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[APP] PaceUp v2.1 - Altimeter for Pace/Stratos/Verge

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By anox, Senior Member on 26th January 2019, 03:18 AM
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PaceUp v2.1





It is a pressure (barometric) altimeter which determines the altitude based on the pressure with some calibration. Known altitude, pressure, and temperature of a near reference point can be used to calibrate PaceUp to give more accurate altitude. By default, the International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) values are used.

Disclaimer:
It's important to note here that it is just impossible to determine the exact altitude based only on air pressure. This is because it deals with many non-uniform factors such as temperature, humidity, geo-asphericity, and variation of gravity. I am not responsible for any bad things caused by using this app, and blah, blah, blah. You are solely fully responsible for your own safety.

With that being said, PaceUp can give pretty good altitude reading when calibrated with good local reference values. It's pretty accurate for measuring an object height. With no calibration, you still can measure your own height.

Installation:
It is an APK file that can be installed on Pace/Stratos/Verge using ADB or other means.
Here is how to use ADB. https://youtu.be/kR-j_aCsu_A
To uninstall via ADB,
adb uninstall com.anox.paceup

Usage:
Once opened, the app automatically shows the current pressure and the altitude of the current location using the ISA default values or the previous reference values if available. The altitude shown is relative to mean sea level (MSL). That means the (vertical) distance between the watch and MSL. The altitude reading is automatically updated when the pressure changes. Also, the screen is kept on while the app is running in the foreground.
- P is the current pressure reading at the current location.
- P(r) is the pressure at your reference point.
- A(r) is the altitude at your reference point.
- Clicking on any of these values pops up a custom keypad to change its value.
- The R button retrieves the saved reference values and puts them into the reference fields.
- The B button loads the current pressure value from the barometer into the P(r).
- The D button resets all the reference values to the ISA defaults.
- Units can be changed by clicking on the unit button at the end of each row.
- The calculated altitude (A) has the same unit as A(r) and P has the same unit as P(r).
- The Z button zooms in on the calculated altitude (A) so that it is easy to read. The 1st tap on the zoomed-in screen rotates the text -90 degrees. The 2nd tap rotates the text 90 degrees. The 3rd tap gets out of the zoomed-in screen and back to the normal screen.

The last reference value set is saved before closing/putting the app into the background.
The B button makes it easy to set the 0 m/ft reference level, and convenient just to see the current pressure value from the built-in barometer.

Calibration:
The most accurate readings can be obtained by using the current reference values from the nearest point. Just enter the values and the calibrated altitude is automatically shown.

Tips:
Airports around the world have METeorological Aerodrome Reports (METARs) available for the public. METARs contain current temperature along with QNH which is the atmospheric pressure adjusted to MSL. METARs can be obtained from many online sites such as
https://www.aviationweather.gov/metar

So, if you don't have any near reference point, what you have to do is:
- find out your nearest airport's ICAO code
- get the current METAR from some website
- enter T(r) with the temperature, P(r) with the QNH pressure, and leave A(r) as 0

Examples of usage:
Supposing I am at Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand and I don't have any near reference values. I'd get the current online METAR from the nearest airport which is Wellington International Airport using this link. https://www.aviationweather.gov/metar/data?ids=NZWN
The current METAR code I got is: NZWN 260230Z AUTO 01026KT 9999 FEW027/// 21/12 Q1012 NOSIG
In the METAR code, the word starting with Q is the current QNH. So, I'd calibrate PaceUp with P(r)=1012 and A(r)=0.

To measure the height of an object:
For example,
> Measure your own height
No need to calibrate, just use the defaults. Place the watch on the floor where you're standing and take an altitude reading. Then, place the watch on top of your head while standing straight and take another altitude reading. The difference between the two readings is your height. You can also use the procedure described in the next section.

> See in real time how high you climb up a mountain:
Before starting climbing, calibrate the app using the current pressure (by clicking the B button) and leave Ar as 0. This is your reference level and the altitude reading should be 0. While climbing up, the actual altitude reading is the height above your reference level. (Negative altitude reading means it's below the reference level.)


Note:
The app is free for personal use. Please do not upload it to other sites.
If you like my work & want to buy me a cup of coffee or beer, I've just added a Paypal donation email to my profile.

Changelog:
Version 2.1
  • Improvement
    - Other than English language firmware support
    This version should have no issue with any language firmware.
    - Better error preventing
    More error cases are prevented.

Version 2.0
  • UI changes
    - The referenced temperature is no longer required.
    - Current pressure reading added
    - Z button added
    - Color changed for clarity
  • New functions added
    - The current pressure reading displays in the P field which has the same unit as P(r).
    - The Z button zooms in on the calculated altitude (A) so that it is easy to read. The 1st tap on the zoomed-in screen rotates the text -90 degrees. The 2nd tap rotates the text 90 degrees. The 3rd tap gets out of the zoomed-in screen and back to the normal screen.
  • Improvement
    - Referenced temperature no longer required in the altitude calculation
    - Better error handling

Version 1.4
  • UI changes
    - The D buttons become R (Retrieve the saved reference values), B (Barometric pressure), and D (Defaults) buttons.
    - Symbol buttons changed on the keypad
  • New functions added
    - The reference values are saved before closing and are automatically loaded when opening the app.
    - The R button retrieves the saved reference values and puts them into the reference fields.
    - The B button loads the current pressure value from the barometer into the P(r).
    - The D button resets all the reference values to the ISA default values.
  • Improvement
    - Fix some unit calculation
    - Increase the decimal places of pressure in inHg for more accuracy

