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Thumb drive size altimeter with LCD display

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Scott Evil

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I thought this was pretty cool too. Kudos to the people that thought it up and made it happen.
 

MattieShoes

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Odd, that's exactly the sort of device I was looking for and failed to find. I really hope it's reasonably priced...
 

BEC

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That looks very interesting indeed....assuming the price is not too much higher than either the How High SP from Winged Shadow or the Eagle Tree altituded micro-sensor. If it can really be just attached to the shock cord (and therefore be exposed to ejection charges) that'll be a BIG step forward. And at 7g it's as light as the How High SP and simpler to read.

I will be very interested to see this one for real.
 

cwbullet

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I am going to buy as soon as available. This is a great idea. Now if someone could make one with dual deployment.
 

Pantherjon

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Very kewl!:cool: Will have to look into getting one when it comes out!

Chuck: They do..As far as I know, the MARSAS-4 displays the altitude on it's LCD display, granted it is a tad bit bigger..;)

Adrian: How about it? LCD dual deploy, tiny footprint altimeter called the Hummingbird? Hint, hint...:)
 

new2hpr

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There have to be compromises somewhere. Since it is advertised as being able to just go in the airframe, it is either accelerometer based, or, if baro, it will only give the max altitude reached AFTER ejection. This is fine if you're perfect with your delay selection, and only want peak altitude. With no deployment, it's a small niche market that I think already has a few entries. If it's really cheap, it should sell OK, though. Just not the right unit for me. I'll stick to my PF MAWDs and save up for a Raven.

-Ken
 

cwbullet

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I have a MARSA 4. It is nice. I like the fact that this one plugs into a USB port like a thumb drive. Once less cord to bring with you.
 

Handeman

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I have a MARSA 4. It is nice. I like the fact that this one plugs into a USB port like a thumb drive. Once less cord to bring with you.
I don't think you can communicate with the device. It doesn't store any data. It only plugs in the USB to charge the battery.
 

Pantherjon

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I had forgotten about the Picos!:eek:

Dual deploy LPR! LOL
 

Winston

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There have to be compromises somewhere. Since it is advertised as being able to just go in the airframe, it is either accelerometer based, or, if baro, it will only give the max altitude reached AFTER ejection.
It's baro based. And with proper vent holes in the airframe, it should record peak altitude accurately.
 

Winston

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There are several choices of thumb-drive sized altimeters already. And they do more than go along for the ride: http://www.picoalt.com/
Yes, those have been around for a while IIRC, but they don't have the convenience of a built-in battery that can be charged from a USB port nor do they have an LCD display. And this device can be easily attached to a nose cone or shock cord.
 

Winston

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With no deployment, it's a small niche market that I think already has a few entries.
Because it looks so bullet-proof and is so easy to install in an airframe, I suggested to Tim, the owner of Apogee, that he should try to get NAR to buy a bunch to sign out at altitude events. At the very least, they would be great for club events. No more disappointments from lost tracks.

As far as variation between altimeters is concerned, the two prototypes he had were recently tested simultaneously in a home-made vacuum chamber to 15K+ feet. One read 15,555, the other 15,560 feet.
 
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Pantherjon

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I will probably get one when they are available..Wow, to 15k and only a 5 foot variation, that's pretty darn good!
 

Gillard

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Anyone know how much they will be?
These look to be great, charged from a USB is a massive saving in mass from the battery, could be the choice of alt for A-C altitude records. but it wil all come down to the cost!
 

blackjack2564

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Since this thread started I contacted Robert at Pico......

Pico has since come out with the P-1 built on board battery. Only weighs 2.3 grams with battery. good to 40,000ft!

Truly a "thumb" size! 40.00

I just flew it in the 24mm BlackHawk. works great!

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Larry Curcio

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Since this thread started I contacted Robert at Pico......

Pico has since come out with the P-1 built on board battery. Only weighs 2.3 grams with battery. good to 40,000ft!

Truly a "thumb" size! 40.00

I just flew it in the 24mm BlackHawk. works great!
What's the ADC size?
Can it filter out an ejection spike?
 

