# Your favorite altimeters, and 'why' you like them!

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#### TMJ

##### "Where the heck'd it go!"
I'm searching for information on altimeters. Being new to the hobby I currently know of only a few altimeters from a very few sources. I'd like to know what altimeters you folks use, who to purchase them from, and why you like them!
Thanks...

#### rharshberger

##### Well-Known Member
1) MissleWorks RRC3 either Extreme or Sport versions, reasons are reliability, and versatility, expandability (interface with Rtx gps unit). 3 channels (2 pyro, 1 configurable for airstarts, beepers, telemetry). I use mine on most every rocket I own as the primary deployment altimeter. They work reliably on 9v batteries, and with the LCD and USB connection options data is available in the field and via computers. Stores something like 30 flights. Jim Amos has awesome customer service and is more that willing to discuss his products features, tips and tricks with his customers.

2) Eggtimer Quark- simple, small, easy to use with only 4 jumpers for programming, and it beeps out max altitude. The Quark rides shotgun on nearly all my large rocket projects, and has reliably done its job every time. Its also the least expensive deployment altimeter I know of, but it is a kit so either solder it yourself or have someone like Connor do it for you (Conner aka "Conman", charges a small service fee to assemble and test Eggtimer products)

3)Eggtimer TRS- logging, dual deployment, and gps locating, larger than RRC3 and Quark, but its a great product. Also a kit.

#### FredA

##### Well-Known Member
MARSA54

Why: Easy to program (with the included LCD) so no computer needed.
FOUR channels so you can do main and backup's all with one flight computer.
Did I say FOUR CHANNELS so you don't need two altimeters.
Plus expansion and ultimate flexibility using the MARSA-NET....awesome for staging and air-starts.

#### sl98

##### Well-Known Member
There is a sticky in Rocketry Electronics and Software that will take you to a spreadsheet that lists just about every altimeter, a summary of features and links. Once you get feedback here you can find the spreadsheet here:

https://rocketsetc.com/altimeter-comparison

#### jnelson

##### Well-Known Member
I like my RRC2+. It requires no computer to program it (just four switches on the unit itself), is very easy to use, and is cheap. It has 2 outputs (drogue and main), and only reports altitude. It works great as a main altimeter for a lot of my 'low key' flights, and as a redundant system for when I want to do complex/high alt flights. I think it's a good 'starter' altimeter.

I also have a Raven 3, it has four outputs and does require a computer to program, but is still fairly simple to do. It records a lot of data that can be reviewed later. There's a lot of other altimeters in its class, I don't know how they compare to it.

I don't have an RRC3, but I've heard good things, so I'll probably pick one of them up next.

#### Worsaer

##### Amateur Propulsionist
The Number 2 reason to select a specific altimeter: Functionality that meets your needs.

Examples:

Featherweight Raven
Very small size, four programmable event channels, reliable.

Marsa Systems, Marsa54L
Four programmable channels, PLUS Marsa Gadgets that provide additional wireless event channels. Reliable, and very cool if you have a use for the added bells and whistles.

Missileworks RRC3
Excellent reliable plug-and go altimeter. Two channels, progammable if you need it; if not, just turn it on and fly.

The Number 1 reason?

Reliable, timely support. All three of these have always promptly answered my questions, assisted with troubleshooting, and consistently stood behind their product. Thank you John, Jim, and Adrian for standing behind your products.

PS - I only don't mention Cris and Eggtimer products because I have yet had the chance to build and fly them. Cris is already on my list of people that provide timely, consistent support. It's my fault that I have not yet used his altimeters, not his.

#### stealth6

##### insert witty tagline here
I've flown a decent range of them, but two definitely rise to the top as my "favorites":

* Featherweight Raven.......ultra capable of just about anything I could ever want in an altimeter, unbelievably tiny (especially considering all the features this thing has), couples with FW AV bays and Perches (with integrated switch) which are awesome in their own respect, super high quality. Due to it's combination of features and form function, it simply does things no other option can do.
Downsides?.....it's pricey, and unfortunately since Adrian got so busy with other things in life, his support, while good, isn't as "completely awesome" as it used to be.
All things considered, if I had to choose "just one", it would be a Raven.

* Missileworks RRC2+.....far and away the best value in altimeters today. Great price, super user friendly and easy to use, it's nice and compact, great quality, just enough features and functions to meet my demands but not lots of extras/bells & whistles/etc. that might get in the way. If you want a simple altimeter to just do the main job of most "regular" flights, but you want high quality, this can't be beat. And Jim's support IS "completely awesome".
Downsides?.....really the only thing would be more advanced features, but if you want that it's an easy step up to an RRC3 (which is not all that much more expensive).
If I'm on a budget, but don't want to sacrifice quality, or I'm looking for a great "bread and butter" altimeter, this is the one to choose.

