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Thread: New firmware for ModeS Beast - 1.40

  1. #1
    Team FR24 Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    New firmware for ModeS Beast - 1.40

    There has been an update to the firmware of the ModeS Beast. We recommend all feeders with the Beast to install this new firmware.

    This version introduces a totally new design of the frame synchronisation, which now uses all available information from the preamble without any compromises. It was tested over several weeks by some beta testers with great success, who all saw a further increase of frame rate by about 10% and also some increase in range. When testing by myself, I now can see up to 1500 Mode-S frames per second in the evening hours with only the omni antenna and I am getting a stable 225nm range displayed. The sensitivity increase not at least allows me seeing the ground traffic at Munich airport, which did not appear in the versions before and whatfor I needed the yagi antenna. Also, I found a way how to better filter false non-CRC checkable frames, which are drastically reduced and keep load away from the interface and post processing SW. My number is that around 75% of the frames now are good frames.

    While testing, I found a nice performance value: When the channel is not heavily loaded, below about 60 aircraft beeing tracked, the number of frames per second is 10 times the number of aircraft. Or, in other words, each aircraft transmits 10 frames per second. This may be different in other parts of the world, as for example we've learned just recently that in some areas DF-20 and DF-21 are not in use.

    FW V1.40 adds following new features and corrections:

    New design of the frame synchronisation: Leads to a better detection of frames while having local reflections, and also a better detection of weak and noisy frames. Not at least the timestamp by this has an accuracy of 1 sample clock or 62ns.
    Removal of double output DF-17 frames while having forward error correction (FEC) enabled
    FEC of .DF-11 frames is working again.
    Improved signal level measurement: Signal level now is measured using all 128 ADC samples that are part of the preamble. It is the normalized level difference between all samples that should be zero and those which should be one. The value range has not changed, just the accuracy is better.
    Drastic decrease of corrupt frames that cannot be checked by a CRC.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2011
    T-NZCH1, PP:PH New Zealand
    To add to this - Gunter is working on a temporary fix for this update when he has time. Some people with the unit are finding it providing 'ghost' planes after upgrading.

    Single DF8 flight reports with false HEX codes. Planeplotter appears to log these but skip sharing, but the data is still output on 30003 to the upload software (but ignored as no speed/alt/position)

    I have seen this myself, firstly on 1.32a very occasionally, and more so on 1.40. Often during quiet times (1-4am). Where others have experienced 1 an hour during high load periods.

    It only really affects people who log to database or take notice of new contacts.
    Last edited by Oblivian; 2012-03-15 at 09:25.

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