We are happy that you are interested in our FreeVario project.

Here is a brief overview of the FreeVario project. It is an open source E-Variometer which works together with the software XCSoar. The primary focus was on the development of a device that serves as a supplement to the OpenVario system (open source glider computer based on XCSoar: http://openvario.org). The project of the E-Variometer comes from the XCSoar Forum, but was not completed. Dirk therefore took up the project in autumn 2019 to develop it into a functional variometer. Over the course of time, various functions were expanded, converted and rebuilt. Sascha joined in February 2020 and helped to develop software and driver programming for XCSoar. After a few attempts and changes of hardware and software, a functional prototype was completed in May 2020. With creative ideas, some great functions could be accommodated in the variometer. This includes menu control and the option to transfer and use settings from the variometer directly to XCSoar. Just have a look at the short introductory videos and pictures to get an impression of the variometer.

The FreeVario has been designed to generate the vario sound itself. This arose from the fact that the old OpenVario image could only issue the vario sound and not XCSoar warnings at the same time. With the new image of OpenVario it is possible to issue the vario sound and the XCSoar warnings. It is therefore no longer absolutely necessary to provide the FreeVario with a loudspeaker. Everyone can decide to build the FreeVario with the loudspeaker, and then to deactivate variod in OpenVario, or to omit the loudspeaker in FreeVario, and not to deactivate variod in OpenVario. So if you don’t like our sound, you can still use the OpenVario sound.

On this project page you will soon receive all the information you need to build the variometer and install the software. We hope you enjoy this project and we look forward to any feedback on the project.

Important to know: XCSoar is the prerequisite for operating the variometer, it is not a standalone device. Basically, however, it can be operated with any hardware that runs XCSoar and that can deliver data quickly enough via a serial interface. So it’s basically not limited to OpenVario!