A aviation & planes forum. AviationBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » AviationBanter forum » rec.aviation newsgroups » Soaring
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old April 12th 17, 07:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:32:52 AM UTC-7, Sean Fidler wrote:
Here is something interesting on the subject of tracking...

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39558952


That would be very cool to watch a Soaring race in 3D. Just track and plot the planes competing.
Ads
  #52  
Old April 16th 17, 08:38 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

From a Growth & Retention standpoint, I wholeheartedly support the idea of the SSA providing trackers to CD's to disperse to contestants at various regional and national gliding competitions. I would also support the lending of these devices to US Team Members (it's always good to have heroes in a sport) and individuals attempting national, continental, or world records. The entertainment and promotional value is well worth the money.

After a quick glance at the thread tonight I would reserve opinion on which route to go or what the SSA should potentially support. I would very much like to add this to the Growth & Retention Committee's agenda for consideration. I also want to explore ideas as to how we can use tracking to promote the sport and generate more interest in contest participation among SSA members. Sean, when you get a chance please bring me up to speed with Glideportaero and the various tracking device options. I like the idea of the SSA delivering its own branded, affordable tracking devices to its members on a subscription basis.

Chris Schrader
  #53  
Old April 16th 17, 01:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 939
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

LiveTrack24 seems to be very popular with many soaring countries. These are the units (70) which were purchased by the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) (aka Australia's "SSA") for their membership to be used at Australian contests and other soaring events.

These were used at the Benalla WGC in January and worked EXTREMELY well.

Here is a LIVE example (HAPPENING NOW) of LibeTrack24 tracking in South Africa of LiveTrack24 for their ongoing FAI SGP.

It is clear to me that most pilots are FAR TO LAZY to use mobile tracker apps (which require a bit of finesse). These units are simple. Turn them on by pressing a button. Charge them at night.

http://www.livetrack24.com/tasks/3592

Sean
  #54  
Old April 16th 17, 05:36 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,586
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

.... Or really just don't care.

On 4/16/2017 6:49 AM, Sean Fidler wrote:
It is clear to me that most pilots are FAR TO LAZY to use mobile tracker apps (which require a bit of finesse). These units are simple. Turn them on by pressing a button. Charge them at night.


--
Dan, 5J
  #55  
Old April 16th 17, 05:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tony[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,649
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

That's strange Sean, for IGCDroid I just turn it on before takeoff. I charge my cell phone every night. I've had it on for almost every soaring flight I've.made, broadcasting to the SSA tracking page, for the last two years
  #56  
Old April 17th 17, 01:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 95
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

"... Or really just don't care."

I think this is very true - most pilots these days don't even have a crew when they go to contests. Often when they fly XC (out of site of the airport, the people on the ground don't care where their pilots have gone.

I chose to believe it is that they just don't know any better/ haven't experienced Soaring track when they are good.

My wife and our good friends wife, who are very interested my where-abouts when flying attract a crowd when they are sitting on their tablets seeing where we are and how high.

I think is is one of those things we are too lazy/unfamiliar with to not understand the benefit to the Sport and our won clubs. It is not attained with out effort and a push.

I believe the push needs to come from the SSA. If we had a year or two where most flights where tracked. If XC flights at a club level where tracked so other member could see where the more advanced pilots where going it would inspire more XC flying and more retention.

my $.02

WH

  #57  
Old April 17th 17, 03:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,586
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

I'm sorry, but you misunderstood my meaning. What I meant was: My
soaring is for me and I don't care if you or anyone else knows where I
am or not. My wife, a solo hiker knows and understands this, as well.
I suspect I'm not alone in this.

I'm all for those who want to share their experience with others. My
initial response was to the typical insult (too lazy) made by the one
who insults all who don't agree with his way of doing things.

On 4/17/2017 6:49 AM, wrote:
"... Or really just don't care."

I think this is very true - most pilots these days don't even have a crew when they go to contests. Often when they fly XC (out of site of the airport, the people on the ground don't care where their pilots have gone.

