Full featured combined GPS vario
SkyDrop vario is a full featured combined GPS vario. By the way, with its 68g it is the lightest vario with display! SkyDrop is a middle class instrument, dedicated for wide range of pilots. Instead of long listing all the features, which would take many mouse scrolls, we can introduce several use cases. If interested, please find function list in Specification tab:
- Once pilot is autonomous in basic skills (take off or landing), she/he is thirsty for air time. SkyDrop will gratefully help with this mission. It doesn't need to sit on cockpit of cocoon harness, or even worse - at old school leg mount. Instead of that, a riser mount puts instrument right in front of pilot's eyes, where she/he can easily read all what is needed.
- We recommend riser mount also for advanced pilots, due to safety reasons. When using riser mount, pilot can operates device with brake in her/his hand.
- However small and lightweight SkyDrop is, we found some space for complete set of motion sensors. Their fusion with the best available baro sensor creates high sensitive compass or instant vario reaction.
- Competition pilot at the front of leading gaggle needs reliable backup. SkyDrop generates FAI1 class IGC tracklogs and has waypoint navigation with route length optimisation.
- Tandem pilot has very limited space for instruments, but SkyDrop on passengers shoulder or helmet easily solves this situation.
- Do you like hike&XC? SkyDrop with its 68 grams in combination with your mobile phone is all you need for these exciting adventures.
- Leg mount is for camera, not for prehistoric instruments anymore! Riser mount is ideal for "always looking up" acro pilots, who also need some kind of instrument. SkyDrop can provide safety features like altitude alarms, or just G-force meter for fun. Maybe infinity tumble counter will come ;)
- weight 70 g (double battery model 86g)
- dimensions 98x57x19 mm
- battery 1150 mAh (double battery version 2000 mAh), 10-25h fly time
- memory 16 Gb
- vario - analog/digital/average, acoustic signalization, graph history
- instant vario response
- flight logs - IGC/KML accepted for FAI Category 1 competitions
- GPS - ground speed, altitude, heading, glide ratio
- wind speed and direction
- altimeters - 5 adjustable altimeters (relative, absolute, GPS or QNH mode)
- height above ground level (AGL)
- competition waypoint navigation with route length optimisation
- airspace violation warning
- fully customizable - multiple screens with configurable layouts and widgets
- android connectivity - XCTrack, FlyMe, XCSoar, LK8000, TopHat, Sky Land Tracker, Paragliding Dashboard
- iOS connectivity - FlySkyHy, SkyLogger, SkyLogger XXL
- digital compass
- weak lift detection (pre-thermal sound)
- bearing and distance from take-off
- flight diary, fly time, real time clock
- auto take off and landing detection
- UART output (for E-readers connection)
Every future feature will be available for free in software update, check current version here.
- SkyDrop variometer
- raiser holder with adhesive hooks&loops
- protective cordura pocket
- micro USB cable
- user guide
To display altitude above ground, you need to have terrain data loaded in your SkyDrop. We pre-load most flown areas during production. If you have an older device without pre-loaded terrain data, you can download this package here. If your area in not included, you can select and download terrain data and following how to guide. Red marked areas in map represent pre-loaded terrain dat.
SkyDrop vario has airspace violation warning functions. You can download airspace data here.
Web based online configurator is great support tool for SkyDrop, which has two main functions. The first, you can upgrade software in your vario and get new functions. The second, you can customize all settings options more comfortable way than directly on device. Even more, configurator allows you to set most advanced functions like custom acoustics, what is not accessible in vario menu.
If you decide to connect your SkyDrop with phone or tablet via Bluetooth, you can get very accurate barometric data in your flight computer app. We support XCTrack, XCSoar, FlyMe, LK8000, G_variometer and Paragliding Dashboard on Android devices. FlySkyHy, SkyLogger and SkyLoggerXXL are supported apps running on iOS. Please read user manual and watch tutorial videos if you want closer view to this topics.
If you find LCD screen of SkyDrop vario not working anymore or has some non-functional blocks (mostly whole rows), this is caused by mechanical damage of the screen. Even if there are no signs or cracks from outside, for sure there is broken part of LCD inside device. This damage can occur if too heavy force is applied to front side of vario. Please contact us via email to resolve this issue.
