Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spektrum Telemetry and Vario Module First Experiments

New technology can be fun to experiment with; I recently made some test flights with the Spektrum Telemetry Module connected to the Aircraft Telemetry Variometer in my Gentle Lady 2-meter sailplane. Originally I had planned to install this in the Sig Riser 100 I am constructing but with the nice weather lately I would rather fly than build. Several years ago I had installed a Multiplex Vario in a glider which only gave a tone that varied when rising or descending; it did not give actual altitude data.  

Modules Connected to Receiver in the Airplane

Multiplex Vario

When you purchase any kind of vario device I think you hope that it will give you some magical insight into thermal air currents that you are not spotting by purely visual cues. As many people besides me have pointed out with some experience flying radio control sailplanes you have a pretty good idea when your glider is going up in rising air.  After a while the constant sound of changing tones and voice messages of current altitude may start to disrupt the tranquility of silent flight.

Modules Connected to  Receiver 

In the brief time I have used the unit I did find it helpful to give me some idea how high I was launching and also how fast I was going up in thermal lift.  The further away the glider was the more helpful the feedback was.  What amazed me was how fast my glider was ascending in thermal lift, at times in the process of making a circle in 15 seconds it had gained 20 meters of altitude.  Although these flights were made around 5:00 p.m. it did appear to be a good day for thermal activity.

Everything Stuffed in the Nose

Gentle Lady and Dx9 Spektrum Transmitter

I feel that working with the modern tools for data feedback in radio control is a help learning how to interpret data for many modern devices in the digital world we live in.  For example I drive a hybrid car that outputs so much data on gas mileage, understanding this data helps you refine your driving habits to optimize gas mileage.  

Graph Data from Hybrid Car

When I use this unit for more time over more flying conditions I plan to write another blog post. At this point I do not have the electronics properly installed as far as routing of wires but it appears to be working fine. There could be settings on the transmitter that could be helpful in refining the telemetry, I will explore this further. 

Bill Kuhl

Memorable RC Thermal Flights

Video of Flying, Turn Up Your Volume to Hear Audio Feedback

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