• Review: Flight Illusion Gauges

    GSA-16 Digital/Analogue Altimeter With IN/HG Feature

    The second gauge that I tested was the GSA-16 which is an altimeter both including an analogue single needle indicator together with a digital LED display. Furthermore the gauge also features a digital display of the IN/HG which can be edited by turning the rotator located in the bottom right corner of the gauge.

    Flight Illusion has a few different altimeter gauges and the reason why I selected this one for my test and review, is because it features both the analogue but also the digital part. Hereby I had the possibility to test a more advanced gauge then just the simple standard, old age, two needle altimeter gauges.

         

    This gauge features only one stepper motor which drives the altimeter's analogue needle, two LED displays and one rotator switch for controlling the Baro setup. The motion of the gauge's needle is as the GSA-37 super smooth and the sound from the stepper motor is almost absent.

    My first test of the gauge was just a direct connection where the gauge was not mounted - even though the gauge was completely exposed the sound level when it was active was so low that I could barely hear it. Afterwards I mounted the gauge in a frame and put it into my test rig which shielded the sound so much that I could not hear it at all.

    The gauge can be programmed with the software to make use of either the HG value or the IN value and after it has been activated in the software the simmer can manually increase or decrease the value simply by rotating the Baro rotator switch either left or right.

    The digital altimeter part is a five digit display where digit one and two (from the left side) are bigger digits and digit 3, 4 and 5 are smaller digits. Max altitude reading can then be 99,999 feet.

    Setting up the altimeter gauge was easy and I actually just applied the default settings in the software and then started up FSX. The gauge immediately worked and gave me the exact reading which was identical with the reading of the virtual altimeter.

    When connecting the gauge to power and FSX the gauge automatically starts a small cycle where the needle rotates - I am not absolutely sure, but I would assume that this is some kind of calibration of the gauge. Then when starting a flight the gauge also again automatically sets the correct altitude reading and not just MSL as 0 feet meaning that taking off from an airport located at 1,300 feet MSL then the gauge will show the 1,300 feet MSL and not 0 feet. This is really nice and gives the simmer a perfect and very realistic reading.

    The data information for the altitude setting of course comes directly from FSX through FSUPIC and then converted into readable data for the simmer. The updating speed of the data information is one a few milliseconds which provide enough information for the gauge to activate the stepper motor and give this super smooth and realistic motion.

    The specifics for the gauge are height and width of 83 mm, depth is 37 mm and the weight is app. 280 gr. Power requirements are 5/12 volts as described earlier and the gauge features two LEDs for the backlight function. Connection is a daisy chain 10 pin on a flat cable.

    The materials used for this gauges is more or less identical with the materials used on the attitude indicator and I was equally impressed with this gauges and the complexity it has and that it still was super easy to connect - almost like a plug and play module.


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