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Black Box V2 & GPS...please comment

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As I have mentioned before, Act-Labs has been working on the development of a new version including GPS OSD. I have a few questions to throw out for consideration and comments are encouraged

OK, with having GPS on screen display, what would your purpose for it be?

Is just having the GPS info displayed enough or would it be good to have the info recorded internally for play back later to see "where you went?"

What if this went further and not only did the BB V2 have OSC GPS but the BB had GPS pass through ability so it could be linked to Matt K's PDC-10 clone for autonomous flight? Does this make your imagination turn up a notch?

Please post your thoughts, ideas or email them directly to me


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[warning - thinking out loud!]

I'd say ground speed, altitude (especially if the 300ft limit issue hasn't been fixed, maybe switchable) and heading.

Those are the figures that can be useful when flying, if that's all you have. Lat/lon position is meaningless in flight. However, already having pressure-based altitude and speed readings they are not of a great help anymore.

What would seem more useful to me in that case would be distance and direction to a waypoint (mainly start point). If this type of OSD is kept I know graphics aren't supported. But giving horizontal distance to start (would be stored before takeoff), current heading and heading to follow in order to face start point would be absolutely great. Along with ground altitude, vertical speed (based on pressure altitude), airspeed and ground speed (in order to see if you are in strong winds) you have all you need in order to fly even without visible ground reference.

GPS data recording would definitely be very useful.

Maybe a temp sensor, to know what we should be expecting from our poor batteries up there :)

Regarding the current version, here's a little recapitulation:

The altitude limit!! From what I've seen that's hardware-related. I hope a lot that this will be fixed... as well as the manual calibration. I think the circuit's dynamic is not great enough, thus the limit and the need to physically adjust. Hopefully both could go, and the device would simply read the pressure at power-up and use that as a zero.

Speed calibration. The temperature-related issue I mentioned certainly means that there lacks some temperature compensation (temp sensor available from above remark?). But it shows as well that the unit expects a certain fixed pressure on the speed sensor to display a zero (if I sucked from the tube when the device was cold and showed some speed, it would go down to zero). That should be stored at power-up as well.

Maybe the display on-off settings should be programmed with the PC. I guess that was for ease of change on the field, but I don't really think you'll change from 2 to 3 blade prop like this ;)

Maybe the fields that are not displayed should be recorded (2 separate settings). Something might not be useful while in flight, so one would save space on the screen, but the data still would be interesting to evaluate later.

The voltage reading should accept higher than 9V, maybe 20... in order to be able to monitor a propulsion pack. What about a current sensor, maybe optional, for electric planes, which would allow displaying discharged capacity?

OK, I've just thrown up things knowing that depending on current design status, cost, size and many more could or could not be implemented. But that's I would consider if I were at their place, all of them making the ultimate FPV flying aid :)

Sure the others will have other views too :P

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Oh I forgot a couple of things: I think a Hall sensor for the tach would be better. The optical one goes wild pretty often.

Also, as the display certainly will be relatively crowded, a possibility to turn off the text in order to have clean video with a R/C channel would be great.

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I still haven't hooked up V1. It's sitting on my table.

But based on what I've heard I agree with Kilrah's write up.

The only thing I add is custom voltage input display to show RSSI of RC receiver.

This and distance/heading to take-off point are crusial pieces of information for FPV flying imho and they are missing on other displays.

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