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Altimeters: Comparison guide

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michaelrmonteith

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Great chart. It's my way of thinking to sort out what features I want and which fits the bill. Thanks Now it's added many more questions. Is there a detailed description of some of the terms? I know, more information. But looking at the pop-up on the Tele - telemetry output port on altimeter as an example. What does it mean? Not expecting an answer here but showing that some of us need a little more explanation. For that and some of the recorded output. Maybe just a page of terms and explanation might help to go along with it.

Maybe the option to get an Excel version. That way I can hide lines for altimeters I know don't fit my needs and narrow it down. That or maybe on the guide a way to hide or turn off lines.

Thanks for the great work.

Michael
 

azzie

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Michael,

Many rocket altimeters have more features than an average rocketeer needs, especially the ones from premium class. I will add better descriptions, but the best way to learn about features is to click on "datasheet" link and read altimeter manual.

Telemetry output is ability of altimeter to send telemetry in real-time out of its serial port, usually 5 to 20 times per second. It can be connected to a radio transmitter for broadcasting, microprocessor for real-time analysis, and so on. I bet 99% of flights don't use it, so you probably won't need it either! :) but it's a nice feature for advanced users.
 

ksaves2

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Michael,

Many rocket altimeters have more features than an average rocketeer needs, especially the ones from premium class. I will add better descriptions, but the best way to learn about features is to click on "datasheet" link and read altimeter manual.

Telemetry output is ability of altimeter to send telemetry in real-time out of its serial port, usually 5 to 20 times per second. It can be connected to a radio transmitter for broadcasting, microprocessor for real-time analysis, and so on. I bet 99% of flights don't use it, so you probably won't need it either! :) but it's a nice feature for advanced users.
The only problem for this is there are no easy instructions to do this with a turnkey system. Perfect Flight gives no details. Cerving of EggTimer/Finder fame posted a recommendation for a telemetry system that should be "interfaceable" for $40.00 but one has to look at one thing. Once the rocket is recovered, the beaming of altitude information in real time dims because one can get at that info when they recover the rocket. It's more important to find the danged thing than simply to be able to read off the altitude while in flight. Is it nice? Sure. But is it worth carrying the extra weight for a sport flight? The individual flier will have to make that determination. Kurt
 

michaelrmonteith

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My original point was just to use the telemetry output as an example only. I think they could do with a whole page with all the terms used and what they mean. But thanks for all the input. Looks like I'll be digging through each of the spec sheets of each one to see what they mean by the term but also just as important how they implement that. I don't mind spending the money to get what I need but prefer to do it right the first time. To be sure I'll just have to make what it is and if I really need it.

My use is more for experimental comparison of motor design vs actual performance of the results could be very useful. Of course finding the rocket is important to me. Especially the more money I poke into it. lol So that is a factor as well.

Thanks for the input. Great resource. Now to narrow it down.

Michael
 

neil_w

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First of all, the comparison guide is great, thanks for compiling.

When I look at the table, the one thing I am struck by is that the JL Altimeter 3 is the *only* one listed that supports Android/iOS. Speaking only for myself, I have no desire whatsoever to take a laptop with me to a launch, but I'll always have my phone (iPhone in this case), and frankly a phone or tablet is ideal for the modest task of recording and viewing flight data.

I hope we start to see more altimeters support downloading flight data to smartphones. For me, the Altimeter 3, plus the associated app, is actually a *perfect* solution except for one thing: it's too large and heavy for general LPR use. Give me one that is shrunk down a bit for LPR and I'll buy two immediately (yes, I'd be willing to give up some features to get that).

For a while I considered hacking a LightBlue Bean to a MicroPeak, but then I decided that I would not be willing to do the work on the app side to make it happen, so I abandoned the investigation.

To conclude: I hope the altimeter marketplace moves in a more mobile-friendly direction. Altimeter 3 is a great first step but I'm hoping for more.
 

John Beans

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Neil,
Here's a sneak peak at AltimeterFour. No release date yet, lest you ask.

About a gram.

 
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neil_w

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That is... small enough I think. :eyepop: If that thing can get flight data onto my phone, and isn't filled with Uranium or something, I am sold. Care to spill any more details?

P.S. Can we get a ChuteRelease that size too? :wink:
 

ksaves2

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GPS capable please
Mr. Beans had mentioned he was working on a mesh GPS location project. It sounds like a very promising locating system but
I suspect it's going to take time. Altus-Metrum, EggTimer Rocketry and Missile Works have devices out there (MS is soon to be released forsale) . There are a few more I can't remember. Just finished an EggFinder rev B6 and I found it easier to built than the 1st iteration.

Kurt
 

smugglervt

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I know there are options already for locators but it b so nice to have a single device for flight data and location services. Altimeter 3 already gives you a launch location, it would be nice to have a final landing position as well.
 

