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Posted by kf6bbl | Nov 20, 2014 @ 10:48 PM | 901 Views
Let me be clear - I support the AMA. I just paid my AMA dues, and I even elected to pay for two years to put some more cash in their war chest. However what I am questioning at this point is this; has the AMA lost their effectiveness when it comes to battling our dysfunctional government?


Jim Williams of the FAA, and Bob Brown of the
AMA, in what appears to be ‘the good old days’.

This question stems from this last year’s saga with the FAA. Not to ‘drone’ on about everything that has happened, but the brief is that this year started with a memorandum of understanding between the AMA and the FAA, and a few months later, the FAA throws the FPV segment of the hobby under the bus with a rules interpretation, and most recently they have decided they can enforce aviation regulations onto modelers in general. There are hundreds of opinions as to why, ranging from drone flyers out of control and an eminent threat to aviation safety, to big government contractors using their weight to bully out small business from the soon to be $15 Billion dollar drone business. That discussion is beyond the scope of this blog post, so I will leave at that.

Observation #1 is the lack of visibility the AMA has had to these events. I realize that the AMA headquarters is in Muncie, IN, but we sort of assume and expect they either regularly visit Washington D.C. or have some permanent presence there. So I would also sort of expect to be regular visitors to FAA offices, and meeting with staff. I could be wrong, but when they have at least one person dedicated to government relations, we should have at least a little clue as to what is coming down the pipe.

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Posted by kf6bbl | Jan 04, 2014 @ 02:36 AM | 1,928 Views
I want to share a few words with my fellow modelers about my experience with the DJI Naza flight controller. If you just want the short answer and don't feel like reading the whole thing, then here is the bottom line:
Don't buy anything from DJI. The products have serious flaws and they don't support them.

The DJI Flyaway
So I've recently jumped into quad copters and FPV. This is seriously fun stuff. Oh FPV, where have you been all my life? I am an engineer by trade with over 20 years of experience doing product design, so I'm pretty good at understanding these things and debugging complex systems. These are not simple foamies and a few servos however, and the amount of money that you end up sinking into a quality quad for FPV can add up fast. I went with a Team Blacksheep Discovery Pro, and between that, my groundstation, RC radios, etc. I have more than a couple $K invested.

So I went with what I thought was the best, the DJI Naza flight controller (FC). Al of these multicopters are fly by wire by nature of how this all works, so really the FC is flying your investment, and you are merely requesting a maneuver by way of the RC radio. I also got the GPS option, because the return to home feature seems like a good idea and is generally recommended.

But it wasn't until it was too late, did I finally research on the internet about this all too common phenomena called "DJI Flyaways". Yep, my Naza FC decided that it should ignore my piloting and drive my entire...Continue Reading