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Qastor

Release Notes

22 February 2021

We're pleased to present Qastor version 3.1.0. This release contains a lot of new features which will complement the product even further. Read below for details.


Important notice

In order to use Qastor 3 an upgrade to your Qastor 2.5 license is needed. All users will need to get in contact with Sales on how to obtain a new license.

Please contact Sales at sales@qps.nl or your Local Reseller.


Getting Started

Go to the getting started page here.

Highlights


Record and Replay


Recording and replay can be initiated in the Settings - Recording section,

Following recording options are available:

  1. Start/stop a recording manually: This can be started and stopped from the Recording menu and stopped only in the display at the bottom right corner
  2. Always record: Qastor will automatically start recording at every program startup, this can only be stopped from the Recording menu, the display will show recording is active but has no button to stop the recording.

Press Select in the recordings list to start a replay session.


Qastor 2.5

  • The data content of a Qastor 3 recording is compatible to Qastor 2.5.
    The settings content is not compatible from 3 to 2.5 and needs to be set manually when replaying in 2.5.
    3.0 recordings can be replayed in Qastor 2.5 but require manual entry of the settings. Qastor 2.5 is able to replay a Qastor 3 recording, all new Qastor 3 data fields will be ignored.
  • Datalyzer is able to read a Qastor 3 recording; new Qastor 3 parameters are shown in their raw format but are not interpreted by Datalyzer.


iPhone & iPad

  • Recording will be paused while Qastor is in idle state or when the device is locked.
  • Make sure to make a backup of your recordings prior to removal of Qastor from your iOS device. The iOS uninstall will remove all Qastor related content.

This will be addressed in upcoming releases.

NTRIP client functionality


This Qastor version is able to receive RTK corrections and relay this data to a positioning device.

For XR2 usage this means the Qastor PC becomes the primary RTK corrections provider and the XR2 internal modem the secondary.

RTK stations which are using a mount table (Like 06GPS and FlePos) and without this (like the Pilot's own stations) are both supported.

The NTRIP status and alarms have been added to the Qastor notification center.


Toggle to a predefined view area and back


The user may define a predefined view area, like a lock or mooring approach, and toggle to that area and back to the own vessel whilst navigating.

Workflow:

  1. Activate the radial menu and select the 'Set predefined view area' option
    A dialog with instructions will pop up
  2. Pan, zoom, rotate to the desired view area
  3. Press the 'Set view area' button in the dialog
    A swap area button will appear underneath the orientation button
  4. Press the swap area button to toggle between the own vessel and the defined area

The swap area has a built-in countdown of 20 seconds to automate the swap back. The button may also be locked to prevent the automatic swap back.

The predefined area can be removed by means of the radial menu.

Preserve the predefined area

Go to Settings - Chart Preferences - Remember Predefined Area to indicate whether the area should be reused when restarting Qastor.



Toggle between Connect Servers


Multiple Connect Servers may be configured in the application. It is now possible to swap between the configured servers.
Note that only one server is active at a given time.

Default Server

The Default Server option is always available and can not be removed. This Sever is hosted at QPS and contains free content, like charts.
An example is that when working in the USA, one may want to use this server to download NOAA charts.
If you have free content available, feel free to share this, so we can upload it to the server.

To configure a Connect Server link go to: Settings - Connect - Connect Server and select Other...
Enter the server credentials. Warning indicators will appear when no connection to the server can be made and a faulty password has been entered.

Once a server has been selected, close the settings.
It is well possible that the charts and routes are not up to date. In that case notifications with a resolve option will appear to synchronize the information.
This may take some time when first accessing the server. Later switches will be quicker as Qastor keeps all the data locally stored.

You may remove a server instance by pressing and sliding the selection to the left.
A trash bucket will then appear which will activate the removal of the server connection and the local content when pressed upon.

Changing to another Connect Server during a journey

The selected route will remain active when switching between servers.

