Featherweight software

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Mike Haberer

DaHabes
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
912
Reaction score
655
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.
No. I won't be happy. I have an Eggfinder setup, but it is not as feature filled nor elegant, and building the tracker successfully is not a slam dunk. I borked two before I built one successfully. I would sell it at this point but have to keep it as a backup in case FW goes belly up on support. I don't want to miss one of the limited HPR launches I can get to in a year because my tracker support is kaput.

Missile Works T3 is similar in size, cost and capability, but there is no inventory at this point, so it isn't an option anytime soon given pandemic related supply chain issues. Featherweight has inventory continually and do not seem to be affected by the supply chain, at least so far.

Big Red Bee is more expensive for a similar feature set.

Entacore is way more expensive.

Telemetrum is way more expensive because you are paying for the GPS on every altimeter. With FW you use one tracker in the nose cone and move it around between rockets and use lower priced altimeters for pyro requirements. Eggtimer Quarks are the bomb - $20, easy to build, small.

Multitronix is WAY more expensive. If money grew on trees....

Candidly, the price should be higher if that's what it takes for full support, but you know what? It's not that hard. You can look up the process. Just Google it. The cost of doing this is $99 a year to be an Apple developer. How many do they sell a year? If they sell 20 trackers, it's $5 per tracker. If they sell $100, it's $1 per tracker. Add it to the price and be done with it. If they go out of business and it drops from the app store at least we have a functioning app and hardware. It's a no-brainer.

So, it's not acceptable. Not sorry.
 
Last edited:

Mike Haberer

DaHabes
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
912
Reaction score
655
Last entry. Bottom line, we will have to agree to disagree. Mine is an argument based on principles. You won't convince me otherwise. Besides, I'm of 100% German lineage, aka, stubborn; save your breath...

P.S. My wife has a plaque she pulls out once in a while and hangs on the wall. "You can always tell a German, but you can't tell them much." We laugh about it...
 

TBob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
123
Reaction score
66
Location
NW Arkansas
No. I won't be happy. I have an Eggfinder setup, but it is not as feature filled nor elegant, and building the tracker successfully is not a slam dunk. I borked two before I built one successfully. I would sell it at this point but have to keep it as a backup in case FW goes belly up on support. I don't want to miss one of the limited HPR launches I can get to in a year because my tracker support is kaput.

Missile Works T3 is similar in size, cost and capability, but there is no inventory at this point, so it isn't an option anytime soon given pandemic related supply chain issues. Featherweight has inventory continually and do not seem to be affected by the supply chain, at least so far.

Big Red Bee is more expensive for a similar feature set.

Telemetrum is way more expensive because you are paying for the GPS on every altimeter. With FW you use one tracker in the nose cone and move it around between rockets and use lower priced altimeters for pyro requirements. Eggtimer Quarks are the bomb - $20, easy to build, small.

Entacore is way more expensive.

Multitronix is WAY more expensive. If money grew on trees....

Candidly, the price should be higher if that's what it takes for full support, but you know what? I don't think it takes that much to put it in the app store. Now, if you have to pay Apple per download for an app to be in the app store, I can see why it isn't, but then that makes my point that the price should be higher, and I would pay for it accordingly.

So, it's not acceptable. Not sorry.
So given the full situation, as it stands today, there is no solution you will be happy with. That should be obvious to me as you had an angry reaction to my last post. I never intended to offend or anger you. I was merely trying to offer a solution that would make you happier. I failed.
Also, I'm sorry that you are unable to find anything on the market that suits your every desire in a tracker solution.

Maybe it's time for you to consider opening up your own GPS rocket tracker business to develop a product that checks all of your boxes. There may be other rocketeers out there that have the same concerns and are just waiting for your new business to open and start taking orders.
 
Last edited:

TBob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Messages
123
Reaction score
66
Location
NW Arkansas
BTW, I also failed to mention that Altus Metrum makes a standalone GPS tracker. No altimeter involved.

 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
2,313
Reaction score
1,437
Location
TX
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.
Wow, you talk about the developer dying and your concern is a rocket tracker. The complete lack of empathy is astonishing.

