Tips and Tricks
This is not a manual but rather a collection of non-obvious thoughts about using XCTrack.
A (work in progress) manual as a community effort is available here: XCTrack wiki
- If you have an AMOLED display (e.g. Samsung phones), consider using the Black Themes (
Preferences -> Display -> Theme). It significantly reduces power consumption.
- Use all maps with north on top. The maps do not have to be redrawn that often so we expect this would result in less power consumption.
- Android 6.0 implements several power management features that prevent applications to run on background or when the screen is off. Use
Preferences -> Android integration -> Disable Android sleep optimizationsto disable power optimizations for XCTrack in Android settings.
- Do have a look at the
Android integrationmenu. If you are flying with the phone on, you may like the
Master sync auto offoption that turns off synchronization automatically after the take-off.
Preferences -> Key bindingsyou can enable XCTrack to turn on screen with proximity sensor. This way you can turn off the screen to save power and easily turn it on back when needed.
- Use a White e-ink theme (
Preferences -> Display -> Theme)
- Use all maps with north on top, it prevents flashing on some devices.
- There can be at most 1 widget with road maps enabled. This is a limitation of Android (SurfaceGL) and probably even the vtm library.
- Livetracking is currently supported in the ALPHA versions only.
- Given that the device cannot be in Airplane mode during livetracking, consider using
Preferences -> Android integration -> Mute phone soundsto avoid distracting sounds when somebody calls you/sends a message
- Consider using
Master sync auto offin the same menu to save battery power.
- You may want to add
Incoming messageswidget somewhere on your screen. Otherwise if somebody sends you a message, it immediately disappears.
XCTrack can use airspaces from http://airspace.xcontest.org automatically.
- Choose countries in
Preferences -> Airspaces -> Web
- Tap ‘’Refresh’’
- Enable airspace display in settings XC assistent or competition map
- Airspace activations are automatically checked upon XCTrack restart
If you want to use a custom OpenAir file, the following steps are need.
- Copy your airspace files in OpenAir format to ‘’XCTrack/Airspaces’’ directory.
- Choose the individual airspace files to use on
Preferences -> Airspaces -> Filesscreen.
- Enable airspace display in the settings XC Assistant or Competition Map widgets
- Add the airspace proximity widget for information and current distance from the nearby (nearest) airspace.
Waypoints used in navigation are read from waypoint files. Waypoint files are searched for in XCTrack/Waypoints directory and several files can be used at once. Supported waypoint file formats:
- Compe GPS ‘’.wpt’’
- Format UTM ‘’.wpt’‘,’‘.utm’’
- GpsDump (GEO) Format ‘’.wpt’’
- OZI Explorer ‘’.wpt’’
- Seeyou ‘’.cup’’
- XCSoar/WinPilot/Cambridge format ‘’.dat’‘,’‘.xcw’’ The file name/extension does not really matter, the right format is automatically detected based on the file contents
There is one special file in the XCTrack/Waypoints directory, called ‘’’xctrack-internal.wpt’’’. This file serves as a storage for XCTrack “internal” waypoints. It is created and edited by XCTrack by marking or editing waypoints. The file format is GpsDump (GEO) encoded in utf-8. You can modify this file by hand, but be careful:
- do not modify the file while XCTrack is running - it can result in losing your edits or any strange behaviour
- do not make errors in the file, it could lead to losing some waypoints You can replace the file with another file in any format, which XCTrack understands. It will be converted to GpsDump format on the first edit.
Thermalling detection & switching to thermal assistant
Switching to thermal assistant can be enabled or disabled in
Preferences -> Automatic actions. By default, once circling in thermal is detected, the page is switched to the thermal assistant page. Once XCTrack detects the pilot stopped thermalling, the page is automatically switched back. The detection of thermalling start/end is based on the following rules:
- XCTrack detects start of thermalling if there has been at least 90 degrees change in heading (not bearing) in last 30 seconds AND the vertical speed averaged over last 30 seconds is -0.5m/s or more (less the 0.5m/s sink or lift)
- XCTrack detects end of thermalling if there have been less than 30 degrees change in heading in last 30 seconds AND the vertical speed averaged over last 30 seconds is less than -0.5m/s