Eagle Tree Seagull Pro Manual

User Manual for the Seagull Pro Wireless Dashboard Telemetry System
Patent Pending
Document Version 3.4
Please read this manual before using your new system.
Thank you for your purchase! This instruction manual will guide you through the installation and operation of
your Seagull Pro Wireless Dashboard Flight Telemetry System.
The Pro Flight System provides most of the functionality of systems costing up to many times more, while
retaining the plug and play, robustness and ease of use benefits of our entire product line.
Please read the entire manual carefully before proceeding. If, after you read the manual (including the
Troubleshooting sections!) you have further questions or problems, please visit our web support page for additional
support options, at http://www.eagletreesystems.com/Support/support.html. Note that the latest version of this
manual is available in PDF form from the Support page of our website.
Intended Uses
The Seagull Pro System is designed to be used to transmit data in remote controlled unmanned platforms, where data recording and
wireless telemetry are desired. Using the system for other applications is not supported. Further, using the System in situations
where its use or failure could result in loss of life, bodily injury or property damage is expressly prohibited.
Packing List
Your Seagull Pro Flight System includes the following components:
Wireless Telemetry Data Dashboard Receiver and transmitter
Flight Data Recorder Pro,
Temperature sensor
RPM sensor with magnets
Airspeed tubes: Brass pitot tube, brass static tube, plastic ‘T’ fitting, and two 3 foot lengths of pitot tube hose,
4 servo Y cables,
USB cable,
plastic clip for mounting dashboard to radio antenna,
Windows CD,
Optional: Rubber Antenna with SMA connector for SMA Dashboard option
Note: The 900 MHz/1 Watt system includes Rubber Antennas for both the Dashboard and Transmitter
Please see our website support page for updates to this manual if changes were made after printing. Also, check our support page for
updates to the Windows software.
Optional expanders for measuring Temperature, RPM, Servo movements, G-Force, Exhaust Gas Temperature, Electric
Current/Voltage, GPS, fuel level, spark RPM, and other parameters are available from Eagle Tree Systems. An External Hookup Kit
is also available if you want to download data from your vehicle without removing the wing.
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Steps to Follow
This manual is divided into two sections, Basic and Advanced. The Basic section describes minimal installation and setup of the Pro
unit. These steps do not require a computer. The Advanced section describes other features and options available, and does require a
NOTE: It is recommended that the basic installation be attempted first to verify system operation, before connecting the device to a
computer in the advanced section.
Installation and use of your Seagull Pro system will be quite easy if you follow these few steps:
Read through the manual to understand the warnings, determine the installation and setup sequence, etc.
Install the system as described in the Basic setup instructions below.
If desired, configure the Pro system with your PC, as described the Advanced setup instructions below.
Bench and range test your vehicle.
Your Seagull Pro system Dashboard display has been pre-configured for the following options: Temperature 1, RPM (using 1
magnet), Variometer, Airspeed, Altitude, Climbrate, Receiver voltage, received packet percentage, and signal strength. Other
parameters may be displayed (and alarms programmed) by connecting the unit to a PC and running the Windows application. See the
Advanced section for instructions for reconfiguration.
Important Warnings
Make sure you have the right transmitter for your area. You are responsible for determining
whether you may use your transmitter in your country! See the transmitter specifications below for
information on frequency and power output. In general, transmitters marked EU or CE are suitable
for use in Europe, and transmitters marked FCC are suitable for USA operation.
It is very important that you “Antenna Down” range check your vehicle per your radio
manufacturer’s instructions after installing or reconfiguring any electronic equipment, and generally
before each operation. In the unlikely event that you have range issues, see the Troubleshooting
The Seagull system is to be used only as described in the “Intended Uses” section below. Other uses
are not supported, and uses where loss of life or injury may result are expressly forbidden.
Operating your vehicle requires that you keep your eyes on it and give it your full attention. Looking
at the Seagull LCD display while the vehicle is in operation is strongly discouraged. Use the
programmable audible alarms, or have an assistant look at the display, as necessary.
The Seagull Transmitter and Dashboard Receiver antennas are very flexible, but use care that you
don’t mount them in such a way that they could cause eye or other bodily contact injury.
Basic Installation and Setup Instructions
This section describes the minimal setup and configuration required to use your system.
No computer is required for this section.
Install your Data Acquisition Module (Recorder)
NOTE: The recorder’s label has a handy color coded means of indicating the polarity of the various connectors. The red dots on
the label, which are on only one side of the text corresponding to each input, indicate on which side of the plug the red wire
should go.
Connecting the Airspeed Pitot/Static Tubes
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WARNING: If you mount the Pitot Tube in such a way that it might induce drag on your vehicle, you need to make sure that
it won’t cause the vehicle to become unstable during flight!
The Recorder uses pressure differential via a Pitot/static Tube (a piece of flexible hose which you will fit with a short piece of brass
insert, supplied) to measure airspeed, just as full size planes do. The static and pitot ports for the FDR PRO are on the side of the
recorder. See Figure 1.
The length of the tube should not have a significant effect on airspeed measurement, so it should be no problem to lengthen or shorten
the supplied tube. Also, it is generally OK to use different, larger or smaller brass tubes, which should not affect airspeed
measurement significantly.
NOTE: It is of course not necessary to use the Pitot/static Tube with the Recorder if you are not interested in measuring airspeed – the
other functions of the Recorder will work without airspeed readings.
NOTE: Additional Pitot Tube kits are available for purchase on our website.
Included with your kit are two brass tubes, which can be installed in your vehicle. The pitot tube is mounted so that it is parallel to
the direction of travel, as shown in the figure below. Make sure that the pitot tube is extending well into undisturbed air, away from
any propwash.
There are 3 options for providing a static source, depending on the nature of the airframe, the desired level of accuracy, permanence of
installation, and other factors.
Option A: A true static pickup can be created with the included second brass tube. See Figure 1 for details of this method. To
create the static pickup, you will need to drill 4 small holes into the side of the tube, spaced equally around the circumference of the
tube. If it is difficult to drill all four holes around the tube in a circle, two of the holes can be drilled farther forward than the other two.
Also, a larger diameter tube can be used to make this easier, if the extra weight can be accommodated.
These holes should be drilled 1.5” or more from the front of the tube, but should not be too close to the tube mount. The holes
should be approximately 1/32” in diameter, and should be deburred if there are burrs from drilling. Once the holes are drilled, the
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front opening of the tube should be plugged with epoxy or other.
travel, near the pitot tube, as shown in the below figure.
The static tube is mounted parallel to the direction of
Option B: (Recommended if drilling the Brass Tube would be challenging) A static source can be obtained from the side of the
fuselage, with the rubber tube (or a short piece cut from the brass tube) mounted absolutely flush with the side of the fuselage, so that
the mouth of the tube is pointing perpendicular to the direction of plane travel. The location of the static tube should be chosen so
that the least disturbance of air possible occurs.
Option C: If the airplane’s fuselage is relatively sealed, with no large “ram” air openings in the nose of the plane, you can likely
obtain good readings by just leaving the altitude and static airspeed connections unconnected, and
Altitude Measurement
The Seagull Pro system measures altitude via a sensor inside the unit. Altimeters measure slight pressure differences to determine
elevation. Since these pressure differences are relatively small, it’s important that the airplane’s internal pressure doesn’t vary much
due to propwash or moving through the air. Such variation can occur if the front portion of the plane has an opening that causes air
to compress inside of the plane when air is forced into this opening. If there is variation inside the fuselage, make sure that you have
installed a static port, and connected the altitude port to the static source via the T fitting, as shown in Figure 1.
Installing Temperature Sensor(s)
Your Pro system comes with one temperature sensor, and the dashboard is configured to display one temperature. If you purchased
additional Temperature Sensors, you will be able to monitor up to four temperatures with your system (two using our loop type sensors,
and two using our Exhaust Gas Temperature expander). Plug the Futaba style connector from the sensor into the recorder as shown in
Figure 1.
Note: the Temperature Sensor lead can be easily extended with a standard servo extension cable.
Installing RPM Sensors and Magnets
After installing the included RPM sensor and magnets, you will be able to measure the RPM of your vehicle’s motor. Installing the
RPM sensor and magnets is the most challenging part of installation, but is relatively easy once a good mounting location is determined.
Refer to our website’s Flight support page at http://www.eagletreesystems.com for pictures of
example installations.
