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RoryG's blog
Posted by RoryG | Aug 26, 2014 @ 04:22 PM | 1,059 Views
Advanced Navigation Techniques (PDF Download)

For Naza-M V2 multirotors fitted with a video downlink and iOSD (II or mini), such as the Phantom 2 (not Vision or Vision +). It should also apply to aircraft with a WK-M controller equipped with an iOSD, although I haven't flown the flight exercises with one.

I'm planning a web version of this tutorial here on my blog but it will be a while before I reformat the images and tables. In the meantime enjoy the PDF version which you can print out or read on your computer or tablet.

Multirotor craft fitted with GPS enabled Naza-M controllers are capable of very accurate flight, such as holding hovers with sub-metre accuracy and flying flight paths that compensate for drift with data from the built in GPS and compass. DJI has added some great features such as Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) providing home lock (HL) which allows you to return to the home point by pulling back on the elevator control, and course lock (CL) which will fly the aircraft on a preset direction regardless of the aircraft’s orientation. The home point is an arbitrary location either set by the aircraft at startup (providing enough GPS satellites are available) or by the pilot using a toggle sequence on the IOC switch. For Phantom 2 users IOC features are only available in Naza mode, selectable in the Software Assistant.

Flying your aircraft on arbitrary headings or to a point in the air roughly above a place of interest is...Continue Reading
Posted by RoryG | Aug 11, 2014 @ 07:31 AM | 1,351 Views
Here's a short video I made yesterday, another beautiful day in Shetland!

Cunningham Way (2 min 49 sec)

Another beautiful day in Shetland! Cunningham Way is a track that runs between the Sandy Loch reservoir and the south and north Staney Hill to the west of Lerwick. The Sandy Loch reservoir provides the water supply for much of the Shetland mainland and some of the islands. The launch point is about 260' above sea level, and reaching a height of 530' above this the panoramic views of Lerwick from 790' are stunning. Conditions were quite windy with gusts to 20mph at ground level, with stronger winds at 790 feet!

Shot with a GoPro Hero 3 Black at 1080/25 and Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal on my DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter. Rendered in 1920x900 HD ultra widescreen. Music is "Bubbelicious" by VYVCH, released under a Creative Commons license.
More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Aug 08, 2014 @ 12:20 PM | 1,156 Views
I've put together a showreel of various locations I've filmed around Shetland and Lerwick since getting my Phantom 2 at the end of June. FPV kit is a TS351 with a skew planar on the P2, and a matched skew planar and five turn helical fitted to a Black Pearl diversity on the ground. It's a fantastic portable system that all fits in a carry on sized backpack that I can take anywhere. I have a T8FG Super on the way to replace the stock Tx which will give me super smooth yaw and tilt control

August 2014 Showreel (4 min 41 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Aug 02, 2014 @ 03:51 PM | 1,492 Views
My home town from the air on a beautiful summer morning. Filmed with a Phantom 2, Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal and GoPro Hero 3 Black. Shot from various locations around town, including the iron age broch at Clickimin.

Lerwick From The Air (4 min 59 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jul 31, 2014 @ 02:57 PM | 1,641 Views
I've been flying my DJI Phantom 2 for just over a month now and can honestly say what a great little quadcopter it is! She's fitted with the Zenmuse H3-3D sporting a GoPro Hero 3 Black and I've managed to amass a huge amount of video footage as well as having a great time flying her. So much so my other aircraft have mostly remained in the hangar, although I've had my gliders out a few times along with the Phantom.

The Phantom 2 in flight

Phantom 2 with Video Downlink (2 min 10 sec)

A short video showing the setup and ground monitor view

The FPV setup feeds the GoPro video through a Boscam TS351 200mW VTx fitted with a RHCP skew planar antenna, with OSD data provided by the DJI iOSD mini. On the ground I have a FlySight Black Pearl 7" diversity monitor fitted with a matched skew planar on channel one and a five turn helical on channel two. This setup provides a perfect FPV display out to 600m (the furthest I've gone so far) with no glitches or interference. In practice as long as the helical is pointing roughly towards the Phantom then the monitor will use channel 2, only when directly overhead does it switch to the skew planar.

The monitor is fitted to the R/c Tx using the excellent Rave Creative mount. I had one of the cheap carbon mounts to start with but the balance was terrible. It's easy to hand hold now but I normally rest it on my legs sitting on a camping chair - glider habits die hard!

