Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

/Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Licensed users receive priority support and updates for at least one month from the date of purchase. The registered version of Tickstory also has numerous features above the free version. See here for a full comparison list: http://tickstory.com/download-tickstory/.

Due to the nature of integrating with a third-party application, we unfortunately cannot give this guarantee. Tickstory is tested with specific versions of Metatrader and, when possible, we try to maintain this compatibility going forward (via software updates). Should Metatrader issue a breaking change that cannot immediately (or otherwise) be addressed, we would recommend that you revert your MT4 installation back to the earlier version so you can continue your back-testing.

Yes, we provide a 30-day money-back guarantee from the date of purchase. In order to ensure customer satisfaction, we encourage all users to evaluate the free version software and read up on the FAQs to ensure it suits your purposes prior to purchasing.

We currently provide a Dukascopy Historical Data Source which provides tick data for numerous instruments covering Forex, Commodities and Indices.  You can find out more about the available instruments and the historical date ranges available for download by referring to our article, Dukascopy Historical Date Ranges.

This is usually caused by a limitation with MT4 which only supports a maximum of 4GB of data. If your back-test period is greater than 2 years, you are likely to come across this limitation. To check for sure, have a look at the size of your FXT files and ensure they are under 4GB. You have the following options to reduce the size of your exported data:

  • Select a shorter date range for export – 1 year, for example, instead of a long period.
  • Check the “filter duplicate ticks” option which will reduce the amount of data in your export
  • This is error caused by Windows denying Tickstory access to the folder where it needs to write the exported file. To resolve this, make sure you have specified the full pathname of where to export the file data. For example, “C:\Users\Username\Documents\EURUSD.csv”.

    This is caused by Windows denying Tickstory access to the folder where it needs to store its downloaded tick data. To resolve this, go to File->Settings and specify a “Dukascopy Store Folder” that has general write permissions. For example, create a folder called “Tickdata” in your Documents and then specify C:\User\\Documents\Tickdata as the storage folder location.

    Just remember that Tickstory only exports data – it does not perform any back-tests, calculations or the like. There are essentially 4 places where you should look when attempting to debug your issue (in order of priority):

    1) Bug in the EA: Ensure your code is not being subject to some sort of bug that is causing your trading issue. Place plenty of log entries in the code to see where the issue may lie. You should also utilise the “Visual mode” of the strategy tester which may give some hints as to why your EA is entering or not entering a trade.
    2) Check your MT4 Settings: Ensure you have exported the correct “MT4 Settings” for the symbol you have exported. Make sure, for example, that the ‘Lot size’ property has been set correctly.
    3) Known MT4 issue: In some cases there are known issues with the Strategy Tester. The Tickstory & MT4 forums are often a good place to read about issues that people have come across. Examples of such issues include the “4GB FXT limtation” which limits the maximum period you can test in the Strategy Tester at one time. Other similar issues do exist, and often will have some workaround which will allow you to continue your back-testing with this issue in mind.
    4) Bug in Tickstory: In the event you believe there is an issue with Tickstory, the implication is that Tickstory has exported incorrect data in some way. For example, perhaps you believe the “Open” price of a bar is incorrect. In this event, please clearly demonstrate this with screenshots of the charts and/or Historical Data Center so we can investigate further. Please do not just provide us with a copy of your EA and ask us “What’s wrong?”, as we are unlikely to be able to assist since understanding your code and further debugging could take many hours of our time. Instead, distill as much information as you can that allows us to work with the data itself. If, for example, your moving average indicator is giving you the incorrect value, this should easily be demonstrable by showing the incorrect data points versus what they should be. This sort of targeted information is invaluable for us to investigate and identify any issues as soon as possible.

    The nature of tick-quality back-testing means that you are highly likely to get markedly different results between Tickstory and your broker data. This is especially true if your EA is a “scalper” that is sensitive to small price movements. Just remember that the most granular information MT4 brokers offer you is 1-minute data. In this one minute, numerous tick prices would have normally come through to your EA in a live trading environment. With Tickstory data, this information is more accurately simulated, potentially causing your EA to behave quite differently. For longer-term strategies, these differences should be not as pronounced, however for a short-term scalper strategy, this can mean the difference between success and failure! This is why tick-backtesting can be much more revealing and valuable in assessing the viability of your strategy.

    An EA may not be entering a trade for numerous reasons, depending of course on what entry criteria it uses and whether any errors are occurring while attempting to enter a trade. Quite commonly, EAs are dependent on the current spread of the market. If it’s too high, the EA will refrain from trading. In most EAs, the spread limit is a configurable parameter and you can try adjusting this value to a higher threshold, just to see if this encourages the EA to open a trade.
    Other reasons for an EA not entering a trade can often be found by analysing the tester’s “Journal” tab which often contain informational messages and may be reporting error numbers during the EA’s operation. These error numbers can be Googled to find out more about the nature of the problem.

