A typical small competition, "Hemsedal Open 07"
The first day, 2007-08-10
Nils opens Explorer on his laptop and goes to his "comp" folder, creates a new folder named "Hemsedal Open 07".
He then goes to the FS folder and double-clicks on the "Participants.xlt" file.
This brings up an Excel Workbook with a single Worksheet, "Participants".
It has the columns: id (pilot number), name (first <space> last), nat (ionality), female (0 = no), birthday, glider (make model and size in one column), sponsor, fai_licence #, CIVLID
Nils adds a "cell-phone" column a "paid" column as this is info he needs (see the instructions in the Excel Workbook about where to place these columns).
He expects about 30-40 pilots, so he quickly make the numbers 1-40 in the id column, then saves the Workbook to the "Hemsedal Open 07" folder. (Hopefully he has a registration page on his web site that he can use to copy and paste the information from a few days earlier, otherwise his morning will go very slowly and painfullly. He has a pilot number (ID) for each pilot already, except those that come in for the first time in the morning.)
Then he attach an USB to Serial extension cable to his laptop (not having serial port). Let's hope that he has the driver for the USB/Serial extension cable installed. Also the Garmin USB drivers installed for USB Garmins (download from the Garmin web site).
He hooks up his GPS where he got all the waypoints to the PC, downloads these with GpsDump, save them to the "Hemsedal Open 07" folder as "Geographical files(*.wpt). Make sure that they are in this format. And that the N/S and E/W designation are correct as GPS Babel doesn't do this correctly (if you used that program to change formats). Use GPSDump to create the correctly formatted waypoint file a few days earlier.
Last thing to do before pilots arrive, set GpsDump in comp mode (under "Misc" menu) and selects all waypoints in the list. GPSDump now says in competition mode between session until you tell it otherwise.
He place GpsDump in upper left corner of the screen and Excel to the right.
Nils do not intend to ask for anything else than name and cell-phone and keep tab of who has paid, so he set the width of the other columns to 0.
Ready to register pilots.
As the pilots comes:
Nils asks the pilot to plug in his GPS to the serial port (with their own cable).
Then he goes on the "Wpts" menu in GpsDump, select the correct "Send to ..." menuitem, types the next free id (from the spreadsheet) into the "Comp." field and press OK. (Or he matches the pilot in front of him with the pilot name on the worksheet.)
GpsDump starts uploading waypoints and also create a waypoint named COMPID which got the id encoded in the coordinates. Let's hope that GPSDump works with all the GPSes and all of them get their waypoints. He has other programs available to download waypoints if he runs into problems. These won't supply COMPID waypoints either.
He uses GPSDump to send waypoints to Compeo+ and Flytec 5030/6030 (5020/6020) making sure to send just the Name or the ID of the waypoint and he makes aure that the names going to these instruments matches those going to the Garmins.
(Some pilot's didn't bring their GPS to rego but got the waypoints from internet, which means they don't get the COMPID waypoint for this comp. That's OK, Nils just tell them to delete the COMPID waypoint in their GPS if they have one from a past competition.)
Nils then adds name and cell-phone and paid status to the row with the id he just used.
Nils got a spreadsheet with 30 rows having id, name, phone, paid status of pilots. He remembers to save it before the battery on his laptop run out.
Nils is so efficient because he uses FS, so he can go flying in the competiton.
Nils is back in front of his laptop (flew far had a slow retrieve), a bunch of pilots is hanging around waiting.
He creates a new folder "20070810" for todays task under the "Hemsedal Open 07" folder.
He opens the Excel workbook with the participants registered earlier and types in the path to the fsdb file he just created.
Then he press Alt-F8 and runs the macro "UpdateFsdbWithParticipants?".
He starts GpsDump, select "Competition mode and pilot list" from "Misc" menu, sets UTC time, 2007-08-10, for filtering tracklogs, and browse to and selects the fsdb file for the comp.
Then he attach an USB to Serial extention cable to his laptop (not having serial port).
Now he is set to download tracklogs.
He may have had an opportunity to do all of this before the task and he could have set up the task then also (see later).
Nils ask the first pilot to plug in his GPS to the serial port (with his own cable) and clicks on the (relevant) download button. Niles may actually have a series of cables that allow for pilots to plug in themselves to the cable and not to the serial or USB port. He can make the pilots do this and also make sure that they have their GPSes turned on and set to the correct screen, of required.
GpsDump tries to find the COMPID waypoint, then shows a dialog for selecting pilot and saving the tracklog.
Since this is the first tracklog to save for this task, Nils sets the correct tracklog folder to "Hemsedal Open 07\20070810".
He then checks that the pilot selected is correct and press OK.
(Some GPS models do not hand over their COMPID waypoint, also some pilots do not have the COMPID waypoint or have one from another comp, in which case Nils must type in the id or select pilot from the list). This is easy to do.
The tracklog is downloaded and saved.
Be sure to turn off all filtering in FsComp and FsFlight so that you can actually see the full tracklog that has been downloaded. You may have to download in another program is GPSDump doesn't work for some reason. Use GPSDump or FsComp to convert the IGC tracklog files created by other programs to the KML format used by FsComp.
Nils is good at multitasking and got two serial cables more so he opens two other instances of GpsDump and does the same...
Good luck with this (multi-tasking). It can speed things up, but it can also get confusing as to which pilot to doing what where. If the COMPID's are in all the GPSes, and the downloading works, then yes it can go well.
Nils now got 25 tracklogs (two pilots did not fly, three flew short and didn't bother handing in the log).
He starts FsComp and opens the fsdb file.
He press Ctrl-2 which brings up the Tasks page. Right-click on the tasks list and select "New task" to create one (details left out for now).
He set the path to the task folder (with all the tracklogs).
Then he right-click and select "Check tracklogs (NYP)".
Then he sorts on status and find the 5 that is missing tracklog, selects the two that did not fly, right-click and set status DNF, selects the other three that did fly and set status DF dist 0.
Then he saves the changes to the fsdb file ("File/Save? Competition") (to be on the safe side in case the PC crash...).
Time to see some results! He select "Reports/Task? Result", in the Status field adds "complaint deadline tomorrow 9am" to the "Provisional" text already there. ...
A couple of pilots find their result strange and ask to have it checked. Nils brings up FsFlight, selects the fsdb file for the comp and they have a look at the logs. He turns off tracklog filtering (under "Tools/Options?") to see the whole log...