New Featherweight GPS phone app available for Android and iOS

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Adrian A

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The Featherweight UI phone app, available for both Android and iOS, now supports both the Blue Raven and the Featherweight GPS system!

Here's a shot of the tracker display:

1699831333554.png

This is just going out to the beta users via Apple TestFlight and Android Firebase so far, because there are some things I want to clean up before releasing them through the stores.

Here are the release notes for this build:
New Blue Raven capabilities:

-Phone app downloads flight data correctly when two Blue Ravens are on the same flight
-New manual controls for re-starting a download of flight data.
-New firmware update improves the accuracy of tilt measurements and reduces chance of false liftoff detection

New Featherweight GPS Tracker capabilities:

-Able to connect a ground station to multiple trackers
-Able to select tracker channel and edit the name
-Able to select tracker used by ground station and ground station used by tracker
-Tracking cockpit display, including
--pointing arrow
--range, altitude, velocity
--LoRa status and health
--GPS status and signal strength
--battery voltage
--Bluetooth status

Known issues include:
-Altitude display is in feet above sea level rather than feet above the pad
-Changing the tracker name requires an app restart to display correctly
-Simulation is in its early stages
-Voice telemetry is in its early stages
-Tracker recorded data is in early stages
-LoRa calculated maximum range not accurate

If you don't already access the app through Testlflight or FireBase, here are links to add yourself to the test group if you want to try out this build:
Happy flying!
 
I get this error when I go to TestFlight link.
The new build for iOS is 232, and 231 for Android.

I just checked the release in App Store Connect, and everything looks like the distribution should work. Sometimes it takes a little while for a new build to show up.

Were you already using Testflight to install the app? If so, try going to the Testflight app and see if you can update from there.
 
I’m on iOS 16.6.1 and the latest TestFlight and got the same error. Didn’t see an option to update iFIP in app yet.
 
I’m on iOS 16.6.1 and the latest TestFlight and got the same error. Didn’t see an option to update iFIP in app yet.
It’s an update to the Blue Raven app rather than iFIP.

When you got the error, was that from following the above link using the phone you want to install on?
 
Being firmly entrenched in the Android camp, this is likely to trigger a 3-unit system order.

Will there be any Black Friday deals?
 
It’s an update to the Blue Raven app rather than iFIP.

When you got the error, was that from following the above link using the phone you want to install on?
Oh sorry I didn’t catch that, I haven’t ever used blue raven software was just excited for a new tracker UI.

Either way yes, when I clicked the link above I got the same error posted on my phone (same phone I want the app on).
 
Oh sorry I didn’t catch that, I haven’t ever used blue raven software was just excited for a new tracker UI.

Either way yes, when I clicked the link above I got the same error posted on my phone (same phone I want the app on).
This group was set up to be unlimited in number, so I think it might be a situation where Apple is going to need to review the update before allowing it to be released this way, which may take a day or two. If anyone is already testing the Blue Raven/ Featherweight UI app through TestFlight, let me know if you can do the update. That way works for me.
 
I can't wait to not need that second phone for my tracker. It's been really annoying needing to get it charged and updated every time I need to use my tracker.
 
I can't wait to not need that second phone for my tracker. It's been really annoying needing to get it charged and updated every time I need to use my tracker.
At least you're not walking after it with one of your kids tablets with the oversized rubber bumper case like i was...
 
Woo Hoo !

Y'All have been busy !

I received a Firebase email yesterday afternoon which I opened in gmail on my phone and then downloaded and installed the app.

I was able to easily update my Android Blue Raven App after a force stop ( screen shot below )

After I force-stopped then restarted the Blue Raven app, it showed version 231.

Version 231 did auto-download a simulation I ran yesterday before the update on a new AV-Bay design but everything looks GREAT !

All my old flights are there.

Very nice top-level interface !

And I like that access to the Deploy App is available from the main Altimeter interface.

Now I need something to talk to under the new top-level Tracker Option :)

I've been setting aside 'secret cash' for an Android-compatible Featherweight GPS to round out my AV-Bay ...

A Few Qs before I spend that secret stash o'cash:

Q1: Have the Blue Raven high_rate and low_rate file formats changed since version 203 ( probably not because the old flights still exist ) ?

Q2: Will the wire-whip antenna for the GPS Transmitter become available again ?

Q3: When the wire whip antenna is available can I substutute that for the 'rubber duckie' transmitter antenna when I order a new system ?

Q4: to pile onto @KBlack's Q: will there be a Featherweight Black Friday sale ? :)

Thanks @Adrian A !

-- kjh( so ... what am I going to do with $1250 woirth of 25-year-old Walston goodies ? )


Screenshot_20231113_055347.jpg
 
The Featherweight UI phone app, available for both Android and iOS, now supports both the Blue Raven and the Featherweight GPS system!

Here's a shot of the tracker display:

View attachment 615251

This is just going out to the beta users via Apple TestFlight and Android Firebase so far, because there are some things I want to clean up before releasing them through the stores.

