Element Speed:Altitude adjustment

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Altimeters

As any pilot knows, there are many different altitudes in aviation. The Element Speed determines altitude using both GPS and barometric pressure, and its altitude display is customisable. You can select among three altimeters called ALT1, ALT2, and ALT3, and you can manually set the sea level barometric pressure. We will use the following definitions when explaining the altimeter functions:

  • Absolute altitude – height above mean sea level (MSL)
  • GPS altitude – MSL altitude indicated by GPS satellites
  • Relative altitude – height above a known point such as an airfield
  • AGL Altitude – height over the terrain directly below (above ground level)
  • QNH – the actual air pressure at sea level
  • Flight Level – altitude MSL, in hundred feet intervals, relative to the ISA pressure setting of 1013.25 hPa. FL17, for example, indicates that you are in the 1700' band, between 1650' and 1750' MSL.

ALT 1: Absolute altitude

ALT1 is your altitude above Mean Sea Level (MSL). Toggle between displaying ALT1 and ALT2 by pressing A1 / 2. ALT1 is automatically set to your GPS altitude as soon as the Element Speed acquires a GPS signal. This altitude calibration means, of course, that the QNH pressure setting is also automatically adjusted.

  • Long press to access ALT1 adjustments, short press to toggle between ALT1 and ALT2

Adjusting altitude or pressure

In order to adjust ALT1, make sure you have selected it to be displayed by pressing the A1 / 2 key.

Press and hold SET
Use the arrow keys to adjust the ALT1 value.
Confirm with OK.

  • If you DO know your present altitude, but you DO NOT know your QNH setting. For instance, you notice a sign posted at the take-off giving the actual MSL elevation of the ramp. In this case, you might adjust your ALT1 to match the sign. You will notice that adjusting the altitude setting will also cause a change the QNH pressure setting.
  • If you DO NOT know your present altitude, but you DO know your barometric pressure. Perhaps you have an aviation weather report giving the local QNH setting, or perhaps you have a setting from air traffic control. In either case you can change ALT1 to reflect this pressure setting

Setting ALT1 to GPS or FL

Press and hold SET
In the sub-menu you have entered, press and hold MENU.
Use the arrow keys to switch between GPS or flight level.

ALT 2: Alternative altitude display

Toggle between displaying ALT1 and ALT2 by pressing A1 / 2. When ALT2 is toggled, your Element will not necessarily display the label ALT2, instead it will indicate whichever ALT2 configuration is presently selected. You can configure ALT2 to show any of four different values using the Flight Settings menu.

Press and hold MENU, then use the arrow keys to select Flight Settings.
Press OK.
Use the arrows to select Alt2 mode and press OK.
Then select your preferred ALT2 mode.
Press OK.
Press to return to the Main Setup Menu.

These are the four available choices for ALT2:

  • GPS altitude: (The label GPS appears beside the altitude reading.) Note that you cannot adjust ALT2 when you have selected this option. ALT2 will only display the current GPS altitude.
  • Flight Level: (The label FL appears beside the altitude reading.) Note that you cannot adjust ALT2 when you have selected this option, because the Flight Level display is always based on a standard atmospheric pressure value of 1013.25 hPa.
  • ALT1 m/ft inverse: (If ALT1 is displayed in metres, then ALT2 displays true altitude in feet. The label ALT1 remains beside the altitude reading but the units change.) Note that you can adjust this value. Adjusting ALT2 in this mode will automatically adjust ALT1 as well.
  • Relative altimeter: (The label ALT2 appears beside the altitude reading. Note that you can adjust this value.

Adjusting ALT 2

Make sure you have selected ALT2 to be displayed by pressing the A1 / 2 key.

Press and hold SET
Use the arrow keys to adjust the ALT2 value.
Confirm with OK.

When ALT2 is in relative mode you can zero it or set it to GPS:

Press and hold SET
In the sub-menu you have now entered, press and hold the MENU key .
Use the arrow keys to switch between 0 or GPS.

When ALT2 is set to ALT m/ft inverse, your altitude displayed is the same, just in different units. You therefore can only adjust ALT1 as described above.

When ALT2 is set to GPS or Flight Level, you have not further options of adjusting the value.

ALT 3: Relative altitude

Toggle between displaying ALT3 and the current time of day by pressing the A3 key. This altimeter always gives a relative altitude and is easy to reset to zero in flight using the Clear ALT3 (CLR) key. It has two main uses:

  1. When your Element detects take-off, it automatically sets ALT3 to zero. In this way, ALT3 will indicate your height above (or below) the launch.
  2. In flight, reset ALT3 to zero at any time by pressing CLR A3. This can be useful to monitor your height gain in a weak thermal.
  • Toggle between Alt 3, time, and flight time, long press to clear Alt 3