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  1. #241
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
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    5,246
    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheTop View Post
    You could use the same functionality to keep a directional antenna pointed at the bird. That would improve the S/N ratio during high flights. Might be a bit tricky under boost!
    I'd suggest a patch antenna as opposed to a Yagi but once the rocket is really moving out, the GPS is going to lock out and there is nothing one can do about it with COTS products. Once the speed drops, the receiver can reacquire a signal.
    High G's can momentarily cause loss of GPS lock but the chipset can reacquire it very quickly. Go too fast >1200mph/1000knots and the thing locks out.

    Very impressive flights.

    In some places it would be nice to be able to pipe the lat/long to a map for the visual "types" but it certainly looks to perform well to find ones rocket. Out west there's not much to see on a map but in other places it's nice to have a picture of the likely recovery area so one can plan the recovery route based on nearby roads and obstacles. Yeah one can manually input a last lat/long into a map but I'm lazy and like automatic better.
    Plus I get a kick out of seeing the rocket icon jump a bit when I reacquire valid signal of the final resting place. I think Adrian will become rather popular amongst the crowd with this device.

    Kurt


  2. #242
    Join Date
    15th February 2009
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    634
    Thanks for the explanation Kevin. Looking really great. Excited that real world tests have been, that always leads to a better product. Good luck to you and Adrian at getting them done and for sale.

    While I do see the advantage of a less expensive base station without the GPS and using the phone's GPS instead, don't let the delay you from getting 1.0 out the door. Lots of eager folks out here wanting to be able integrate the tracker into their builds and are ready to plonk down some cash. The best part is that no loss if you bring out a less expensive base station since of course the current one then becomes a full fledged tracker.


    Tony

    why do people put so much stuff in their sigs?

  3. #243
    Join Date
    22nd January 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by ksaves2 View Post
    In some places it would be nice to be able to pipe the lat/long to a map for the visual "types" but it certainly looks to perform well to find ones rocket.
    my first test will be to see if I can use Apple maps and dropped pins but will also look into googlemaps integration even if it is via a 'share' button that sends the location to googlemaps (so not necessarily a live tracking but you could at least get a pin and satellite / map view).
    Kevin Small, TRA #07172 L3
    Featherweight Interface Developer - wFIP (Windows), iFIP (iPhone)

  4. #244
    Join Date
    22nd January 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by manixFan View Post
    While I do see the advantage of a less expensive base station without the GPS and using the phone's GPS instead, don't let the delay you from getting 1.0 out the door. Lots of eager folks out here wanting to be able integrate the tracker into their builds and are ready to plonk down some cash. The best part is that no loss if you bring out a less expensive base station since of course the current one then becomes a full fledged tracker.
    I'm pretty sure we would not delay for a no GPS design since as you note, any sold now as ground stations could still be used as trackers - which is a very nice feature...!
    Kevin Small, TRA #07172 L3
    Featherweight Interface Developer - wFIP (Windows), iFIP (iPhone)

  5. #245
    Join Date
    23rd July 2011
    Location
    Butte, MT
    Posts
    2,744
    This unit really impressed me Saturday. I now have it on my wish list also.


    Steve Shannon
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  6. #246
    Join Date
    13th August 2014
    Posts
    828
    Quote Originally Posted by kjs View Post
    And yes also, basically you could keep anything (antenna, camera, etc) pointed at the rocket - and with a good zoom on the camera would be able to capture things you wouldn't normally see...
    I would be interested in doing the mechanical work for this.

    Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Rocketry Forum mobile app
    -Brian Schwartz
    LiquidFyre Rocketry
    https://www.LiquidFyre-Rocketry.com
    TRA #15327 L2



    If it's worth doing, it's worth over doing!

  7. #247
    Join Date
    22nd January 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenex View Post
    I would be interested in doing the mechanical work for this.
    Let us get it released to production and then we should talk!
    Kevin Small, TRA #07172 L3
    Featherweight Interface Developer - wFIP (Windows), iFIP (iPhone)

  8. #248
    Join Date
    4th December 2016
    Location
    Alabaster, AL
    Posts
    166
    Let us know when an Android App becomes available, and I'll purchase two of these very quickly. Take my money. Sounds like a great product.
    Les Rayburn, N1LF
    Level 1-NAR #81057
    Maylene, AL
    (205) 253-4867
    Birmingham Rocket Boys NAR Section 665
    Phoenix Missile Works


    “Actually, I’m a rocket engineer. I just build ‘em. You do the math.”

