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  • Latest news from RC Electronics

    At last, for the first time in my life, procrastination has paid off. I've been intending to write about the latest hardware and firmware from RC Electronics for the past couple of months but just couldn't get started. Alas, Andrej at RC Electronics has created a document and posted it on the RC Electronics website in the Manuals Download section. This document shows the various combinations of hardware that are possible and lists what information is available from each combination. Not shown is the use of the original T3000 system which has been updated to meet the new rules and to work with an Android device for display. I am still testing the updates to the T3000 and will have more to say about it when I am sure it is working as intended.
    Rick Shelby
    Team Horizon

  • #2
    Thanks for the update Rick.
    Len Buffinton
    Team Horizon Hobby

    Comment


    • #3
      I updated my Raven and Snipe and Albatross to the latest versions today. I also went and reworked my servo control of the screens a little. Albatross is definitely a bit nicer on Android now.

      What values are folks putting on the Nav boxes for the different pages, e.g. Start/Glide/Thermal/Info?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mlachow View Post
        I updated my Raven and Snipe and Albatross to the latest versions today. I also went and reworked my servo control of the screens a little. Albatross is definitely a bit nicer on Android now.

        What values are folks putting on the Nav boxes for the different pages, e.g. Start/Glide/Thermal/Info?
        You no longer have to be right on the number to make the servo control work. + or - 2% is close enough. The new Albatross menus look completely different and are more intuitive for most people. Be sure to try turning on the "Tail" in the "Graphics" settings. It shows the last 3 minutes of your track and is color coded to show what the vario readings were at each position. Blue is sink and red is lift.

        Start Page:
        3D Speed - the speed that is used in determining your official start speed
        GPS Altitude - the altitude that is used in determining your official start altitude
        Penalty Points
        Servo Pulse
        Entry Speed
        Entry Height

        Thermal Page:
        Air Speed
        GPS Altitude
        Vario
        Avg Vario
        Thermal Vario
        Alt Gain

        Glide Page:
        Air Speed
        GPS Altitude
        Vario
        Triangle Altitude
        Avg. Triangle Speed
        Last Triangle Speed

        Info Page:
        Air Speed
        GPS Altitude
        Vario
        Last Triangle Index
        Triangle Time
        Avg. Triangle Time

        Except for the "Start" page I have always have Air Speed, GPS Altitude and Vario located in the same Nav boxes in each screen so that they are easy to find and read.
        Rick Shelby
        Team Horizon

        Comment


        • #5
          Rick,

          What's the logical upgrade or replacement for the T3000? In order of importance for me are:

          1) Easy, heads-up (zero/minimum need to look away from plane to a screen) course navigation for solo flying

          2) Responsive and tunable vario sensitivity and feedback

          3) Speed-to-fly direction

          4) Price

          Thanks,

          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            The only system that meets all those requirements is the Raven/Snipe system displayed on an Android device running the Albatross app. I'll detail how it meets them:

            1) Stereo sound guides you around the course. There is nearly always a sound coming from the vario and there are numerous voice announcements at critical times of your choosing. If all the sound is coming through the right ear you need to steer right to be on course for the next turn point. Vice versa for the left ear. If the sound is in both ears you are within 5 degrees (that's close enough) of a heading that will take you to a point 20m outside the next turn point. It's a very simple and effective system that always works the same regardless of if the plane is coming towards you or going away. That is, if the sound is in the right ear apply right aileron and rudder and vice versa. In other words move the transmitter stick towards the sound.

            2) The vario is even better than that of the T3000 system which was already the best vario available. This is partly because of the better hardware available now to measure the pressure changes but mostly because the total energy compensation is done electronically. That means it is easily adjustable from within the Albatross app. And that means that you can easily and quickly get it adjusted such that the compensation is perfect. It's a real revelation flying with a perfectly compensated vario. There are also other adjustments available for the vario but I am not yet knowledgeable enough to know exactly what they do so I leave them in the default setting. As usual with this sport, the more you know the more you realize how much more there is to know.

