Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

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bones
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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » June 6th, 2014, 6:55 pm

Yes..:)

For a full list see Guernsey Register

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Roadrunner » June 14th, 2014, 12:16 pm

I have justed noticed that the latest 2 new VLG A320's registered EC-MBS c/n 6123 and EC-MBT c/n 6128, with hex codes of 3444DA and 344501 have both been added as belonging to Spain Mil. I am not sure wether this is down to Active Display Prof. or the table in countries.dat.

I have manually changed them to Spain but would be interested to know how/why this happened in the first place. Hase spain run out of its civil allocation and started spilling into the military ones?

Regards Mike
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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Tristar500 » September 6th, 2014, 8:59 pm

Can anyone confirm that updating the Countries.dat file (CDF) is superfluous if one is running Active Display to populate new records as they are received ?
I ask this question as, yesterday, I received a Guernsey registered aircraft (2-HIGH) which, despite having a suitable entry in the CDF and a bitmap in the bmp folder, populated as 'United Kingdom' with a UK flag. Further investigation of the SQB file shows none of the specific ModeSCountry names that I would have expected to have seen on recently received aircraft i.e. Australia Mil_10 (SQB entry shows as 'Australia Mil' only) using the most recent CDF.
From tests I have run today it would seem that Active Display, if running, populates the ModeSCountry field using 'its own data' rather than the data contained in the CDF.
In November last year SabreJV, in the following post (and Gary in his subsequent reply) implied that this was the case:.

"No doubt Gary can confirm but perhaps the problem here was that the lookup from the GAS database populated the modescountry field in the SQB with the text Ivory Coast so a mismatch was then created against the Bmpflag file name of Cote d'Ivoire. I do not think the Countries.Dat file is used by AD."

Having looked through this thread & on Bones tutorials there is no clear information or warning that running Active Display negates or overrides the updated & enhanced Countries.dat file.

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby SabreJV » September 7th, 2014, 7:01 am

Active Display has its own logic for displaying country flag and military roundels that is separate from Basestation, it does not use the CDF.

I'm not 100% sure but I think that it depends on reading a combination of the modescountry name in the sqb database and the marks held in the registration field plus some additional logic using a file named GASCountries.dat. This file is different in content and structure from the CDF. I'm not sure but I think by editing the modescountry field in the sqb then AD should display the correct flag image, provided a bitmap matching that modescountryname also exists.

Basestation flags displayed (not the operator flags) in the aircraft list do not use the sqb but read the CDF and mode-s code when they are received. The Basestation displayed flag is independant of the AD displayed flag and the two can therefore occasionally not match.

Finally I apologise, I've just not had the time to review and update the CDF.

regards
Sabrejv

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Tristar500 » September 7th, 2014, 6:48 pm

SabreJV

Many thanks for your response and no apologies are necessary for the lack of updates to the CDF, in fact the point I am making is (I think !) that all of the excellent work you, Bones & others put into this enhancement is rendered pointless if running Autopopulate in Active Dispaly.
From what I understand the ModeSCountry field, on creation of a new record, should be populated by the data in the CDF subject to it containing the appropriate code for either a country range or specific aircraft, however if Autopopulate is running it appears that this field is populated (or overwritten) by the limited & more basic data contained in the AD database instead.
The test I ran yesterday involved simply changing a country name in the CDF then running Basesation alone for a period & then for a period with Autopopulate running. The results, when viewed in Reporter & Active Display showed that the ModeSCountry field for was populated with data from the CDF upto the point where Autopopulate was enabled and thereafter the entry changed to one, presumably, from the AD database.
Although the AD documentation states in the 'flags' section that "AD has been built with the extended Countries.dat file in mind" there is no mention in the populate function that the ModeSCountry field is (re)populated.
Whilst in many cases users will not notice anything amiss as AD can usually differentiate between Civil & Mil' aircraft there will be instances where the enhanced data in the CDF will be overwritten, as is the case for Guernsey registered aircraft (all 3 Guernsey aircraft entries I have listed were shown as 'United Kingdom')
I have always replaced my CDF when a new version becomes available however it now seems that this is pointless if I run AD autopopulate as well. Perhaps the enhanced Master CDF should have a warning posted to the effect that some data contained within may be ignored if Active Display Autopopulate is enabled.

