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Posted by Nightstone | Feb 27, 2015 @ 01:47 PM | 1,439 Views
When I got my Skyzone goggles a few weeks back one of the first things I did was test them with my ImmersionRC 600mw Unit. Everything appeared to be working okay. I took rides on different friends flights who were all using them and things seemed okay.

At the beginning of this week I set my wing back up and immediately started having sync/interference issues. I used filters. I tried different VTX units ( Boscam & Aomway). Nothing but issues... It was driving me nuts. Then yesterday afternoon it clicked and I found the issue.

When I got my goggles I set all my VTX's to the fatshark band. This included my Boscam and Aomway units. When the wing was setup it introduced more Interference because of the proximity of components. This ended up bringing to light the real issue.

The Skyzone fatshark band is actually off on frequency when using those channels. Its not an immersionRC issue but a skyzone issue. The proof was in the Boscam and Aomway units exhibiting the same behavior as the IRC unit.

With good separation of equipment on a plane it was not noticeable as much. When the wing came into play it became very evident.

The solution here is quite simple. Do not use the skyzone 4 band. Stay off that band. Yes it will mean getting rid of your fatshark gear but is well worth it.

After switching my other 2 VTX's over to different bands all sync/interference issues went away.

I love my Skyzone, Boscam, Sony Effio V setup.

If you read this and it helped you with your Skyzones post and let me know. I'm curious if its goggle wide or just mine.

Posted by Nightstone | Feb 23, 2015 @ 09:04 AM | 1,271 Views
About 6 months ago I picked up a minim osd from HK for my APM. i could not get it working with my fatshark stuff. I'm a hard core geek and spent many hours trying to figure it out. From different firm wares to different setups it was a no go.

So I assumed it was a bad board and picked up 2 more on ebay. Again... the damn things would not work.

This morning... after converting over to Skyzone and 12v cameras for the hell of it I decided to try once more. Maybe one of the osd's was actually good.

All 3 worked flawlessly. Plug and go.

Man O Man... Foiled by a 5v camera.

On a positive note... most of my FS stuff is now gone and I have moved on to better equipment. Love that Sony Effio V. Nice match for my skyzone 2's.

Posted by Nightstone | Feb 10, 2015 @ 12:15 AM | 2,686 Views
I have been flying my Radian with velcroed on FPV gear for a while now. Tonight I decided to see if I could add an auto pilot and a long range receiver without any major mods to the plane. There are Lots of chopped up modded Radians out there.

If you turn the radian into a chopped up flying pig your loosing the whole reasonon for having it. Its a glider.

You can see from the pictures it fits a 2200. Fy-dos is on a shelf above the esc. the L9R fit nicely below. Camera and VTX are velcroed on. I used the vtx location to ensure perfect CG.

I have a better camera on the way and will be modding camera location. For now it has RTH and about a 4 mile range. Perfect for casual flying.

Posted by Nightstone | Feb 03, 2015 @ 12:15 AM | 2,731 Views
Here are my newest creations... All are setup for both line of sight and FPV. The green plane is a little 40" speedy plane. Blast to fly. Has an APM for those oops moments. I don't like flying anything fast down low at our local park without the safety of RTL.

The red bird is a slow fly 3d foamie. Yep... Its fun to fly fpv on a 3d plane. Opens up a whole new world. And a barf bag if not carefull.

The canard is new and unmaidened. Same power setup as the green plane. Also with leveling and a circle mode. Camera on this will be mounted in the tail.

Making these planes dual purpose makes for some fun flying. 3D, In and out of poles, trees etc. chase, Really low stuff etc.

No fear because the cost is so low... Priceless. Do that with a $1500 plane.

Oh before I forget... Putting a cheap APM unit in a small foamie works out well.

Posted by Nightstone | Jan 18, 2015 @ 12:33 AM | 2,759 Views
My Skyzone V2 Goggles came in today. Had enough time to hook them up and use them in the front yard. The clarity and brightness blew the attitudes out of the water. No contest at all.