Here are the release notes for this build:
New Blue Raven capabilities:

-Phone app downloads flight data correctly when two Blue Ravens are on the same flight
-New manual controls for re-starting a download of flight data.
-New firmware update improves the accuracy of tilt measurements and reduces chance of false liftoff detection

New Featherweight GPS Tracker capabilities:

-Able to connect a ground station to multiple trackers
-Able to select tracker channel and edit the name
-Able to select tracker used by ground station and ground station used by tracker
-Tracking cockpit display, including
--pointing arrow
--range, altitude, velocity
--LoRa status and health
--GPS status and signal strength
--battery voltage
--Bluetooth status

Known issues include:
-Altitude display is in feet above sea level rather than feet above the pad
-Changing the tracker name requires an app restart to display correctly
-Simulation is in its early stages
-Voice telemetry is in its early stages
-Tracker recorded data is in early stages
-LoRa calculated maximum range not accurate

If you don't already access the app through Testlflight or FireBase, here are links to add yourself to the test group if you want to try out this build:
Happy flying!
Good work Adrian! You seriously just sold a 3 unit system with this post! I already had a Blue Raven on order for evaluation. Fits right in to my future plans!
 
So does this essentially replace the “iFIP” tracker program that is also in TestFlight?
 
So does this essentially replace the “iFIP” tracker program that is also in TestFlight?
It will. It doesn't do everything the FIP does yet, but it's on the way to passing it in capability, at which point I will encourage everyone to switch over.

And we'll update the Featherweight UI in the Google Play and Apple stores to this new build in the next week or so, after the new build has some more test and flight time and some known issues are worked out.
 
This group was set up to be unlimited in number, so I think it might be a situation where Apple is going to need to review the update before allowing it to be released this way, which may take a day or two. If anyone is already testing the Blue Raven/ Featherweight UI app through TestFlight, let me know if you can do the update. That way works for me.
Was able to get the app downloaded and will play with it and my tracker this weekend at the next launch!
 
This group was set up to be unlimited in number, so I think it might be a situation where Apple is going to need to review the update before allowing it to be released this way, which may take a day or two. If anyone is already testing the Blue Raven/ Featherweight UI app through TestFlight, let me know if you can do the update. That way works for me.
I got the update for Android yesterday. Installed and working. Just have to do the firmware updates. Does this firmware include previous firmware in case i happened to skip the last update?
 
I got the update for Android yesterday. Installed and working. Just have to do the firmware updates. Does this firmware include previous firmware in case i happened to skip the last update?
Yes, all the firmware except what’s needed to do the firmware updates is replaced each time.
 
I think the current builds will be clean enough to release through the stores in the next week or two, and then we'll keep improving it and adding capability from there. We have been working steadily on adding the tracker capability for about 4 months so far. For the overall app it's coming up on 2 years, and it's already over 6 figures on the investment side.
 
Woo Hoo !

Y'All have been busy !

I received a Firebase email yesterday afternoon which I opened in gmail on my phone and then downloaded and installed the app.

I was able to easily update my Android Blue Raven App after a force stop ( screen shot below )

After I force-stopped then restarted the Blue Raven app, it showed version 231.

Version 231 did auto-download a simulation I ran yesterday before the update on a new AV-Bay design but everything looks GREAT !

All my old flights are there.

Very nice top-level interface !

And I like that access to the Deploy App is available from the main Altimeter interface.

Now I need something to talk to under the new top-level Tracker Option :)

I've been setting aside 'secret cash' for an Android-compatible Featherweight GPS to round out my AV-Bay ...

A Few Qs before I spend that secret stash o'cash:

Q1: Have the Blue Raven high_rate and low_rate file formats changed since version 203 ( probably not because the old flights still exist ) ?
Sorry I missed these questions earlier. The output file format has not changed.
Q2: Will the wire-whip antenna for the GPS Transmitter become available again ?
They have been physically in stock but thanks for letting me know that we need to update the web store inventory number.
Q3: When the wire whip antenna is available can I substutute that for the 'rubber duckie' transmitter antenna when I order a new system ?
Not directly, but if you order the components separately and write a comment in your order notes we’ll throw in the battery for free, which is basically what the full system discount is.
Q4: to pile onto @KBlack's Q: will there be a Featherweight Black Friday sale ? :)

Thanks @Adrian A !
I’m not planning a Black Friday deal this year.
-- kjh( so ... what am I going to do with $1250 woirth of 25-year-old Walston goodies ? )
Store them with your CD collection? 🙂
 
I think the current builds will be clean enough to release through the stores in the next week or two, and then we'll keep improving it and adding capability from there. We have been working steadily on adding the tracker capability for about 4 months so far. For the overall app it's coming up on 2 years, and it's already over 6 figures on the investment side.

Did some preliminary ground testing. Couple things to note...

I assume channel selection of the base and tracker arent live yet?

The pointing arrow of the new App is really... erratic and flips around alot. It wasnt very smooth or slow in movement like the previous App arrow. I found the new Arrow was hard to triangulate the direction. I also found that the distance in ft and direction was off by quite a bit vs the old App doing the same test.

