• Hello From Descent

    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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DistoX Board Production ??

kdxn

New member
I have found sufficient components to make 100 of the original DistoX boards for the Disto A3 and have obtained a manufacture quote etc.

All being well, the selling price would be about ?160 each. (Disto A3 not included)

Some serious money required to kick this off so need to know how many of you would be interested.

Note there is ongoing work to develop a DistoX2 based on the Disto DXT. There are prototypes in Switzerland and USA but the calibration drifts.

Please post your interest for the original DistoX board for the A3 below. It is not a commitment.
 

Rob

Well-known member
Kevin, i'd be interested.

However, for us who are not fully uptodate with it all, can you just breifly outline why we can't buy the 'old' DistoX board, and why it was that they stopped making these.
 

kdxn

New member
There has been enough interest especially international.

So I have bought the obsolete parts, placed orders for PCB's, assembly etc.

Estimated ship date for these original DistoX boards for the Disto A3 is March/April time.

Cost to be finalised.

These will likely be the last ever DistoX boards (now also referred to as DistoX1). Future boards (DistoX2) will be a new design and probably for a different Disto.

Once I have the DistoX boards, I will make a new post on how to get one.
 

Rob

Well-known member
Is it your intension to make it any different (better) than the original DistoX system, either via hardware or software? Or is that only for the DistoX2 project...?
 

kdxn

New member
This DistoX production I am doing is exactly the same as done by Beat for the Disto A3, same design and same code.

The DistoX2 development work is ongoing based upon the Disto DXT. There have been calibration drift issues because of the batteries lying very close to the mag sensors. A prototype in USA has put the batteries outside the Disto DXT with a cable joining the two.
 

SamT

Moderator
Hi KDXN

We have a DistoX where the compass seems to 'jump' almost 180deg as you rotate it - seems to be knackered really.  I reloaded an old calibration file - but with no effect.

I'm not sure if anyone has tried recalibrating it from scratch yet (its a club one and I dont have it in my possession at the mo) but I've been wondering if you can help.

Do you think this is a software issue - or the component.  If it is the component - is it one that is now obsolete and if not, would it be feasible to have you drop a new compass component into our old board to repair it whist you are making the new ones - for the appropriate fee of course.

Sam.
 

Moose

New member
Sam,

Mine did the very same thing last month and I tried re using an old cal file too... that didn't work either.

However it seems to be ok now after new batteries and a totally new calibration.

Incidentally if anyone in or around the peak is looking for the perfect place to calibrate your disto then look no further than Odin Cave.
 

kdxn

New member
Sam, maybe try a trip to Odin with Moose and see if that will fix it. Or Yordas ? Low signature metalic batteries and jam them in the battery ports to stop them rotating.

Open to helping you out as much as I can. One of the components is a real pig to desolder and it is one of the obsolete ones too. PM me if the re-cal does not work.

I will probably be at the CREG technical symposium in June to offer assistance with DistoX and maybe sell a few ? To be confirmed nearer the time.

In answer to an earlier question about making the DistoX better. The DistoX2 development for the DistoDXT has a good accelerometer, the issue is the Magnetic sensor (integrated 3 axis IC) which drifts with time, the very small amount of space in the DXT, a central battery compartment and different board layouts with the product generations.

According to the manufacturers technical specifications, magnetic performance of the DistoX2 may not be as good as the magnetic sensors (3 sensor coils and IC) in the DistoX. Real world testing often produces different results from manufacturers published 'technical specifications' especially with magnetics so need to wait for a driftless DistoX2 and compare with the original DistoX1 performance.

Design limitation appears to be the magnetics sensitivity (=bearing accuracy) and distance to the batteries.



 

Rob

Well-known member
kdxn said:
....Design limitation appears to be the magnetics sensitivity (=bearing accuracy) and distance to the batteries.
So it could be even more annoying to callibrate than the DistoX?!?

I'll stick with a compass and clino then. No more "56 point pissing about to get an even poorer result" for me thanks.....
 

sluka

New member
Rob said:
So it could be even more annoying to callibrate than the DistoX?!?

I checked DistoX with the ZnCl cells. The capacity for laser instrument is not high, I was able to do about 100 measurements with one set of batteries. But after changing them to new ones the calibration was still valid. Maybe that is the way.
 

kdxn

New member
The DistoX2 in Disto DXT is being tested with an external battery compartment. It is one solution but you need a waterproof battery compartment, leads to be soldered on to the DXT battery terminals and a sealed hole in the DXT housing. Waiting for results of testing these modifications.

The DistoX in Disto A3 has a much longer layout with the batteries at one end and the magnetic sensors at the other end.

As Sluka has discovered, there are some low magnetic signature batteries available but the number of measurements are reduced. LiPoly batteries are also being researched.

Judging from how many emails I have been getting, there are plenty of DistoX users who want to buy another one.
 

kdxn

New member
I now have all the components to build the DistoX boards, it took a while for some to be delivered from abroad. Two DistoX prototypes will be built by the electronics manufacturer next week to test their capability.

For those looking for Disto A3's. There are a lot for sale this week.

7  (Seven) Disto A3 for sale on www.ebay.co.uk
1  Disto A3 for sale on www.ebay.com
1  Disto A3 for sale on www.ebay.de

Good luck !
 

kdxn

New member
First two boards passed so main production has just been given the goahead.

Expect to start shipping week starting 26th March when I will take purchase orders and money.

Those who have expressed interest already will have the first opportunity to buy.

Thanks,
 

kdxn

New member
One week extra on board programming and testing.

Intend contacting everyone first week of April for availability and how to purchase.

Thanks,
 

kdxn

New member
Boards now ready.

Have kept cost as low as I can go.

Started contacting everyone to place an order.

If you still need a Disto A3.
They continue to appear on ebay.co.uk, four there right now.

Thanks,
 

kdxn

New member
First DistoX's shipped out today to UK customers.

Hope to get multiple shipments out on Friday 13th to USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium  and Spain.

73 boards sold so far.

Disto A3 prices on ebay.co.uk have been buoyant.
Patience may be rewarded with lower prices for the A3.
 
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