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austntexan's blog
Posted by austntexan | Feb 10, 2015 @ 10:41 AM | 2,354 Views
Shot this right before a failsafe crash this weekend. I'm all over the place but it was sure fun. Needs a little tuning, you can see some bumps on the WOT punch outs.

RD270 Cobra 2204 1960KV (3 min 17 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Feb 08, 2015 @ 08:02 PM | 2,366 Views
I used a some aluminum from an old motorcycle license plate holder. It's basically a square. Cut it with aircraft sheers, then file the sharp edges down with a mill file.

I used the bottom plate as a drill template. Mark the first hole with a punch, then drill it and attach it to the plate with a screw and bolt. Then line it up with the bottom plate and use the plate as a drill guide and drill out the second hole. This way the plate will line up perfectly.

Choose your color, wire them up and go. I'm using a 12V out from my step-down. They're super bright on 4S when coming right off the LiPo. They're rated for only 12V, so not sure how long they'd last on 14.8s. They're cheap enough to experiment with. Connect everything up with some JST plugs. I get these from getfpv, readymade or wherever(10 pairs to a bag). Very handy.

Hope this helps any other fellow racers!

...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Jan 28, 2015 @ 07:51 PM | 3,182 Views
Rushing to get a flight in as the sun was setting and the temp was dropping!

CLI Dump attached.

RD270 Evening Run (4 min 14 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Jan 18, 2015 @ 05:39 PM | 1,328 Views
This little Diatone has been to Thunderdome and back many times. Moving her guts over to an RD230.

DYS 1806/2300KV (tough as hell motors, runs even on 4S)
Hobbywing 10A unflashed ESC(Simon who?)
RMRC 200mW 1.3Ghz vTX (great for prox bashing)
PCB 1.3 Antenna. Not the greatest vTX antenna but it's takes a beating and is out of the way. Great antenna if you want to not care about crashing.
GemFan 530

One of the splints . . .
...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Jan 17, 2015 @ 01:52 PM | 3,522 Views
Building a spec racer for my local group here in Raleigh.

To be allowed to race, the quad must run no more than 3S, spinning 5" props.

Hoping to get the maiden in this evening.

Acro Naze/Cleanflight
Cobra 2204/2300KV w/5x3 or 5x4 props
KISS 18A ESCs, JP1 closed and 1-Shot enabled
3S or 4S Power
Runcam Sky 12V flight camera (securitycamera2000)
TS832 32 Ch. 600mW 5.8 vTX (securitycamera2000)
5.8 circularly polarized 3 Lobe Cloverleaf (securitycamera2000)
To allow a 4S option, I've wired in a switching regulator, set to 12v out.
FrSky 2.4 or IRC 4 Ch Lite...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Nov 15, 2014 @ 08:22 PM | 2,253 Views
Out of the way.

Using a Kristapps switcher plugged into one of the 3 remaining channels on my IRC 4Ch Lite.

I've used this camera on my QX9 before . Works great when it's overcast but direct sunlight destroys the image(no IR filter).
Posted by austntexan | Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:40 AM | 2,194 Views
1. Remove the Pivot Foot Knob, replace with M5X~10mm bolt+2-3 washers+M5 prop spinner or nut(local hardware store)
2. Cut Center Point from Pivot Foot
3. Reattach Center Point with M5x~10mm bolt (from step 1)

As a circle cutter, this device is not so great. As a prop cutter, it works very well.

Losen the M5 bolt and more your prop to nearly any length you desire. The rail is ruled and actually nearly accurate. However, I've scribed lines and dyed with india ink to label the various prop lengths for my rigs.

I'll add some pics of mine soon. Away from shop atm.
Posted by austntexan | Aug 20, 2014 @ 11:59 PM | 2,168 Views
Mini300 Field 2 (3 min 37 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Aug 19, 2014 @ 08:01 PM | 2,249 Views
Mini300-Field (3 min 50 sec)

PIDs were a little tight and was getting some oscillations. I'd tested this setup a few days ealier (WOT punchouts only) and didn't see any but I'm guessing the TPA was doing it's job to hide them.

Love this location. This is only half the property. The 'back nine' has more undulation, berms and quite a few trees interspersed with plenty of area to move around. Only a stones throw from NCSU. Heaven.
Posted by austntexan | Aug 16, 2014 @ 05:39 PM | 2,665 Views
Punchout test with HQ645. Did a 4S test as well (1300mAh) but it was a very saggy LiPo and the output was actually less than the Lumenier 3S used in the below video.

Rough dimensions of the quad are 11" long, 2.25" wide, symmetrical square, 300mm diagonal M2M.

More to come. . .

Mini300(v3)- 2206/2000KV + HQ645 Punchout Test (1 min 44 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Aug 14, 2014 @ 08:43 PM | 2,535 Views
It works but the plates need to be scaled down some. She was a rascal in the air, so I just kept the flying to circles.

