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Feb 01, 2014, 10:11 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Discussion

Using The Altis v4


The Altis v4 is an altitude switch/logger which is suitable for ALES and F5J competitions. It is compact, light weight and easy to use.

When it is installed in the plane between the receiver and the ESC it will display the F5J Launch Altitude for the previous flight. (F5J Launch Altitude is the highest point reached between when the plane is launched and 10 seconds after the motor shuts off.) It will always display the F5J altitude until the plane is launched again. (Photo #1)

The user can set the Altitude Cutoff, the Time Cutoff, Emergency Motor Restart On/Off, Competition Restart On/Off and F5J Altitude Display by using the little control device shown in Photo #2. In addition, the device settings can be confirmed at any time by plugging in the control device. If settings are changed, the control device is removed and power to the Switch is shut off and then turned back on.

When the plane is launched a new F5J Launch Altitude will be displayed and saved until the next launch.

The device can be used, checked and reset in the field independent of any computer.

In addition, the unit stores all of the flight data and can be connected to a computer to download the data and create plots of all of the flights. All of the flight logs will be saved until deleted on the computer. A typical flight log plot is shown below.

Each flight log notes every time the motor is turned on and/or turned off. It shows the motor cutoff altitude and shows the F5J launch altitude -- all clearly marked.

The computer software that supports the device facilitates logging and configuring the log output to meet the users needs. It also allows the unit to be reset to meet the user's needs.

Besides the usefulness of this device for F5J flying, it is useful for measuring the amount of overlaunch for ALES flights. All a competitor needs to do is to remove the canopy and directly reas the actual launch altitude.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Feb 01, 2014, 10:26 AM
Red Merle ALES VII SJ
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Don,
I would like one of these units but I am waiting to see what Soaring Circuits may offer us.

What is the "tracking disabled/enabled"? It seems this is disabled during the 10 seconds after motor shutdown but am not clear as to why that is.
I see the chart shows max altitude as a readout, is there a way to get a textual altitude on the chart of the altitude after 10 seconds of motor shut down? Or is this only shown on the unit itself?

It appears as in this case there is about a 5meter letdown after shutdown, is that an average of what you are seeing? That's quite a bit. That's 30 meters a minute and would be 300 meters in 10 minutes.

Thanks
Curtis
Feb 01, 2014, 10:27 AM
powered by caffine
FredM's Avatar
Don thanks for the quick tutorial. I just got my Altis V4 the other day!
Feb 01, 2014, 10:44 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
Don,
I would like one of these units but I am waiting to see what Soaring Circuits may offer us.

What is the "tracking disabled/enabled"? It seems this is disabled during the 10 seconds after motor shutdown but am not clear as to why that is.
I see the chart shows max altitude as a readout, is there a way to get a textual altitude on the chart of the altitude after 10 seconds of motor shut down? Or is this only shown on the unit itself?

It appears as in this case there is about a 5meter letdown after shutdown, is that an average of what you are seeing? That's quite a bit. That's 30 meters a minute and would be 300 meters in 10 minutes.

Thanks
Curtis
I do not know what the tracking enabled/disabled does. It does NOT effect the gathering of logged data. I have run these units in parallel with other logging units and they track perfectly.

When you turn your motor on and off to check it, you must wait 10 seconds before restarting the motor.

Both the unit and the computer log provide an accurate readout of the highest altitude reached between launch and 10 seconds after the motor cut off.

5 meters is a little more than I usually get. I shoot to keep it in the 1 to 3 meter range. My eyes are not great so I have a hard time detecting when the motor shuts off -- thus my reliance on a shallow launch angle and a timer to allow me to anticipate, as best I can when the motor is shutting off.

When I started doing this I had a fast climbing AVA (3500+ fpm) and I would pretty much launch it vertically. The only way I could detect the motor off was when the plane would stall. And 10 to 15 meter drops are not unusual if you allow the plane to stall. (With the Maxa, I use a shallow approach, a timer and a bit of snap flap which allows me to recover quickly from a mild stall -- if it should happen).

Happy Landings,

Don
Feb 01, 2014, 11:38 AM
solastagia
kcaldwel's Avatar
I do find the Altis 4 somewhat confusing to use.

The "Competition Restart" is for when you aren't in a competition it seems, and when you want it to automatically re-set when the airplane descends below 8m. I thought the "Competition Restart" would start the next flight as a new flight log without disconnecting the unit, but it seems to keep the flights in one file that you have to manually split afterwards. I'm not clear what "automatically re-set" actually does. It seems to work best if you disconnect the battery after each flight.

