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FAQs

Answers to common questions people have asked me about Alpha Crucis

  1. Why the name Alpha Crucis?

  2. What will happen when GPS loggers are required for Precision Flying competitions?

  3. When will the GPS function be available?

  4. What will be the annual update charge be to keep the system up to date with latest rules etc?

  5. Will data from Garmin GPS be able to be used as well as loggers data?

  6. Selecting what competitors the logger file times are stored to.

  7. 2002 Rules say that the best 2 of 3 navigation tests will be used if loggers are used.

 


Why the name Alpha Crucis?

  • I spent a lot of time wondering what to call the programme. I live in New Zealand and most people will think of New Zealand as being at the bottom of the World. What more appropriate name than the brightest star in the Southern Cross Constellation which is only seen in the Southern Hemisphere. The star is is also at the bottom of the Cross.  Actually the real Alpha Crucis is composed of two stars, but appear as one very bright one.


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What will happen when GPS loggers are required for Precision Flying competitions ?

  • There is a function in the programme which will import GPS logger data.

  • The data will need to be exported from the logger in a number of standard formats.  My programme  will then import the formatted data.  The primary format is what will be required for the GNSS-FR requirements of GAC.  Presently the programme can also import Garmin 12XL data files.  My programme then calculates all times passing the checkpoints, not passing a turn point and not seen.

  • My programme will not directly download data from the Flight Recorders.

  • The imported data can be display.  The programme also draws the course and the Track Made Good (TMG) by the competition aircraft so that people marking the competition can see if there was any circling. 

  • The GAC have not decided on when competitors will be penalised for back tracking or height infringements so the programme does not automatically calculate these penalties at present.

  • There are presently four GNSS-FR systems that have "Preliminary Approval" at April 2001.  For further information see the GAC website http://www.fai.org/general_aviation/gnss/

  • Data direct from a GPS will be able to be used as well. Click to follow link.


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When will the GPS function be available ?

  • It is available for evaluation purposes now but has NOT been checked and certified by the GAC.  Hopefully this will not take too long.


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What will be the annual update charge be to keep the system up to date with latest rules etc?

  • Presently there are no update charges and I would hope to keep it this  way, unless there is something major done. All penalties and times can now be altered by the computer operator so that normal Rule changes do not need a programming change.


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Will data from a GPS be able to be used directly without a loggers?

  • I intend to be able to import data files from any requested GPS.  I am using my own Garmin for testing presently. I think that a lot of people will want to use their own GPS in local competitions or for practice.  Software will be needed to download the data from the GPS to the computer.  Alpha Crucis will then read this file.  People will then be able to arrange their own small competitions or even solo practice without the need for other helpers on the ground.  A cheap GPS has only one problem, it generally will not record altitude.  This will be a small sacrifice when comparing the difference in prices - approximately US$300 instead of US$700 to US$2000. 


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Selecting what competitors the logger file times are stored to.

  • To load the times, select "View - Input Times and Penalties".  Open the appropriate competitor for which logger file you have opened and click on the button "Fill in Times" which is near the middle of the form.  Keep opening logger files and selecting the correct competitor and clicking on the button.


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2002 Rules say that the best 2 of 3 navigation tests will be used if loggers are used.

  • I do not think I will change the programme to work out the best 2 of 3 navigation tests as it is too much work.  The calculated scores can be exported to a csv file and can then be used in an Excel spreadsheet if people want to pick out the best two tests


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Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to Alan Beard at alan_beard_nz@hotmail.com
Last modified: Friday, 19 October 2007.