NjCo

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These look to be great, charged from a USB is a massive saving in mass from the battery, could be the choice of alt for A-C altitude records. but it wil all come down to the cost!
Back almost exactly a year ago the Apogee newsletter was about starting a rocket company with a product that would be successful. One of the items Tim talked about was a low priced altimeter. He mentioned in the article that there were a lot of high priced altimeters with varying functionality but not much in the low price category. I think one or two have come out since that time aimed at this market. Tim mentioned a $30 price point in the article. I think this new altimeter certainly has the potential to have the ease of use and small size that many people would like. We'll have to see on price but since Tim specifically said that something like this with a low price point would be the holy grail of rocket altimeters and a year later one just happens to show up on his website leads me to guess that this product is designed with a low price in mind. I hope I'm right.

hmmmm . . . . altimeters weren't the only thing mentioned in that article. I wonder what else from Tim's list of ten products will be hitting the market soon. Here's a link to the newsletter:

http://www.apogeerockets.com/education/downloads/Newsletter234.pdf
 

Winston

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Back almost exactly a year ago the Apogee newsletter was about starting a rocket company with a product that would be successful. One of the items Tim talked about was a low priced altimeter. He mentioned in the article that there were a lot of high priced altimeters with varying functionality but not much in the low price category. I think one or two have come out since that time aimed at this market. Tim mentioned a $30 price point in the article. I think this new altimeter certainly has the potential to have the ease of use and small size that many people would like. We'll have to see on price but since Tim specifically said that something like this with a low price point would be the holy grail of rocket altimeters and a year later one just happens to show up on his website leads me to guess that this product is designed with a low price in mind. I hope I'm right.

hmmmm . . . . altimeters weren't the only thing mentioned in that article. I wonder what else from Tim's list of ten products will be hitting the market soon. Here's a link to the newsletter:

http://www.apogeerockets.com/education/downloads/Newsletter234.pdf
His product wish #6 has been partly realized by the Quest long Q2G2 igniter.

Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your tea."
Churchill: "Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it."
 
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Winston

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It's May....any news on this device?
To be available soon. I was at a launch last weekend attended by an Apogee employee and he said the slight delay right now is getting the custom made battery. Not a show stopper, however. IIRC, the projected price was $32.
 

BEC

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Good news. Too bad I can't get one before BMR's Missile Mayhem next weekend. Will fly a How High SP and an Eagle Tree altitude microsensor there anyway.....
 

Winston

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It will be available soon (Expected Ship Date: 5/21/10), but I'm not pleased with the price. $30 - a no brainer, $50 - not so much. I may still buy one anyway (thereby proving that it's correctly priced for what the market will bear?):

http://www.apogeerockets.com/altimeter-one.asp
 

jsdemar

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The description says that it turns of after 30 minutes in one place and says 60 minutes in another.

Seems like a lot of money to just record peak altitude.
 

NjCo

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The description says that it turns of after 30 minutes in one place and says 60 minutes in another.

Seems like a lot of money to just record peak altitude.
How much are the other low cost option for recording of only altitude?
 

NjCo

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Pico has one for $40. Add your own battery. Fits in 10mm tube.
http://www.picoalt.com/P1.htm
After you add a battery holder and batteries though it ends up being more than $40 and then you add more batteries a season or two down the road etc. Plus it doesn't have the digital readout which although not entirely necessary is certainly nice. You also have to find a way to attach the Pico in your rocket. All in all that extra $10 buys you a lot of convenience it seems.

The Alt15K/WD Rev2 logging altimeter adds lots more features like data logging but no dual deploy for only $75.

Anything else in the sub $100 range?

To answer my own question - there is the Quest altimeter. Very small, 5 year battery, flashes out the altitude like the Pico. I forget the pricing on this one. Right now the Quest page says to call for pricing.
 
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BEC

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I'm a little disappointed in the price, too...though it's not that much above my "buy two" threshhold.

The other alternatives I can think of are the How High SP from Winged Shadow Systems (also sold by Apogee and Quest) and the Eagle Tree Altitude Sensor (first item on this page). With the former, there are flashes to count, but it's all self contained with replaceable lithium coin cells for power. It's about the same weight as the AltimeterOne, but less robustly packaged.

With the latter there is power to provide but a single-digit LED display which reads the altitude out one digit at a time. I power the one I'm using as a rocket altimeter from a small single li-poly cell. This setup is more like 10g.

Both of these are from the R/C airplane market and adaptable to rockets, unlike the AltimeterOne.

I have used both and one of these days I'll fly them both at the same time to compare results. Both give reasonable-looking results.

Heck, I've just talked myself into getting one AltimeterOne at least.

The Pico looks interesting as well....I just wish it wasn't as picky as its documentation says it is about input voltage. I'd much rather it was happy on 3.7-4V so I could do the one li-poly cell thing with it as well rather than needing two and some way to drop the voltage to within 4.5-5.5V.

added: just watched the video and Tim says, twice, it needs sixty minutes of inactivity to turn itself off.
 
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