Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Equipment Review - Bluefly Vario

This is the first of many reviews I am conducting for equipment that would be useful for general Paragliding as well as for lightweight or Vol-Biv styles through my own experiences.

I have been given an opportunity to try out a great new vario called the Blue-Fly Vario. Details can be found at http://blueflyvario.alistairdickie.com/ At first I was thinking it would be useful as a backup vario as it is lightweight easily attached to your helmet. Now after using it I am looking at making it my main vario. 
To attach the Blue-Fly you can use Velcro or even by removing the casing, making it even more compact and lighter you could tape it inside your helmet.
At the moment I have it attached to the rear or just off to the side on the back of my helmet.

The application for the Blue-Fly is highly customizable
  • MS5611 pressure sensor provides an ultra responsive altitude resolution of 10 to 12 cm
  • Connects via Bluetooth to Android using SPP for use with flight software.
  • Audio only mode provides a backup when not connected, or to use all the time.
  • Micro USB charging port to fill the 600mAh battery in 2 hours. Gives over 10 hours of time on Bluetooth, and more in audio only mode.
  • With the prototype case it weighs 40 g and its' dimensions are 3.5 cm x 5.4 cm x 1.8 cm
  • You can charge by using a backup battery charger while flying.

The Vario is used either by itself as an audio device or through a Google Play app that you can downloaded on your Android phone or tablet. It can be used through this program that is still being developed or through other programs like XC Soar which can also be found on Google Play.

Because the device is has adjustable parameters it is easy to set it up to how you need for your style of flying.
One of the biggest benefits to this device is the price. If you have an old Android phone or tablet then you spend under $100 on the Blue-Fly (current model) and you up and running with a device equal to a $1800 device.

With ongoing developments and improvements this is going to be a device hard to beat as it is sensitive, light, unobtrusive, great pricing and who knows head-up displays attaching to your helmet and sound to your already existing radio speakers???

To keep up to date either follow this Blog or keep an eye on http://blueflyvario.alistairdickie.com/

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