Skew planar and five turn helical on the Black Pearl...Continue Reading
Posted by RoryG | Jul 30, 2014 @ 04:05 AM | 1,697 Views
Scudding under a 400' cloud base with the Phantom 2:

Under Low Cloud at Vementry (3 min 30 sec)

Vementry is situated on Shetland's Westside, three miles north west of the village of Aith. It's name refers both to a farm on the mainland, and an uninhabited island just to the north across the Cribba Sound. The Phantom was flying just under the 400' cloud base and captured some dramatic shots of the coast and lochs that abound in this area. Taking off to the south east towards the south Loch of Hostigates we climb to 380' alongside the Wards (hills) of Hostigates. Ahead is the North Voe of Clousta, and as we pan you can see the Loch of Clousta to the south east. Continuing round you can see the island of Muckle Roe (with Papa Little to the south) across the Swarbacks Minn, a deep water anchorage used by the Royal Navy in WW1. The small body of water on the north east side of the road is north Loch of Hostigates, with Vementry farm to the north and the island just beyond.

Filmed with a GoPro Hero 3 Black at 1080/25, mounted to a DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal. Music is "Science of Sleep (Instrumental)" by Silence is Sexy.

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jul 19, 2014 @ 05:19 AM | 1,531 Views
Here's my home town of Lerwick, Shetland, shot with the Phantom 2 and H3-3D from the range of hills that forms a boundary to the west of the town. The take off point was 80m asl and with the P2 at 80 to 100m above the take off point I got some good footage at fairly high altitude without the Phantom becoming a spec in the sky! I use a video downlink but mainly for framing shots, I like to keep my investment in sight!

Shot with a Hero 3 Black at 1080/25, shame about the overcast conditions though...

Lerwick from Staney Hill (2 min 47 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jul 12, 2014 @ 04:38 PM | 1,780 Views
A perfect evenings soaring at my local flying site. The 3 to 4 bft breeze was creating some good lift off the banks, even for the 2.5kg FPV equipped Diamond 2500. Sandy had his Radian Pro up which you can see on a few occasions in the video.

D2500 Evening Soaring at The Knab (4 min 8 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jul 05, 2014 @ 11:15 AM | 1,609 Views
Typical for summer weather than my other recent videos - cloudy! Half an hour earlier it was bright sunshine... Still, some nice views of Lerwick and the surrounding area.

Cloudy Morning at The Knab (2 min 8 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jul 01, 2014 @ 05:15 PM | 1,738 Views
Beautiful flying weather this morning, here's a short video of the St Ninian's Tombolo, Shetland, the largest active tombolo in the UK. Filmed with a GoPro Hero 3 Black on the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal, and the 808 #16 on the tail of the D2500.

St Ninian's Tombolo (2 min 44 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | Jun 01, 2014 @ 05:46 AM | 2,330 Views
I've just completed the installation of the Mr RC Sound 4.1 module with two TT-25 transducers in my FMS 1700mm P-51D "Ferocious Frankie". I'm surprised just how loud these transducers are! The Merlin sound is excellent, sounds just like the real thing, especially the startup and shutdown sounds. There's a short video of the startup and shutdown sounds over on my Vimeo page.

I've also installed an electronic fuel gauge sensor from Thomas Jørgensen in Denmark. He makes the units himself and it provides mAh used, real time current, voltage and frame rate error - it's really three sensors in one! The sensor is only €35.00 (or $50.00) plus €5 postage (to the UK). More details at his website.

The FFS-330 dynamic airspeed sensor is a great little unit providing indicated airspeed via a pitot tube. You can set the telemetry alarm to go off just above the stall speed which makes flying in windy conditions much easier. Coupled with the Guardian 2D/3D stabiliser it makes windy flying a "breeze"!

Things are getting pretty cramped under the canopy, but I've tried to keep it as neat as possible. I'm now using Nano-Tech 6S 5000mAh LiPos which give excellent flight times, and pushed right forward the CG is spot on.
Posted by RoryG | May 27, 2014 @ 02:34 PM | 2,293 Views
FPV was always on my project list and the big Diamond D2500 was an ideal choice, particularly for aerial video and getting to decent altitudes.

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Description: Flysight Black Pearl display with OSD

She's been fitted with a #16 v3 KeyCam with the B lens, Suppo Free Bird v3.51 OSD and a Boscam TX58-800 5.8GHz video downlink. The ground station is a Flysight Black Pearl 7" screen with a built in diversity two channel Rx. The on-board FPV kit is powered by a separate 3S 1800mAh LiPo, with 12v to the Tx and OSD and 5v to the camera via a Castle BEC.

The antenna in the photos is just for testing, I have two skew planar antenna on the way, should be here before the test flights....Continue Reading
Posted by RoryG | May 13, 2014 @ 12:22 PM | 2,604 Views
Beautiful conditions today for the D-2500. A fairly stiff force 5 breeze led to some interesting flying, with some fantastic views of Shetland from a maximum altitude of 1,280'

Diamond D-2500 Soaring at Levenwick Beach, Shetland (4 min 12 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | May 13, 2014 @ 04:54 AM | 2,790 Views
This morning's northerly breeze allowed me to get some good video over Lerwick, my home town. Filmed with the Mobius ActionCam on the wing.

