in competition mode in order for FS to make sense of the files. See About GpsDump. Also no two tracklogs can have same id.

For any of the import options above only pilots having id not already in the fsdb will be imported. In other words, all existing participants will stay as is when importing, to make sure newer data is not overwritten.

Tasks and task types

Each task can have it's own scoring parameters. Normally they would be the same for the whole competition, but there can be cases where f.ex. the GAP minimum distance parameter should be different because one use a different take off or different wind-direction etc...

Distance of a task in FS

FS will calculate the "shortest distance needed to take all turnpoints", this is a major difference from how earlier scoring software did distance calculations, and gives much more correct times and speeds.

See detailed TaskDistance description.

How FS calculate time

Describe interpolation, start gates, etc. here.

Also see description of Jump the Gun factor.

Speed of a task in FS

FS will calculate and interpolate the SS and ES times from the tracklog when the pilot cross the cylinder/line.

The average speed in the reports is calculated as follows:
First we find the point on each turnpoint cylinder that gives the shortest distance from first turnpoint (Start) to last turnpoint (Goal) via the other turnpoints.
Then we find the distance from the point defined on the SS cylinder to the point defined on the ES cylinder via the points defined on the turnpoint cylinders in between. (Note: this is not always the shortest distance needed to fly from SS to ES as these turnpoints often is not first and last turnpoint.)
Then the avg. speed is the time used from SS to ES divided on the distance (found above). The SS time of a pilot is the actual time of the crossing in the case of "Elapsed time" task, otherwise the nearest "Start gate" prior to the actual time.

Task types

See DefinitionList for an accurate description of the terms used below.

Using GPS tracklogs and FS to score, you can be very creative in the format of tasks. Some examples are listed below, if you invent new task types, please fill in below!

  1. Race with a single start gate: Select task type "Race" and set which turnpoint is start of speedsection (SS) and end of speedsection (ES) then add a single start time.
  2. Race with multiple start gates: Select task type "Race" and set which turnpoint is start of speedsection (SS) and end of speedsection (ES) then add several start times.
  3. Elapsed time: Select task type "Elapsed time" and set which turnpoint is start of speedsection (SS) and end of speedsection (ES).
  4. Elapsed time with a start deadline: to be implemented. The mains reason for adding a deadline to an elapsed time task is to encourage pilots to go along the course instead of staying too much near the take off area. The reasons are twofold: avoid some of the usual speculation that elapsed task types have, and besides act as a security feature when weather conditions are not suitable for setting up a race to goal rask.
  5. Open distance: Select task type "Open distance" and add a single turnpoint (normally take off).
  6. Open distance via turnpoints: Select task type "Open distance" and add a two or more turnpoints. The pilot who get furthest away in any direction from the last turnpoint win the task.
  7. Open distance on a heading: Same as open distance above, but check the "Heading" checkbox and add a "heading" point at the end which gives the heading to fly from the last turnpoint.
  8. "Race to nowhere" example: turnpoint 1 a 400m radius cylinder around take off, turnpoint 2 a 2km radius cylinder around take off as SS, turnpoint 3 a 50km radius cylinder around take off as ES. First pilot to ES wins.

Lots of other types of tasks are possible, turnpoints with big or small cylinders, turnpoints inside/outside each other, for example one can fly from takeoff out the edge of a 50km circle then back to start again ("Race to nowhere and back").

Task definition

The task definition window is where you set up tasks in the competition and define all parameters for each task.

First of all, set the name and date of the task. Normally one would use the name Task 1 for the first task, Task 2 for the next and so on. The UTC offset is copied from the competition setup, but you can change it for each task if you for example run a comp during the switch from daylight savings time.

Set the scoring formula (GAP/PWC) parameters for the first task, and click "Set as default for the competition" so that you do not have to set it again for each new task.

Open the waypoint file (Waypoint file need to be in GpsDump format), and add all the relevant waypoints to the task. Each waypoint will have opening and closing times, normally the Takeoff, Start gates, and goal will have to be set to differing times for the task. Make sure you do have the correct times on the turnpoints, or you will get very strange results when scoring.

See ScoringFormulas and OzGap2005 for explanation of the different GAP options.

Jump the Gun factor

This is being used to allow pilots to start early from the start gate. The factor only applies to starting before the first start time. There are a few advantages to this, compared to scoring them 0 for the day. Allowing pilots that do not care about the time to go early is a good thing for the less skilled competition pilots, as they can use the whole day, and also stay out of the traffic while waiting.

For the top pilots it can be very dense traffic in the start gate, typically a gaggle will wait in lift under a cloud where visibility might be less than optimal. Allowing pilots to go a few seconds earlier will give a small penalty, but not enough to force dangerous maneuvers to avoid starting 2 seconds too early.

The Jump the Gun factor set the penalty that is added to the pilot time when starting early, it does not affect the other bonuses like leading points or arrival bonus. The factor should be high enough to discourage tactical use of this by the pilots, depending on the level of the competition.

When setting the task in FS, make sure the open time for the SS turnpoint is set to the same open time as the turnpoint before (Usually the takeoff open time, and do not confuse with the start gate times). FS will not score anyone flying through a turnpoint before it's open, thus the pilots jumping the gun will not be scored correctly.

For Cat 1 competitions the CIVL rules set the factor to 10, and pilots may not start more than 5 minutes early. This was accepted in Section 7a (Hang gliding) and valid from May 1st 2008. It is not in Section 7b (Paragliding). So there are different views around on this issue.

Some examples;

  • One pilot wisely enough focus on the traffic instead of the clock, and fly out of the start gate 2 seconds before the first start time. With a Jump the Gun factor of 10 he will have 20 seconds added to his task time.
  • Another pilot run away from the dense traffic, and fly out of the start gate 5 minutes seconds before the first start time. With a Jump the Gun factor of 2 he will have 10 minutes added to his task time.