To install our magnets, first find a suitable location on your engine’s motor to attach either one
or two small magnets and RPM sensor. Typically, the prop washer or prop hub are ideal
locations. This will of course vary with make and model of aircraft. Make sure the magnets
are mounted on some structure that doesn’t “flop around,” as the magnets could hit the sensor in
this case. The RPM sensor must be mounted so that it does not move around, and is within 12 mm of the two magnets as they spin. On typical plane installations, there’s usually a place
where the back of the sensor can be glued to a flat surface under or over the hub which has the
magnets mounted. The Recorder kit includes four magnets. That provides you with up to 3
Installing Magnets
Once you have determined where to install the magnets, decide whether you will drill a hole so
that the magnets will mount flush with the surface, or if you will just glue the magnets to the
surface. Though somewhat more difficult and permanent, mounting the magnet flush with the
surface is the best long term approach, since the mounting will be much more rugged, and the
risk of imbalance due to not mounting the magnets exactly 180 degrees apart is reduced. In fact, if the magnet is mounted flush in
another metal material, it is quite possible that no shaft imbalance will occur if you only mount one of the magnets total.
To flush mount the magnets, drill a hole just slightly larger than the diameter of the magnet size you choose, and of the same depth as
that magnet. If you decide to surface mount the magnets, thoroughly clean this area and lightly scuff it to improve adhesion. Glue
the magnets with the side marked with a red line facing inward (hidden), using epoxy, or other strong, suitable glue. It’s important
that the red line on the magnets faces away from the sensor once the sensor is installed. The magnets should be glued 180 degrees
apart to keep the shaft in balance.
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WARNING: make sure that the magnets are glued sufficiently so that they will not detach and create a hazard,
and always wear safety glasses when your engine is running! It is also a good idea to put a piece of heatshrink tubing or
electrical tape around the magnets, to further secure them.
Using Existing Magnets
Note: if your engine already has magnets mounted for some other purpose, there’s a good chance you can use them. Take one of the
magnets included with your recorder, and put that magnet up against the previously mounted magnet. If the red line of the Recorder
magnet faces down so that the sensor can be mounted facing the side of the magnet with no red line, mount the sensor with the printed
side toward the magnet. If the side of the magnet with the red line is visible when on top of the previous magnet, the polarity is
reversed. This should work correctly if you install our sensor backwards (printed side of sensor away from magnets), though we have
not tried it.
We are often asked whether existing magnets on spark ignition engines can be used. The answer is “yes” in most cases, if you can
install the sensor near enough to rotating magnets. We have found that these engines typically have 3 magnets, with 2 magnets
mounted with one polarity, and the other one with another polarity. The easiest way to use these magnets is to install the sensor with
the printed side facing the magnets (as described below) then run the motor and see what RPMs are recorded after setting up the gear
ratio. If the RPM looks like it is only half of the correct value, double the gear ratio value you entered, to compensate for only one
magnet being in the right polarity. We have received problem reports of RPM reading errors when the RPM sensor is mounted very
near the magneto of spark engines, so we recommend mounting it 180 degrees away from the magneto, or as far away as possible.
Installing the RPM Sensor
Once the magnets are glued and completely dry, temporarily position the RPM sensor so that the side of the sensor with printing (or
colored dot) is facing the side of the magnets WITHOUT the red line. The sensor now needs to be glued so that it is held rigidly
into position. Before gluing, put a small spacer (1-2 mm thick) between the sensor and one of the magnets to ensure proper spacing.
If desired, a small piece of brass tubing can be glued or heatshrunk to the back of the sensor to ease mounting and increase stability.
After the sensor is glued and completely dry, remove the small spacer and rotate the propeller to ensure complete freedom of
movement. Also make sure that the sensor won’t vibrate and come in contact with the magnets during driving. If this happens, the
sensor will be destroyed, and the Recorder could be damaged.
Once these steps are complete, plug the Futaba style connector on the sensor into the recorder as shown in figure 1.
standard Futaba style servo extension cable can be used to lengthen the wire if needed.
Note that a
Using Existing RPM Sensors
Several of our customers have been able to use existing RPM sensors, such as governors or turbine sensors, with our products.
following steps must be followed:
1) Determine the “pinout” of the existing sensor. Compatible sensors will have Power, Ground, and Signal connections. The
Recorder’s RPM pinout, from left to right, is: Power (black wire), Ground (red wire), Signal (white wire).
2) Devise a “Y” cable to connect your existing sensor to it’s connection, and also to the Recorder’s RPM connection. NOTE:
Power for the sensor should come only from the connection the sensor is normally plugged into. So, only Gound and Signal
wires should be routed from the existing sensor to the recorder. The power wire of the Y cable between the sensor and the
recorder should be cut before connecting it to the recorder. This is necessary to avoid connecting the power of the existing
sensor connection to the Recorder’s power connection.
3) Thoroughly test the system to make sure the sensor still works with whatever it was originally connected to, after Y’ing to the
Installing Secondary RPM Sensor(s)
With the PRO recorder, up to 3 MODIFIED secondary RPM sensors can be used, for a total of 4 RPMs. The secondary RPM
sensors plug into the 3 servo slots nearest the switch on the Recorder. The servo slot nearest the switch is RPM sensor 2 in the
software. Each secondary RPM sensor used MUST be modified as described below.
The secondary RPM sensors must be modified by swapping the red and black wires in the RPM sensor plug. Carefully pry back the
plastic tabs that hold each pin in the plug, remove the red and black pins, and re-install them so that the pin order is RED, BLACK,
WHITE. The second RPM sensor plugs into the servo port with the red wire to the right, nearest the edge of the recorder.
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The secondary RPM channels are automatically set up with the same gear ratio as the primary RPM. The secondary
RPM sensor(s) are logged and displayed on the screens with the other parameters, as described below.
NOTE: When using secondary RPM sensors in any of the servo ports, servo port monitoring will not work correctly. It is a good idea
to select “Do not calibrate servos” in the New Model Wizard if you plan on using multiple RPMs.
NOTE: for the secondary RPM sensor to work, there has to be voltage from 4.5 to 6.5 V supplied to one or both of the servo inputs (as
shown in Figure 1). This is normally done with the Y Cables, a separate battery, or your BEC.
Powering the Recorder
IMPORTANT: If you are using the 1 Watt 900 MHz Transmitter, special care must be given to ensure that the supplied
power remains between 5V and 5.75V. The 1 Watt Transmitter will stop transmitting if powered above 5.75V, and will
reduce power output to 500 mW (when in High Power mode) if the voltage drops below 5V.
First, determine if you wish to log servo positions. If you decide to log servo positions, you will be connecting the Recorder to up to
4 of your receiver via the ‘Y’ cables. See the Advanced section for more information on servo monitoring.
If you decide not to log servo positions, you would normally still power the Recorder from your receiver battery by connecting one of
the Y cables from one of your receiver channels to one of the Servo slots on the Recorder. You can either “Y in” to a used slot on
your receiver, or just plug one end of the Y cable into an empty receiver slot.
If you want to power the Recorder from a separate battery, meaning that you want complete electrical isolation between the Recorder
and your receiver, you can power the Recorder with a small 4.8v battery plugged into one of the servo slots.
Installing the Optional Battery Backup Harness
In most cases, the Recorder can be successfully powered by the Y cables from the receiver. If you have problems with recorder
power during acceleration or steering, as described in the troubleshooting section, this can be remedied by adding a small backup
battery to power the recorder. To add the backup battery, plug the larger end of the optional backup harness into the recorder. The
backup harness is a two wire cable with a Futaba style male connector on one end, and a larger male connector on the other end.
The large end of the backup harness plugs into the USB port of the recorder, with the red wire in the same place as the red wire of the
USB cable (as shown in the drawing).
The backup battery must be at least 4.5volts to power the recorder. Power is only drawn from the backup battery when the voltage
being supplied through the Y cables drops below the voltage of the backup battery, so if you use a 4.5 volt backup battery, no power
should be drawn from it except for moments when the main battery drops below this voltage. Therefore, it is possible to use a very
small pack (a tiny 4 cell pack or possibly 3 watch type batteries) as the backup battery. Note of course that the backup battery must
be disconnected whenever the receiver is turned off, as it will power the recorder whenever power is not supplied to the recorder from
the receiver. If you want to get fancy, you could add a DPDT switch in place of the standard receiver switch and turn off the backup
battery whenever you turn off the receiver.