JohnCoker

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I know there are options already for locators but it b so nice to have a single device for flight data and location services.
The AltusMetrum already does all this, plus telemetry. That's the one to beat at the moment.
 

ksaves2

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The AltusMetrum already does all this, plus telemetry. That's the one to beat at the moment.
EggFinder TRS has similar capability and doesn't require a Ham ticket to operate: http://www.eggtimerrocketry.com/page47.php If one doesn't mind the do-it-yourself factor the soldering equipment is not that large an investment.
Certainly, not as many features as the Tele-Mega but can do basic dual deployment and GPS tracking at the same time. Mr. Beans concept of using a mesh network is intriguing. Your rocket with the device goes out of radio range.
Your friends rocket is launched and picks up your rockets signal and relays it back for a final position fix. You know exactly where to go to get it. This gives a little extra edge over straight GPS tracking with a ground receiver and transmitter in the
rocket. The reality is for sport rockets that land within 2 to 3 miles of your position (maybe more) the last position fix before touchdown is close enough to get one to within the ground footprint of the tracker so if you don't see it, you'll receive a
new position. A handheld Yagi antenna for the frequency one is using can extend the ground footprint to a larger radius. The mesh/network system would give even more insurance of relaying the final resting place that could be helpful for rockets that recover at quite a distance from the launchsite. The other thing is the mesh/network system could be used by itself like a standard transmit/receive pair. John had mentioned previously that the unit would be a transceiver so one would need to purchase a pair if they used it by themselves.

I've posted this link before but it shows one doesn't need a lot of position points to find a ballistic flight: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...-Mapping-Program-Update&p=1573624#post1573624 I got nothing on the way up and only two positions before the rocket hit the dirt. There was no visual on the rocket at all once the button was pushed and it disappeared at apogee. The screensave is what I was looking at out in the field in real time. I didn't want to try to minimize the program and take a picture of the fincan sticking out of the ground as I didn't want to mess up the program. It was the first time I tracked a rocket with it. Of course the tracker was trashed and I wrecked the nosecone getting it out. Have a Wildman replacement I like better than the RW original and just have to mount the replacement EggFinder revB6 and battery to the G10 sled for another go. Next time with all the BP that comes with the reload! Umm, even a mesh system wouldn't have added much to a flight like this as the range was close by and of course the signal ceased once it hit. One other thing, RDF tracker wouldn't have helped at all, tracker died when it hit and I doubt anyone could have locked
a bearing fast enough to do the recovery. You got the room for your outa sight rockets, use a GPS tracker. Kurt
 
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hball55

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Neil,
Here's a sneak peak at AltimeterFour. No release date yet, lest you ask.

About a gram.


If I wasn't looking right at it, I would be saying "unbelievable." I take it that flight info would be sent via bluetooth, but could you also download the info through a mini-usb connection?
 

KenRico

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Here is my screenshot from my LDRS Shreader flight. This is an eGGtimer Quantum .. the altimeter with a built in WiFi switch.

It tells me the battery voltage and if i have continuity on each channel when connected to my phone .. also can configure some basics like channel on/off , drogue delay (if any) and main altitude deployment with the phone.

I also used at LDRS to fire the charges in my L3 attempt deployment test performed onsite with the Quantums self test initiated from my phone.

If you are soldering together it is fairly straightforward. . If you dont wish too you can send to Connor or a buddy for under $10 labor...he assembled my TRS kit for a very reasonable price too.

Kenny

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ksaves2

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Here is my screenshot from my LDRS Shreader flight. This is an eGGtimer Quantum .. the altimeter with a built in WiFi switch.

It tells me the battery voltage and if i have continuity on each channel when connected to my phone .. also can configure some basics like channel on/off , drogue delay (if any) and main altitude deployment with the phone.

I also used at LDRS to fire the charges in my L3 attempt deployment test performed onsite with the Quantums self test initiated from my phone.

If you are soldering together it is fairly straightforward. . If you dont wish too you can send to Connor or a buddy for under $10 labor...he assembled my TRS kit for a very reasonable price too.

Kenny
This is the most economical device that allows remote testing of charges. Heck, it's worth the price to get one just so one could temporarily mount one inside an ebay to ground test deployment charges. Could then mount
other electronics comfortable that the charge has been sized. The TRS can do remote testing too and I believe some of the Altus Metrum products. Other devices allow one to fire ematches from the computer while the
device is attached or jumpers could be set for a delayed firing but that's only good to confirm a given ematch will work. Doesn't help with an all up test. Kurt
 

KenRico

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This is the most economical device that allows remote testing of charges. Heck, it's worth the price to get one just so one could temporarily mount one inside an ebay to ground test deployment charges. Could then mount
other electronics comfortable that the charge has been sized. The TRS can do remote testing too and I believe some of the Altus Metrum products. Other devices allow one to fire ematches from the computer while the
device is attached or jumpers could be set for a delayed firing but that's only good to confirm a given ematch will work. Doesn't help with an all up test. Kurt
On the bench I did a deployment test with my TAP pre-approved Raven 3 and RRC3 hooked to shruter switches and of course all on separate batteries . The test went well and all wiring was tested .

Booting a notebook on the bench & hooking up the cable(s) ..2 different cables..two different software packages.. notebook had win 8.1 64 bit and had not used it before for the altimeters ...made REALLY appreciate the Quantum (and the Quarks) simple test mode .