  9. #249
    Join Date
    17th May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    182
    +2 here
    Ken Weaver
    vid2u@aol.com

  10. #250
    Join Date
    28th April 2009
    Location
    Flower Mound, TX
    Posts
    259

    Available Early February 2018. (Really )!

    https://www.featherweightaltimeters....s-tracker.html

    Available Early February 2018. (Really )!
    Bump!



    Eagerly awaiting the release!

    NikeMikey

  11. #251
    Join Date
    10th December 2011
    Location
    Huntington, IN
    Posts
    590
    End of February maybe


    Sent from my iPad using Rocketry Forum
    Proud Member

    Chicago Rocket Mafia
    (Graveyard)
    SCAM
    Tripoli Indiana
    QCRS

  12. #252
    Join Date
    22nd January 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    123
    2018-02-10 update ...... If you are reading this thread at a later date, there have likely been updates to the status below...

    So I'm in the Phoenix area and we flew five flights successfully with the units at the January TRAPHX launch. I'll be going to the February launch and I'm sure we will get some more flights in there too. The iOS app is working but had the glitches mentioned earlier in this thread (still worked fine but one loss of BLE pairing issue was annoying since I didn't go on that rocket retrieval where I could have maybe resolved it).

    But one remaining issue we are working with is the over the air firmware update...

    For the past few months, I have done all the development using that to update the firmware (as a way to validate the robustness). I would build the BLE project, embed it in the iPhone project and then the iPhone would detect a difference in the firmware and command the device into 'update mode' (where the BLE device reboots into a special firmware update mode and that's where the BLE over the air update protocol exists).

    And over the past few months I have had ~3-4 times (out of 100+) where the device reboots, but reboots back into the normal application mode (instead of the OTA update mode). Currently the phone then detects that it still has out of date firmware and commands it to reboot again and it gets in a cycle of reboot, detect firmware out of date, command reboot to OTA mode.... repeat.... My prior attempts to use the debugger to figure out what is going on resulted in the device getting reprogrammed - and then it works fine again... [and the reboot to OTA is using standard code provided by the maker of the chip.]

    So another unit did it yesterday... so my goal for today is to first get the phone to detect that it is now in a loop that it is likely not going to succeed at, and just switch to just using the firmware as is. This would at least prevent a unit from suddenly becoming unusable because the phone *insisted* on a later version of firmware and the unit was unable to do the update to get there. The base protocol is stable enough now that it would still support all standard tracking and configuration changes (frequency, rocket name, etc) and . It might however not be able then to use newer features in the updated phone app (if they used any newer 'messages' over the BLE)... Some customers would be maybe OK with that as they just want a tracker (and they really wanted it last month... ;-) but others would be upset by their lack of ability to get the possible upgrades. Most other products have no "in the field firmware update" capability so this is not as bad as it might sound - but we really want to be able to improve and proliferate new changes... and do it automatically and without expecting some customer returns for firmware updates to get it going again... Now, the radio chip still can get OTA updates as that protocol is implemented in the normal app mode (so Adrian could still improve the coordination, found rocket etc and those updates could be available to the phone - as long as they didn't require a new BLE 'message').

    So, I'm going to get this unit working as is with the out of date firmware while we work on figuring out the underlying issue. I'm also going to implement a simple protocol that is a passthrough between the phone and radio chip - so then most updates would still work because the radio chip can still be updated and the phone can be updated.... That might be enough to make us feel comfortable about starting the release because we could at least guarantee future updates would all be available to anyone - and maybe no BLE update would ever be needed.

    Thanks for your patience! ... And I understand the impatience as well!

    /kjs
    Kevin Small, TRA #07172 L3
    Featherweight Interface Developer - wFIP (Windows), iFIP (iPhone)

  13. #253
    Join Date
    19th June 2017
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    76
    Thanks for the hard work and update! I’ll check back in about....2 hours.


    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum
    NAR 102867
    L1 06/2017
    L2 08/2017

  14. #254
    Join Date
    18th October 2016
    Posts
    610
    Sounds like you could make the auto-updates an option and ship v1.0...?

