GoFly Turns Kobo Mini into Tactical Glide Computer for XC Pilots (Video)


GoFly Project V4

A necropost over at MobileRead led me to an interesting project that I hadn’t seen before involving a Kobo Mini and some major hacking.

Over at GoFly Instruments, they’ve turned the Kobo Mini into an E Ink navigation device of sorts that is designed for use with paragliders, hang-gliders, and sailplanes.

The device is called the GoFly Project V4, and it barely resembles the Kobo Mini with all the hacks and mods done to it.

Basically they’ve taken a Kobo Mini and added a GPS chip, an extra battery, speakers, a barometer, variometer, and open source XCsoar software, among other things.

Not being a glider pilot, most of the lingo is over my head. But here are some of the key points:

  • Runs XCsoar 6.7.x software
  • Kobo’s software is still onboard too, so you can read ebooks while parasailing 🙂
  • Estimated 20 hours battery life
  • E Ink screen is easily readable in direct sunlight (5-inch 800 x 600 E Ink Vizplex)
  • Includes airspace maps, TOPO maps, flight data computer, flight assistant
  • Environmental resistant bottom cover enclosure (marine grade CNC cut plastic)
  • Additional internal 3500mAh battery (+ original 1000mAh battery) gives total 4500mAh
  • 66channel gps module (Mediatek 3339) with 2Hz data output located outside device with good sky view
  • Informational GPS fix LED (LED is blinking blue if there is no GPS fix, LED goes dark if GPS fix is ready)
  • Precision acoustic variometer and baro data with 2Hz output based on MS5611 sensor with new dedicated piezo speakers amplifier
  • Adjustable variometer settings
  • 20mm piezo speaker for wide range sound spectrum and low power consumption
  • Internal 2GB SD card with plenty of room for tracks and maps
  • Micro USB interface to charge, upload maps/airspace, download IGC tracks
  • Dimensions: 155 x 104 x 16mm

The GoFly Project V4 sells for $249 plus shipping, and is available in black or white. Or if you already have a Kobo Mini and possess technical know-how and soldering skills, they sell a kit with all the parts to do the mods yourself for $150 plus shipping. More information, including the user manual, can be found by following the link below.

GoFly Project V4

GoFly Project V4 Video Demo

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