Very rarely pilots complain to non-functional GPS receiver. When vario was switched off for longer time or you traveled to another country, some time is needed to achieve 3D GPS fix. If vario still cannot catch it for more than 10 minutes, please go to menu>settings>GPS>status screen to see locked satellites. If there is 0/0 in upper right corner, vario has to be opened and repaired. Please contact us via email resolve this issue.
If you have issues with accelerometer or constant/crazy beeping it is possible that accelerometer is not properly calibrated. There are 2 possible solutions (We recommend the first option to get maximum from device): 1. Calibrate accelerometer, please follow instructions in the manual: Menu>settings>advanced>accelerometer or check out this instructional video. 2. Turn off motion sensors fusion with barometer: Uncheck Menu>Vario>Use accel checkbox
If there is something wrong with your SkyDrop, please leave us message at email@example.com. Please don't send us vario for repair without previous consultation, because in many cases we can fix it by email, so don't waste your money and time if not necessary. If you anyway want send us broken vario without previous consultation, mark package value to 20€ if you are outside of EU.
SkyDrop tutorial - 01 Getting started
Quick start video for the SkyDrop vario.
SkyDrop tutorial - 02 Firmware update
How to update firmware on your SkyDrop vario.
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.1 Bluetooth connection to XCTrack on Android
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and XCTrack
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.5 Bluetooth connection to FlySkyHy on iPhone
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and FlySkyHy
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.2 Bluetooth connection to XCSoar on Android
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and XCSoar
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.4 Bluetooth connection to FlyMe on Android
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and FlyMe
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.3 Bluetooth connection to LK8000 on Android
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and LK8000
SkyDrop tutorial - 03.6 Bluetooth connection to SkyLogger on iPhone
Tutorial how to setup bluetooth connection between SkyDrop and SkyLogger
SkyDrop vario improvement
We played with SkyDrop's source code and this is the result. Reaction of vario is now instant (can be disabled in settings). Firmware build 4240 brings better implementation of Kalman filter - fusion of barometer and motion sensors (IMU).
Ok, now I used for some time, and I can review it. I bought it in the winter, so I had to wait for spring, then we got great weather but Covid and lockdown. Then no more lockdown but we got some very very bad weather for some weeks. But after that we had some great days of flying. At first I flew only with the skydrop and it worked great. Then I wanted to connect to xctrack, and I got some issues and could not understand what was happening. I took off, and after about 15 minutes I was left with only the skydrop as the xctrack crashed or lost connection. I experienced this for several flights, 8-15, or even 25 minutes of flight with everything working and after that I could only use the skydrop. Even though it was loosing the connection, the skydrop kept working, the log was there but I had no more map and big screen. There were times when I was top landing just to fix the connection and take off again and I did not understand why this was happening. <br /> Last week I had an idea to try different bluetooth connection variants so I connected the skydrop to xctrack through the normal/standard bluetooth instead of the BLE. With the standard bluetooth connection everything works perfect with no connection issues. I still don`t know why with the BLE it keeps loosing the connection(might be the phone, I don`t know). Anyway, now I`m using it in standard bluetooth connection and it`s perfect(I think it consumes more power but I have the double battery so I don`t think that will be a problem). <br /> <br /> In conclusion: the skydrop is an awesome little piece of work, and I love it. A bigger, brighter screen would be great for readability, but I can see it well in flight even though characters are small on the screen.
Arrived last week. No problem so far. Works well.
I've this vario since 4 years and combined via bluetooth with XCTrack is , still, just perfect. Light, complete and more precise than other famous and expensive variometers. Highly Raccomended
Compact & precise
I’ve been flying a SkyDrop for a while now and I’ve always liked it cause of it‘s small size and light weight. In combination with XCtrack it’s the perfect setup for longer XC flights.
Great device awesome service
Arrived just a few days after ordering, and it had to go all the way to Taiwan. So was super impressed. The team were friendly fast and efficient. <br /> The Skydrop is awesome. Small light and does the job perfectly and is surprisingly easy to see and use in the air.