Firmware Release Notes

Public release notes for the RockAIR Tracker

v03.04.29 (BETA)

Auto Select Power Mode Indication (RockFLEET ONLY)
Updated LED indications representing different power mode configurations to include Auto Power Mode Selection.

v03.04.28 (BETA)

Auto Power Mode Selection
An additional 'Auto Select' power mode configuration is now available so that the power mode option list is now as follows:-

  • Unlimited
  • Limited
  • Unlimited+Activate
  • AutoSelect (New)

When the new 'Auto Select' option is chosen then the tracker will select 'Unlimited' power mode behaviour if external power is present or 'Limited' power mode behaviour if it is not.

For information, Unlimited/Limited selection directly controls various system features, including the following:-

  • GPS hot/cold
  • Iridium hot/cold (for ring detect/not detect)
  • Serial API enabled/Disabled
  • Signal Loss enabled/disabled
  • Transmission retry continuous/progressive delay algorithm

Firmware Resetting
Corrected: Firmware resets were found to be happening due to system timeout. These resets caused the usual power-up/activation reports to be generated but generally caused no fatal consequences.

v03.04.27 (BETA)

Corrected: Firmware installation issue introduced in v03.04.25

v03.04.26 (BETA)

Auto SOG Deactivation
Corrected: If power was removed then deactivation always occurred after a 1-minute timeout.
The timeout is now only initiated and maintained while there is no GPS fix available. If an occasional fix is obtained during the timeout period then if it has ‘slow’ speed the timeout will continue unaffected otherwise (it has ‘fast’ speed) the timeout will be reset for another full minute. Note: If GPS fixes are available continuously then deactivation can now only occur (following power removal) if the speed transitions from ‘fast’ to ‘slow’ and remains so for at least 5 seconds.

v03.04.25 (BETA)

Continuous GPRS Registration Failure
Some instances of continuous registration failure have been observed where only a tracker restart (GRPS module reset) has resolved the issue. A 1-hour timeout is now introduced after which an automatic tracker restart is forced if GPRS registration failure has been continuous.

Incorrect Activated LED Status (RockAIR ONLY)
Corrected: If external power is removed just at the moment of activating the tracker via the activation button then it could happen that a 'deactivated' rather than an 'activated' LED status is presented.

Text Message Transmission Confirmation Using the App
Previously text messages were confirmed to the App as 'sent' as soon as they were placed in an internal transmission queue. If the actual transmission failed then the messages could remain unsent although the App believed otherwise. Confirmation of 'sent' to the App is now delayed until actual transmission of a message is detected so that 'sent' status on the App should more closely reflect reality.

v03.04.24 (BETA)

Signal Loss Alerts
Signal loss alert transmissions now include a standard position block including GPS fix element or else a standard reduced version if no fix is available.

Signal Loss Polling
Signal loss 'Lost' and 'Present/Restored' state change now occurs when a signal strength trend is deemed to have been properly established over time. Previously, switching between states would be delayed or even prevented by occasional noisy poll results.

v03.04.23 (Public)

Signal Loss Alerts
A signal loss monitoring option is introduced that can be switched on/off via the OTA configuration command.

The feature will only be active if an unlimited power configuration mode is selected.

When enabled the feature monitors both the GPS and Iridium signals and creates and transmits generic alert packets if the signal status for either transitions from present to not present or vice versa.
(Note: alert packets are instead queued for later transmission if signal loss prevails).

A signal is deemed lost when not present continuously for 5 minutes.

Transmit Rate Context Switching
Corrected an issue where the SBD TX rate was not selected in certain scenarios.


Released 20 January 2021

Reported SOG
Standard Packets now support a SOG range of 0-1023 knots.
NOTE: Compact Packets remain limited to 0-511 knots.

Away From Home
The AFH feature no longer requires external power.
An alert transmission will now be triggered whenever the AFH fence boundary is crossed.

Battery Low Power Cut Off
With a battery only, tracker operations will now be allowed to continue until the battery power is exhausted. Application of external power will reset the tracker back to normal operations.