I chose to believe it is that they just don't know any better/ haven't experienced Soaring track when they are good.

My wife and our good friends wife, who are very interested my where-abouts when flying attract a crowd when they are sitting on their tablets seeing where we are and how high.

I think is is one of those things we are too lazy/unfamiliar with to not understand the benefit to the Sport and our won clubs. It is not attained with out effort and a push.

I believe the push needs to come from the SSA. If we had a year or two where most flights where tracked. If XC flights at a club level where tracked so other member could see where the more advanced pilots where going it would inspire more XC flying and more retention.

my $.02

WH


--
Dan, 5J
  #58  
Old April 17th 17, 03:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 939
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

I suggest some careful observation this week during the SSA's "Perry contest" in order to experience how interesting and compelling the SSA tracking is in general. Someone is at least adding the tasks into Glideport.aero (this means that the tasks display on the Glideport.aero tracking map, providing context to the viewer). Task info being added into Glideport.aero at SSA contests is actually very rare. Watching tracks without the context of the task is painfully boring. As an example, tasks were not added to Glideport.aero for the Seniors contest. The real question is, from a home viewer perspective, do enough pilots trackers work in Perry, with enough detail, to make actually following the tasks interesting? This will depend on what trackers are being used (Spot, InReach, or mobile and at what refresh rate), and by whom (attention to detail from the pilot to ensure the device is working properly during the entire contest). Hence my previous post on the need for a standard SSA tracking device that is simple to use, highly detailed in its tracking product, affordable, and highly reliable.

Another issue is that 98% of US tasks are TAT (usually very wide areas). These tasks are not the most exciting follow via tracking, to say the least.

I think some of you are misunderstanding my previous post. My point was that SMART PHONE TRACKING APPS are not 100% reliable, or easy to use and can (per recent experience, often do) stop working in flight. An improved level of overall performance in our current SSA tracking viewer "investment" (Glideport.aero) would be realized if all pilots (of all technical backgrounds) were provided, or had affordable access too, the same reliable, ultra simple tracker hardware and we're not "on their own" to decide what to use. Dedicated tracker units (provided by the SSA, perhaps at a bulk price or for free) are what I was referring to in being simple to use, not smart phones.

Dedicated tracker units (such as LiveTrack24) have only one button (on/off switch). All you need to do is keep them charged and turn them on before flight. From that point forward they "simply work!" They are much smaller devices than smart phones, and therefore are much easier to mount properly up above the canopy rail (in order to have clear line of sight to the ground) which is essential with mobile based trackers. They also don't have touch screens to accidentally touch, etc. They also don't require programming or configuration with a Glideport.aero account, etc. Mobile apps require several steps and a working knowledge of some smart phone basics. This can be confusing to those not used to smart phones. Finally, and most frustratingly, mobile apps can stop tracking for numerous reasons (battery life, pilot accidentally hits screen and turns app off, not configured properly, forget to turn tracking app on, other apps interfere, etc., etc.). The iPhone app "GlideTrack" is a beta app, has never been updated and is notorious for such problems, for example.

In Australia, for example, their "SSA" (the GFA) has procured 70 dedicated LiveTrack24 units for their GFA members to use during all Australian contests and events.

LET ME SAY THIS AGAIN...IN ALL CAPS...

"IN AUSTRALIA (their SSA) BOUGHT AND MAINTAINS 70 LIVETRACK24 TRACKING UNITS FOR THEIR MEMBERSHIP AS PART OF THEIR ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO THE SSA (GFA)."

The GFA model is an excellent model for us here in the USA to consider (SSA). Their LiveTrack24 units are maintained by the GFA (SSA). They travel in a custom case from event to event and have designated managers supporting them during those events (pilots sign them out/in, manager volunteers ensure they working properly, support the pilots, etc). This solution was impressive and avoids many challenges currently faced here in the USA with the SSAs current tracking experiment. The GFA trackers were used to absolute perfection at the recent Benalla WGC. The result was some of the best tracking that we have seen during any Gliding event to date, worldwide, ever!