Installing the Seagull Transmitter in your Vehicle
Choose a location in your vehicle to install the transmitter. The transmitter is normally mounted with Velcro or double sided tape.
Ideally, the transmitter will be installed with its antenna and body as far away from your radio receiver (RX) as possible, with the
antenna protruding at right angles with your RX antenna, to reduce the possibility of interference. For example, if you have a plane
with the receiver mounted horizontally along the plane’s fuselage, mount the Seagull so that the antenna is protruding from the vehicle
vertically, as far forward of the RX antenna as possible. Best reception will be obtained if the Seagull antenna is vertical.
Connecting the Seagull Transmitter to your Data Recorder
Ensure that the Recorder is not powered when connecting the transmitter, and ensure that the red wire of the transmitter
cable corresponds with the red dot on the port label (to the right of the connector). Plug the Seagull Transmitter cable into the
“Expansion” port on your Recorder, as shown in Figure 1. Install the transmitter in the upper row of pins, as shown in the figure.
Using the Seagull Wireless Dashboard
The Seagull Dashboard Receiver (the Dashboard) operates from a standard 9V battery. The battery installs in the back snap-off
compartment of the Dashboard. Approximately 12-14 hours continuous use is typical with an alkaline battery with the 900
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MHz/200mW and 433 MHz versions. Approximately 3-4 hours of continuous use is typical with the 2.4 GHz and 900
MHz/1 Watt systems. Optionally, any battery of between 5-16 volts can be used to power the Dashboard. Rechargeable 9V batteries
will work, but the run time will be significantly reduced.
Note: If the Dashboard will be unused for long periods, it is a good idea to remove the battery
Note: When removing the battery clip, use your thumb to pop the clip off from the side without the wires. Pushing on the wire side
can break the battery clip or the wires.
Variometer Function: Your Dashboard contains a sophisticated varying tone Variometer, employing electronic Total Energy
Compensation, based on changes in Airspeed. Basic variometers do not support total energy, which means that “stick thermals” are
reported by the variometer if you descend or ascend due to elevator movement. Standard total energy variometers reduce the effects
of moving the elevator by monitoring the pitch of the aircraft, which requires an additional probe to be mounted. The Seagull Pro
system uses the airspeed pitot tube for total energy calculations, requiring no additional tube.
The variometer produces a varying tone, which changes as you ascend or descend
at different rates. When ascending, the tone will be broken, with the tone
frequency increasing as the rate of ascent increases. When descending, the tone
will be continuous, with the tone frequency decreasing as your rate of descent
Several parameters of the variometer are adjustable. See the Configuration Menu
section below for more information.
The Dashboard includes a small speaker, or a set of standard headphones or
‘earbuds’ can be plugged into the dashboard for noisy areas. Note that the
headphone volume is fixed.
Stall Speed Function: Your dashboard can be used as an aid to maintaining correct landing speed. See the Stall Speed section below
for more information.
USB Connection: The USB cable supplied with your Recorder connects to the Dashboard at this port. Note that the RED wire of the
USB cable goes up, as shown by the red dot above “USB” on the Dashboard label.
LCD Display: The 16 x 2 LCD character display is easily programmed to display up to four vehicle parameters per screen page.
Display Contrast: if the display contrast is not to your liking, remove the battery plate, and carefully turn the blue potentiometer next
to the battery compartment until the contrast is better.
Pushbutton 1 (up arrow): The leftmost pushbutton advances to the next LCD screen page. Holding down this button brings up the
configuration menu.
In Menu mode, this button increases the value of the parameter.
Pushbutton 2 (down arrow): This pushbutton returns to the previous LCD screen page.
In Menu mode, this button decreases the value of the parameter.
Pushbutton 3 (Disp/Reset Max): pressing this pushbutton briefly causes the Dashboard to toggle between Max and Live modes. In
Max Mode, the parameters displayed have a carat (^) next to them to indicate they are the max parameters recorded. Note that some
parameters are not captured in Max Mode – these are displayed with “***”. Figure 6 shows which parameters have the Max feature.
In Live Mode, the data displayed are the live values received from the Transmitter.
Holding down this pushbutton for approximately two seconds zeros the Max parameters.
In Menu Mode, this pushbutton takes you to the next menu item.
Pushbutton 4 (Mute/Power): When the unit is in operation, pressing this button mutes or unmutes the audio portion of the
Dashboard, as well as turning off power. What happens when the mute button is pressed briefly depends on the state of the audio
• If the audio is unmuted, and no alarm beeps are in progress, pushing the button causes the Dashboard to go into “Mute All”
state. No beeps will be heard in this state.
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If the audio is in “Mute All” state, pushing the button causes the Dashboard to go into “Unmute” state. All
beeps will be heard in this state.
If the audio is unmuted, and alarm beeps are in progress, the Dashboard will go into “Mute Current” state. This state mutes
only the currently sounding alarm to be muted. All other beeps will be heard, and the currently sounding alarm will be heard
once the alarm condition occurs again.
When the Mute/Power button is held for approximately 2 seconds, the Dashboard is powered off.
Note: Pressing any of the keys when the power is off powers up the Dashboard.
Note: The Dashboard will power off after approximately 5 minutes when no signal is being received, and no buttons are pressed.
Configuration Menu
Holding the Pushbutton 1 (up arrow) button on the SRX puts the unit in Menu mode. Holding it again takes you out of Menu mode.
In Menu mode, pressing/releasing up and down arrows varies the parameter, and pressing Pushbutton 3 (Disp/Reset Max) takes you to
the next menu item. All of these parameters can be selected and changed while your vehicle is in the air!
Here is a description of the menus:
• “Vario Avg Secs” – This setting controls the averaging period of the variometer, in 10ths of a second units. For faster
response, lower periods are recommended, but in rougher air longer periods may be required to avoid false alarms. Pressing
up/down arrows changes the averaging period.
• “Vario Sinkrate” – this setting controls the minimum sinkrate. Normally, this would be set to the standard sinkrate of your
vehicle, i.e., the rate at which it descends in smooth air with no thermals. When you descend at a rate greater than this
sinkrate, the variometer will start to sound, as described in the “Variometer” section above. Pressing up/down arrows
changes this parameter.
• “Vario Climbrate” – this setting controls the minimum climbrate. When you ascend at a rate greater than this climbrate, the
variometer will start to sound, as described in the “Variometer” section above. Pressing up/down arrows changes this
• “Vario Freq Shift” – This setting changes the amount the pitch changes as the climbrate increases/decreases. If you are not
hearing enough change, increase this parameter, and vice versa for too much frequency change.
• “Total Energy %” – this adjusts the scaling of the Total Energy Compensation calculation. 100% means that Kinetic Energy
is converted into Potential Energy directly, i.e., any change in airspeed is assumed to directly negate any change in altitude.
Less than 100% reduces the degree which airspeed change affects Total Energy, and increasing it above 100% increases the
• “Sinkrate Capture” – This feature lets you capture your current speed and sinkrate at various times in your flight. When this
page is selected, you should fly at the desired speed, and hit Up Arrow when ready to capture. The unit will beep twice
when each sinkrate is captured. Up to 10 sinkrates can be captured. When the 10th sinkrate is captured, the unit will beep
four times, indicating that future captures will overwrite the oldest capture.
Ready for Action
Now that you have completed basic installation and configuration of the Seagull system, it’s time to actually use it.
Power on your vehicle as you normally would, turning on your radio transmitter before powering up the vehicle.
LED should blink normally (one flash repeating) after powering up the vehicle.
The Recorder’s
NOTE: Always wait 15 seconds after powering down your Recorder, before powering it back on. This will ensure that the
Recorder and transmitter start properly.
Next, power on your Dashboard. Since the Dashboard calibrates several of the parameters on powerup, always turn on your vehicle
first, then turn on your Dashboard (or turn the Dashboard power off and on after you vehicle is turned on).
At this point, the Dashboard should display live data. By default, the dashboard will display Temperature 1, RPM (using 1 magnet),
Variometer, Airspeed, Altitude, Climbrate, Receiver voltage, received packet percentage, and signal strength. Other parameters
may be displayed (and alarms programmed) by connecting the unit to a PC and running the Windows application. See the Advanced
section for instructions for reconfiguration.
If the Dashboard displays “No Signal”, consult the Troubleshooting section below.
