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Obtaining a flight data recording file

Ruby can record of flight and system data with high detail and time resolution to a file on a micro SD Flash chip. This file can be invaluable to you and uThere support staff when troubleshooting.

A new flight data recording will be made every time Ruby is powered up if:

  • an Expander is attached
  • a SD Flash chip is inserted in the Expander
  • a folder named 'ruby' containing a file ending in ".utms" is present on the flash chip.

The ".utms" file tells Ruby what metrics to record, and at what rate. They'll typically have names like "data_recording_settings_standard.utms". You should only have one .utms file in the ruby folder. Here is a link to download the standard one, in case you accidentally deleted it: [Click here to download].

We recommend always having a SD Flash chip inserted to record flight data whenever you fly so that you can have useful diagnostic information if you, your plane, Ruby, or other hardware does something unexpected. This is the equivalent of the "black box flight recorder" found in airliners. Data is typically recorded at about 5K per second, so a 2 gigabyte SD Flash can hold over 100 hours of recorded data.

Here's the step-by-step for retrieving flight data from the chip:

  • Remove the Micro SD Flash chip from the Ruby Expander
  • Insert the chip into the PC adapter and plug into your PC.
  • A dialog should appear asking you what you want to do with the inserted media. Select "Open folder to view files".
  • If the dialog does not appear, you should see it listed as "removeable media" or "Secure Digital Storage Device" alongside your hard drive when you select "Computer" under the start menu.
  • Open the folder named 'ruby' on the chip.
  • Along with various other files, you should see one or more with names beginning with "data_".
  • The files will only have valid "date modified" if the GPS was able to acquire a satellite while the file was being recorded. (Ruby has no built-in perpetual clock, but obtains universal time from GPS information.). The files will always be numbered sequentially however, so unless you remove some in the middle of the sequence, the one with the largest number will be the most recently recorded.
  • This file can be dragged into your PC and sent to us as an attachment.
  • We plan to provide software that will allow you to personally review the information contained in these files.

If Ruby does not record data files, or the files are truncated:

One of the following should correct the problem. Try in the following order:


.utms file in the correct location:

Make sure that there is a directory named "ruby" at the top level of your SD Flash chip, and that there's a file ending in ".utms" inside that directory.


Check connection between Ruby Expander and Controller:

Be sure that the 60 pin connector on the bottom of the Ruby Expander is fully inserted into the connector on the Ruby Controller. Look at the connector from the side to be sure that one is inserted as far as it can go into the other. Be sure it's not prone to separation during flight or handling. Perhaps wrap the two together with tape, since you'll probably never need to separate them.


Reformatting the chip:

If there's no physical problem and the utms file is in the correct location, try reformatting the chip.

Insert the chip into the adapter for your PC. Be sure that the "write protect" tab on that adapter is not set to "lock". Select "Computer" from your Windows "Start menu", right-click on the icon for the SD flash chip ("Secure Digital Storage Device"), select "Format...". A "quick format" should suffice. Select "FAT", or "FAT32" filesystem. Allocation is not critical, you can leave it at the default 32K


After formatting, create a new directory named "ruby" on the chip and place a copy of the ".utms" file in it. [Click here to download]


Replacing the chip

'If you're still having difficulties, it's possible that the chip has "gone bad". Fortunately, they're cheap and commonly available at retail stores. Just about any "Micro SD Flash" chip should work. Get the smallest / cheapest, since even 1gb is enough to hold several seasons of flight data.

Create a new directory named "ruby" on the chip and place a copy of the ".utms" file in it. [Click here to download]



If data.utd files are still being truncated after after you'vedone the above, consider the following possible causes and solutions:


Noisy 5 volt power supply

  • Use Castle CC BEC

  •  If the supply can be adjusted, set voltage to 5.4 volts instead of 5.0 volts
    (Castle CC bec can be adjusted using the CastleLink USB cable and software)

  • consider possible sources of noise on the 5 volt bus such as unusual auxiliary electronics that switch power


Counterfeit or "off-brand" SDFlash chip

We recommend genuine SanDisk flash chips from a reputable dealer. Note that there are counterfeits in circulation.

High power transmitter on board

  • Locate transmitter antenna farther from Ruby
  • Wrap transmitter power leads around choke toroid.



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