I used them with a ( Dec 2013 ) ImmersionRC 600mw receiver. no issues. Will flight test tomorrow. Will also be testing these goggles against some other ones folks are using at the field.

Will followup on this thread.

Thanks for the free 2 day priority shipping GETFPV. You guys are great.

Posted by Nightstone | Jan 16, 2015 @ 03:05 PM | 2,611 Views
Last year I lost my quad due to video going black while flying. I hit return to home and ended up with a flyaway. I always blamed the video going to black on the quadcopter.

Today... the truth came out. I had put my FPV mini pod On my combat bloody wonder for fun. All went well. Several flights later I moved the pod over to my 3D plane and took off under goggles. As I started to enter my first turn my video again started to go black and within a second I had a black screen. Safety first I immediately nosed the plane straight in.

After I got back from fetching the wreckage I tried to replicate the problem. As soon as the battery was tilted a certain way The vid would go black. Me and another FPVer played with it and quickly realized it was the battery. Using his battery every thing worked great. No fade.

This appears to be an intermittent issue. Upon arrival back home I could not get it to do it again. It is also an issue internal to the battery and not a plug.

I am very lucky this occurred at the Field and not during a long distance flight . I am happy to have found the issue. It only cost me a Quad and a 3D plane.

As I am moving away from Fatshark/Immersion Its not that big of a deal. I plan on Using some different QUALITY batteries with the googles going forward. Some Skyzone V2 goggles will be here tomorrow or Monday.

If your getting weird issues with your FS Goggles try a different battery first. I think the ones they have branded are cheapies with manufactured issues.

NS - Really tired of FS/immersionrc issues. I spent more but have not gotten a better quality.
Posted by Nightstone | Jan 09, 2015 @ 01:16 AM | 2,095 Views
My Aomway 500mw 5.8 vtx made it in. $35 from ebay. It fired right up and connected to my fatshark goggles without issue. 15ch. Fatshark and boscam E channels.

This looks like a Fatshark knockoff. cables and pinouts are the same. Only difference is the added channels. A jumper for both 5v and 12v cams. And alot cheaper. Connector is SMA.

Moving forward this seems like a good choice. Alot cheaper. Added channels for other systems. 5 and 12 v cameras.

Will do further testing this weekend or next week.

Some pics.
Posted by Nightstone | Jan 04, 2015 @ 12:50 AM | 2,171 Views
After breaking the connector on my Fatshark 250 vtx in a light crash I went out and did some research on how folks are reinforcing them. I stumbled upon this thread in another forum. It was a big part of why I posted my earlier post and why I'm making this post. I mulled this over quite a bit.

A user complained and asked the Fatshark rep if they were going to do anything to reinforce their VTX units in the future.

Fatsharks Response " Yep, don't crash and it won't break. I undertand what you mean though; just yesterday I backed my car into a pole and was surprised it scratched the paint"

The poor guy got eaten alive...

Yes fatshark does give a 50% off with the broken item. Yes other manufacturers build them the same way. Yes you crashed and broke it. All true...

From my point of view if a company is charging considerably more for their product they should go that extra mile to make their product that much better. This was an opportunity to make a better product in a market full of dropping prices. a chance to stand out.

Why would I want to buy a fatshark/immersionrc product with that kind of attitude going on? And pay twice as much?

Buy the cheaper product. Reinforce it with Epoxy. Problem solved.

A company lives and dies by its customers... Feedback goes a long way.

Posted by Nightstone | Jan 03, 2015 @ 10:01 PM | 2,170 Views
My 200mw Aomway VTX came in. Camera came in a few days ago. Went and made a quick pod up so I could try it tomorrow.

The VTX is 32 channel and fatshark compatible. Weight is 6 grams. The camera is 600tvl and weighs in at 11 grams. Pod total weight without antenna is 22 grams.

Unit works fine around the house on Fatshark channels. Will test range on it tomorrow.