You can tell I'm not really on the throttle at all and she's really moving along at a fast clip.

Overall, impressed with the speed of these motors. Running ancient HK F30A SK ESCs. The FW is from Dec, whatever version that was. No issues with synching at all.

I'll update the blog once I figure out the sweet spot on scaling the QX9 plans. This will be a nice cheap, smallish, fast rig once it's complete. I'm guessing the size needs to come down around 10-15%.

**EDIT: did some tweeking on the geometry this evening, swung the rear booms fwd a few degrees, this gets close to perfectly square symmetry. Will test again tomorrow.

**EDIT II: ok, that did it. Handles a lot better, acro is good, hovers nicely. . . only issue now is the weight. I could make some hardware changes and get the weight to 978g(2200mAh 4S) and 1059g(3300mAh 4S) but I might consider moving to 2213/2000KV motors instead.

twitchy - QX9(6)+2208/2000KV+645+2200mAh 4S Glacier (3 min 42 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Aug 13, 2014 @ 02:01 PM | 3,214 Views
ADS400, QAV400 or QX9 sitting in the corner, unloved? Ditch the long booms and cut some 1/2" square Alum ~5" replacements. Mount 2208/2000KV + HQ645 props, standard 1/2" standoffs and you've got a super inexpensive rocket. I'll be posting some proving ground video soon.

In the meantime, here are a few WOT punchouts from earlier. This was LOS and it turned into a spec so fast that I lost my nerve but you get the idea. No oscillations, no jello, only speed. I should add, this Naze was currently tuned for 2216/1200KV + HQ950 (clipped to 8"). It will tighten up a lot with custom PIDs.

QX6 Style Quadcopter: Cobra 2208/2000KV+HQ645 (1 min 44 sec)

Standard QX9 plates using 1/2" 6061T6 square Alum tubing booms cut for 6" props.

More to come on this. Hope to get her out in the open to see what she can do later today.

The quad can be easily weight optimized more than it is right now to get the AUW in the 875g-950g range. Smaller ESCs for one, shorter GoPro platform, Vee Antenna, lighter flight cam, CF booms.

G10 Plates: $20
1/2" 6061T6 square Alum tubing(aircraft spruce/usa): $11.50
M3 Screws/Nuts: ~$5
Standoffs: ~$5?
Total: ~$40

Diagonal M2M: 350mm
Across M2M(L-R): 235mm
Front to Back M2M: 260mm
Plates Front to Back: 14.75"
Avg Width: 2.18"

Cobra 2208/2000KV
HQ 645
Acro Naze
HK F30A ESC (SimonK unknown flash, very old)
2200mAh 4S 35C Glacier

1.3Ghz RMRC 300mw vTX + VAS 4L Clover
PZ0420+metal case
Posted by austntexan | Jul 31, 2014 @ 11:31 AM | 2,728 Views
Started with HQ530 props, then moved to GF530. Wow, HUGE difference. . . tons more grunt with the GemFans.

My favorite prop is the HQ540, but I've only got a set or two left and I'm hoarding those right now. The 540 performance is nearly as good as a standard sized acro quad on 845 props + 1100KV motors. Great prop.

Diatone 250: LOS play (3 min 45 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Jun 15, 2014 @ 09:04 AM | 3,211 Views
Updated vendor list. Most are in North America.

Shipping times are generally never more than 5 days.

Some of the below are very small operations(in some cases only 1 or 2 people) but I've received very good service and fair prices from all.

NEW - Canadian but ships fast to the US/ mini stuff and Naze FCs**
NEW -West Coast/Cali
RMRC - Midwest based
MRSS -West Coast/Cali based - 3rd Coast/So.East/Florida/based - West Coast/Cali - West Coast/Cali (Germany) - Midwest - West Coast/Cali EZ Coast/NC (hey neighbor!) - The Great Southwest/Chandler, AZ - Middle o' the Boot/Central Flo-rida/based - Midwest - asia/usa/canada

**ordered on 6/10, shipped 6/11, received 6/14

Note: Just ordered a Diatone QAV250 ($21) and a couple Naze boards from Rotorgeeks(Canada). Delivered in 4 days! Shipping cost was less than I've paid for most US vendors.

I'll be reviewing the QAV250 in a subsequent blog entry. At first glance, this little quad looks amazingly well built and is based on a great design concept; FPV racing quad, or AV style mini-H quad.

The frame is strong and light. It's not the typical DJI clone arms. It will withstand some abuse. However, at $13 for a replacement frame, I don't expect to be disappointed if I manage to break an arm in a bad crash. I've not seen many pics on their RCG thread with broken frames.

