Skydiving Altimeter

Skydiving Altimeter

A skydiving altimeter :pager: is a device that measures altitude and provides audible and/or visual cues to the skydiver. It is an essential piece of safety equipment for all skydivers, regardless of their experience level.

Types of skydiving altimeters

There are two main types of skydiving altimeters: analog and digital.

  • Analog altimeters have a traditional dial face with a pointer that indicates altitude. They are typically less expensive than digital altimeters, but they can be more difficult to read quickly and accurately.
  • Digital altimeters use a liquid crystal display (LCD) to show altitude and other information, such as descent rate and time in freefall. They are generally more expensive than analog altimeters, but they are easier to read and can provide more information.

Features of skydiving altimeters

Skydiving altimeters typically have the following features:

  • Audible alarms: Skydiving altimeters have audible alarms that sound at predetermined altitudes, such as 4,000 feet, 3,000 feet, and 2,000 feet. These alarms remind the skydiver to deploy their parachute at a safe altitude.
  • Visual cues: Skydiving altimeters also have visual cues, such as flashing lights or changing colors, to indicate altitude. These visual cues can be especially helpful in low-light conditions or when the skydiver is looking away from their altimeter.
  • Altitude accuracy: Skydiving altimeters are typically very accurate, with an error margin of less than 100 feet. This is important because skydivers need to be able to accurately track their altitude in order to deploy their parachute at a safe time.
  • Durability: Skydiving altimeters are designed to be durable and withstand the rigors of skydiving. They are typically made of shock-resistant materials and are water-resistant or waterproof.

How to use a skydiving altimeter

Skydiving altimeters are typically worn on the skydiver’s wrist or forearm.

Before each jump, skydivers should check their altimeter to make sure that it is working properly and that the audible alarms are set to the correct altitudes. Skydivers should also monitor their altimeter throughout the jump and deploy their parachute at the appropriate altitude.

Maintenance and care of skydiving altimeters

Skydiving altimeters should be inspected regularly for damage and wear. Skydivers should also have their altimeters calibrated annually by a qualified technician.

To clean a skydiving altimeter, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. Do not use any harsh chemicals or solvents.

My setup

I have 1 visual and 1 audible altimeter. You can’t go wrong with having a spare.

My instructor say that audible is required for freefly as you might not always be able to check your visual altimeter.

Both of them are from Alti‑2 Technologies.

My advise is to get all of these in one order

  1. Visual altimeter :eye:
  2. Visual altimeter wrist band
  3. Audible altimeter :hear_with_hearing_aid:
  4. Audible adapter for your helmet

I wonder if we can rely on our smartwatch / smartphone as altimeter. It’s most portable piece of tech that most people carry everywhere.

And then I see this article on how someone made a altimeter: Bluetooth® Low Energy Skydive Altimeter -

I think these altimeters I brought are thoroughly tested in the lab, thus more reliable and robust. But if the manufacturer is focus on the form than function, then I would rather DIY my altimeter.

I am saying this since I can do it if I want to invest the time. For the general public, DIY isn’t an option. It should be safer sticking with trusted brands.

But if you try using smartwatch / smartphone as altimeter, please share your experience and thoughts :grin: