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Posted by Supreme Balloon | Oct 02, 2014 @ 12:12 AM | 2,234 Views
I clipped the GoPro on under the quad today and took it for a spin, no gimbal. The video was full of jello but had one moment which was kind of incredible. While flying an approach to land, I had to wait for some people to cycle by. It was a lucky break as a dozen or so Canada geese flew by the copter on their way to a near by pond. The copter was motionless, hovering at the time, I expected them to fly under or around it, no expectation they would get this close.

There is a short video here: Close Encounter
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Sep 14, 2014 @ 09:52 PM | 1,958 Views
Seems some current research (a-hem) is looking into lithium batteries at the nano-scale and found a few surprises. Hopefully, this will translate into something good sooner than later.

..."As the discharge rate increased above a certain threshold, more and more particles started to absorb ions simultaneously, switching to a more uniform and less damaging mode. This suggests that scientists may be able to tweak the electrode material or the process to get faster rates of charging and discharging while maintaining long battery life."
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Aug 31, 2014 @ 10:52 PM | 1,871 Views
Posted here so I don't lose the thread (again):

A fellow RCG'er created a FLY to KML utility
the KML produced has the GPS coord and works well in GoogleEarth.
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Aug 06, 2014 @ 03:14 PM | 2,242 Views
I had a brief encounter with a flock of Redwing's, so got the chance herd some bids today, they're faster than I am! They have been flying under and around the Y6 for the last week as they come in from the vineyards to the marsh but this is the first time I've encountered them with the camera rolling and them on the ground.
If you want to see it in full resolution: go here << fixed the URL>>
Youtube's "compressed" version is below:
Herd the Birds (2 min 19 sec)

Posted by Supreme Balloon | Aug 01, 2014 @ 06:34 PM | 2,375 Views
Started another build of a Y6 using the AIMDROIX extended arms. This build is new home for the A2 using 30 A DJI OPTO ESCs, and new set Sunnysky 800kv 2216 motors, I was happy with the old Y6, but decided to see if a better soldering job and soldering the ESC's directly to the pad might improve flight times. On the old build, I had to extend the ESC wires by 2 inches, which introduced extra solder joints on all arms. I cut the SunnySky motor leads 2 inches longer than the stock DJI leads, which gave me enough room to eliminate the extra wire. I also wanted to build off a new bottom plate, the old one was desoldered once and was a little crusty.

Build log so far:
  • Visual inspection of a new set of top and bottom 550 plates, nothing to note.
  • Continuity test on bottom plates – all pads correct for + and - .
  • Layout ESCs, two per pad.
  • Prep male and female power leads for PDB
  • Clean chisel tip Hakko and prep soldering station
  • Tinned power leads on 12 AWG soldered to DEANS plugs
  • Soldered power leads and ESCs to pads. Tested voltage on all pads, all equal.
  • Cleaned rosin/flux with alc and cloth.
I love these little blue Irwin Qick-Grip clamps, they pop open with a trigger and are like having a third hand sometimes.
I changed the ESC's heat shrink to black and reapplied the labels, the white heat shrink looked bad after a few months. We'll see how the black looks after being kicked around a while.

Day 2
Re-cycle - Tear down old build:
  • Removed props
  • Removed GPS mast,
...Continue Reading
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Jul 11, 2014 @ 06:46 PM | 2,687 Views
If you can, you should access and enter FAA-2014-0396 in the search box. There are a few hundred (ouch) comments where there should be thousands. We need to let the FAA know we're aware of their ruling and we think it is, well, badly written, to put it nicely (and one should always be nice!).

The comments posted are great reading. If you can't think of anything to write, read a few or more and take those comments you think are good and paste them together, be sure to use Docket FAA-2014-0396 in the text and send it off using the "COMMENT NOW" button. Your comment should appear within 36 hours.

We have until the 25th of July to submit comments, so don't miss your opportunity.
Take a deep breath, smile and then "let 'em have it".