The other altimeters I've flown and really liked (honourable mentions), and can wholeheartedly recommend are:
* Missileworks RRC3 (mentioned earlier)
* AltusMetrum Telemini (another like the Raven that is minscule, and does things nothing else on the market can do)
* Perfectflight Stratologger
* Adept22...no longer made (I believe) and filled that niche that the RRC2+ does now (and does even better).

s6

#### KenRico

##### 'Just the Tip'
Stratologger CF is a good choice for a dual deploy altimeter.

You can use it or the Quark as a backup altimeter if you move on to something fancier.

Both the CF and Quark are easy to mount and wire also ..

Kenny

#### CzTeacherMan

##### Well-Known Member
I fly all Missileworks for now. My standard sled is an RRC3 as main and RRC2 as backup. The USB dongle along with the free software makes the RRC3 a snap to program and download data. Ready to use, super flexible, amazing customer service, and expansion options... definitely worth the investment.
Also have an Adept22... great product, but I rarely use it because the MW products are so simple I just rarely get around to using the Adept.

#### thomas

##### Well-Known Member
Altusmetrum Telemega 6 Pyro Events, 4 Servo Events 10 DOF accelerometer, gyro magnetometer, barometer, GPS, Data downlink with status and position on 433Mhz to Android App with google maps. Can prevent airstarts based on angle from vertical.

#### C.O.B.H.C.

##### Well-Known Member
Perfect Flite MAWD and Perfect Flite HiAlts45K because they're simple to use and reliable.

#### patelldp

##### Well-Known Member
AIM Xtra 2.0

Fully integrated tracking and deployment/event altimeter. Live data, four channels. I've had an outstanding experience with this unit where other similar units have caused me a lot of grief.

The main negative is that the unit doesn't beep any meaningful information on start up aside from "I'm on." In order to get the status you need to check your computer. Rumor has it a 3.0 version will fix that.

#### NateLowrie

##### Well-Known Member
MARSA54

Why: Easy to program (with the included LCD) so no computer needed.
FOUR channels so you can do main and backup's all with one flight computer.
Did I say FOUR CHANNELS so you don't need two altimeters.
Plus expansion and ultimate flexibility using the MARSA-NET....awesome for staging and air-starts.
You have backup charges and ematches, but the single MARSA54 is still a single point of failure. Granted, this configuration is much better than just a single altimeter with a main charge, but I would prefer to have 2 completely separate avionics stacks instead.

Regarding the OP's question:

I prefer the Eggtimer TRS and the Quantum.
1. The TRS is a fully featured altimeter and GPS unit combined. The quantum is just the flight computer

#### EeebeeE

##### Well-Known Member
Surprised no one mentioned the Adept22 yet. Extremely reliable. One of the least expensive on the market. Fundamentally simple. The only drawback is that it doesn't report flight data, but for sport flying that's no big concern.

#### JERRYR708

##### Well-Known Member
I didn't see any LOGIC in any of this. You guys don't know Beans.

#### RocketFeller

##### Well-Known Member
I'm far from an authority on altimeters, but I'll chime in.

We recently bought two RRC3 units for our project. First off, service from Jim was excellent. When there was a question about the order he gave me a call at 6:00 PM to iron things out. The altimeters worked well and were easy to use - one we used in the out-of-the-box configuration and the backup we switched to apogee+1 second. The beep tone is a little bit odd, but supposedly easier for us old folks to hear.

The only other altimeter I've owned is a G-Wiz MC. This has been a reliable altimeter but at fifteen years old is a bit of an antique. It has an accelerometer and can graph flight profiles, which is cool.

Our group's goal for next year is to build a 98mm MD carbon fiber rocket and use it to fly Kate. If we manage to raise the funds we will be buying a system, otherwise we will be borrowing Kate for NXRS 2017. If you have never heard of Kate, she is super cool. The altimeter communicates with a receiver which can then broadcast a synthesized voice that gives all details of the flight. She also serves as a locater.

#### ksaves2

Surprised no one mentioned the Adept22 yet. Extremely reliable. One of the least expensive on the market. Fundamentally simple. The only drawback is that it doesn't report flight data, but for sport flying that's no big concern.
Make sure if you fly the Adept 22 with Rf tracking devices you thoroughly test compatibility before flight. I've seen a project with two Adept 22's fail because the altimeters reset/shutdown while in flight resulting in a ballistic trajectory and shovel recovery. I fly one in projects that don't require trackers and they work fine. Kurt

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
You have backup charges and ematches, but the single MARSA54 is still a single point of failure. Granted, this configuration is much better than just a single altimeter with a main charge, but I would prefer to have 2 completely separate avionics stacks instead.

Regarding the OP's question:

I prefer the Eggtimer TRS and the Quantum.
1. The TRS is a fully featured altimeter and GPS unit combined. The quantum is just the flight computer

#### Buckeye

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
...but the single MARSA54 is still a single point of failure....
The altimeter itself is rarely the source of failure. User error, ematches, and batteries are 99.9% of the problems. All of which get multiplied when dual altimeter systems are used.