    Code:
    if (updateDetected) {
        UIAlertView(“Do you want to update to v1.0.1?”)... {
            if (true) {
                startUpdateMode()
            }
            else {
                continueNormalMode()
            }
        }
    }
    I personally prefer the option of updates when I’m dealing with flight hardware. I may be wildly out of the norm, but I always test my electronics after I do any updates to make sure they’re working as I need them to (e.g. altimeter charge test in a vacuum chamber or GPS test driving around). It’d be tough (or at least frustrating & time consuming) to do any regression testing if the unit decided to do a mandatory update in the field.
    TRA L2. I-class record: "Vanish 29" with an I224, 14,596ft, Mach 1.92. Video here.

  15. #255
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
    Posts
    5,246
    The more options = The more time to develop. Be patient.

    Otherwise............The "less understanding" will be screaming and yellling bloody murder if something doesn't work. If one needs a tracker that works below 10k "RIGHT NOW", there are plenty of options out there already.
    Plus the mesh search option isn't going to work until this device permeates the community so much that there's more than one flying at the same time. Isolated club launch? At least you'll probably be the only one with
    this device unless it's a really large club that is well attended every time with many folks that bought the tracker. I'd say chill until they're confident to release/sell it. A bad first showing isn't going to do it any good.

    Kurt

  16. #256
    Join Date
    22nd January 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchoDuke View Post
    Sounds like you could make the auto-updates an option and ship v1.0...?

    Code:
    if (updateDetected) {
        UIAlertView(“Do you want to update to v1.0.1?”)... {
            if (true) {
                startUpdateMode()
            }
            else {
                continueNormalMode()
            }
        }
    }
    I personally prefer the option of updates when I’m dealing with flight hardware. I may be wildly out of the norm, but I always test my electronics after I do any updates to make sure they’re working as I need them to (e.g. altimeter charge test in a vacuum chamber or GPS test driving around). It’d be tough (or at least frustrating & time consuming) to do any regression testing if the unit decided to do a mandatory update in the field.
    Actually if you don't update the phone app, it will stay where it is. but when you update the phone app, it is bundled with the firmware that it was developed with so we *really* want to update the firmware then or we risk forward/backward compatibility issues.... make sense?
    Kevin Small, TRA #07172 L3
    Featherweight Interface Developer - wFIP (Windows), iFIP (iPhone)

  17. #257
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    802
    Quote Originally Posted by kjs View Post
    Actually if you don't update the phone app, it will stay where it is. but when you update the phone app, it is bundled with the firmware that it was developed with so we *really* want to update the firmware then or we risk forward/backward compatibility issues.... make sense?
    As an example for mismatched software version, years ago, I saw two different L3 attempts by the same flier that both resulted in a main at apogee flight. Turned out that G-Wiz changed how it encoded main altitude in its configuration settings. This flier had mismatched software versions, which wasn't caught by the software. The PC software transmitted the setting it in 10s of feet, the G-Wiz interpreted it as 100s of feet (IIRC).

    A tight coupling between FW and app version could get tricky if people want to use it with different devices (e.g. shared ground station), especially when the Android version gets released too. People might realize this to late (e.g. no data available on the launch site) or when other issues prevent the app from being upgraded (e.g. unsupported OS versions, years from now). Can the FW be downgraded too, if necessary? How about communicating the protocol version and trying to keep the core of the protocol stable? Based on that, various fallback options or upgrade paths are possible.

    Reinhard

  18. #258
    Join Date
    18th October 2016
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by ksaves2 View Post
    The more options = The more time to develop...I'd say chill...
    Yup, for sure. I’m chill. Excited for it to hit the street, but chill.
    TRA L2. I-class record: "Vanish 29" with an I224, 14,596ft, Mach 1.92. Video here.

  19. #259
    Join Date
    19th February 2009
    Location
    Auburn, WA USA
    Posts
    2,135
    Quote Originally Posted by kjs View Post
    Actually if you don't update the phone app, it will stay where it is. but when you update the phone app, it is bundled with the firmware that it was developed with so we *really* want to update the firmware then or we risk forward/backward compatibility issues.... make sense?
    Ah....this is how AltimeterThree works, too - bundling the device firmware with a new app version and then pushing it to the device. I’m sure John Beans will gladly commiserate with you on the vagaries of how Apple’s Bluetooth stuff works.
    Bernard Cawley
    NAR 89040 L1
    AMA 42160
    KG7AIE

  20. #260
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    2,091
    I'm getting ready to place a production order for 500 units, ...Aaaaand the LoRa radio modules are out of stock at Digikey. ...And Mouser. And Av-net. And Newark. And Future. And Arrow. Somebody else must really like these new LoRa modules, too. So unless I can find some other source (I have asked my assembly house to look around, too) the next production run can't get started until a distributor gets in a new shipment in mid-June.