Serial API Message Deletion
Sent message deletion no longer requires user action. Messages are now purged immediately at the end of every transmission.
In support of this change, the response to the R7+STAT command becomes:
0 = not sent
1 = sent
2 = (this response has been removed)

Serial API Message Database Full When Transmission Failure
An error code has been introduced and will be returned in response to any R7+WH.. or R7+WB.. message commands if the database is full.

Serial API Message Database Protocol Anomalies
This error code is introduced to indicate rejection of a message command when the submitted ID is a duplicate of one already in the DB and not yet sent.

Serial API GPS Errors

  • Corrected: A negative altitude was formatted as a large positive number.
  • Corrected: Speed and HDOP values below 1.0 were formatted without a leading zero and decimal point, e.g. 0.5 would be formatted as 5.
  • Corrected: Removing the external power during GPS streaming to the serial port caused a reset of the tracker.

Serial API Changes

  • The serial API feature can be enabled but its functionality may not be active on the serial port (paused) depending on system state. Whenever functionality does become active then an unsolicited message will now be issued to the serial port as a prompt for external equipment. The message will include the current firmware version, for example:- "Version 03.04.16".
  • Serial API functionality will now be paused in limited power configuration and when deactivated (previously it was paused if battery power only was supplied).
  • GPS streaming will be turned off whenever the API is paused. If the API subsequently restarts then GPS streaming will need to be commanded to turn on again if it is required - it will not resume automatically.


Released 1 September 2020

New Behaviour

New Serial API Commands:

New command.
This switches GPS streaming to the external terminal on/off ( n=1 on, n=0 off ).

Whilst streaming other API commands will be serviced as normal.

New command.
This returns the firmware version.

New command option added.
An option for a message ID to be provided from the terminal is now supported.
For example:- R7+WHP=This is a message,ID=123.
If the ID field is not provided then the tracker will assign its own ID as previously.

The advantage for the terminal in providing its own ID is that it can detect if the tracker fails to create a message since the tracker must return the assigned ID in its response. Previously the terminal could not guarantee which of the messages it had sent coincided with a particular response (especially if protocol failure had occurred).

Additional response codes.
The response to this command is now extended as follows:-
0 – not sent
1 – sent
2 – doesn’t exist (presumed deleted or else it was never created)

Previously a ‘sent’ result indicated that the message had been placed in the queue for transmission. It did not necessarily mean that the message had actually left the tracker, i.e. it could be a false positive. This is now corrected so that only messages that have left the tracker will be indicated as ‘sent’ (in rare scenarios this indication could now temporarily be a false negative). Generally, this will now mean that if a message is indicated as 'sent' then it will also have been received by the server (allowing for any normal transmission delays).

If a message has left the tracker (only) then it will now be deleted after a status request for it has been executed.

v03.03.15-03.03.23 (Cumulative internal release v03.04.12)


Version Numbering Change

Internal release v03.04.12 combines and unifies updates to the platform through firmware versions v03.03.15-v03.03.23. ie, the only difference between v03.04.12 and v03.03.23 is the version number itself.


  • Burst Context Transitions - Corrected: If the burst settings are adjusted via a context change (i.e. an sos alert) then it could happen that the fix rate remained at the old context value. This arose if the alert was triggered just as a burst TX period was completed and a new one begun.


  • GPRS Improvements - Improvements to GPRS performance in marginal signal areas.

  • LED Hibernation Current - Corrected: The LED flick (every 10s) also switched on the SD card at the same time. This caused additional hibernation current that pushed daily battery consumption up to around 5% whereas otherwise it would be around 1%.


  • Transmission Frequency Switching - Improvements to context switching when going between Iridium and Cellular.


  • GPRS Failure Switching Time - The GPRS module is no longer power cycled following a communication error unless the error is then established to be a failure to respond to any communication whatsoever. Instead any error (e.g. timeout) is tolerated to allow the module to retry any procedure it might have been attempting.


  • GPRS Timeouts - Corrected an issue where insufficient response time was allowed for some GPRS commands resulting in unnecessary timeouts.
  • Log Upload - Corrected: Available upload slots in a day log file began at 01:00 rather than 00:00
  • Burst TX Rate Context Switching - Corrected: The burst fix rate can also change if there is an automatic context switch between Iridium and GPRS when each selects a different burst fix value.
  • Distress/Routine Burst Settings - Corrected: If both distress and regular modes used burst settings then the correct setting was not always chosen when switching between the modes.
  • CSV Headers - Corrected: Occasionally the header line for a CSV file was omitted.


