Building the Flight Computer

Building the Openvario Flight Computer isn't hard. If you have basic soldering skills (that means soldering SMD components is ok for you), and share the enthusisam for sailplane avionics, you will most likely succeed in building one.


Please be aware, as this is a free, and non-commercial project, all information found on this website comes without any warranty. You shouldn't expect professional support either, so in the worst case you will be left alone with your problems. It therefore makes sense to connect to other people building the device at the same time (i.e. build several devices in the context of a club at the same time).

Bill of Material

Now that you've been warned, you can move on and start by getting all the components you need to build the Flight Computer.


Once your parts have arrived, go ahead, and start soldering all components onto the PCBs.

Preparing the Housing

Now it's time for the mechanics. Build the housing and the tube connectors. More...


Done with soldering and cutting the metal sheets? Then you're ready for final assembly.

Installing the Software

Now that you have the Openvario Flight Computer hardware in place, it's time to continue with installing the software.

OpenVario Setup Guide

Once the hardware is tested and working, follow this setup guide, to get everything up and running.

Testing the Device

You're done. Time for celebration? Before connecting the device to a power source, make sure your DC/DC converter is set properly, and the connection to your DC source isn't reversed (we have included reverse voltage protection, just in case…). Then put in the SD-Card, turn on the power and … wait. If everything runs smoothly, after around 15s you should see two tuxes Tux on the screen and then see the Flight Computer booting into the XCSoar start screen. If not, time for troubleshooting by means of electrical testing.

Cockpit Installation

Having successfully passed all tests on the workbench, you can continue with the installation in the glider. Usually this will require a re-arrangement of the instrument panel. Watch some Cockpit Fotos to gather some ideas for the perfect arrangement…

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