- 1 Downloading the FlySight Configurator
- 2 Usage
- 3 General Settings
- 4 Tone Settings
- 5 Rate Settings
- 6 Speech Settings
- 7 Threshold Settings
- 8 Miscellaneous Settings
- 9 Initialization Settings
- 10 Alarms
- 11 Altitude Mode
- 12 Silence Windows
Downloading the FlySight Configurator
The FlySight Configurator is available for Mac or Windows:
On Windows, just unzip the downloaded file and move the extracted folder to a convenient location.
On a Mac, open the downloaded drive image and copy the FlySightConfigurator application to a convenient location (usually your Applications folder).
The FlySight Configurator is a tool for editing individual configuration files. There are two main goals at this point:
- Provide a simplified interface for configuring the FlySight
- Perform unit conversion so that the user can work in more natural units
Configuration files can be opened and saved by going to the File menu. Selecting File > New will create a fresh "default" configuration file.
Units for configuration can be selected from the "Units" drop-down in the bottom-left of the Configurator window.
Configuration options are divided into pages which can be selected from the list on the left.
General settings control how the FlySight measures position and velocity.
When GPS signals reach the ground, they are very weak. In order to make sense of those weak signals, the FlySight uses a “dynamic model” which gives it an idea of what kind of motion to expect. Any other motion is discarded as noise. For example, if you tell the FlySight that you’re walking—i.e., using the “Pedestrian” model—and then suddenly you seem to be in freefall, it will assume that this is an error in the data and will “smooth out” the sudden jump in speed.
Because of this, it’s important to pick the right dynamic model. For general skydiving, the “Airborne with < 1 G acceleration” model will be best. If you’re likely to experience higher accelerations—for example if you’re flaring a wingsuit or using a high performance landing—then you may want to use the “2 G” or “4 G” airborne dynamic models.
The sample period tells the FlySight how often it should take measurement. The default is 5 measurements per second, or 200 ms between measurements. A lower sample period will mean measurements are taken more often, but it will also lower your battery life and take up more room on the FlySight’s internal storage. The sample period is also limited by the FlySight hardware as follows:
|Serial number||Minimum sample period|
|1246 or lower||200 ms (5 per second)|
|1247 or higher||100 ms (10 per second)|
The FlySight can convert any measurement into a tone between 220 Hz and 1760 Hz. The FlySight does this by “stretching” a range of values over that range of tones. For example, by default the FlySight will indicate glide ratio from 0:1 up to 3:1. This means if your glide ratio is 0:1, the FlySight will play a 220 Hz tone. If your glide ratio is 3:1, it will play a 1760 Hz tone. If your glide ratio is somewhere in between—say, 1:1—then the FlySight will play a tone that is between those two tones—in this case, 440 Hz.
This setting controls which of FlySight's measurements will determine the tone's pitch. By default, FlySight indicates glide ratio (i.e. horizontal speed divided by vertical speed). However, FlySight can also indicate your horizontal or vertical speed, your total speed, or the inverse glide ratio (i.e., vertical speed divided by horizontal speed).
Minimum and maximum value
The minimum and maximum values determine which measurements correspond to the lowest-pitch and highest-pitch tones. Generally, you should set these to a value that is outside the range you expect to hit, but not too far outside. If the value is too far outside, you’ll wind up “wasting” some of the available tones on values you will never hear. The best way to determine the minimum and maximum value is to go for a jump with your FlySight and then look at the measured values in the FlySight Viewer.
The limit behaviour tells the FlySight what to do if you’re outside these limits. You can have the FlySight:
- Produce no tone at all outside the limits
- “Clamp” the pitch to the lowest- or highest-pitch tone
- “Chirp” to indicate that you’re outside the range
A “chirp” is a sound whose pitch goes up or down as the tone is being played. The chirp can be used, for example, if you want to keep your vertical speed within a particular range and want a clear indication if you’re outside that range.
