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Author Topic: Altimeters  (Read 1348 times)
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RobinB
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« on: February 08, 2017, 07:26:12 AM »

What altimeters are currently favoured for free-flight?
Some of those I'd previously made a note of seem to have gone, or are out of stock

Robin
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USch
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 11:01:18 AM »

I use the Altis Micro from Aerobtec
http://www.aerobtec.com/products/rc-electronics/
for Free Flight and light RC gliders.
Its weight is 4,6g with connectors. The advantage (for me) against much lighter one's from HK is that every time you disconnect the battery on the following connection it will start a new file, so afterwards you can download all flights to the computer and analyse the data's or the graphics. It is also temperature compensated so you can compare flights done in different conditions. The software which goes together is a simple Excel spreadsheet. It memorises height, temperature and supply voltage (not motor tension!)

Urs

PS: In Great Britain it is sold by eSoaring Gadgets and Hyperflight
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RobinB
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 04:15:36 PM »

Thanks, Urs, I didn't know about the Altis.
I see Hyperflight also have the RAM3, but it appears to only be compatible with Windows XP, or earlier.
Even I have a newer version of Windows than that (just) |-)

Robin
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Tapio Linkosalo
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 11:29:55 PM »


I have tried quite a few Altimeters in the years passed by, Alti, Alti2, Altimax, RAM2, RAM3. Currently I use the FD-A / HK altimeter, which I have two. It is the smallest which I have used so far (1.4 grams without the power lead, and with my short lead to my timer it weights 1.8g). It has the advantage over the other altimeters, that it also records the temperature during logging, which can be then used to calculate the altitude from pressure readings. To my understanding, the other loggers do not use the measured temperature in the pressure->altitude conversion (you can feed the numbers to the Windows software in RAM), and even the propriety software of FD-A does not utilise that data. Using my own equations I can take it into account. In freezing conditions you may get 10% overestimates for the maximum altitude (and hence sinking rate) if you do not take the temperature into account.

Urs mentioned the separate files of Altis. Actually also the FD-A altimeter puts a separator to the file for each power up, so each flight can be separated. The propriety software gives you a list from which you can pick one flight at a time.
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RobinB
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »

Thanks, Tapio.
When I checked Hobbyking recently, the altimeter was out of stock. Now it's not even listed.
How High and Zlog seem to have gone, too.

That doesn't leave much choice!

Robin
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Flyguy
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 02:31:52 PM »

Thanks, Tapio.
When I checked Hobbyking recently, the altimeter was out of stock. Now it's not even listed.
How High and Zlog seem to have gone, too.

That doesn't leave much choice!

Robin

Wow you're right, I just checked hobbyking and it's no longer listed, I guess they are dropping it, now I'm really glad I've bought about a dozen over the last few years! Plus they also dropped the lightest Orange receiver, not good signs. I mention the FD/HK and the RAM3 altimeters in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSDScvyDP6I    go to about 3:00 for the altimeters

Thanks, Urs, I didn't know about the Altis.
I see Hyperflight also have the RAM3, but it appears to only be compatible with Windows XP, or earlier.
Even I have a newer version of Windows than that (just) |-)

Robin

I have Windows 10 and the RAM3 software works without a glitch. Given the lack of availability of the FD/HK altimeter, I think the RAM3 is a decent choice, the software is actually a little nicer.



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Tapio Linkosalo
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 02:53:07 PM »


Personally I dislike the RAM for the feature that the logging frequency is adjusted by powering the logger on and off. My glider timer is activated by bringing the tow hook forward, it drives the servos to "straight tow" position so that you can set tailplane in flying position, then releasing the hook puts the timer into sleep mode again, servos powered off. Unfortunately for RAM, this "power on" phase often takes the logger to "adjust frequency mode". Awkward.

I do not know this "Thanksbuy" -company, but they still list the FD-A logger. Twice the price as HK did, though. http://www.thanksbuyer.com/fly-dream-fd-altimeter-altitude-data-logger-for-aat-system-rc-airplane-toys-25052

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Flyguy
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 03:09:11 PM »

I agree about the FD-A being the best, as I said I'm glad I bought a dozen, and it stinks that it's not available at HK anymore, nice that you found another link to it, though it costs more.

Interesting info about the RAM, I'm only using it in rubber planes so I just turn on the receiver and throw the plane, so there haven't been any problems.

I seem to remember this came up a few years back at HPA and someone mentioned another one, I think it was used in rockets, that was very light, like 2 grams or less, I was thinking of getting it but never did (since I was happy with the FD-A), I did a quick search but I couldn't find it. something with a U in it?

