SmartAngle®

SmartAngle may be used alone or at the heart of a range of digital levelling products.

SmartAngle Bluetooth module

SmartAngle - a level and inclinometer for use with Apple and Android phones & tablets.

SmartAngle Digital Levels

A single SmartAngle may be used with levels of any length - 300mm to 1.2m.

SmartAngle Clamp

This holds SmartAngle to any edge up to 60mm thick (doors etc.) or to pipework up to 35mm in diameter.


Contents


The SmartAngle Bluetooth module

The SmartAngle module is at the heart of the system and may be used stand-alone or as part of a digital level.

  • A "measure there, read here" Bluetooth level for your smart phone.
  • SmartAngle provides an extra hand when levelling.
  • SmartAngle is small enough (approx. 67mm wide x 41mm tall x 17mm deep) and light enough (less than 30g) to integrate into other projects or products to add digital levelling and angle measurement.
  • Please click here to read the SmartAngle User Guide.

The photo below shows SmartAngle used to set the angle of a bench saw blade. A stop was set at 45 degrees so SmartAngle could provide audible warning as the angle approached.

The photo below was taken by the SmartAngle app on an iPhone while measuring the fall of guttering using a prototype 150mm level. The app overlays the current reading onto the photo for reference.


SmartAngle digital levels

A single SmartAngle Bluetooth module fits levels of any length.

SmartAngle offers:

  • twice the functionality of existing digital levels,
  • lower cost,
  • additional lengths at minimum cost,
  • more bang for your buck!

SmartAngle digital levels work with the free SmartAngle app on your phone or tablet.

SmartAngle digital levels are available in a choice of lengths from 300mm upwards.

Comparing digital levels

The two digital levels shown below:

  • are 400mm long,
  • are accurate to 0.1 degrees,
  • buzz at 0, 45 and 90 degrees,
  • have solid aluminium frames,
  • display degrees in digital format,
  • operate over 360 degrees,
  • have a HOLD function,
  • display degrees, percentages and in/ft,
  • have memory recall.

However, the bottom one, the SmartAngle digital level:

  • costs considerably less than the top one,
  • uses your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet as the display and for data entry,
  • has a very large digital readout,
  • provides voice readout of all measurements,
  • displays ratios and falls as mm/m as well as degrees, percentages and falls as in/ft,
  • has an unlimited number of stops at any angles you want,
  • has a ZERO function for measuring relative angles,
  • has a HOLD function which can also store any reading in the table of stops,
  • provides warning beeps when approaching a stop value,
  • provides a continuous tone when a stop value is reached,
  • can capture a photo of the level in place and superimpose the reading and date/time onto the photo,
  • can be used in "measure there, read here" mode because your phone/tablet can be up to 10m (30ft) away,
  • provides a third hand when levelling - your phone/tablet can be at any convenient location,
  • is fully magnetic along one edge to attach to steel surfaces,
  • has a "V" groove along one edge for holding against pipes or edges,
  • has notches at each end to use rubber bands to attach it to pipes,
  • has an optional clamp to hold it to edges,
  • has an optional Cross Line Laser attachment for producing horizontal lines at any level from a single location,
  • has a simple 7 step calibration procedure which takes under a minute,
  • has auto-power saving to maximise battery life,
  • can be detached from the level, kept in your pocket or toolbox and used independently of the level,
  • is available in a number of lengths from 150mm upwards,
  • has a free app for Apple and Android phones/tablets with free lifetime updates,
  • has an on-line User Guide and on-line support direct from your phone/tablet.

More about SmartAngle

  • Measures angles in one place, displays the result in another - on phones or tablets via Bluetooth.
  • Operates with Apple (iOS 8 or later - including iPods) or Android (4.3 or later) phones and tablets to provide an intelligent level and inclinometer.
  • Light weight (under 30g) and pocket-sized: triangular - about 52mm x 52mm x 67mm x 17mm.
  • Single membrane button: short press to wake up with rapid connection to free app running on phone or tablet.
  • Two LEDs to indicate when power is on (rapid flashing after pressing the button), when connected to a phone (slow flashing) and when approaching a desired angle.
  • Calibrated in under a minute using a simple seven step procedure.
  • The digital levels and the SmartAngle module are magnetic - so you can put them in places that are hard or dangerous to reach while watching the results on your phone/tablet. Ideal for setting up machinery.
  • Powered by readily available low-cost CR2032 battery.
  • Automatic standby mode to preserve battery life - with user-selectable time-out period. Up to 2 years battery life on standby.
  • Optional clamp to fit the SmartAngle module to vertical or horizontal edges.

SmartAngle videos

Important note

These videos are not on YouTube. Click on the image to download them in .WMV format.

Check the bottom of your browser screen, or your download folder, to see if the videos have been downloaded.

WMV is "Windows Media Video" and may be viewed under MS Windows or on any device with a suitable app. The free "VLC" media player app is available for Apple and Android devices.


SmartAngle is a leap forward

  • Bubble levels are tried and tested - fast and easy to use.
  • Digital levels provide an LCD display.
  • Apps can turn your phone into a level - as long as the phone edges are level, bases are flat and you are happy using your phone in places where you would take a level.
  • SmartAngle brings together the best of bubbles, digital levels and apps.

