FlightSketch Mini Altimeter & Black Friday Sale

Discussion in 'Vendor Display' started by gtg738w, Nov 15, 2019.

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  1. Dec 4, 2019 #91

    swatkat

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    And nearby device scanning is enabled... ugh.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2019 #92

    swatkat

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    Yup, nada, did the factory wipe as well. I'll just stick with the iPad.... It doesn't work with my Missleworks T3 though... so two devices it is.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2019 #93

    dshmel

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    Bluetooth LE is automatic on the S7. In addition to enabling the permissions, I also enabled the phones location (GPS) functionality.
     
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  4. Dec 6, 2019 #94

    BEC

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    I did some flying yesterday with the newly received production FS Minis. For most of the flights I used the Fire 7 tablet to control them (with it, in turn, tethered to my iPhone for internet access). All three altimeters worked as they should.

    Working with the Android tablet was kind of frustrating—or maybe it was just because it was different than what I'm used to (currently iOS 13). In particular the auto-correct when editing information for the log and also editing file names made some bizarre choices that I didn't catch at the field. Even though it was overcast, the screen was not as easy to see as I'd like. I also seemed to have some hit-and-miss with respect to saving files locally - both scrambled names (it's easy to hit "return" on the "keyboard" when I meant to just delete a character) and missing files altogether. No idea why that happened yet.

    Bluetooth range seems to be considerably less on the Fire tablet as well....so no "telemetered" apogees yesterday (via the FS Mini reconnecting while the model was on 'chute or streamer and coming back toward me). But I got plausible data for all the flights and got them uploaded to the Flight Log on the FlightSketch web site anyway. I've just gone back and cleaned up some auto-correct/typos I missed yesterday. Also some flights didn't get weather data....I don't know why that was.

    But - if you want a cheap take-it-to-the-field way to interact with these altimeters (and the fun stuff the Russ is working on for next year), the Fire 7 tablet (after installing Google Play using this procedure: https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/11/25/install-play-store-amazon-fire-tablet/) does seem to work. You will need to have access to some way to connect it to the internet to upload logs, though. And you'll need to install a third-party file manager that can get to the directory where the log files are stored. It isn't visible to the Fire's Docs app.

    I actually have an 8-inch Lenovo tablet coming that I got on their Black Friday-ish sale for $40 (in fact it was just delivered as I was typing this). I will see how that is (and whether or not it will work with AltimeterThree - the Fire 7 does not).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  5. Dec 6, 2019 #95

    swatkat

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    Got it working on the S7's. Turning on Location is a requirement apparently for the Flightsketch App to find the altimeter. Doesn't have that requirement on the other tablets, etc. But that is the one item that makes the altimeter "findable" versus, not findable in the app.
     
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  6. Dec 6, 2019 #96

    BEC

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    Location services are necessary for the weather data that are (generally) part of the uploaded flight log. I suspect that's why the app wants permission to access location....which means, of course, that your device needs to have a location to give.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2019 #97

    gtg738w

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    It’s actually an Android permissions restriction. A lot of stores have started using BLE “beacons” so they can detect if you’ve entered a store based on a Bluetooth scan. Android sees this the same as giving your location so location services have to be enabled globally and for the app or else it won’t be able to scan. I can turn off location services on my iPhone and still use the app. The only issue is it thinks my Lat/Lon is 0/0 for the weather. Unfortunately I’m much father north right now!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  8. Dec 7, 2019 #98

    BEC

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    That would certainly explain that "nearby device scanning" setting and what it really means in the Samsung S7.

    I'm even further north :).
     
  9. Dec 7, 2019 #99

    bibbster

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    Geofencing is crazy stuff. I'm sure Estes knows how many times I enter a hobby shop. :D

    Got my Flightsketch but have yet to try it with my S7.
     
  10. Dec 7, 2019 #100

    Greg Furtman

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    BEC, I have a Galaxy S7 & two ASUS Android tablets. I was given a Fire last year. I like to read on the Fire but for anything else it sucks.
     
  11. Dec 7, 2019 #101

    BEC

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    I have an Asus Android tablet that I bought back when I was beta testing AltimeterThree (though I didn’t buy it just for that). I has since just died - it will not power up whether attached to a charger for hours or not.

    I’ll be opening the Lenovo box later this morning and will see how it goes.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Fire 7 streamed a Netflix episode of Mars the other night...reviews made it sound like it couldn’t do that, but it was just fine.

    On the field it was OK - I suspect my issues were more of the just-enough-different-to-be-irritating aspects of the user interface as much as anything. It certainly does work with the FS Mini just fine. There, I pulled this back on topic-ish.:D
     
  12. Dec 8, 2019 #102

    BEC

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    Quick check back in—the $40 on sale Lenovo tablet (TB-8304F1) I mentioned first up in post 94 works so much more nicely. Faster, much nicer screen, much better potential battery life.

    It took some doing to figure out how to get the FlightSketch app on it, as it STILL doesn’t show up in a Play Store search and the link on the FS web site takes me to a Play Store web page that told me the app was already installed (since it’s on the Fire 7). I eventually stumbled into how to get it on the Lenovo as well through some settings page or another. The iOS App Store is much more straightforward about this sort of thing.

