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Vrflyer

Altimeter for light planes like Easystar

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New version of Zlog is available (but out of stock) with an LCD display, so visible under sunlight if it place in front of the cam, like on the dashboard of an Easystar.

http://www.hexpertsystems.com/zlog/index.html

They also sold the lcd display for $10. My idea is to remove the display from the Zlog and add wire with small connector. I will buy two other lcd, and will add wire and connector to my three lcd display. One display will be glue in place on three differents planes and I will disconnect the Zlog to move it to another planes. It a cheap, easy and very cool way to have real-time altitude on light planes.

I'm amaze to see all the things that we can find on the market that come at the right moment. This hobby is marvellous :)

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That looks like a good idea.

I bought a few voltmeters with the idea of mounting one in the cockpit of my easystar so with a quick peak down I could see the status of the camera battery. It's easy to remove the case and minimize the weight.

eb2001.jpg

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm afraid the glare in the sunlight will make it unreadable.

BTW, what kind of meter did I see in one of your easystar pictures? It looked like a horizontal bar graph.

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BTW, what kind of meter did I see in one of your easystar pictures? It looked like a horizontal bar graph.

It's a led bar display. It's very hard to see the led under sunlight most of the time. It's not available for lithium batt, it work on 4.8V or 6.0V, and will indicate a green light or red for the condition of the batt.

You have made a far better choice with your lcd display, thank for the info, I was not knowing that it's available :) I will try to see a lcd display like a watch through the camera under sunlight, but I'm pretty sure it will work well.

Your lcd display is littly too big, can you remove the case, and tell the dimension of the circuit with the case removed.

Edited by Vrflyer

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I just took the meter out of the case and measured it.

30x50x9mm, and 13 grams of weight.

This is probably impractical, but I was thinking about other "instruments" you could read by video from the cockpit...

How about this for an airspeed and altitude display?

xplorer4l.jpg

It's the Skywatch Xplorer 4 and can display these parameters at the same time, or it can display heading and airspeed.

I envision it being mounted in a slot in the nose of an Easystar, with the impeller sticking out into the airsteam... A slight pan down would bring the screen into view letting you see the values...

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Why not use an OSD (text overlay) based solution? There are commercial options out there, but a DiY project might be fun too. I can appreciate the cost issues if the buget is tight, but thought I would bring this up anyway.

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I'm sure an OSD is in my future, I've been eyeballing the Inspire especially!

I just look at everything with the "how can I apply this to R/C?" mindset!

Actually, this thing retails for $135 and weighs 50 grams...

Vizion with the ZLOG only costs $160 and weighs 33 grams...

Edited by rob10000

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Why not use an OSD (text overlay) based solution? There are commercial options out there, but a DiY project might be fun too. I can appreciate the cost issues if the buget is tight, but thought I would bring this up anyway.

Yes sure overlay is the best, but for a plane like Easystar, the only data I need is the altitude. The battery voltage could be cool, but not neccessary, the planes stay close, so I heard the motor. Even ZLOG with Vision OSD is too big, unless I squeeze everything and remove it at each battery change.

The ZLOG LCD on the dashboard is a simple project that every one can do :)

And it look cool.

I work on it presently and will post many photos.

Edited by Vrflyer

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I'm trying the Eagletree MicroPower logger and display panel. With the altitude & airspeed modules it fits into my Easystar OK, and the LCD display can show any 4 parameters you want. I'm currently using altitude, airspeed, pack volts and motor current. The panel is about the same size as the front panel of the EZ* cockpit, so it actually doesn't reduce the view overall (I'm looking down in this shot). It's less intrusive in use than an OSD, and the logger bit allows for graphic display of all parameters later.

However, as you can see from this pic, with the display at the front of the EZ* cockpit and the camera as far back as it will go on a 2 axis mount, the camera lens is still a bit close to the display; I'm looking at the altitude (404ft), and have to look left for speed & volts, and down a bit more for current!

I'm thinking of a correction plate (to at least get it in focus!), but the panel needs to be further forward to be seen in one go. I may attack the EZ* cockpit to move it forward.

post-6-1181476773_thumb.jpg

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B) I real strongly DO NOT want the video feed from the aircraft to have text on it. I would rather put it in on the ground and transmit it again on another video channel, anything. I want the video to be recordable (NO TEXT). What I am looking for is the video clean and one audio channel of real time live telemetry (aircraft level, voltages, receiver signal strength (would be real good), RPM, etc) and maybe the second GPS. All 3 can be recorded and played back and looked at individually. I plan to sit on my butt and watch the monitor, so a side display of all the values at once would be just fine. Kinda like MS Flight Sim using 2 or 3 monitors with the A/C blowing. Standing out in a open field in the sun doing the, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder thing while being a ground target for the other fliers is "just not my cup of tea". Edited by ddwaner

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It's a dilemma, sure. However, I'm finding that just when info on the 'real' panel (speed, height) would be useful, things are happening a bit too fast to take my eyes off the road ahead - a model in turbulence reacts quicker than a fast jet! The same could well be true with your secondary monitors...

(If you check out the OSD thread, you'll see it will have an input to bypass the OSD, so you can check info when you want to, but (flick of a switch on your RC transmitter) most of the time it'll be just the video - perhaps a better compromise?)

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As long as its not on the recorded video the OSD would be fine, with or without a switch. Just place the values outside of the video frame and use 1 widescreen monitor, just keep the Text off my final recordings (unless you use CC/Teletext line). :)

Edited by ddwaner

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ddwaner, that strikes me as one of those really elegant, simple solutions.

Mark's OSD allows you to put stuff on the top line; who's going to notice if the final video has the top 5% of the frame cropped? Not me...

Great idea!...

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