Configuring FlySight

From FlySight
Jump to: navigation, search

Default configuration

FlySight's default configuration file looks like this:

; GPS settings

Model:     6    ; Dynamic model
                ;   0 = Portable
                ;   2 = Stationary
                ;   3 = Pedestrian
                ;   4 = Automotive
                ;   5 = Sea
                ;   6 = Airborne with < 1 G acceleration
                ;   7 = Airborne with < 2 G acceleration
                ;   8 = Airborne with < 4 G acceleration
Rate:      200  ; Measurement rate (ms)

; Tone settings

Mode:      2    ; Measurement mode
                ;   0 = Horizontal speed
                ;   1 = Vertical speed
                ;   2 = Glide ratio
                ;   3 = Inverse glide ratio
                ;   4 = Total speed
Min:       0    ; Lowest pitch value
                ;   cm/s        in Mode 0, 1, or 4
                ;   ratio * 100 in Mode 2 or 3
Max:       300  ; Highest pitch value
                ;   cm/s        in Mode 0, 1, or 4
                ;   ratio * 100 in Mode 2 or 3
Chirp:     0    ; Chirp when outside bounds
                ;   0 = No
                ;   1 = Yes
Volume:    6    ; 0 (min) to 8 (max)

; Thresholds

V_Thresh:  1000 ; Minimum vertical speed for tone (cm/s)
H_Thresh:  0    ; Minimum horizontal speed for tone (cm/s)

; Miscellaneous

Use_SAS:   1    ; Use skydiver's airspeed
                ;   0 = No
                ;   1 = Yes

The settings in detail


The model is a very important parameter, which is discussed in greater detail on its own page. In short, FlySight uses this model to increase the accuracy of its measurements. For most wingsuit flight, the default setting, "Airborne with < 1 G acceleration", is perfect.

However, if you are using FlySight to record swoops, for example, you will find that this setting causes it to "overshoot" the corner—dipping you briefly under ground before coming back up to ground level. This is because you are encountering accelerations higher than the specified 1 G. To correct the problem, choose either the 2 G or 4 G mode.


By default, FlySight will log 5 points per second—i.e., 200 ms between points. If, for example, you want your FlySight to log only one point per second, you could increase this value to "1000".


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).

Min and Max

FlySight's tones range in frequency from 220 Hz to 1760 Hz (3 octaves). The "Min" setting is the indicated value which corresponds to the lowest-pitch tone (i.e., 220 Hz). Likewise, the "Max" setting corresponds to the highest-pitch tone (i.e., 1760 Hz).

How you set "Min" and "Max" will depend on what you're doing with the FlySight. If you are using "glide ratio" mode, then the "Max" setting is 100 times your maximum indicated glide ratio. By default, "Max" is set to "300", or 3:1 glide ratio. This is generally appropriate for wingsuit flight. For tracking, you might try a value of "150", or 1.5:1 glide ratio. "Min" will usually be set to "0". Once you have a good idea of what your minimum glide ratio is, you can increase this value so that the tones are more precise.

If you're using one of the "speed" modes, then the "Max" setting is your maximum indicated speed in cm/s (i.e., 100 times your speed in m/s). The following formulae should help you convert from other units:

cm/s = mph x 45
cm/s = km/h x 28

Alternatively, you can use Google to perform the conversion. For example, suppose you want to set "Max" to 100 mph. To calculate the value in cm/s, you can enter the following into a Google search:

100 mph in cm/s

This will give the following result:

100 mph = 4470.4 centimeters / second

Thus, you would enter "4470" as the "Max" value in order to set the maximum speed to 100 mph (in horizontal or vertical speed mode).

When deciding on your "Min" and "Max" settings, keep in mind that FlySight measures your speed relative to the ground. If you are flying downwind, then the FlySight will indicate a higher glide ratio (and higher horizontal speed) than usual. To ensure that your indicated values fall within the "Max" range, we recommend that you add a 20-30% margin to your expected maximum glide ratio or horizontal speed. Similarly, the "Min" value should be somewhat lower than your expected minimum glide ratio or horizontal speed.