We could have this level of reliability, performance, simplicity and increased adoption and enjoyment here in the USA as well if we would just get out of our own way and do something meaningful...for once............sigh.

I'm already getting the typical emails explaining how this is too expensive, too hard, etc. I just shake my head. See above in CAPS. See Australia. It's not hard. It's simple.

In further support of my statements, here is a full library of the Benalla WGC tracking (using LiveTrack24 trackers owned by the GFA (Australia's SSA)) for all WGC competition days (another great FAI SGP innovation) your review: http://www.wgc2017.com/live!/trackin...ontestID=25898

Sean
  #59  
Old April 17th 17, 05:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Al McNamara[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

As a couple of others have said, in Europe, the Flarm Net system has
essentially set itself up, at no additional cost to pilots. In the UK, we
have gone from nothing, to almost 100% coverage in a couple of years, as
people saw the utility of the system, and just expanded it.

In the UK it is entirely a voluntary system, with both individuals and
clubs able to make their own decisions on whether to install a Flarm,
whether to register it, or whether to carry on as they are. While I've no
real evidence base, I think the majority of private owners have installed
Flarm, but with a lower proportion registering (unregistered flarm shows on
the network, but with no a/c details). Many clubs have also chosen to
install Flarm in club a/c, which both improves safety and allows them to
track the fleet. On the back of this, more enthusiasts have developed
software that allows flight logging (see Jim White's post) and live
competition scoring and tracking (onglide). In the UK it is now normal to
see crews and visitors following the comp either on a tablet or smartphone
or on screen provided by the organisers.

All of this has happened almost by accident. It started with an enthusiast
building a receiver and publishing the results on sites like this. Others
decided to replicate, and the network grew. While many of the receivers
are now based at gliding sites, most are still built and maintained by
volunteers. There may be some challenges in the USA due to geography.
Better solutions might come up, but this is available now, and given the
very low costs, you have virtually nothing to lose. Until you try, you
won't know. If just a couple of those in favour build a receiver, and tell
others it's there, you might be surprised by the results.


  #60  
Old April 17th 17, 05:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Sean...on this topic you are dead right; I hope you never give up calling for better tracking. After following a SGP event...especially the 2016 SGP season VII final in SA...or the recent WGC/Australia, SSA's efforts are embarrassing. SSA contest reporting has changed little since the late 60's; they continue to struggle just keep the "on site" informed. Yes, certainly there are issues of time, money and expertise. However, IMO, the biggest hurdle is our sanctioning body leaders do not acknowledge the need to promote and inform those off-site interested. First establish the commitment then deal with the issues.

To the naysayers, what other sport contests are "secret" and not "newsed" to the interested as quickly as possible?


On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 1:51:56 PM UTC-4, Sean Fidler wrote:
I would like to propose that the SSA consider providing its valued members with a far more comprehensive and well-adopted tracking solution (higher performance, more reliable hardware, negotiated member discounts, etc.). Tracking should not just for the benefit of contest pilots; tracking includes benefits for club operations & instruction, recreational pilots, cross country pilots, record pilots, badge pilots & competition pilots of all types.. The SSA (and the sport of soaring in North America in general) desperately needs a more reliable, more affordable, more social, and more enjoyable tracking solution. Right now, the challenge is clearly the hardware and the service plan required to drive it. The SSA can, on behalf of its 10,000 members, is in an excellent position to organize, negotiate, promote and deliver a far better solution. The potential benifits are profound. I feel improved tracking should be part of the fee's that we all pay as members of the SSA and to attend SSA sanctioned contests and events. I'm not necessarily talking about a 100% free solution, but perhaps it could be free. We certainly should be working hard to understand what is possible and improve the current status quo.

For example, the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) provides EXACTLY this benefit for their members. The GFA procured and supports 70 GFA owned "LiveTrack24 tracker devices" which go to every Australian contest in a custom Pelican case.

