First flight

So finaly after changing and connecting all tubes, there was time for the first test flight. Weather wasn’t the best, with blue thermals and quite turbulent and pulsating as expected this early in the season. Preflight testing on the ground looked promising but would it show correct data?

I set local QNH in XCsoar and took off behind our Dynamic WT9 climbing steadily with an indication of OpenvarioGHYup to 12mps – something that would make our micro towplane more like a turbine tug on steroids.

I also experienced some pretty bad interference/noise when using comms making the system go high wire.

I turned off my radio, using a handheld for the remainder of my flight and things started to look a hole lot more promising. Noise and interference disappeared and after a system reset the vario showed correct information compared to the mechanical winter vario. Due to marginal thermals I tended to get lower fiddling with the system so I hade to land after just 40 minutes.

My “partner” an co-owner flew two flights the next day, experiencing pretty much the same, without the interference/noise after we rearranged and shielded some wiring with chokes.

To sum it up:
1. GPS stable
2. Screen performing well in sunlight even with touch screen installed.
3. Flarm radar OK
4. ADS-B in OK – needed some tweaking filtering out traffic >1500m vertical separation.
5. Vario information OK – but an update are in the works improving stability and overall performance.
7. Altimeter OK
8. Remote Stick OK – making a touch screen redundant, improving sunlight readability.

For more information and details check the forum on Xcsoar.

Preparation for glider installation

After years of changing the setup, wiring was a total mess. Therefor we decided  it was2016-03-13 12.57.03 time for spring cleaning. Everything out, and start from scratch. I spent last weekend preparing and has slowly started to lay out new wires, fuses and switches neatly arranged through a connecting panel between the battery, main switch and the electronics.

Our final cockpit layout will be as follows:2016-03-13 17.24.33

  • OpenVario 7″
  • Flarm
  • TRX-1090- ADS-B and Transponder-receiver for FLARM®
  • BT Bluetooth from (backup for PDA/Phone running XCSoar)
  • AIR COM – The next generation aircraft radio
  • AIR COM – VT01 transponder
  • Single display for radio/transponder

Next up is all pressure tubes.

To be continued….

Update – Stick remote is working 🙂

Stick Remote Control progress

Finally received all components for our Stick Remote Control. Push buttons 2016-02-18 22.57.56and 4 way joystick from eBay and PCB from, same provider we used for the OV boards.

I haven’t had the chance to test it yet, but if everything works I’ll put the gerber files for PCB card here in case somebody needs it.

Next – load software to Arduino, config and testing.

For the stick itself, Haldor will be making that out of wood something like the one on the picture just different buttons.


Stick Remote Control for our OpenVario setup

We have decided to add a stick remote to our setup although we have backside_leonardoa touchscreen. In our previous setup with PNA/PDA, touchscreen has been our only option when interacting with the gliding software of choice. This has worked pretty good, but those having a stick remote strongly advice us to add such a feature.
Parts on its way from around the world...So, with to much time on our hands during the winter no-flying season – a new project is in order.

Final installation

Finally after a good flying season, winter again opens the possibility to continue working on our OpenVario project. Haldor posted a brief update on so in order to keep this simple I’ll just past his post right here:

First of all – I would like to thank the OV development team for making this an open project and also a big thanks for all the support the OV community have provided us with during our build 😀

2016-01-24 13.37.29Status for us after this weekend is shown in the pictures :mrgreen:
We have up to this date had a rats nest of wires and with the redesign of the instrument panel to accomodate the OV we cleared out all previous wiring – a fresh start!

The slim profile of our LS6 instrument panel dont leave much room to spare, the 7″ OV take the majority obvisouly…
The bolt pattern of the panel to fix it to the canopy hinge/frame leave only enough room for a single 57mm instrument on either side.

Our new configuration is:
ASI 57mm on the left left, OV center, compensated mechanical vario 57mm to the right.
Altimeter 57mm below OV followed by a 57mm Air.Comm / Transponder unit (not complete yet)

Our Openvario is operational, read GPS and ADS-B provided by FLARM & Garrecht 1090. Maps installed.


Looking good!





The only unknown now is what kind of vario/alt/speed data it will provide when airborne!




2016-01-23 20.21.38-22016-01-23 20.22.30-2

Screenshots from OV
showing a  Norwegian B737 passing overhead, taking off from a local airport (ENTO) 🙂 displaying ads-b signal from the TRX1090.





Haldor and Jarle

Coming to an end – successfully I hope

While Jarle works on the electronics I have been adding a few more hrs on the housing. Front frame was primed then spray painted matt black. Very pleased with the outcome. The remaining holes on rear face plates are completed since this photo was taken.
This Easter we hope to mate the casing with the electronics and hopefully have a completed and functional device
At the moment the sensorboard is being completed and prepared for testing.

Front frame 3

GILF – Gliders I Like to Fly


I guess some of you got a little disappointing now….you really don`t care that much about gliders do you? Well some of us do, and this blog is about gliders, old and new ones we probably never will – but would love to fly. So go ahead and post your wet dreams here for all of us other geeks to enjoy 🙂 Oh and if  you are unfamiliar with the acronym GILF, have look her:

Ok – so maybe gliding and sailplanes isn´t the most kinky on the net, but if you are a passionate glider pilot, you probably find most gliders as eye candy 😉 There is a lot of 8128_154792272216_643877216_3160133_6903252_nsites out there about gliding and soaring, but the GILF-ide suddenly came up after a good day of flying from our glider port at Notodden, Norway. So here´s what you do. Post or send me your wildest and most kinky glider dreams, use your imagination and give us a wild story of you and your favorite glider.

My favorite? Well I´m a sucker for the “mature” kind and happily married to a LS6a. She knows exactly how to treat an old fart like myself. Years of experience and numerous studs on here conscience, she always get me home in one piece. But that said, I do have a secret fling with a sexy and wild Pilatus B4. She really rocks my world!

OpenVario project


A while back I stumbled on an article on Facebook I believe about an open project for a DIY glider computer and variometer. I´m a sucker for gadgets in our glider Frontand has so far installed Flarm, transponder and ADS-B in and out. Everything presented in XC-Soar on a Samsung TAB 7, via a Bluetooth adapter. My co-owner of our LS6 – Haldor, uses another setup with Seeyou on an Ipaq without Flarm and ADS-B presented. The best solution would be to have a fixed installation with all flight data presented in one integrated device. As probably all of you know these solutions are extremely expensive, reaching thousands for dollars.

cropped-XB6V9841.jpgOpenVario on the other hand looks like a perfect device, for a very affordable price, and what fun it will be to make it our self. Check the link below for more info about the project and stop by here from time to time for an update on our build.

So far we are gathering information, studying how-to, and anxiously waiting for all the bits and pieces to arrive. There is nothing as satisfying as making your own gadgets and save a few bucks in the process 🙂ov_from_behind

We will try to update this page as the project evolves with short descriptions and pictures. Haven’t set a date for completion, but I suspect we will aim for an installation in our LS6 for the 2015/16 season. In other words next winter, but we’ll see.

Stay tuned.cockpit

I´m heartbroken

It is still winter and I seriously need to get airborne! My LS6 is sitting snowed in at our field right now, but I sure I can feel the sun against my skin…..scanning for some cumulus – nope – not yet. So what do we do to keep our nerves at hold during the dark and cold months? We spend hours and hours on youtube scanning for new and inspiring clips. Not to mention the fantastic soaring simulator Condor! I simply do not think I could survive the winter months without it! Thanks to all of my fellow pilots who organize and participate in the fantastic condor community.

If you happened to live in the southern hem and have some juicy stories to share with us – feel free to post.