Manual (Tips and Tricks)
Walk-through training by Bertrand Fontaine (January 2023):
This is not a manual but rather a collection of non-obvious thoughts about using XCTrack.
Battery optimization exception
- Android 6.0 implements several power management features that prevent applications
to run on background or when the screen is off. The system will stop GPS or kill
the whole application. So XCTrack will show a warning every time it is started.
Preferences -> Android integration -> Disable Android sleep optimizationsto disable power optimizations for XCTrack in Android settings.
- Here is the link with a desription that can help grant the exception. If you have some better link or a detailed description for your phone, feel free to contact us and we will publish it here. Thanks!
- Don’t forget that your phone could have a custom battery optimization settings.
- Enabled only when you have a pressure (barometric) sensor - external or internal.
- Lift sounds: normal beeping, the frequency is getting higher linearly up to 6m/s (so that should result in ‘log’ sound, being more sensitive near low values). The frequency of the beep doesn’t change during the beep. The speed of beeping is also getting faster linearly. The range is from E’‘-E’’’.
- Long averaging interval settings: the color of the tone changes once you get in the 0.5-1.5m/s range (averaged in 10s), and then from 1.5-2.5 it starts doing ‘tik-tak’, 2.5-3.5 ‘tik-tak-tak’ etc. This can be turned off if you don’t like it.
- Weak lift buzzer, which is a ‘double beep’ on the same tone. It beeps in the (-0.5, lift threshold) range. It beeps only when the short average > long average, as to avoid sudden double-beeps during lift and also suggest that you are moving to a faster-lifting air. It seems a weird rule, but seems to work quite well.
- Sink alarm is a double beep, second tone being lower than the first one. The second tone is getting a semitone lower for each 0.5m/s. The second tone is also getting slightly longer.
- Disconnection alarm: A diminished 7 every 30s (four fast decreasing successive tones) - this indicates missing barometric data; when you have an external sensor and the connection is lost.
- 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.
- 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. See (Maps in XCTrack)[/AboutMaps.html] for further details
- 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.
There are 3 types of airspaces in XCTrack:
- Restricted - red. You are supposed to evade the airspace, is shown in red and it appears in the proximity widget.
- Warning - orange. This airspace appears only on the map and does not appear in the proximity widget.
In custom OpenAir files this corresponds to the class
- Gliding area - green. This airspace appears in the proximity widget, however it is currently
treated the same as restricted airspace. In custom OpenAir files this corresponds to the class
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