Featherweight software

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
507
Reaction score
246
sure wish I didn't have to buy an apple phone to use it
 

Crazyrocket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
796
Reaction score
35
I have an iphone 6S (in excellent condition) that I would sell you for cheap. Just sitting in my dresser drawer. No scratches or cracked screens. 32gb. It will work fine for you needs. PM me if interested.
 

Mike Haberer

DaHabes
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
875
Reaction score
604
Luckily, I kept my wife's old iPhone 6s. I had to replace the battery, though, which was shot. I do find it annoying to have to carry two phones around - Rocket Locator only runs on Android and I need that for my Eggfinder Mini. And I have to remember to carry another charge cord. And to charge it. PITA.
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
507
Reaction score
246
does featherweight display on a map?
 

timbucktoo

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
8,777
Reaction score
1,567
Location
Cocoa Beach
does featherweight display on a map?
Real time, no. It just gives you range & bearing and points you in the right direction. The data is stored on your phone. You have to share the data via email and then convert the .CSV file using this link and it will convert to .KML file.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jbr

gary7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
695
Reaction score
78
Location
Mattoon, IL
Trying to get my stuff ready and together for MWP. I have used the Featherweight system for a couple of years now and really like it but I get absolutely frustrated with updating it. Any suggestions or advice for doing this without a headache will be appreciated. Also, what is the latest update I should be looking for?

Thanks
 

Mike Haberer

DaHabes
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
875
Reaction score
604
It's still considered beta software. It's never been formally updated to be added to the Apple store. It expires regularly. You have to re-aquire it the same as you did the first time you installed it. There is no specific version to update to, it's whatever is on the development platform. If the vendor ever forgets to update the date on the software we are all toast. I have complained in the past....crickets...
 

OverTheTop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
3,487
Location
Melbourne Australia
The website is still showing an android icon for that product and that android is planned. Last I heard there was no plan for android to be developed, but it is annoyingly still on the website being spruiked.

I purchased one years ago in anticipation of android. Still waiting...
 

Banzai88

Lvl 1,Wallet....Destroyed
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
2,722
Reaction score
905
The ongoing software issues, and the unholy dedication to the Apple platform are 100% the reason that I made a different retail choice for a tracker.
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
507
Reaction score
246
there are used Iphones available for around $140 or ask your friends if they have an old one you can have or pay them $50
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
507
Reaction score
246
I do wish it were integrated with a map instead of just showing range and direction
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
350
Reaction score
193
Location
Belgrade, MT
The iPhone app tracks fine for my rockets. I have a 54mm nosecone payload bay design and a Featherweight payload is like a 54mm motor that can be quickly swapped into any of my three rockets.

My only complaint about the app is that the voice mode doesn’t work reliably.

Does anyone have an way of converting the downloaded GPS data stream into voice for coordinating with launch video the way many people do for Multitronix Kate?

If support for Featherweight doesn’t improve a great opportunity for a great product will be lost and people will have to buy Multitronix Kate even though its much more costly.
 

Banzai88

Lvl 1,Wallet....Destroyed
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
2,722
Reaction score
905
Most of us are doing just fine without our tracker talking to us, at much less hassle than FW and much less cost than Kate.
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
1,325
Location
TX
The ongoing software issues, and the unholy dedication to the Apple platform are 100% the reason that I made a different retail choice for a tracker.
Well, I feel the same way about nearly every competitive product that has an ‘unholy’ dedication to Android. I’ve used the Featherweight trackers since they were introduced with 100% success. Many in my club have since converted to them as well based on their experience with other products. The lack of on screen map is a minor inconvenience requiring that I enter the coordinates into the mapping program of my choice, but the on-screen guide is excellent. I probably dislike AndroidGoogle as much as some folks do iOS/Apple but I still have an Android tablet because it works with an app that doesn’t run on iOS. I’m not above putting aside my feelings if a product is superior enough to warrant it.

And I’d like to know what ongoing software issues you are talking about? Once every three months you need to update the iOS software, but that’s not an issue, unless you are a poor planner. Same with firmware updates. I suppose if you’re the type of flyer who doesn’t check their electronics until you are out at the field then maybe it’s not a good fit, especially if you don’t fly often.

At BALLS this year I would have to say the Featherweight system was the most popular used, at least based on the launch announcements. The fact that so many high performance flyers use the system is telling.

I don’t understand how a person can complain about the hassle of using a product when they don’t actually use one. I have been for many years and it seems a lot less hassle than the competing systems other fliers use.

The parable of the fox and grapes comes to mind.

Tony
 

Banzai88

Lvl 1,Wallet....Destroyed
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
2,722
Reaction score
905
Well, I feel the same way about nearly every competitive product that has an ‘unholy’ dedication to Android. I’ve used the Featherweight trackers since they were introduced with 100% success. Many in my club have since converted to them as well based on their experience with other products. The lack of on screen map is a minor inconvenience requiring that I enter the coordinates into the mapping program of my choice, but the on-screen guide is excellent. I probably dislike AndroidGoogle as much as some folks do iOS/Apple but I still have an Android tablet because it works with an app that doesn’t run on iOS. I’m not above putting aside my feelings if a product is superior enough to warrant it.

