wiki:FS Guide

Version 14 (modified by Stein Tore Erdal, 12 years ago) (diff)

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The FS Guide

Installing FS

Requirements

  • Any PC running Microsoft .NET 2.0 (Use Windows update to install directly from Microsoft)
  • 2 MB free harddisk space for FS itself, you might want some more for tracklogs and such.

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

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 for now. In the FS folder you will find some useful programs that you can start directly.

  • FsComp.exe - The main program for setting up and scoring a competiton
  • 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.

About the database and 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 XML file 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 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 is 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.

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 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.

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 clicking and dragging, shift-click, or ctrl-click, and use the "Delete" key to remove participants (you're asked to confirm each deletion).

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. 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 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 pilot lists from external sources

If you have a RACE db 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 have a bunch of tracklogs, you can use "Tools/Usefull? stuff/Create pilotlist from tracklogs". The tracklogs must have file name as made by GpsDump in comp mode in order for it to make sense. 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.

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. min. dist. 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.

Task types

Using GPS and FS to score, you can be very creative in the format of tasks. Some examples are listet 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. Open distance: Select task type "Open distance" and add a single turnpoint (normally take off).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. "Race to nowhere" example: turnpoint 1 a 400m radius circle around take off, turnpoint 2 a 2km radius circle around take off as SS, turnpoint 3 a 2km radius circle around take off as ES. First pilot to ES wins.

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

Waypoints

Waypoint file must be created with GpsDump. 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 and select the waypoints and save in one of the two formats mentioned above. Look in the OtherSoftware list for utilities to convert file formats.

Also GpsDump can of course 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.

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

See popup-menus (right-click) in "Tasks" list and "Task participants" list. For the "Task participants" list some of the menuitems work on the rows you selected.

After checking tracklogs, setting status for those not having tracklog, etc. you can produce reports from the "Reports" menu.

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

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 menuitem "Check ... NYP".

Note: any penalties is also removed.

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

A set with default reports templates is included. One for task result (task_result.tkr.xsl), one for competition result (comp_result.cpr.xsl), one for team results (team_result.tmr.xsl), and one for participant list (participant_list.ptl.xsl). These can be used from the respective menuitems under the "Reports" menu.

If they do not look the way you like (language etc...) just make a copy and open them in a text editor and edit the content. This requires a little knowledge of xml so that one stay away from content that should not be changed. Note: Keep the extention (from the first .) the same.

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