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EW Avionics
EW has been making electronic barographs and flight recorders in the U.K. since the early 1990s. 

microRecorder
The microRecorder promises to be a very popular product due to its low cost, small size, and the portability made possible by its built-in battery.  It is perfect for use in a soaring club or for recorder flights for submission to the OLC (Online Contest), or for use in a soaring contest.

EW microRecorder News August, 2009
The EW microRecorder has been an extremely popular GPS flight recorder. Its small size, built-in battery, extremely simple operation and low price have guaranteed its success. However, as with all new high-tech soaring instruments, there have been a few quality issues and bugs which are being worked out over time. Below is a list of recent improvements to the product.

  • The latest code has removed a minor bug in the writing of declarations
  • The GPS engine is now much more sensitive, will fix in a matter of seconds and maintain a fix even under adverse conditions.
  • Extra protection has been added to the board to reduce possible interfence from external sources.
  • Batteries are of a higher capacity, giving even longer life. (Still, for safety, we use NiMh batteries, rather than Lituim)
  • Circuit has been modified to function normally up to much higher temperatures.

New - Engine Noise Level recording now included free of charge in all units.  If you bought an EW microRecorder from me that does not have the ENL enabled, just send me an e-mail with the serial number and I'll send you a free enable code that you can enter in to the EW-USER.TXT file.

microRecorder with built-in SD Memory Card Reader - Now Standard
The microRecorder can read pilot, glider, setup and task data from the SD card at power-up and can also write one or all flight logs to the SD card at power-down.  That makes it possible to save the "EWUSER.TXT" configuration file onto an SD card at home and use it in a club owned or rental microRecorder at the airport.  The EWUSER.TXT file includes setup data such as recording interval and task declaration data such as pilot name, glider ID, and task waypoints.

I imagine that this option will be popular in 2 scenarios. 

  • In a club environment it will be possible for club members to bring their personal SD card to the airport for use with the club's microRecorder. They can come to the airport with their pilot, glider and task data already on the SD card and they can go home with their day's flight log on their SD card - all without the use of a PC. 
  • Contest pilots will like the ability to download their most recent flight log to the SD card without the need for a PC.  They can then hand the contest scorer the SD card rather than their precious flight recorder. 

Suction Cup Mounts for use with the microRecorder

  • Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna

    This mount can be used to mount the GPS antenna to the glider canopy.  The mount and suction cups may or may not be strong enough to hold the logger and antenna.
    Note: Mounting the microRecorder in direct sunlight in a closed cockpit on a hot day may cause the unit to overheat and shut-down.
  • RAM-B-SCMK-RAP-B-201-RAM-B-202

    This suction cup assembly could be used to mount the microRecorder and GPS antenna to the glider canopy.  It is much more robust and reliable than the option shown above, but it is much larger.  Velcro would be used to mount the RAM-B-202 base to the bottom of the microRecorder and to mount the antenna to the top of the microRecorder.
    Note: Mounting the microRecorder in direct sunlight in a closed cockpit on a hot day may cause the unit to overheat and shut-down.

Tips
Logging Interval When Sending Data to a PDA
When using an EW microRecorder with a PDA, EW recommends in the manual that the logging interval be set to 1 second.  That way it will send both GPS altitude and pressure altitude to the PDA every second.  When it is set to more than 1 second, SeeYou Mobile alternates between using the GPS altitude from the $GPGGA data sentence every second and the pressure altitude from the $PGRMZ sentence at every logging interval.  They are bound to be different which will cause SeeYou to think the glider is jumping up or down and then back at every logging interval.

Battery Level Indication
I have received quite a few complaints from customers stating that the battery does not last very long in flight.  I am convinced that this is mainly due to the fact that the EW incorrectly reports that the battery is full immediately after you take it off the charger - even if it is not nearly fully charged.  So please don't believe the 4 red blinks that indicate that the battery is full - at least not just after having the unit on the charger.  The correct way to use the red light to ascertain the battery voltage is to turn the unit on for about 15 minutes, then press the ON button and watch the blinking lights.  The other misconception is the amount of time required for a full charge.  To charge the unit fully using a USB cable connected to a PC is about 12 to 24 hours.  The issue is that people charge the unit for 2 hours and then immediately press the power button to check the battery voltage.  They then think the battery is full and go fly.  The unit then quits working after only an hour or 2.  So..... Be sure to charge the unit for 12 to 24 hours.  Then turn the unit on for about 15 minutes before checking the battery voltage.