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cvasecuk
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 03:52:56 PM »

I've also found it here http://alofthobbies.com/fly-dream-altitude-permit-2056.html but that is not much help for non US flyers!
I've contacted HK to see if they will restock the FD altimeter.
Ron
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airplay
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 06:07:52 PM »

For instant valuations on trim, prop ect. the 2.3 g Altimon does its job. Last 5 gains since powering shown on 7 digit display. Made by german DLG enthusiast.
rc-tool.de/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=36&zenid=7bfa947os8mefd8ng1tb7diqr7
Jens
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JohnOSullivan
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 07:20:42 PM »

For instant valuations on trim, prop ect. the 2.3 g Altimon does its job. Last 5 gains since powering shown on 7 digit display. Made by german DLG enthusiast.
rc-tool.de/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=36&zenid=7bfa947os8mefd8ng1tb7diqr7
Jens

Jens:
Does this unit record  a continuous output of data, or does it just record maximum altitude?
I have two HK altimeters and as they no longer stock them, I have just  ordered another from Aloft Hobbies.
As with Tapio, I am very satisfied with them, with the exception of the data manipulation, although Tapio seems to have solved that quirk.
I have used them in the Blizzard and in several RC Electric sailplanes with very consistent results.
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John O'Sullivan
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RobinB
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2017, 12:11:34 PM »

I just checked with the HK online chat robot/person, and the altimeter is on back order - 30 days possibly, maybe.
I may wait, as it's way cheaper than the RAM3+interface.

Robin
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airplay
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 06:24:54 AM »

Regarding the AltiMon-F3K altimeter I wrote rc-tool.de if it is temperature compesated.
"yes AltiMon-F3K has a temperature sensor, but the temperature data will not be reported/transmitted to the transmitter.
The temperature is required to compensate the pressure data, which are influenced by the temperature."

Jens
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Tapio Linkosalo
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2017, 07:41:41 AM »


All pressure sensors have an in-built temperature sensor. This is required to correct the pressure measurement (that is, temperature correction to adjust diaphragm movement/voltage to pressure reading). In addition, the pressure-to-altitude conversion is also temperature dependent. All pressure sensors do (automatically) he former. From the quoted reply it remains unclear to me if it also does the latter.

 
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 02:20:19 AM »

I just checked with the HK online chat robot/person, and the altimeter is on back order - 30 days possibly, maybe.
I may wait, as it's way cheaper than the RAM3+interface.

Robin

Well done Robin!

I was using my only HK unit in my Elf mini-DLG until I dunked it in a muddy puddle last week. Sad  I'd skived off work at lunchtime to chase a postal challenge time and, after a few flights sniffing around for thermal activity, I found myself concentrating on the air but not enough on the ground.  As I launched too close to the wetter edge of the field I did a rather uncomfortable splits in liquid grass!  Perfectly trimmed, the Elf must have stall-turned at the top of its trajectory and returned on an exact reciprocal line, the same 80 degrees but in reverse.  I looked up just in time to see it diving at treetop height almost directly back at the launch spot... but my mud-splattered right-hand was too far from the mud-splattered transmitter to do anything about it!  The deceleration was almost instant as it pinned itself in.  Mud splattered the wings and the nose-cone filled with water.  On the plus side the battery, servos and receiver got away with it and the airframe remarkably withstood the undue force, but the HK altimeter in the very front inside the cone (which has a small hole in it) got a terrific blast of brown water right up its nose!  Despite gentle drying in the airing-cupboard it refuses to download any data...

...and so I was rather hoping to be able to buy a new one!

Jon

PS One advantage of the HK unit is that one can bluetooth the data directly to an Android smartphone in the field.  The display is a little fiddly and takes a bit of time to get used to, but the unit seems accurate enough - and for the weight and price is well worth it.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 03:46:26 AM by Jack Plane » Logged
cvasecuk
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2017, 10:53:38 AM »

Hobby King have their altimeter back in stock.
Ron
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2017, 02:25:06 PM »

Beware Beware!

I just took delivery today of two new HK altimeters... sent from their Hong Hong warehouse!  Shocked

In addition to having to pay 20% import VAT, I had to pay the same again as a 'handing charge' to the courrier!  Angry
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2017, 08:55:46 AM »

Jon, you were rather unlucky. I've just received my one by Royal Mail and didn't have to pay any extra!
Ron
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