  • SD Card Reformatting - If a corrupted card is detected then an attempt to reformat is made following a system reset.


  • Auto-deactivation when No GPS fix - 60 second timeout added to a deactivation session. A deactivation, when triggered in Unlimited+Auto power mode, will now time out after 60 seconds when a GPS fix cannot be established.
  • Watchdog improvements - A restart following a watchdog reset will now always allow the tracker to activate even in the absence of external power (previously a tracker would deactivate upon any restart if external power was not present).


  • Software Failure Detection (Watchdog) - for defence against software failure, new watchdog improves logging and error catching. If a software hang is detected, the watchdog should perform a reset.


Released 24 October 2019


  • Multiple Serial API Messages are now included in a single transmission. Previously only the first message would be included and each of any remainder sent with subsequent unrelated transmissions as and when these occurred.
  • Serial API: Corrected issue which caused R7+WH= command to fail (since 03.01.00)
  • Improved Logging when exiting hibernation
  • Improved Iridium Traffic logging
  • BLE advertisement packets have been extended to include 'Manufacturers' type data,ie Tracker IMEI, software version, PCB type, Battery level, etc.
  • External logging (to the serial port) is now retained through restart, previous a reset defaulted logging back to SD card.

New behaviour

  • Serial API: Added R7+WHNC, WHNCP, WB, WBNC, WBNCP, MSGMO. See Rock7 Serial API docs for more information
  • Away From Home feature added - a new feature which serves as an 'activity sense' by virtue of being either inside or outside a fence boundary.
  • Away From Home BLE and OTA configuration support added.
  • Distress Mode transmit context added
  • Complex Polyfence support added


Released 17 September 2019

SOG Monitoring (GPS errors)

These features depend upon SOG monitoring in order to adjust their state to correspond to being above/below a particular speed threshold:

  • Fixed-wing Taxiing/Takeoffs/Landings
  • Airborne vertical speed alerts
  • Hover/Flight mode
  • Auto Deactivation

Invalid GPS data over prolonged periods caused speed to be interpreted as zero leading to possible erroneous changes of state. State changes now occur only when supported by prolonged valid GPS data.

GPRS Log Upload

Corrected an issue where some log files uploaded to Rock 7 via GPRS were corrupted (since V3.1.0).

Tracking Failures

Corrected some conditions that can occasionally lead to automatic transmissions stopping. Some example cases:

  • Deactivation/activation with, in particular, the activity+SOG feature enabled and burst mode fix rate set toward the faster end of its spectrum.
  • Location refresh requests from the Connect App every 10 seconds whilst the tracker unable to obtain a GPS position fix.

SD card Insertion/Removal

Improved reliability when experiencing frequent Insertion/removal of the SD card (i.e. that caused by mechanical vibration).

GPS failure at Deactivation
Corrected a condition where particular configurations could cause a GPS fix to fail to complete, leading to failure of any further transmissions until the tracker is reset. The failure can happen when:-

GPRS with limited-power mode
Corrected an issue where if a tracker was configured for limited power, and allowed to hibernate in GPRS mode so that GPRS communication was lost, it was not re-established when the tracker awoke. If awaking for a GPRS transmission then this would fail although if the tracker remained awake then the communication would eventually be restored.

Power Loss Deactivation with Power Loss Alert
Corrected an issue where a simultaneous power loss deactivation and power loss alert (when configured) could cause a tracker to become unresponsive.
(Note: Only Griffin E boards are vulnerable to this issue)

Iridium/GPRS Contention
Corrected an issue where transmissions became inhibited until a tracker reset, experienced in the following scenario:

  • GPRS set as default transmit carrier.
  • Deactivation immediately after an activation (mail check queued).
  • Absence of Iridium network (mail check continuously retried)
  • Re activation before deactivation is complete (contention between GPRS re initialisation and iridium transmit).


