Adrel

Discussion in 'Product and Vendor Reviews' started by dhbarr, Jan 24, 2017.

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  1. Jan 24, 2017 #1

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

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    Anybody buy from / hang out with / vaguely know this vendor?

    I'm collecting tiny altimeters, but no contact in 30ish days makes me a tad nervous.

    Is this normal / expected behavior? I'm not in a huge hurry, but would like to know.
     
  2. Jan 24, 2017 #2

    dixontj93060

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    Wow, one I haven't heard of...
     
  3. Jan 24, 2017 #3

    BEC

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    I haven't bought anything from them in some time - I have a couple of LEDs and a couple of USBs but none of the more recent version. What you are experiencing seems typical. The next thing is you'll get a pick up notice for a tiny package that you need to sign for - a very tiny package...probably in the next week or two at most.
     
  4. Jan 25, 2017 #4

    Buckeye

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    I only heard of Adrel because I just read about their products in a NARAM report a couple days ago. They are an "NAR-approved" altimeter for competition. They look very tiny.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2017 #5

    BEC

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    They are very tiny....but remember that you also need a separate cell to power them (Adrel themselves sell a 20 mAh LiPoly cell) and you need a means to charge it (which Adrel will also sell you). The Altus Metrum microPeak is probably just as light and is more self contained, and runs on a replaceable coin cell. It won't fit into quite as small a tube as the Adrel (which fits in BT-5 easily), but other than that, a microPeak is a better and easier to use solution. My opinion from owning and flying both.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2017 #6

    dhbarr

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    MicroPeak & JL alti4 are on my TODO list. I already have the Bear singles & duals.
     
  7. Jan 25, 2017 #7

    dhbarr

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    Good to know, thanks.
     
  8. Jan 25, 2017 #8

    Bat-mite

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    Check out the Pico from AMW-ProX while you're at it.
     
  9. Jan 25, 2017 #9

    dhbarr

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    Adrel got back to me, by-the-by.
     
  10. Jan 25, 2017 #10

    neil_w

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    You know something we don't?
     
  11. Jan 25, 2017 #11

    dixontj93060

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    A picture of an Alt4 in development is posted somewhere on TRF in a JL thread. It is tiny!
     
  12. Jan 26, 2017 #12

    dhbarr

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  13. Jan 26, 2017 #13

    neil_w

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    Ya, I know it's in development but John hasn't spilled the, er, "beans" about when it's gonna be available. Was just wondering if you knew more.
     
  14. Jan 26, 2017 #14

    dhbarr

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    Sadly no; my intention as soon as I get my grubby little mitts on one is to do vacuum tests & fly it w/ both the Adrel & the MicroPeak. Then whichever one I like the most is my ride-along.
     
  15. Jan 27, 2017 #15

    Micromeister

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    Actually the Adrel LED-alt fits easily in a T4 (10.5mm) tube. I've used them on a bunch of Cluster Altitude models with good success. My other go to Micro altimeter, which is no longer on the approved Altimeter list is the Pico P1 which also fits a T4 (10.5mm tube).

    Adrel Alt-LED-a_ Alt, bat, Bay,Sleeve&Streamer_06-23-12.JPG

    Adrel-c_Adapt-bat Charger_06-12.jpg

    AD1_Pico small batt2 altimiter_05-04.jpg

    Pico P1 Micro Alt,switch,Bat,T4 bay T4+ Sleeve_06-22-12.jpg
     
  16. Jan 27, 2017 #16

    caveduck

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    The FAI altitude and scale altitude competitors all have these babies. With the small battery they fit in the 10.5mm MMT for internats micro motors and weigh ~0.4gm less than a MicroPeak that won't even go in a BT-5 without deforming it a bit. Case closed :) They do come from Poland so shipping takes a while.
     
  17. Jan 27, 2017 #17

    dhbarr

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    Anybody know how these itty bitties handle G's & M's? This is the direction of my search :)
     
  18. Jan 27, 2017 #18

    acalver

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    Hi, I have an Adrel BMP but have never managed to get the drivers installed. Has anyone managed to install the drivers for Windows 10 following the instructions posted on the Adrel website.
     
