Flymaster B1 VARIO (PAST MODEL)
Flymaster B1 VARIO
Alti-Vario | Altimeter-Variometer
Paragliding | Paramotoring | Hang Gliding
Flight Instrument by Flymaster Avionics
The Flymaster B1 is the most recent flight instrument from Flymaster Avionics. It is a Variometer targeted at soaring flight pilots who do not require integrated navigation features.
The B1 is based on Flymaster F1’s proven technology, providing the pilot with an extremely sensitive and accurate variometer, which will detect even the weakest of thermals, giving you the edge above the rest of the gaggle.
Amongst many features the B1 has a real time altitude plotter, 3 altimeters. It can store over 1600 flight log records, with altitude logs on a second by second basis up to 200 hours (barograph). It also boasts of a high resolution display with excellent viewing contrast and an optional backlight.
Another unique feature is an RF interface built into the B1, giving it the capability of connecting several wireless probes simultaneously (optional probes available soon).
To top it all, B1 has a built-in rechargeable modern high capacity lithium ion polymer battery, which powers it for up to 20 hours. This can be recharged using the power adapter or from a USB port.
Flymaster B1 VARIO > Features
- High sensitivity variometer with exclusive UltraSense pressure sensor
- Configurable variometer acoustics
- High resolution and high contrast display (320x240 pixels)
- Configurable screen data
- 3 digital altimeters
- Graphic altimeter graph
- Analog and digital vario including avaraging function
- Real time, flight time and temperature indicators
- Real time altitude plot showing altitude over last 2 minutes
- High capacity lithium-ion battery, chargeable from a standard USB port
- Wireless interface for multiple probe connection (ex. wind-speed and temperature)
- USB PC connection for flight data download and easy firmware upgrade
Flymaster B1 VARIO > Package
- Flymaster B1 Alti-Vario
- Mains Power Adapter (2-pin type)
- USB to Mini-USB Cable
Flymaster B1 VARIO > Downloads
For downloads for the Flymaster B1 VARIO, including firmware, USB Drivers, and Flymaster B1 VARIO User Manual, go to the Flymaster B1 VARIO page of the Flymaster website and look under Downloads.
Flymaster Avionics > Warranty
Flymaster products are covered by a 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects. This warranty does not cover incorrect usage such as water damage, broken screens.
Flymaster Avionics > Support
To get support for Flymaster instruments, including technical queries, repairs and warranty claims, go to the support section of the Flymaster Avionics website.
|Model Status||Past model|
Flymaster B1 VARIO (PAST MODEL) Reviews
The Flymaster B1 is well packaged compared to other Alti-Varios. It comes in a nice box, which makes a refreshing change for an Alti-Vario (some manufacturers still deliver their Alti-Varios in padded bags, which do not offer adequate protection for the instrument).
Opening the packaging reveals a zipped hard-case (similar to some sunglass cases), a wall charger, and a USB cable. The instrument is found inside the zipped hard-case - an excellent idea and an ideal way to store and protect the instrument when not in use.
The Flymaster B1 is not supplied with a printed manual, but this can be downloaded in PDF file format via the web-link provided on the Flymaster B1 Alti-Vario product page on our online shop. As with all Alti-Varios, it is well worth taking the time to read through the entire manual and getting to know the instrument before flying. Having read through the whole 19 page manual (English version) it is fairly simple and straight forward, despite containing many (fairly minor) spelling mistakes and typos.
As well as reading the manual and familiarising yourself with the instrument in general, it is also a good idea to update the instrument with the latest firmware (and keep it updated in future). To do this you will need to connect to a PC with an internet connection using the supplied USB cable. You will need to download the required USB Driver before you can connect USB cable. The procedures for this are explained in the documents: "How to install B1 USB driver on Windows XP" and "How to update B1 firmware". All of this took me about half an hour to do.
The build quality of the B1 seems good, and the screen seems fairly clear with good contrast (although I suspect that some might find the smaller digits hard to read).
First use of the B1 shows that the buttons (of which there are only 4) are fairly easy to press, even with gloves on, although I personally prefer buttons which give a more 'positive' click when used. Being a fairly simple Alti-Vario, I found the menu very easy to navigate and use (when cross-referenced with the manual).
One small niggle I have with the B1 is that to switch the instrument off you have to 1) Go into the Menu 2) Scroll to Shutdown and then 3) Press Enter. Whilst not a major problem, I would personally find having to do this every time a bit irritating (especially when being greeted/accosted on landing by dozens of screaming kids in Africa / Asia / Latin America).
Flymaster say: "The B1 is based on Flymaster F1’s proven technology, providing the pilot with an extremely sensitive and accurate Variometer, which will detect even the weakest of thermals, giving you the edge above the rest of the gaggle." We have yet to test-fly the B1 to see for ourselves how it's Vario performs, and will report back once we have (hopefully soon).
A very attractive feature of the B1 is that it comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery as standard, which Flymaster says "lasts for up to 20 hours" and can be recharged using the mains power adapter (quick charge, 3 hours) or from a USB port (slow charge, 15 hours).
For more information about the Flymaster B1, see the User Manual.