Once the Seagull system is communicating, consider how you will mount and use the Dashboard. The Dashboard can be mounted
to your radio transmitter, using the supplied plastic clip with adhesive. Just remove the adhesive backing from the clip, mount the
clip on the back of the dashboard, and clip the ring around your radio’s antenna. You can further stabilize the dashboard with a strip
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of Velcro on the dashboard’s bottom. Or, just hand the dashboard your crew or buddy to monitor your run, or just place
it in your shirt pocket. It is a very bad idea to take your eyes off your model during operation!
Happy flying!
Advanced Installation and Setup Instructions
This section describes more advanced setup and configuration. A computer is required for this section, and some features listed
require optional accessories.
Connecting the Recorder to Your Aircraft’s Servos and Receiver
With the four included Servo ‘Y’ cables, you will be able to monitor your plane’s servo movements (up to four channels). The
custom, heavy duty ‘Y’ cables with Universal connectors install in line between your throttle, rudder, aileron and elevator servos and
your radio receiver. The servo movements can be displayed on the dashboard, or logged in the recorder and played back on your
PC. See the sections on “Telling the Recorder What to Log” and “Seagull Dashboard Setup Utility Instructions” for setting up the
software to display the servo movements.
Normally, when the servo ‘Y’ cables are installed, the system is powered by the receiver through the ‘Y’ cables. If you want to power
the Recorder from a separate battery, meaning that you want complete electrical isolation between the Recorder and your receiver, you
can power the Recorder with a small separate battery as described in the Installing Battery Backup Harness section below.
Connection of the ‘Y’ cables is simple: connect the center (male) keyed connector of the ‘Y’ to one of the 4 keyed slots servo slots in
the recorder (see Figure 1), connect the remaining male connector one of the channels on your receiver, and connect the female ‘Y’
connector to the servo which you previously connected to that channel of the receiver. Note: It doesn’t matter which of the 4 keyed
recorder slots you plug your ‘Y’ cables into – the Recorder Application will automatically detect which servos are connected where
during application setup.
WARNING: Do not connect ‘Y’ cables to any other location on the recorder. Doing so may damage the recorder or other
Note: The ‘Y’ cables included should be compatible with most of the currently available receivers, such as Futaba™, JR™, Tower™,
and HiTec™. The pinout of the ‘Y” cables is as follows: Black = ground, Red = power, White = servo signal.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to make sure that your receiver and servos are pin compatible with the Y cables before
connecting. Serious damage could result to your receiver, servo or recorder if they are not compatible.
Removing the Recorder from your Vehicle
When you remove the Recorder, and are using the optional ‘Y’ cables. your servos are still connected to your receiver so it’s not
necessary to remove the ‘Y’ cables from the plane to operate it without the Recorder. Be sure however that the connectors are kept
from shorting.
Note: Additional ‘Y’ cables, RPM sensors and temperature sensors are available for purchase on our website if you wish to install
and leave ‘Y’ cables in more than one plane. This makes it very easy to use the same recorder with multiple Flights.
Also, there is an external hookup kit available from Eagle Tree Systems which extends the USB, pushbutton and LED to the outside of
your plane. This allows for easy downloading and control of the Recorder without removing the canopy or wing.
Installing and Using the Windows™ Application
Installing the Windows Application
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The supplied Windows application is compatible with USB equipped PCs running Windows 98SE, Millennium, Win
2K, and Win XP. The application is not compatible with Windows 98 Original Edition (Gold), or NT 4, even if the PC has USB
NOTE: the application included on CD with the unit was current at the time of manufacture. Please check our Flight Support page
on http://eagletreesystems.com to see if there is a newer version of the app which may have addressed issues you could encounter.
To install the application, just place the CD in the CD-ROM drive. If AutoPlay is enabled on your PC, the setup program should run
automatically. If it does not run, click on My Computer, click on the icon for your CD-ROM drive, and click on the “Flight Data
Recorder” application icon in the drive window.
Follow the Setup Wizard to install the Recorder application. Once installation is complete, the Recorder may be launched either from
its Desktop Icon, or by choosing the Recorder application from the Start->Programs->Eagle Tree Systems folder.
Setting up the Recorder with the Application
Once the application is installed, follow the above steps to launch it. The first time the application is launched, the New Model
Wizard will be invoked.
The Wizard will prompt you to install the Recorder using the supplied USB cable.
Warning: Make sure you connect the custom USB plug with the correct polarity, and into the correct connector on the Recorder,
as shown in Figure 1. Not doing this could cause damage!
When you do this for the first time, the behavior will be different depending on which version of Windows you are using:
Windows 98™: The Recorder and application are not compatible with Windows 98.
Windows 98SE™ and Windows Millennium™: When the Recorder is first connected to the USB port, the New Hardware Wizard
will likely appear. Follow the steps in the Wizard, choosing the options to allow Windows to find the appropriate drivers for the
Recorder – these drivers are built into Windows. If the devices you already have on your computer haven’t required the installation
of the USB drivers, Windows will prompt you for your Windows CD to copy over the drivers. Once this process is complete, you
may be asked to reboot the system. Reboot at this point, then relaunch the Recorder Application, and the New Flight Wizard should
start up again.
Windows 2000 ™ and Windows XP ™: When the Recorder is first connected to the USB port, Windows should automatically
install the correct drivers without prompting you. If you should receive a Windows prompt, however, do what it says.
Once the Recorder is correctly discovered and installed by Windows, continue on with the New Flight Wizard, relaunching the app
after reboot if necessary.
Telling the Recorder what to Log
Your Recorder has built-in data logging capability. The first time you run the app, you will be prompted to choose what driving
parameters you wish to log. The more items you log, the less record time will be available. A description of the parameters is
Servo movements: If one or more of these parameters is checked, the recorder will log the positions of the corresponding servos,
assuming you have the optional ‘Y’ cables installed. Choose these options if you want to see controller movements during your
flight, etc. .
Servo Glitches: If this option is selected, the recorder detects and logs three different types of servo glitches: short servo pulses (less
than 740uSec), long servo pulses (greater than 2.25 mSec) and missing servo pulses (no pulse for 100mSec). The most common
causes of glitches are low receiver or transmitter battery, driving out of range of your transmitter, or defective receiver. Note that it is
normal to see a series of glitch notifications right after the recorder or the transmitter is powered up.
Receiver Battery Voltage: Selecting this parameter causes the recorder to log your receiver’s battery voltage (or whatever battery is
being used to power the recorder). Note that it is normal to see rapid spikes in the receiver battery voltage on playback, but if you are
seeing voltage drops below 4.5 volts on a regular basis, you should test your battery. The Recorder constantly monitors battery
voltage even if this option is not checked, and will shut itself down if the battery voltage consistently is below around 4.5 volts to save
power for the receiver. The recorder will log an error in this case. The recorder will “reboot” if the voltage falls below 4.35 volts
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even for a short period, and logs an error in this case also. Error logs are displayed in the “Notification Area” of the
application during playback.
Speed: If this option is selected, the recorder logs the speed of your plane via the air pitot tube.
Altitude: If this option is selected, the recorder logs the flight’s altitude with each sample.
RPM: If this option is selected, the recorder logs the RPM of your Flight.
Temperature 1: Choose this option if you want to record temperature from the temperature sensor plugged into the “Tmp1” slot,
sold separately.
Temperature 2: Choose this option if you want to record temperature from the temperature sensor plugged into the “Tmp2” slot,
sold separately.
Optional Accessories: See the instruction manuals included with the optional accessories for information on logging these
parameters. Optional expanders for measuring Temperature, RPM, Servo movements, G-Force, Exhaust Gas Temperature, Electric
Motor Current/Voltage, and other parameters are available from Eagle Tree Systems.
Setting the Joystick Configuration Mode
This setting only needs to be changed if you are logging servo movements. The Recorder application defaults to US Mode 2 Joystick
configuration, which is:
Left Joystick controls throttle and rudder, and Right Joystick controls elevator and ailerons.
If you desire, you can select US Mode 1 via the Tools->Set Joystick Configuration Mode. Mode 1 is:
Left Joystick controls elevator and rudder, and Right Joystick controls throttle and ailerons.
Setting the “Stop on Full” Feature
After you complete the New Model Wizard for the first time, you will be prompted to choose whether you want the recorder to write
over its data when its buffer becomes full, or to stop when the Recorder is full. NOTE: You can change this setting later from the
Tools menu.
Setting the “Set Capture Rate” Feature
The Recorder can be adjusted to capture data in during flight at five different rates. The faster the capture rate, the more data is
obtained, but at the expense of record time. The default rate, four samples/second, gives good resolution and reasonable record
times. You may find that you can get plenty of record time even with the highest capture rate setting, however.
