Featherweight software

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jbr

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I REALLY like the fact that you can add more trackers to your ground station easily
the RDF trackers take special frequencies and are not as useful

we have 6 featherweights in the club now and more are debating the purchase or will use the club trackers
I designed printed holders for the tracker, either stand alone or in a nose cone mount
 

ChristineZ

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I designed printed holders for the tracker, either stand alone or in a nose cone mount
I do this as well, with my whole AVBay set-ups. My 3D printed sleds are plug and play in any 3"+ rocket I fly. (all are fully DD, redundant backup, with live GPS telemetry, and can be head end or mid mounted. - I design and build with modularity and flexibility as design parameters)
But since I generally fly smaller projects, I really enjoy my tiny sleds that squeeze all that into 29mm min diameter projects or odd-rockets that I fully custom print.
 

Jay Dub 4009

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I also use modular sleds I designed and printed for my featherweight trackers. I love them and what they offer. Never had one issue with one yet.
 

kjs

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one note about multiple trackers at a launch... I don't know that any other tracker handles it well either, but if two trackers are set to the same channel, it can cause problems... I had someone that contacted me in PM and said they had lost track as soon as the rocket left the pad. I had them send me their phone log for the day (you can send it to yourself in the Share page) and I noticed that they had occasional packets from another tracker (which had to be on the same channel or it wouldn't show up in their log).... note the occasional "M***1" here (blurring to protect the fliers)

1635474221405.png

farther down in the log, I can see where their rocket took off (note sudden change in altitude and velocities - but above 700 feet, their ground station suddenly was only getting data from M****1 because it is close but with stronger SNR...)

1635474273526.png


*Note that if you see a red flash in the 'title bar' that has a different tracker name in it, it is trying to tell you that another unit is on your frequency as well. Based on the above information, I may make it so that you have to confirm it as well or make it more obvious or have the phone 'tell you' "other trackers on your frequency".*
 

Dan Griffing

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I designed printed holders for the tracker, either stand alone or in a nose cone mount
I have a nosecone payload bay for each of my 4” rockets that takes a Bluetube payload with the form factor of a 54mm x 12” rocket motor. I can easily swap this nosecone payload between each of my rockets.

It would be even nicer to have a standard 3D printed Featherweight tracker mount to attach to a sled for this nosecone payload.
 

Steve Shannon

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I have a nosecone payload bay for each of my 4” rockets that takes a Bluetube payload with the form factor of a 54mm x 12” rocket motor. I can easily swap this nosecone payload between each of my rockets.

It would be even nicer to have a standard 3D printed Featherweight tracker mount to attach to a sled for this nosecone payload.
 

Buckeye

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one note about multiple trackers at a launch... I don't know that any other tracker handles it well either, but if two trackers are set to the same channel, it can cause problems...
My other brand trackers are uniquely paired to the ground station, so there is no chance of conflicting frequencies with other fliers. Obviously then, the trackers cannot be used simultaneously or monitored by others.

The Featherweight has, what, 20 possible frequencies? 0-9 A and B? That seems far too few for all the usage. Can you increase the number of options?

Interestingly at LDRS, I tried to list my Featherweight frequency on the tracker board, but it never got published. I don't know if it was just an oversight, or the organizers are only concerned about the licensed frequencies and not the license-free 900 MHz frequencies.

<edit> Looks like there are 56 frequencies. Still seems too few.
 
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Dave A

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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.
Great find, I found a 6s on marketplace like new for $100
 

Dan Griffing

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Great find, I found a 6s on marketplace like new for $100
I remember when Hillary got tons of flack for carrying several different communities devices. I admit that its a pain.

It would be nice to be able to have voice GPS tracking of your rocket with the same device that you video the launch and WiFi enable the launch controllers too.

Even better would be a Featherweight iFIP “crosshairs” heads-up overlay to a zoom-able video camera to keep your rocket centered on your field of view. One can only hope that such a thing is possible.
 

Buckeye

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It would be nice to be able to have voice GPS tracking of your rocket with the same device that you video the launch and WiFi enable the launch controllers too.
do while (nphones >1)
goto Post #1
print* "Android app coming soon"
end do
 

thzero

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All complaints aside .. it worked flawlessly on two flights. One I lost track of it visually in sun and clouds (it was not in the clouds). But was able to track it over the rise even though it briefly lost the signal for about a minute while walking.
 

Dan Griffing

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My other brand trackers are uniquely paired to the ground station, so there is no chance of conflicting frequencies with other fliers. Obviously then, the trackers cannot be used simultaneously or monitored by others.

The Featherweight has, what, 20 possible frequencies? 0-9 A and B? That seems far too few for all the usage. Can you increase the number of options?

Interestingly at LDRS, I tried to list my Featherweight frequency on the tracker board, but it never got published. I don't know if it was just an oversight, or the organizers are only concerned about the licensed frequencies and not the license-free 900 MHz frequencies.

<edit> Looks like there are 56 frequencies. Still seems too few.
I was at LDRS too and my Featherweight frequency wasn’t published either.
 