Released 8 January 2019


  • Improved transmission queue behaviour when switching between GPRS Only and Iridium Only.
  • Corrections made to counter a possible Bluetooth Protocol failure during file uploads.
  • BLE Protocol upgrades inline with the Connect log viewer/uploader tool.
  • Corrected issue where burst mode packets could become corrupt when in compact transmission mode.
  • SD Card logging efficiency improved for better capture of logs that occur just prior to a reset.
  • Improved support for AES encryption of all outbound packets.

New behaviour

  • It is now possible to configure a tracker to transmit/receive via 'GSM only' regardless of the presence of an Iridium modem or any other preference settings.


Released 24 August 2018


  • Corrected: The battery level (%) provided is now capped at 100%. It was possible for the hardware to provide values >100% while charging.

Change to existing behaviour

  • Geofence Alert is now a 'one-shot' event, it will alert upon exit from the fenced area and then switch off fence monitoring.


Released 13 June 2018


  • Corrected: Position log files could not be uploaded via GPRS because the old GPX extension was still being used.


Released 16 March 2018

Change to existing behaviour

  • Position logging feature has been changed to create a CSV formatted file with positional information rather than the previous GPX (XML) formatted file.

New behaviour

  • Log files (.LOG) and position files (.CSV) can now be uploaded by GPRS in response to an OTA request.


  • Low battery detection improved. Reduces risk of marginal power conditions resulting in a processor fault which would require a reset to correct.


Released 16 February 2018


  • The tracking suspended alert is now transmitted whether or not the auto-tracking option is enabled.
  • A tracking resumed event now occurs whenever tracking is manually or automatically resumed, whether or not the auto-tracking option is enabled.
  • Performance improvements to GSM behaviour. Measures intended to prevent GSM module entering into, or otherwise remaining in any unknown erroneous state.


Released 16 January 2018


  • Corrected: If multiple generic event alerts with no fix were created within a single session then only the last would be transmitted.
  • Corrected: Upon first BLE connection following a device reset, the GPRS board would not be indicated in the 'external board' status.


Released 8 November 2017

New Behaviour

  • The GPS dynamic model is now configurable to one of:

    The configuration is only available OTA at time of release.
    The default setting is 'Portable'.


Released 9 October 2017


  • Added robustness to SD card detection and access.

Change to existing behaviour

  • Removed: Log files no longer written to a signle circular system log file.

New Behaviour

  • Added: System logs now written to files according to date, eg 17100900.LOG for 9th October 2017. A maximum of 100 log files are supported before the oldest will be removed in order for a new one to be created.


Released 23 August 2017


  • To avoid potential configuration loss at very low power settings are now stored in a second non-volatile memory backup.


Released 4 August 2017


  • Optimised GPRS state refresh on restart and corrected a potential transmission synchronisation error.
  • Further optimised new packet type behaviour (introduced 02.05.00)
  • Deactivation packets in transmission queue limited to 15 minutes. If queue not emptied in this period then the transmission of those packets will be suspended until after a subsequent reactivation.
  • Corrected: Some MO messages were being retransmitted if an MT was received in the same session.


Released 28 July 2017

New Behaviour

  • New packet type allows bundling of multiple packets up to the maximum MO size.
  • Upon deactivation transmission of accumulated data continues until the transmission queue is clear. In all other respects, the device will be unresponsive as typified by a deactivated state.
  • Iridium Mailbox check performed on activation to achieve network registration for MT ring calls.


  • Corrected an issue which caused routine transmissions not to start when re-activating device.


Released 1 June 2017


  • Packet construction and packet transmission can now be concurrent activities.

Change to existing behaviour

  • Continuous Transmission changed to Every 15 seconds.


Released 11 May 2017

New behaviour

  • A single beep now accompanies system reset.
  • Three ascending or descending beeps now indicate whether the system has been activated or deactivated. (eg. Ascending = Activated).
  • Mailbox check can now be requested via GPRS and is performed during GPRS sessions.

Change to existing behaviour

  • The presence of external power no longer defines whether power is considered Limited or Unlimited. Instead, this is defined by the power configuration option alone.
  • BLE location data is now a complete copy of the last packet transmitted.


  • RockFLEET and RockAIR are now integrated at this version onwards. RockFLEET assumes all relevant RockAIR changes accumulated since RockAIR 1.1.0

Released 24 April 2017


  • Improved handling of ultrasonic wind instrument data.