What happened to Altimeter Three??

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ebman159

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Hello,
For the last two years, myself and a group of people from my high school have been working on an experimental rocket and were using altimeter three because of the easy to use interface (and relative small size).
We lost ours during our last launch and need a new one to continue the project but they’re out of stock EVERYWHERE. Maybe I’m just out of the loop but does anyone know what’s going on with JollyLogic? It’s been like six months.
 

cbwho

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I want to know as well. I bought an AltimeterTwo instead but it's a far cry from Three
 

ebman159

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I want to know as well. I bought an AltimeterTwo instead but it's a far cry from Three
It looks like John is working on getting the hardware and applications updated. As of Christmas Eve, he was testing the iOS application. I think an AltimeterFour is also in the works.
A1BA2BE8-29CF-4002-B4A0-1BE4D40F1E03.png
 

cbwho

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For the record, AltimeterTwo is very nice, but for simply $30 more for Three you seem to get 10x more. :)

AltimeterFour, does it have a camera?
 

neil_w

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AltimeterFour, does it have a camera?
AltimeterFour is a tiny altimeter. Nothing camera-related.

Note that Alt4 doesn't exist yet, so technically it could become something different before it gets released (but probably still nothing camera-related).
 

Zeke Johnson

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In lieu of the Altimeter 3, why not get a Flight Sketch Mini?

They are in stock, cost only $29.00 (versus $99 - $110 - REALLY!?!), and do the same thing if not better.

The FS Mini comes in at 2.93g and the Altimerter 3 weighs 10.49g.

What does the Altimeter 3 have the that FS Mini lacks?

https://flightsketch.com/store/catalog/flightsketch-mini_1/


Zeke
 
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cbwho

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In lieu of the Altimeter 3, why not get a Flight Sketch Mini?

They are in stock, cost only $29.00 (versus $99 - $110 - REALLY!?!), and do the same thing if not better.

The FS Mini comes in at 2.93g and the Altimerter 3 weighs 10.49g.

What does the Altimeter 3 have the that FS Mini lacks?

https://flightsketch.com/store/catalog/flightsketch-mini_1/


Zeke
Amazing!
That's so cheap, I ordered 2.
:)
Reading the reviews: One feature all altimeters could possibly use is a homing beeping feature.

Mmm... I wonder if they'll fight connecting with 2 devices?
 

ebman159

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In lieu of the Altimeter 3, why not get a Flight Sketch Mini?

They are in stock, cost only $29.00 (versus $99 - $110 - REALLY!?!), and do the same thing if not better.

The FS Mini comes in at 2.93g and the Altimerter 3 weighs 10.49g.

What does the Altimeter 3 have the that FS Mini lacks?

https://flightsketch.com/store/catalog/flightsketch-mini_1/


Zeke
I’ll be using it for an experimental rocket specifically designed for use with Alt3. I might just order and FS and throw in some weight to maintain design requirement but we will see. But those little things would be fantastic for tests.
 

BEC

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In lieu of the Altimeter 3, why not get a Flight Sketch Mini?

They are in stock, cost only $29.00 (versus $99 - $110 - REALLY!?!), and do the same thing if not better.

The FS Mini comes in at 2.93g and the Altimerter 3 weighs 10.49g.

What does the Altimeter 3 have the that FS Mini lacks?

https://flightsketch.com/store/catalog/flightsketch-mini_1/


Zeke
Well, since you asked (and since I have hundreds of flights on both devices):

  • AltimeterThree is ruggedly packaged for flying without a dedicated payload section (without resorting to third party or homemade protectors) and is MUCH more resistant to kinetic damage
  • AltimeterThree's app automatically stores your flight data on your phone/tablet upon download—no further steps required. This, to me, is a BIG deal
  • These data can be easily retrieved later, graphed later (both altitude and accelerations) from the A3 app
  • The app's summary flight statistics (both barometric and accelerometer-based) are concise and consistent, benefitting from work done for AltimeterTwo, and several of these key points are nicely displayed on the altitude graphs
  • AltimeterThree is powered by an internal rechargeable LiPoly cell, not a primary coin cell, so no incremental operating expenses (unless you let A3 sit for too long without charging and ruin its cell....though you can get spares if needed

The FS Mini is lighter and less expensive as noted. It also is less fussy with respect to Bluetooth connections (does not require the "pairing" process but uses Bluetooth Low Energy) It also lets you publicly share data via the web-based log, which is kind of fun (though it would be more so if people would actually put some useful data in the title and info fields when posting there).

While its size and weight are generally an advantage, it is also much more likely to be damaged in an off-nominal flight/landing.

Currently you can only see acceleration data in the FS app right after download. Once you fly again, it's gone. The data are in the files it stores (if you do store them and/or upload them) and you can plot them in your favorite spreadsheet or grapher, but there is nothing in the app or the web log for this yet. There are also still issues with some of the filtering of spikes in the pressure data on the FS Mini, leading to some inaccurately reported apogees. You really need to look at the graphs, especially flying a Mini in a pouch rather than in a dedicated payload section, or on flights where the ejection comes early, to see the true story. This is being addressed, but as for many of us, real life is getting in the way of this effort.