    Common errors include:

    Order Send Error 131 (ERR_INVALID_TRADE_VOLUME) – This usually indicates that the lot size that the EA has specified is incorrect. Check the ‘Lot step’ parameter you have set in Tickstory when you exported your data. If the lot size that your EA is using is not a multiple of this number, you will get this error and need to modify your EA so it correctly “normalises” the order volume so it conforms. In some EAs, there is a “Lot size” parameter which can be set. In this case, make sure that your lot-size is a multiple of the “lot step” parameter.

    Order Send Error 134 (ERR_NOT_ENOUGH_MONEY) – This one means that your account cannot open the requested trade due to lack of money. You can adjust your initial deposit settings in MT4 Strategy Tester to supply your EA with additional funds for the back-test (or you can try lowering any parameters in your EA that deal with risk or lot-size).

    Order Send Error 129 (ERR_INVALID_PRICE) – This can occur when your EA tries to enter a trade at a certain price, but the market price has since changed. In this case, putting a “RefreshRates()” call in your EA just prior to entering a trade can resolve this problem.

    Zero-divide error – This error can occur if the EA is trying to use a particular parameter (Lot size, for example) and the value is zero. Just review your EA for where this error is occuring. Once you have established which specific parameter is zero, ensure that you have correctly exported this value in your Tickstory “MT4 Settings”.

    The reasons for an EA not trading, not trading as expected, giving errors or spurious results can be endless – such is the nature of a computer program. Given the complexity and time-consuming nature of trouble-shooting these sort of problems, we unfortunately can’t assist in these circumstances (as much as we’d like to).   We have collated a series of FAQ’s that may assist users in trouble-shooting their EAs.

    First and foremost, ensure you are getting 99% modelling quality on your back-test. Do this by back-testing with the standard “MACD Sample” EA. Completing this step successfully means that you have got your basic setup correct, including:
    a) Having exported the data to the correct MT4 data location.
    b) Having correctly launched MT4 with Tickstory.

    If you are having trouble obtaining 99.9% modelling quality, please consult these links:
    – Video primer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-rMOen4UHg
    – FAQ: http://tickstory.com/wplive/faq-items/why-am-i-not-getting-99-9-quality-back-tests/

    Please consult the other Frequently Asked Questions listed under the “Expert advisor” category.

     

    Firstly, check you are checking the correct location. In MT4, go to File->Open Data Folder and then browse to the <Data Folder>/MQL4/Files folder. A file should exist with a *.mt4config extension.  If it does not, check the ‘Experts’ tab to see if any errors are being generated. This problem is sometimes caused by an invalid filename being generated (since it utilises your broker’s name). You can force a valid filename by going to the EA’s ‘ConfigFileName’ parameter to “Broker.mt4config”.

    If this error occurs, please check the following:
    1) If you have a license code, apply the license in the Help->License menu. For users that are not using the registered version, you must be running MT4 Build 765 or earlier otherwise you will receive this error.
    2) Ensure you have set your MT4 Installation folder correctly in File->Settings->MT4 Settings. It should be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Metatrader.
    3) If you are using Windows 7 or are receiving a prompt for administrator access when you launch, run Tickstory as Administrator by right-clicking the icon and selecting “Run As Administrator”.
    4) On slower machines, it may take some time for time for MT4 to to load. In this case, Tickstory does not wait any longer and puts up this error. Once MT4 has finished starting, you can press the launch button again and it should no longer display this error.

    Other variations of this question include:

    My MT4 back-test reports that the modeling quality is “N/A” or;
    My MT4 back-test reports “TestGenerator: internal error because file not opened”

    This problem is typically due MT4 not utilising your exported data correctly. Check the following:

    • Ensure you have launched your MT4 terminal via the Tickstory ‘Launch MT4’ option (press F8 when in Tickstory to do this).
    • Ensure you have exported your MT4 database to the correct location (make sure you have selected the correct server if there are multiple selections). For example, if you have a “Demo” and “Real” account, make sure you are exporting to the same one you are using for back-testing, otherwise the data will not be visible to MT4.
    • If applicable, ensure you have correctly mapped the Tickstory symbol name (eg. EURUSD) to the MT4 equivalent symbol name (eg. EURUSDm, fcmEURUSD, etc). (See the manual for more on this topic).

    Tickstory Lite requires Microsoft .NET v3.5SP1 be installed on the machine (any other version such as .NET v4.x will not suffice). You can download .NET v3.5 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download … aspx?id=21