Monthly Archives:March 2016

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Byssokol

FlightBox Assembly Guide and Video

Since we’ve started shipping FlightBox kits, I figured it was time to put up some instructions. The goal has always been to keep the process as simple and quick as possible. I’ve timed myself, and I can assemble a Dual Band FlightBox in about 4 minutes. A friend who agreed to act as a guinea pig took about 15 minutes, and he was using only the printed Assembly Guide. Based on his feedback and input from a number of other helpful reviewers, I tweaked the guide to make a few steps even clearer.

We also now have an Assembly Tutorial video that should help those who prefer to learn visually:

It’s permanent home is here: https://www.openflightsolutions.com/flightbox/tutorial/

Byssokol

ADS-B 101 Presentation

Last Friday evening I had the honor and privilege of giving a presentation on ADS-B, Stratux, and FlightBox at VAA Chapter 16 in Gardner Kansas. The talk covered all the basics of ADS-B In and Out, as well as an introduction to Stratux and FlightBox. There were something like 30 – 40 people at the meeting, and they seemed to like the presentation, so I’ve decided to share a PDF of it for anyone who’s interested. They devoted over two hours of their weekend, asked a lot of good questions that I hope to wrap up into an FAQ, and in general were great hosts and a wonderful audience. (I ended up joining the chapter – $20 well spent.)

ADS-B Presentation

ADS-B is confusing: two system (UAT / 1090) and two function (out / in). I hope this helps clear up some of the questions. Please let me know if you would like a live presentation – I really enjoy meeting people and geeking out on all-things aviation.

Byssokol

Talking ADS-B, Stratux and FlightBox at VAA

Tonight I’m going to be giving a talk on ADS-B, Stratux, and FlightBox at VAA (Vintage Aircraft Association) Chapter 16 in Gardner, Kansas. The talk is entitled “ADS-B For Everyone” and it includes a primer on ADS-B, a review of available options, an overview of the Stratux project, and a brief introduction to FlightBox. Gardner is within a few miles of the ADS-B ground tower at New Century airport (KIXD), so I hope to be able to do a live demo of weather and traffic.

I’ll update this post with a copy of the slides after the presentation.

Byssokol

FlightBox Status Update – March 8

Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s already March 8. An amazing amount has happened in the past six weeks. The Kickstarter launched, reached its minimum goal, and concluded. We launched a new web store (huge thanks to Shopify for making that relatively painless). We endured the agonizing two week wait for the money from Kickstarter. We ordered another $20,000+ in parts using personal credit cards. Last Thursday the Kickstarter funds finally arrived. (Yay!) Today we got confirmation that the last of the major components – the wifi adapters and Raspberry Pis – have shipped.

Last week the VK-172 USB GPS modules arrived – in full retail packaging. My wife and daughter helped me remove them from the packaging, then “shell” them – removing the plastic housing. I now have a box containing 500 GPSs, all tested to make sure that they boot. A random sampling of roughly 10% have been tested to make sure that they achieve a 3D GPS lock. So far – kudos to the nameless Chinese company who makes the VK-172 – they’ve all passed.

This past weekend was all about the fans. The 40mm x 10mm cooling fans arrived (as expected) without a connector. I spent several hours trimming, stripping, crimping and shrouding. (It really is far less sexy than it sounds.) At this point I have about 100 of the 1000 fans prepped for use in FlightBox. If there’s anything that intimidates me about this process it’s the thought of another 900 fans, waiting to be trimmed, stripped, crimped and shrouded. This is going to take a while. Fortunately, it’s the kind of work you can do in front of the TV in the evening.

The next few weeks look to include much of the same. But… I went ahead and booked an AirBNB and a rental car for Fun-N-Sun. It’s about 9 hours flight time from KC to Lakeland in the Tiger, and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve arranged to exhibit as a partner in the Avilution / Droid EFB booth. Sun-N-Fun is good pre for the madness of Oshkosh, so it will give me some idea of what to expect. If you’re going to be at the show, please stop by and say hello. I’ll be demoing FlightBox, talking Stratux, and (if we have any units in stock), selling kits. It should be a good time.

For everyone who’s ordered through the Kickstarter or on the web store prior to now – we expect to ship your FlightBox kit in March. Keep an eye on this blog and / or the Kickstarter updates page for the latest. Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm and their patience. We’re doing our best to get you an outstanding product as quickly as we can.

Best Regards,

Steve