Mark Butcher

XC Tracer - 72MHz K20 based Time-lag-free Variometer for Paragliders

Discussion created by Mark Butcher on Oct 7, 2015

Hi All


The XC Tracer [] is the result of a crowd funded project [] to develop a time-lag-free variometer for use by paragliders who use it as a primary flight instrument. Flight data such as location, climb/sink rate, altitude etc. is sent over Blue Tooth to a tablet or a phone. Additional to that the flight is also recorded as an IGC or a KML file, and the flight can be displayed later on smart phone, PC or tablet.

Based on a 72MHz Kinetis K20 and using open source code with Arduino compatibility it even allow owners to adapt or futher develop its functionality if required.


Developed and manufactured in Switzerland it is already being take up as preferred flight instrument by many paragliders over the Alps, as well as other areas in the world.


Since Arduino doesn't allow connecting the device to a PC via USB in order to retrieve logged flight data (the SD card would need to be removed and inserted into a reader) nor updating the firmware via such a link, the product and project have adopted the uTasker Serial Loader as a simple method of upgrading and extending the product's capabilities. The uTasker serial loader is configured as SD card loader with USB-MSD functionality for the K20 and allows the logged data to appear on the external drive that automatically appears when the XC Tracer is connected via USB to a PC. New product firmware can now also be simply updated by owners by simply dropping it onto the disk and restarting the device.


The XC Tracer developers needed to do no more that change the start address of the product's original application and let the additional features be plugged in by the uTasker Serial Loader's proven capabilities in many Kinetis driven devices.


Hope this is of interest to all you paragliders out there!!









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