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Posted by jjmelo | Mar 28, 2016 @ 01:29 AM | 4,208 Views
Chasing Tail (3 min 23 sec)

2 quads and a hex (me) chasing an Inverza with streamers. Loads of fun!
Posted by jjmelo | Jan 31, 2016 @ 11:10 PM | 2,054 Views
Introducing the latest addition to my multirotor fleet! The Hellbender 122. The frame itself is made out of 3mm woven carbon fiber and it is very light and strong. It fits 3" props, exclusively. I used RCX H1306 2300 kv motors, which I had on another build. I'm powering it up with 3S 500 mah LiPos, that I also had lying around from a previous project.

I flashed the latest version of Betaflight and enabled airmode and it flew amazing with the default PIDs, although I’m sure they can be tuned further. Overall, this quad is a winner! Fast and nimble. Light but very well balanced. FPV’ing with it is a blast, going thru tiny gaps and tree branches. Stay tuned for a flight video!

For more info, including a detailed parts list, visit: http://www.flitereport.com/hellbender-122-build/
Posted by jjmelo | Nov 05, 2015 @ 12:58 AM | 1,935 Views
QAV210 Maiden FPV Flight - Lake View Terrace - LOVERBOY! (2 min 46 sec)

Here's the maiden FPV flight video of the latest addition to my fleet, the QAV-210 Charpu Edition. More info: http://www.flitereport.com/qav210-ch...en-fpv-flight/
Posted by jjmelo | Sep 01, 2015 @ 03:49 AM | 2,789 Views
Presenting Hobbyking's newest model airplane from the Durafly line, the Curtiss P-40N Warhawk. I ordered it the day it came out from the US West Warehouse (click here to get yours) and received it 4 working days later, via FedEx ground. Here is my first impressions and assembly video.

Continue reading at FliteReport.com

Durafly P-40N Warhawk First Impressions & Assembly (6 min 4 sec)

Posted by jjmelo | Jul 30, 2015 @ 03:01 AM | 2,523 Views
Hey! I'm trying a new review format, I call it the "Melo Multirotor Minute" where I do a quick review in about a minute. In this video I'm reviewing the MJX X900 X901 3D Roll 2.4G 6-Axis First Nano Hexacopter from Banggood. Get yours here: http://bit.ly/1JT5sZk

Continue reading here: http://www.flitereport.com/mini-hex-...irotor-minute/

Mini Hex Review - Melo's Multirotor Minute (MJX X900 X901 3D Roll 2.4G 6-Axis First Nano Hexacopter) (0 min 58 sec)

Posted by jjmelo | Apr 16, 2015 @ 04:33 AM | 5,959 Views
In this episode of the podcast, I discuss the latest products from 3DRobotics, the Solo, and DJI, the Phantom 3.

I then discuss how the Boston Marathon was declared a “No Drone Zone” and how a visitor to the Cuban island got his DJI Phantom seized and held buy customs.

And finally, Drones for Good, a competition in Dubai designed to demonstrate how drones can be used for enhance people’s lives, where teams from around the globe compete for a $1 million prize.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think, please. Visit: http://www.uavnotdrone.com/episode-5...ward-in-dubai/
Posted by jjmelo | Apr 03, 2015 @ 01:05 PM | 3,502 Views
Introducing the SubMini 200mm FPV quad, a custom designed multirotor. As the name indicates, is has a motor-to-motor diagonal measurement of 200mm, perfectly suited for 4″ props. The frame was designed and 3D printed in black ABS and is 4mm thick.

I was initially going to use a regular Flip32 fullsize controller, but the spare one I had wasn’t working quite right, so I ordered the Flip32 Racing controller, which is less than half the size of a standard Flip32 (35mm x 35mm). I decided to use the FrSky VD5M because it was what I had lying around, and it worked quite well. I removed the connectors and soldered the wires directly from the receiver to flight controller. Again, you need a fast and steady hand to pull this off, the solder points are tiny. I epoxied the receiver wiring to ensure durability.

For more information, links to parts and pictures, please visit: http://www.flitereport.com/submini-200mm-fpv-quad/
Posted by jjmelo | Mar 13, 2015 @ 04:25 AM | 4,005 Views
In this episode of the podcast, I break down "drones over Paris" incidents with a timeline of the events. I explore the media frenzy over a letter that a UAV hobbyist received from the FAA where they equate his monetized YouTube videos as a commercial endeavor. I interview the aforementioned hobbyist Jayson Hayes to get a first-person account of what really happened.

I then discuss how DJI is becoming a billion dollar company, 3D Robotics raising venture capital and what these means for the hobby community and the industry.

