This entry is really about FAA's latest new press release but we need to take one
step back to put it in proper context.
FAA re-intereprets Special Rule for Model Aircraft
There has plenty of discussion around the FAA's latest interpretation of the FMRA Section 336
all over the forums. Their interpretation has many negative consequences to the
entire RC community so is worth *everyone* reading and responding to. Many people think
it *only* affects FPV pilots. It does not. It affects anyone who flies RC aircraft within
the 78 square mile area (5 mile radius) surrounding any/all airports. It affects anyone who
gets paid or sponsored to develop/test/review/demo any model aircraft or buys products
from those who may be negatively affected. It may even prevent prizes at contests.
Furthermore the FAA has declared that they can pick and choose any/all full
scale manned aircraft FARs to apply to any/all model aircraft pilots without limit.
For FPV pilots though, it is particularly bad. The FAA has gone out of its way
to re-define the phrase "within the visual line of sight" to mean that the operator
of the aircraft must have eyes on the aircraft at all times. The AMA helped craft
the language of Section 336 and that was *not* their intent (it was meant to convey the
distance and airspace that a person can see, not a...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon |
Feb 24, 2014 @ 07:27 PM | 7,446 Views
Here's a teaser for my latest project. Everything pictured here acts
as a complete system. The only thing not shown in the pic is a set of goggle and the DVR.
Yes the quad on the right got beat with an ugly stick, but it's fully functional
and those long wires let me set it up with arms up to twice as long, in only a few minutes.
The complete system has been flown several times, and proven to work, so all I'm waiting on
is good weather and an interesting location to demonstrate its capabilities.
Some elements of this project have been done before, but in many ways
its totally unique. Stay tuned. All will be explained.
Feel free to speculate in comments on what it is, and how it works.
While they're busy discussing how to fix the new horrible looking thread view list
and mismatched font sizes, colors, and such, I decided to try to find a way to fix em for myself.
If you'd like to do the same, here's how. It's quick and easy.
Following a restart of Firefox, a new icon appears at top right with an "S".
Click on it to show dropdown menu, select Write New Style -> Blank Style
Give it a title like RCGroups
and then copy and paste the following stylesheet information (Note:
you must click "Continue Reading" to see the full contents of the Code block)
into the Stylish main edit box and click Save. Browse away.
You can also tweak the styles and hit Preview button to see the effect they...Continue Reading
If you've got the bandwidth and your computer has the horsepower, can bring it up on
YouTube and select the "1440p" resolution option to get a much higher bitrate version
that's significantly sharper.
Check out the video's description for a list with links to all the various videos that went into
this compilation. Much of the footage was previously unpublished as well.
2013 was dominated by two aircraft, the FPVModel Skyhunter and my
home built Whaka Battle H-Virus quad. Did my longest flight yet at 12.2 miles (speeded up to only take 10
seconds in the compilation) with my X8.
Posted by Daemon |
Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:12 PM | 12,491 Views
My annual Best Of video disappeared in a virtual blizzard of other good FPV vids posted a
few weeks ago and I figured it deserved a little highlighting. Also tired of "Quick Tricopter
Update" in my sig from months ago. Enjoy. Best at 1080p. (More info below vid...)
Posted by Daemon |
Oct 30, 2012 @ 11:52 PM | 13,856 Views
Through patience and persistence, finally got myself an Openpilot CC3D board
to replace the cobbled together KK board + FY30A stabilizer. That combo
actually worked pretty well, but the CC3D board is in a league of its own.
It's allowed me to really explore the limits of this beater airframe.
One thing I added was another anti-vibe mount for the controller itself. Using thin
ply, and 4 earplug halves, with notches in their sides to reduce the amount of foam
for the lighter weight board. It helps me cut some vibes the board was seeing.
Had to tape the servo wires down so they wouldn't blow in the wind, and yank the
board around. May put a plastic cover over the whole area too.
Couple vids showing what it's capable of, and I'm still just getting comfortable with it.
Posted by Daemon |
Jun 19, 2012 @ 02:07 AM | 13,364 Views
The build method described in my last post has proven itself extremely crash resistant but it's
heavy. I can't do anything major about that, but I made some minor changes which do help:
1. I dropped from 1/8" thick aircraft ply down to 3/32" and then covered it in a layer of 1.7oz Kevlar.
Stick it lightly to the wood with 3M 77 spray adhesive, and then thin CA to bond it. Works great.
2. I also dropped from 1/2" OD diameter dowels for the arms down to 7/16".
3. Built a lighter anti-vibe mount for the GoPro. The old one is aluminum plate with squishy
silicon-like donuts between. New one is just two layers of ply with 5 memory foam style
earplugs glued between them. It has proven very effective at killing jello inducing
vibes, even when I've beaten the props up and they're no longer balanced.
All told this reduced the weight by about 5oz.
I've also been battling flaky ESCs. I originally used cheap Hobbyking 18-20A ESCs and
they worked just fine. I cooked a few over time (mostly getting em wet) and had
to replace em. Problem is, the newer version of the exact same ESC (looks identical)
has different electronics/firmware, and it now uses auto-throttle calibration. This just
does not work for multirotors because any sudden high throttle maneuver can cause one
ESC's throttle range to extend while the others do not, and suddenly it acts like you've got
a full stick's worth of trim... Lots of crashes...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon |
Nov 17, 2011 @ 04:27 AM | 16,377 Views
My first Tricopter started life as the simple wooden framed Mongrel Gear Trilogy
using 4 cheap rate gyros, 3 cheap ESCs, 3 cheap motors and the RC Tx's CCPM mix.
The rear motor was mounted on a platform supported by a heli blade shaft and pivot
which is a popular option for Tricopters.
However, during the learning process (having never flown any rotor-craft before), I
found that any crash on the rear arm bent the heli blade pivot. In fact any
hard landing would do it as the weight of the motor simply bent the shaft down.
That meant the yaw trim changed constantly and eventually the shaft just
I rebuilt the rear tilting motor mount using steering parts from a crawler
so that it was a tilting platform with the pivot point directly over the center
of the rear arm. That mount is totally cobbled together with zip ties
but it has been absolutely bulletproof. I tweaked the servo position but otherwise
transfered that mount over from old frame to my new one, unmodified.
It wasn't long before I was buzzing around low between and below trees, over water,
etc. Accumulation of crashes including an inverted water landing went through
the first batch of motors pretty quickly. When I got into the 2nd batch
of motors (and some ESCs) ordered from HK I found some un-subtle differences
in power. I was having to use a-lot of trim to get it flying level. Problem is,
that wasted precious flight time, and if I tried to leave it trimmed when changing ...Continue Reading