There is considerable upside to tracking in regards to promoting, sharing and enjoying our fantastic, visually appealing, relatively affordable, and environmentally friendly sport. Tracking is not just about contests or contests pilots (preempting the highly predictable "you rich guys" attack soon to follow this post). Tracking is about sharing the sport of soaring with those stuck on the ground and making it highly social (fun, exciting, compelling, attractive). From the 14-year-old kid sharing his training flights with his friends on Facebook to Gordon Bettenger's or Daniel Sahzen's next record flight being shared with the world live, tracking is a key element to maximizing our sports exposure and generating maximum interest.

We currently have a very good beta/framework solution with Glideport.aero, but it is simply not complete. Hardware/Service plans (reliability, price etc.) are not solved. Sadly, and predictably, our tracking interface is VERY poorly adopted. Even for contests!

Below are some potential tracking technology options (just to get the conversation started):

GLIDEPORT.AERO
GP.aero is the SSA's current tracking display solution. Thanks VERY much Pedja and Lane Bush.
Glideport.aero "COTS" mobile trackers may become available soon (2 demo units rumored, Pedja, PLEASE!!!!).
These devices will cost roughly $250 per unit and need a mobile data account.
Glideport.aero supports mobile device apps (IGCDroid - Android & GlideTrack - iOS), InReach (and Spot, but see my comments below).

LIVETRACK24 (http://www.livetrack24.com/services/index#services2)
Gliding Federation Australia (Australian SSA) owns 70 and provides them to all Australian contests for tracking as a perk of membership.
This solution was employed at the recent WGC. Very successful. No mobile application to deal with. A simple, 3x2x1 inch device with an ON/OFF button and light. That's it Turn it on, and it works (TOAW). TOAW is the hope/goal with Glideport.aero trackers above. Does it need to be any more complicated?

INREACH/GARMIN TRACKING
Satellite based, ultra-reliable, more expensive than spot, and up to 1-minute resolution with airspeed, heading and ground speed.

YELLOWBRICK TRACKING
Popular with yachting, etc.
Incredible interface and API.
https://www.ybtracking.com

SPOT (CRAP)
Spot devices are completely useless for enjoyable sailplane tracking. In fact, I argue that SPOT does more damage to the goal of making sailplane tracking interesting than good. Spot devices are intended for the hiker moving at 1-2 mph along the earth's surface. They have not innovated their solution in over ten years. I prefer to refer to Spot as the "anti-interesting sailplane tracking device" and feel Spot must be eradicated from this discussion ASAP and at all costs. Spot devices are "eh" for emergency purposes, but even that statement is a stretch. We need to "be better than Spot" as a sport in general. I was pleased to hear that Spot is raising their prices 50% and that robbery has irritated many of you recently. Hopefully, this will inspire some to consider switching to the newer tracking technologies. Spot is simply not worthy of being included in any further conversation regarding the goal of impressive tracking.

NETWORKED FLARM RADARS
Highly popular in Europe (and even parts of Canada)
High performance.
Requires the (up to) $2000 Flarm device :-(
http://live.glidernet.org (See European coverage)

OTHER TECHNOLOGIES
???

Flame away. Especially you anti-technology clowns. I'm ready for you ;-) ...

Sean


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
UK Club Class Live Tracking Justin Craig[_3_] Soaring 0 July 30th 14 10:49 AM
Great day to watch the SSA live tracking tool...(R4N ridge day,Fairfield, PA) Sean F (F2) Soaring 4 October 18th 13 07:14 PM
Glider Flying Race - Live Tracking [email protected] Soaring 1 July 8th 13 01:33 PM
Live tracking available now (and for the next 13 days!) Sean F (F2) Soaring 2 January 7th 13 12:30 AM
UK Grand Prix Live tracking.... Nick Farrell Soaring 0 August 31st 08 06:54 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2017 AviationBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.