By analyzing data from the built-in flight recorder (IGC files), the FLARM Range Analyzer can tell you the quality of your FLARM antenna installation, based on received data.
The Range Analyzer has two modes: CARP is a new feature in PowerFLARM-based devices that continuously integrates the average range over time (many flights). The classic range analyzer uses only range data from the uploaded flights. The two different modes are described below.
FLARM devices store some randomly chosen relative positions received from other aircraft in an IGC file. This data is then analyzed to determine the reception range. As the range depends equally on your and the other aircraft’s radio performance, which is unknown, a large number of data points must be collected. The inherent limitation of this analysis is that it can only examine and show successful receptions. Therefore it can indicate areas of confirmed performance, but can only hint at areas with no reception, as there will be little or no data from there. Based on this approach, the transmission range cannot be assessed, but reception range is a reasonable proxy for transmission range, with some exceptions. (Note that some ground-based tools for assessing the transmission range exist e.g. from Ktrax; these however only give indicative information due to a lack of calibration and also require extensive flight time.)
How can I improve the transmission range?
- Check the Installation Manual to see if all requirements and recommendations have been followed
- Read the Application Note on FLARM Antenna Installations
- If you have an internal antenna, relocate the FLARM antenna to another position, as far away as possible from any metal or carbon
- If you have an internal antenna, install an external FLARM antenna (AV-75)
Should I try to improve the “maximum distance”?
Distances beyond 12 km in one direction and much worse distances in other directions is normally a sign that the performance is not evenly distributed in all directions. Therefore, a large “maximum distance” could be bad for overall performance.
Do NOT use directional antennas. Directional antennas will make the range much worse in most directions.
This tool performs a statistical analysis of past data, based on data supplied by the user. The result of this analysis may differ significantly from actual, individual performance.