Finally, I explore the Humanitarian UAV Network or UAviators.org, an organization that recruits UAV pilots and experts for the greater good.

To listen, please visit: http://www.uavnotdrone.com/episode-4...uaviators-org/
Posted by jjmelo | Mar 04, 2015 @ 03:21 AM | 3,685 Views
Caliber FPV Wing - Review Part 1 - Unboxing and Assembly (7 min 14 sec)

Introducing the Caliber FPV Wing from Snipe Air Industries. In this video I introduce the project, unbox the package and show you the finished product after it was put together. It measures 37.5 inches (95.25 cm) in wingspan and the kit includes all the nessary hardware, including a plastic center section to hold the fpv equipment, cameras and battery, winglets, stickers, laminate, pushrods and balsa elevons. It also comes with an antivibration mount for a Mobius camera.

For more info, including equipment used and additional photos, visit:

Posted by jjmelo | Feb 20, 2015 @ 11:45 AM | 5,646 Views
In this episode of the UAV not Drone podcast, I talk about the new set of proposed regulations by the FAA for commercial UAV use in the United States. I interview Brant Hadaway, a practicing attorney that specializes in UAS laws and regulation to discuss the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for small unmanned aerial systems.

I also discuss a new site that hopes to prevent people from flying their UAVs over private property, NoFlyZone.org, The New York Drone Film Festival and advances in wireless charging technologies that could enable UAVs to be charges as they fly.

Visit: http://www.uavnotdrone.com/episode-3...tech-for-uavs/ to listen. Thanks!
Posted by jjmelo | Feb 20, 2015 @ 03:31 AM | 4,996 Views
Building a Better Phantom: The Ghoul - Part 2: Assembly (18 min 25 sec)

Here's part 2 of the Build a Better Phantom Series: a quad with T-Motors, SimonK ESCs and an APM Mini flight controller in a Phantom shell: The Ghoul. Please visit the first part of the series to get a list of components by clicking here. Here are links to additional guides and documents needed to complete this build.

Official APM documentation

Un-official guide: Mini APM from Witespy

Light module pinout and info

In part 3, I'll show you footage captured on the Ghoul during the maiden flight and a lazy adventure around my local park (as soon as I figure out how to process video shot at 120fps). Stay tuned!
Posted by jjmelo | Feb 13, 2015 @ 04:29 AM | 3,523 Views
The Ghoul: A Building a Better Phantom - Part 1 (3 min 31 sec)

Introducing the Ghoul: a quad built with a DJI Phantom Shell, but with better components and more capabilities. I came across a DJI Phantom Shell while navigating ReadyToFlyQuads.com and decided to build a quad using that shell and powering it with a Mini APM and overall better components.

More info about the components, with links, visit http://www.flitereport.com/the-ghoul...hantom-part-1/
Posted by jjmelo | Feb 06, 2015 @ 12:03 PM | 4,338 Views
In Episode 02 of the UAVnotDrone podcast, I try to make sense of the the incident where a drone landed at the White House lawn on January 26 2015 at 3am and the series of events that happened after.

I also talk about the Association of Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (http://acuas.org) and how UAVs are helping in capturing rhino poachers in South Africa.

Please give it a listen, and let me know what you think. Your comments and suggestions are more than welcome.

Posted by jjmelo | Jan 29, 2015 @ 11:53 AM | 3,636 Views
3D Printed Custom Designed Y6 (4 min 1 sec)

Introducing my custom designed and 3D printed Y6 multirotor. After many hours of designing, printing, troubleshooting and test flying, I am finally showcasing my latest multirotor with the world. The frame base, motor holders, landing gear and 3-axis gimbal were printed 3D printed in ABS. The booms are carbon fiber tubes that are 330 mm long and 16 mm in diameter.

For more info, pictures and specs, visit: http://www.flitereport.com/custom-de...y6-multirotor/
Posted by jjmelo | Jan 22, 2015 @ 05:23 PM | 4,022 Views
I've just launched the new UAV not Drone podcast. In the premiere episode I explain the purpose the podcast, along with my background in unmanned aerial vehicles. I discusses the use of the word “drone” and its negative connotation.

I also talks about the AirDog, an autonomous quadcopter with a successful Kickstarter campain and their latest prototype unveiled at CES 2015.

Finally, “Drones in the News” a segment that highlights the latest stories that the media is talking about.

Please give it a listen. Your comments and suggestions are more than welcome.


