1. How do I access files on the microRecorder?
The microRecorder has a USB 2.0 interface and appears as a removable drive on Windows 2000 and above. No software or drivers are required to communicate with microRecorder or for file downloads.
File can be opened directly from Windows Explorer. The microRecorder is compatible with Mac and Linux operating systems. Windows 98SE can be used with additional drivers depending on your hardware. USB 2.0 ports can be added to your computer or laptop with low cost (less than £10) PCI or PCMCIA cards available online or from EW.
2. What file format is used?
The microRecorder stores IGC files in plain text that can be read directly in a text editor or flight software (e.g. SeeYou / Winpilot).
3. How do I enter my Pilot information and change the settings of the microRecorder?
The microRecorder has a plain text file called EW-USER.txt on the removable drive. Pilot, glider, competition ID etc can be entered here over the USB interface. In addition the update rate, baud rate, 'start recording' parameters and auto power off settings can be modified.
4. Can I make electronic flight declarations?
Yes. Electronic declarations are made in the EW-USER.txt using the USB interface. The microRecorder enters any declaration made into the IGC file at the start of each flight. If Declarations are present then they appear in the IGC file (C record) until they are removed or replaced in the EW-USER.txt.
5. Can I access the EW-User.txt over a serial over a serial port from a PDA?
The microRecorder does had a serial interface via the RJ45 connector that can be used for serial uploads. There is a protocol for updating the EW-USER.txt via the serial port and this will be shortly implemented by software developers such as SeeYou so that declarations and other parameters may be updated from your PDA.
6. What update rates are supported?
1 - 10 seconds.
7. How much flight data can be stored on the microRecorder?
This is dependant on the update rate. At 10secs: 300 hours. At 1sec: 30hours.
8. Can the microRecorder act as a Barograph?
Yes. The microRecorder contains a separate pressure sensor and will record pressure height independently of GPS fix.
9. Does the microRecorder need an external GPS input?
No. The microRecorder contains a 12 Channel SirfStar II GPS receiver.
10. Does the microRecorder have a Pilot Event Button?
Yes. Pilot event is provided through the RJ45 connector on the microRecorder. Pilot event will update at 1sec intervals for 30secs.
11. Does the EW microRecorder have an NMEA output?
Yes. The EW microRecorder transmits NMEA sentences (GGA, GSA, RMC, VTG) for connection to PDAs. Moving map displays can be driven on PDAs running software such as SeeYou mobile and Winpilot. Baud rates between 4600 and 38400(default) can be selected.
12. Can I power my PDA from the MicroRecorder?
Yes. The microRecorder has a 5V output (rated at 800mA) for driving external devices. You can even charge your PDA in flight using this output. Note: The microRecorder must be connected to glider supply (9 Volts or higher) for this function.
13. How does the microRecorder Stop/Start recording?
Pressing the switch will start and stop the microRecorder. Alternatively connecting external power will start the microRecorder automatically. If the external power is removed the microRecorder will continue to run on its internal battery until it detects that there has been no movement for a user definable time.
14. Will the microRecorder work if the glider supply fails?
Yes. The microRecorder is designed to run from external glider supply or the internal battery. If an external supply is present then the internal battery will be charged. The internal battery will run the microRecorder for 200hrs. Note: This value is under ideal satellite conditions which allow the microRecorder to operate in low power mode (which is normally the case with an unobstructed view of the sky). The worst case scenario is if the antenna is fully obstructed or disconnected. The microRecorder stays in full power mode searching for satellites, but will still provide 20hrs of operation.
15. How do I charge the internal battery?
The internal battery is charged when the microRecorder is plugged into USB or glider supply. In addition an EW microCharger can be provided for charging when a computer is not available. In both cases the battery will be fully charged from flat in approximately 8hrs.
16. What are the dimensions/weight of the microRecorder?
The microRecorder measures 115 x 85 x 25mm and weighs 280g.
17. How can the microRecorder be mounted?
The microRecorder is so small and light that Velcro is suitable for mounting. We've had one stuck to the side of a tug with two Velcro pads no problem. The microRecorder can be mounted in any orientation. The external antenna should be in clear view of the sky.
18. Does the microRecorder log engine noise?
Engine noise level recording is available as an option and is fully ratified by the FAI.
19. What is the difference between the microRecorder and microTracker
The microRecorder has a pressure sensor and security system which means that files recorded are secure and can be used for FAI badge claims and world records etc. The microTracker is designed to used as a 'black box' to keep a record of flights.
SD card FAQs.
How does the SD card version compare with the standard microRecorder?
The microRecorder SD is identical as the standard version, but with the addition of a SD card holder.
What happens on startup?
The processor looks for a SD card. If it does not find one, the green LED will flash rapidly for several seconds. It uses any copy of the found of EWUSER.txt in the root of the card, otherwise the copy in the main memory is used. The unit then runs in same way as the standard version
What happens on shutdown?
The file is saved as normal and the security code is added. If a SDS card is present, the microRecorder then checks the EWUSER.txt, and copies either the last file or all the files to the root of the SD card, depending on the option checked in the EWUSER.txt. Remember not to remove the SD card before the LEDs are off, otherwise the files will not be copied.
How do I put declarations into the microRecorder?
Declarations are contained in the EWUSER.txt. This can either be changed by writing a text file to the microRecorder over the usb, using a plain text editor such as notepad, or by using a software package such as SeeYou. The latest copy of SeeYou will put a declaration onto the first copy of EWUSER.txt found in a root directory. This means that to put it onto the SD card, plug it in to your computer and ensure that the microRecorder is not connected to your computer. Follow the instructions in SeeYou.
Alternatively Your PDA can transfer the declaration serially using SeeYou mobile or Connect Me.
Can I use any SD card?
In principle yes. However, SD cards do vary, and we only test the cards we supply, so it up to the user to ensure that there is compatibility.
How many flights can be recorded?
The SD cards we supply have 512 mBytes of memory, which is enough to store over 2000 hours of recording.