Also with the Old app when the rocket touched down and you were in the tracking screen the numbered data would highlight Gray signifying you lost live connection but should be on the ground. And when getting closer when the GPS link would reestablish it would change from grayed out to not grayed out showing you establish a live link.. is there anything that does this with the new App?

I know there is other stuff im forgetting... but thats a start.
 
I used my new GPS unit at NSL East last weekend. Installed the app. Took me a few minutes to figure out how to connect the devices, but then it just worked. Didn’t read the manual but figured the green arrow pointed at my rocket. Flight went about 1/2 mile downrange, and I followed the green arrow to my rocket. Success.
 
Did some preliminary ground testing. Couple things to note...

I assume channel selection of the base and tracker arent live yet?

That part is working as far as I know. We are still working through some issues with pairing multiple trackers and ground stations, etc, but you should be able to change the channel in the tracker and get 2-way communication between it and the ground station.
The pointing arrow of the new App is really... erratic and flips around alot. It wasnt very smooth or slow in movement like the previous App arrow. I found the new Arrow was hard to triangulate the direction.
I have seen this also on the Android version of the app, but the pointing in the iOS version of the new app is still solid. It seems like the iOS compass function might use some sensor fusion with onboard gyros etc. to make it smoother and more solid. I'm not sure if there is a way to improve the Android function from our end.
I also found that the distance in ft and direction was off by quite a bit vs the old App doing the same test.
This is surprising to me. I'll be watching for differences
Also with the Old app when the rocket touched down and you were in the tracking screen the numbered data would highlight Gray signifying you lost live connection but should be on the ground. And when getting closer when the GPS link would reestablish it would change from grayed out to not grayed out showing you establish a live link.. is there anything that does this with the new App?
Not yet, but I definitely need to add this as a requirement. I'm not sure what would be the most effective indicator yet.
I know there is other stuff im forgetting... but thats a start.
Thanks for the feedback!
 
I used my new GPS unit at NSL East last weekend. Installed the app. Took me a few minutes to figure out how to connect the devices, but then it just worked. Didn’t read the manual but figured the green arrow pointed at my rocket. Flight went about 1/2 mile downrange, and I followed the green arrow to my rocket. Success.
Great! Thanks for letting us know.
 
That part is working as far as I know. We are still working through some issues with pairing multiple trackers and ground stations, etc, but you should be able to change the channel in the tracker and get 2-way communication between it and the ground station.

The only place i was able to select a channel was in the device manager. No channel selection in the base. Only the transmitter. Maybe im used to selecting the base and the transmitter on the old App (and yes im using the Android version vs the old Iphone) but i wasnt able to get the channel list tabon the tracking screen to work.


I have seen this also on the Android version of the app, but the pointing in the iOS version of the new app is still solid. It seems like the iOS compass function might use some sensor fusion with onboard gyros etc. to make it smoother and more solid. I'm not sure if there is a way to improve the Android function from our end.
Hopefully something can be done... it was really not much fun watching the arrow flip around all over the place. Lol. Made getting a directional lock difficult. And again yes android.

This is surprising to me. I'll be watching for differences
Yes. The old set up if i was within 10 to 15 feet was pretty realistic with enough satilites. This one when i was 10 ft away was like telling me 50ft away.

Does the distance countdown as you get closer like the previous app? Even if its the last known good coordinates?



Not yet, but I definitely need to add this as a requirement. I'm not sure what would be the most effective indicator yet.
I found this to be a very useful feature


Thanks for the feedback!

Like yourself im an Altitude junkie. Most stuff is minimum diameter lots of motor.

The Featherweight tracker in past has become such a benchmark that many of us Altitude flyers live by it. Considering the majority of the flight isnt visible, so our method of knowing whats going on has been the the featherweight tracker. starting with an established start point of the launch. The vocal call out of altitude going up. The declaration of Apogee vocally. The vocal call out of decent speed and altitude so you know if you had separation and things are good or not. The vocal call out as the main deploys and the speed drops from 100fps to 18fps now you know you're under main. Couple that with the arrow pointing you in the direction while under boost. The arrow pointing While under drouge and main. Being able to line up arrow and the azimuth bubble to get horizon and direction to possibly get a visual under decent. The screen showing altitude and distance as it goes up and comes down so you have an idea in ft how far away it landed. Then the screen change when it lands so you know that its most likely down and lost direct link. Then using the arrow and watching the distance count smaller and smaller (this works great even when driving) taking you right up to the rocket. After coming down from 35k ft. not to even mention actual data from the tracker thats recognized by TRA. Not to mention lost rocket feature. Or how long the battery life is.

This is the standard you have already established Adrian. big shoes to fill. Lots of Excellence! Hopefully all of this will be able to translate over to the new system on both platforms as its what makes the tracker so great.

Thank you for all you do.
 
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I'm still busy with my regular day job but really pleased that Adrian has been able to find a developer with the time and skills to deliver these capabilities for both platforms!

Now, I myself hope to soon have enough free time to work on some rockets that use the BlueRaven and Tracker while someone else works on the features!

Thank you to all who used my iOS version of the tracker for all these years, but I too will be migrating to this new integrated version!! :clapping::clapping:
 
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