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npole

What you would like to have in a acoustic altimeter?

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As the title, what (realistic) features what you would like to have in a acoustic altimeter beside this "basic" features listed here:

- USB port for recharging and PC connection;

- Custom sounds at configured levels;

- Optional altitude voice reading at configured levels that can be mixed with the sound alerts;

- BUS port for external accessories (in example: multicolored led strip/HUD for a visual feedback);

- Bluetooth connection to configure the altimeter wireless via smartphone;

- Downloadable flight logs;

Any idea on other "must have" or "nice to have" features?

Thanks!

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I think you'll mostly find two types of persons: one wanting all of the flashy features and infinite customization, and one wanting a device that's predictable, simple and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. I happen to belong in the second category.

If it's usb rechargable I instanly think of "another thing to keep track of", "how fast's battery life gonna degrade, after how many recharge cycles", etc.

Bluetooth? - "Way too complex system now for it to be bug-free".

With such a mindset, I use protrack, so I can tell you the nitpick stuff I have with it. I bought it to use it as a logbook, but it sometimes (often) fails to register hop n pop jumps - really not sure how that's possible but they somehow manage to fail at that. And because it's not working all the time, I just gave up and don't even look at the data anymore.

Speed profile is nice to have, but because it's not trivial to correlate it with the video, I end up not using it ever at all, even though I made an effort to make my own graphing app to customize it to my needs (don't really like Paralog).

It should be trivial and fast to read the jump data, not sure why you have to perform access sequence to read the data. Even if you enter the plane and start climbing it could just force quit that screen (lock itself).

That's mostly it, bottom line is, all this stuff is nitpicky, but priority 0 is of course that it beeps for the breakoff, for the deployment altitude and on the hard deck if you're in high speed.

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npole,

I purchased a VOG which speaks the current altitude to you.  The only thing I don't like is the price and poor packaging it came in. 

For AFF-I purposes, I just wanted the altitude announced so I could focus on my instructor duties.  It does that.  Personally I don't care about all the other features offered by most audible manufacturers. 

 

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I agree with Binary93, must have features and nice to have features put you into the realm of designing two separate audibles for two separate clientele.  I also agree with sundevil777, i love my peebles by AON2 and I think its probably the best "simple" audible I have seen.  I personally, am not interested in the ability for an audible to speak the altitude to me.  i know where its set, i know what my frequencies mean.  The only advantage I would see here would be in an instructor role, but even then I think it would be distracting more than helpful.

 

scenario 1 - simple / cheap - Must haves: 

  • Simplicity! waterproof USB for connectivity and charging.
  • configurable sound frequency per alarm
  • minimum 6 alarm altitudes
  • speed dependent, and configurable, hard deck alarm
  • external visible or audible standby mode notification (blinking light to let you know its on)
  • climbing notification
  • altitude offset
  • separate high speed and low speed alarms (not a fan of my audible screaming in my ear at 4000ft if we are riding the plane down or I high-pulled)

Scenario 2 - flashy - nice to have:

  • Bluetooth connectivity for setup and log download, 
  • wireless charging (Qi, etc)
  • better speed and location tracking (like dekunu or aon2 X2) that can be easily integrated into google earth rather than proprietary software
  • output capability for HUD or visual altitude cues (Bluetooth would be nice here to limit wiring)
  • auto powersaving mode below 5% battery
  • standby mode with auto climb activation (so gps isnt running constantly)
  • in-ear speaker (ear bud) would actually be nice.  The unit could then be larger, not located in the helmet necessarily, and have an ear bud (or two) that would both block engine / wind noise and make the audible easier to hear. 

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I have two N3As and I dread the thought of one or both of them crapping out. It reads the altitude to me through an earbud. It's very convenient.

"Ten........Nine.......Eight....."

It's nice when working with students to not have to look at my altimeter. I can give more of my attention to the student while staying altitude aware.

I really don't need the features of newer fancy altimeters. Just read me the altitude.

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I hate having to change my breakoff altitude.  I have to take my audible out of its pocket, remember the correct button sequence to change it, then fiddle with it until it gets seated properly in the pocket again.  I had an idea to have an audible that contained rudimentary voice recognition so I could just shout at the damn thing.  I sent this idea to L&B several years ago with no response.

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I still consider the Time Out my favorite audible.  Other than needed to use a thinner battery.  I want it to beep in a volume I can hear. My hearing is fine but I do not notice many other altimeters.  I could set it without seeing it.

 

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