Diamond over Lerwick (2 min 49 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | May 12, 2014 @ 04:01 AM | 3,168 Views
A short video of the Radian Pro soaring on the banks at The Knab, Lerwick. The onshore wind was producing excellent lift so the motor was not used at all in this flight.

Soaring on the Banks with the ParkZone Radian Pro (3 min 54 sec)

More R/C aerial videos on my Shetland Flyer Vimeo Channel
Posted by RoryG | May 11, 2014 @ 09:50 AM | 2,469 Views
An early morning sortie with the Diamond D-2500 glider at The Knab, Lerwick, Shetland. Filmed using the #16 KeyCam fixed to the right wing, firmware 1.2 MOV, 720p @ 30fps, sunny white balance. External shots filmed using the #11 KeyCam.

Early Morning Gliding with the D-2500 at The Knab, Lerwick (3 min 45 sec)

Posted by RoryG | May 10, 2014 @ 01:26 PM | 2,020 Views
Here's a short video filmed on Thursday with my Art-Tech D-2500 Glider fitted with the Mobius ActionCam on the wing. Beautiful conditions led to some excellent soaring. The next day with a fresh 20mph wind and some low level Cu's I managed to spec her out to over 1000' under one of the clouds

Soaring at the Ness of Sound (3 min 24 sec)

Posted by RoryG | May 10, 2014 @ 08:56 AM | 2,318 Views
Having been bitten by the EDF bug and after reading the Durafly Vampire thread here on RC Groups I just had to get one of these beautiful little aircraft. From the outset I was going to use a Change Sun 12 blade fan and hand launch but HobbyKing only had the PnF version rather than the kit. The price was OK however, and I can use the landing gear and EDF in another project at a later date, or at least have a spare fan.

There's really not much to the build, it's a case of gluing the booms, wings and horizontal stab together. Removing the stock fan was probably the hardest part, I used acetone and gentle heat to soften the glue, then cut round it with a bent junior hacksaw blade before coaxing it out. There was little damage to the foam but the acetone is very good at stripping the paint off!

I replaced the stock fan and ESC with the CS12 unit powered by a Cyclone Power CS480-2800-40 outrunner on a Cyclone Power 85A ESC. Although the CS12 housing is very slightly shorter than stock it's a direct fit, and I secured it with a small amount of hot glue on the mounting lug. I installed the ESC above the cheater slots for maximum cooling and keeping the motor wires as short as possible, although I had to extend the battery wires by 4". It's important that all servo wiring, etc., is well secured as you don't want that fan sucking anything in! I used cable ties and avoided using tape as much as possible in case it works loose. The other mods were to remove...Continue Reading
Posted by RoryG | Mar 21, 2014 @ 11:44 AM | 2,427 Views
Until recently the seven models in my hangar consisted of two foam and one composite glider, four electric prop aircraft including a 1700mm warbird and a ¼ scale J3 Cub on floats. I’m not taken with helicopters or quads, but an EDF was notably missing from the fleet.

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Side view shows a very pretty model

I’ve now rectified the situation two-fold in the shape of a Max-Thrust Vortex 400 sports jet (known as the Concept-X Pro in the US) and a Durafly de Havilland Vampire Mk6 (more on the latter in a separate blog entry). I chose the Vortex 400 after reading Graham Ashby’s review in the August 2011 issue of RCM&E, plus several threads here on RC Groups. It sounded a well-made model with reasonable components at a reasonable price, and the flight envelope looked to be suitable for someone with plenty of stick time on conventional models but new to EDFs.

The model spans 750mm with an overall length of 940mm. It's all EPO foam construction and available in two versions and three colours: as a PNP which includes six pre fitted servos, a 45A ESC with BEC, 64mm 5 blade EDF and motor combo with a 2200mAh 4S LiPo recommended, or a kit which has the EDF fan installed but no servos, ESC or motor. It's available in red, green or yellow, although the red seems to be the most popular choice.

I ordered the PNP version of the Vortex from Wheelspin Models as they had them in stock and at the best price I could find; I’ve dealt with Wheelspin before...Continue Reading
Posted by RoryG | Mar 09, 2014 @ 09:35 AM | 2,670 Views
A few more pics of detail on the Cub. The pilot (still nameless) now has a seatbelt which is fitted into anchors through the seat. He's also acquired a furry passenger on the parcel shelf! There's also a few pics of the prop and the great little HobbyKing power meter / battery tester. I use this little gadget all the time and it's always in my flight bag. That's the motor running just above idle, prop is turning around 1200rpm. At full power on fresh LiPo's she pulls over 2000W at 7800rpm.