Mike's News Items
13th May 2016
First releasable production version of Dynamis is nearing completion.
At first the Dynamis sensor will be able to be fitted to slightly modified B600 or B800 hardware running new firmware.
It is planned that a minimal version but with all features, will be the B600 or B800 main unit (fits 57mm or 80mm panel hole) plus Dynamis sensor box, so only one panel hole and nothing else on the panel required.
Configuration will be from any Android device connected to this by Bluetooth or IOIO board connection. We will be releasing a small Android app which will do the configuration and calibration of Dynamis. Source code and definitions will be made available for incorporation in glide computer programs. XCSoar already handles Macready, bugs and ballast to B600/B800 as do some other programs. The configuration setups will be more in the nature of a one off or only rarely will changes be made so whether or not the app is integrated into your glide computer program will be of little consequence.
So if planning at new panel, leave room for ONE panel hole in 57mm or 80mm size for Dynamis. It will be a must have for any pilot serious about cross country competition or record flying.
Initially Dynamis will only be available factory direct so as to better handle any questions or difficulties. There will also be limited quantities and delivery preference will be given to long time or current Borgelt Instruments customers.
5th April 2016
On Easter Sunday 2016 we flew the first all up flight worthy software version of Dynamis, our horizontal gust insensitive variometer system for 1.5 hours.
A second flight of 1.75 hours on the Monday confirmed Sunday's results. We do indeed have a fast variometer, (significantly faster than the B700 we were using for comparison – itself a fast pressure transducer variometer), which reacted instantly to vertical air motion changes, excellent total energy compensation and flying through thermals we sampled which had horizontal gusts at the edges as shown on the B700, we found the Dynamis indications were steady, clearly ignoring the horizontal gusts.
All was in accordance with our theoretical model of the system. It also does not matter what the duration of the gust is and installation and calibration of the system isn't difficult.
Dynamis provides 3D real time (as in NOW) knowledge of the motion of the air being flown through. Until now this desirable knowledge has only been approximated or derived, contaminated or obscured by gusts, or was available much later (several seconds to minutes).
The Dynamis sensor system will now be integrated into our well proven and developed B600 and B800 variometer systems and the software further developed so the system is releasable to customers.
Further announcements as we make progress but for now I can only say that we are VERY happy with these results and the path to a production instrument is clear.
Thanks to Scott Percival for the use of the ASH25 and the test piloting duties and second opinion. Scott was also very impressed by Dynamis performance. The ASH 25 is a very nice glider.
Easter is by coincidence a significant time for Borgelt Instruments. I went solo at Easter in 1967, we flew our first pressure transducer vario at Easter in 1981 and now in 2016 the first in flight proof that Dynamis works as a horizontal gust insensitive variometer.
20th December 2015
The Dynamis project has been delayed by various relatively minor problems which took a long time to solve. The concept is simple but niggling software issues have been the problem. These are now solved and final flight testing testing is in progress at last. We anticipate that it will be complete by the end of February.
Partly the delay has also been that the sensor is also being used on an agricultural machinery project we're working on which has nothing to do with gliding but this project has been useful in that our experience with the sensor has greatly matured the technology and our understanding of it.
We are confident we now have a rock solid sensor suite with which to implement this horizontal gust free Total Energy system.
The problem has been recognised for nearly 50 years and only now does the right sensor technology exist at a reasonable cost.
It will be interesting to see how this changes pilots' flight performances.
The output is quite a bit different from the traditional TE vario and the mental processing of deciding whether the vario indication is due to lift or gusts is eliminated.
The innovative new pilot interface for Dynamis will also be available early in the new year. This probably won't work with a traditional TE vario because of the large “noise” caused by gusts on the vario signal.
The new GCD layout on the B600/B800 is a success. Various contest pilots are flying with it, liking it and improving their performances.
The B600/B800 manual will be updated in late January but the changes are intuitive and largely self explanatory.
18th December 2013
The B900 variometer with digital averager, whole thermal integrator and “time to consider leaving” indicators is now in production. Same as the B700 but with a linear scale for those who prefer that.
As with the B700 the scale is around the outside of the dial giving the maximum area for the dial which is particularly important for the 57mm size and a clear uncluttered display. The pointer also doesn't get in the way of the digital display when that display is of interest to you. As usual, our instruments are available in 80mm size also.
For some time I've pondered re-arranging the B600/B800 GCD display so that less page switching is necessary. This will be available in January in the B800 software section of the website. Consider it experimental for now so keep the old GCD_U. tea and setup_U.eec files so you can revert if there are problems or you don't like the new layout. We think it is a worthwhile improvement even if you do lose the little last 30 seconds barogram display. With this new display there is no point in having the digital display on the B800 dial so 2014 models will eliminate this unless specifically asked for.
