Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does SonoAlti 3V compare to other audible altimeters that beep?
A: SonoAlti 3V is a speaking audible, so it provides more constant altitude awareness than other types of audibles. In
freefall, SonoAlti 3V does actually also has the ability to beep or produce sirens if one requires a more dramatic altitude indicator at a specific altitude. Specifically, see "Alarm 1," "Alarm 2," and "Alarm 3" in the List of Spoken Notifications and Sounds in the freefall settings or "Alarm 4" through "Alarm 8" under canopy settings.
Q: Can I create my own sounds for SonoAlti 3V?
A: Yes, refer to the manual for detailed instructions.
Q: Does SonoAlti 3V have a piezo loudspeaker like other audibles?
A: No, the speaker is electromagnetic, but it has the capability of beeping and produce sirens very similar to those of a piezo speaker when in freefall or under canopy. See, for example, "Alarm 1," "Alarm 2," and "Alarm 3" in the List of Spoken Notifications and Sounds under freefall settings or "Alarm 4" through "Alarm 8" under canopy settings.
Q: I hear my audible going off and reading information on the ground. Why is this?
A: SonoAlti 3V is a sensitive barometric pressure device. Driving in a car can be similar to the takeoff in an aircraft. If you do not want to hear the altimeter on the ground at all, it is recommended to turn off the pre-jump briefs by creating user presets using the SonoAlti 3V WebUSB App.
Q: Does SonoAlti 3V come with any external speakers or earphones?
A: No, the built-in speaker provides voice notifications, but if one wants to use external speakers and the 2.5 mm audio jack (which overrides the built-in speaker) they must be purchased separately. For the vast majority of applications, external speakers should not be necessary, as the altimeter is sufficiently loud for most helmets and skydiving applications. UClear Digital Pulse speakers are recommended as external speakers as they are slightly louder than the built-in speaker; note, however, that these speakers would require a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter to be used.
Q: How exactly does the audio work on SonoAlti 3V?
A: The best way to understand how SonoAlti 3V works is to watch the demonstration video XXX.
Q: What is the advantage of this type of altimeter?
A: These devices are excellent for building general altitude awareness skills. Hearing a spoken altitude while simultaneously associating it with an altitude picture trains your eyes as well as your timing. Sometimes we are very unaware of how fast we are actually lose altitude on a skydive.
Q: Can I set the altimeter on the way to altitude?
A: Yes, one can select presets by holding the top or bottom button in the aircraft. However, Freefall Data Systems always recommends doing any setting of altimeters on the ground before a skydive as to minimize distractions. Jumpers should be focused on safety and their jump in the aircraft.
Q: Is SonoAlti 3V a logging device?
A: SonoAlti 3V was not conceived to interface with our online logging system FDS Logbook. For this purpose we recommend another type of altimeter such as our wrist-mounted DigiAlti.
Q: Does SonoAlti 3V have GPS?
A: SonoAlti 3V does not have GPS as that would reduce the battery life greatly and compromise dependability. Altitude measurements are based on barometric pressure changes.
Q: What helmets does it fit?
A: SonoAlti 3V fits and can be heard well in most skydiving helmets that have an audible port or pocket. Kiss helmets are not particularly good for audible altimeters because the audible mounts on the sides of the helmet often do not line up well with the jumper's ears. Check to see if your ear lines up well with your audible ports on your helmet. SonoAlti 3V is loud, but speaking audibles are by their nature not as loud as traditional audibles when the wind noise is extreme such as in freefall.
Q: Is SonoAlti 3V suitable for student use?
A: SonoAlti 3V can be very useful in enhancing a student's altitude awareness and provide cues, but should only be used with the permission and under the supervision of a current instructor officially rated by a national parachuting organization such as the United States Parachute Association.
Q: Is SonoAlti 3V waterproof?
A: SonoAlti 3V is only lightly water resistant. It is not recommended for water landings nor does the warranty cover water damage.
Q: Is there a differentiation between ascent, canopy and freefall alarms?
A: Yes. SonoAlti 3V differentiates between the three types of announcements and notifications: ascent, freefall, and canopy.
Q: I notice some deviation between my wrist-mounted altimeter and my SonoAlti 3V. 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 at the very most. 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. So if you are, for example, sit-flying or doing a tandem, it isn't an unlikely possibility that your altimeter is being subjected to a significant burble.