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Old Sep 12, 2011, 02:38 PM
Just Eric
Central Maryland
Joined Sep 2010
3 Posts
Discussion
Has anyone ever installed a Variometer on a Hobby Zone Radian?

I have flow my Radian about 10 times and today I got it into a really nice thermal. I motored way up and it just kept getting further and further away. I noticed a bunch of buzzards in the same area so I figured I found the best thermal in the area. I would like to find thermals more reliably and wondered if anyone has ever installed a Variometer on a Hobby Zone Radian? Id like to find the cheapest, most light weight solution (hehehe, as if they go together).

Thanks,
Eric
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 06:16 PM
LSF303 / AMA Life Member
tkallev's Avatar
USA, IL, Wheeling
Joined Jan 2003
3,017 Posts
Search RCGroups for variometers, you will find a bunch of threads. Now the bad news, other than one device that just wags the rudder, almost all the varios that downlink in realtime a tone/battery level/additional types of data are all well over $300 USD.

Google Picolario for an example.

Others are sure to chime in. Unfortunately, this is a relatively small segment of the RC market, so the solutions are quite expensive.

tk
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 07:00 PM
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Joined Mar 2009
2,276 Posts
I've been using a RAM3 from soaring circuits. Just plug it into an open channel on your Rx to power it.
Unfortunately, it only gives you a log of the flight profile, after you have landed. Still, I find it very useful.
The software to read the files, shows maximum altitude, and sink (or climb) rate, etc. Just move the "start" and "end" points , red lines on the graph. So after a flight you can see where you did (or didn't) catch some lift.

here is a picture of one of my RAM 3s, in a Pulsar 3.2m. In this case ,it was installed inside the wing, then I just plug in the download cable. This way I don't have to remove wing center panel
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 07:13 PM
Registered User
United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
6,767 Posts
To be useful, you'd probably have to set it up as a total energy type, wouldn't you? Otherwise it would be reporting a lot of stick lift.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 07:51 PM
Just Eric
Central Maryland
Joined Sep 2010
3 Posts
Thanks for the quick replies. I found a post on the Thermal Scout. It wags your tail when you enter lift. It sounds like what I was looking for and it's inexpensive.

I wonder if I can use the Thermal Scout with the Specktrum Dx5e that came with my RTF Radian? I have the right stick set up to control my elevator and rudder. I have the left stick set up to control my throttle. I might be able to use the left sticks, left and right axis to control the Thermal Scout. I might be asking for trouble tying the Thermal Scout and the throttle to the same stick. I can see accidentally activating the Thermal Scout on a full power climb out. Gulp!! Maybe I can set a big dead zone on the left sticks left and right inputs.

Does anyone know if I can use my DX5e with the Thermal Scout?

Thanks again,
Eric
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 08:13 PM
Registered User
United States, CO, Littleton
Joined Oct 2007
74 Posts
I have been using a SkyAssistant variometer for a couple weeks now in a Radian Pro. It weighs less than one ounce and transmits climb/decent tones and voice alerts on the FRS frequency band (requires a $30 walky-talky for a receiver). It is sensitive to 2 ft/min altitude change. It is almost like cheating. The cost is $329, but if you want a real variometer, it is one of the options.

The only issue is I am working through some interference issues between the FRS (460 MHz) transmitter and the 2.4 GHz Spektrum AR6210 receiver. I think that I have the problem solved and will verify this with a couple more flying sessions. I can provide more details about my experience if you decide on this option.

http://www.magtechinc.net/SkyAssistant.htm
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Old Sep 14, 2011, 07:44 AM
Silent Majority
Bert's Avatar
Monrovia,MD,USA
Joined Mar 2000
289 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by justeric View Post
I wonder if I can use the Thermal Scout with the Specktrum Dx5e that came with my RTF Radian? Eric
Thermal Scout goes between your receiver's rudder channel and the rudder servo. It does not care what receiver or transmitter you are using.
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Old Sep 14, 2011, 01:04 PM
Registered User
United States, WV, Calhoun
Joined Nov 2004
506 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by justeric View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. I found a post on the Thermal Scout. It wags your tail when you enter lift. It sounds like what I was looking for and it's inexpensive.

I wonder if I can use the Thermal Scout with the Specktrum Dx5e that came with my RTF Radian? I have the right stick set up to control my elevator and rudder. I have the left stick set up to control my throttle. I might be able to use the left sticks, left and right axis to control the Thermal Scout. I might be asking for trouble tying the Thermal Scout and the throttle to the same stick. I can see accidentally activating the Thermal Scout on a full power climb out. Gulp!! Maybe I can set a big dead zone on the left sticks left and right inputs.

Does anyone know if I can use my DX5e with the Thermal Scout?

Thanks again,
Eric
You need one channel to use as a switch to turn the Thermal Scout on and off. It must be off for take off and power climbs.

I use the Thermal Scout in my Radian and it works great. And it is cheap.

Don't know much about the DX5e; but I assume it has a 5th channel with a switch.

Todd
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Old Sep 14, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Joined Sep 2007
678 Posts
Eric,

While not giving immediate audible feedback, I fly with a recording altimeter called the ZLOG. It displays max altitude once you're down. When I'm done for the day, I download my data and use that to determine what altitude I catch my thermals at. Gives me an idea of how high I have to climb. In my area, I catch most after climbing to about 600 ft AGL. A decent reasonably priced piece of gear for me. The cuurent model is a mod 6 I believe at $80 from Hexpert Systems. I'm flying the mod 4 but will be ordering a mod 6 soon.

Our best solution would be "thermal goggles" which would show us all rising air in various colors relating to the strength of the lift (tongue-in-cheek). But that wouldn't be near as much fun as tirelessly hunting for lift and sometimes finding it!

Happy hunting,

Dave
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Old Sep 14, 2011, 05:21 PM
LSF303 / AMA Life Member
tkallev's Avatar
USA, IL, Wheeling
Joined Jan 2003
3,017 Posts
You can get a "How High" that flashes the max altitude after the flight as well. I think they are under $50 USD.
tk
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