SmartAngle provides "measure there, read here" - you measure the level in one place and see the result in another - on your phone or tablet.

You need three hands if you are trying to hold a panel or door while screwing brackets in place while looking at the level - a one man job can rapidly become a two man job.

SmartAngle provides a third hand

  • Place it where you want to measure the level or angle,
  • Put your phone or tablet where you can see it - up to 10m (30 feet) away from SmartAngle.
  • Now you have both hands free to do the job.

Keep your eyes on the job, concentrate on the driver and the screw, don't bother to look at the level - SmartAngle provides audible feedback (tones and voice) to tell you if you are level (or at the correct angle) without having to look at the screen.

Create your own stops - angles you wish to use. If you want 33 degrees just enter it into the stop list. SmartAngle will tell you when you are approaching the required angle, leaving it or spot on it - it does this with a series of tones and beeps.


Technical features

  • Remote angle measurement for Apple iOS or Android phones/tablets.
  • Bluetooth (BLE 4.0) compatible.
  • Module size: 52mm x 52mm x 67mm x 17mm.. Weight: 30g.
  • Power source: CR2032 battery - up to 2 year life on standby.
  • Single membrane switch to wake SmartAngle from deep sleep.
  • Power saving functions: user defined auto-timeout period - default 5 minutes. Auto turn off when app loses focus or is ended.
  • Two LEDs used to indicate power on (unconnected), Bluetooth connected and approaching required stop.
  • Unlimited digital stops: set the angles and the SmartAngle app tells you when you are there. An initial set of stops is provided: 0, 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, 90 - and 75.96 (4:1 ratio for safe ladder angle.)
  • Audible and visual warnings when the correct angle is reached - no need to look at the level - just wait for the "beep".
  • The tones used for warnings are adjustable - ideal for those who are losing their high frequency hearing.
  • Voice message to read out angles This feature may be turned on or off with one tap on the screen.
  • User-defined "voice stability time" - a reading must be stable for this time before the angle is read out. Default: 3 seconds.
  • Angles displayed in degrees, percentages (14.26%), ratios/falls/slopes (1:7), mm/m or in/ft. Tap the screen to change from one to another.
  • Selectable resolution. E.g. for degrees: 1, 1.5, 1.1.
  • Measures the difference between slopes - measure slope 1, measure slope 2, SmartAngle shows the angle between them.
  • Temporary zeroing function for measuring relative angles.
  • Step-by-step calibration instructions and diagrams shown on screen.
  • Two rare earth magnets (internal) hold the long side to metal surfaces.
  • Background colour selection - either as a solid colour or as a gradient (lighter in the centre of the screen).
  • Optional clamp clips the SmartAngle module to edges - vertical, horizontal or anywhere between.

The SmartAngle app

Note: the app will be available when SmartAngle is released.

More about the SmartAngle app

The images below are screen grabs taken from the SmartAngle app running on an iPod.

The SmartAngle app runs under iOS (version 5 or later) and Android (version 4.3 or later).

Large characters make the display easy to see - no matter where you place your phone.

The "buttons" across the bottom (orange text on black background) provide immediate access to most SmartAngle functions.

The menu selector (three bars, top right) gives access to remaining settings.

The screen above shows the reading as a slope in millimetres per metre.

This shows the option selection screen.

The background can be selected from any of the colours here.

This screen allows configuration of voice messages and tone warnings.

The shows part of the calibration procedure.

Calibration takes under a minute and full details are provided in the User Guide.

Horizontal menu:

  • ZERO

    Temporarily zeros the angle display - for example, when measuring the difference between two slopes.

  • 0, 0.1, 0.05

    Selects display resolution: zero, one or two decimal places.

  • HOLD

    Holds the current reading - press again to continue.

    When hold is selected another button, "STORE" will store the current reading in th stops table.

  • STOPS

    Gives access to the stops table. Ideal for measuring an angle in one place and comparing it with a angle measured elsewhere. For example: aligning surfaces at the same angle.

Other options from the three-bar menu

  • CALIBRATION

    Gives access to the step-by-step calibration function.

  • COLOURS

    Selects the background colour for the screen.

  • OPTIONS

    Turns voice messages on or off.

    Sets the start/stop pitch for warning tones. Ideal for those of us who can't hear high frequencies as well as we used to.

  • USER GUIDE

    Goes online to display the User Guide.


SmartAngle retail packaging

The SmartAngle module is available in an attractive blister pack to fit standard Euro display panels.

The photograph below shows a small batch of SmartAngles ready for field testing.


Integrating SmartAngle

Projects or products may be made "SmartAngle compatible" in three ways: magnetically, with a pocket or using screws.

Full details and drawings are provided on the FAQ page.


SmartAngle options

SmartAngle digital levels

The SmartAngle Bluetooth module can be used with levels of any length.

The range of lengths enables SmartAngle to meet any needs - from the shortest workshop level to the longest level for measuring falls.

The image below shows the SmartAngle module in a prototype 150mm level.

