FlySight Configurator

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Downloading the FlySight Configurator

The FlySight Configurator is available for Mac or Windows:

Windows Download
Mac Download
Source code GitHub

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).

Usage

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

General settings control how the FlySight measures position and velocity.

Configurator-General.png

Dynamic model

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.

Sample period

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)

Tone Settings

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.

Configurator-Tone.png

Mode

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.

Limit behaviour

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.

Volume

The tone volume can be set between 0% and 100%. This sets the volume for all tones, including tones used as an alarm.

Rate Settings

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.”

Configurator-Rate.png

Mode

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.

Speech Settings

In addition to producing tones, FlySight can also dictate measured values. The “speech” settings control this feature.

Configurator-Speech.png

Mode

The speech “mode” controls what value will be dictated.

Units

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.

Period

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.

Decimal Places

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”.

Volume

The speech volume controls the volume of all speech, including any files played as an alarm.

Threshold Settings

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.

Configurator-Thresholds.png

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.

Miscellaneous Settings

These settings control miscellaneous options.

Configurator-Miscellaneous.png

Timezone offset

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.

Initialization Settings

These settings control what the FlySight does when it is first turned on.

Configurator-Initialization.png

Mode

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

Filename

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).

Alarms

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.

Configurator-Alarms.png

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.

Ground elevation

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.

Alarm elevation

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.

Alarm type

When an alarm triggers, the FlySight can do nothing, play a simple tone, chirp up/down or play a file.

Alarm filename

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).

Silence Windows

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.

Configurator-Silence.png

Window top and bottom

A silence window is defined by a top elevation and a bottom elevation, both relative to the ground level specified in the “Alarms” page.