When I select ALES 150m or 200m for the device set-up, then it does not log my F5J start height, or display it on the unit - it just shows zero. I seem to be having trouble getting the F5J altitude to show at all at the moment.

I had to update the firmware when I got it, and when I followed the instructions on the screen I was stuck in a loop of steps that never completed. Perhaps there is something wrong with my firmware install. I did check with Aerobtec, and they seemed to think it was OK.

I only have used it for 4 days and 30 flights. The weather hasn't been very good for flying this winter. I find the Altis 4 isn't that straightforward.

Kevin
Feb 01, 2014, 11:55 AM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcaldwel
I do find the Altis 4 somewhat confusing to use.

The "Competition Restart" is for when you aren't in a competition it seems, and when you want it to automatically re-set when the airplane descends below 8m. I thought the "Competition Restart" would start the next flight as a new flight log without disconnecting the unit, but it seems to keep the flights in one file that you have to manually split afterwards. I'm not clear what "automatically re-set" actually does. It seems to work best if you disconnect the battery after each flight.

When I select ALES 150m or 200m for the device set-up, then it does not log my F5J start height, or display it on the unit - it just shows zero. I seem to be having trouble getting the F5J altitude to show at all at the moment.

I had to update the firmware when I got it, and when I followed the instructions on the screen I was stuck in a loop of steps that never completed. Perhaps there is something wrong with my firmware install. I did check with Aerobtec, and they seemed to think it was OK.

I only have used it for 4 days and 30 flights. The weather hasn't been very good for flying this winter. I find the Altis 4 isn't that straightforward.

Kevin
Competition Restart allows a motor restart, but only from something like 8 meters or less -- and then it will cut-off at your preset altitude. Some kinds of comps allow relaunches like F3J and this allows you to land your plane and relaunch it. It will continue to log the flight and the log will reflect both the original start and the relaunch.

Emergency Restart is pretty self-explanatory. It will allow the motor to restart AFTER 10 seconds from cut-off has elapsed AND you have disarmed the motor.

The device will keep a continuous log UNTIL it is de-energized and re-energized. If you want separate logs for each launch you have to de-energize the device between flights.

You should be OK on your Firmware update. I think there is a bit of a translation problem which they are working on.

To log F5J altitudes for ALES flights, set your launch altitude, your launch time and select the box marked F5J. It will work just fine.

Happy Landings,

Don
Feb 01, 2014, 12:00 PM
AMA 7224
Leadchucker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
Don,
I would like one of these units but I am waiting to see what Soaring Circuits may offer us.........
Me too. Local maker, great support, great competitor,sponsor and supporter of ALES and Lauren and Randy are just nice people.
Latest blog entry: Maxford 27% Gee Bee Model Y ARF
Feb 01, 2014, 12:04 PM
solastagia
kcaldwel's Avatar
Thanks Don. I was sure I tried it with the F5J box ticked, but I still don't have a log with an F5J altitude showing.

The SkyLimit does something similar I think. If you have an altitude limit set, it does not show an F5J altitude. I can see issues with either the Altis or SkyLimit actually checking start altitudes at a competition.

I'll try again when the weather improves.

Kevin
Feb 01, 2014, 12:17 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leadchucker
Me too. Local maker, great support, great competitor,sponsor and supporter of ALES and Lauren and Randy are just nice people.
+1

This would be a sorely needed addition to choices -- especially since Dave West pulled the plug on the Sky Limit.

Happy Landings,

Don
Feb 01, 2014, 01:43 PM
Soaring Circuits
rcbrust's Avatar
In the works guys...

And, thanks from both of us for the nice comments.

Randy
Feb 01, 2014, 02:02 PM
powered by caffine
FredM's Avatar
Looking forward to it Randy!
Feb 01, 2014, 04:10 PM
MrE
MrE
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbrust
In the works guys...

And, thanks from both of us for the nice comments.

Randy
Looking forward to it!

Any hints as to functions, specs, separate programer/readout/screen needed, price range, how soon, etc etc???

Feb 01, 2014, 04:39 PM
Soaring Circuits
rcbrust's Avatar
I can't say too much yet and I don't want to hijack Don's thread, but no separate anything will be needed.

Randy
Feb 01, 2014, 06:13 PM
AMA 7224
Leadchucker's Avatar
I'm stickin' wit da CAM fer now. I ain't askeert of any CDs, let them check. Go ahead..make my day.
Latest blog entry: Maxford 27% Gee Bee Model Y ARF
Feb 01, 2014, 07:11 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbrust
I can't say too much yet and I don't want to hijack Don's thread, but no separate anything will be needed.

Randy
Don't worry about hijacking the thread It's all good.

A simple, complete stand alone would be great.

Bring it on!!

Happy Landings,

Don


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