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Gideon Yampolsky

HUD dashboard development

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I’m planning to make HUD dashboard for wingsuit flight. IMO, most important information to display is vertical and horizontal [ground] speed and airspeed. It will also be nice to know glide ratio and altitude. Flysight cannot read aloud so much information, so it should be displayed visually.

There are several options for implementation, and I’m wondering if somebody already tried and have insights what the best option would be. The optimal solution IMO is to take smart glasses display (Vufine+ for example) and connect it to smartphone running one of paraglider’s or airplane dashboard applications. So GPS and barometer readings will be made by smartphone, converted to visual readings by application (Aircraft Cockpit Demo for example) and transmitted to smart glass display to be seen during wingsuit flight.

There are other options, including Epson Moverio for display, Arduino for hardware, and developing application software from scratch.

If somebody has experience or opinion, please share.

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i wouldn't think the smartphone would sample enough to be accurate at freefall speed, but have not looked into it.  the reason i mention it is because i am working on using a raspberry pi, gps, and altimeter module to make a logbook/altimeter with a small display screen.  it seems that if it were to be practical, it should have an audible also, maybe bluetooth or other nfc type communication to a speaker?  i need to check those links to find out why they stopped it, maybe it will save me some aggravation.

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Smartphones do not sample fast enough to be useful for our application. There are already several smartphone applications for skydiving that show altitude and all that stuff. None of them are really accurate, at least not compared to a FlySight.

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(edited)

Smartphone GPS is limited to 1Hz rate. But accuracy also matters and in newer phones accuracy is better. Also it is possible to connect external GPS, which can sample at 10Hz rate.
I would like to test some existing applications for a start. Are there any applications you recommend ?

 

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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I've done this using Google Glass and it works well. I'm the developer of BASEline Flight Computer, so it was fairly easy to port the Android app to Google Glass. You can find used Glass on ebay for around $400.

glass.jpg.c3fa423fcf6981a5a32beb47bae43cca.jpg

As you mentioned, the advantage of a HUD is that you can see horizontal speed, vertical speed, total speed, and glide ratio all at once, and with much faster update than you could ever get with audio. I personally chose to display your speed as a "polar chart". Horizontal and vertical speeds on the axes, total speed equals the hypotenuse, and glide is shown by the slope:
glass.png.43a09df864a04a42b0b49d21544348ac.png
To get good data, pair the phone with a bluetooth GPS like the XGPS160.

Let me know if I can help with anything. I would love for this to exist! But I don't expect most people to deal with google glass. If interested, the google glass version of BASEline is available on a github branch: https://github.com/platypii/BASElineFlightComputer/tree/glass

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(edited)

Nice to meet you. BASEline is cool application and porting it to Google Glass creates excellent instrument for wingsuit.

I decided to take somewhat different implementation path, which allows me more flexibility in selection of proper application.  Application will run on smartphone while smart glasses will be used only for display. There are several available displays, for example Vufine+ and Epson Moverio. I think Vufine is the best match, because it less obscuring peripheral vision.

With this hardware setup I can try several available applications to find the best match.

I ordered Vufine display yesterday, $200 new on Amazon.

In recent days I played with several applications (still without Vufine). I tried Aircraft Cockpit, GoFly and BASEline.  For first impression I simply drive the car up and down the hill, which was sufficient to create vertical and horizontal displacement for GPS of my Galaxy S8.  Here are my findings:

All 3 applications provided reliable real-time data.

Aircraft Cockpit

Pros: very aesthetic dashboard, clear readings, easy to understand during the flight.

Cons: Out of 6 displayed instruments, only 3 are relevant (HS, VS and ALT). Altimeter is absolute, not relatively to ground and cannot be preset. No glide ratio. Maximum of VS scale is 10 m/s, insufficient for wingsuit, unless you are flying CR+ :-). VS scale limitation is major drawback, rendering this app useless for wingsuit.

GoFly

Dedicated for paragliding.

Pros: displays all relevant information: HS, VS, Glide, ALT. Can be configured (through Android display settings) in the manner that relevant information will be dominant on the display screen.