Both pieces were under $50 shipped. Thats for both. Half the price of a comparable fatshark setup.

This will end up being my Mini pod for small foamy's. Nutballs, Blue wonders, etc. That size plane.

Will update this thread on how it performs.

Posted by Nightstone | Jan 02, 2015 @ 03:50 PM | 1,510 Views
A few weeks back I had my 250 VTX on a quad and had a crash. Nothing severe. Antenna was not even bent. Part of the impact was at the rear of the unit where the antenna connector is soldered. All 4 ground solder points held fine.

What did not hold up was the center pin connector. From looking it over after the crash it looks like the entire part that comes out of the VTX board disconnected and fell away. No way to re solder it that I could find.

This is without a doubt the weak point on these units. If I ever purchase one again ( doubtful ) I would try and reinforce that area.

For a replacement I picked up 2 Aomway units ( 200mw, 500mw ) and a small light weight FPV cam. For under $90 shipped. I intend to test these units and compare them against the fatshark/immersion stuff. Price wise they are considerably cheaper.

Time will tell
Posted by Nightstone | Jan 02, 2015 @ 03:35 PM | 1,436 Views
Just a brief blog entry on using the DT 700 on 4s. I know this motor pretty well from multirotor use on 3s. On 3s I ran it with 12x4.7 props without issue.

Today I put it into one of my sport foamy's to see how it would do on 4s. First prop I tried was a 10x4.7 HK slow fly prop. Flew great just a bit slow for my taste. Motor came down cool. From there I put on a 10x7 to pick up the speed a bit. Plane flew noticeably faster. I really liked the way it flew. Plenty of power. Flew it pretty hard and motor came down cool to touch.

I did not feel the need to amp test the motor with these props. The DT 700 has been tested with 13" props without over heating. Going down 3 prop sizes put me well into the safe zone.

There was some posted data with an 11x5.5" prop on 4s. Amps were around 17.4 and 1380 grams of thrust. This seems viable also.

For me the 10x7 on 4s hit a sweet spot and will be what I will be using going forward.

NOTE - The DT 700 is not rated for 4s. Use at your own risk.

Posted by Nightstone | Dec 31, 2014 @ 12:05 PM | 1,707 Views
I was in one of my latest flare ups. Morphine surging through my body. Slightly foggy and feeling pretty bad. Lets go build something.

I ended up making this offset motor plane. My understanding of asymmetrical planes is that the offset of the motor is compensated by weight on the opposite side countering the effects of the p-factor of the prop. Theoretically making the plane fly better than a tradition plane.

It flies great. Much better than expected. It feels like its on rails. I am very surprised. Two issues do effect its flight. The first is you have to use a little rudder on takeoff. The second has to do with the very slim profile. When you make turns there is more altitude loss that has to be compensated for.

Some pluses for the plane are stability. Large area for gear. Suited for FPV. Flies great with 2 4s 2200 batteries. Center area of wing provides additional lift.

Wing span is 40 inches with 8" for the center section. Length is 30". 4s. 2836 1100 with an 8x6 prop. 4 9 gram servos. Blue 30a esc.

Posted by Nightstone | Dec 25, 2014 @ 06:14 PM | 2,117 Views
I have been pretty happy with my 3s setups up until the day I was having issues climbing up to the top of some low mountains while out FPVing. I was Mr efficiency. Everything revolved around flight times. After changing some motors out on my planes I decided to try some 4s setups.

I picked up 4 2200 mah zippy slim 25c 4s batteries. These are good up to around 55 amps. Knowing HK often fudges a bit on C ratings lets just say don't go over 44 amps. weight on these are not much more than 3s packs at 210g a battery.

So what does going from 3s to 4 s get me. Well it gets me higher voltage. Higher voltage gives me more wattage and higher RPM. To make it easy lets just say we get more power to work with.

How you use this extra power will depend largely on your propeller. You can prop for better speed or better efficiency or a combination of both.