Waypoints

Waypoint file must be created with GpsDump, or in GpsDump compatible format. Either as the type "Geographical files (*.wpt)" which looks like this inside:

$FormatGEO
TARPOL    S 30 32 50.71    E 150 36 47.81   204  TARPOLY

or as the type "UTM files (*.wpt)" which looks like this inside:

$FormatUTM
TARPOL   56J   0271048   6618129    204  TARPOLY

GpsDump can open waypoint files in a number of different formats so if you don't have a file in correct format there is a good chance you can open it in GpsDump, select the waypoints and save in one of the two formats mentioned above. Look in the OtherSoftware list for other utilities to convert file formats.

If you have existing waypoint files in CompeGPS WPT format they are not directly compatible with GpsDump/FS/Ozi WPT format. A workaround is to open the files in CompeGPS and save again as GPX format, open the GPX file in GpsDump, and save again as GpsDump WPT file. This should make it possible to convert old WPT files from CompeGPS.

Another option is to use GpsDump to read the waypoints from a GPS, so as long as you are able to get your waypoints into a GPS somehow you're set.

In the Task window click on the "Open waypoints file" to fill the Waypoints list for the task.

Double-click (or select and press Enter or right-click...) on a waypoint to add it to the Turnpoints list.

Edit a turnpoint double-click (or select and press Enter or right-click...). Remove a turnpoint by selecting it then press the Delete key (or right-click...).

Checking tracklogs etc. in FsComp

Make sure the tracklogs are saved in the correct folder for the task, you need to set this in GpsDump and in FsComp for each task.

FsComp will try to match the tracklog with the pilots in the participant list, based on the filename and timestamp of the tracklogs. FsComp will only check the tracklogs when asked to do so, if you change or add a tracklog you need to tell FsComp to check it again.

If a pilot got several tracklog files the one with last file modified timestamp is checked.

To set the scoring status of a pilot, select the pilot from the list, and right-click or press enter to get the pop-up menu. Depending on your selection you will be asked to enter information like distance, notes, times, etc.

One if the very nice features of FS is that the scorer does have absolute control over all data, and can override anything the GPS tracklog might report. This is very useful when the meet director or jury decides something that will affect the scoring, or the tracklogs have errors.

To check all tracklogs, select all pilots (Ctrl-A), right-click and select “Check tracklogs(s)” You can check a sub selection, or just one pilot. Another time-saver is the “Check tracklogs of all pilots not yet processed” function, that you should use to check newly downloaded tracklogs.

Note: Any penalties applied to pilots are also removed if the tracklog of the penalized pilot is rechecked in FS, make sure you reapply penalties if needed.

After checking tracklogs, set status for those not having tracklog. Most will probably be minimum distance, this is done by just setting the pilot status to DF. Remember to set ABS for those not present at takeoff, or DNF for those that chose not to fly for some reason. ABS does not influence the scoring, while DNF ‘’does’’ influence the scoring by reducing day quality.

After all pilots have been processed you can produce reports from the "Reports" menu. You can of course produce preliminary reports with some pilots in NYP status, but the reports will probably not be correct as all flights influence the scoring.

Note: nothing happens to the fsdb file itself until you save it ("File/Save? ..."). This means you can test different things and discard these by not saving before exiting the program.

Editing a task

After editing a task one may need to check tracklogs again. Task validation and scoring is removed for all those that has tracklog and these rows get status NYP again. Those pilots where one has entered distance or set status manually will keep their data.

This means one can sort the rows on the status column and mark those rows with status NYP and check tracklogs again or use the menu item "Check ... NYP".

Note: any penalties are also removed if the tracklog is rechecked, make sure you reapply these if needed.

Open distance task

Add a turnpoint for take off (or where ever the start of the task should be from). Set open time for when the take off is open, Set close time for when the task closes, meaning tracklog-points after this time will not be checked. Set radius so that the circle covers a bit more than the take off. Note: As pilots often do not have valid tracklogpoints at take off it is possible to set an option to not check the take off turnpoint.

If you want to have take off window close different from task close: Set a radius for take off turnpoint so that one can be sure pilots will have points inside after taking off. Add same turnpoint once more. Set close time for when the task closes. Turn OFF option to not check the take off turnpoint.

Reports

FsComp will calculate the scores of the task or competition when you ask for a report. Make sure all the tracklogs have been checked, pilot status, etc. before running the report.

You can set a few options for scoring when running the reports, you can also add your own options by modifying the templates to add a sponsor logo for example.

A set with default reports templates are included.

  • Task results – ‘’task_result.tkr.xsl’’
  • Competition result – ‘’comp_result.cpr.xsl’’
  • Team results – ‘’team_result.tmr.xsl’’
  • Participant list – ‘’participant_list.ptl.xsl’’

These can be used from the respective menu items under the "Reports" menu.

If the reports do not look the way you like (language etc...) just make a copy of the template, open the template in a text editor and edit the content. This requires a little knowledge of XML so that you stay away from altering content that should not be changed. Feel free to experiment though, and if you make a cool report please upload it to the Wiki!

Note: Keep the filename extension (from the first .) the same when renaming the file.

Reports options

Status

To set the status of the report, Provisional or Final scores are common status values.

Top_x_tasks (Task results)

Can be ‘’’all’’’ which scores all tasks for each pilot, or a number. This allows for dropping the lowest scoring task for each pilot from the total score.

Women_only

Filter all the males, to get the female results from the competition. Set to ‘’’1’’’ to produce women only results.

Nation

To include only one nation in the report. This can be used when a national comp is run in parallel with an open, to get the national champion.

Custom_pilot_attribute_name/value

Used to filter on custom attributes.

Attachments