What is preventing you from selling your system so you can sleep better at night? You complain about price and availability but there are several other products on the market you can choose from. If you’re living in fear over a tracker, you should move on to something less stressful for you. The higher price would be a good trade off for your stress level.


Tony

PS: Rocketry in general may be a bad hobby for you. Every launch runs the risk of destruction of the rocket and everything in it. If you’re worried over a developer and a bus, it seems rockets are just a bad fit overall.
 
Last edited:

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
524
Reaction score
254
No. I won't be happy. I have an Eggfinder setup, but it is not as feature filled nor elegant, and building the tracker successfully is not a slam dunk. I borked two before I built one successfully. I would sell it at this point but have to keep it as a backup in case FW goes belly up on support. I don't want to miss one of the limited HPR launches I can get to in a year because my tracker support is kaput.

Missile Works T3 is similar in size, cost and capability, but there is no inventory at this point, so it isn't an option anytime soon given pandemic related supply chain issues. Featherweight has inventory continually and do not seem to be affected by the supply chain, at least so far.

Big Red Bee is more expensive for a similar feature set.

Entacore is way more expensive.

Telemetrum is way more expensive because you are paying for the GPS on every altimeter. With FW you use one tracker in the nose cone and move it around between rockets and use lower priced altimeters for pyro requirements. Eggtimer Quarks are the bomb - $20, easy to build, small.

Multitronix is WAY more expensive. If money grew on trees....

Candidly, the price should be higher if that's what it takes for full support, but you know what? It's not that hard. You can look up the process. Just Google it. The cost of doing this is $99 a year to be an Apple developer. How many do they sell a year? If they sell 20 trackers, it's $5 per tracker. If they sell $100, it's $1 per tracker. Add it to the price and be done with it. If they go out of business and it drops from the app store at least we have a functioning app and hardware. It's a no-brainer.

So, it's not acceptable. Not sorry.

you have to be an apple developer to even have access to the testing tools

the app has to be approved to add it to the app store
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
you have to be an apple developer to even have access to the testing tools

the app has to be approved to add it to the app store
JBR,

Yes. I have had a developers license since the beginning, otherwise we wouldn't be this far. The $100 is a small cost compared to the number of MACs I've bought along the way for development. I was not a MAC guy before (and still have a KVM switch between my windows and MAC and actually right now I am on my MAC but 'terminal served' into my Windows PC because I'm still more used to the windows control key shortcuts and such...). iFIP is actually my first actual iPhone app so I think I did OK with my first app supporting BlueTooth, GPS, Magnetometer, File Storage, Sharing, Live Graphics, Over The Air Firmware updates, Voice, etc...

The App Store release is a trade off in time between my day job, new development for active users, and that long list of 'review guidelines' to get it in the Store [Thank you JBR for your two posts to remind me of the review process... I wonder if they will need me to send them a Ground Station and Tracker so they can accurately test it...?] ...and being my first app, I can understand that they might have a lot of 'inputs' before full release...

For others (cough, cough, Mike...), if the primary concern is that I get run over by a beer truck driven by a German (I'm part German from the Midwest also so this is a joke if you're reading the thread), then I will make sure the code is in a GIT repository in the cloud and someone else has access to it who will either take over development and/or pass it on directly to Adrian. There might be a hiccup if I die, but someone would carry on. Some user (cough, cough, Mike...) might "be really pissed" but I can say I will be the "more disappointed one"... ;) I'm a software geek - of course I want my software to outlive me... (just not anytime soon)....

