Monday, 2 May 2016

BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11 Sky Blue Case Install

Last week I was happy to announce a new sky blue enclosed case for the Blueflyvario. All orders for the BlueFlyVario_Bluetoooth_v11 will now ship with the new case, and from today it is also available for separate purchase.  In this post I will describe the standard install method for this new case. This replaces the video posted over a year ago which described the install method for the previous acrylic prototype case. 

What is in the bag?

The images below shows the bag you get and what is inside it:
  • The BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11 module. The modules shipped with the sky blue case are a little different from earlier versions:
    • There is a small piece of neoprene glued to the side of the pressure sensor. This is really important from stopping light on the pressure sensor, do not remove it. 
    • The button is 8mm high instead of 9mm. If you are using an older module with a upgraded case you might want to reduce the button height with a file, although it does not really matter. 
    • There is no heatshrink. 
  • A 600mAh single cell LiPo battery. 
  • 4 x 5mm M3 black nylon hex stand offs and 4 x 5mm black nylon M3 screws. 
  • The sky blue case base with cut outs and the sky blue case top. To remove the top you will need a small screwdriver to gently pry it off by twisting the screwdriver gently in the gaps.

Install Step 1 (Optional)

The first step is only needed if you want to put a small lanyard on the vario. Drill a couple of holes into the case at the opposite end from the USB cutout. Use a slow speed drill and only the force needed. Make sure the holes are not too close together or the small plastic in between might break if you use too much force on the lanyard. Size the holes according to whatever cord you will use. 

Install Step 2

Screw the hex standoffs and screws into the BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11 module as shown. Make sure the neoprene is still in place as shown. The hex standoffs keeps the module properly spaced from the base of the case. Do not over-tighten the screws.

Install Step 3

This is the only tricky part. Use only the force needed to place the module correctly in the case. It is possible to break either the button or the usb connector if you use too much force. Place the module in the base of the case so the button protrudes from the hole. You may find the USB connector will need a little pressure from above to push it into the hole. See the image below for where to press gently with a screwdriver. The edge of the PCB should close up to the cutout end of the case and the USB connector shroud will move into the cutout. You might need to gently shave the inside part of the USB cutout hole in the case with a sharp knife so it can slide in easier.

Install Step 4

Put something at the other end of the PCB to keep it pressed against the cutout end of the case. The gap here is about 4mm and I use a small piece of paper folded and placed as shown in the image below. Note the small lanyard threaded as shown below.

Install Step 5

Remove the covering from the tape on the battery and secure it in to place as shown below. Note the wires need to be neatly folded and placed as shown.

Install Step 6

Place the top on the case (which is now the bottom as shown below), and plug it in to recharge. The red light should come on. A single press on the button will switch it on, and a long press will turn it off. See the Hardware Settings Manual for more technical setup. 

Install Step 7 (optional)

Some pilots like to mount the vario on a flightdeck. You can use a 50 x 30mm piece of velcro (not included) as shown below. To make velcro stick better heat it up with a hairdryer prior to sticking it on.


  1. Is it also possible with the GPS/airspeed shield?

    1. Not with this case. If you want to experiment with the add on modules you will need to design your own case. At some stage if I can find time I will probably design a case for the shields that can be 3d printed.

  2. Oops...Button brocken during v11 Sky Blue Case Installation.
    Any way to fix it?
    Many thanks

    1. Please send me an email with a photo. We will work something out.

  3. Hi Al,
    Thaka for sending me the Bluevario 11 Bluetooth.

    When I connect the BlueVario by bluetooth with the FlyMe app on my smartphone (Samsung S5), the vario sounds stops immediately. Any suggestions.


    Marten van Eerten (Thermaltiger)

    1. You need to adjust the hardware setting useAudioWhenConnected. You can do this using the BlueFlyVario android app with your device, or the BFVDesktop app with a PC. Please see the hardware settings manual available on the support page of the website for a full description of the available hardware settings.

  4. Hi. I have just ordered one of these units to connect to my iPhone for use with Flyskyhg. One question.... Can the volume be adjusted and the sink alarm switched off? Looking forward to receiving my unit.

    1. Thanks for your order Nick. The volume is easily adjusted from within Flyskyhy, but it is one of the few settings that app adjusts. The full list of settings you can adjust can be found in the hardware settings manual (

      To adjust other settings on iOS you can use the WFE BLE chat app. (see here:

      The settings you want to adjust are sinkThreshold and sinkOffThreshold. To adjust these to -5.0 m/s and -4.9 m/s respectively, send the following commands via WFE BLE Chat:
      $BFS 500*
      $B0S 490*

      You could also adjust settings using the BFVDesktop application on a PC, or the BlueFlyVario android app on an Android device.

  5. Hello,

    Does the case fit the BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11 + BlueFlyShield_GPS_v11 ?

    I would like to use it with a Kindle Fire HDX that does not have GPS

    Thank you

    1. The case does not fit the Bluetooth model with the shield. I have been planning to design a 3d printable case which encompasses both, but there is too much to do. Most pilots using the shields are protecting them with tape, or they ask for me to supply some parts of the old prototype case which has two acrylic panels.

  6. Hi Flying Al!
    I want to use BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v11 with XCSoar on Yotaphone 2.
    Please let me know the possible problems of compatibility or nuances settings.

    1. If you are running Android then it should work, but I have not tested the Yotaphone 2.

  7. Just received my new Bluetooth vario and it integrates PERFECTLY with the "flyskyhy" iPhone app. It's much more responsive than my Flytec! Just wondering, will the red charging light go out or change color after battery is full?

    1. Great! The red light should go out after about three hours of charging (or when the battery is full), but it might not depending on the charger you are using and the manufacturing tolerances of the components in the vario.