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About Steven Sokol

Founder, CEO, test pilot, assembly line worker, QA tester, and janitor at Falken Avionics.

Oh, THAT Global Parts Shortage

Using off-the-shelf components is usually a great thing: we get to take advantage of the massive economies of scale created by the mobile device industry. Unfortunately, we also compete with the mobile sector for those parts when there’s a surge in demand. Covid has driven a massive boom in the tablet market, and many tablets use the same inertial and barometric sensors that we include in FlightBox and FlightView systems. Since our volume is tiny compared with Apple, Samsung, etc., we end up on the short end when there’s a shortage.

Throughout the past year we’ve been living under the threat of supply chain and manufacturing delays, originally due to shutdowns at the component factories, and later due to the spike in demand. Throughout 2020 we were lucky. That luck ran out at the beginning of this year. In early January I put in an order for enough parts to build […]

By |2021-03-09T18:00:05+00:00March 9, 2021|Blog Post|Comments Off on Oh, THAT Global Parts Shortage

Move to Texas, they said…

Apologies to anyone waiting on an order. The winter storm currently gripping the United States has crippled the electrical grid here in Texas. We’re currently operating with power about half the time and the temperature in the hangar / office / shop is hovering at 29° F as of this morning.

Rumor has it that the normal weather and stable electricity may not return until some time next week. As such, I’m declaring a snow day (or snow week). I’ll do my best to keep up with email, but build and ship operations are offline until things thaw. Thanks for your patience!

By |2021-02-17T15:11:20+00:00February 17, 2021|Blog Post|Comments Off on Move to Texas, they said…

Status Report: Engine Monitor Update

Since launching the FlightView system the majority of the enhancement requests I’ve received are related to the engine monitor. A partial list of these requests includes:

  • support for ___ sensor / sender / probe / pickup
  • support for liquid cooled engines
  • support for engines with speed reduction gearboxes
  • support for turbine engines
  • support for twin engine aircraft
  • support for engines with integrated ECUs (Rotax, ULPower)
  • a larger EMS display – half screen, full, screen, both
  • user-defined layout of the larger display options
  • a vertical EMS bar display
  • a flap position indicator
  • an elevator trim position indicator
  • an aileron trim position indicator
  • a landing gear status indicator
  • a propeller RPM gauge
  • a rotor RPM gauge
  • inputs and gauges for additional fuel tanks (auxiliary, tip, header, etc.)
  • engine data logging
  • support for Savvy Analytics
  • on-screen master caution indicator
  • output for a master caution indicator
  • EGT peak detection
  • percentage of rated power calculation
  • user-defined gauges
  • inputs and indicators for door / canopy / baggage door state
  • FWF temperature and / or fire detection
  • carbon monoxide detection

All of these are […]

By |2021-02-16T16:34:12+00:00February 12, 2021|Blog Post|Comments Off on Status Report: Engine Monitor Update

Installing a Trig TY91 COM Radio

There are two options for connecting FlightView with the TY91. If you purchased and installed the Trig control head, you will need to use option 1 (FlightLink RS-232 to the TC90 Control Head). If you did not purchase the control head you will need option 2 (FlightLink RS-485 Direct To The TY91).

FlightLink RS-232 to the TC90 Control Head

Connecting to the TC90 control head allows you to use either the control head or the COM interface in FlightView to set the active frequency. All other configuration (volume, squelch, side-tone, etc.) is handled by the control head. This option is good if you have the panel space for the control head, as it gives you two methods for controlling the TY91 radio.

The TC90 control head has an RS-232 communications port that […]

By |2021-03-10T14:56:36+00:00December 18, 2020|TechNotes|Comments Off on Installing a Trig TY91 COM Radio

Connecting A Trig TT2x Transponder With FlightView

Pre-Made Harness
The TT2x transponder connects to FlightView using a FlightLink USB-to-RS485 adapter. That adapter connects the two TMAP lines (A & B) to the TMAP inputs on the Trig harness via the DB-9 connector that would ordinarily be used for the control head.

 

If you purchased the pre-made TT2x harness, it comes with the FlightView TT22 cable which is terminated in a DB-9. Simply plug that DB9 into the controller connector on the harness and connect the USB port to your FlightView system’s USB hub.

DIY Harness
If you opt to build your own harness rather than using the pre-built Trig harness, you will need to order a bare-wire FlightView TT22 connector. Connect the TMAP A […]
By |2020-12-18T17:26:10+00:00December 18, 2020|TechNotes|Comments Off on Connecting A Trig TT2x Transponder With FlightView

New Name, Same Guy, Same Stuff

Back in January of 2016 I launched Open Flight Solutions with a Kickstarter to fund the development of FlightBox, a kit for building a Stratux-based ADS-B receiver. At that point I was living in the Kansas City area, and I incorporated in Missouri. Since that time I’ve moved twice – first to California and later to Texas. I’ve also expanded the focus from a single kit product to a growing line of full featured avionics components. Throughout that journey I kept the original Missouri LLC (which was actually Ex Astris, LLC – with Open Flight as a DBA).

When I moved to Texas this past spring, I found out that it is much easier and less expensive to have a Texas-registered company, rather than an out-of-state registration. In an effort to simplify my life and save on administrative costs, I registered “Falken Avionics, LLC” as […]

By |2020-12-11T22:12:14+00:00November 25, 2020|Blog Post|Comments Off on New Name, Same Guy, Same Stuff

FlightView Update – 11/23/20

I’m pleased to announce the release of v0.4 release 11 of the app and v2.2r0 of the firmware – a significant milestone on the way to 1.0. This update includes a large number fixes and a number of new features. However, it is very important to note the following:

THIS VERSION OF THE APP WILL NOT WORK WITH ANY FLIGHT BOX PRO EXP WITH FIRMWARE PRIOR TO v2.2r0.

That means everyone who has a FlightView system out there – installed or not – will need to do the update. The process is pretty easy and I have detailed instructions. Jump down to the section cleverly entitled Updating To v2.2r0 for details.

Changes And Enhancements

Obstacles

The system now includes a database of 500,000 […]

By |2020-12-12T15:18:18+00:00November 23, 2020|Blog Post|Comments Off on FlightView Update – 11/23/20

Firmware Hot-Fix 2.1r1 for FlightView

I’ve put together a “hot-fix” update that includes a number of fixes and a few small features. As a hot-fix, this update will need to be installed manually (rather than from the FlightView app). As none of the fixes are critical, feel free to skip this unless you need one of the two new features. These include:

  • Trig transponder configuration – required only if you have a Trig TT21 or TT22 transponder connected to your FlightView system.
  • Gear deploy reminder – posts an audio and display alert reminding the pilot to verify gear deployment.

You can download the hot-fix here. You will need to install it manually. The process is fairly simple:

  1. Power on your FlightView system (or at least your FlightBox Pro EXP).
  2. Connect to your FlightBox’s Wifi network (starts with “FlightBox-“) from your computer*.
  3. Open your web browser and direct it to 192.168.10.1 – the IP address for […]
By |2020-12-11T23:28:41+00:00September 15, 2020|Blog Post|Comments Off on Firmware Hot-Fix 2.1r1 for FlightView
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