From the AMA web site:

Response Needed to FAA Model Aircraft Rule

AMA’s Areas of Concern Regarding the FAA Interpretive Rule for Model Aircraft

On Tuesday, June 24th AMA issued a member alert expressing concern over some provisions in the FAA’s interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft established by Congress in the FAA modernization and Reform Act of 2012. In that alert, we let members know that we would be following up with today’s alert that explains AMA’s concerns in greater detail.

We need you to take action now and respond by July 25, 2014 to the FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft...Continue Reading
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Jul 08, 2014 @ 07:19 PM | 2,880 Views
I'm happy to report that my H3-2D is working, kinda. The 30 pin unit in the back died, so it won't charge or give me video out, but the motors work fine. I've flown > 10 flights and it went into hibernation a few times, but other than that, it levels and tracks well when flying. The hibernation only seems to occur when I fly sideways at speed, which, as I'm practicing my AP moves, I do more often.

Survivor H3 2D (1 min 33 sec)

Posted by Supreme Balloon | May 31, 2014 @ 03:21 PM | 3,101 Views
I'm almost recovered from the crash I had on 07-MAY-2014, but my first Y6 is no more.

I have no solid evidence what the cause was, I can't rule out pilot error or a build error.

The copter is detailed in a previous blog entry. It was flying very well, tuned and stable. I had made a mod to my DX9 and was now flying with the sticks centered, this is also detailed in a previous blog entry. I had around 10 hours flying with the new TX setup and was getting accustomed to the feel. I will admit that after only one year at flying R/C, I can still flub my stick controls, but I'm getting better with every hour I fly.

I flew one of my favorite FPV patterns, BVR out towards the river at 50 meters altitude, and was about 1000 meters out and turned to come back. About 10 meters from the trail, out over the saltwater bog, the ship went down. It seems like it landed itself, no oscillation from rapid descent seen on the video, but in about 3 seconds it went from 45 meters into the bog with no forward velocity. In the many, many hours I've been flying, I've never seen this occur.
Y6 650 In the BOG (2 min 38 sec)

The GOPRO kept on recording for another 90 minutes and the gimbal was trying to level itself for at least 20 minutes. About 28 minutes after the crash, I can hear the ESCs going into single repeating beeps then silence.

After I lost the ship on my FPV monitor, said "Oh S***" about 100 times, I tore down my ground station and packed it into the car. I took my...Continue Reading
Posted by Supreme Balloon | May 05, 2014 @ 07:08 PM | 4,420 Views
Added June 20 2014:
After flying with this mod on an new A2 and my NAZA 450 for a month, I'm more and more confident in it and would not go back to standard DX9 gimbal setup.
Added 20-MAY-2014:
I'm not 100% happy with the throttle gimbal spring tension. I have had a week off due to high winds and returned to fly today and noticed how sloppy it was.
On Freechip's thread for the DX9, he suggested trying to find a new spring as the throttle tension spring for the left may not be as strong as the one for the right hand gimbal. I am thinking that this may be the case with mine and also wonder if it might vary from Tx to Tx and I got a weak spring.
================================================== =========
Added 11-MAY-2014:
As a warning, I had a crash a few days ago due to an improper preset failsafe bind.

If you do this mod, please rebind your R/C gear, reset the RX PRESET FAILSAFE with 50% throttle, FAILSAFE ON, AND TEST IT!
================================================== ========

I've been asked how I setup centered throttle on a DX9. Spektrum's user manual has instructions on pages 40 -> 42 on how to change the radio to mode 2, but I only wanted to engage the spring on the throttle, not change both sticks.