It is well worthwhile taking the small amount of time and trouble to mount the GCD where we intended it to be – in the lip of the glareshield. The controls are then easier to access as they are closer to you and when you look at the display your peripheral vision can still pick up the horizon. With transponder mandates in some countries and panels with difficulties with edges and sloped panel covers, instrument panels are becoming crowded and this puts a nav/wind/final glide display right in front of you that is tightly integrated with the main vario system but takes no panel space. It may even be easier than finding an appropriate space in an existing panel.
Don't forget the B600 and B800 have the two channel audio with left and right speakers. Properly installed this is a far better way of centering thermals than looking at a PNA display as it still lets you focus outside where your attention ought to be.
We continue to work on Dynamis, our sensor package to do a total energy variometer in such a way that the variometer is not sensitive to horizontal gusts. This has flown a number of times and results are very promising. We are getting excellent TE function without gust sensitivity. More test flying will happen in early 2014.
This will be a breakthrough technology in sailplane instruments. The problem has been recognised for more than 40 years and we are now on the verge of implementing a solution that is of reasonable cost and power consumption. It will be available as an add on to our B600 and B800 variometers. We cannot fit to the B300/B400/B700 and B900 as these do not have the requisite airspeed measurement system. Owners of B500 variometers may have their instruments upgraded to B600 or B800s as many of the parts are common.
20th February 2013
The new B600/B800 Manual is up.
There's a new B800 PC support program which fixes a couple of bugs.
Also a new GCD program.
All available for download from this site.
A new feature in the GCD is the ability select a new database “on the fly” without a power cycle and you can program a task and fly around it with only one button push at each point by programming the task in the database and storing it on the mini SD card. This is a great enhancement of a really simple and easy to use navigation system.
Testing of the new total energy system continues with encouraging results. It will be able to be added to B600 and B800 variometer systems so that the variometer has essentially no sensitivity to horizontal gusts. There will be other benefits too. All made possible by new sensors. Advanced Magic indeed!
The B300 has been adopted by a number of clubs. One which bought a B400 for their Pilatus B4 along with a new TE probe has now equipped their Blanik and Bocian with B300s with rear cockpit repeaters and new Borgelt TE probes. The prototype continues to function very well in our BD-4 power plane.
The B300/B400 repeaters now incorporate audio volume control which works in parallel with the volume control on the main instrument. No price increase for this extra feature. This cannot be fitted to earlier instruments without a factory return and the program in the main instrument needed modification.
We have located a source of small, very neat speakers for all our variometers. These will be on new production and available for purchase for existing installations. Ideal for the two channel audio in the B600 and B800.
4th July 2012 – Independence Day for our US customers!
As announced in the news item on the home page, we have two new Borgelt variometer products this month.
The B300 Club vario is a simplified version of the B400 but has no standby power provision, “up”only audio and no push button averager. Designed for use in two seat trainers and early solo gliders used for local soaring. The B300 will drive a DAD if you want an averager and you can fit a repeater to the back seat of two seater(B400 repeater).The B300 will also be useful in powered aircraft and ultralights which may occasionally soar, with or without the engine switched completely off. No photos yet as the first batch departed so quickly but we have one in our BD-4 power plane replacing the old rate of climb instrument.
The B600 variometer system is a B800 with a linear scale without the digital display in the dial for those who prefer the linear scale. All other B800 features are there and the B800 manual will be amended shortly to include the B600.
We continue to make progress on the new total energy system. More test flying shortly.
So that the B800 may be used with just the main unit (no GPS and GCD - although you will need an interface module to use the Flarm target and GPS data) with an Oudie or other PNA/PDA running SeeYou Mobile, WinPilot, LK8000 or XCSoar or other glide/navigation software we are publishing the B800 interface document for both one way (B800 out) and two way communication. It is under B800 in the Software section of the website along with the B800 PC support software.
There is also simulator program in the zip file that turns a Windows PC into a B800 for serial output/input purposes. MacCready, bugs and ballast may also be controlled from the PC keyboard. Developers should find this a great help.
Two way communication allows the B800 MacCready, bugs and ballast settings to be sent to the B800 from the PNA as well as for the B800 to send settings, air data and optionally GPS data to the PNA. The GCD and GPS are unnecessary although you can use our high performance GPS module which is configured for sailplane dynamics if you want (not all GPS units are equal and some have difficulty with the turn rates, accelerations and rates of change of acceleration of sailplanes. This can lead to wind estimation errors) and the GCD may still be fitted in which case both the GCD and the external device can control the settings.