ZuluLima

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This could result in a “Catch-22” situation....

...Don’t let your holding off for perfection in a rocketry GPS system deny you the satisfaction of having a really, really good and affordable GPS tracker right now.
That read like a patronizing advertisement. Like I said, the product is impressive and I want one now, but who said I was looking for perfection? I just want the software that comes with the hardware. Maybe you like gambling $500 for every gadget; I don't. They certainly don't market it as a beta test to help poor developers get funding. If it works as well as everyone says, then releasing a permanent, stable app v1.0 should be easy. Bug fixes and improvements come later, and my money will help fund that, so no Catch-22 here, they already had what they needed to start up years ago. Your comments regarding wanting perfection should be directed to Featherweight, who have been tweaking for years without releasing a single app. I don't think they are being intentionally dishonest, but the problem with hobbyists starting retail ventures is that they tend to be more engineers, not MBAs, and neglect the business side while endlessly tinkering with the hardware. At any serious company someone in management would have said long ago "Publish the freaking app already, you can make changes later! Are you trying to expose us to lawsuits?" They would have probably also mentioned that any company calling itself Featherweight should at least mention somewhere on their website the WEIGHT of the tracker.
 

manixFan

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I’m at a complete loss to understand the hostility and grief directed at the developers here. From my usage since 2016, it’s been a phenomenal system. I’ve used it at all kinds of launches, from local small fields to Airfest and BALLS, and I’ve never lost a rocket. Mach 2+, 25,000’, recoveries miles away. Never a hiccup. It does exactly what I want - gets my rockets back.

The issues raised here are “nothing burgers”, to borrow a terrible phrase. It’s a sad testament to the folks in this hobby that they have nothing better to do than rant and rave over a system that is phenomenal at getting rockets back.

I get that some folks are bitter it doesn’t work on Android. And some live in fear the updates will stop. Sell it, buy a different system, and just move on with your life. Dragging down a developer for such a small market product just seems completely unnecessary and just plain mean spirited. It would be hard to blame them if they decide it’s not worth the effort.

It’s a hobby. It’s supposed to be fun. Move on and have some fun rather than continue to bash our vendors.


Tony
 

watheyak

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That read like a patronizing advertisement. Like I said, the product is impressive and I want one now, but who said I was looking for perfection? I just want the software that comes with the hardware. Maybe you like gambling $500 for every gadget; I don't. They certainly don't market it as a beta test to help poor developers get funding. If it works as well as everyone says, then releasing a permanent, stable app v1.0 should be easy. Bug fixes and improvements come later, and my money will help fund that, so no Catch-22 here, they already had what they needed to start up years ago. Your comments regarding wanting perfection should be directed to Featherweight, who have been tweaking for years without releasing a single app. I don't think they are being intentionally dishonest, but the problem with hobbyists starting retail ventures is that they tend to be more engineers, not MBAs, and neglect the business side while endlessly tinkering with the hardware. At any serious company someone in management would have said long ago "Publish the freaking app already, you can make changes later! Are you trying to expose us to lawsuits?" They would have probably also mentioned that any company calling itself Featherweight should at least mention somewhere on their website the WEIGHT of the tracker.
Probably best you move on, anyway.

I can’t think of a single rocket company that is a “serious company”, except maybe Apogee, complete with all the slimy marketing that comes with being “serious”.
 

Rocket86

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I’m at a complete loss to understand the hostility and grief directed at the developers here. From my usage since 2016, it’s been a phenomenal system. I’ve used it at all kinds of launches, from local small fields to Airfest and BALLS, and I’ve never lost a rocket. Mach 2+, 25,000’, recoveries miles away. Never a hiccup. It does exactly what I want - gets my rockets back.

The issues raised here are “nothing burgers”, to borrow a terrible phrase. It’s a sad testament to the folks in this hobby that they have nothing better to do than rant and rave over a system that is phenomenal at getting rockets back.

I get that some folks are bitter it doesn’t work on Android. And some live in fear the updates will stop. Sell it, buy a different system, and just move on with your life. Dragging down a developer for such a small market product just seems completely unnecessary and just plain mean spirited. It would be hard to blame them if they decide it’s not worth the effort.

It’s a hobby. It’s supposed to be fun. Move on and have some fun rather than continue to bash our vendors.


Tony
Second.
 

manixFan

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That read like a patronizing advertisement. Like I said, the product is impressive and I want one now, but who said I was looking for perfection? I just want the software that comes with the hardware. Maybe you like gambling $500 for every gadget; I don't. They certainly don't market it as a beta test to help poor developers get funding. If it works as well as everyone says, then releasing a permanent, stable app v1.0 should be easy. Bug fixes and improvements come later, and my money will help fund that, so no Catch-22 here, they already had what they needed to start up years ago. Your comments regarding wanting perfection should be directed to Featherweight, who have been tweaking for years without releasing a single app. I don't think they are being intentionally dishonest, but the problem with hobbyists starting retail ventures is that they tend to be more engineers, not MBAs, and neglect the business side while endlessly tinkering with the hardware. At any serious company someone in management would have said long ago "Publish the freaking app already, you can make changes later! Are you trying to expose us to lawsuits?" They would have probably also mentioned that any company calling itself Featherweight should at least mention somewhere on their website the WEIGHT of the tracker.
You don’t even own a system but you have the time and energy to tell us all how they are doing it all wrong.

