Setting up FLARM Quick Guide

With a lot of people buying/selling gliders and equipment for summer, it’s good to check your FLARM is up to date, and configured correctly. While a bit complicated to set up initially, it only needs to be done once.

All FLARM units have to be updated annually. For devices with an SD card, downloading the correct update, put it on the SD card, insert back into the device and turn it on and wait. The update should happen automatically over a few minutes. PowerFLARM and FLARM have different update files, so make sure you have the right one for your device.

or see your device’s manufacturer website for instructions and updates e.g. LX Nav. 

And update your glider’s logbook or DI book as required.

FLARM devices broadcast a 6 digit hexadecimal number e.g. 75BD3F. This is configured on the CONFIG.TXT file on the SD card. This should be changed to match your ADSB hex code as designated in the CAA database:

If they match, tracking systems and other aircraft will know both FLARM and ADSB devices are the same aircraft, and you won’t show up as two separate aircraft. If you have ADSB-IN on your FLARM, you also won’t be alerted that you’re about to collide with yourself!

Once your FLARM is up to date and configured correctly, there are 2 databases that need to be configured to match your FLARM hex code to your aircraft registration.

  1. Open Glider Network (OGN). For tracking sites like the GNZ tracker & PureTrack.
  2. Flarmnet. For devices like Oudie & LX9000.

These both need to be updated anytime you change your hex code in your FLARM, or move it to another aircraft. Both PureTrack and the GNZ tracking site will import from the OGN database regularly.

Oudie N and SeeYou Navigator

These both now broadcast as an FLARM target and broadcast their own random hex code if you have the OGN layer turned on. 

You can see hex code your broadcast as under Menu -> Settings -> Other -> About  -> OGN address. 

This can be added to the GNZ tracking aircraft database separately from your main FLARM ID:

which will stop them showing up as a separate random aircraft on the GNZ tracking site.

Unknown Aircraft

Wondering what the weird aircraft on the GNZ tracker are with the * in front of their 2 letters?  They are the last 2 digits of a hex code that is not yet linked to an aircraft. Click on it to see what the full 6 digits are. There are several reasons these can show up:

  1. You have not yet configured your FLARM correctly in the OGN database.
  2. You have SeeYou Navigator or an Oudie N that hasn’t been configured in the GNZ aircraft database.
  3. You have competition mode on your FLARM, and it changes hex code every few minutes! Turn this off we recommend for tracking purposes. See the pic below for an example of the mess it makes.
  4. It’s some other random spurious data from the OGN network that isn’t actually an aircraft.

FLARM Antennas & Installation

If you have poor FLARM performance, do check your antenna installation. This PDF guide explains all:

And talk to your glider engineer to make any changes at your next annuals if it’s not correct.

Happy Flying!

© Copyright Gliding New Zealand 2008. All Rights Reserved