  19. Jan 27, 2017 #19

    BEC

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    I stopped using my Adrel USB when my modelling computer went to Windows 7 and they (Adrel) were offering some sort of sketchy tool to bypass the need for a signed driver in order to make it run on anything Vista or newer. I had hoped that they were going a more conventional route with the BMP but have not pursued it. The MicroPeak application is in Java and runs on any of my platforms and is less cranky to use....and it suits my current needs well.

    That's a long-winded way of saying "sorry, I can't help" I suppose.
     
  20. Jan 27, 2017 #20

    BEC

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    Yeah - fitting easily in BT-5 doesn't specify what the smallest tube it will fit is. I flew a MicroPeak in my B Cluster Altitude model at NARAM in 2014. They were doing optical tracking but I wanted to compare results....and it just served as a portion of the ballast I used to assure stability. It didn't hurt me to have it aboard since I managed (much to my surprise) to win the event.

    I took the mass hit to fly one in my B Payload Altitude model also, again because I wanted to compare with optical tracking. The data were mixed and too few samples to really draw any conclusions.
     
  21. Jan 31, 2017 #21

    Gus

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    Big News!! Adrels will soon be available through U.S. Vendors!!! Announcement will be at NARCON in 3 weeks.

    I've been flying Adrels in FAI competition since they first became available in 2009. They are incredible altimeters and are still the only altimeters to meet FAI specifications (fit in a 10.5 mm tube, internal serial numbers, flight data downloadable, batch charging and testing, allow ambient temperature input). They are now in their 3rd generation and the software has just been rewritten to work with current Windows OS. Additionally, the internal mathematics have been rewritten to conform with the latest FAI EDIC regarding rocketry altimeter performance. They are simply the best altimeters available for what they were designed for, to record altitude data for ultra-low-weight competition-style rockets.

    Adrels are incredibly sensitive. In FAI competition we fly them with no vent holes. I know that's head-bursting for many of you, but, yes, unless they are enclosed in a hermetically sealed capsule they do just fine without any vent holes.

    They are also extremely lightweight, 1.5 grams with battery. So their impact on maximum altitude is as small as possible. When you zero them before each flight you can also enter the ambient temperature and designate the minimum altitude that must be reached for the data to be recorded. I've set them as low as 10 meters for micromax flights and they record just fine. I love the MicroPeak as well, but it won't fit in a 13 mm tube, let alone a 10.5 mm tube, and it weighs twice the Adrel. Jolly Logic's Altimeter 3 is fantastic, but won't fit in a BT-20 and weighs 5 times the Adrel. Perfectflight's PNut (the most reliable altimeter ever, never had a missed or bad recording) fits in a BT-20 but weighs 10 times the Adrel. The FireFly is tiny but still has no data output connectivity.

    Final note, Adrels are also REALLY tough! The first year we flew them my daughter had her vellum model run over by a truck (photos below). The Adrel was housed in a piece of BT-5 attached to the nosecone base, which was completely flattened. The Adrel was unaffected, read out just fine.

    Last 2 photos are tangentially related, but mostly me just bragging. Photos of same kid 8 years later prepping her S2P (FAI TARC-like event) in the Ukraine last summer just before she won individual and team gold. Adrels flew in these rockets, too.

    Adrels were a bit persnickety when they first came out, but over time have been refined into the finest altimeter out there for what they are designed for. I'm REALLY glad that they will soon be available from U.S. vendors!

    crush 1.jpg

    crush2.jpg

    Egg1.jpg

    Egg2.jpg
     
  22. Jan 31, 2017 #22

    dhbarr

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    Well, that makes me even more excited for mine to arrive!
     
  23. Feb 1, 2017 #23

    BEC

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    Gus, that is interesting news. The ones I have are several years old (purchased in 2010, 2011 and 2012)....and ARE persnickety. If the latest generation isn't so much so and doesn't require me to do something dodgy in Windows to get the software and drivers to load, then I will be interested in trying them again.

