Variometer - Thermal sniffer - RC Groups
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May 14, 2006, 01:08 PM
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jbrandon's Avatar

Variometer - Thermal sniffer

My old (actually very old) thermal sniffer has failed. I am in the market for a new one for use in cross country flying but for sport flying also.

I am considering the Seagull Glide Soaring System with GPS add-on.

Anyone have experience with this unit. I searched the forums but really found very little on sniffers and the Seagull was only mentioned once or twice. The price is high but since I am purchasing new I am really looking forward to the data logging and the GPS should prove to be fun, err, I mean informative. I like the fact you can do live data viewing via laptop (for my helper) to aid in sailplane performance. The Seagull has many optional add-ons like temperature (2) and RPM (electric).
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May 14, 2006, 07:38 PM
BOP spotter
Varios were recently discussed in detail in this thread.

May 14, 2006, 10:11 PM
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jbrandon's Avatar
Yeah, I read that before posting my question. That thread opened more questions than it answered as far as I am concerned.

I was really asking if anyone was using the Seagull Glide system currently and what their experiences were to date. Itís fine to take it out for a spin but what does it work like on a flight to flight basis.

Dean Gradwell had some useful comments (half way down) about the Glide System but then compared it to the Skymelody unit, no help to me as I donít have that one either.

I can see where the display unit would be annoying and dangerous for the pilot but for my use it would not be for the pilot to look at but a team member and for him to make recommendations to the pilot. The pilot will only be interested in the tone in his ear so he can fly the airplane properly and efficiently as with any other vario.

I have to buy something and I want the most bang for the buck and I really like the data recording feature.
May 15, 2006, 01:16 AM
BOP spotter
It appears that Model Airplane News had a review in the March 2005 issue (select from the dropdown on that page.) Might be a little out of date now, I don't have a copy to check. If someone in your club keeps back issues, at least you can see what MAN thought of Eagle Tree a year ago.

Last edited by bfretless; May 15, 2006 at 01:23 AM. Reason: fixed URL
May 15, 2006, 08:39 PM
I hope you fly big planes as the unit is fairly large. No problem for scale ships but would never fit into some of my competition TD planes.

You may want to look into the Picalario (sp??) at Kennedy Composites. This unit is used by a lot of the guys in my area and they are all happy with it. No GPS but it does the vario thing plus others very well.
May 15, 2006, 09:47 PM
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pinolefm1's Avatar
I fit one in my xmodels 124" super blade.I don't know anything about varios and haven't had a chance to fine tune it to the plane yet since I had a unexpected nose first landing that put the plane out of commision for a while.What I did notice was apparently clear indications that something was going on as the vario tone changed very frequently and it seemed to match what I was seeing in the air.We hooked the dashboard to a laptop for awhile which was sort of cool but not very useful to the immediate pilot.Spectators could see altitude, airspeed,vario and whatever parameter that was appropriate for the sensors used on board (they offer rpm,current,voltage,gps...add-ons) .Another function that was nice was on board receiver pack voltage monitoring..always a nice piece of was sensitive enough that you could see the servo load voltage dip in real time while making turns for instance.

How does it stand up to the other offerings ?? I haven't a clue but there are lots of opinions in the linked thread above for you to ponder


May 16, 2006, 09:01 PM
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skewbe's Avatar

Quick quiz

As the picture says, is this a variometer?
May 16, 2006, 09:55 PM
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pinolefm1's Avatar
Originally Posted by skewbe
As the picture says, is this a variometer?
Might be.... Would be a little hard for the R/C pilot to see in the air though

May 17, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Neil Stainton's Avatar
If the box was a perfect pressure gauge with no air capacity it wouldn't measure anything. It might work as a variometer if the internal bellows had a big capacity.
Most old style variometers had a sealed air bottle to increase the volume of air in the system.


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