Thank you!
Posted by jjmelo | Sep 10, 2014 @ 05:47 AM | 5,795 Views
Durafly Das Ugly Stik - Unboxing & Assembly - Review Part 1 (6 min 32 sec)

I received Hobbyking's newest model, the Durafly Das Ugly Stik today in the mail (after ordering it a week ago) and above you will find my video review, the first video is the unboxing, first impressions and assembly video. The second video is the maiden flight.

The main feature or gimmick of this model is the mockup engine up front. Yes, it seems like this foamy has a glow engine, but upon further inspection you realize that the engine is just a dummy and that there is a brushless motor behind the firewall. I really didn't pay attention to anouncement videos and I thought that the engine was made out of foam, but it is pretty hefty. Not sure if its the wisest to carry all that dead weight upfront, but it sure looks cool!

Durafly Das Ugly Stik Maiden Flight - Review Part 2 (7 min 6 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by jjmelo | Aug 08, 2014 @ 12:54 PM | 4,063 Views
Bix3 (Bixler 3) Unboxing and First Impressions (5 min 27 sec)

Here's my unboxing and first impressions video of Hobbyking's newest FPV platform, the Bix3. Here's a list of changes from version 1 and 2.

- Removable wing: the mechanism works great. The wings are longer.
- Landing gear: removable main and steerable tail wheel.
- Wooden FPV platform (canopy) included.
- Lower KV motor and larger prop: should make it more efficient.
- Lots of reinforcent included: carbon strips inside the nose area and a carbon tube along the tail.

Overall, I'm very please with the Bix3.

[sidenote: shipping was extremely fast. It took 5 business days from the Internation Warehouse my home in California. Shipped via EMS and when it got the the states, it was delivered by Norco Overnite]
Posted by jjmelo | Jun 16, 2014 @ 03:33 AM | 5,392 Views
Introducing the Swift Hex, a mini sized hexacopter that I designed and 3D printed, specifically for FPV. Its design was inspired by the Blackout Spider Hex, but seeing as it is currently unavailable, I decided to designed and make my own.

It is exactly 300mm motor to motor. It uses 37mm spacers, just because that is what I had lying around. I decided to use cheap ZMR 1806 motors, along with 5 x 3 props. It has a built-in vibration dampening system with earplug for the top-mounted Mobius Action Cam. 10amp SimonK ESCs and a Naze32 equivalent, the Flip32+ from Witespy power the system.

Rippin' it Up - Swift Hex (3 min 53 sec)

More information at: http://www.flitereport.com/swift-hex...ted-hex-frame/...Continue Reading
Posted by jjmelo | Jun 11, 2014 @ 05:37 AM | 5,181 Views
Stop breaking your ImmersionRC 5.8 Video transmitters!

We all know what happens: after a crash, the antenna connector breaks off, and its all downhill from there. Since its most likely that the transmitter ran without the antenna, the transmitter burns out and consequently it will have a lot less range, IF you manage to solder the antenna connector back on.

After ruining 2 video transmitters, and seeing as I have a 3d printer and some 3D design skills, I made a plastic protector that will protect the antenna connector. They weight about 10g and you attach the video transmitter with zip ties. I designed and I print these myself. I've sold a bunch here, this is my 5th batch.

To order, just go to my site and click the Paypal button. They are $9 each, shipped in the US, with $1 discounts if you order multiples.

The PY600, the ImmersionRC 5.8 video transmitter protector:


Also, by popular demand, I designed one for the 250mw v3 version.


**UPDATE: The 600mw version has been modified slightly. There is an opening on now to allow easy access to the dip switches, as requested by some here. Please check the updated pictures.


- What material?

I print them in black ABS. They weigh about 10g

- When do they ship?

It usually takes 1 business day to print and ship out, but sometimes a bit more, depending on the number of orders.

- Can I fit a 90 degree connector?

Yes. See the pictures above.

- Do you ship internationally?

Yes. Send me a PM. It is $5 more for international orders, so $14 total. I've shipped to NZ, Canada, Australia and the U.K.

- How about a Boscam version?

G-Unit designed and prints these. Click here for his thread. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...3#post27907536
Posted by jjmelo | May 27, 2014 @ 02:51 AM | 4,260 Views
A is for Azusa (3 min 31 sec)

After seeing these letter on the side of the foothills all over Southern California, I decided to try to fly close to them via FPV. Here is me second attempt (the first one was B is for Burbank, click here to watch that video). Please excuse the excessive jello and vibes; the CC3D controller isn’t perfectly tuned and I’m using very cheap motors that are hard to balance. Other than that, enjoy!

More info here:http://www.flitereport.com/a-is-for-azusa/