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Firmware v1.7; resolution of standalone mode issues

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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Firmware v1.7; resolution of standalone mode issues Reply with quote

Firmware version 1.7 is now available our Download page.

Random standalone datalog failure, invalid datalog files

Some users have reported problems when operating in standalone mode. It was possible for the MQGPS-Quantum to fail to start recording data automatically even though the Flight Recording Trigger was enabled and the system had GPS lock. When this happened, the MQGPS-Quantum would appear to "hang" (the status lights would turn off). The problem would occur unpredictably, sometimes only after many successful recordings. Connected mode over Bluetooth was unaffected. The problem was traced to an illegal filename when a new datalog file was opened under a certain set of conditions. Firmware v1.7 fixes this problem.

This problem has the side effect of (possibly) creating many empty datalog files with the exact same filename in the root folder of the storage card (as seen when you attach the MQGPS-Quantum to a PC and browse it with File Explorer). Usually the files will all end with the sequence number "01". It is not possible to delete these files. Continued use of the MQGPS-Quantum after this happens could result in lost data or a complete inability to use the module due to a corrupted memory card.

If you have encountered this problem, you must reformat your storage card to restore proper operation. Here's what to do:

- Plug the MQGPS-Quantum into your PC.

- Find the "quantum_config.txt" file in the root folder and copy it to your desktop to preserve your current settings and calibration.

- Copy off any other files you want to preserve, since they will be erased during the reformat.

- Open a Windows command prompt (Start > Run > cmd).

- Enter the command "format /q X:" where X is the drive letter that was assigned to the MQGPS-Quantum when it was plugged in. BE SURE YOU SELECT THE CORRECT DRIVE otherwise you may reformat something else on your system, causing total loss of data. Please note that you must use the "/q" switch, otherwise your reformat may not work.

- If the reformat is successful, you will be asked for a volume name (you can enter a name or leave it blank). Now copy "quantum_config.txt" back to the MQGPS-Quantum. Then update your firmware to v1.7 as described on the Download page.

- If the format is unsuccessful, you will get an error message. If this happens, you will need to open up the MQGPS-Quantum, unscrew the PCB, remove the microSD card from its holder on the bottom side of the PCB, and reformat it in an SD drive using an appropriate adapter.

Please note that if you transfer a file *to* the MQGPS-Quantum (using it as a USB memory stick), then filename *must* be 25 characters or less in length, including the dot and three character extension, or problems may occur.

Advanced users might run CHKDSK /F on the MQGPS-Quantum to attempt to fix the directory entries without a reformat. Unfortunately, although CHKDSK does attempt to fix the entries, it is not a complete fix and the card is still not fully usable without a reformat.

Lost clusters on firmware update

Advanced users can run CHKDSK from the Windows command prompt to check the health of the memory card in the MQGPS-Quantum. Each time the firmware is updated, the "FW.SFE" file is automatically deleted, but the clusters containing this file become "lost clusters". This does not affect normal operation, and the amount of storage space lost is a very tiny fraction of the available space, so no action is required. It is possible to fully recover these lost clusters using the CHKDSK /F command.

Time zone adjustment

In standalone mode, the current date and time are used to ensure that each new datalog file has a unique name. The date and time are based on GPS time adjusted by the HoursAheadOfGMT value in quantum_config.txt to get the correct day and time according to the local timezone. Previously, this calculation was not always performed correctly, resulting in (for example) the last hour of the day being hour 19 instead of hour 23. This is now fixed.

Precapture buffer cleared

In previous versions, it was possible for remnants of older data to appear at the beginning of the next file created. This has been fixed by clearing the buffer before a new datalog file is opened.

FRT threshold condition

Previously, a new datalog would start when speed >= FRTStartSpeedKPH, and stop when speed < FRTStopSpeedKPH. In v1.7, the stop threshold condition has been changed to <=.
Ed Lansinger
MaxQData, LLC
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