The tone volume can be set between 0% and 100%. This sets the volume for all tones, including tones used as an alarm.
The “rate” refers to how often the FlySight plays a tone. By default, the FlySight will play a tone once per second if the measured value is steady, and up to 5 times per second if the value is changing quickly. It is rare that someone will want to change these settings. Usually, changing the rate settings will only result in “too much information.”
The “mode” setting determines what measurement the FlySight will use to determine rate. By default, the mode is set to “Change in tone value”.
Minimum and maximum value
The minimum and maximum value determine the range of values corresponding with the lowest tone rate and the highest tone rate, respectively.
Minimum and maximum rate
The minimum and maximum rate determine how fast the lowest and highest tone rates will be.
Flatline at minimum rate
Optionally, we can set the tone to “flatline” when it reaches its minimum rate. If this box is checked, the FlySight will produce a constant tone when the rate falls below the minimum. This sudden transition from a low rate to a constant tone can be used, for example, to indicate level flight or as an alarm for minimum total speed.
In addition to producing tones, FlySight can also dictate measured values. The “speech” settings control this feature.
The “period” setting controls how often the FlySight will dictate the value. Typically this value will be between 3 seconds (very often) and 10 seconds (very infrequent). To turn speech off completely, set the period to 0 seconds.
The speech volume controls the volume of all speech, including any files played as an alarm.
The speech “mode” controls what value will be dictated.
The “units” indicate what unit will be used for dictation. This is separate from the units which are used in the Configurator and in the FlySight Viewer.
If you’re indicating glide ratio, you will probably want to hear one decimal place, i.e., to indicate a glide ratio of 2.5:1 the FlySight would say something like, “two point five”. If you’re indicating speed, you will usually want zero decimal places—i.e., to indicate a speed of 210 km/h the FlySight would say “two one zero”.
If you’re indicating altitude, then you will probably want to hear a rounded value, e.g., instead of hearing "nine thousand four hundred fifty two feet", you probably want to hear, "nine thousand five hundred feet". Instead of specifying decimal places, in altitude mode the "step" value is used to control how big the altitude steps are. In the example above, the altitude step would be 500 feet. If you actually want to hear the exact altitude, just set the step to 1.
The threshold feature will disable the FlySight’s audible indications until some threshold speed has been met. This can be used to suppress tones in the aircraft or under canopy.
Vertical and horizontal speed
By default, the “vertical speed” threshold is set to 10 m/s. In practice, this does a fairly good job of excluding time in the aircraft or under canopy. However, there are cases where you may want to hear feedback, e.g., while you’re under canopy. In that case, you could set the vertical speed threshold to 0.
Setting both speed thresholds to 0 can also be useful for testing. If you set both thresholds to 0, then the FlySight will produce tones and speech even while you’re on the ground. This can be used to help set the appropriate volumes or to test other settings.
These settings control miscellaneous options.
By default, log files on the FlySight are named according to the date/time in UTC of the first point in the log. However, this can result in a day of jumping being split into two folders, since the UTC date may change even though your local date has not. The timezone offset is actually the offset from UTC in seconds. You can use this map to find out what your timezone offset is in hours. To convert to seconds, just multiply that value by 3600.
Note that this setting does not affect logged values—it affects only the names of the folders and log file names. The time values in the log file are always given in UTC.
Adjust speeds to sea level
Because air is thinner at a higher altitude, terminal velocity is also increased. This means that we tend to fall faster, and fly faster horizontally, than we would at a lower altitude. If you set FlySight to indicate true vertical speed, then jumped out of the plane and held the exact same body position throughout freefall, you would actually hear the tone get lower as you fell, simply because the air is getting thicker. To compensate for this effect, by default, FlySight can adjust your speed to a sea level equivalent, so it will not change as your altitude changes.
Note that this setting does not affect logged values—it affects only the tones that are produced in freefall. The values in the log file are always true velocities.
