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VerticaSports V2 Flight Computer reviewed!
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 17:04

 

Excellent news for all pilots!

After 8 months of testing, and an intermediate V1 version, here is the ultimate solution for flight, brought to you by VerticaSports in the UK.

http://www.verticasports.com/shop/v2-flight-instrument/

This PNA outperforms any other PNA and most tablets-smartphones in terms of visibility under sunlight and connectivity.

Technical details are:

  • 5 inches screen , at 480x272
  • around 900 nits (candles), with an important LCD coating process for even better quality
  • 460Mhz CPU
  • 2 miniUsb TTL RS232 serial lines (requiring a cable adaptor)
  • BlueTooth SPP (tested 2 simultaneous serial connections!)
  • 1 Internal GPS  (NOT ATLAS!) which works just fine in flight with no strange "smoothing" effects (be assured, no Atlas inside)
  • Battery lasting 2.5 hours on full throttle backlight
  • Windows CE 5.2 - Windows Mobile 6.1 user interface

That's right, V2 has 4 (four) COM ports, plus the internal gps which is just fine!

This was a long-awaited solution for all pilots, and it is now marking a real watershed: the "before" and "after" V2.

We received the very first sample from Vertica a couple of months ago, and the device was simply stunning under the sun. As we all know, pilots want to be able to read the screen under all sun conditions: sun in the front, in the back , upside or aside. Results in the past were quite disappointing: there were devices perfectly readable under sunlight when it was perpendicular from the back, like old PDAs from HP, but then they became all black when the light was in front of you.

There is not much to say about V2 visibility under the sun light: this PNA is fantastic, point.

We made so many flighs under the bright sun light in july and august, and there are no special circumstances for a better visibility than another!

The latest pictures was taken a few days ago, at 3183m under an incredibly bright sun at 14pm local time (plus DST). No matter how you turn the aircraft, this is the average look you can expect from the V2 anytime!

(Photo taken by E.Girardi)

V2 CONNECTIVITY

What's very special in the V2 is the fact it has got two serial ports on miniUSB, instead of one (when one is available, on some devices!).

These serials are TTL RS232 and require the usual cable from GliderTools, which is also offering adapters and converters or whatever you may call them.

If you bought a GliderTools USB to Serial TTL adaptor in the past years, it will probably work with the need of a simple plug adaptor, because the V2 has a 10pin miniUSB instead of 5pin. Basically, the miniUSB is the same size of any other PNA, and it is compatible with any power supply of course, but there are 5 more pins that in the old connector were not available. On those back pins the serial com ports are hosted.

But there is more than that, in fact: Bluetooth stack in the V2 is very complete!

Its features still have to be investigated in deep, however we could test the SPP (serial port profile) of bluetooth, connecting it to a Flytec 6030 and to a Digifly Leonardo Plus.

The very good thing is that, in case one device disconnects for any reason (V2 set to sleep mode by mistake, or external device (Flytec-Digifly in the example) switched off by mistake, or radio problems and BT simply disconnected, you don't have to do anything special to reactivate the connection again: simply power the device on .

This is great, because on HP314 bluetooth for example, once the external device was disconnected for any reason, you had to do the BT pairing procedure again (which in flight is impossible to do, at least without crashing!).

So we could set the connection up, swithc the variometer off, LK8000 was telling us "fallback to internal gps, using gps altitude".. and then when variometer was on again after a few second the magic message "Using available baro altitude" and back we were connected to the instrument outside!

 

Then we tested two simultaneous connections, making a Digifly and a Flytec instrument work together for the very first time on a flight computer!

Right, both of them were connected as Device A and Device B in LK, and NO INTERNAL GPS was set in use.

And guess what.. disconnecting one or the other device, and then back on, worked like a charm. A real dream come true.

 

A DEVICE BUILT AROUND LK8000

This is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device, and its "kernel" (engine) is Windows CE 5.2.

It has got some preinstalled applications like Word processing, video player, multimedia player, the usual Microsoft stuff.

The CPU at 460Mhz is not lightining fast, but it is perfect for LK which is tuned to be working at 400Mhz.

This device was manufactured for LK, and it is not a surprise that there are already several distributors, given the long awaited availability of such good screen.

A special version of the V2 can be ordered, with an internal barometric sensor.

There are already other hardware manufacturer working on accessories, cables, and probably external keypad.

These optionals may appear in a few months, making the V2 a unique device for flight at an excellent price.

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 01:55
 
 
Before LK8000 I was using...