I use a 2836 1100 motor on my small canards. On 3s I fly with a 10x6e or 10x4.7sf and get around 15mins of flight time.

On 4 s I bench tested 2 props so far. An 8x4 came in at 268w at 17.17a. The 8x6e came in at 344w at 22.37a.

I test flew with 8x6. The difference was dramatic. What was a slower efficient flyer became a much faster plane. Climb rate and top end were noticeably faster as was responsiveness. For mixed flying my airtime was still 12 plus minutes. I could have extended that but I was having to much fun.

Going 4s for this plane has given me a larger speed/climb range. Will I always fly on 4s? No. But if I need the extra performance its as simple as switching a prop and battery. Why limit your plane.

Merry Christmas All
Posted by Nightstone | Dec 15, 2014 @ 11:56 PM | 1,708 Views
Here a while back I was working on some junk quads for FPV. Keep my nice quads for film and photography and use the junk ones for FPV and taking skills up to the next level.

I picked up a few real cheap multiwii boards and got things working fine. They flew fine but just had a lack luster feel when flying.

Last week I decided to try my stand alone Fy-dos unit. Was I pleasantly surprised. It did a great job as a quad controller. Much smoother and precise than the multiwii. this is without the compass or advanced features.

So this is what I ended up putting together. Quad weighs under 1000g loaded with a 5200mah battery, mobius and FPV xmitter. Flight times are around 15 mins and it fly's very well. Wood, epoxy, zip ties and rubber bands. No screws.

Posted by Nightstone | Dec 07, 2014 @ 05:57 PM | 1,368 Views
Here is my latest project. It started when I was looking through my old projects and came across my wing and a half pusher. That got me thinking and it soon turned into a seaplane I'm calling a "Bicuda".

She is pretty much put together except for esc, reciever and servos. That and a bit of touch up. Not to mention battery tray and some panels.

Pics 1-3 show what she looks like and pic 4 shows the hatch and push on wing floats.

Maiden should be in a day or so. It will be off grass as there are no RC water parks near me. I expect water performance to be good with the raised wing.

Oh... Wing is 39" and 32" long. 2200kv motor. 4 servos. Etc Etc.Etc.

Posted by Nightstone | Nov 26, 2014 @ 10:23 PM | 2,155 Views
Sharing my Bixler 2 build. Do not use this build if your not going to FPV with a large battery in the front. The plane will be tail heavy.

Parts -

SK3 - 2836 - 1500 Motor.
2 Metal gear servos for Rudder and elevator.
2 HXT 9 Gram for Ailerons.
45A Turnigy Trust ESC
Apm 2.7 + Gps
7" Prop
IRC Pan and Tilt Cam
IRC 600mw 5.8 Tx
Frsky Rec Xp Series.
Turnigy 5200mah Battery

I did not want this plane to be a butcher bird and chop it all up. I also wanted to enclose as much of the plane as possible. Less on the outside the better it flies. Note the IRC TX mounted inside the cockpit. Cockpit retains the plastic shield and is held on by Velcro underneath.

Flying weight is around 1130 grams with a 5200 mah. Flight time is 30-60 mins depending on how you fly.

Rear mounted servos. Carbon fiber rods for linkage.

Small hatch on the side for APM access. Apm, case and GPS is all that I use.

Plane was maidened yesterday. Will do 2-3 more LOS flights prior to FPV. Wing tape on order for some color.

Note - Used that new gorilla glue clear repair tape to glass the bottom of the fuse.

Posted by Nightstone | Nov 18, 2014 @ 12:23 AM | 2,380 Views
It was going to happen. I knew it was inevitable. A while back I had my first run in with a park person...

I'm not going to go into alot of detail. I was flying a quad FPV while doing photography. Alone. No one around me. I was confronted, threatened with a citation, etc. I managed to talk my way out of it and left. After the fact I did make contact with the organization.

