Debug and Reporter Tools
Kinetic have supplied a very useful debugging tool to the BaseStation software. This is normally turned off but the icon can be activated by selecting Settings> Toolbars and enabling the Debug option. When you do this the extra icon will appear on your top icon bar.
When you click on the Debug icon the radar screen will disappear and will be replaced by a screen showing all the System Events since starting the BaseStation software..
The debug screen is ideal for showing problems with the system. If you hit an error you can scroll down this list to see if the error has been recorded - which is very useful when posting your problem on the Kinetic forums.
Debug is also very useful for tracking down any rogue waypoint or Outline files. As mentioned earlier in the Adding Waypoints and Outline Data Files section I said "You may also notice that upon failure further waypoint/outline loading is halted and the screen may be missing many points or lines" So, a bad file isn't a good thing to have on your system and Debug is the tool to track it down.
In the screenshot above you will see that 10 waypoint files have been loaded and that debug reports 1816 waypoints loaded in 10 categories. If a corrupt file exists then the debug screen will show the following:
The parsing error line shows that the waypoint file on the previous line failed to load properly - in this case the UK04_NDBs.wpt file. Now, the error I induced in this file didn't prevent the remaining waypoint files from loading but this is not usually the case. If you regularly add new waypoint or outline files - either imported or designed by yourself - then Debug is a very useful way of checking that they are working properly.
As mentioned earlier the BaseStation Reporter program has been provided as a database viewer that allows users to look at their aircraft and flight records in the SQB database. Individual aircraft records are listed under the Aircraft tab whilst flight records are listed under the sessions tab.
I restart BaseStation every 24 hours so my session records break up into daily listings but for users who keep running BaseStation permanently there will be fewer sessions listed but each containing a lot of flight data.
Reporter Aircraft window
Reporter - Session window
With Reporter you can:
To edit a record you can either double click an aircraft record to bring up the Edit window below or you can directly edit each cell. For the latter you must turn on "Allow Direct Aircraft Editing" in the Settings menu.
If you double click a record the the editing window appears. This has the same data fields as the Aircraft Edit window in BaseStation but this has a different layout. This can be confusing. The Reporter edit window also contains two Country fields not found in the BaseStation editor. ModeSCountry is greyed out because that data is taken from the Countries.dat file. The Country field is spare as no data gets written to it - neither can it be viewed in BaseStation or Reporter.
BaseStation Edit window (labelled Add/Edit Aircraft Notes)
Reporter Edit window (labelled Dialog)
For Aircraft records, their fields and content a full description is given in the section below on SBS Data.
Highlighting a specific aircraft record will result in known flights by that aircraft (specifically the Mode S code) being listed in the panel below.
With the Sessions tab each session is listed giving the location that had been set, the start date and the end date. If users have swapped locations during any session the location saved is that in place when BaseStation is closed down - no earlier locations will be remembered. Also note, as mentioned elsewhere, that if a location is deleted from Location Manager any sessions saved with that location will also be deleted.
Selecting any session from the top panel will result in the flights recorded during that session to appear in the lower panel.
Flight records list 32 parameters for each flight. These are:
Most of the important Flight fields are present in BaseStation. As the flight parameters are constantly changing in the course of the flight the SQB database only captures the first and last values (from the time the aircraft was first detected until it was lost from cover). This first/last data may not be useful in general but sometimes it is handy to have when, for example, checking the point or height at which an aircraft dropped out of cover.
of the fields are obvious but some may need explanation.
Flight records cannot be edited.
Each Flight record also contains a number of field values that are not available for viewing in any application. Just for completeness these fields are:
Compressing the database
It is worth packing the database from time to time. This can reduce the size of the SQB file significantly - useful if you are short of hard drive space. It may provide a slight performance improvement but not markedly so. You must ensure BaseStation is not running before starting the packing process - Reporter will warn you about this before you can proceed.
Database Aircraft Fields
There are far more Aircraft database fields visible in Reporter than are available in BaseStation. BaseStation has several data windows in addition to the Aircraft Listing and each contain varying data field content.
The full database field listing is given below together with the fields that are available in the different software options/windows. For this tutorial I will limit these to the commonly used windows:
1. Aircraft Details - this list shows the default values. As this window can be changed by xml coding many fields can be changed and new fields included. The Country field is not taken from the database but is read directly from the Countries.dat file.
2. Aircraft List - This can also be radically altered to include or remove fields. As this list contains a mixture of data from the Aircraft record and current Flight details only the former are listed here. Although the Aircraft List can display Country this value is read from the Countries.dat file and not from the SQB database.
Red denote fields that are not available for viewing but does not indicate they are empty.
There are many fields above that exist in the SQB but are not viewable in either Reporter or BaseStation.