RunRyder RC
WATCH
 3 pages [ <<    <    ( 1 )     2      3     NEXT    >> ] 3341 views POST REPLY
HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Speaking Altimeter for solo AP
02-07-2008 10:18 PM  10 years agoPost 1
G0KPE

rrNovice

Newbury, Berks - UK

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Hi all,

In my free time, if I am not flying my models I develop and build electronic projects for myself. I'm an electronics engineer by day.
Recently I have designed a precision altimeter with voice synthesiser circuitry. Height-above-ground voice announcements are transmitted using UHF radio and are received on the ground with an inexpensive PMR446 walkie-talkie or a radio scanner receiver.

I have always been curious as to how high my helicopter is when I am flying it. As I fly solo I cannot count on the help of an assistant looking at an overlay on a downlinked video transmission. Other solutions that I have seen record altitude for later analysis, but I wanted to have real-time information and so I came up with what I have called my 'QFE Speaking Altimeter', QFE being an aeronautical term for atmospheric pressure at 'field elevation' and changes in atmospheric pressure is how altitude is calculated.

My QFE Speaking Altimeter version1 is a self-contained unit with its own battery and an internal professional-grade UHF transmitter module. Weight all in is 185g. My version2 omits the UHF transmitter module and instead the synthesised voice connects at line level to the audio input of my existing 2.4GHz video downlink. Rather than its own battery I tap power from the downlink supply. weight drops to 115g.

There are more pics in My Gallery and an info pdf file here:-
http://www.runryder.com/gallery/210...g_Altimeter.pdf
Also some sample audio WAV files:-
http://www.runryder.com/gallery/210...meter_audio.zip

Flying with my Speaking Altimeter certainly adds an extra dimension to my flights. If there is sufficient interest, I am considering offering kits of parts for experienced electronics constructors or ready-assembled units. If anyone is interested please post a reply here or PM me if you prefer.

Cheers
Carl

‹(•¿•)›

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-07-2008 10:54 PM  10 years agoPost 2
d-bledsoe

rrVeteran

Kirkland WA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

NICE WORK!
Let me know the cost as i am very interested. I could build one myself if you offered a kit, or i'd buy a built one as well. I am going to be doing surveys during the next couple of months and that Voice Alt would be a great addition.

Derek Bledsoe

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
02-07-2008 11:46 PM  10 years agoPost 3
Disciple4123

rrKey Veteran

USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Very useful. I think it would do well if marketed.

some food for thought: Perhaps a tone that beeps low frequency tones if you are descending and high frequency tones if you are ascending. Then you can vary the freqency from about ten tones per second for a fast ascent/descent to about one tone per second for a slow ascent/descent. Then add an altitude voice as well every few seconds it announces the alt.

good work

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
02-07-2008 11:49 PM  10 years agoPost 4
d-bledsoe

rrVeteran

Kirkland WA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

That is a great idea, and would be very useful

Derek Bledsoe

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 12:08 AM  10 years agoPost 5
xcellgasman101

rrElite Veteran

WOODWARD, OKLA....

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I'm in,, Let me know about price, I have the video overlay, but hearing the altitude, would be really nice,, Sometimes the Wife yells it at me, XGM/VGM

John Crotts
www.soonerhelicamproductions.com

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 12:08 AM  10 years agoPost 6
Wa11banger

rrElite Veteran

Huntsville, Al

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

fantastic idea, please inform us when the kits will be available.

Thanks for your efforts
Rick

Proud member of the Quick UK, Duralite Flight Systems, V-Blade, & KBDD team

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 12:39 AM  10 years agoPost 7
rerazor

rrElite Veteran

Mich.

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I'm all for it.

I'm in the same boat as excelgass with the wife yelling at me.

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 12:44 AM  10 years agoPost 8
46Taylorcraft

rrKey Veteran

AZ

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

can you post a link to an .mp3 sample of what the audio sounds like from this unit?

*edit - just listened to the wav file. sounds good.

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 01:10 AM  10 years agoPost 9
xcellgasman101

rrElite Veteran

WOODWARD, OKLA....

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

And believe me,,,, The longer your at it,, the LOUDER she get
Sometimes I wish she didn't have the mobile monitor.. XGM/VGM

John Crotts
www.soonerhelicamproductions.com

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 02:11 AM  10 years agoPost 10
okiefarmr

rrApprentice

USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Count me in for one.

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 03:04 AM  10 years agoPost 11
wjw

rrVeteran

Cape Coral, Florida usa

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Count me in

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 03:54 AM  10 years agoPost 12
Disciple4123

rrKey Veteran

USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I listened to the audio files. I really like the computer-woman voice, it is clear enough for me. I personally would not announce feet. I would announce "One hundered ninty" "One hundred ninty three" etc. How do others feel about that?

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 06:06 AM  10 years agoPost 13
G0KPE

rrNovice

Newbury, Berks - UK

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

QFE Speaking Altimeter
Wow! Thanks for all the responses fellas. Very encouraging.

Before posting I contacted Mark Ryder to check that I wasn't breeching any RunRyder rules by asking for feedback on the idea. He very graciously gave me the go-ahead.

I have received some PMs about my altimeter. I will reply to each later today.

If you had a choice of the self-contained unit with the built-in transmitter and PP3 battery or a lighter version without the built-in transmitter and battery but with an audio output cable to plug into your existing 2.4GHz/900MHz downlink, which do you think you would go for?
185g verses 115g This would be very useful feedback for me.

I'll attempt to work out a kit cost and ready made unit costs over the weekend.

