Make apps which work with the BlueFly do more

The BlueFlyVario Android app has been released as free software under the GPL. You can find it on GitHub. When I started this journey friends and I envisaged pilots from around the world working together to make awesome instruments for pilots.

If you want to make your own app to integrate with the BlueFlyVario then I encourage it. The code on GitHub together with the history of blog posts is the best documentation right now. At some point I might write an API. Let me know if you are integrating the BlueFlyVario into your app.

You may also want to contribute to xcsoar or other open flight software development project. If you do please let me know and I will do what I can to help.

Build the hardware yourself

I encourage you to modify and assemble a BlueFlyVario yourself if you have the patience. It has taken me a few years to develop the skills, techniques and get the required equipment for home assembly of these kinds of devices. Making this kind of vario is not like a kit that you might have got from a hobby shop. If you really want to do this and don’t know where to start then make sure you have read every blog post first.

You can always just buy one from the BlueFly shop. I can pretty much guarantee it will be cheaper than doing it yourself.

Work out your design

The design of the BlueFlyVario is open for non-commercial personal use. I will release the Eagle design files, the microcontroller c source, and the required settings for the RN42 to individuals upon request under a non-commercial share alike license. You can find the latest schematics by looking at blog posts.

Find the components

You will need to source a wide range of  surface mount components. Many are hard to get in small quantities at a good price. See some of the earlier blog posts and the design below for the components needed.

Equipment and Supplies

You will need to be able to work with fine pitch SMD components. There are many ways to assemble surface mount components. Look at some of the tutorials on the Sparkfun website for a good idea of what you will need.

A programmer for the PIC is essential. The design is optimised for ISCP using a PICKIT 2 or PICKIT 3.

You will need to program and configure the bluetooth module or usb microprocessor to set the baud rate and adjust some other settings. I do this via a custom desktop app as part of the assembly and testing process, but a desktop terminal emulation program that can access a virtual com port should be able to work.