Key features of the levels:

  • An internal steel strip holds the SmartAngle module in place magnetically.
  • Pre-drilled and countersunk 3mm holes so the SmartAngle module may be fixed semi-permanently in place.
  • Horizontal or vertical operation - or anywhere between.
  • Magnetic strip on one side to hold the level securely against metal surfaces.
  • "V" grove on other side to align the level on the edge of vertical surfaces or pipe work.
  • Notches at both ends for fixing the level to pipework using rubber bands.
  • Triangular hole for hanging on a peg/nail in the workshop.
  • Available in different lengths - 150mm (6") or longer.

SmartAngle edge clamp

The edge clamp is designed to hold the SmartAngle module securely to edges such as the top or side of a door.

SmartAngle is held magnetically to the steel top of the clamp while the sliding bracket allows fitting to edges up to 60mm thick.

The "V" shape in the brackets enables SmartAngle to be fitted to pipework up to 35mm in diameter.

Extra protection for SmartAngle

We have manufactured a batch of metal boxes to protect SmartAngle in your toolbox or workshop.

The boxes are embossed with the SmartAngle logo (paint would rub off in a toolbox) and SmartAngle is retained in place with a protective surround.

SmartAngle CLL: Cross Line Laser

SmartAngle CLL is an accessory for use with SmartAngle and is currently under development.

Its key features are:

  • generate horizontal lines at any height without having to relocate the device.
  • generate vertical lines at any location.
  • dot laser for greater distances - projected at any angle: up, down or horizontal.

Accurate lines and angles are ensured by SmartAngle's ability to measure accurate angles.

How do you use it?

  • Screw it to a tripod.
  • Put SmartAngle on top - it will be held in place magnetically.
  • Switch on SmartAngle CLL - the LED will show that power is on.
  • Run the SmartAngle app on your phone/tablet and connect to SmartAngle.
  • Use the app to select "Cross Line Laser" or "Dot Laser".
  • For lines:
    • Point the cross lines at the height you want.
    • Slacken off the SmartAngle CLL adjustment knob, rotate the device until the SmartAngle app shows zero degrees, tighten the knob.
    • Job done.
  • For the dot laser:
    • Use the tripod to set the laser at the angle you want - as indicated by the SmartAngle app.
    • Job done.
  • Use the app to turn off the laser or press the switch on the back of SmartAngle CLL.

SmartAngle in action


SmartAngle for model aircraft

One of our users suggested using SmartAngle to measure the various angles required when setting up model aircraft - so we made suitable adapters.

SmartAngle's small size and light weight (under 30g) makes it ideal for this job.

Measuring angle of incidence

The "angle of incidence" (sometimes incorrectly called the "angle of attack") is the angle at which a wing is mounted relative to the horizontal axis of an aircraft's fuselage. This angle is critical to give the maximum amount of lift with the minimum amount of drag.

The "arms" slide to accomodate wings of different widths and the jaws rotate to allow for wing taper. This version is 300mm long but uses standard 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/16" (20mm x 20mm x 2mm approx) aluminium "T" profile so any length can be created.

The photo below shows SmartAngle being used with a newly assembled Chris Foss WOT 4 radio controlled model aircraft.

This model has a symmetrical wing (the curved shape on top is the same as that underneath) so the angle of incidence should be zero. The wing is not yet bolted down which accounts for the one degree reading. An aircraft with a symmetrical wing is as happy flying upside down as the right way up - assuming the operator does not confuse "up" with "down"!

Measuring control surface throws

Just as with full size aircraft it is important that the control surfaces (ailerons, elevator, rudder etc.) move by the correct amount in each direction - and this is usually measured in degrees.

We made a clip which holds SmartAngle magnetically - a strip of steel is glued to the plastic surface of the clip.

The images below show the clip attached to the elevator of the same Chris Foss WOT 4 radio controlled model aircraft.

The procedure is simple:

  • Fit the clip to the control surface and place SmartAngle on top
  • Set the surface to the neutral position (no up or down.)
  • Connect SmartAngle to the app.
  • Click the "Zero" button in the app to set this as the zero angle for reference.
  • Use the transmitter to move the surface up or down - the SmartAngle app shows the movement in degrees.
  • Set the limits on the transmitter to the angles you want.

The rudder is left/right rather than up/down so the model will need to be held at 90 degrees to set the rudder throws.

Measuring down and side thrust

Engines for Radio Controlled aircraft are fitted with a small amount of down and side thrust - this is measured in degrees.

Down thrust (pointing the engine slightly downwards when mounted in the model) ensures that the aircraft does not climb when power (thrust) is increased.

Side thrust (pointing the engine slightly in the opposite direction to the rotation of the propellor) compensates for the fact that the whole aircarft wants to rotate (turn) in the direction of rotation.

We have made an adapter that bolts to the propellor shaft of an engine. The main part contains a steel strip to hold SmartAngle in place magnetically. The smaller part is an insert that can be drilled out to the diameter of the propellor shaft - 1/4" UNC in the case of this Irvine 39 ABC two stroke engine.

The photos below show the principle of use - in this case the engine is in an engine mount rather that being installed in a model aircraft.

Obviously, to measure side thrust, the model, with the engine installed, would be held at 90 degrees.