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Jul 31, 2016, 04:12 AM
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FlightZoomer - A top notch avionics suite for RC copters!!

FlightZoomer News! +++ FlightZoomer News! +++ FlightZoomer News!

Since my last blog post, I not only have released the next major version 2.0 of FlightZoomer, but also a minor release 2.1, where the autopilot algorithms are improved quite a bit.

Check out this video, to see how FlightZoomer version 2.1 works:
FlightZoomer Version 2.1 - A real flight showing the improvements (7 min 25 sec)

As a comparison the same flight done with version 2.0:
FlightZoomer Version 2.0 - a real flight! (9 min 8 sec)

These are real flights, that are presented using the replay feature and the recorded onboard video in sync.

As a short recap: What is FlightZoomer?
FlightZoomer is a smartphone based avionics suite, where an onboard device host an autopilot, that is connected via EDGE/3G/4G with a groundstation, which is basically a complete cockpit, modeled after the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Here is the system architecture:
Name: SystemOverview.2.png
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More details here:
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Jul 31, 2016, 11:37 AM
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Having only done a cursory viewing of this system , I am impressed by the fact that oridnary cell phones are being used as the flight sensor and ground station controllers . It seems to be a smarter way to do this . However , in Canada , we are far from having 100% cellular coverage . In my area in southern British Columbia , the coverge is such that most of the rural fields of which we fly do not have service . This makes it better for RF interferrence for current equipment and flight / camera systems used now .

If this system requires 2 cell phones be active to work properly , does that mean that one must have 2 separate phone accounts ? This can get pricey in Canada where we tend to pay the highest rates in the world for cell service ! If one were to have the latest cell phones as the system equipment and their accounts , we would be looking at a bill of over $1600 CDN plus the monthly account charges .

Love the features and ILS that you have built into this though . I could only dream of being able to afford a system of this type .
Aug 01, 2016, 12:52 PM
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Hi Rick
Yes, FlightZoomer requires two cell phones with two sim cards&two contracts. Personally I am using my wifes phone with a regular contract for the ground station.
My onboard device has a prepaid sim card. A single flight never costs more than between 0.5 and 1 CHF (CHF has an exchange rate of ~1 to the USD).
Since version 1.5 the primary source for flight sensor data is no longer the phones sensor suite but the data is fetched from the flight controller (via bluetooth/MAVLINK).
Ok, cell coverage is a mandatory requirement. But as FlightZoomer basically is only transfering telemetry data, EDGE is sufficient for its usage.

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