Kenny
 
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kjs

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On the bench I did a deployment test with my TAP pre-approved Raven 3 and RRC3 hooked to shruter switches and of course all on separate batteries . The test went well and all wiring was tested .

Booting a notebook on the bench & hooking up the cable(s) ..2 different cables..two different software packages.. notebook had win 8.1 64 bit and had not used it before for the altimeters ...made REALLY appreciate the Quantum (and the Quarks) simple test mode .

Kenny
Kenny, let me know if there was anything you would like to improve n how the Raven works... I am working on a Java version but the windows FIP has a lot to reproduce...
 

KenRico

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Kenny, let me know if there was anything you would like to improve n how the Raven works... I am working on a Java version but the windows FIP has a lot to reproduce...
I had no problems. . Just hadnt done it in a while.

With all the choices , channels and functions .. the FIP screen is very robust.

The guide for the simulated flight was useful , but will huddle up when setting up the Raven for staging .

Kenny
 
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spence

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Great - Now from all you rocketeers who have used various models - What is your recommendation for getting started with dual deploy? The charts and specs tell one story - real life results tell another. If this is already a thread somewhere - please point to it - otherwise - what would you start with?

Thanks

Spence
 

blackbrandt

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Great - Now from all you rocketeers who have used various models - What is your recommendation for getting started with dual deploy? The charts and specs tell one story - real life results tell another. If this is already a thread somewhere - please point to it - otherwise - what would you start with?

Thanks

Spence
I
I have an RRC3 and it's the only thing I fly. Incredibly easy to use. Also, in about an hour, they'll be going on sale for about $60.
 

DavieRockets

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Great - Now from all you rocketeers who have used various models - What is your recommendation for getting started with dual deploy? The charts and specs tell one story - real life results tell another. If this is already a thread somewhere - please point to it - otherwise - what would you start with?

Thanks

Spence
My first DD altimeter was a Perfecflite MAWD. Since then I have tried other brands (Raven, Missile Works) but keep going back to buying more Perfectflites. Love the Stratologger CF. Why? Small footprint, easy to use, super reliable and for me, and I require separate terminals for Battery + and -, SWITCH, as well as MAIN and DROGUE. I use the Additive Aerospace universal sleds in all my latest builds. I do miss the on-board dip switches of the earlier MAWD model though. I recently tried the Missileworks RRC2+ because it has the dip switches. However it is larger, requires a proprietary Additive Aerospace sled which fits no other altimeters, has no SWITCH terminal and has REALLY long audio delays and pauses when booting up in my opinion. I guess I'm just used to the Perfectflites.
 

rharshberger

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My first DD altimeter was a Perfecflite MAWD. Since then I have tried other brands (Raven, Missile Works) but keep going back to buying more Perfectflites. Love the Stratologger CF. Why? Small footprint, easy to use, super reliable and for me, and I require separate terminals for Battery + and -, SWITCH, as well as MAIN and DROGUE. I use the Additive Aerospace universal sleds in all my latest builds. I do miss the on-board dip switches of the earlier MAWD model though. I recently tried the Missileworks RRC2+ because it has the dip switches. However it is larger, requires a proprietary Additive Aerospace sled which fits no other altimeters, has no SWITCH terminal and has REALLY long audio delays and pauses when booting up in my opinion. I guess I'm just used to the Perfectflites.
The RRC2+ does not REQUIRE a proprietary sled, it is nice to have but the RRC2+ can be mounted just like any other baro altimeter. The Additive Aerospace sleds Missleworks sells are designed expressly for Missleworks, Landru ( Additive Aerospace) sells sleds of similar design for other altimeters on his website. Not having a seperate switch terminal really isnt a deal breaker, since by putting a switch on one leg of the battery wire suffices to completely isolate the battery from the alt and the e-matches.

I fly the RRC3, Eggfinder TRS, Eggtimer Quark, and soon the Eggtimer Quantum. I now use the Missleworks style screw switches exclusively.
 

DavieRockets

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The RRC2+ does not REQUIRE a proprietary sled, it is nice to have but the RRC2+ can be mounted just like any other baro altimeter. The Additive Aerospace sleds Missleworks sells are designed expressly for Missleworks, Landru ( Additive Aerospace) sells sleds of similar design for other altimeters on his website.
To clarify, All my altimeters fit on any of Additive's universal sleds EXCEPT the Missile Works altimeters. I have Additive sleds in all sizes and can mount single or mixed models/brands of altimeters on any sled except for Missile Works altimeters. I therefore had to buy additional Missile Works sleds from Missile Works which I consider a waste of money, switches and space. Jim makes a good product. The Missile Works RRC2+ just doesn't work for my needs and preferences that's all.
 

plugger

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Kenny, let me know if there was anything you would like to improve n how the Raven works... I am working on a Java version but the windows FIP has a lot to reproduce...
Just to threadjack, Kevin, please don't stop with the standard FIP development when you get the Java version up and running. I prefer to not use Java if at all possible.
 

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