    Now we need a US vendor to implement the new FAI altimeter requirements fully.....just to give Adrel some competition. Keith? John? :D

    BTW, I am pretty much right with you on your assessments of the other devices you mentioned. In particular I am wondering what became of the implied future capability to download some kind of data from the Perfectflite Firefly....
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  24. Feb 1, 2017 #24

    rharshberger

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    Calling Cris Erving too? 😆
     
  25. Feb 1, 2017 #25

    dhbarr

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    Femtoduino clone sub internats coupler? Wish that was one of my talents since the board layout and code are open.
     
  26. Feb 1, 2017 #26

    Gus

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    Bernard,

    If you send Leszek Szwed a note I'm pretty sure he'd be glad to reprogram your old ones if you send them to him. But even so, they won't work nearly as reliably as the newer, smaller ones, because of the better sensor and programming, so you are probably better to just get a new one or two when they are available in the next couple of months (dhbarr, yours will be the newer version, too).

    The Szweds have worked very closely with the U.S. team to continually improve the altimeters and the U.S. team's performance with them. Leszek and his son Artur have become great family friends of several of us.

    As for a U.S. vendor providing an alternative to the Adrels, I doubt that will happen. The market for these altimeters is very small and the support requirement from FAI to be the WSMC altimeter provider is very high. It's not just about making a unit that is small enough and accurate enough, it also has to meet a myriad of other FAI requirements. The fact that Leszek is still willing to provide the Adrels and is willing to do another production run has way more to do with his generosity of spirit than it does any income he receives from them. Honestly, the worldwide competition rocketry community owes him a great deal of thanks.

    And those of us in the U.S. competition community owe some very real thanks to the U.S. vendor who made this new production run happen. Photos below are of Leszek Szwed at the altimeter station in Lviv, and Artur Szwed with a U.S. team member who may or may not also be a vendor ;)

    Leszek.jpg

    Artur.jpg
     
  27. Feb 1, 2017 #27

    cerving

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    Probably not likely. It's a rather nichey (is that a word?) product, and I don't think I can make a kit that comes in at 1.5g with the battery. From what I've heard, the Adrel is a fine altimeter, and well suited for its intended purpose. I tend to try to make stuff that's a little more suited for average sport flyers and hobbyists; the competition segment is relatively small.
     
  28. Feb 1, 2017 #28

    BEC

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    Steve,

    Thanks for the additional information. My own interaction with Mr. Szwed has been just the three times I purchased his products, and it was minimal as dhbarr noted at the beginning of this thread.

    And I agree (since I'm familiar with that FAI document with the altimeter requirements in it) that it's unlikely a US vendor will make a competitor. I figure if anyone would, it would be Altus Metrum....but I'm not going to hold my breath as I expect that Keith and Bdale will come to a similar conclusion as Cris articulates just above. Mostly I was just being facetious.

    I expect I will do as you suggest once they become available from the TBD US vendor (though I could probably just order direct as I have three times before).

    I'm not going to comment on Matt's vendor status :).
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  29. Feb 7, 2017 #29

    dhbarr

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    Package from Poland came today:
    [​IMG]
     
  30. Feb 7, 2017 #30

    Gus

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    dhbarr's photo prompted me to take a photo showing the relative sizes of some of the current altitude reporting competition altimeters.

    From left to right:
    New Adrel ALT-BMP
    Old Adrel ALT-USB
    Altus Metrum MicroPeak
    Perfecflite FireFly
    Perfecflite Old PNUT
    Perfecflite New PNUT
    Jolly Logic Altimeter Two
    Jolly Logic Altimeter Three

    Unknown altimeter (if any of you recognize it, let me know)

    Retired and not shown: Perfectflite Alt 15K, Perfectflite HiAlt 45 K, Quest HowHigh

    IMG_2104.JPG

    IMG_2103.JPG

    IMG_2106.JPG

    IMG_2105.JPG
     

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