    I have an email folder of people who have requested notification when we're ready to accept orders from our first mini-run of hardware that got done in December. I'll need to count to see if we have enough to cover 1 pair for each of those people plus sufficient units for Kevin and me to complete the firmware development.
    Adrian Adamson
    Featherweight Altimeters LLC
    www.featherweightaltimeters.com

  21. #261
    Join Date
    21st January 2017
    Location
    Wichita KS
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian A View Post
    ...a distributor gets in a new shipment in mid-June.

  22. #262
    Join Date
    1st May 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    140
    On the plus side maybe it will give you more time to get the Android piece functional?
    AMRS L3
    Max Alt AGL - 23,908ft - K300 - Balls 22
    Max V - 2,488 ft/s, ~Mach 2.2 - M2250 - THUNDA 2015

  23. #263
    Join Date
    4th December 2016
    Location
    Alabaster, AL
    Posts
    166
    A-N-D-R-O-I-D, please...please...please. Can't wait to try this one out.
    Les Rayburn, N1LF
    Level 1-NAR #81057
    Maylene, AL
    (205) 253-4867
    Birmingham Rocket Boys NAR Section 665
    Phoenix Missile Works


    “Actually, I’m a rocket engineer. I just build ‘em. You do the math.”

  24. #264
    Join Date
    30th January 2016
    Location
    US > OK > NE
    Posts
    3,858
    Well it looks like I probably don't need to buy a used iPhone before Airfest, so that's more motor budget. Gotta' stay positive!

  25. #265
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
    Posts
    5,246
    Hoo....boy. AKS

  26. #266
    Join Date
    15th February 2009
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    634
    Wow, that is a major bummer to lots of folks, of course including you and Kevin. That's a crazy amount of time to be backordered, you'd think the demand would push up production. Hopefully those who get units will be able to provide good feedback in the meantime.

    Good luck with an alternative source,


    Tony
    why do people put so much stuff in their sigs?

  27. #267
    Join Date
    28th April 2009
    Location
    Flower Mound, TX
    Posts
    259

    That's disappointing!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #268
    Join Date
    12th April 2017
    Location
    Pacific Palisades, CA
    Posts
    15
    I’ve been poised to buy one and have checked on the Featherweight site pretty obsessively. So I was pretty bummed to see this, this made me curious about the company that makes them (assuming I’m correct that it’s Semtech) so I did a little digging. Apparently these components are very useful for locating lost Alzheimer’s patients, that sort of put it in perspective for me. Still I’m very anxious to get one, I’ve got two rockets in desperate need! Also it seems Semtech (SMTC) might be a hot stock! Hang in there Featherweight it’ll be great!
    NAR LEVEL 2

  29. #269
    Join Date
    18th October 2016
    Posts
    610
    Thanks for the update, Adrian. LoRa is awesome, soooo, we wait!
    TRA L2. I-class record: "Vanish 29" with an I224, 14,596ft, Mach 1.92. Video here.

  30. #270
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanks for the support, everyone. My apologies for not stockpiling the parts while we finished up the first software release. Since the first release has seemed imminent for a while now, I didn't think to watch for parts going out of stock in the meantime. Sometimes parts unexpectedly show up at a distributor, so I'll keep checking, and we'll do the next run as soon as possible, even if it's a smaller run. In the meantime, the first production batch is large enough that we can do multi-user benchtop and flight testing, since some of the first customers are regular flyers with the Az and CO clubs where Kevin and I fly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burtech View Post
    this made me curious about the company that makes them (assuming I’m correct that it’s Semtech)
    Yes, the radio chip is from Semtech, who has the patents for LoRa. The Featherweight Tracker is built around an FCC-certified module that incorporates the Semtech chip and a microcontroller.

    Adrian Adamson
    Featherweight Altimeters LLC
    www.featherweightaltimeters.com

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