    The Android AltimeterThree app runs just fine on the Lenovo, too, unlike on the Fire 7 where it crashes right after opening.

    I think the Fire 7 may well be going back to Amazon shortly.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2019 #103

    NateB

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    I had a Fire 10 HD until recently, two of them actually. The first had the USB port fail and wouldn't charge after 2-3 months of use. It was replaced by Amazon on warranty. The replacement had the power button fail and would not turn on unless the magnetic switch was activated after I had it for about 10 months. Amazon refused to replace it, stating the warranty is only valid from the original purchase date, no matter how old the device was.

    The whole time, the Fire 10 was slow and crashed frequently. In fact, it performed worse than my original Fire tablet. My first one worked well for several years until it died when my tent was ripped to shreds at at event by a 70mph straight line wind and I found 4 inches of water in the tent. At some point Amazon decided these tablets should be cheap and disposable rather than quality devices. At least they priced then accordingly, but I will never buy another one.
     
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  14. Dec 9, 2019 #104

    Bruce

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    We launched our new FlightSketch Mini twice yesterday and it seemed to work fine. But we couldn't figure out how to upload the data from the phone. Tried both iOS and Android apps, same thing...

    Where do you log in on the app to tell it what account to load the data to?
     
  15. Dec 9, 2019 #105

    BEC

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    See page 4 here: https://flightsketch.com/media/FSMiniGuide2.pdf
     
  16. Dec 9, 2019 #106

    Bruce

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    Yes, that did the trick!

    The opening page doesn't mention anything about any other options other than the big "Connect" button. I should have thought to try swiping to get to another screen.

    It would be nice to be able to use it without having to read the user manual. The Quick Start Guide does not mention swiping to get to the login screen. In the apps defense, I was able to get it to work except for the logging in part without reading the manual.
     
  17. Dec 9, 2019 #107

    BEC

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    You will still have the data from the last flight in the altimeter, so you can download it to the app again and upload to the log from there, if you want. That is, unless you've armed it for another flight since then. At that point the data from the prior flight are deleted.
     
  18. Dec 10, 2019 #108

    Greg Furtman

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    I'd like to make a protective bag for my Mini. I know it needs to be a breathable fabric for the altimeter. Any recommendations?
     
  19. Dec 10, 2019 #109

    BEC

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    See post 13 for what I've been using.
     
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  20. Dec 10, 2019 #110

    Greg Furtman

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    BEC - thanks. Must have missed that. I assume the yellow is Velcro?
     
  21. Dec 10, 2019 #111

    BEC

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    Yes. These little pouches were made by my wife originally for PerfectFlite FireFly altimeters, which are a little wider than the FS Mini and essentially the same length. They are made out of scraps of fleece from other sewing projects.

    When used in models like an Alpha or a modelrockets.us Nexus they eventually get the soft part cooked off, but even then they are still somewhat protective of the altimeter.

    One that's a bit oversize, like the one in those pictures, is also good for sticking one of these gadgets in BT-50-sized payload sections and preventing the unit from rattling around in there.
     
  22. Dec 11, 2019 #112

    Greg Furtman

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    I've got some old blaze orange fleece jackets with bad zippers. I think I'll use those. Free fabric and easy to see. :D
     
  23. Dec 11, 2019 #113

    jbr

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  24. Dec 19, 2019 #114

    gtg738w

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    Update on the FS Mini - I received a notice today that the beginning of the next production lot has shipped and I should see them tomorrow. I'll try to get a number tested and packaged and update the stock online at ~8pm EST. There is still a good chance to receive orders on or before the 24th but no guarantees with USPS.

    Also, you'll see that the price has been bumped to $40 to try and limit demand in the short term. Once the initial demand settles down, we will revisit and adjust as needed to maintain a reasonable volume.

    Thanks,
    Russ
     
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  25. Dec 20, 2019 #115

    Barracuda

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    I just ordered one this morning:D,can't wait!
     
  26. Dec 24, 2019 #116

    scadaman29325

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    :shocked: ouch. Very understandable though. A day late and $20 short. Seems like a very good product. Congratulations!

    Just wondering if you would share any numbers on the cost of developing and mfg of device? (Probably prying too much, ignore?)

    Thanks
     
  27. Dec 24, 2019 #117

    Tobor

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    Well, money was really tight during the first release of the Mini and also during the Black Friday sale. Just bad timing for me. If the timing of the next sale is in sync with my wallet, I'll grab two or three Minis so I have enough...
     
  28. Dec 30, 2019 #118

    gtg738w

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    This last lot was smaller and expedited to get things shipped for the holidays. The unit cost was ~$16.50. In a larger run without the expedite they are more like $10. That's with US assembly. It's also fully open source. There has been at least one person that built their own from the data that has been published.

    For development - I have no idea... I would guess I have somewhere between 500-1000 hours in this project so far. That's on the order of $100-200k in real costs but this was really developed on the side as a hobby. There is a reason you don't see any fully commercial startups in this area...

    Russ
     
  29. Dec 31, 2019 #119

    rharshberger

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    Keep' em assembled in the USA Russ, I will ALWAYS buy a US product before giving my money to China when possible.
     
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  30. Dec 31, 2019 #120

    NateB

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    I didn't realize they were assembled in the US. That is fantastic!
     

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