These settings control what the FlySight does when it is first turned on.
The “mode” setting controls what the FlySight will do when it is first turned on:
- Do nothing
- Play a “speech test” consisting of all of the digits one after another
- Play a particular file
If the mode is set to “Play file”, then the name of the file to be played should be specified in the “Filename” text box. It is assumed that the file is in the “audio” folder in the FlySight’s root folder and that the file uses the “.wav” extension. So, for example, if you want to play “audio\time.wav” on initialization, you would simply set the filename to “time” (without quotes).
You can set up to 10 alarms which will be triggered as you pass through a specified elevation. As mentioned above, GPS measurements depend on extremely weak signals received from orbiting satellites. A GPS unit can lose its fix for a number of reasons, or your earphones may stop working. For these reasons, FlySight’s alarms should never be relied upon for life saving purposes—e.g., for break-off or pull time.
Alarms can be added by clicking on the “Add” button at the bottom of the page. To remove an alarm, select it and then click the “Remove” button. If you already have 10 alarms, the “Add” button will be grayed out until you remove an exiting alarm.
Window above and below
Because the same sounds used for alarms—tones and speech—can also occur as part of the audible feedback, you can set a small elevation window above or below the alarm during which no other sounds will be played. This “pause” in the audio stream helps separate the background audio from the alarm. For wingsuiting, typically a window of about 50 m above the alarm is enough to make it obvious. If your vertical speed is higher, you may need to increase that margin.
All alarm elevations are relative to the ground. Because FlySight doesn’t actually know where the ground is, you will need to specify the ground elevation in the configuration file. If you’re not sure what the ground elevation is, you can find out by turning on your FlySight for a couple of minutes in an open area and then loading the resulting log file into FlySight Viewer.
Each alarm has a trigger elevation. The alarm will play when you pass through this elevation in either direction—either going up or going down.
When an alarm triggers, the FlySight can do nothing, play a simple tone, chirp up/down or play a file.
If the alarm type is set to “Play file”, then the name of the file to be played should be specified in the “Filename” field. It is assumed that the file is in the “audio” folder in the FlySight’s root folder and that the file uses the “.wav” extension. So, for example, if you want to play “audio\time.wav” on initialization, you would simply set the filename to “time” (without quotes).
When altitude mode is enabled, FlySight will dictate your geometric altitude at fixed intervals.
For example, you can configure altitude mode to call out your altitude every 1000 feet. Altitude is relative to the dropzone elevation specified in the Alarms tab. You may find that FlySight's altitude readings do not agree with your conventional altimeter, even when dropzone elevation is set correctly. This may be because FlySight is using "geometric altitude" measurements, whereas your altimeter uses "barometric altitude" measurements. The following article explains why there is a difference between the two:
As with alarms, it is important to note that GPS measurements depend on extremely weak signals received from orbiting satellites. A GPS unit can lose its fix for a number of reasons, or your earphones may stop working. For these reasons, FlySight’s altitude mode should never be relied upon for life saving purposes—e.g., for break-off or pull time. Always use a conventional altimeter (audible or visual) for these purposes.
Two safety features have been implemented:
- Altitude is not called out below 1500 m AGL in order to prevent this feature from being used for break-off or pull time.
- Altitude is called out when the FlySight first gets a fix so that the user can confirm that the dropzone elevation has been set properly. If you're on the ground, this altitude should be within about 10 meters of zero.
Altitude readings will not interfere with alarms, but will take precedence over speech and tones.
You can specify up to two “silence windows”. Silence windows prevent the background sounds—tones and speech—from playing inside a specified elevation range. Silence windows can be added by clicking on the “Add” button at the bottom of the page. To remove a silence window, select it and then click the “Remove” button. If you have already specified two windows, the “Add” button will be grayed out until you remove an exiting window.
A silence window is defined by a top elevation and a bottom elevation, both relative to the ground level specified in the “Alarms” page.