When your indicated value is outside of the specified range—i.e., if it is less than "Min" or greater than "Max"—FlySight's behaviour is determined by the "Chirp" setting. If "Chirp" is set to "0", FlySight will produce the same tone when it is outside the range as it would at the edge of the range. If "Chirp" is set to "1", FlySight will produce a chirp when it is outside the range, instead of the normal tone. If the indicated value is less than "Min", FlySight will chirp up. If it is greater than "Max", FlySight will chirp down.


This one is pretty obvious. By default, FlySight's volume is set to its loudest setting, so you'll definitely hear it in freefall. If you find the sound is a bit too loud, try decreasing this value.

Speed Thresholds

The "V_Thresh" and "H_Thresh" settings can be used to limit when FlySight produces tones. These correspond with a vertical speed threshold and a horizontal speed threshold, respectively. As with other speeds in the configuration file, these are given in cm/s. The FlySight will not produce a tone when the horizontal speed or vertical speed is below the respective threshold. By default, these thresholds are used to prevent FlySight from making any noise, e.g., while you are in the plane or under canopy.

Skydiver's Airspeed

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 uses "skydiver's airspeed" instead of true airspeed when calculating tones. "Skydiver's airspeed" is adjusted to an equivalent speed at sea level, so it will not change as your altitude changes. The "Use_SAS" setting controls whether the FlySight indicates skydiver's airspeed or true airspeed.

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.

Typical settings

The following table shows typical settings for a few environments.

Use Model Mode Max
Wingsuit 6 2 300
Tracking 6 2 150
Swooping 7 or 8 4 5000

Wingsuit Performance Settings with the Beta Firmware

The following configuration files demonstrate how the beta firmware can be used to train for FAI/PPC wingsuit performance competitions:

Time Indicates vertical speed Download
Distance Indicates glide ratio Download
Speed Indicates horizontal speed Download

All three configuration files include alarms at 3100, 3000, 2050 and 1950 m to mark the top and bottom of the competition window. Note that the DZ_Elev parameter will need to be set to your DZ's ground elevation in meters in order for these alarms to work properly.

The beta firmware

The beta firmware contains a few new options to control the tone rate, speech functions, altitude alarms, etc.


Limits:    1     ; Behaviour when outside bounds
                 ;   0 = No tone
                 ;   1 = Min/max tone
                 ;   2 = Chirp up/down

This adds just a little more flexibility to the "Chirp" option detailed above. In addition to chirping or "clamping" the tone to the min/max, you can also silence the FlySight when you're outside of the defined pitch range.

Rate Settings

; Rate settings

Mode_2:    9     ; Determines tone rate
                 ;   0 = Horizontal speed
                 ;   1 = Vertical speed
                 ;   2 = Glide ratio
                 ;   3 = Inverse glide ratio
                 ;   4 = Total speed
                 ;   8 = Magnitude of Value 1
                 ;   9 = Change in Value 1
Min_Val_2: 300   ; Lowest rate value
                 ;   cm/s          when Mode 2 = 0, 1, or 4
                 ;   ratio * 100   when Mode 2 = 2 or 3
                 ;   percent * 100 when Mode 2 = 9
Max_Val_2: 1500  ; Highest rate value
                 ;   cm/s          when Mode 2 = 0, 1, or 4
                 ;   ratio * 100   when Mode 2 = 2 or 3
                 ;   percent * 100 when Mode 2 = 9
Min_Rate:  100   ; Minimum rate (Hz * 100)
Max_Rate:  500   ; Maximum rate (Hz * 100)
Flatline:  0     ; Flatline at minimum rate
                 ;   0 = No
                 ;   1 = Yes

By default, the tones come more quickly when the value selected by "Mode" is changing quickly. For example, if you're flying flat and steady, the tones will come once per second by default. If you suddenly collapse your wings, the tone rate will increase until you reach a new steady state, at which point they will come once per second again. Our experience has been that this behaviour is the easiest to understand. However, you can use the settings above to change this behaviour if you like.