Resetting the Unit
From time to time I get calls from customers with units that have locked-up and won't turn off.  That is easy to fix.  Simply obtain an Ethernet cable (RJ45) and strip back and twist together the brown and brown/white wires.  Then put the cable into the unit for 1 second.  The unit will turn off.  Then turn it on using the on button and it should work fine.

Power-Up Without SD Installed
If the unit doesn't turn on because an SD card is not installed, or it does not recognize the SD card, keep pressing the power button and it will power-up in about 5 to 10 seconds - ignoring the SD card.

Declaration Format
The EW microRecorder manual is not very clear on the format for coordinates in task declarations.  Below is an example declaration that was created by SeeYou Mobile:

Description: Declaration
Take Off LatLong: 0000000N00000000E TAKE OFF
Start LatLon: 4428531N09300979W Stanton MN
TP LatLon: 4419481N09318650W Faribault
TP LatLon: 4405767N09309170W 100kmTP-SYN-FBL
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
TP LatLon: 0000000N00000000E TURN POINT
Finish LatLon: 4428531N09300979W Stanton MN
Land LatLon: 0000000N00000000E LAND

The coordinates are in DDMMmmm format for latitude and DDDMMmmm format for longitude. Where DD or DDD = Degrees, MM=Minutes, mmm = decimal minutes. For example, the Start LatLon: is 44 degrees, 28.531 minutes N, 093 degrees, 00.979 minutes W.

Downloads:
Frequently Asked Questions
Manual
IGC Approval Document
Flight Log Validation Software for EW microRecorder also available here. To be used to verify that a flight log from an EW microRecorder is secure.


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Price
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Lead-time
EW-microRecorder microRecorder IGC Approved Flight Recorder
I no longer stock these units.  After the release of the LXNAV Nano - sales of these declined rapidly.  It is a good product.  I can still get them if you want one.

The microRecorder is a great IGC Approved flight recorder for use in a soaring club or for use as a portable device to be carried between multiple sailplanes, or as a simple backup system for contest pilots.  It is perfect for recording flights for submission to the OLC or any soaring contest.  It is extremely small and includes a built-in battery.  The antenna is external (not shown).  It can provide 5V power for a PDA (when the microRecorder is powered with 12V external power).  A USB connection is used for flight log downloads and task declaration editing.  The unit can be charged using the USB port or the included charger.

New - Engine Noise Level recording now included free of charge in all units.  If you bought an EW microRecorder from me that does not have the ENL enabled, just send me an e-mail with the serial number and I'll send you a free enable code that you can enter in to the EW-USER.TXT file.

SD Memory Card Reader Now Standard
The EW microRecorder was formerly available with or without the built-in SD memory card reader.  The non-SD version is no longer available.  The good news is that the SD version now sells for the price that the non-SD version sold for previously.

Task Declarations Now Possible Over Serial Port
It is possible for soaring software to update the EW-USER.TXT file in the microRecorder that contains the task declaration data.  That means that soaring flight software such as SeeYou Mobile, pocket*StrePla, WinPilot, etc. could download the EW-USER.TXT file through the serial port, enter task declaration data into the file and transfer it back into the microRecorder.  SeeYou released this functionality in April of 2007.  Both SeeYou Mobile and ConnectMe can send task declarations to the EW microRecorder. 

Example Systems
Complete example systems with cables for connecting to a PDA are shown on the Flight Recorder Comparison page.  See also the Goddard EWmicroRec-Socket-DB9f-m-s and EWmicroRec-DB9f-x cables.

Charging
The microRecorder can be charged using the supplied USB power/data cable when the cable is plugged into a PC that is turned-on.  However, that may not be convenient when at a contest or remote location, so I highly recommend buying the optional Wall Charger.  You can select it as an option when placing your order.  The Wall Charger is not a "smart charger" - it does not reduce the current when the battery is full.  However, when connected to a 12 volt supply the microRecorder is 'intelligent' - the processor will switch off the charging when the battery is fully charged. Also, if it has a GPS fix, it will assume that it is being used as a recorder, and switch off charging at a lower voltage so that there is a reduced drain on the glider battery.

