FlightBox - $200 ADS-B Receiver - Update

Discussion in 'The Classifieds' started by ssokol, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. ssokol

    ssokol Filing Flight Plan

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    A quick update on FlightBox ADS-B. The Kickstarter campaign ended two weeks ago with 344 backers and $77k in funding. We've ordered and received some of the parts already. We should receive the money from Kickstarter this week, which will allow us to order the rest. We're expecting to be able to deliver all of the Kickstarter pre-orders in March.

    I've had several people ask if we're still taking orders for FlightBox - YES! We opened a web store which you can get to here: http://store.openflightsolutions.com/

    Orders placed today will go out in late March or very early April. We have enough of the long lead-time parts (the cases and GPS modules) that we should be able to get caught up by the end of March, after which we will have FlightBox units in stock. We're also offering just the case and fan for the DIYers.

    Thanks to everyone from PoA who ordered during the Kickstarter and helped make FlightBox a succes. I really appreciate the vote of confidence and look forward to getting your receiver to you as soon as possible.
     
  2. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    About a week ago I received my dual band Flightbox. I've purchased several Kickstarter products, all of them were late. I assumed that your prediction that the boxes would ship in March to be problematical also. So I was very pleasantly surprised to take it out of the mailbox last week!

    Technically this is a kit, but it's a kit the way a seven piece Lego kit is a 'kit'. Follow the instructions at https://www.openflightsolutions.com/support/ and you can't go wrong.

    I first tested it by driving to the ads-b tower at Georgetown Texas. It lite up Foreflight like a Christmas tree. Yesterday I flew it for about 1.8 hours doing ground reference maneuvers and practice patterns between Austin Bergstrom and Taylor. It seemed to work just fine,certainly as well as the Stratus 1 it replaced, with the extra benefit of being engineered to not melt under the windshield.

    For most of the flight I had 3 meter GPS accuracy, with a few moments of 10 meter. I ran it off of a 2300 milliamp hour battery I obtained as swag at a convention. It ran for something over 2 1/2 hours (1.8 in flight), which really surprised me. I'm sure with a high quality larger battery you could run it all day. Of course you can plug it into your airplane if you have a usb socket. The documentation says it draws 1 to 1.3 amps.

    To sum up my first impression:

    Pros:
    Snap together assembly
    Electronic components tested to work together
    Sturdy high quality plastic case, everything aligns perfectly
    Customized version of Stratux software, no issues with drivers or various versions of Pi hardware and software
    Potential to add AHRS at a latter date

    Cons:
    The case is kind of 'Boxy' and uses external antennas. It was harder to secure on the dashboard than the flat one piece Stratus 1 case.
    No internal battery
    Foreflight will probably not support non-proprietary AHRS solutions.

    TLDR: Works as advertised, a bargain at $250.

    box2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Curious: Those don't look like the stock NooElec antennas. What are you using?
     
  4. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    Those are what came in the box.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm sure they came in the box you got from @sskol The question was really for him. I have a DIY of the original and neither (the two are different) appear to be the stock antenna that comes with the NooElec.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I put mine together last night. Easy peasy, took about ten minutes. All you need is a phillips head screwdriver to mount put the mounting screws in. Everything else just pushes into place. Plugged it into an power supply and opened up FF and everything came up.
     
  7. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I met up with @ssokol when I was in KC last weekend. GREAT GUY!

    Assembling the Flightbox was easy. I've used it twice since then. Great device. You should all consider buying one.

    Now...if only AHRS worked in Foreflight.. :mad:
     
  8. ssokol

    ssokol Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks! Glad it's working for you. We're working on AHRS but it's questionable if it will work with FF, but it will work with attitude / synvis products from a bunch of other app vendors.
     
    jason likes this.
  9. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    I've found the boxy shaped case doesn't like to sit on the glareshield of our Cardinal. So yesterday I flew with it in the seat pocket, doing ground reference maneuvers and landings in the area south of Austin - Bergstrom. I was pretty surprised that above about 2000 feet agl I was getting 3 to 5 towers. Between about 800 and 2000 feet agl I would usally get one tower, probably the one at San Marcos.

    I would suggest to future Stratux/Flightbox designers to try and make a flatter case with curved sides, similar to what Stratus does. That would play better in a lot of planes.

    Still, I'm pretty happy with my FlightBox.