A note on record time: The recorder uses advanced data compression to get the most data recorded as possible. When your plane is
sitting idle before or after flying with the battery turned on, the recorder is still capturing data, but since not much is changing very
little data is recorded. But when the plane is actively being flown lots of data is being recorded.
Note: You can change this setting later from the Tools menu.
Setting the “Choose What to Display” Feature
The Recorder Application can display several flight parameters in both numeric and instrument format. Select the parameters you
wish the Application to display with this dialog box. Note that some of the parameters require optional accessories, available from
Eagle Tree Systems. Also note that the display area is limited, so not all parameters can be displayed at once. Numeric parameters
take up less space than instruments, so more numeric parameters can be displayed at once.
Note: Select the “Metric” checkbox on this dialog if you want metric operation. Also, you can change this setting later from the
Tools menu.
Setting the RPM to Motor Revolutions Parameter
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If you have the optional RPM sensor, for the Recorder Application to correctly determine the RPM of your motor, you must tell the
application how the rotation of the motor relates to the rotation of the magnets. The first time you run the app, you will be prompted
to enter this information.
Enter the number of times your motor turns with each rotation of the magnets as described in this dialog box.
Note: You can change this setting later from the Tools menu.
Setting Metric or English Units
Metric or English units are selected via the Windows Recorder Application (the App). The default setting is English units. To
change this, Click “Tools, Choose What to Display” in the app, and click on “Display In Metric.” This causes both the App display
and the Seagull LCD display to switch to metric.
NOTE: whenever you change this parameter, you must re-download data to the Seagull Dashboard, as described in “Seagull
Dashboard Data Setup Utility Instructions” below.
Seagull Configuration Wizard
To configure the Seagull system, plug the USB cable into your PC and the Data Recorder, and launch the App and select “Tools,
Seagull Setup Wizard.” This wizard will guide you through the rest of the installation process. See the below instructions on
configuring specific items in the Wizard:
Seagull Transmitter Type: Select either the FCC US Transmitter (red case) or the EU transmitter (gold case) depending on which
system you have.
Seagull ID: The Wizard automatically generates an ID for your Seagull system, which you can change in the wizard. The Seagull
ID uniquely attaches your Seagull Transmitter to your Dashboard. This attachment means that it is unlikely that other Seagull
systems at your site will interfere with your system, and it also keeps your data private to some degree. Note that the Seagull system
will not operate if the Seagull Transmitter and Dashboard are set to different ID’s.
Note: The Dashboard ID is displayed in Hexadecimal in the lower right-hand side of the LCD screen at Dashboard power up.
Set Beep on Seagull Keyboard Press: Check this wizard box if you want a short beep to sound on each press of the Dashboard
buttons. Note that in this mode, selecting Mute All will silence these beeps.
Seagull Power Level (FCC transmitter only): The Seagull Transmitter supports operation at low (around 8-12 milliwatt) and high
(around 200 milliwatt) power levels. Normally low power is good for indoor use, and high power may be required for outdoor use.
Warning: Always range check your vehicle after changing power levels!
Connecting the Dashboard to USB: When the Wizard asks you to Connect the Seagull Dashboard, disconnect the Recorder from
the USB connection, and connect the Dashboard as described in the “Seagull Dashboard Receiver Instructions” section above. Note:
Follow the Wizard instructions carefully – if the computer needs to reboot the first time the Dashboard is installed, do so and relaunch
the Wizard after reboot.
After the Dashboard is successfully discovered by your PC, “USB Mode Active” should display on the LCD window. If this does not
happen, see the Troubleshooting section below.
Launching the Dashboard Data Setup Utility: After the Dashboard is discovered by the PC, the Next button of the Wizard should
ungray, and hitting Next take you to the final page of the Wizard. This page has a button to launch the Dashboard Data Setup Utility.
See the below section on running this utility. Once the utility is successfully run, the Finish button of the Wizard will ungray.
Seagull Dashboard Data Setup Utility Instructions
This utility (the Utility) will appear the first time you run the Seagull Configuration Wizard, and can be re-run by selecting “Tools,
Edit Seagull Display” in the App. This utility is the tool used to bring your Seagull Dashboard to life – it gives you the capability of
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configuring all of the items displayed on the LCD screen, setting up alarms, and configuring the Climbrate Alarm
settings (Flight Systems).
Figure 4 shows the main page of the Utility.
The Utility main page is divided into the following section:
Select Data Parameter to Configure on the Dashboard LCD: This section contains the tools to select what, how and where
parameters are displayed on the LCD pages.
Figure 6 provides a table of the parameters that can be configured with your system.
To select and configure a parameter, choose the parameter to be configured in the “Select Feature to Display” window. A “o” next to
an item indicates that this item is already selected for display, and choosing it will allow you to edit the item. After selecting the
parameter, click the “Enable this parameter…” checkbox to enable the parameter to be displayed/configured, or uncheck it to remove
it from the list.
Once the parameter is enabled, choose where the parameter will be displayed by choosing the location in the “Select Display
Location” window. A “o” next to the location chosen means it is already in use by this or another parameter. Choosing a location
that is in use already will cause the parameter using it to be disabled.
The window labeled “Enter the label to display..” in this section displays the 3 digit label that will be displayed beside this parameter
on the LCD. You can change this 3 digit label to be whatever you want. For example, if Temperature Sensor 1 was attached to your
Cylinder Head, you might label this parameter “CHT.”
NOTE: If the data for each parameter grows large, such as a large RPM, the middle character in the 3 digit label will be eliminated to
show all the numeric digits in the parameter. For example, “RPM 0” would become “RM 40342” in this case.
Set up alarms (if any) to be triggered by values of the above parameter: This section contains the tools to set up audible and
visual alarms for many of the displayed parameters.
NOTE: See the “Servo” section below for information on Servo setup.
NOTE: If you have a Flight System and select Climbrate, see the “Configuring Climbrate Alarms” section below.
To enable a “High Alarm” for a parameter, meaning that the alarm should activate if the parameter exceeds the set value, check the
High Alarm Enabled button.
To enable a “Low Alarm” for a parameter, meaning that the alarm should activate if the parameter falls below the set value, check the
High Alarm Enabled button.
NOTE: only a high or a low alarm can be configured for each parameter (not both).
To enter the alarm value, type the high or low threshold in the “Enter the Alarm Trigger Value” window. For values, such as RX
voltage, with a decimal place, enter the fractional part in the box to the right of the decimal point. For example, to set an alarm if
your RX voltage drops below 4.8 volts, enter 4 and 8 in the two boxes.
See the Parameter table in Figure 6 for high and low alarm limits. NOTE: when an alarm is triggered, a “!” appears to the right of the
parameter label on the LCD, to indicate the parameter is in an alarm state.
If you wish to have an audible beep sound when the alarm is triggered, configure the beep alarm as follows:
Select the number of beeps to sound in the “Number of Beeps” window.
Select the beep length in the “Length of each Beep” window.
Select the length of the “silence” between each of the beeps in the “Length of silent pause between beeps” window.
If you wish the beeps to repeatedly sound when the alarm condition occurs, click on the “Check here to cause the alarm beeps to
sound continuously…” checkbox. If you wish the alarm to only sound once when the condition occurs, uncheck this box. Note that
when the alarm condition goes away, and then recurs, the alarm will sound again in both these cases. See the muting section in the
“Seagull Dashboard Receiver Instructions” above for information on muting the alarms.
If you want to have the Dashboard switch to the LCD page that has the alarming parameter, check the “Check here to automatically
Switch…” checkbox.
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NOTE: If two or more alarm conditions occur simultaneously, only the last occurring condition will be signaled.
If the last condition to trigger an alarm goes away, the second to last currently active condition will be signaled, etc.
Once all the parameters you wish to display are configured, you can review the parameters by clicking the Preview button as shown in
Figure 5. The Preview window is a handy way to see which parameters are configured on which LCD page locations. A “***” in a
page location indicates that no parameter is displayed in that location.
Once the parameters are configured to your satisfaction, click OK, which will download the settings to the Dashboard. Note that you
can change the parameters at any time by following the above steps.
Note: If you wish to clear all previously configured parameters, hit the Clear button on the bottom of the utility.