Both can be quirky around reconnecting to your device after a flight, but generally power-cycling and/or killing/restarting the app will clear that sort of thing up.

At this time, AltimeterThree's software is much more polished and fully functional. The current shortage of A3s is because there is a BLE-based hardware update is in process, and Mr. Beans is also very busy with real life and other projects, hampering the completion of app updates to talk to the revised hardware. I have done a little beta testing of the new app (on Android) with the old A3 hardware, and it is compatible with devices already in the field.

Mmm... I wonder if they'll fight connecting with 2 devices?
It is possible to connect to and control FS Minis with one phone/tablet. Only one can be actively controlled at a time but you can start one recording, switch to another, do the same, then switch as needed after the flight to download multiple sets of data fairly smoothly. This can also be done with AltimeterThree, I think....it's been awhile since I've tried to do it.



If I don't talk too much, and therefore get there, at the end of my vNARCON talk on Saturday afternoon I will be showing an example of the data from one of my flights that carried an FS Mini and an AltimeterThree aboard the same flight.
 
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Zeke Johnson

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Bernard,

Very nice comparison. Thank you for the detailed information.

You nailed it with the data logs on the FS Mini. Once you view the graph and re-arm, the pretty graph is gone. The data is there to be manipulated in a 3rd party application, but the graphics are gone.

I love John Bean's Jolly Logic products. On paper, the competing products look equal (other than the $80 price difference). The well developed JL A3 software and ease of viewing your flight data, on a graph at a later time, are worth noting. The FS Mini has a long way to go on the user interface.

It would be interesting to see data/graphs from an FS Mini and an AltimeterThree aboard the same flight.

Zeke
 

BEC

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Perhaps after this weekend I'll share the comparison here. My biggest worry about the vNARCON talk right now is not being able to see the Q&A while I'm actually presenting my slide and therefore having no idea if all the technology involved is working properly or not while the presentation is on screen. Based on what happened during a test yesterday, I'm quite concerned about this. But it has nothing to do with either of these altimeters.....

On paper, from a hardware capability standpoint, the two altimeters look similar. In practice there are pluses and minuses for the physical packaging of the devices. I will say I've been flying the FS Mini a bunch more than AltimeterThree lately, mainly due to the combination of smaller/lighter and the lower price (so less of a hurt when one is damaged or lost). But see the caveats about reading the data in my prior post and keep that in mind.

With no offense to FlightSketch, the software both aboard the device and the user-facing elements are very different, with the AltimeterThree being more refined and easy/comfortable to use by a strong margin.

I have to say that using an altimeter that I can control and download data from via Bluetooth is seriously cool and I really like doing it this way. I think this is why I've flown FS Minis so much in models I'd otherwise fly a FireFly or MicroPeak in - it's just so much easier to get the data out—and you can fly a model multiple times without ever having to open up the payload section and touch the altimeter. The only "gotcha" is remembering to start the recording before launching the rocket, and in the FlightSketch case the extra effort required to download/upload the data after a flight so that it can be reviewed/retrieved later.

And since I fly an altimeter of some kind pretty much every time I fly anything, having options is a good thing.
 

cerving

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Sadly, electronic parts are often discontinued and/or replaced. Sometimes the replacing part is essentially the same, sometimes it's signficantly differerent and requires a firmware change to implement. If the package is different (as is often the case with parts like baro sensors that may find their way into a phone or other consumer device), that means a PC board redesign. Depending on what's involved, this can take a few months or many months, if the required software changes won't fit into the processor that's being used and a new processor has to be chosen. I know this has happened to virtually all of the hobby rocketry electronic vendors at one time or another... I'm sure John Beans hates it when he gets a "notice of significant change" email from his electronic distributor of choice.
 

BEC

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Last time I asked (a couple of months ago) I got a short response that it’s still underway. Clearly something else is distracting John. I just hope it good work distraction and not some family or health thing.

One other update to my prior posts: The FS Mini web log now shows acceleration data for any flight uploaded that had the data recorded. And the Comp is getting close. I’ve been flying a pre-production unit and it works nicely. All up mass of less than 1 gram.
 

TheAviator

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Last time I asked (a couple of months ago) I got a short response that it’s still underway. Clearly something else is distracting John. I just hope it good work distraction and not some family or health thing.

One other update to my prior posts: The FS Mini web log now shows acceleration data for any flight uploaded that had the data recorded. And the Comp is getting close. I’ve been flying a pre-production unit and it works nicely. All up mass of less than 1 gram.
That's exciting! Do you have any thoughts on the Sport? It looks ideal for some projects I want to do.
 

BEC

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That's exciting! Do you have any thoughts on the Sport? It looks ideal for some projects I want to do.
We probably should take this discussion to some other thread than one for AltimeterThree….but the short answer is that I don’t really have any interest in the Sport as I (so far at least) have not done any pyrotechnic deployment other than motor eject. The tracker, on the other hand, I AM interested in.
 
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