In other news: Progress has been made on development of a horizontal gust insensitive method of total energy. A recent test flight showed that the sensors are excellent and the algorithms are good. Stay tuned. In my opinion this is the last remaining serious problem in sailplane instrumentation. We've been aware of the problem since the late 1960's and actively working on solving it since 1984. At last the finish line is in sight.
This new total energy concept should result in a variometer that is faster in response but much smoother as only energy changes due to vertical air motion will show and the effects of horizontal gusts will not. Particularly at high speeds it will be much easier to pick the best path through the air and decide whether a thermal is worth circling in. Wasted circles in non thermals should be considerably reduced in number. See the Horizontal gusts article for a discussion of the problem.
24th October 2011
More praise for the B700:
One customer was having TE compensation issues with the B700 in his Nimbus 2b. He asked one of his club's leading cross country pilots to fly it and he confirmed the problem. They then isolated the old Winter mechanical vario and its plumbing and flew again. Both are now extremely happy. The leading cross country pilot came down with a big grin and likes the B700 very much.
Note that compensation isn't a variometer problem as such. The vario will respond to the pressure it sees from the plumbing to the probe. In this case there were likely leaks in the plumbing to the old vario or the vario itself or perhaps some interaction due to the flow going through the old vario to and from the flask.
It really is time that leak and interaction prone varios using flasks were consigned to museums. The B700 has a standby power pack (4 x AA alkaline batteries) good for 8 hours or so. You will not be without a variometer in the event of a glider power failure(which itself should be rare with two batteries and correct design and operation). You might like to consider how well you are going to operate without electronic variometers, radio, transponder, Flarm and flight recorders anyway.
Don't forget – you get the same great vario performance in the B800 and lots more!
The latest version of the B800 manual is now up. To better accommodate operation with the Oudie a couple of small changes were made to the software. Serial data output and input is now at 38400 baud and the PDA_PS and Oudie Interface module now operate at this speed. Any Flight Recorders and Flarms connected to the system should be set to output at 38400 baud also.
We made a small change to the GCD to make the third page(formerly a “setup” page) one of the operational flight pages. These three pages are cycled through with a momentary button press. The remaining pages should not need to be accessed in flight.
20th October 2011
Oudie Interface Module – connects B800 to Oudie or other PNA and powers a Flarm and Flight Recorder. Oudie can then use B800 airdata and Flarm GPS and target data. Makes a full capability instrument system with outstanding variometer and color moving map display running familiar well proven software at modest cost.
20th October 2011
Another review of the B700!
Quote “The B700 ended up migrating to the Club Discus during the recent Comp, looks like it may stay there.
The pilots who have flown with it have been very pleased with its performance.”
19th August 2011
The B800 variometer system is now shipping!
The main unit looks the same as the B700 and has the same climb mode features but is a little deeper behind the panel and there's an internal airspeed sensor for advanced vario functions and the air data and settings data stream that is output to any glide computer.
You can run this on its own with an Oudie and control MacCready, bugs and ballast from the Oudie or add our GPS and GCD for a stand alone vario/nav/wind/glide computer system which can function as a primary system or as a backup should your PDA/PNA fall over.
There's also our optional PDA_PS for powering the PDA/PNA and Flight Recorder and/or Flarm and data switching.
Contact us for all the options and possibilities.
16th May 2011
We were pleased to receive this last week:
I am going to like the B700 more and more. The logarithmic scale is very good and the readability is much better than my LX7007 LCD vario. And as said I like it that both varios are equal in fastness (LX7007 at 1s response time).
Last weekend it helped
me win a two day contest in weak
Adriaan is largely responsible for the logarithmic scale on the B700 and B800. He wrote to us last year suggesting this, we
researched it, ran it past some other pilots all of whom thought this was a good idea, so we implemented it.
We're very pleased with the result and wonder why we didn't do this sooner! There's no reason for a linear scale now that we no
longer use the MacCready ring which, of course, requires a linear scale in order to work.
22nd March 2011
We have a new dealer in the UK, Steve Pozerskis. He's young and keen and comes from a gliding family. Welcome, Steve.
Check our Dealer page for Steve's contact details and his UK Borgelt Instruments website.
In other news, we have begun shipping B700 variometers. They look great and work well with unique features designed to help you maximise rate of climb in thermals and make the decision to leave at the optimum time.
The companion B800 which has the B700 features in climb mode and an internal airspeed sensor is designed to send air data (optionally GPS as well) to glide computers and is expected to be ready to ship in about one month or so. We have all the parts and are constructing the first batch while testing the software on the bench prototype hardware.