Mike - if this option is acceptable to you for a "Business Continuity Plan", then I'm sorry I didn't suggest it sooner to de-escalate this thread.... If not, I can't help you anytime soon...
 

neil_w

Twaddleposter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
12,701
Reaction score
5,652
Location
Northern NJ
Yes. I have had a developers license since the beginning, otherwise we wouldn't be this far. The $100 is a small cost compared to the number of MACs I've bought along the way for development. I was not a MAC guy before (and still have a KVM switch between my windows and MAC and actually right now I am on my MAC
If you're going to be proper Mac guy the first thing to learn is that it's "Mac", not "MAC". :dancingelephant:


Just kidding (sort of). ;)
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
524
Reaction score
254
curious, what language is it in? and don't say German LOL
been a programmer for more than 40 years, several flavors of assembly language including mainframe OS, basic, fortran, cobol, pascal, modula 2, C, C++, and others
 

gtg738w

FlightSketch - flightsketch.com
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
329
Reaction score
330
The App Store release is a trade off in time between my day job, new development for active users, and that long list of 'review guidelines' to get it in the Store [Thank you JBR for your two posts to remind me of the review process... I wonder if they will need me to send them a Ground Station and Tracker so they can accurately test it...?] ...and being my first app, I can understand that they might have a lot of 'inputs' before full release...
If you’re already in TestFlight it’s pretty easy. They asked us for a video of what it does (no hardware provided) and demo credentials to log in with. Just submit it and see what they ask for. The process is very forgiving, no harm in trying with your current build.
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
curious, what language is it in? and don't say German LOL
been a programmer for more than 40 years, several flavors of assembly language including mainframe OS, basic, fortran, cobol, pascal, modula 2, C, C++, and others
iOS Swift... I've been doing this stuff for 35 years (kudos to you at 40) and it looks like each year they hire new people to change it... I upgraded my phone to iOS 15 and had to upgrade the Xcode environment to even work again with my phone and the complier told me that DuckUnder had been changed to duckUnder and do I want to update it (with a little 'fix' button)... (this is not a joke...)
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
If you’re already in TestFlight it’s pretty easy. They asked us for a video of what it does (no hardware provided) and demo credentials to log in with. Just submit it and see what they ask for. The process is very forgiving, no harm in trying with your current build.
Russ - that is very encouraging... I envisioned an ISO 9000 audit... :oops: :D:eek:
 

gtg738w

FlightSketch - flightsketch.com
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
329
Reaction score
330
Russ - that is very encouraging... I envisioned an ISO 9000 audit... :oops: :D:eek:
Ha! Hardly, just look at some of the stuff on the App Store. They have standards but the bar isn’t very high…
 
  • Like
Reactions: kjs

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
Used my FW GPS system this weekend 3 times. Worked perfectly each time, voice always worked. Tested the new feature with losing the GS, that worked like a champ too.
Jay Dub - Good to hear! Can you confirm the iFIP build # / date by going into FIP and the "..." "Settings" tab?
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
Kevin, see screen shot.
Thank you! - that tells me you installed the beta build that included the initial fixes for voice in the background, or lock screen or with the mute switch on.
 

Jay Dub 4009

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
222
Reaction score
292
Location
Dayton, Oh
Thank you! - that tells me you installed the beta build that included the initial fixes for voice in the background, or lock screen or with the mute switch on.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never had the voice not call a launch, used the system about 16 times now.
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
For what it’s worth, I’ve never had the voice not call a launch, used the system about 16 times now.
Thanks for that info also! For the most part, if you keep it on the tracking page, it almost always works. Earlier in this thread, some people identified some cases where it stopped working but build 187 fixed the bulk of those edge cases. Thanks for being a Featherweight customer!
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
372
Reaction score
209
Location
Belgrade, MT
Probably best you move on, anyway.
I wholeheartedly agree with "watheyak" about "ZuluLima" that its best to move on from the bellyaching about Featherweight.

Despite some of the issues I've already noted with the Featherweight iFIP app, I'm quite happy with its overall performance and I'll be buying more.

Best wishes for Kevin and Adrian.
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
372
Reaction score
209
Location
Belgrade, MT
It will not be fun if the hardware is bricked. If the developer becomes incapable of continuing for ANY reason
There have been several high power rocketry companies who have gone out of business and "bricked" the hardware that their customers purchased and who required the vendor's continued presence in the marketplace for continued use of that hardware.

Its simply a fact of life that small businesses and especially those in niche markets have high mortality rates.