Shaking my head in sadness and embarrassment for our hobby.


Tony
 
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ChristineZ

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I am at a complete loss too! It's a $350 tool. You put $150 of it in your $1000 rocket so you don't loose it. But wait there's more...You get it back, because that is what is it designed to do. Then you put it in your other $1000 rocket so you don't loose that one either. Then you can go back to the third sentence and repeat as many times as you'd like or until you CATO or return ballistic.

In this hobby we literally burn $100 bills every single time we fly a rocket. Seems to me some of you are complaining because the tool you get may not last for the rest of your lives?!
 
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kjs

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For those following the voice portion of this thread, I found some lines of code to help enable voice in the background. I have started a test flight it and voice continued to work successfully in the following situations
  • When mute button was on or off
  • When screen went into lock mode
  • When app was in the background
  • When using the camera (app in background)
  • When playing Pandora (iFIP voice over the current song)
    • Just launched a simulation with voice working and "Magic Carpet Ride" playing in the background... (see Star Trek First Contact for reference).
Above worked successfully four out of five times. There is another thread out there about this possible intermittent behavior and a possible work around to give it a "kick in the pants" to "clear the pipes"... I'll look into that but above is better than the current behavior.
 

Mike Haberer

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It’s a hobby. It’s supposed to be fun. Move on and have some fun rather than continue to bash our vendors.

Tony
It will not be fun if the hardware is bricked. If the developer becomes incapable of continuing for ANY reason (financial, serious illness, DEATH - it happens) the hardware will be bricked in less than 3 months. We're not bashing the vendor, we're voicing reasonable expectations for a product costing hundreds of dollars. These are not $10 products.

It's not acceptable. Not sorry.
 

Hardline

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I traded messages with the developer a while back. Getting an app certified by Apple for adding to the store is a process he doesn't have the time to go through. He has it in his to-do to renew it regularly. I was non-plussed. He gets hit by a truck and we're all screwed. More than $400 screwed if you have more than one tracker (like I do).
Mike, I read through every post you made on this thread and it is obvious that you find the product not acceptable. I am anxious to buy all your Featherweight GPS trackers. Please PM me with your info and price and I'll let you use my FedEx number so there will be no shipping costs on your end.

I am serious. You'll get rid of a product that you have stated is not acceptable and I'll have more trackers for my fleet and everybody will be happy.

I am curious, however, which product you will replace the Featherweight GPS with if you don't mind telling us.
 

Mike Haberer

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Then, by all means, don't buy the product.
If you have followed this thread then you will recall that I bought the product without understanding the software support quandary because it's Apple oriented and I'm not an Apple guy and never will be and it is not noted on the website.

The point is it DOES meet my requirements in every category except support. How would you react if the worst happened today? The software expires, can't get renewed and your hardware is bricked. You have a few hundred (or more) invested that is now worthless and every model you put it in has to be retrofitted with another alternative, which won't have the exact same form factor and thus requires a fair amount of re-work. Is that fun? I would think not. Would you buy any other $500 or $1000 piece of electronics without a warranty? I doubt it. How would any married BAR's spouse feel if they found out the products were worthless and had to be replaced with the equivalent at a similar or higher cost. Not happy, I would gather. I would never hear the end of it, and rightly so. Does every modeler have the funds to throw away like that? No.

It's not acceptable. Not sorry.
 

TBob

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If you have followed this thread then you will recall that I bought the product without understanding the software support quandary because it's Apple oriented and I'm not an Apple guy and never will be and it is not noted on the website.

The point is it DOES meet my requirements in every category except support. How would you react if the worst happened today? The software expires, can't get renewed and your hardware is bricked. You have a few hundred (or more) invested that is now worthless and every model you put it in has to be retrofitted with another alternative, which won't have the exact same form factor and thus requires a fair amount of re-work. Is that fun? I would think not. Would you buy any other $500 or $1000 piece of electronics without a warranty? I doubt it. How would any married BAR's spouse feel if they found out the products were worthless and had to be replaced with the equivalent at a similar or higher cost. Not happy, I would gather. I would never hear the end of it, and rightly so. Does every modeler have the funds to throw away like that? No.

It's not acceptable. Not sorry.
Just sell it all to Hardline. You'll be much happier.

As for me, I'm very happy with the product and the support I have received from Kevin and Adrian. I'm also very confident that this product will be supported for many years to come.

You've made very clear how you feel about this system and it's obvious to me that we will never agree and any of the points you made here so that's why I'd like to say again...sell it all and move on. Not sorry.
 
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