And I’d like to know what ongoing software issues you are talking about? Once every three months you need to update the iOS software, but that’s not an issue, unless you are a poor planner. Same with firmware updates. I suppose if you’re the type of flyer who doesn’t check their electronics until you are out at the field then maybe it’s not a good fit, especially if you don’t fly often.

At BALLS this year I would have to say the Featherweight system was the most popular used, at least based on the launch announcements. The fact that so many high performance flyers use the system is telling.

I don’t understand how a person can complain about the hassle of using a product when they don’t actually use one. I have been for many years and it seems a lot less hassle than the competing systems other fliers use.

The parable of the fox and grapes comes to mind.

Tony
Wrong. Used one for a year. Sold it for a different system that has Z.E.R.O. dependence on anything related to a cell phone!
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
1,325
Location
TX
Wrong. Used one for a year. Sold it for a different system that has Z.E.R.O. dependence on anything related to a cell phone!
So then your comment about being dedicated to iOS really could have read ‘dedicated to a cell phone’, if you wanted a system that did not require any kind of phone to use.

And apparently making sure your app and firmware was up to date before a launch was a thing. I can see how any phone based system might not have been a good fit then.


Tony
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
1,325
Location
TX
The iPhone app tracks fine for my rockets. I have a 54mm nosecone payload bay design and a Featherweight payload is like a 54mm motor that can be quickly swapped into any of my three rockets.

My only complaint about the app is that the voice mode doesn’t work reliably.

Does anyone have an way of converting the downloaded GPS data stream into voice for coordinating with launch video the way many people do for Multitronix Kate?

If support for Featherweight doesn’t improve a great opportunity for a great product will be lost and people will have to buy Multitronix Kate even though its much more costly.
The only time voice mode has not worked for me was when I had my phone on mute, or the volume turned all the way down. I also turn set my display auto-lock to never.

Here’s a simple checklist I use:

* hardware mute button off
* play a song and adjust volume accordingly
* settings> display and brightness > auto lock > never

Using that I’ve never not had audio from the software during a launch. I also have the screen recording button enabled in control center so I can easily record the screen.


Tony
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
507
Reaction score
246
I can't find a way to personalize each tracker, such as Tom1, or Bob 2
we currently have 4 in the club and just ordered more
 

timbucktoo

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
8,777
Reaction score
1,567
Location
Cocoa Beach
I can't find a way to personalize each tracker, such as Tom1, or Bob 2
we currently have 4 in the club and just ordered more
In the app under “my devices”, select one of the trackers in the list and you can rename them.
 

OverTheTop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
3,487
Location
Melbourne Australia
The ongoing software issues, and the unholy dedication to the Apple platform are 100% the reason that I made a different retail choice for a tracker.
I wish I had not purchased the product, regardless of how well it might work. There are other products that work equally as well.

And I’d like to know what ongoing software issues you are talking about? Once every three months you need to update the iOS software, but that’s not an issue, unless you are a poor planner. Same with firmware updates. I suppose if you’re the type of flyer who doesn’t check their electronics until you are out at the field then maybe it’s not a good fit, especially if you don’t fly often.
You should not have to update a product software every three months to keep it working. I plan ahead and update as necessary but there are too many variable out of my control and in the hands of others (Apple, Featherweight) that concern me.
 

timbucktoo

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
8,777
Reaction score
1,567
Location
Cocoa Beach
I wish I had not purchased the product, regardless of how well it might work. There are other products that work equally as well.
Why not just sell it and be done with it? Rocketry electronics sell pretty fast no matter where you’re located?
And don’t forget it was years before Altus Metrum came out with an app for the iPhone. Their products were Android only.
 
Last edited:

OverTheTop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
3,487
Location
Melbourne Australia
Why not just sell it and be done with it?
I have been considering doing just that.

And don’t forget it was years before Altus Metrum came out with an app for the iPhone.
You say that like it is not a good thing. 😂

Don't forget that the Altus Metrum products work with a PC, and don't require the involvement of either species of phone.
 

Buckeye

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
2,833
Reaction score
608
And I’d like to know what ongoing software issues you are talking about? Once every three months you need to update the iOS software, but that’s not an issue, unless you are a poor planner.
No, the poor planning is on Featherweight, not the customer. They sell a pricey tracker system that requires a unique app, and that unique app has been in beta test limbo forever (what, 5-7 years, now?) Why is this thing not approved by Apple for proper distribution in the App Store? The programmer, and there seems to be only one, has to renew every 90 days, and then the users are forced to keep track of that, too. If the programmer forgets, walks away, or gets hit by a bus, then the entire customer base is left in the lurch with a $400 paperweight.
 

gary7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
695
Reaction score
78
Location
Mattoon, IL
Well, I feel the same way about nearly every competitive product that has an ‘unholy’ dedication to Android. I’ve used the Featherweight trackers since they were introduced with 100% success. Many in my club have since converted to them as well based on their experience with other products. The lack of on screen map is a minor inconvenience requiring that I enter the coordinates into the mapping program of my choice, but the on-screen guide is excellent. I probably dislike AndroidGoogle as much as some folks do iOS/Apple but I still have an Android tablet because it works with an app that doesn’t run on iOS. I’m not above putting aside my feelings if a product is superior enough to warrant it.

