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Newbie needing a recommendation for vario / computer?

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I'm really close to getting my license in New Zealand and I need some recommendations on instruments to get. I'm very overwhelmed by the number of instruments out there and was hoping someone could point me to some good bang-for-the-buck ones.

- I have a Gin Pegasus 26 wing (beginner)

- I have a Kortel Kuik II harness

- XC is something that would be cool to do in the future

- I have no interest in competitions

- I will be doing paramotoring at some point (any paramotor-specific features I need to look for in instruments?)

- Speedflying and speedriding (ski + paraglide) are definitely a possibility

- I will be bringing my Samsung S5 smartphone + external battery + spare batteries on all flights... would this be able to replace the need for a vario entirely?

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We tend not to be to worried about a Variometer when flying Paramotors to be honest.

But if your thinking about something with airspace restrictions and such. There is an app for non iPhone people called SkyDemon that I would suggest you download. :-)

Are you on the North or the South island? I have flying friends on the South Island (Wanaka and surrounding areas)


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Ah, interesting. Any kinda of electronics then that are more PPG specific that I should start looking it?

I'm on the North Island, but I don't think I'll be doing PPG for a while, at least until I get more experienced with PG by itself first. I'm still looking for that lightweight travel kit. I'm only in NZ on a tourist visa from the US. Looking at possibly Blackhawk motors back in the US, with the Kestral frame and the 175cc motor since I see myself also doing some higher altitude flying (some states in the US *start* at 5,000ft AMSL for ground level) and I don't think an 80cc Miniplane will do the job and a Backbone Stronger 125 with ROS 125 engine has reliability problems? I'm 75kg.

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Yeah, I'm doing unpowered flight first and then powered. I'm at the stage where I need to think about purchasing equipment, and I want to be a bit more forward-thinking in my purchases if I intend to also pursue PPG. I didn't want to purchase a vario for PG and then get into PPG and realize that I need to get *another* computer with PPG-related features.

But it sounds like there's no risk? I should just get a PG computer because there aren't any PPG-specific features I should be worried about?

Do most people just fly around with their smartphones acting as the computer? A few of them have pretty sensitive barometers built into them that seem to work just as well as the ones in actual varios.

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