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First bits of kit to buy?


cinereus
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Not sure how many might agree with me....
The one thing I keep tabs on more than any other is my ground speed followed by altitude and bearing so for me, any GPS, even a very simple cheap item would satisfy my particular taste.
(Most of my flying is powered so the vario rarely sees sunlight)

Any sort of digital airspace map is very very nice if you are into longer xc flights but that can keep as long as you know your local airspace.

A pair of electric knickers might take number one spot once winter kicks in :) 
 

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Yep, I think many home in on the essentials and maps only when you need them.  Some go OTT with all kinds of gadgets.

The one new gadget I am probably getting is the Skyecho fixed code transponder, which I learned about on here....as I fly between too many bits of controlled airspace and RAF jets.

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From the first two posts it seems a decent GPS for ground speed/altitude/bearing does not come in the same device as a vario (nor as a airspace mapping device). Is this a correct understanding?

And these GPS devices sound general purpose not flight-specific?

What else is there? GPS/vario/mapping. Camera and mounts. What should I be thinking about comms? I'm a little overwhelmed at all the ways to spend lots of money.

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10 minutes ago, cinereus said:

From the first two posts it seems a decent GPS for ground speed/altitude/bearing does not come in the same device as a vario (nor as a airspace mapping device). Is this a correct understanding?

There are but you might end up paying a premium for one
 

16 minutes ago, cinereus said:

And these GPS devices sound general purpose not flight-specific?

 I have a Garmin 60csx... it displays glide ratio and I put an airspace map into it so although not "flight-specific" it has flight functions.

 

19 minutes ago, cinereus said:

What else is there? GPS/vario/mapping. Camera and mounts. What should I be thinking about comms? I'm a little overwhelmed at all the ways to spend lots of money.

I have lost touch with all the latest tech... if you have plenty of money to throw at the problem, then it ought to be reasonably easy to cover your bases

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Thanks. Unfortunately my issue is I don't have much money hence wanting to only buy one bit of gear at a time and dual use as much as possible.

It seems GPS and vario have won the vote. Second hand is most realistic so what sort of things should I be looking for for each? 

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8 hours ago, cinereus said:

From the first two posts it seems a decent GPS for ground speed/altitude/bearing does not come in the same device as a vario (nor as a airspace mapping device). Is this a correct understanding?

And these GPS devices sound general purpose not flight-specific?

What else is there? GPS/vario/mapping. Camera and mounts. What should I be thinking about comms? I'm a little overwhelmed at all the ways to spend lots of money.

There is one device that covers just about everything; Naviter's Oudie. I've the 5XC and it has a colour glove usable screen, readable in sunlight, long battery life, GPS, gyro varios, speed, altitude, bearing, wind assistant (speed and bearing), thermal assistant (for those times you want to gain free lift), mapping, airspace, electronic conspicuity (FLARM FANET+). The only thing it lacks is the competition specific software (speed to fly, etc) though for a fee I could enable those. It's great and means I only need one instrument, though I tend to have a radio, phone and camera with me too. Plus drinks, mirror (for checking fuel level) and a few other bits and pieces. You end up carrying a lot. 
 

The downside to this all-in-one box of technology is it costs a bit more (though possibly less than buying lots of different units). However I note you say you're on a tight budget, so possibly something for later.

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cinereus I recommend you download EasyVFR onto a phone that has GPS capability, the basic version is free.

It shows airspace with all the restricted areas, plus ground speed, bearing and gps altitude relative to the QNH. I have mine running on an old phone without a SIM card, perhaps you have an old phone that is suitable?

I also fly with an altimeter that shows true height (above ground)/altitude with the current QNH/climb or descent rate. It also records flight time that I enter in my log.

This is a suitable modern compact altimeter https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Micro-Alti-Alti-meter-Vario-G-Meter-Paramotor-PPG-Paragliding-Trike-Gliding/233055951627?hash=item3643379b0b:g:W-AAAOSwHaBWks63

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For minimalist approach I have a Garmin Vivioactive watch that has GPS and Vario in it. You can pick them up around 150 notes and Stufly of Flight app will give you the basics.

If I´m only flying locally it gives me ground speed, altititude and VSI plus very useful is the pointer back to start point and ETE to start point, its easy to get lost it all looks different up there.

The  watch is also very small so not hard to carry and can be used to keep a log of your flight.

For longer flights I run FlySkyHy as I´m i-bone but if your android PPGPS also looks good, I´m sure you already have a smart phone.

Being a toy addict I also have a Garmin X64 when I travel outside of my normal airspace but really teh FlySkyHy and watch are my most used tools.

Dave

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I like the idea of custom firmware on an ereader tablet. Also really liking the look of the XC Tracer Mini GPS/Vario. I assume this easily syncs with a Kobo or Android phone and also can export GPS files with elevation for visualisation.

As an alternative to an Oudie, would a XCTracer Mini + Kobo or Android be a good solution covering all the functionality?

What are the current top players in terms of Android apps? Easy VFR has already been mentioned for navigation but there also seem to be lots of XC apps? XCTrack? XCSoar? Anything else?

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