Both instruments build on the B400/B500 heritage and our 33 years in the business of designing and manufacturing instruments for sailplanes.
2nd February 2011
As foreshadowed in October on this page we are pleased to announce the addition of the B700 and B800 variometers to our instrument range. These instruments incorporate ideas and suggestions from our customers and we've refined these ideas over the last few months and now have hardware in fabrication for production and 3 prototype B700s on hand for testing.
A limited number of B700s will be available in late February and further quantities after the middle of March 2011 when the B800 should be available too.
These instruments build on over 5 years of production of the B400 and B500 variometers and share the robust mechanical and electronic design with some innovations in audio and visual presentation.
Features immediately apparent are the non linear scale and the digital averager. In the low range to +/- 2 knots (+/- 1 M/s) the scale is expanded by a factor of two and extra index marks added. Beyond 8 knots (4 M/s) the scale is compressed but the pointer will still move out to 14 knots (7M/s). Maximum range is +15 knots on both the audio and averager.
As usual we offer the instruments to fit both large (80mm, 3 1/8 inches) and small (57mm, 2 ¼ inches) standard instrument holes so you can fit or retrofit a panel without ugly adapter plates.
You don't have to worry about ordering the correct calibration! There's only one version of each size. The calibration numbers are on the bezel which is held on by the instrument mounting screws and the bezel is reversible with knots on one side and M/s on the other. No, we don't cheat by equating 2 knots to 1 M/s. The correct calibration is set by one of the trimpots on the back of the B700 and in software on the B800 (no particular expertise is required, you are just selecting preset calibrations).
More details will appear on our website over the next few days.
12th January 2011
Thanks to all those who have contacted us for the thoughts and concern.
East Creek is only about 300 meters down the hill from here but we're 15 meters above the normal level and in no danger.
Toowoomba had flash flooding of the creeks that run east and west of the CBD and converge just to the north of it. We had in excess of 2 inches of rain in an hour and it dumped all over town including the catchments of the two creeks. They rose and fell within 15 minutes. The damage was limited to within 100 meters either side of the creeks but unfortunately a few people were caught as the waters quickly rose and were swept away and drowned.
rest of town is fine and we have power, water and communications.
We're cut off, probably for some days at least but have food for more
than week. No problem and the rain has eased and we only had a few
drops of rain in Toowoomba today.
The people who are in trouble are on the low ground in the areas all around outside Toowoomba as we're on a mountain and flash floods are the only water hazard. They are going to be in trouble for quite a while. Between here and Brisbane is a disaster, as well as to the west, south and north. The Army and others are flying SAR in helicopters today looking for missing and isolated people who need help.
I'm glad we aren't in Brisbane right now as the water in the Brisbane river is still rising and already some parts of the city and suburbs are underwater.
14th October 2010
Lots of rain. Queensland State contest cancelled due bad weather. No days flown. Nationals at Dalby, Queensland – 5 days lost due rain. Contest ends a day early.
Meanwhile we've been busy as a result of some suggestions from customers which we are testing. Stay tuned!
21st June 2010
Congratulations to happy B500 owner Enrique Mertins for winning the Region 5 South contest 15M Class, Cordele Georgia, in his ASW-27!
1ST May 2010
PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW UK ARRANGEMENTS.
UK pilots can now buy BORGELT products factory direct. In fact this is the only way we sell into the UK currently and we think we will be able to better serve our customers this way. There is no “on-line shop” as such as variometer system purchases, in our experience, usually require some advice and consideration. Just drop us an email and we'll be happy to respond. If you want a face to face conversation we'll talk to you via SKYPE (free PC to PC with video, just arrange a time by email first, please) or telephone.
We take Visa, Mastercard or you can pay by bank transfer.
REMEMBER – Australia is less than 24 hours further away than anywhere else on the planet when physical goods must be transported and with email, Skype or telephone there's no distance barrier
30th April 2010
The B500 is now the B500b. The only hardware change is that the GPS is internally different and this lets us re-arrange the software to speed up the internal processing. The vario can be configured for faster response for those who want this although most pilots will find the standard factory settings quite fast enough in our experience.
A side benefit of the new internal processing is that the GCD can now display data from other external sensors, initially the engine data from our twin jet self launcher project.
All older B500's can be upgraded to B500b standard. Most will require the new GPS and some will require a new main processor card. The upgrade is not expensive. Contact us for details.
10th August 2009
B500 owners should download the latest B500 software from the website. There have been various minor fixes to several parts of the B500 software. While you may not have noticed any problems you might notice that your vario will work a little better once you have installed these updates.