I was a bit nervous doing this to a perfectly good radio but it worked out fine for me. I wish didn't have to say it, but I can't support you if you this doesn't work for you, I'll try to help but it is ultimately up to you to make...Continue Reading
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Apr 23, 2014 @ 07:41 PM | 2,775 Views
Far out man, my Y6 650 flew very well yesterday, it took a bit longer to build than expected.
3 AIMDROIX extended arms with the AIMDROIX coaxial motor mounts.
NAZA V2/GPS/DJI 30 A ESCs/2112 920v Red Can motors/1038 props.
I noticed it looks like a PEACE SYMBOL after I added the trimmed DJI white arm for the cameras/gimbal mount.
Wow, are we stable yet?
Took it out for a second date today and really liked how it handled. I have a little YAW issue I need to work out, but over all I'm happy. Nothing got hot, a little louder than my old config, flight times are hanging in between 8 and 10 minutes. We'll see as I gain confidence, fly more hours but I'm thinking its a keeper.
I'm very happy with how the Y keeps the prop shadows off the GoPRO. I did a series of pirouettes into the sun and didn't detect any prop chop at all. I did see the white camera boom get in the top of the frame a couple times when I cranked it but the camera was flat to the horizon.

Y6 Second Date (4 min 26 sec)

Posted by Supreme Balloon | Mar 10, 2014 @ 12:08 PM | 3,430 Views
ElvisLives: Remember, it's the experience more than the equipment that counts. Enjoy your project and safe flying.

TJ Gilbert: Everyone's flight experience with a kit or self built airframe seems to vary a bit. <snip>
As you guys visit and read the Naza forums you'll run into these different flight experiences with what seem to be similar or identical airframes and set-ups.
Multirotors are anything but an exact science...


Bill Glover:

Originally Posted by scottieusa
So I guess I'm a bit thick headed because I can figure out what course lock and home lock do. I've read the descriptions and looked at the diagrams but I'm still confused. Can anyone set me straight?

With Home Lock engaged, pulling back on the 'elevator' stick will fly the copter towards the stored home point ... from wherever it is, and regardless of which way the nose is pointing at the time. If you get disorientated it's a safer way of getting it back than engaging failsafe (where you relinquish all control). Home lock is also the only way you'll get a flat hexa (F550 etc.) back if you lose a motor/prop/esc., because although the Naza will keep it in the air it will be rotating continuously around the dead engine.

In course lock, forward/backward/left/right always work relative to the direction the nose was pointing at power up, again regardless of which way the nose is pointing now. The advantage of course lock is...Continue Reading
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Feb 08, 2014 @ 11:10 AM | 6,259 Views
Freechip's advice on how to setup the voltage alarms is quite clear:
Posted by Supreme Balloon | Jul 08, 2013 @ 09:29 PM | 3,221 Views
NAZA M V1 fw 4.02 on a F450 DX7S AR7010. 6400mAh/3S
AUW 1760 grams with GoPro 3 and alu rails.

NAZA M V1 fw 4.02 on a F450 DX9 AR7010.
10x4.5 DJI props on DJI motors.
Now stripped down for "fun" flying.

Regretfully, this ship flew away on Friday 20-DEC-2013 at 14:00 hours, vicinity of the Liberty Field, north Petaluma.

(That bundle from OCT/2013)
NAZA M V2 with V2 GPS
DJI motors with DJI 8 in props
2x 4000 mAh Glacier 4S
Zenmuse H3_2D
GoPro 3B
AVL58 Rx/Tx
iOCD Mii
LK 24 GS

Bought up to a DX9 from my DX7i (Oct 2013)
Added a PRO700 700TVL WDR CCD (NTSC) (RMRC-PRO700N) FPV camera and built a splitter cable so it has AV1 and AV2.
Added a AR8000.
Wired up the cable to switch AV1/2 and AVL58 channels off the iOSD.
On the ground station, added a video amp/splitter, a RMRC DVR and 8 inch monitor. Monitor, amp, and AVL58 Rx powered off of a 3S 5000 mAh LIPO.

Some info on using SprioNet antennas with the AVL58:

Take me to the river - 1100 meter FPV using AVL58 with FS Spironet Antennas (5 min 31 sec)