            3) We don't have speed to fly yet but it is coming. STF requires accurate airspeed and an accurate glide polar for the plane being flown. The Raven will create a file that can be loaded into a spreadsheet and graphed to visualize the glide polar. The system has accurate actual airspeed and that by itself is a huge leap forward. Having STF working is just a matter of gathering the data on the various gliders and a bit of programming but that could take a while. I will know more after our Montague event in June as Andrej of RC Electronics will be here competing.

            4) Price for a complete system is $1225. If you need all the pressure tubing required for a pitot tube in the tail that is another $30. You will still need to provide the Android device of your choice. I now recommend the UMIDIGI Power phone linked below. It has the processing power to handle all the current features and those features yet to come. It is the phone that Andrej uses so you know that he will make sure that Albatross doesn't ever overwhelm it. You can also use a tablet of course and many people do. They are available for a similar price.
            https://www.amazon.com/UMIDIGI-Unloc...dDbGljaz10cnVl

            For anyone choking on the price, the original Sky Navigator system that had only GPS data and ran on an iPAQ pocket PC cost $1500 10 years ago.

            The document that is attached shows all the various combinations of RC Electronics gear and what they can do. It is part of what I tried to link to in the first post of this discussion. I don't really know much about all the Jeti combinations that occupy the first half of the document since I don't fly Jeti and don't have anyone nearby that does. Even though a Jeti transmitter is shown in the pictures of the standalone systems it doesn't matter what radio system you use to control the plane as the standalone systems are just that - they are completely self contained and independent of whatever radio you are using to fly your plane.

            Rick Shelby
            Team Horizon






            Connections-options_2.pdf
            Rick Shelby
            Team Horizon

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Rick!

              Comment


              • #8
                Another of the continuing series of updates came out last week for the Raven, Snipe, Sparrow and Albatross. I highly recommend updating as the new features are definitely very useful. Among other things, Albatross has sound now. Previously all the sounds came from the Snipe. Now Albatross also can generate the same sounds. You can select in the Albatross settings whether you want the Snipe or Albatross sounds or both. When you are on the various menu pages be sure to scroll down to make sure you see everything. Some of the pages have had new options added.
                Rick Shelby
                Team Horizon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Rick,

                  It looks like on Amazon at least, the UMIDIGI Power phone is no longer available. Any other good options?

                  Tim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FWIW, I went with the Nokia 2.3. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/nokia-2...?skuId=6395347
                    Tom

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                    • #11
                      They seem to still be available on Ebay. There are even some refurbished units for half price.
                      Find great deals for UMIDIGI Power Android 9.0 5150mAh Waterdrop Screen Smartphone 4GB+64GB Global . Shop with confidence on eBay!
                      Rick Shelby
                      Team Horizon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are going to use a Raven and Snipe the 2 most important specs of the phone and/or tablet are the processor speed and the battery size. The UMIDIGI has a 2.3 ghz processor and a 5150 mah battery. Several people use the Motorola G6 that has a 1.4 ghz processor and 4000 mah battery. That is the minimum spec that I would consider for the current version of Albatross. However there will be more processing hungry features added in the future and I am not sure the Moto 6 will be able to keep up. The battery is probably adequate for most people but I have used it up before I wanted to quit flying for the day.

                        Andrej at RC Electronics uses the UMIDIGI phone so it is very unlikely that he will release a version of Albatross that overpowers it. Tom's Nokia phone is probably good enough for the future and even the Moto6 will probably continue to work when the new features are added as it is very likely that you can choose to not use them if your phone can't handle it. Currently, if your device locks up from not being able to deal with all the processing you can turn off the vario tail. That feature uses a lot of processing power and/or short term memory.

                        Also you really want a device that is at Android 7 or higher. I have devices at version 7,8 and 9 and each successive version is much faster and more pleasant to operate. Supposedly Albatross will work on versions all the way back to Android 4.x but it is not recommended.
                        Rick Shelby
                        Team Horizon

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