January 17, 2015

Vario-F, an alternative to SBS01-A?

I'm currently underway putting together my FPV250 Ghost edition and I thought I should give it something extra aside from all those LEDs. I noticed a while back that there was a variometer alternative to the rather expensive Futaba one. It's the Vario-F from EZC RC. It's rather cheap and there isn't that much information about it on the internet. Hence the first question, does it even work?

I've tested it now. Not flown it, but I got a first impression. The thing is that they probably reverse engineered the Futaba device to let the Vario-F imitate the SBS01-A in the SBUS2 bus. But, they did not implement auto configuration. This means that you cannot hook up the device to your transmitter and register/configure it as you would with a Futaba device. No configuration means no changing bus slots. The device is set up just like the SBS01-A in the sense that it defaults to slot 3 and occupies slot 3-5.

Once you know and accept the fact that it sits on slot 3 you can simply plug it into your receiver and configure slot 3 as a SBS01-A sensor. If you have any other sensors occupying slot 3-5 then you'll have to reconfigure them. I had to do that since I had the E-feulgauge on slot 1-3 and the RSSI "Temperature" reading from the E-feulgauge on slot 4.

But it worked out well after all and after running up and down the stairs it seems to work. I don't know much about precision and speed at this point since I haven't put it to real use yet.

Vario-F from EZC RC
Update: Please read my follow-up on this device.

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