Regards,

Ian

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » September 8th, 2014, 12:29 am

I have made AD display Guernsey aircraft with the Guernsey flag but I rarely see these aircraft and I cannot remember if Basestation already showed the correct flag. It would need one of our CI users with AD to confirm if Basestation and AD show differing country flags.

It is too late (1am right now) to talk about AD fixes but I shall post later today. Editing AD is not easy and there are processes involved I do not fully understand yet.

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » September 8th, 2014, 4:30 pm

Despite AD taking over the functions of the CDF I would still suggest you keep it current, primarily as an essential fall back process should AD ever pack in on us.

The AD GASCountries.dat data is more basic than that in our Basestation Countries.dat file. It is mostly a direct transcription of the ICAO listing and only contains a few separations of military bands or dominions. Whereas our CDF determines the country or military status from the CDF alone, AD uses it's CDF to determine the host country but then requires a populated registration to specify a military or dominion aircraft.

For example, if you pick up a new code in the 485xxx band AD will tell you it is a Netherlands aircraft. It will not identify the aircraft is from Netherlands or Aruba because the CDF does not contain that information. Only when a P4-xxx registration is input will the country change to Aruba. So, somewhere in AD is a reg prefix to country lookup and I have not found where this is to see if it can be edited. If this were possible it would be a simple matter to add 2- to show as Guernsey and ZJ- to show as Jersey.

There is one example to show you how AD works. If you pick up an unknown 424xxx code the country will change to "Bermuda/Cayman Islands". That description is taken direct from its CDF. When the VP-Bxx or VP-Cxx registration is subsequently added the country will, on refresh, change to "Bermuda" or "Cayman Islands".

Likewise the AD CDF separates out Manx aircraft but only in the range 43E700 to 43E9FF. If you pick up any aircraft in the rest of the alloocated range from 43EA00 to 43EAFD they will appear as "United Kingdom". I have edited the hex ranges in AD to correct this under Settings.. Options.. Code Ranges.

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Tristar500 » September 8th, 2014, 10:03 pm

Bones/SabreJV,

Many thanks for your views on this, I suppose it's just something Active Display users will have to live with pending any further development that may take place. It just seems a shame that all of the hard work (which is much appreciated by the way !) that goes into the enhanced Master CDF is not realised in this case. I will however continue to update my CDF as & when new versions become available.

Ian

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Roadrunner » March 25th, 2015, 5:55 pm

As Bones site still seems unobtainable, can anyone confirm if I have the latest countries.dat file (mine is dated 15.1.2014) as I am getting Isle of Man registrations being recorded as UK, along with the Guernsey ones as well. The correct flags are in my files but I am having to update each one as it first appears manually.

Any help appreciated

Regards, Mike
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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » March 26th, 2015, 7:24 am

Hi Mike,

That is the CDF I am using too. Manx and Guernsey aircraft have displayed correctly here (both Mode S Country and flags) from the time we first started adding that data to the CDF so I am puzzled why it isn't working for you.

Did you install the CDF yourself or use AD/ADLite to update it?

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Roadrunner » March 26th, 2015, 2:55 pm

Hi Bones,

I have the CDF in the right place and the date I quoted and Yes I do use active display to update new entries, although If I have any "left over" at the end of each day, and after AD is closed down I run PlaneBase and usually pick up a few more.

It was only yesterday when I was actually trying to get info on 2 possible Guernsey hexes that I realised I also had 15-20 Manx ones showing as UK still.

Regards Mike
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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » March 26th, 2015, 7:37 pm

You do much the same as I do then. :)

Have you tried the repop button in AD for those incorrect entries?

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Roadrunner » March 27th, 2015, 9:38 am

No I hadnt done that. I tend to just get on and manually change any that I see. It was just that I hadnt "seen" the 15 or so Manx/Guernsey ones that were in my sqb file!

Need to pay more attention!

Is there any news on when your site will be back up and running?

Regards Mike
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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby bones » March 27th, 2015, 1:34 pm

The original site won't be back as that ISP is winding down. I hope to hear within a week if the new ISP will provide a similar service. If not I will have to bite the bullet and pay for web hosting.

Summaries of the registers are on a temp page at http://bones0747.wix.com/manx-register. This is up to date - save for M-DMBP, a Lear that turned up this morning. I have no further details on this yet..

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Re: Countries.dat file MASTER - discussion thread

Postby Roadrunner » March 27th, 2015, 1:44 pm

Thanks Bones.

Will check out that temporary site

Regards Mike
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