Included:

  • microRecorder GPS Flight Recorder
  • External GPS Antenna and 5 foot (153 cm) long cable
  • USB power/data cable
  • RJ Connector with bare leads for external power and other connections, Length: 6 inches
  • Quick-start manual
  • Calibration sheet

Features

  • Pressure sensor to comply with FAI ratification
  • USB file transfer, no software required
  • Stores up to 300 hours of flight data
  • Rechargeable battery life, up to 200 hours
  • Can be powered from external supply
  • NMEA output for moving maps etc.
  • Recharges over USB or mains adaptor
  • External antenna for maximum reception

Specifications
Dimensions: 4.53 x 3.35 x 0.98 in (115 x 85 x 25mm)
Weight: 9.9 oz  (280 g)
Power Input: 9 to 15 VDC, 100 mA (more when powering a PDA)
PDA Power Output: 5 V, 2A (2A output is for a limited time only due to thermal cutoff depending on ambient conditions)
GPS: 12 Channel
Max. Altitude: 59,058 feet (18,000 m)
Max. Velocity: 1,152 mph (515 m/s)
Battery Type: NiMH, with level indicator
Battery Life (Approximate)  The results below are from tests with a new unit at Cumulus Soaring, Inc. in June of 2009.

  • 10+ hours with a 1 second logging interval
  • 19+ hours with a 5 second logging interval
  • 19+ hours with a 10 second logging interval

Flight Log Memory 320 hours (10 second recording interval), 128 hours (4 second recording interval), 32 hours (1 second recording interval)
USB 2.0 Data Connection: Compatible with Windows XP, 2000 Mac and Linux
Charging: Chargeable over USB, or with external supply of 9-15VDC with a capacity of 400mA

 
The photo below shows the optional suction cup mount for the GPS antenna

The photo below shows a complete system including
EW microRecorder
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
EWmicroRec-Socket-DB9f-0.3-0.3
Nimbus iPAQ Cradle
RAM-B-SCMK-RAP-B-201-RAM-B-238
iPAQ hx2790

The photo below shows a complete system (less 12V battery and PDA Mount) including
EW microRecorder
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
EWmicroRec-DB9f-0.3
I38C-1
iPAQ hx2790

$695

 

4
weeks
EW-Antenna GPS Antenna for EW microRecorder
Cable Length: 5 ft (1.52 m)
Cable Type: RG174
Connector Type: SMA
$45

 

In Stock
EW-microRecorder-Battery Battery for EW microRecorder
The EW microRecorder is delivered with a built-in rechargeable battery.  After a few years the battery will need replacing.  This battery is identical to the battery that is built into the EW microRecorder.  Also, if you leave the microRecorder outside over the winter in cold climates, the battery may need replacing in the spring.

Note: Soldering is required to change the battery.  Also, a small Torx (T10?) screwdriver is required to remove the back face of the unit.  If you are not good at soldering or don't have a Torx T10 screwdriver, send the EW microRecorder to me and I will install the new battery for you.  I charge an additional $20 for the labor.

Important: If you are changing the battery yourself, care must be taken to avoid causing the microRecorder to lose its electronic security seal.  It is important that you follow the directions below carefully.  If the electronic security seal is lost, the unit will need to have the seal reset by an EW dealer.  I can do that here.

Specifications
Type: Nickel Hydride
Voltages: 3.6 V and 2.4 V

Directions for Changing the Battery

  • Put a small washer around the antenna connector and attach the antenna to the microRecorder.  The antenna and washer will hold the internal components firmly against the front end of the microRecorder - keeping the security switch from activating when the back end of the microRecorder is opened in subsequent steps.
  • Use the tip of a knife to pop the screw covers off the back of the unit.
  • Use a Torx T10 (I think it is a T10) screwdriver to remove the screws which hold the back on the unit.
  • Note how the battery is stored in the unit along with the location of any spacers or foam pads.
  • Remove the existing battery and solder the new battery in its place.
  • Close the unit.

$46

 

In Stock

Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Paul E. Remde

8661 Connelly Place
Savage, Minnesota 55378
USA


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