SkyGates Documentation

SkyGates for Vector

We’re pleased to announce SkyGates Virtual Racing for the Vector Flight Controller. With SkyGates, you see virtual race gates through your goggles, on the Vector OSD.

NOTE: SkyGates is in the "Proof of Concept" phase now.  Please send us your thoughts on how we can improve it!

1) Requirements

To use SkyGates, you'll need a Vector Flight Controller/OSD, and you need to install version 11.94 or later our software, linked to here.    Note that this writing, this is a beta version: please read the release notes carefully!
 
2) Performance
 
1) Gate positioning accuracy is highly dependent on the compass, and the GPS. Do a fresh compass calibration if you haven’t done it in a while, and make sure that you’re in an area with good GPS reception. Set up your course so that the gates are well above the ground, to increase GPS signal quality.
2) We recommend keeping the items displayed on the OSD screen to a minimum, for the best SkyGates experience.
 
3) Quick Start/Before Flying
 
1) Set “Enable SkyGates Course?” to YES.
2) Set “Choose SkyGates Course” to SQUARE.
3) Set your camera’s field of view as described below under “Camera Horizntl Field of View
4) If you have your camera mounted at an angle to compensate for pitch, set “Camera Mounting Pitch Angle” accordingly, as described below
5) Shift the the course and spread out the gates as needed to suit your flying field, using “North/South Offset from Home” and “East/West Offset from Home”, and "Course Footprint Scale"
6) Raise the gates off the ground (the higher the better) using “Course Elevation Offset
 
4) Stick Menu Documentation (menus under “SkyGates Setup” from the main menu, unless otherwise specified):
 
Main SkyGates Menu
 
Enable Virtual Race Course? - this turns on SkyGates display.
 
Reset Race! - click this after a race ends to begin a new race, primarily clearing the race statistics.
 
Number of Laps (0 = infinite) – this setting lets you program the number of laps before the race ends.
 
Choose Virtual Race Course - this lets you choose one of the default race courses (if you don’t want to capture your own course)
 
Enable Course Capture Mode? - If you don’t want to use one of the default courses, or want to capture the gate positions of an actual race course, this option enables course capture mode. In this mode, you walk around (or fly your model around) your field, and toggle the mode switch once to capture a gate. A max of 20 gates is allowed.   The yaw of your model when you toggle the mode switch sets the orientation of that gate. You can also set the pitch of the gates, as well as the altitude (see Course Adjustments below).  Before capturing a course, make sure you have clicked “Clear Active Course” below! And, once your course is captured, turn off course capture mode, and SAVE YOUR COURSE by clicking “Save Course to User Memory.” The course will be lost on repower if you don’t do this!
 
Save Course to User Memory - this saves the currently active course to FLASH. This must be done after you capture a course.
 
Course Adjustments... see below
 
Clear Active Course - this clears the active course. This needs to be done before capturing a course.
 
* Course Display Preferences... see below
 
Course Adjustments Menu
 
Use saved course location? - when this is set to YES, and you save a course to user memory, your course gates will always be loaded in the same physical location (regardless of where your home position is). If set to NO, the gates will be placed relative to the home position. So, you can move your model to a different place in the field and reset home, and the course will tag along with you.
 
Course Elevation Offset - when a course is captured with “Capture Elevation of Gates” off, or a default course is chosen, the gates are located so that the bottom of each gate is at 0 elevation. Use this setting to raise all the gates above the ground.
 
The next 4 settings let you shift and size a course so that it fits your particular flying area:
 
North/South Offset from Home – this setting allows you to shift the entire course north or south (south is negative).
 
East/West Offset from Home – this setting allows you to shift the entire east or west (west is negative)
 
Course Rotation Around Home - this setting lets you rotate the entire course around the origin (gate 1).
 
Course Footprint Scale - this setting moves the gates farther apart from each other (> 100%), or closer together.
 
Overall Gate Height Scale - this setting lets you change the height (tallness) of all the gates. If you are having trouble getting through the gates, either improve your flying or make them bigger. J
 
Overall Gate Width Scale - this setting lets you change the width of all the gates.
 