Figure 4
Figure 5
Configuring Variometer Alarms
If you wish to configure climbrate and/or sinkrate alarms for variometer support, click the Climbrate/Variometer button in the alarms
section. Note that the Variometer/Climbrate button will only appear when the Variometer parameter is selected and Enabled. Note
also that when the Variometer parameter is enabled, the Configure Variometer page will also automatically appear.
Carefully read the instructions on the Configure Variometer page. This page should be self explanatory. The audible
climbrate/sinkrate alarms are configured in basically the same way that other alarm parameters are configured. One difference is that
both climbrate and sinkrate alarms can be simultaneously programmed.
Note that the altitude value displayed (if the altitude parameter is selected for display) is by default averaged and updated once during
each climbrate measurement time interval. If you wish to display the raw, unaveraged altitude value, uncheck this box. Note that the
altitude may “jump around” a bit if raw mode is chosen.
Configuring Landing Speed Variable Beeps (Stall Speed Alarm)
WARNING: the Stall Speed Alarm is only intended as an aid in maintaining a safe landing speed. Of course, stall speed
varies with pitch and other factors. Do not rely solely on the Stall Speed Alarm for feedback on your landing speed!
To set up a notification alarm which will begin beeping slowly at the specified airspeed, and increase down to a very rapid beep at half
the specified airspeed, follow the steps below:
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Select the “Speed” parameter, and enable it.
Click “Low Alarm Enabled” button.
Enter the speed at which you wish the Dashboard to begin beeping slowly, as the Alarm Trigger value.
Click the “Enable a varying beep rate for this alarm” button.
Note that none of the other alarm parameters for Speed have any effect, once the “Enable a varying beep rate for this alarm” button is
Before using the Stall Speed Alarm feature, we recommend gently squeezing the pitot tube, to simulate airspeed. First, squeeze it so
that the speed displayed on the Dashboard is near the trigger value you entered. The dashboard should beep slowly. Then, as you
slowly decrease pressure on the pitot tube, the beep rate will increase. It might be good practice to imagine yourself flying, and try to
keep a constant, safe speed just by listening to the beeps, and have a friend watch the dashboard to see if you are able to maintain a
safe speed.
Note that the alarm will silence whenever the speed drops below half of the trigger speed.
Servo Display on the Dashboard
If you calibrated your servo movements with the App during Recorder setup, the Seagull should display the correct names of your
servos, i.e., “Ailerons.” If you did not calibrate, servos will be labeled “Servo 1”, etc.
If you calibrated, the data values displayed for your servos should be as follows:
Rudder, Ailerons, Elevator: -100 to 100; Throttle: 0 to 100 (with negative values for idle trim down)
Using your Seagull in Laptop Live Mode
If you have a laptop at your site, or wish to see live data with your vehicle on the bench, the App can be used to view the Seagull data
parameters live in a “big screen” format, with almost infinite recording capability!
To use Live Mode, first select “Tools, Choose What to Display” in the App, and set up the parameters you want to display.
Seagull specific items are available to display, as well as the other parameters:
Seagull Signal Strength – this item shows the strength of the real-time signal coming from the Seagull Transmitter.
Seagull Packet Percent – this item shows the percentage of packets that were successfully received from Seagull.
To invoke Live Mode, first ensure that your Dashboard is receiving data from the transmitter. Then, connect the Dashboard to USB,
and click the Live Mode button on the App. A window may display asking you whether to record the Live Mode data. After
choosing this option, Live Mode should start and display the live parameters.
Note: several of the Live Mode parameters are zeroed when Live Mode is started. Stop and restart Live Mode if the parameters did
not correctly zero.
Note: whenever a packet is missed, the previous packet is duplicated in the Live Mode recording. The duplicated packets are marked
as duplicated in the “error” fields of the recording – these are visible when viewed in Excel. See the Recorder manual for more
information on viewing the files in Excel.
Note: if the 9 volt battery is installed in the Dashboard, the Dashboard will be powered by the battery even when the USB plug is
connected. If you wish to monitor or record very long runs with Live Mode, turn off all power to the Dashboard and remove the 9
volt battery. Then, the Dashboard will be powered by USB.
(Units) Standard?
RX Volts (V)
Temp 1 F, (C)
Min Value
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Max Value
424 (200)
Alarm Low
Alarm High Recorded
423 (199)
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Temp 2 F, (C)
Motor Voltage
Motor Current
Altitude Ft, (M)
Speed MPH,
RPMs (up to 4
G-Force X (G)
G-Force Y (G)
EGT 1 F, (C)
EGT 2 F, (C)
Climbrate FPM,
Seagull Signal
Received Packet
GPS Parameters
424 (200)
423 (199)
-2000 (-600)
30000 (9000)
29999 (8999)
290 (466)
289 (465)
2000 (1093)
2000 (1093)
1999 (1092)
1999 (1092)
-9999 (-2999)
9999 (2999)
-510 (-153)
510 (153)
Figure 6 – Table of Seagull Parameters
Using the Recorder/Data Logger
Please read the important information below on Recorder operation before using it in your plane.
The Recorder’s LED
The Recorder’s LED serves several purposes. When the Recorder is powered on when installed in your Flight, the LED flashes a
number of times to indicate your 4.8 or 6 volt battery’s charge state at power-up time. Five flashes indicates a fully charged battery,
and three or fewer flashes indicates that the battery is likely not safe to use. Loading can affect these readings, of course.
IMPORTANT: The Recorder’s battery indicator should be used as a guide only: you need to verify that the LED gives
accurate results with your system, and you need to make sure that your battery’s charge state is sufficient before flying under
the appropriate loads.
WARNING: The Recorder gives charge level indication for both 6 volt and 4.8 volt batteries, and attempts to detect which is
installed automatically.
Be aware that if you have installed a 6 volt battery and it goes so dead that it looks like a fully charged 4.8 volt battery, the
Recorder will flash five times
because it thinks the battery is fully charged, though the 6 volt battery is actually nearly dead!!
Once the Recorder is powered up in your Flight, it will either flash one or two times every second or so. This flash rate is longer or
shorter depending on the capture rate. This flashing indicates the following:
One Flash - The recorder is actively recording. This is the normal power-up state.
Two Flashes – The recorder is paused. This has happened either because the Recorder’s data buffer is full and you have selected the
“stop on full” mode described above, or you have manually paused the Recorder as described below in the Recorder Button section.
Three Flashes – The Recorder is connected to your PC’s USB connector, and has been recognized by the PC.
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The Recorder’s Pushbutton
The small red pushbutton on the Recorder serves two purposes.
When depressed and released quickly, the button toggles between Pause and Record modes. The LED will indicate the current mode
as described above.
When the button is depressed and held in for several seconds, the LED will flash rapidly, the Recorder’s Data Buffer will be cleared,
and the Recorder will flash to indicate battery voltage as described above.
NOTE: All data within the Recorder will be lost when the Recorder is reset in this manner!
After You’ve Flown
After flying with the Recorder, you can either remove the Recorder from your plane and take it to your PC, bring the plane with the
Recorder still in it to your PC, or (if you’re lucky) use a Laptop and connect to the Recorder in the field.
After you connect the Recorder to your PC’s USB interface, the LED should indicate USB connectivity with three repeating flashes
as described above.
Once the Recorder is connected, launch the Application and click on the Download From Recorder button.
Recorder’s Data Buffer into the Application for playback and saving.
This will load the
Use the play controls to play back the data. Note that the Slider can be dragged with the mouse by clicking and holding it then
moving it to the desired position.
The application displays the following information:
Notifications – this window displays messages about the flight. The three most common messages are:
o Startup/Reset Detected – this indicates that the Recorder has been turned on at the time specified
o Recorder low battery restart – this indicates that the Recorder has ‘rebooted’ because the power momentarily
dropped below 4.35 volts. See the troubleshooting section if you frequently see this message.
o Glitch detected – these messages tell you what type of glitch was detected, and on what servo the glitch occurred.
The most common causes of glitches are low receiver or transmitter battery, flying out of range of your transmitter,
or defective receiver. Note that it is normal to see a series of glitch notifications right after the recorder or the
transmitter is powered up.
Length/Progress – when stopped, this readout indicates the total recording length. When playing back, this meter indicates
current time into the flight.
Battery Voltage – this instrument indicates the current battery voltage during playback.
Graphical and/or Numeric Temperatures – The application can display up to two Temperature readings in either instrument
or numeric format.
Graphical and/or Numeric RPM – The application displays RPM readings in either instrument or numeric format.
Graphical Joysticks – Joystick positions are indicated via graphical joysticks.
