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Apr 29, 2013, 08:16 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
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Discussion

Altis v4 Altitude Switch


Well, I just unpacked my new Altis v4 Altitude switch and it looks very nice. I'll be testing it and reporting back on it here.

First impression is that it is pretty darn cool. This is a one piece does it all deal. No separate readers, no separate USB adapter -- and it is compatible with telemetry. Lots of memory. And a built in BRIGHT display. It can be configured with firmware which is good for ALES and F5J "lite" or with firmware which strictly conforms with F5J -- and can be easily reprogrammed either way.

The accompanying Flight Manager is very nice, intuitive and easy to use.

More to follow tomorrow.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Apr 29, 2013, 08:47 PM
Professional sink locator
Looking forward to your report.
Latest blog entry: Repairing a boom break
Apr 30, 2013, 03:05 AM
turn, turn, turn.
does it allow for restarts?

Doesn't F5J allow for one relaunch within one minute of the primary launch?
Apr 30, 2013, 07:05 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
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Kenny,

There are two different firmware possibilities for the Altis v4. One is a standard setting which I will explain in a minute and the other is F5J. Either choice can be loaded into the device very quickly and simply from the Flight Manager.

The standard firmware has considerable flexibility and can be used for ALES, F5J and other types of altitude limited competitions although it does not fully comply with F5J rules with regard to motor restarting. With this firmware, you can choose, for example, to use it as a time and altitude switch like the CAM except you can choose any altitude and time combination you please. You can also choose between not allowing motor restarts at all, a setting which allows emergency restarts and a setting which essentially resets the device below 8 meters to facilitate practicing flying without having to land. You can also use this firmware version in an F5J mode and it will shut off ONLY based on motor run time, not altitude.

The F5J firmware does not give the user any choices. With this firmware the device will absolutely not permit motor restarts in accordance with the F5J rule. It happens that many people flying F5J DO NOT use this software version except in serious competition. For less serious competition, they use the standard firmware and leave open the possibility of emergency restarts.

As to the F5J rule on restarts and/or relaunches, they are not permitted under any circumstances. The task is flown inside a firm 10 minute window, one launch is permitted to any altitude you choose. Your score is based on your flight time minus one-half second deducted for every meter of launch altitude up to 200 meters and 3 seconds deducted for every meter of launch altitude above 200 meters. Landings do not count if they occur after the 10 minute window closes.

Happy Landings,

Don
Apr 30, 2013, 01:19 PM
turn, turn, turn.
thanks Don, appreciate it
May 01, 2013, 11:43 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Another daily update. I am taking my time with this device. It has many capabilities and even with its excellent instructions, has features which I am just discovering by playing with it. It will be a few days before I can put it in a plane. A bit windy now (this IS Oklahoma) and we are expecting the latest freeze in history on Friday.

You can find the users manual here:

http://www.aerobtec.com/download/AltisV4manual_en.pdf

For teasers, I am attaching a couple of pictures to show how the device stacks up against other options and how it fits in my skinny Maxa.

Happy Landings,

Don
May 01, 2013, 11:52 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
I just noticed that Esprit Models has these devices in stock now.

Happy Landings,

Don
May 04, 2013, 04:29 PM
W0X0F
IBWALT's Avatar
Don, after looking over the manual for the V4 it seems that there are no provisions for changing settings at the field unless you have your laptop with you and AFM loaded on it. For instance the V3 could be reprogrammed at the field with the Altis external display module. I've actually had to do this a couple of times when the launch alt was changed. But there appears that there is no provision for for this on the V4. Am I mistaken or missing something in the ops manual?
May 05, 2013, 09:09 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBWALT
Don, after looking over the manual for the V4 it seems that there are no provisions for changing settings at the field unless you have your laptop with you and AFM loaded on it. For instance the V3 could be reprogrammed at the field with the Altis external display module. I've actually had to do this a couple of times when the launch alt was changed. But there appears that there is no provision for for this on the V4. Am I mistaken or missing something in the ops manual?
I have been assured that within a few months Aerobtec will come out with a small external keypad to control the Altis v4 and applications for smartphones and tablet devices.

Happy Landings,

Don
May 05, 2013, 10:22 AM
Registered User
jtlsf5's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharban
I have been assured that within a few months Aerobtec will come out with a small external keypad to control the Altis v4 and applications for smartphones and tablet devices.

Happy Landings,

Don
Don,
You kind of danced around Walt's question. Is the V4 currently only programmable via computer link? What the future holds is interesting, but for an investment now it would be helpful to know what is needed now, and if further investment will be required to utilize the device to full advantage at a later date.

Thanks,
JT
May 05, 2013, 02:57 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5
Don,
You kind of danced around Walt's question. Is the V4 currently only programmable via computer link? What the future holds is interesting, but for an investment now it would be helpful to know what is needed now, and if further investment will be required to utilize the device to full advantage at a later date.

Thanks,
JT
I surely did not intend to dance around anything. Right now, the v4 is only programmable via a computer link -- not a problem for those of us who have laptops.

The v4 is a very powerful little device. As I understand it, it can function as a stand-alone data storage device for other future logging and telemetry applications and virtually all of its capabilities are determined by firmware which is easily updated. Aerobtec is in the process of expanding its capabilities including the use of a dedicated keypad and the ability to interface with smartphone's and tablets.

I think that potential users need to understand that while the v4 and the RC Basic have incredible capabilities -- including ALES applications -- their initial purpose was for F5J. And in that capacity, the v4 stands out inasmuch as in F5J no programming is allowed and the device can give a direct digital readout with no required accessories. It does require a computer to change ALES settings and motor restart options. The downside is that will most certainly require additional investment. The upside is that the intrinsic power of the device promises to offer both contestants and contest administrators many options that are not currently available.

That being said, of all the devices I have tested, the v4 offers the user more capability than anything else I have used -- not the least of which is its utility as an ALES/F5J switch which can also log flights. This device will not meet everybody's needs -- none of the devices currently on the market will. But there is every reason to believe that Aerobtec will continue to offer upgrades that will make this a useful tool well into the future.

Happy Landings,

Don
May 05, 2013, 07:53 PM
W0X0F
IBWALT's Avatar
Thanks for the info Don, I'm going to stick with my V3 until alternate programming devices come out.
May 05, 2013, 08:14 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBWALT
Thanks for the info Don, I'm going to stick with my V3 until alternate programming devices come out.
Good choice. The v3 does everything we need right now. The best part of the v4 is clearly yet to come. But with all the power it has it will be a dandy.

Happy Landings,

Don
May 05, 2013, 08:39 PM
Registered User
jtlsf5's Avatar
Thanks Don. Like Walt I was considering the V4 but will wait until its offered with full capability and support.

JT
May 06, 2013, 08:24 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5
Thanks Don. Like Walt I was considering the V4 but will wait until its offered with full capability and support.

JT
If you currently own a suitable device, that will work. I would observe, however, that of all the devices I have tested so far, the v4 looks like it will be the most versatile once Aerobtec gets their programming pad out.

Happy Landings,

Don


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