Saturday 27 May 2023

BlueFlyVario v23 models released

Today we announce the release of two new Bluefly v23 models. These have actually been shipping for a few weeks now. The BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_v23 is the latest version of the classic Bluefly. The BlueFlyVario_Bluetooth_GPS_IGC_v23 includes an onboard GPS and IGC tracklog recording. 

The new Bluefly v23 models look the same.

What is new?

These models are an evolution of the v22 models. The main processor is the same and the firmware is almost exactly the same as the v22. Firmware updates will continue to be made for both v22 and v23. 

The main changes are:

  • USB-C charging and serial port interface. The shift from micro-USB to USB-C reflects the standard most devices are adopting, and the physical port is more robust. 
  • The GPS version now uses the L96 GPS module instead of the XA1110. The latter is no longer available and the L96 has better performance, in my experience. 
    • The good news is that the GPS is now entirely inside the case - no more protruding antenna.
    • The downside to this GPS module is that the chip antenna is very sensitive to placement of other components. This was overcome in the v23 model by putting the GPS module on a small board and raising it just a few mm further away from the battery. The end result is a much cleaner layout, albeit that the manufacturing time per device is a bit longer. 
BlueFlyVario_Bleutooth_GPS_IGC_v23 internals, showing GPS module antenna slightly above the base board.
What is in the box?

Both models are shipped fully assembled and ready to use. Simply remove the tape and cover protecting the clear button, press the button and your vario should come to life. Some tips: