Perma-install of EV4 on a tablet in the aircraft
This is an on-going development of EV4 which I have been working on with the help of the EV team (thanks Rob!). I have got to a position where I though I would start to list the features and capabilities on here in case others can benefit but also in case you give me some more ideas 😉
The end goal is to have a tablet fitted to the aircraft which runs EV4 and requires as little user input as possible. It won't be used for planning but would be a very simple but up-to-date moving map with NOTAMs.
I have chosen the Samsung Tab A7 lite LTE. It has an 8.7" display with a good enough resolution, reasonable display brightness (on full) and a nice aspect ratio for sitting on top of the instrument console. It's not the fastest but is sufficient and is reasonably cheap.
I have decided to run Android OS for the following reasons:
- I'm fairly sure more software flexibility as possible
- They generally seem to overheat in the sun less than iOS
- In-build GNSS and SIM slots are more readily available
- More screen sizes and aspect options are available
- ...we can't completely ignore the reduced costs!
RAM mount tablet holder, arm and clamp then hold this to the aircraft. I have made a custom screen hood and use a matte screen protector to tackle reflections. A 180 degree bent USB-C cable supplies master switch power in a discreet way.
Power is supplied to the tablet with the master switch. The tablet power button must then be pressed manually to turn it on. The rest is automated as follows:
- The tablet boots into android, connects to the hangar Wi-Fi, opens EV4, enters flight mode immediately and starts downloading any necessary data.
- At the end of the flight, the master switch will be turned off. The tablet then warns "Power lost, the system will shut down in 90 minutes if power is not restored". The screen will turn off after 5 minutes but the tablet is still running.
- After 90 mins the tablet completely shuts down.
- If power is re-applied within this 90 mins, the screen will unlock and turn on, then EV4 will open (in case the user opened something else in the meantime) and of course the 90 min shut-down timer will be cancelled. - If the power is switched on an off multiple times in quick succession (such as struggling to start the engine) the tablet will only complete this once within 3 minutes so as to allow EV4 not be interrupted with unnecessary inputs.
It sounds simple when typed out like that!
Any thoughts on any other features?
My wishlist so far is to deal with screen brightness for night flying, and to deal with the unreliable Wi-Fi/data connection and therefore the risk of going flying with outdated information - and not knowing about it.