Don't forget to run customer mode to check the polar and your vario setup settings after the upgrade.
The two channel audio settings are now non-volatile in that the settings will survive power cycles unchanged. We're still experimenting with this but have found that if you put the speakers vertically in line with your ears you can tell which speaker the sound is coming from even when you turn your head which you should of course be doing much of the time for lookout.
More test flying is scheduled soon and recommendations will be posted here and later incorporated in the manual.
Please follow the update instructions in the manual explicitly. One or two owners have managed to apparently kill a processor in their B500 while attempting an upgrade. We have found the cause of this recently so if this happens don't panic. Contact us for recovery instructions.
Southern hemisphere pilots or those shipping their gliders to the southern hemisphere should consider getting their instrumentation in order for the new season. Don't wait until the week before you you intend flying to buy the new instruments you promised yourself at the end of last season.
Maybe it is time to retire that old Winter, PZL, Sage or Bohli mechanical vario.
A new 2009 version B400 will work better, requires no flask and gives you audio and averager. A far better backup in the event of power failure in your glider.
Darling Downs Soaring Club have recently upgraded their single seat fleet to B500 varios. This instrument is far more than just a variometer as it performs navigation, wind and final glide functions and sends GPS, air data and vario settings via a serial port to PDAs or our full function B2500 glide computer with voice outputs. The B500 is an excellent main variometer system for all gliders intended for cross country flying.
If you haven't had a look at your total energy probe recently now is a good time. If your probe isn't of the two hole modified Irving type we can supply one. Customer feedback is that our CNC machined probes work extremely well
As ever, we're on email or the phone to advise on any difficulties you are having with instruments or on proper installation.
10th February 2009
B2000 owners can upgrade to B2500 hardware and software for A$900 ex tax and get the B2500 advantages of database handling by mini SD card and voice warnings including a dedicated voice landing gear warning circuit.
Contact us for details.
7th February 2009
UK clubs and pilots -
We're running a factory pre season special deal on B500 system for UK orders placed in February and March 2009. Contact us direct for a factory direct, great deal on a new B500 system completely set up to your requirements.
More than just a full function cross country variometer system the B500 incorporates a navigation/glide/wind computer, its own high performance GPS module and a controller/display module based on the same ergonomic principals as those in some jet fighters. Only ONE standard panel hole is required (either 57mm or 80mm). In most club gliders this is all the advanced instrumentation required and those who want to use a PDA can bring their own and utilise the GPS and Air Data stream from the B500.
If you are a top contest pilot the B500 is for you too. When using a PDA it is a good idea to have a backup *when* not if , the PDA fails. Or use the B2500 full function glide computer or any other device capable of utilising the B500 data stream.
A new PDA_PS module will supply power to the PDA and share data between a Flight Recorder, Flarm and the B500 and PDA and also drive the new B2500 flight computer (see details and manual under “products”on the site). This vastly simplifies installation of all these devices in the glider as all the switching and power distribution is taken care of.
The PDA_PS combiner board module also provides all Flarm traffic information on the PDA as well as pressure altitude which is necessary to avoid contest penalties for airspace infringements (just ask one of the competitors at the recent Australian Nationals at Benalla how important this is).
USA Soaring Pilots -
With the weakness of the Australian dollar now is the time to buy a B400, B500 or B2500 or any combination.
Check the prices and features and we think you'll find outstanding value here.
After more than a year of testing by some top contest pilots in Australia the B2500 flight computer is released with all design features operational.
Building on the B2000, we have simplified, added database support via the mini SD card (same as for the latest B500) which it much easier to maintain and change the databases and really changes the nature of the instrument as the addition of the card did for the B500.
There are also simple status indicator LEDs and voice outputs including a dedicated voice landing gear warning circuit. The voice is user alterable by recording the messages on your PC using common sound editing software.
The B2500 has low power requirements – only 60 to 70mA at 12 volts so unlike some flight computers will not place severe demands on glider electrical power systems. Your old batteries should be fine and last a long time. Only the space occupied by one 80mm panel hole is required.
We are anticipating delivery of our two turbines in February. Much work has been done on these and on selecting battery systems for starting and running the fuel pumps. Circuit boards for the extend/retract, pilot control and spark ignition units have been fabricated.
The engine data will be presented on the B500 GCD when the engines are running. This is made possible by the modular network architecture of the B500 system. The engine controllers will share data on the network.
The powered wheel concept is closer with selection of batteries and the electric motor.
Mr Peter Wlassics is our new dealer in Sweden and Japanese customers can buy from Mr Hitoshi Itoh of Aero Vision. See under “dealers”