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AllanK

Variometers?

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AllanK

I have been thinking about getting a variometer to help with my thermal searching etc.  There doesnt seem to be many choices and all seem quite pricey.  I want something that will provide audio, so that I dont have to keep looking at a screen.I wonder whether any one uses one, and would be intersted to know the make/model and what they think are the good and bad points of it thanks Allan

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Jef Ott

AllanK said:

I have been thinking about getting a variometer to help with my thermal searching etc.  There doesnt seem to be many choices and all seem quite pricey.  I want something that will provide audio, so that I dont have to keep looking at a screen.I wonder whether any one uses one, and would be intersted to know the make/model and what they think are the good and bad points of it thanks Allan
Hi Allan,For the last couple of years I have used the rc-electronics #2pro and T1000, available in the UK from Martin Bell.The good bits…My models are generally small enough and close enough for the model to show visually (before the tone changes sufficiently, or the voice announcements are made), to warn whether you are in lift or sink. They are however, brilliant for instant verification of maximum height just after launch, so they are great for trimming Discus and rocket launched models for maximum launch efficiiency, and you don't have to land soon after the launch to get the info, so you can make good use of thermals as and when they arrive.They also have an electric motor controller, for electric gliders, which will allow the altimeter to cut the motor at any set height (I normally use 60m and 200m depending on the class of electric model). They also feature a timer cut-off for the electric models, which can be set to any reasonable value, mine are set at 7 seconds for the 1.5m span models, or 30 seconds for the larger models. This equipment is accepted in height-limiter electric competitions (when used without the vario).One of the additional features is the verbal announcement at pre-set intervals (settable by the operator) of the battery voltage. The operator can also set a low voltage alarm, which again gives you a verbal warning of low battery voltage.The rx battery voltage features make these units very attractive to me, (particularly as I use them in handlaunched and rocket gliders with very low capacity receiver batteries). I set my low voltage alarm for 4.6V, but again you can set whatever reasonable value you like.At the end of the day you can download all of the flight information to a computer and relive the best flights and cringe at the awful glide angles that you have given your model. Set to record the data every second, and the unit will store 9 hours worth of flying. If you set the altitude trigger so that only heights above three metres are recorded, you won't fill the memory with unwanted info when the model is switched on, but on the ground.  The bad bits…On my small models, I have suffered some interference, from the onboard vario unit to the 35MHz receiver. Wrapping the rx, leads and aerial in kitchen foil or carbon just in the vicinity of the vario unit and its aerial will probably cure that though.On one or two occasions, I have forgotten to clear off the previously stored information, and been disappointed after a day's flying, when I sat down at the computer hoping to see some exciting data only to find that the unit stopped recording when it filled the memory.Because I don't lay out my onboard vario transmitter aerial properly, I do lose transmitted info momentarily in turns and temporarily at height.  Don't know what varios other people are using in electric models, but the Jeti system was not as sensitive to height changes when tested side by side with the rc-electronics units, in rocket gliders (just before the rules were changed outlawing their use in FAI S8 (Space Modelling r/c gliders) – at the 2010 World Championships, the day before the event).Hope this info is useful to you.Jef

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AllanK

Jeff,Thank you, i am hoping to get some more considered and full responses such as yours - and they, as is yours will be invaluable.When I google rc-electronics (and vario,2 pro or t2000) I am unable to see the unit or manufacturer - can you provide me a URL as well please? thanks againAllan

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Jef Ott

AllanK said:

Jeff,Thank you, i am hoping to get some more considered and full responses such as yours - and they, as is yours will be invaluable.When I google rc-electronics (and vario,2 pro or t2000) I am unable to see the unit or manufacturer - can you provide me a URL as well please? thanks againAllan Ahh the wonders of Google! I put in "#2 pro rc-electronics" and this was the top result...http://www.rc-electronics.org/.....2_pro.html

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Austin

Years ago I used to fly large scale gliders and have a Skymelody Vario. It is purely sound and has an earpiece that gives a different tone when in rising or falling air, just like the full size.If its of any use I would be looking to get rid of it very cheap. PM me if interested.

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Rob Thomson

I have used Thermal Scout quite extensively. http://www.wingedsha.....scout.html Now.  This baby has two modes of operation. 1.  Non Telemetry ModeThis mode is quite clever.  What is does it to sit in line between your rudder and receiver.  When you are in 'lift' it wags your gliders rudder.  Simple, and really effective on a 2 channel thermal soarer!  (oh you can turn it on and off with a spare channel on the tx) 2. Telemetry ModeThis mode is superb - and my preferential way of operation.  Out the box it supports FRSky,Hitec and Spectrum Telemetry.End setup is slightly different dependant on the telemetry system in use - but simple either way. I use mine in combination with the er9x firmware (http://code.google.com/p/er9x/) and the FRSky Modules.  It works an absolute treat! Price wise.. well.  Not dirt cheap.  But certainly affordable on the current dollar pound rate! (around £35 per unit) Rob

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