Graphical and/or Numeric Speed – The plane’s speed, as computed from the air pitot tube can be displayed graphically and
Graphical and/or Numeric Altitude – The plane’s altitude is displayed when these options are selected.
Other display options are available with optional equipment from Eagle Tree Systems.
Multiple Session Support
Depending on the length of your modeling sessions, it is often possible to record multiple runs into the Recorder without having to
clear the buffer or overwrite data. The Recorder application will split multiple sessions automatically for you. By clicking the
“Sessions” option in either the playback or graphing pages of the app, you can display a separate session, or all sessions
simultaneously. When graphing all sessions simultaneously, vertical gray bars on the graph indicate where sessions start.
Note that a new session is created in the logger each time it is powered off and on.
Saving Flight Files
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After downloading flight data, if you wish to save the data to play back later or to share with friends, save the file with
the File->Save Recorder File menu. Note that the file is saved with a .FDR extension by default.
Graphing/Spreadsheet Compatibility
The Recorder application has extensive graphing capability built in. Just click on “Graph Data!” on the toolbar to graph loaded data.
Click on the HELP button on the graphing page for more information on graphing.
Also, the Recorder’s Data File is compatible with Excel ™ spreadsheet software, and perhaps other spreadsheet brands. Using
Excel™ is useful for graphing the data output from the recorder.
To load in Excel, save the data file from File->Save Recorder File, and in Excel™ choose File->Open, and select “All Files” in the
“Files of Type” box. Navigate the Excel dialog box to the location you saved the .FDR data file, and click on the filename. Excel
should then bring up the “Text Import Wizard”. Choose the “Delimited” option, and on the next page choose “Delimited with
Spaces”. The data should then load correctly in Excel.
The format of each line of data in the file is:
First Line: Plane Name
Second Line: Data about your plane’s setup. This line is needed to allow sharing of your flight files with others.
Third line: header indicating what each of the fields represents. These columns are:
Aileron Elevator Throttle Rudder Altitude RPM Speed Rec-Bat*10 Temp1*10 Temp2*10 Amps*100 PackVolt*100 GForceX GForceY ThermoA
ThermoB IsEvent EventError EventData Timestamp
The first four entries indicate servo positions. The values correspond with the length of the servo pulse for each servo. A lower #
means the pulse was shorter. A value of zero corresponds to a length of about 740uSec, and a value of 254 means about 2.25mSec.
If IsEvent is 1, the record contains event data as well as regular data. Typical events are power-up (restart), and servo glitches. Ignore
the non-event fields when IsEvent is set to 1.
Event Codes in the “EventCode” field are as follows (the first one is 0). Note that “internal” errors should be reported to Eagle Tree
ERROR_BATTERY_LOW – battery has fallen below a safe level for an extended period of time,
ERROR_RESTART – the recorder has been restarted normally,
ERROR_LOW_BAT_RESTART – the recorder has been restarted due to a brownout,
ERROR_SERVO_GLITCH_MISSED – a servo pulse was missing,
ERROR_SERVO_GLITCH_SHORT – a servo pulse was shorter than 740uSec,
ERROR_SERVO_GLITCH_LONG – a servo pulse was longer than 2.25mSec,
Timestamp indicates when each record was collected. The timestamp is in milliseconds.
Email us if you need more information on the file format.
Below is a list of problems that may be encountered, and steps to remedy them. If your particular issue is not addressed by the
below, see the Flight Support page at http://www.eagletreesystems.com/Support/support.html.
Issue: My plane’s altitude reading does not appear to be correct.
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Solution: If your plane is not airtight or at least sealed well up front, you may have altitude jumpiness, since the
altimeter measures changes in air pressure. Install the static source as described in the “Airspeed” section above.
Issue: I get the “No Signal” message from the Dashboard, and never see live data.
Solution: Make sure the Seagull Transmitter is plugged into the correct Recorder slot, and that the plug polarity is correct
Solution: Make sure that the Recorder light is flashing one repeated flash (or two repeated flashes if the Recorder buffer is full)
Solution: Make sure that the Recorder is not connected to USB.
Solution: Turn vehicle’s power off, WAIT 10 SECONDS, turn your vehicle’s power back on, and then turn your Dashboard off and
Solution: Make sure the Seagull ID is correctly set in both the Recorder and the Dashboard, by running through the Seagull Setup
Wizard again.
Solution: Make sure you have chosen a Recorder sampling rate that is Seagull compatible. This is set in the App by choosing
“Tools, Choose Capture Rate” with the Recorder connected. 10 Samples/Second is recommended.
Issue: My Dashboard is receiving data, but it doesn’t look like correct data.
Solution: Some parameters, like altitude, airspeed and current, are “zero calibrated” each time the Dashboard is turned on. If these
parameters are not zeroed, try turning off and on the Dashboard.
Issue: My altitude or airspeed values seem to drift, even when the vehicle is sitting still
Solution: Some slight drift may occur on the ground. Note that for airspeed, which is related to the square of pressure, slight drift
from zero will not affect your higher speed readings much. For example, if your Dashboard is displaying 4 MPH when not moving,
the error at 50 MPH would be much closer to 1 MPH, rather than 4 MPH.
Issue: I am unable to successfully complete an “antenna down” range check with the Seagull Transmitter running. I am seeing servo
jitter or observing reduced range during range checking.
Solution: First, verify that the problem does NOT happen with the Recorder/Transmitter removed from the plane.
Solution: Try low power transmit mode if you are not using it (requires PC connection). Note that low power mode is the default.
Solution: Try operating the Recorder/Transmitter without any recorder cables connected to your radio RX. This will require a
separate small battery to power the Recorder, and servos cannot be monitored in this mode.
As a last resort, Ferrites or torroids can be installed at various locations. This would normally not be necessary.
• Ferrite cores can often be used to filter out the RF interference. Snap-on RF ferrite cores are available from Eagle Tree
Systems, Radio Shack or other sources. Often a single ferrite snapped around all the wires leading from the engine will
eliminate this problem. Or, the wires can be wrapped a few times through a hollow torroid.
• If a single ferrite does not remedy the situation, an additional ferrite snapped around all the servo Y cables provides
additional filtering.
Issue: My Dashboard display is hard to read, or very dim.
Solution: See the “Display Contrast” information in the Seagull Dashboard section above.
Solution: Replace the Dashboard battery.
Issue: My Dashboard works briefly, then shuts off.
Solution: Replace the Dashboard battery.
Issue: My PC does not recognize the Recorder.
Solution: Try to eliminate the problem in the following ways:
o Disconnect all other USB peripherals from your PC (if possible) and try the Recorder again.
o Try the Recorder on a different PC. If it works, there may be a misconfiguration with your PC.
o Try the Recorder with a different USB cable, if you have one. If this works, your cable has been damaged.
o Try rebooting your PC – occasionally USB support gets disabled with some PCs.
o Try the other USB connector on you PC if it has two.
o Ensure that USB is enabled within your Operating System by checking in Device Manager. You’ll need to see your
Windows™ documentation to determine how to do this on your particular OS version.
Issue: RPM is not working correctly
• Make sure that the parameter in the "Tools->Calibrate Motor RPM" is not set to zero. If this is zero, RPM will read zero.
• Make sure you have the writing on the RPM sensor facing away from the red lined side of the magnets.
Make sure that under Choose What to Log in the app, you have checked RPM.
• Make sure that the RPM sensor is plugged into the correct slot on the recorder (should be the bottom slot next to the temp
Copyright © 2003-2005 Eagle Tree Systems, LLC
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Connect the recorder to the computer and launch the app. Then, choose Tools->Live Mode. Make sure that
the RPM gauge is displayed, and spin the magnets, or wave the magnets by hand in front of the sensor. Try both sides of the
magnets and both sides of the sensor. See if the RPM reading jumps. If it does not, email support@eagletreesystems.com.
Issue: My plane shows an airspeed or variation during warm-up on the ground as I rev the throttle.
Solution: This problem will happen when the Pitot Tube’s opening is being hit by prop-wash. The solution is to move the tube
farther away from prop airflow. Note that slight variations in speed (and even a reading of around 9 MPH, which is the lowest speed
detectable, when the plane is stationary) is normal.
Issue: I have a fully charged battery, but the recorder frequently shows “Low Battery Restart” Notifications when playing back data.