These settings are analogous to the tone settings detailed above, except instead of affecting the pitch of the tone, they affect its rate. In addition to the usual settings, there is also a "Flatline" setting which will produce a steady tone when you drop below the minimum rate. This could be useful, e.g., if you wanted a clear indication of when you were flying level. To do that, you would set the tone rate so that it increases with increasing vertical speed. If you set "Min_2" to "0" and "Flatline" to "1", the FlySight will emit a constant tone when you are flying level or upward.

Speech Settings

; Speech settings

Sp_Mode:   0     ; Speech mode
                 ;   0 = Horizontal speed
                 ;   1 = Vertical speed
                 ;   2 = Glide ratio
                 ;   3 = Inverse glide ratio
                 ;   4 = Total speed
Sp_Units:  1     ; Speech units
                 ;   0 = km/h
                 ;   1 = mph
Sp_Rate:   0     ; Speech rate (s)
                 ;   0 = No speech
Sp_Dec:    0     ; Decimal places for speech
Sp_Volume: 8     ; 0 (min) to 8 (max)

The speech mode is turned off by default. To turn it on, select a mode using the "Sp_Mode" setting and units using the "Sp_Units" setting. The "Sp_Rate" setting gives the interval between announcements. Typically, anything between 5 and 10 seconds seems to work well here. If you set this lower than 3 seconds or so, you may find that one announcement interferes with the next.

Use "Sp_Dec" to control the number of decimal places that are spoken. If you've set "Sp_Mode" to indicate speed, you will probably want to set "Sp_Dec" to "0". If you've set "Sp_Mode" to "2" (glide ratio), you will probably want to set "Sp_Dec" to "1" or maybe even "2".


TZ_Offset: 0     ; Timezone offset of output files in seconds
                 ;   -14400 = UTC-4 (EDT)
                 ;   -18000 = UTC-5 (EST, CDT)
                 ;   -21600 = UTC-6 (CST, MDT)
                 ;   -25200 = UTC-7 (MST, PDT)
                 ;   -28800 = UTC-8 (PST)

By default, the FlySight names folders and files according to the UTC time at the start of the log. To change this, you can set your timezone here. The value given 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.

Alarm settings

; Alarm settings

; WARNING: GPS measurements depend on very weak signals
;          received from orbiting satellites. As such, they
;          are prone to interference, and should NEVER be
;          relied upon for life saving purposes.


; NOTE:    Alarm elevations are given in meters above sea
;          level.

Window:        0 ; Alarm window (m)
DZ_Elev:       0 ; Ground elevation (m above sea level)

Alarm_Elev: 1000 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    0 ; Alarm type
                 ;   0 = No alarm
                 ;   1 = Beep
                 ;   2 = Chirp up
                 ;   3 = Chirp down
                 ;   4 = Play file
Alarm_File:    0 ; File to be played

Finally, the beta firmware allows you to set up to 10 alarms which are triggered at a particular elevation. The cautionary note at the top of the alarm settings should be heeded. If the FlySight loses signal at an inopportune time, if your earphone falls out of your ear, or if the plug comes loose from the FlySight, you may not hear the tone at all. This means the FlySight's audible alarms should never be relied upon to indicate break-off altitude or pull time, for example.

There are two parameters which are common to all alarms:

  • "Window" defines a region around your alarm elevation where no other audio will be produced. This will help you distinguish alarm tones from the regular tones. The alarm window is given in meters. For example, if you set "Alarm" to "100", then you won't hear any other tones from 100 meters above your alarm to 100 meters below. Freefall speeds are about 50 m/s without a wingsuit and 20 m/s with, so if you want to have one second of silence before and after your alarm, you would set "Window" to "50" if you're not flying a wingsuit or "20" if you are.
  • "DZ_Elev" gives the elevation of your dropzone. Your alarms will be defined relative to this value. This makes it a bit easier to move between dropzones. You will still need to change the "DZ_Elev" value manually, but you won't have to change your defined alarms.