Cons: readings are ugly, not arranged well on the screen, require focused concentration to grasp.

Overall a good candidate for wingsuit flight.

BASEline

Pros: dedicated for wingsuit. Displays all relevant information. Also displays additional information which (for me) may be relevant in future.

Cons: readings are not clear. In NAV screen they occupy small rectangle. Attempt to increase font size through Android display settings make readings truncated. In ALTI screen readings are too small and cannot be resized.

I’m planning to use this app first when Vufine display will arrive.

Clarification about emphasis on readings clearness

To avoid obscuring of peripheral vision, display should be located on eye’s edge, so it would be almost out of view when person is looking straight forward. Eyeball movement and refocus is required to check readings. In this case small, poorly arranged readings will require significant attention, affecting usability.
It will work properly only if user can catch information in brief glance.

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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if i were you i would ditch the smartphone part and use a raspberry pi zero.  it already has bluetooth and wifi built in and you can attach the modules to it directly and get much more accurate sampling.  you can use the gps module and the altimeter module so that you can combine everything you are doing with the hud and add a logbook function as well.  add in a small lcd display and you have a wrist altimeter that does all of this while sending output to the glass for the hud.  i am actually working on all of the stuff except the hud, but i ran out of season to test the stuff. 

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Maybe I will end-up with RPi, but meanwhile seems that smartphone applications are working pretty well. Their accuracy is better than mine ability to exploit accuracy advantage :-)
But presently all tests I did were by car running up/down the hill, not sure it represents well enough wingsuit flight conditions. I’m awaiting for HUD arrival to test these applications in real flight.

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On 12/3/2019 at 3:46 AM, Gideon Yampolsky said:

In ALTI screen readings are too small and cannot be resized.

Just released a new version of BASEline tonight that will scale text with the android system font size. Thanks for the feedback.

Keep us posted on your project!

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On 12/5/2020 at 12:00 PM, unclecharlie95 said:

@Gideon Yampolsky Hey Gideon, how did this work in flight? Laggy? I had the HUD years back, could only handle slow  / glide flights, no good for speed runs. 

I was not happy with the result, and abandoned it after several test flights. Vufine display is not convenient to look at during the flight.
Instead, I mounted AON2 on helmet front. This configuration works pretty good.

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On 1/16/2021 at 8:34 PM, Gideon Yampolsky said:

I was not happy with the result, and abandoned it after several test flights. Vufine display is not convenient to look at during the flight.
Instead, I mounted AON2 on helmet front. This configuration works pretty good.

By the way, AON2 is actually developing an actual HUD.

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(edited)

My attempt at something similar. Really basic code on Arduino Zero + some LEDs

It supposed to show horizontal speed and heading (in degrees) but there's no GPS signal in the apartment

Pros:

* Cheap and really easy to build

* Numbers on LED are kinda readable because it's standard LED numbers font (although it needs some time to get used to)

* Easy to program new display information in basic C code

* Numbers are readable even in bright light

* Size could be reduced by 50% easily (most of the space is used by battery and its charger)

Cons:

* Numbers on LED are kinda readable (although it needs some time to get used to)

 

Dry tests on the ground so far, not jumped this thing yet (want to reduce its size first)

 

I'm looking for good alternative for LED so it would obscure even less view, but here I'm facing the problem with finding something readable at close range. I thought about monocle displays because they use standard AV input and thus may be used with Arduino too. @Gideon Yampolsky could you please elaborate on what exactly was inconvenient with Vufine display?

image.png.81884b815966dd18e998e309ebc091a9.png

Edited by the.Legend
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Another alternative is to use transparent OLED display. Surprisingly, there's a product with everything on-board except GPS:

http://www.lilygo.cn/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=50032&Id=1354&FId=t3:50032:3

Battery, OLED, drivers - everything is already assembled.

It's based on ESP32 and is fully programmable, so adding GPS module won't be that difficult.  I'm waiting for the package delivery (in about one month because from China) and will share the test results

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