Remote Cockpit Variometer TM
The Remote Cockpit Variometer (RC-Vario) is an electronic variometer for model airplanes. Its main features comprise audio and voice telemetry, electronic total energy compensation based on total pressure measurement, data logger, firmware update capability, very small form factor and compatibility with worldwide radio standards.
A variometer is a mandatory instrument required by the RC-soaring pilot and “thermal seeker”. Originally arising from aviation the variometer indicates vertical airspeed and thus helps to find thermals and updrafts which is indispensable for long duration flights.
The RC-Vario transmits climb and sink rate to the ground via radio and can be heard as an acoustic signal with varying frequency. All standard radios for public radio bands are suitable for reception. There are numerous frequency bands available to cover most of the public bands worldwide.
The RC-Vario provides many features which go way beyond the basic variometer functionality. Key feature is the electronic total energy compensation (patent pending). The classic way of compensating a variometer for pilot induced climb and sink is the employment of a special compensation probe which is delivering an airspeed compensated static airpressure. The main disadvantage of such a setup is that the compensation quality is highly dependant on parameters such as probe geometry, position, angle of attack and sideslip. The RC-Vario conquers these deficiencies by introducing a second pressure sensor which probes the total pressure via a simple pitot tube. Together with the static pressure measured inside the fuselage the airplane total energy is computed via software. The crucial advantage of this strategy is a very easy set up and much lower dependency of measurements against the above mentioned parameters.
Besides the variometer functionality the RC-Vario features voice telemetry. All flight relevant data such as altitude, receiver voltages etc. are announced via voice transmission. Order and intervals can freely be configured, several languages are available.
The integrated data logger stores all flight data on SD card memory for post flight analysis. A standard 2GB card holds enough memory for weeks of continuous recording.
The RC-Vario is configurable either via voice menu using the RC transmitter or via a dedicated configuration tool called RC-Utility. The voice menu comprises all major parameter such as radio channel, integrator time constant, compensation state etc. This eases the tuning in the field prior flight without any dedicated tools. Modifying all other parameters, downloading logger data, updating firmware etc. require the RC-Utility tool running on a PC, Laptop or Smartphone.