The other parameters are repeated for each alarm. "Alarm_Elev" gives the alarm elevation above ground level (which is given by "DZ_Elev"). The "Alarm_Type" determines what you will hear at the alarm altitude. To set more than one alarm, just repeat these parameters like this:

Window:       50 ; Alarm window (m)
DZ_Elev:     750 ; Ground elevation (m above sea level)

Alarm_Elev: 2700 ; About 9000 feet AGL
Alarm_Type:    1 ; Beep

Alarm_Elev: 1800 ; About 6000 feet AGL
Alarm_Type:    2 ; Chirp up

Alarm_Elev:  900 ; About 3000 feet AGL
Alarm_Type:    3 ; Chirp down

Speech alarms

To play a sound file at a specified altitude, set "Alarm_Type" to "4", then enter the file name in "Alarm_File". For example, here’s what that section would look like with a simple countdown alarm finishing at 3000 m AGL:

Alarm_Elev: 3300 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    4 ; Alarm type
                 ;   0 = No alarm
                 ;   1 = Beep
                 ;   2 = Chirp up
                 ;   3 = Chirp down
                 ;   4 = Play file
Alarm_File:    3 ; File to be played

Alarm_Elev: 3200 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    4 ; Alarm type
Alarm_File:    2 ; File to be played

Alarm_Elev: 3100 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    4 ; Alarm type
Alarm_File:    1 ; File to be played

Alarm_Elev: 3000 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    4 ; Alarm type
Alarm_File:    0 ; File to be played

With this configuration, you should hear “three… two… one… zero”, with “zero” happening exactly at 3000 m AGL. What’s actually happening here is that—say, for the first alarm—the FlySight is playing “audio/3.wav”. With custom audio (7812 Hz, mono, 8-bit uncompressed WAV), you could drop the file into the “audio” folder and use its name instead, like this:

Alarm_Elev: 3000 ; Alarm elevation (m above ground level)
Alarm_Type:    4 ; Alarm type
Alarm_File: cust ; File to be played

This would play “audio/cust.wav” at 3000 m AGL. As usual, the filename can’t be more than 8 characters (not including the extension).

Selectable configurations

For each configuration file you use, change the "Init_Mode" parameter to "2" and the "Init_File" parameter to a file you want to play on startup. For example, to play "audio/0.wav" on startup, you would use these settings:

Init_Mode: 2     ; When the FlySight is powered on
                 ;   0 = Do nothing
                 ;   1 = Test speech mode
                 ;   2 = Play file
Init_File: 0     ; File to be played

As with speech alarms above, the "audio" folder and ".wav" file extension are assumed. File names should be less than 8 characters long.

Now, create a "config" folder on your FlySight and put all of your configuration files in it. Your FlySight should be organized something like this:


To change which configuration file is being used, toggle your FlySight on-off-on quickly, similar to what you would do to program the FlySight. The FlySight will go through the files in the "config" folder, and play the "Init_File" sound for each one. Turn the FlySight off when you hear the file you want to select. When you turn the FlySight back on, it should play the "Init_File" sound again to tell you it is using that configuration.

To change back to the default "config.txt" configuration, toggle the FlySight on-off-on quickly, then wait while it plays all of the "Init_File" sounds. When it is done, it will revert to the default "config.txt" file--the same one you've been using up until now.

Altitude Mode

When altitude mode is enabled, FlySight will dictate your geometric altitude at fixed intervals.

; Altitude mode settings

; WARNING: GPS measurements depend on very weak signals
;          received from orbiting satellites. As such, they
;          are prone to interference, and should NEVER be
;          relied upon for life saving purposes.


; NOTE:    Altitude is given relative to ground elevation,
;          which is specified in DZ_Elev. Altitude mode will
;          not function below 1500 m above ground.

Alt_Units:     1 ; Altitude units
                 ;   0 = m
                 ;   1 = ft
Alt_Step:      0 ; Altitude between announcements
                 ;   0 = No altitude

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:

Geometric vs. Barometric Altitude

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.