Notifications with resolve option


A notification pop-up message may now contain a Resolve button in which a resolution for the problem is provided.

Out of date notification

Notifications with this capability are when charts, routes or docking files are out of date. The Resolve button will redirect you to the appropriate synchronization section.

AIS change notification

Indication of changes between the received AIS data and the applied settings has been extended to two different colors in the vessel marker of the vessel:

  • Red when the AIS update differs from the previous AIS update
  • Amber when the AIS content differs from the own vessel settings

Other Notifications


A Position mode indication is displayed in a notification window together with a corresponding color of the sensor indicator in the top bar/side panel.

The different modes relate to the report status in the GGA message of the sensor:

GGA Pos. modeNotificationTop Bar
UndeterminedErrorRedRed *
GPS FixGPSBluePurple

DGPS Fix

DGPSBlueGrey
PPS FixPPSBlueGreen
RTKRTK FixedBlueGreen
Float RTKRTK FloatRedAmber
Estimated (DR)EstimatedRedGreen
Manual InputManualRedGreen
Simulated Pos.SimulatedRedGreen

 * Top bar collapsed

Baseline

A new base line alarm has been added to detect larger fluctuations in the base line between the position- and heading pod of a multi-pod system.

The indication is based on the rate of change between actual base line value compared to the previous value.

Default threshold parameters are:

  • Within a time window of 20 seconds
  • Absolute length difference of more than 0.04 meter
  • 3 measurements outside the threshold value

If a length difference larger than 0.04 meters occurs 3 times within a time frame of 20 seconds, a warning is shown in the notification window.
If this happens more than 3 times in the 20 second time window, an error will appear.


These default settings can be altered in the Base line alarm settings.

Number of Satellites

The notification bar will show satellite count and will change to error when the number is lower that the user defined count.

Save and recall vessel setting files


Vessel properties can now be saved and recalled in separate vessel dimension files. 

The Defaults menu now has three options:

  1. Load vessel properties: Make a selection of stored vessels.
  2. Save vessel properties: Save the vessel dimensions to a file. 
  3. Startup with: Qastor will always startup with an existing vessel setup file.


File locations

Windows: C:\Users\your username\Documents\Qastor\My Vessels

iOS: On My iPhone\Qastor\My Vessels


Edit tools


Great circle option

The created leg of a route can now be displayed using a great circle or rhumb line using a selection option in the type of route.

Approach points distance to vessel connection points

The distance to an approach point can now be measured from 3 different positions of the vessel:

  1. Anchor position: From bow or stern, whichever is the closest
  2. Swinging position: Measured from the center of the vessel
  3. Manifold position: Port- or starboard side and an offset from the bow can be given in the vessel dimensions menu

Generate/edit locks

It was already possible in previous versions to edit existing locks, now locks can also be created within Qastor 3.

Ability to enter coordinates

 

Language verification by marine professionals


The language selection list indicates which languages have been verified by a marine professional. Both Spanish and Portuguese were verified for this version.

Hiding the Top Bar and other screen features


It is now possible to select whether or not a screen feature is visible or should be fading away.
Go to Settings - User Interface - Visibility Panels to enter your preferences.

The features will be visualized upon zoom in or out.

Hiding the Top Bar

Double click the top row of the Top Bar to hide the Top Bar.
The Top Bar will reappear after zoom in or out.


Adapt application scaling for Windows devices


An extra scaling setting has been added specifically for Lenovo X1 laptops.

This way it is possible to change the scaling of only the Qastor application without affecting overall scaling of all other applications.

Be aware to restart the Qastor for the scaling change to take effect. This is a one time operation, once set it will be remembered at every restart.

Setting the scaling to 150% on a Lenovo X1 laptop provides almost identical DPI (Dots Per Inch) values as the MS Surface Pro and Panasonic Toughbook used by other NL pilot regions.



Upcoming Release


Annotation areas

AD-XR2 advanced alarm handling

Enhanced docking panel