Solution: The recorder shuts down immediately if the power goes below about 4.5 volts for more than a few milliseconds, and logs
this occurrence when the power returns to above 4.5 volts. If your battery’s voltage frequently drops this low, you may be
underpowered, and may want to consider getting a bigger battery. It is however not too unusual for this to happen with 4 cell packs
and some servos with acrobatic flying. If this becomes a significant problem, it can be eliminated by moving to a 5 cell pack or
adding a secondary battery with the battery harness as described above.
Issue: I get no communication between the Dashboard and the Recorder. The “No Signal” message appears on the dashboard
constantly, or flashes on the dashboard every few seconds.
Solution: Make sure the Seagull Transmitter is plugged into the correct Recorder slot, and that the plug polarity is correct
Solution: Make sure that the Recorder light is flashing one repeated flash (or two repeated flashes if the Recorder buffer is full)
Solution: Make sure that the Recorder is not connected to USB.
Solution: Turn vehicle’s power off, WAIT 10 SECONDS, turn your vehicle’s power back on, and then turn your Dashboard off and
Solution: Make sure the Seagull ID is correctly set in both the Recorder and the Dashboard, by running through the Seagull Setup
Wizard again.
Solution: Make sure you have chosen a Recorder sampling rate that is Seagull compatible. This is set in the App by choosing
“Tools, Choose Capture Rate” with the Recorder connected. 10 Samples/Second is recommended.
Solution: If you have purchased the Dashboard or Recorder at different times, or otherwise cannot get them to communicate
correctly, please follow the below instructions:
1) Install the latest Windows application from the Support page of our website.
2) Connect the Dashboard to USB, and run “Tools, Choose firmware control.” If the “Update” button appears, update the firmware,
and follow all the prompts.
3) If the Update button does NOT appear in step 2, choose “Tools, Choose Parameters to display on Wireless Dashboard LCD”,
select any parameter to display, and hit OK.
4) Disconnect the Dashboard from USB, and connect the Recorder to USB. Then, select “Tools, Firmware Control” and click the
Update button if it appears. Then, click OK.
5) Choose “Tools, Seagull Wireless Dashboard Setup Wizard” and run through the Wizard, making sure you select the correct type
of Transmitter you have.
6) With nothing but the transmitter connected to the correct port in the recorder, and a battery connected to one of the servo slots of
the recorder, verify that the recorder and dashboard are now communicating.
7) If you still do not get proper communication, email us at support@eagletreesystems.com
Issue: I get periodic “No Signal” messages on the Dashboard during vehicle operation
Solution: if you are operating at low power mode, try high power mode. Make sure you range check after changing power modes!
Solution: If others are operating Seagull systems in your area, try a different Seagull ID
Solution: Try to make sure that your Seagull transmitter antenna is mounted vertically. This can often improve range.
FCC Information
Seagull Receiver FCC Information (For 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz Systems)
Eagle Tree Systems ETS-SEA (900 MHz, 200mW System)
Contains FCC ID: OUR-9XTEND (900 MHz, 1 Watt System)
Contains FCC ID: OUR-XBEEPRO (2.4 GHz System)
Copyright © 2003-2005 Eagle Tree Systems, LLC
Page 21
Tested to Comply With FCC Standards
FCC Radiation Exposure Statement Regarding the FCC Certified 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz
This equipment complies with FCC radiation exposure limits set forth for an uncontrolled environment. This equipment must be
operated with minimum distance of 20cm between the radiator and your body.
The Transmitter must not be co-located or operating in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter.
FCC Caution
Any changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible could void the user’s authority to operate this
Radio Interference and FCC Information
Note: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC
Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This
equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions,
may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a
particular installation.
If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment
off and on,
the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
--Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
--Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
--Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
--Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
FCC 900 MHz, 200mW Transmitter
Frequency Range:
Operating Range (Line of Sight):
FCC Approval:
Maximum Output Power:
Temperature Range:
TX Antenna:
Current Draw:
FCC 900 MHz, 1 Watt Transmitter
Frequency Range:
Operating Range (Line of Sight):
FCC Approval:
Maximum Output Power:
Temperature Range:
TX Antenna:
Current Draw:
Copyright © 2003-2005 Eagle Tree Systems, LLC
902 – 928 MHz
up to 1.2 miles w/included antenna, up to 3.6 miles with RX Yagi
15.247 Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
approx 200 mWatt
approx 2-3/4” x 1-1/4” x ¼”
approx 0.5 oz (Transmitter only)
0 – 140 degrees F
Thin, flexible stainless whip
Power taken from Recorder/Receiver battery
Transmitter + Recorder, average < 70 milliamp
902 – 928 MHz
Up to 14 miles (22 km) w/ included antenna, up to 40 miles with RX Yagi
15.247 Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
approx 1 Watt
approx 1.44” x 2.38” x 0.20” (3.65 cm x 6.05 cm x 0.51 cm)
approx 0.8 oz (Transmitter only)
0 – 140 degrees F
Articulating Rubber Antenna with MMCX Pigtail
Power taken from Recorder/Receiver battery
Transmitter + Recorder, average 250 milliamp
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FCC/CE 2.4GHz, 100mW Transmitter
Frequency Range:
Operating Range (Line of Sight):
FCC Approval:
EU Approval:
Maximum Output Power:
Temperature Range:
TX Antenna:
Current Draw:
Up to 2 miles (3 km) w/ included antenna
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
approx 100 mW
1” x 1.5” x 0.350” (25 mm x 37 mm x 9 mm)
approx 0.3oz (8 g) (Transmitter only)
0 – 140 degrees F
short wire
Power taken from Recorder/Receiver battery
Transmitter + Recorder, average 100 milliamp
EU/CE 433MHz, 10mW Transmitter
Frequency Range:
Operating Range (Line of Sight):
Maximum Output Power:
Temperature Range:
TX Antenna:
Current Draw:
433 – 434 MHz
up to 1000m w/included antenna, up to 3000m with RX Yagi
approx 10 mWatt
approx 38 x 25 x 4mm
approx 6 grams (Transmitter only)
-40 to 85 degrees C
Thin, flexible stainless whip
Power taken from Recorder/Receiver battery
Transmitter + Recorder, average < 60 milliamp
RX Antenna:
Temperature range:
Contrast Adjustment:
USB connection:
Thin, flexible stainless whip
0 – 140 degrees F
Standard 9V (or other 5V to 16V battery pack)
16x2 character LCD
Potentiometer behind battery door
Airspeed: around 2 MPH minimum, approximately 290 MPH maximum
Altitude: 0 to approximately 32000 feet, in approximately 1 foot increments
Operational Voltage: 4.35V to 7.0V (1 Watt Transmitter requires 5V to 5.75V)
Weight: Recorder and Pitot tube, approximately 1 oz.
Temperature: Dual inputs, 0 degrees F to 424 degrees F
RPM range: approx 100 RPM to 50,000+ RPM
Units supported: English and Metric
Measurements: 1.97” x 1.38” x 0.67”
Record Time: Varies with sample rate, parameters being recorded, and “activeness” of flight. Anywhere from around 20 minutes to
hours is attainable depending on these settings.
Limited Warranty
Eagle Tree Systems, LLC, warrants the Seagull Pro Flight System to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period
of one (1) year from the date of original purchase. This warranty is nontransferable. If your unit requires warranty service during
this period, we will replace or repair it at our option. Shipping cost to us is your responsibility.
To obtain warranty service, contact us by phone, fax or email to request an RMA number. No returns will be accepted without this
This limited warranty does not cover:
The Software included with the Flight Data Recorder. See the Software license agreement for more information on Software
• Problems that result from:
Copyright © 2003-2005 Eagle Tree Systems, LLC
Page 23
External causes such as accident, abuse, misuse, or problems with electrical power
Servicing not authorized by us
Usage that is not in accordance with product instructions
Failure to follow the product instructions
Product Warranty Registration
Registering your product means that we can send you important updates and other notifications. Please fill out this form (or a copy)
and mail or fax it to Eagle Tree Systems. Or, email the info to sales@eagletreesystems.com. Note that if you purchased your item
directly from Eagle Tree Systems, this is not necessary.
Eagle Tree Systems Warranty Product Registration:
Address: ________________________________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________ Email: ___________________________________
Product(s) Purchased: ________________________
Date Purchased:______________________
Where did you purchase your product?_________________________________________________
Where did you hear about our product? _______________________________________________
Any features or additions you would like to see? _________________________________________
Copyright © 2003-2005 Eagle Tree Systems, LLC
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