And I’d like to know what ongoing software issues you are talking about? Once every three months you need to update the iOS software, but that’s not an issue, unless you are a poor planner. Same with firmware updates. I suppose if you’re the type of flyer who doesn’t check their electronics until you are out at the field then maybe it’s not a good fit, especially if you don’t fly often.

At BALLS this year I would have to say the Featherweight system was the most popular used, at least based on the launch announcements. The fact that so many high performance flyers use the system is telling.

I don’t understand how a person can complain about the hassle of using a product when they don’t actually use one. I have been for many years and it seems a lot less hassle than the competing systems other fliers use.

The parable of the fox and grapes comes to mind.

Tony


Thanks Tony. I only get a chance at a need for the tracker 1-2 time a year. So I have to refamiliarize myself with it each time. That’s my main problem.

When Do I get it ready? Midwest Power is just under 4 weeks away. That is why I am doing it. now. That is not something I want to put off till the 29th. I made the mistake of doing that already.
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
350
Reaction score
193
Location
Belgrade, MT
Most of us are doing just fine without our tracker talking to us, at much less hassle than FW and much less cost than Kate.
I like the audio GPS reports because I don’t have to take my eyes off of trying to track the rocket. And it would be nicer still if the audio from the app would work all of the time instead of going away when the app’s page isn’t being displayed.

Besides, audio GPS reports were one of the advertised features of the Featherweight and one of the reasons why I, and presumably others purchased it.

After seeing Kate several times, the Featherweight sounded like it had all of the essentials of Kate, and possibly a better GPS and transmitter but all for less than $600. So saying that its okay that its not working as advertised is a poor excuse when the product you buy simply doesn’t fully deliver.

But I do sympathize with the cost of a highly technical development for a very small niche market and having to have a real job and career. I’ve been there.

Not all products have the same market potential and funding source, and same size of development team as an iPhone. But customers still expect comparable performance and customer service.
 

Banzai88

Lvl 1,Wallet....Destroyed
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
2,722
Reaction score
905
I like the audio GPS reports because I don’t have to take my eyes off of trying to track the rocket. And it would be nicer still if the audio from the app would work all of the time instead of going away when the app’s page isn’t being displayed.

Besides, audio GPS reports were one of the advertised features of the Featherweight and one of the reasons why I, and presumably others purchased it.

After seeing Kate several times, the Featherweight sounded like it had all of the essentials of Kate, and possibly a better GPS and transmitter but all for less than $600. So saying that its okay that its not working as advertised is a poor excuse when the product you buy simply doesn’t fully deliver.

But I do sympathize with the cost of a highly technical development for a very small niche market and having to have a real job and career. I’ve been there.

Not all products have the same market potential and funding source, and same size of development team as an iPhone. But customers still expect comparable performance and customer service.
Yet another reason why I sold the product that I owned.....I didn't feel like I got what I paid for based on what was advertised. Sounds like you're similarly frustrated. I went with another product that, while it doesn't have voice (never advertised as having it) also needs zero further support other than charging the batteries and turning it on.....which is NOT something the FW product can boast.

At the end of the day, the ONLY relative data point that a GPS tracker really needs to deliver is the coordinates where the rocket hits dirt. Everything else is simply entertainment.
 

timbucktoo

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
8,777
Reaction score
1,567
Location
Cocoa Beach
Don't forget that the Altus Metrum products work with a PC, and don't require the involvement of either species of phone.
Never forgot. Phones are just more convenient and I used to carry both kinds.
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
350
Reaction score
193
Location
Belgrade, MT
The only time voice mode has not worked for me was when I had my phone on mute, or the volume turned all the way down. I also turn set my display auto-lock to never.

Here’s a simple checklist I use:

* hardware mute button off
* play a song and adjust volume accordingly
* settings> display and brightness > auto lock > never

Using that I’ve never not had audio from the software during a launch. I also have the screen recording button enabled in control center so I can easily record the screen.


Tony
I never used the hardware mute button when using my Featherweight.

I’ve never used screen recording on an IPhone and don’t know what it is.

I had used my Featherweight in one launch with my Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids in, and I heard my Featherweight audio GPS tracker report just fine but nobody else could. On the very next launch I turned off my hearing aids and turned up the volume so everybody around me could hear my Featherweight, just like they do with Kate, and nothing came out. A really big disappointment.
 
Top