All the best
Carl

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 06:19 AM  10 years agoPost 14
G0KPE

rrNovice

Newbury, Berks - UK

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Hi Eric (Disciple4123)

I had considered using beeps like you suggest but I thought that the transmission would get a little too 'busy' and might get annoying, so have just gone with the voice announcements every 3 or 4 seconds. I even decided to pay the price of the small extra battery current drain of keeping the UHF transmitter alive throughout the flight rather than just keying up the TX on the voice announcements. Squelch tails that you get at the end of radio transmissions get very irritating if you hear them every few seconds and are using an earpiece

I think the little lady's voice every few seconds is quite soothing while you are flying (unless she is announcing a rapid unplanned descent followed by "minus 3 feet...minus 3 feet".
BTW a man's voice is available as an option (not kidding).

It's easy to register if the heli is rising or falling by listening to the announcements and you don't lose any of your flying concentration.

My circuit board has a little connector on it for future firmware upgrades or options such as removing the "feet" or "metres" on every announcement. These firmware updates would be something that you would do with emailed files and a simple four wire connection to a serial port on a PC.

Best regards
Carl

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 06:39 AM  10 years agoPost 15
d-bledsoe

rrVeteran

Kirkland WA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I'll be the first to buy and test one, just let me know when you're ready

Derek Bledsoe

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 07:33 AM  10 years agoPost 16
BigguyOz

rrKey Veteran

Forster, New South Wales, Australia

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I am interested as well. I would prefer the version sending audio through the downlink and picking up power from that also.

Tony Stott

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 08:10 AM  10 years agoPost 17
Highviz

rrApprentice

Newbury, Berks, UK

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Hi Carl

Well done - looks like you have made good progress on that project this winter.

- From the responses here so far you could have a winner there!

Malcolm

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 09:50 AM  10 years agoPost 18
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Can it discriminate a metre or 2 ft resolution.

Ill fit them to all the Polecam systems I sell.
Been looking at altimeters, tried an overlay one, didnt like it.

This one is perfect with voice over Video downlink.

I have a new camera mount system now that is being released in 2 weeks, instead of Radio Control we are now using serial comms over industrial Bluetooth.
I have 10 spare servo channels to use one to turn voice on and off as they choose from the mount controller software.

Put me down for one of the altimeters, if it tests all good, Ill get 20 of them, and the same again on an ongoing basis. (non UHF versions)

Ill be in touch.

Cheers
Dave

rvv.com.au

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 05:35 PM  10 years agoPost 19
AceBird

rrElite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I had considered using beeps like you suggest but I thought that the transmission would get a little too 'busy' and might get annoying, so have just gone with the voice announcements every 3 or 4 seconds.
You might consider relative announcements with bench marks. At even increments let’s say ten feet you could speak it out. For example ninety, one hundred, one hundred ten, etc. In between you would call out “going up”, “going down” in two feet increments. It could be any number; I don’t know what resolution your device is capable of. Or just on a time base call out going up or down between the numbered marks purely relative and if there is no differential remain quiet. The incremental ten foot marks could be repeated on a longer time base say;10-30 seconds if it didn’t change in that time period. If it changes the timer is reset so you don’t get multiple messages.

It is like comparing an analogue VOM meter to a digital meter when the voltage is moving. Even though you see the number increasing or decreasing you have to think about which way it is moving. With an analogue meter you don’t have to think the direction is known instantaneously. Just spelling out the numbers will consume some of your brains attention. Coded beeps will do the same if not worse. I am assuming that many APer’s see an advantage for the up and down messaging because once they get to altitude they are trying to fly level.

Personally, I would be interested in the up and down messaging all by itself if the incremental call outs were too complicated to combine with the differential call outs.

I would not key it on and off if you are using the UHF frequency. You will certainly drive people nuts that may pick up this transmission unintentionally. I am not sure what is legal for the US on the UHF frequency anyway.

Ace
What could be more fun?

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
02-08-2008 05:39 PM  10 years agoPost 20
Rappy 60

rrVeteran

Paris, France

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

In between you would call out “going up”, “going down” in two feet increments.
Actually you could borrow a feature from Sail planes. They use a tone that increases in frequency when going up or decreasing in frequency when going down. Then you could call every 10 ft as Ace suggested.

Well I guess that has already been suggested. Guess I probably should of read through all the posts.

Dale

Load "*",8,1

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
WATCH
 3 pages [ <<    <    ( 1 )     2      3     NEXT    >> ] 3341 views POST REPLY
HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Speaking Altimeter for solo AP
 Print TOPIC  Make Suggestion 

 16  Topic Subscribe

Monday, December 10 - 4:52 am - Copyright © 2000-2018 RunRyder   EMAILEnable Cookies

The RC discussion world needs to consolidate. RR is now one choice for that. Its software is cutting edge. It hosts on-topic advertising. Help RR increase traffic buy making suggestions, posting in RR's new areas (sites) and by spreading the word.

The RunRyder Difference

• Category system to allow Rep/Vendor postings.
• Classifieds with sold (hidden) category.
• Classifieds with separate view new.
• Answer PMs offsite via email reply.
• Member gallery photos with advanced scripting.
• Gallery photo viewer integrated into postings.
• Highly refined search with advanced back end.
• Hosts its own high end fast response servers.
• Hosts thousands of HD event coverage videos.
• Rewrote entire code base with latest technology.
• No off-topic (annoying) click bait advertising.
Login Here
 New Subscriptions 
 Buddies Online