Friday, August 12, 2011

iVol2G16 programming

After my first review part about the trasmitter itself,  let's have a look at the programming, thanks to the Hangar software which can be easily downloaded from the following URL.

To be honest, I was a little bit lost when I tried to do my first programming. My problem was coming from the fact that I had always my usual trasmitter programming scheme in mind and that I was trying to reproduce it with the iVol. As soon as you have understood the concept behind the iVol, then the programming is becomming crystal clear, and you touch the great potential of the programming.

The iVol programming is done exclusively on the Hangar software. The software is available in German or English, provide the usual menu to manage project file. A model project is equivalent to a RC model memory.

As startup, iVol Hangar check for new firmware to be load on the transmitter, and new software version. If one of them of both are available, Hangar proposes the upload/installation. This has no impact on the model project.

When a model project is ready for testing on the transmitter, Hangar menu proposes to upload the project on the trasnmitter. It takes few seconds, then you hear a beep on the transmitter.

I found the Hangar software intuitive and easy to use. when editing a project, you can easily copy any item to replicate it with its parameters. This speed up the programming. You have also the notion of template in order to not start from scratch. This is clearly the kind of things you cannot do with a "normal" transmitter. The exchange and archive of model project is obviously straight forward as it is consider as an XML file.



I will not go through each action/function of the software but will rather explain the possibilities of the programming in order to give you an idea about the power of this transmitter.

iVol programming is articulated around 4 mains items:
  • iVol settings
  • Mixers
  • Model component
  • signal settings


iVol settings

This menu configure the left and right controller, each controller inclunding the stick, the potentiometer and the switches of the same side. For the sticks, the configuration consists in defining which command it is, the limit values, the curve of the stick, up to 17 points, and the menu allows to define phases. Here again, the output of the controller can be changed per flight phase.The same flexibility is available for potentiometers, and for the switches, except that for switches to define if it is a 2 or 3 positions switch, then you specify switch positions, states and values instead of manipulating curves.

The sub menu define flyght phases and how they are activated, by a swich but also by a stick or a potentiometer. A priority is attached to the phase to manage potential conflict if 2 phases are active at the same time.

Signal settings

The Signal settings menu allows to select the Jeti reveiver type, them to assign a model component to a channel thanks to a dropdown list depending of the model component that have been created/configured, with the possibility to activate/deactivate the channel, and reverse the travel direction.

Model components

A Model component can be seen as a servos menu. There is a maximum of one model component per channel. but 2 differents channel can use the same model component if needed. The type of component can be an actuator (servos) or a motor.
The menu is very powerfull and allows you do define the max travel values on each side, then define the behavior of the component (the servos), which means the neutral position, the exponential, and a curve using up to 17points and attached one mixer ouput. Theses settings are for the default behaviour, but then, as you can add any flight phases, it also means that for each phase selected for this component, you can totally rethink and reshape the servos behavior.
My recommendation is to create one model component per servos in oder to have a total freedom in term of fine tuning.

Mixers

Usually, mixers, when they are not preprogrammed, are proposing to mix a command with another (i.e rudder in ailerons, elevator to flaps, etc ...). With the iVol the approach is totally different. when you speak about iVol mixer, you stand at the servo level, and you look at the mixing of the inputs coming from the controllers (sticks, trims, potentiometer, switches).
By default, you always mix a stick with its corresponding trim, so both have an effect on the model component (servos). The mixer menu allows you to select any of the controllers and define for each input a curve which can be a 3, 5, 9, 17 points curve.
After you have understood the concept of mixer, you can apply it easily, redefine the usual mixers, improve them, create new ones, define crazy mixers as it is possible. for exemple, on a large glider with 3 to 4 servos per half wing, it will be easy to obtain the different functions (butterfly, quadroflap, snapflap, airbrakes).


Conclusion

The iVol is for sure a step forward in term of programming, bringing more flexibility and control on the servos, mixing and controllers. The counterpart is that it needs a minimum rampup. The transmitter case is very well thought, with good quality. The Jeti 2.4 Duplex is reliable and give access to a wide range of receivers. The only downside I found is that the programming can be done only from a PC, but a netbook costs almost nothing today, and most of the people owns a laptop.

Baltic Seagull Company website





1 comment:

  1. The design is rather ugly, need for a PC to program it, is only handy as an option. Removing all that TX space and put a 700mA battery is useless. The tiny screen is not very practical, and many pilots like far more switch locations. I prefer any of the JeTi designs DC or DS. I would not even think about buying it.
    Regards,
    Pat

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