Power Flarm

Page created by Peter Kelly, 5/10/2016, updated 5/11/2016

There are a lot of Links on this page, most of which are quite valid and current.  I am publishing this in response to an an email I received from David Kinsell, dated 5/9/16.


Editorial and Invitation.
There is a profound lack of guidance available on how to install and operate FLARM.  A very frustrating situation for pilots who have been used to reading and executing proven procedures, as outlined by manufacturers and retailers, and even the gov’mnt (I can’t believe I actually said that aloud).   So this page is just a helper page, trying to fill the void on FLARM here in the USA.  There are many more things that could be added to this page, and if you want to contribute some info, send me your presentation.  I will create a section on this page for your material and will publish it here on this web page, or at the least place, I’ll publish a link to your own page . Peter Kelly – PK


First, a couple of photos of my ship, that I had published on my old “Flarm Page” here on this server:

A view under the instrument panel of a Power Flarm “Brick” attached to the underside of a sheet of stiff aluminum that I had installed in my ASH26E


A view, with the canopy raised, looking forward, of the inside of the nose cone of my ASH26E, just forward of the ruder pedals illustrating the Velcro glued to the inner walls, and the two FLARM  antennas (antennae), one on each side, attached to the Velcro loops with strips of Velcro hooks, to allow re-positioning, or removal for maintenance.


Some operational experience feedback on this particular installation.

A year of so after making this installation, I was flying at Montague California, racing against National Champion Bill Gawthrop “F8” and a few others.  (FYI, Bill transitioned to the JS-1C in 2014, see photos here).  At Montague, I momentarily was able to get ahead of Bill as we were leaving Duzel Rock.  I observed him heading over to Antelope Peak for a bit more altitude, but, having better local knowledge of the area, I proceeded on course to the NE at my typical snail pace of 75 to 80 knots. After about 10 miles on course to the next racing turnpoint, F8 was out if sight behind, but I was keenly aware he would soon be passing me.  We each had similar Power Flarm units installed in our ships and I was “watching” for him.  Having the Antennae mounted in the nose of my ship, I was initially unable to detect Bill closing on me from behind.  At maybe one or two miles I began to see F8 appear on my “radar” (that’s what I call my powerflarm butterfly display unit).  As F8 passed nearly directly below me and them pulled away, now in my 12 o’clock position, he remained on my display for the next five or eight miles.  I understandably lost interest in watching him after several minutes. The point of this report is to illustrate the obvious – with the antennae located in the nose cone, the fuselage effectively masks any targets that are approaching you from directly behind, at least until they are within a mile or two of you!


My long time friends Jim Herd and Jennifer Ware have created a document that most all readers will find to be very helpful on the subject of PowerFLARM.

It is entitled:


By Jim Herd & Jennifer Ware – April, 2016

Jennifer has uploaded this PDF document and you can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/PFCorewithFlarmView

I gave the file a short name of PFD.pdf and uploaded to the our server here at valleysoaring.net:

If you are using Firefox you should be able to view the PFD.pdf file.
If you are using MS Internet Explorer for your browser, the PFD.pdf file will look the best.
If you are using Google Chrome, the PFD.pdf file will probably automatically download when you click on the link, so look for it in your download folder – at least that’s what happens to me on my computer.


The following was copied on 5/10/16, directly, with no edits. from the Forum; This article was posted on Williams Today in January 2011

Update your PowerFlarm By Hans VanWeersch

Hi All.

Now is a good time to bring your avionics and associated databases up-to-date for the season.
Over the winter, new firmware versions were released for PowerFlarm and the Butterfly Display.
So, here a quick recap of the FirmWare update process. (This is mostly geared towards the PowerFlarm Core)
If you kept your PowerFlarm system up to date (>v3.0) then you can update the PowerFlarm Core, the Butterfly display and the FlarmNet database in one run through the USB memory stick.

1: Download the PowerFlarm Core Firmware, Butterfly Display Firmware and Flarmnet database from the web. See links below.
2: Make sure that the root (top) directory of your memory stick is clean (no.fw, .bfw, .bfn or flarmcfg.txt files, IGC files are OK).
3: Load the 3 downloaded files into the root (top) directory of your memory stick.
PowerFlarm Core FirmWare V3.4file: PF3.40_6658.fw
Butterfly Display FirmWare V3.3file: bfd_3_3_2348.bfw
FlarmNet database: e.g.america_001d45.bfn
4: Make sure your PowerFlarm core is switched off.
5: Insert the USB memory stick into the core.
6: Press down the Butterfly Display knob and keep it pressed down, while powering up the PowerFlarm system.
7: Release the knob when you see the UPDATE screen appear.
This screen should appear within 1-2seconds.
8: Wait for the uploading processes to complete.
The LED on the core will be flashing red and green for a while.
First, the display will be waiting in the update screen until the Core finishes its updating process.
After that, the display firmware update and the FlarmNet Database update are processed.
After all the updates are completed, the system should return to normal operation mode.
Takes about 4 minutes.
You should now see the new BLACK butterfly (instead of red) and the usual 2 green TX and GPS boxes.
9: Your update is complete and you can now switch off your PowerFlarm system.
Remove the USB memory stick, take it back to your computer and delete all above mentioned files from the root directory.
This is to avoid that you re-start the updating process when you use your stick to download IGC files.
I actually keep all of the old releases in an Archive folder on my USB stick.
10: If you wish to verify, power up your PowerFlarm system.
During boot-up, the top 2 lines of the Butterfly Display read the Display FirmWare version and the FlarmNet Database version.
Press the Display button once during the boot-up process.
After the boot completes, the display will then show the PowerFlarm FirmWare version (and some other core parameters)

PowerFlarm webpage for updates
You can also find the links to the release notes here.
Note that the descriptions on the webpages are sometimes not in line with the factual file that you will download.
e.g. the Butterfly Display FW V3.3description is still referring to V3.22.
Check the actual file names.

You can also go to the relevant downloads directly from below links.

PowerFlarm Core
Firmware version: 3.40
Release: 6658
Date: November 15, 2013

Butterfly Display
Firmware version: 3.3
Release: 2348

FlarmNet Database
Database: America
release: 001d45(note: this release number increases regularly as more people register)
Date: March 31, 2014

If you want to be visible in the Flarm community with your contest ID, you need to register with FlarmNet.
Only takes a minute or 2.
First get your transponder ICAO HEX code.You can find it in the FAA database under your N number registration.
In the right column under “Mode SCode (base 16 / hex)”
Then go to the FlarmNet registration webpage.
Fill in the Mode S transponder code under the first box “Flarm Radio ID”.

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.





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