If you're looking for something with a "too big to fail" guarantee to stay in business, then buy GM. :)
 

Dan Griffing

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
372
Reaction score
209
Location
Belgrade, MT
your own GPS rocket tracker
Last year I bread-boarded several different GPS modules connected to various "Arduino" processors just for fun, and connected them to 915MHz RF communications devices.

Guess what I learned? I'm a retired engineer who has integrated GPS modules into scientific instruments professionally.

But there are special tricks in keeping high power rockets synchronized with satellites at supersonic speeds, or quickly reestablishing it once its been lost. The current HPR GPS producers have learned those tricks and it took something to reach this goal.

The GPS rocket tracker business probably isn't the place where someone would want to enter now -- except if they have other motives besides wanting to get paid for their time and investment.
 

jbr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
524
Reaction score
254
Waiting patiently for the next big thing
a screen showing frequencies used at a launch so you don't step on anyone else
 
  • Like
Reactions: kjs

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
Waiting patiently for the next big thing
a screen showing frequencies used at a launch so you don't step on anyone else
Ok, just made build 192 available for general access. It includes a share button at the top of the screens on the GPS and TRACK pages so you can easily copy the Lat/Lon and share or paste into a mapping app or google earth. It also includes fixes for crashes that could occur if you were using iFIP with GPS/location services turned off, or if you had BlueTooth on your phone off and went to the Settings page.

I agree that the next steps are some type of 'Channel Board' as well as whatever else helps people avoid being on the same channel.

A follow on to the channel board will be the ability to know what rockets are 'active' and be able to 'listen in' on their channel for their flights. Not sure what it will be like if five different phones are providing audio (!!), but it might be possible for the LCO to have one phone that can broadcast any Featherweight flight on the PA system.
 

thzero

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
339
Reaction score
204
Ok, just made build 192 available for general access. It includes a share button at the top of the screens on the GPS and TRACK pages so you can easily copy the Lat/Lon and share or paste into a mapping app or google earth.
Nice. Not anyway to just launch mapping app from within the iFIP app? Or display the map inside the iFIP app? I'm using OpenStreetMap with a Flutter GPS app I've been toying with.
 

thzero

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
339
Reaction score
204
Oh speaking of Google Earth.. thought I saw a mention in one of the Featherweight threads about looking to incorporate an output for it. Turns out to be relatively easy to convert Featherweight GPS output (from the device, not the ground unit) into a KML path.
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
Nice. Not anyway to just launch mapping app from within the iFIP app? Or display the map inside the iFIP app? I'm using OpenStreetMap with a Flutter GPS app I've been toying with.
;) I did play with an embedded map once and will probably re-visit it again but the copy/paste was a faster solution for now. In fact recently I found one of the screens that said 'Map' at the top as I had forgotten to rename the screen when I re-purposed it...! (Actually Jay Dub's screen shot above shows the "Map" title at the top of the Settings page...)

Oh speaking of Google Earth.. thought I saw a mention in one of the Featherweight threads about looking to incorporate an output for it. Turns out to be relatively easy to convert Featherweight GPS output (from the device, not the ground unit) into a KML path.
Yes I have been looking into auto conversion to KML and it shouldn't be that difficult. I think first I want to expose who around you are using what channels so we can avoid two people being on the same channel. We had one user that lost contact as soon as his rocket launched and from the log, I could see that someone else was on the same channel. Once his rocket took off, the other rocket was higher power so the rest of the packets was the closer rocket.
 

thzero

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
339
Reaction score
204
Yeah, for sure! I just happen to be working on the other two for other things and your mention of the GPS coords triggered a response :)

Any longer term fix on that one, like being able to use a pass code or tie the devices MAC when pairing the ground station and tracker?
 

kjs

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
345
Reaction score
224
Any longer term fix on that one, like being able to use a pass code or tie the devices MAC when pairing the ground station and tracker?
I assume you are talking about the two rockets on the same channel. I can say the ground station and phone know which device they are paired with, but two trackers on the same frequency transmitting at the same time and the tracker on the ground is closer so is transmitting 'louder' (non technical term... :)) so they don't even hear from the one in the air. Goal is to make it easy to know you are on your own channel - or know who else is also on the channel so you can coordinate.
 
Top