The level of ignorance about what I was doing was pretty high. They considered my activity as an act of vandalism. They did not want me there because they wanted to keep the park vandalism free. This is how they viewed me. When I mentioned that I was a photographer and had been photographing in this manner for over a year now I was told that those photographs were "just" evidence of my criminal activity. At this point I quit while I was ahead.

I have been mulling this over for almost a month now. The conclusion I came to was that I need to stop posting any media that can be construed in a negative manner. And that boys and girls is anything shot in park areas or any other spot where someone may take offense. Till the madness ends I'm just not posting.

The citation that they were trying to hit me with carried a 30 day jail time. A non supportive judge and a bad day could have made life very unpleasant for me.

The point that ended up working for me was when I pointed out that the Quad was autonomous and was flying itself. Therefore I was not flying a remote controlled aircraft in the park. Thin but technically correct. Not something I would want to argue in front of a judge and I don't think the park official wanted to either.

I will continue to fly and photograph. I will not post anymore though...

Posted by Nightstone | Nov 14, 2014 @ 06:17 PM | 2,603 Views
I almost missed it. Oct 10th was my one year anniversary for flying FPV. One very fun year.

I fly anywhere between 3-7 days a week averaging any where between 3-6 flights a day. I conservatively estimate I made 600 plus flights in my first year.

I,m one of these guys that if I like something I do it. Alot!!!

Also in that first year I have put FPV gear on and flown over 30 different home made planes. I have yet to lose a plane.

Multirotors were a different story. I had one Naza fly away and 3 crashes due to equipment failure. 2 esc's and one motor failed.

3 different types of auto pilot ( Feiyu, Apm, Naza). Spektrum, Frsky and Uhf. Video was all 5.8. Tons of homemade stuff and experiments.

Well that was year 1... Hopefully year 2 will hold more of the same.

Posted by Nightstone | Nov 13, 2014 @ 12:25 AM | 3,439 Views
Just picked up 2 more APM 2.7 Units. $83.60 gets you The Board case and a cheap GPS.

This is all you need to safely fly FPV. You don't need the power adapter/ OSD / Wireless link. The units work fine powered off your ESC.

So how do you get home without an OSD? RTH will point you back the way you need to go. That or use way points to do the same by placing them strategically.

How do you tell battery voltage? Using your Taranis bound to an audible switch. Same for RSSI.

How do you maintain altitude or get to an altitude. You can use way points or program altitude using FBWB.

By creatively using the APM and your Taranis you can avoid the screen clutter, extra cost and weight.

I have been flying OSD free since starting this sport and have never lost a plane. And I fly in an environment with a very noisy ground floor where disconnects are common place.

Posted by Nightstone | Nov 13, 2014 @ 12:01 AM | 3,343 Views
I just purchased 4 3s 5200 mah batteries. Weight wise they are over 25% lighter. The form factor is smaller also coming in 2 different sizes. long and thin and brick like.

These are being marketed as multirotor batteries. The 3s versions I have would not be great for this purpose on my 2 450 size quads. 52 amps divided by 4 is 13 amps per motor. My quads can easily attain this and more.

Where these batteries really shine is in the smaller foamy FPV planes. My 40" canards can easily carry one of these boosting flight times out past 30 minutes.

I took my old bixler 1.1 and gave it some upgrades. A 2830 2200 motor and these batteries. The FY-dos Autopilot and 50Amp esc are pushed far to the back. My flight times with this setup are now 30-60 minutes. The battery size and weight made for near perfect cg balance. The plane flies great. Add to this mix a new L9R Receiver and we have a small plane that fits in a kia and has a 4 plus mile range. Perfect for my kind of flying.

I fly smaller planes that I take remote places and then fly there rather than fly large FPV aircraft and fly long distance. Each to their own.

FYI... I am charging these at half normal amperage and keeping them matched with motors that don't pull more than 30 amps.

Lastly... I have a bixler 2 coming that will be set up with an APM 2.7. These batteries have had an impact on how I fly.