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Old Sep 13, 2008, 04:53 PM
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trappy's Avatar
Austria
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Idea
Product for FPV Soarers: FPV Variometer, final prototypes available. See the videos

** NOTE **: See last post for ordering details. Limited number available for now.


Hi Guys,

I started a similar thread here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=918493

What I'd like to present here, though, is an idea I've had while braining a little more about the issue. The potential product I've come up with could be cheaply manufactured and would present a huge benefit to FPV soarers.

Wouldn't it be possible to create a device that acts just like a microphone, but actually produces a vario sound based on the increase/decrease in height your model has. This "microphone" could be used alongside any OSD or any FPV setup, all is already there. The chip should produce the vario sound (lower tone for decrease, higher tone for increase in height) and generate an audio signal identical to the one a TinyMic produces. Hook that device up to the FPV TX and then hear the sound through the goggle-earphones on the ground.

An additional feature would be a passthrough connection to a microphone, and the chip mixes both channels into one.

[FPV TX]<===(audio channel)===>[Vario Sound Device]<===(audio channel)===>[TinyMIC]

The altitude sensor on board would need to have a high sensitivity (~5-15cm) and the vario sound range should adapt itself to thermal conditions (8m/s lift in good conditions produces same sound as 3m/s lift in bad conditions).

Who would be interested in such a product? Anyone that would be willing to make one of those?
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 05:06 PM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
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Check out the Picolario.

It's a stand alone vario that also monitors battery voltage and altitude.

Nice female voice saying. "Attention: Your battery is at 5.9 volts."

When you go up or down it plays a musical arpeggio, either up or down and the rate of the music tells you how fast you are going up or down.

I like it better than my Eagle Tree Seagull thingamabob.

A mere 400 bucks without the TEK probe.

Pete
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 05:21 PM
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Hi Pete,

I know of the varios that are currently available. What I'm looking for is avoid having another ground station and another radio channel. Besides, the cost of the device I'm suggesting is maybe ~$50-75 if produced commercially, not $400
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 06:07 PM
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GeeW's Avatar
ENGLAND
Joined Jul 2001
2,466 Posts
There is a matchbox sized vario available that clips to a pilots hat for fullsized use Sorry I cant remember the name at the moment. All you'd need to do is tape your mic to it. From memory its about $160 ish.
I'm working on a similar project using a 3.7m E glider.
One thought.....you are not very likely to get a good vario for $50 anywhere..more like an electric Cosim than a Cambridge!
Gordon

EDIT
http://www.flyaboveall.com/mini.htm
http://www.ukairsports.com/catalog/p...roducts_id=222
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Well, the sensor itself is only around $20: http://www.nickbelsondesign.co.uk/In...ms5534-am.html
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Patscherpofel's Avatar
Patsch, Austria
Joined Jul 2007
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I also wish for this for a long time,
and I have the same opinion...I dont want to add another extra transmitter onboard ...it has to be integrated in the video transmission and the osd

people who would use this vario will go for extremely long range...to have 2 different systems onboard for this would not be ideal

I did my second full sacle sailplane flight last week...in St.Moritz in the middle of the alps...we climbed about 2000m in just 15min...since then I dream of these vario sounds
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 01:14 PM
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I came up with a ultrasonic terrain alarm a while ago, that beeped when you are low.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=20

I have not used it in FPV because my video tx doesn't have working audio...

-Z-
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Old Oct 11, 2008, 08:48 PM
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great news. I couldn't let the idea rest so I posted a project on getafreelancer.com and a electronics guy in the philippines who is also a paraglider pilot made a bid The minimum order would be 10pcs.

In short: He'd be designing an audio variometer that can be plugged into ANY FPV system, regardless of frequency or OSD being used. It will tap into the audio channel of the tx/rx and help you locate thermals or downward air movement. This enables you to stay in the air longer or, when using a glider, gain altitude without using engine power. You can connect your TinyMic to the vario and the sound will be mixed. No additional power supply needed, the vario will also be tiny enough to fit anywhere on your plane where you placed the tinymic.

Longer, more detailed version of the idea: https://www.getafreelancer.com/proje...ariometer.html

The bid was as follows:

For his time: $600
For the PCBs: $110 (10 pcs)
Components: $80 per vario

So a rough estimate would be around $100 each plus the development cost spread among all, which will be significantly cheaper than current market systems AND it saves you one downlink. The more join, the cheaper it would get. Anyone interested?
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 10:43 AM
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The tones would have to be set for the individual. Some of us have high frequency hearing loss ya know...........
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Randall, not sure I will be able to integrate that into the tight budget Do the market-varios offer that?
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Will this sound similar to a vario in a real life glider? In both type of sound and how the bleeps are spaced or timed?
It would be nice to not have to learn another standard, such as music speed
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Hi Jan,

Thanks for your interest!

Yes! It will sound exactly the same. The task will be to copy exactly the vario sound and also follow the "international standard" in terms of signals. The reason why a custom-built is cheaper is because FPV flyers already have everything in place (rx, tx, headphones) except for the vario. We could save weight, battery and space, besides money, also, because the vario itself is quite small.

Regards,

Raphael
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 05:31 PM View Post
billpa
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 06:14 PM
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Patsch, Austria
Joined Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billpa
If total energy compensation is required, the OSD + Glide Data Recorder is a step up from this.
Trappy,
I would defiantly spend that money for a good Product
but I probably wouldnt put my name in the list before I dont have more detailed infos, and can be sure it will work like I whish for
any chance to see what all this could look like?

Bill,
It makes sense to have the vario integrated in the osd for sure
(switching it on and off, mixing it with the real audio...etc)

but I am not sure if I understand this right...
the 177US version has a vario but no total energy compensation?
What is the difference? more accurate?
And is there a total price for that?

cant wait for this little toy to make fpv soaring finally a more real experience
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Old Oct 13, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Joined Nov 2003
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Patscherpofel, that is correct. Eagle Tree calculates total energy using an airspeed sensor (and Newton's laws). The total energy factor is fully configurable even when you are in the air.

The Glide Recorder contains both a high resolution altimeter and airspeed sensor, and costs $220USD. So, the complete package should be $220 + $70 (and it also displays airspeed).

Regards,

Bill, for Eagle Tree
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