Capture Pitch of Gates? - when this is set to YES, the pitch of your model when gates are captured sets the pitch of the gate. This is useful if you are setting up a “3D” course, presumably for fixed wing, where you expect to be pitching up or down as you transit a gate.
 
Capture Elevation of Gates? - if this is YES, the actual altitude above ground at the time of gate capture is used for the gate elevation. Only useful for “3D” courses where gates will not all be the same elevation off the ground.
 
Gate Transit Tolerance - this setting allows you to “cheat” and get credit for transiting a gate even if you miss going through it by this margin.
 
Course Display Options Menu

Show this many upcoming gates – this controls how many visible (within the field of view) upcoming gates are drawn as rectangles at any time. The max is 4.
 
Show undrawn gate numbers? - if your course has more gates than the number selected above, visible gates above the max number above are represented by numerals on the screen, if this is set to YES. For example, if your course has 8 gates, and your max number of shown upcoming gates is 4, and you are about to transit gate 6, gates 6, 7, 8, and 1 are drawn as rectangles (assuming they are visible), and gates 2, 3, 4 and 5 are shown as numerals on the screen (again assuming they are visible)
 
Show Off-screen Gate Pointer? – YES means that the “chevron” pointing to the next gate is shown on the screen, if the next gate is not presently visible. The chevron is first person, meaning that if it points up, the next gate is above you, etc. The color of the chevron indicates whether you are approaching the front of the gate (good) or the back of the gate (bad). See Gate Colors menu below.
 
The next 3 settings let you turn on race statistics, which appear in the lower left corner of the screen. Here are how they work:
 
Show Current Lap Time? - When YES, this shows the elapsed time since you crossed gate 1 (the start/finish gate)
 
   Format: T01:22.34 (minutes:seconds.deciseconds)
   For races with a finite number of laps (Number of Laps setting), when the race is over, this display switches to show the total time of the race (total of all laps)
 
* Show Best Lap Time? – When YES, this shows your best lap time so far (not shown until you complete a lap). Also, if your present split time is greater than your best lap split time (you are running late) this item will flash red
 
   Format: B01:20:33 (minutes:seconds.deciseconds)
 
Show Lap and Gate Counters? - When YES, Lap and Gate counters are shown as below (item flashes red if a gate is skipped by the Gate Transit Tolerance error margin)
 
   Format: L2 G1
   The "L" shows the present lap number for infinite lap races. It shows the REMAINING laps for finite races (race laps set to nonzero).
   The "G" shows the NEXT gate (1 based). After you cross the highest gate number in a race, the next gate will be 1.
 
* Show Vectoring Reticle? – the Vectoring Reticle is a cool, video game class instrument with the following characteristics:
    1) the vertical bar shows your climb rate error when climbing or sinking to the next gate. If you are climbing or descending at the correct rate to reach the gate, the vertical bar will not be drawn
    2Two arrows – the horizontal spacing between the two arrows indicates how far away from the next gate you are (the maximum horizontal spacing is set to the distance between the last gate you transited, and the next gate). The vertical placement of the two arrows on the screen indicates whether you are too high or too low for the gate (vertically centered arrows indicate you are at the correct altitude)
 
Camera Horizntl Field of View – this setting tells the Vector your camera’s field of view, which is important for the best SkyGates experience. Here are the steps:
 
   1) Use the North/South Offset from Home menu to move the gates far away (say, 500 ft).
   2) Align one of the gates with a physical object in the far distance, and make sure the gate tracks that object fairly closely as you yaw your model.
   3) If it doesn’t track, adjust the FOV setting until it does.
 
Camera Mounting Pitch Angle – sets the camera pitch angle, if you have mounted your camera to compensate for multirotor pitch
 
 
Choose Gate Colors Menu
 
Active Gate Front Color - sets the main color of the active (next) gate, when you are approaching the front of the gate (good)
 
Active Gate Front Highlight - sets the highlight color per above
 
Active Gate Wrong Way Color - sets the main color of the active (next) gate, when you are approaching the back of the gate (bad). You’ll need to pass the gate, turn around, and go through it the right way.
 
Active Gate Wrong Way Hilight - sets the highlight color per above
 
Inactive Gates Color - sets the color of gates that are not the active (next) gate.
 
* Inactive Gates Highlight - sets the highlight color per above