Version 1.0
  • Initial release
Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: zip anox.PaceUp.v1.0.zip - [Click for QR Code] (543.4 KB, 1142 views)
File Type: zip anox.PaceUp.v1.4.zip - [Click for QR Code] (544.0 KB, 1724 views)
File Type: zip anox.PaceUp.v2.0.zip - [Click for QR Code] (544.1 KB, 388 views)
File Type: zip anox.PaceUp.v2.1.zip - [Click for QR Code] (544.3 KB, 212 views)
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26th January 2019, 03:19 AM |#2  
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Though my app creation/testing is quite limited to my resource, I still find it's more accurate that anything else avialable on the watch.

Please do share your experience of using the app.
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26th January 2019, 09:15 AM |#3  
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I will try it this weekend. Many thanks. I am surprised that no one has made an app that shows the rise & fall in atmospheric pressure for local forecasting. My old Suunto had it. There is a pressure graph app but the intervals are too short, minutes or seconds, so it collects way too much data.
26th January 2019, 10:28 PM |#4  
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That's a nice app. +1 from me
28th January 2019, 09:54 AM |#5  
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Great,
This is a long waited app for Pace.

As a first improvement I would suggest to keep the settings when you close the app

Regarding the temperature, how are using it?
In my experience wearable are not at the ambient temperature due to proximity to the body.
For instance, I have good result if I use the default temperature of 15C instead of the actual temperature.

Ciao
Andrea
28th January 2019, 12:25 PM |#6  
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Hi @anox,
I'm trying to calibrate the barometer of my Pace.
I use the METAR info of the nearest airport to me, El Altet airport of Alicante.
It is very close to sea at sealevel.
I put the info in your app, but the altitudes value calculated is very wrong (attached image).
I notilced a few months ago when i'm doing an activity the altitude stuck at first value and does not change at all.
I had the hope calubrating it with your app the issue will be fixed, but ir isn't,
So, there is any way ro reset the barometer in order to see if it is fixed?

Thx.
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28th January 2019, 04:00 PM |#7  
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@jmpcarceles
This app does not "calibrate" the sensor, it allows you to use standard values to get an estimation of the current altitude.

First, you must make sure the barometer is working: make sure the hole that leads to the sensor is clean, and that the value changes in the app when you put the watch at the floor level and above your head. If it doesn't but you get a value, try turning the watch OFF for at least 15s (restarting isn't enough). If you get zero or a non sense stuck value, maybe the barometer was damaged by water.

I also think that saving the current values would be nice, and also an option to record the altitude every 30min or 1h.
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30th January 2019, 05:01 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harzack

Regarding the temperature, how are using it?
In my experience wearable are not at the ambient temperature due to proximity to the body.
For instance, I have good result if I use the default temperature of 15C instead of the actual temperature.

Ciao
Andrea

T(r) is the temperature at the reference point. The temperature of the watch location isn't taken into account. By the way, none of these watches has a thermometer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpcarceles

Hi @anox,
I'm trying to calibrate the barometer of my Pace.
I use the METAR info of the nearest airport to me, El Altet airport of Alicante.
It is very close to sea at sealevel.
I put the info in your app, but the altitudes value calculated is very wrong (attached image).
I notilced a few months ago when i'm doing an activity the altitude stuck at first value and does not change at all.
I had the hope calubrating it with your app the issue will be fixed, but ir isn't,
So, there is any way ro reset the barometer in order to see if it is fixed?

Thx.

Please see lfom's comments below yours.
On the software side, you may try clearing cache/data of the built-in barometer related apps or perhaps factory resetting the watch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harzack

As a first improvement I would suggest to keep the settings when you close the app

Quote:
Originally Posted by lfom

I also think that saving the current values would be nice, and also an option to record the altitude every 30min or 1h.

Most of the time the reference values will change from the previous ones. METARs typically are generated once half-hour or an hour. Anyway, I also can see in some cases it may be convenient to be able to retrieve the previous reference values. So, an option to do so will be in the next version. The altitude recording is not on my list though.
6th February 2019, 02:33 PM |#9  
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Thanks for that, I'll try it the next time I'm climbing longer distances.
8th February 2019, 06:11 PM |#10  
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PaceUp v1.4
Version 1.4 is up (OP updated)
Changelog:
Version 1.4
  • UI changes
    - The D buttons become R (Retrieve the saved reference values), B (Barometric pressure), and D (Defaults) buttons.
    - Symbol buttons changed on the keypad
  • New functions added
    - The reference values are saved before closing and are automatically loaded when opening the app.
    - The R button retrieves the saved reference values and puts them into the reference fields.
    - The B button loads the current pressure value from the barometer into the P(r).
    - The D button resets all the reference values to the ISA default values.
  • Improvement
    - Fix some unit calculation
    - Increase the decimal places of pressure in inHg for more accuracy

The very last reference value set is saved before closing/putting the app into the background.
The B button makes it easier to set the 0 m/ft reference level, and convenient just to see the current pressure value from the built-in barometer.
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15th February 2019, 10:53 AM |#11  
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Dear anox
Is it possible to determine the altitude by GPS?
I have removed the barometer of my pace because of battery leakage.
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