Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is DigiAlti only available in the United States?
A: Freefall Data System LLC's greatest desire and priority is to provide excellent customer service. Currently, without any repair facilities abroad, this severely restricts our ability to provide rapid and economic service on DigiAlti. Wrist-mounted altimeters
by nature are more exposed to the elements and potential impacts than other types of altimeters. Customs duties and import restrictions complicate the process of providing speedy and economic service as well.
Q: Does DigiAlti have a speaker?
A: No, DigiAlti is not an audible altimeter.
Q: What makes DigiAlti different from other altimeters?
A: The combination of a sort of analog-like LightBar with a classic digital readout is truly advantageous for improving altitude awareness. This is because light patterns
and colors can be recognized quicker than numbers, especially when a lot of motion is involved.
Q: How bright are the LEDs in bright sunlight?
A: DigiAlti's LEDs are exceptionally bright and can easily be seen in the brightest sunlight at the highest altitudes. The brightest light possible is achieved by using the "White" effects, but it is easy to see most any colors in bright sunlight with great ease.
Q: I saw the FDS logo flash on ascent to altitude. Is this normal?
A: Yes, it is normal if the aircraft has gone into descent (for example letting jumpers out, which is typical) for the altimeter to briefly go into descent mode. When the aircraft begins to ascend again, the logo is flashed as an indication that it has entered ascent mode again.
Q: I'm a wingsuiter. What are your recommendations for mounting the altimeter and setting it?
A: FDS recommends the use of a wedge mount and a DigiPouch, available from ChutingStar. For wingsuiting, we recommend lowering the freefall threshold under "Main" settings from 80 mph to something like 30 mph, depending on the size of one's suit and weight. It can also be a good idea to "Disable Freefall Alerts Below" something like 2000 feet, so that no freefall alerts are triggered on the LightBar below this; this ensures that one only sees canopy alerts and alarms below this altitude. This will also give one a more accurate assessment of freefall time in one's logbook.
Q: The LEDs on my DigiAlti stopped working. What could be the problem?
A: Contact FDS for support on this issue. It could be a hardware problem. The first thing to try is to reset the altimeter by clicking the reset button between the two white buttons with a paperclip. If the issue persists, please contact FDS.
Q: I'm a swooper. What are your recommendations for setting DigiAlti?
A: This will be very individual from person to person. In any case, FDS recommends raising the freefall threshold under "Main" settings from 80 mph to something like 100 mph, depending on the size of one's canopy and wing loading. As for wingsuiting, it can be a good idea to "Disable Freefall Alerts Below" something like 2000 feet, so that no freefall alerts are triggered below this; this ensures that one only sees canopy alerts below this altitude. This will also give one a more accurate assessment of freefall time in one's logbook.
Q: How long does the battery last?
A: This will depend on how often the altimeter is used as well as where it is stored. If the altimeter is often in a moving car in hilly territory, the battery will drain a bit more quickly. Generally speaking, the user should be able to get approximately 150 jumps on the unit before it needs to be recharged. When stored charged, the battery can last as long as six weeks. The units should be able to get approximately 300-400 charge cycles without significantly affecting battery life. The fewer LEDs used during a jump, the longer the battery will last.
Q: Can I set the altimeter on the way to altitude?
A: Yes, one can select presets by holding down the white buttons. One can also use the FDS Altis app in the aircraft (not recommended) as long as Bluetooth mode is off before exiting the aircraft.
Q: How many jumps does it log?
A: DigiAlti can log hundreds of jumps before needing to sync to the cloud, but it is recommended to sync often to avoid logging errors.
Q: Does DigiAlti have GPS?
A: DigiAlti does not have GPS as that would reduce the battery life greatly and we would also not be able to use aluminum on the case.
Q: Is DigiAlti recommended for students?
A: By all means yes: DigiAlti is about the best student altimeter that you could possibly get.
Q: Do I need Wi-Fi (or an Internet connection) to connect to the altimeter?
A: No, but a Wi-Fi signal is necessary to log in to FDS Logbook and sync to the cloud.
Q: Why do my freefall speed graphs look so spiky?
A: DigiAlti (and all barometric altimeters) read altitude based on air pressure. This means that if you change body positions, or are flying in someone's burble, there will be some inconsistencies in altitude readings. These inconsistencies cause the spikiness in the vertical speed graphs. Even the most advanced barometric altimeter in the world would be susceptible to this issue. If you are using the device purely for data tracking, the cleanest data is usually obtained with the altimeter located on one's ankle.
Q: Why does it take several seconds after I exit the aircraft to see the light?
A: DigiAlti will only give freefall alerts when you are above freefall speeds, which is 80 mph by default.
Q: Is DigiAlti water resistent?
A: DigiAlti is highly water resistant, but not waterproof.
Q: Is there a differentiation between canopy and freefall alerts?
A: Yes. DigiAlti differentiates between the three types of alerts and alarms: ascent, freefall, and canopy.
Q: I notice some deviation between my audible altimeter and my DigiAlti. Is this normal? Which is correct?
A: Yes. Because barometric altimeters are subject to wakes and burbles, their placement can affect their readings. Which is closer in accuracy will depend on the type of jump you are doing and how you have the altimeters mounted. In most cases, the deviation is not larger than a couple hundred feet in freefall at the very most and much less on ascent and under canopy. If the deviation is more, see whether the altimeters are at least synchronized during ascent in the plane and go from there. If they are synchronized in the plane or under canopy but not in freefall, then the placement of the altimeters is certainly affecting their synchronization in freefall. Altimeters placed in a wake will read higher than those in clean air.
Q: Does Freefall Data Systems LLC collect data from its customers?
A: Nothing other than the information required to ship and provide a warranty to our customers. We respect our customer's privacy: Freefall Data Systems LLC's philosophy is that if a customer bought our product, then the data gathered with it should belong to them.