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Old Oct 04, 2012, 06:33 PM
Registered User
United States, MA
Joined Jan 2011
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Options for automatically clearing Ice logs?

I know the topic of automatically clearing logs is not new. And I haven't run into it yet (just got my Ice), but I know people have gone to check a log after a mystery crash, and realized that the logs were full, and the crash flight was not actually recorded. It's not Castle's job to save us from ourselves, but if it could be managed more automatically, that would be nice. We're much more likely to be suddenly interested in the log from our latest flight, vs old ones.

Two options for clearing logs had crossed my mind. Please bear in mind I'm certainly no programmer. So these may be dumb, but it seemed worth asking.

A) It would be slick if the ESC could simply clear the oldest log session when it needed space. I realize the ESC does not have a clock, so it don't have a time/date stamp for each. But perhaps it could use a small portion of memory to keep an incremented "serial number" for logs. Each new log session would get the current serial number, and each time a number was assigned, the ESC's stored serial number would be incremented by one. This stored number would survive when the logs are cleared. At least this way the ESC could identify the oldest session.

I understand that clearing just one session can be difficult, however, from a programming perspective. And even clearing one session doesn't necessarily guarantee enough room for the new session. So maybe this is impractical.

B) What if you could configure a log-clearing threshold in the Castle Link software? And, on bootup, once the free space dropped below this, the ESC would completely wipe the logs?

For instance, my flights are typically about 4 minutes. I'm sure I couldn't fly longer than 8 minutes even if I was willing to destroy the battery. So I could configure the software to set a 10-minutes-of-log threshold, and know that I'd always have enough room to record a full flight without running out of room in the middle of a log (eg- I could start with 11 minutes of log remaining, and after a full flight, I'd land with 7 minutes of log space left, but I know it would have the capacity to record the whole flight).

The ESC knows the sampling rate and the items I'm sampling, and how long (in minutes) it can store, total. On bootup, it could check the remaining log capacity (for discussion, we'll measure it in minutes, rather than bytes). If that was less than the 10 minutes I'd set, it would fully clear the logs before/during actually initializing the ESC and allowing me to spin up the motor (this way it's not trying to clear the log while recording a new one, manage the governor, etc).

One risk, of course, would be starting a flight with 11 minutes remaining. Then crashing 3 minutes in. The next time I let the ESC initialize with 0 throttle (potentially before I download the logs), it sees less than 10 minutes of space, automatically clears them all, and I lose the log I really needed. Clearing could at least be triggered by the ESC trying to initialize, vs simply powering up. (I'm biased by using Auto Bailout, so mine doesn't actually initialize after powering up, only once I turn off Throttle Hold, and lower the stick in Normal)

This wouldn't be perfect, and maybe sometimes I'd have to wait a few seconds for it to clear the logs before it would spool up, but at least I'd never find that the logs had stopped recording and all I had was old data. If it could just delete the oldest log (using the serial number approach in approach A) that would be even nicer, of course. Then you'd never lose the most-recent log, even if you crossed the cutoff threshold during the crash flight, then powered up again.

Is there any chance of something like this (or a more-clever approach) happening? Thanks.
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Old Oct 04, 2012, 07:17 PM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
18,060 Posts
The new problem is that you can’t clear the log if you are using multi-rotor or when the using external governor mode.

For a multi-rotor you would have to unplug all the ESC’s and clear each manually using the Castle Link. It’s just not practical and will never happen. External governors are the same way but you only have one ESC. Anyone that used an external governor is just not going to have any log data if they have a problem.

I have heard that CC is working on the problem. I first requested a way to always have the latest data recorded when the ICE series was first introduced but I have not seen anything from CC.

Now that they have the external governor firmware working they need to move solving the data log problem to the top of the list.


?
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Old Oct 07, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Chicago 'burbs
Joined May 2006
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I'd say it is really hard to have an automated way to clear logs, that would satisfy everyone. So I would argue, that it would be better to have two options.

1) keep the current logging setup for those of us that want the capability to record and keep actual sessions. I have used this to track changes I make to my setup to understand if I made things better or worse, I certainly wouldn't want to record over the data from such a session.

2) however, after I set things up, I have no interest in specific test runs, but now would simply like the data recorder running open loop to catch those "oops" event. So let's have a different option to not have sessions, but simply start the recorder over everything the battery is plugged in. For most of us, a single flight wouldn't exhaust the recorder memory. If something happened, you would have the last run to look at. However if you plug in the battery again, you would lose this info.

Maybe there are other ways to do this and I can imagine that others would want different options. However the more complicated the requests are, the more difficult it would be to implement (IMHO!)
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Old Oct 07, 2012, 12:52 PM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
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Maybe they could partition the memory so that the last 30 seconds is stored separately and would always be available for crash investigation. Something like a crash recorder on a real aircraft.


If hey made that partition non-compressed it would be very easy to implement.



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Old Oct 08, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
Maybe they could partition the memory so that the last 30 seconds is stored separately and would always be available for crash investigation. Something like a crash recorder on a real aircraft.


If hey made that partition non-compressed it would be very easy to implement.

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I agree, if the data was uncompressed, making a circular buffer would be easy, since you now know the event size for each time tick.

However a buffer of the last 30 seconds may not be enough. If the heli crashes, how long does it take to get out there and pull the battery off. I know I typically stand there slack-jawed in numb disbelief for 10 or 15 s

Thats why suggested just having an option in the PC software to allow battery resets to zero the log. I am sure this isn't foolproof either. But it certainly lasts long enough to capture the crash, and the time to get out to the bird to pull the plug.
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Old Oct 08, 2012, 11:29 PM
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USA, GA, Statesboro
Joined Oct 2007
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Guys be patient....we are working on something. Thanks...
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Old Oct 09, 2012, 05:59 AM
A man with too many toys
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Originally Posted by Clintstone View Post
Guys be patient....we are working on something. Thanks...
Any estimate on when the next firmware update will come out is it getting close or is it way off in the future?




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Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:28 AM
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No estimate at this time... I will ask engineering again...
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