Posted by austntexan | Jun 09, 2014 @ 06:59 PM | 3,527 Views
Fun flying today on 4S. I never retuned the Naze for FPV and I'm still flying/crashing plain ole GemFan 845 Nylon cheap props.

Had a blow out today on the GemFans. Now I know why people say never to fly these on a heavy quad (even though this one is well below 1kg).

Same setup as yesterday's experiment. I'm getting Jello, but that's ok. There are a few reasons for it, I believe. . .

1. Mobius lacks the mass of a GoPro
2. props are not the best for this application. 950 or 850 HQs will work much better.
3. 4S produces a tremendous amount of thrust on these motors, with these props. . . the Naze needs to have the P lowered to accommodate the added power.

3 videos.

1. 3S2200 RMRC LiPo. . . good flight, very little jello and pretty smooth considering
2. 4S1300 Skylipo. . . light weight 4S LiPo. . . worked well, quad was very nimble, vibes were more pronounced
3. 4S2650 Glacier(BuddyRC). . . heavy-weight configuration. . . ended up breaking a prop on this one in mid-air. Lots of torque. The Glaciers are rumored to have a higher C rating than advertised. Tons of headroom with this LiPo. Fun flight.

Warthox Mobius 3S Crash (4 min 20 sec)

...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Jun 09, 2014 @ 10:30 AM | 3,926 Views
For Mac users, Photo Booth(part of OS X) will function as a WebCam app with the Mobius.

The Steps. . .
1. remove memory card
2. power on Mobius
3. connect Mobius to Mac via USB
4. launch Photo Booth (free app on every Mac, comes with OS X)
5. in the the Photo Booth app, go to Camera>Mobius (select/check "Mobius")

That's all there is to it.

It will take photos without issue.

Video is choppy in 1080p. I think 720p would probably work better for webcam video.
Posted by austntexan | Jun 08, 2014 @ 07:30 PM | 3,132 Views

Mounted the Mobius and did a few punchouts from my driveway.

Using a 4S2600 Glacier(288g). AUW is ~825g
Warthox FPV 4S Punch Outs w/Mobius (1 min 28 sec)

Naked, I'm guessing it's ~537g.

I trimmed the GoPro mount down some and drilled new holes, to get it closer to the plates. Lowered it about 1/4".

Switched out the aluminum booms for all CF. Added shrink to the motor mount platoforms as well as where it joins at the plates. Listening to the Mobius, it sounds really solid. No rattling at all.

This version of the Warthox is slightly shorter in wingspan, than the aluminum version. CF is around 360mm, m2m.

I've got the Mobius perfectly level and am only just getting the props in view. Mobius sits out farther, off the center axis, than the GoPro. This is prob why it's a little easier to get a clear FOV.

I'll be tilting up for normal FPV'ing. . . hoping to get a clear FOV without a lot of tilt, making landing a little easier.

Will being FPV'ing it tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates. . .
Posted by austntexan | Jun 06, 2014 @ 06:55 PM | 4,188 Views
The mount was a success!

I would include zip ties run through all the rubber anti-vibe mounts. Any hard landing will pop the whole camera assembly off the frame. At the field, I only had one of those bread twisty thingies and used that to keep everything together better on landings. It worked!

Warthox was 100% on track with the size of these motors and his quad design. IMO, the 2208 (in the higher KV ratings) is the perfect 'big motor' for mini quads too. They're light enough and tough enough. The limiting factor will be the size of the ESCs. Using sunrise/BLHeli slim ESC (possiby Afros too) will supply enough cushion to run these larger motors at higher KV on the smaller frames.

Next addition will be a servo linked to a switch that moves the flight cam from level(for take-off/landing) to 25-30% for FFF. Maybe link it to the 3 way switch . . . .

Position 1: Level
Position 2: Light Speed
Position 3: Ludicrous Speed

Previously, I'd flown this rig on 2.4, but really missed my UHF link, allowing me to fly behind buildings and such. So, for this flight, I switched the control over to 433. Combined with the low powered and unshielded vTX (5v 200mw 1280mhz), I got a pile of static all over the place. I could still fly but I had to be very careful about what I was doing.

The mini vTX is good but I'd only recommend using it on 2.4. Shielding with copper foil might work but I would prob opt for 5.8 or use the ultra small RMRC 12v 200mW 1.3Ghz vTX next time. Slightly larger but fully shielded and it has an SMA for using a VAS CP antenna.

Why the crash at the end? Massive voltage sag on an old HK NanoTech 4S1300. I was full throttle after the initial drop in and she just kept on falling. Pulled the LiPo and it still had 35% in the tank!

Warthox FPV Iron Man (5 min 53 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Jun 05, 2014 @ 01:15 AM | 3,447 Views
Final got a little time to continue my experiment with the Warthox and a more complete FPV solution.

The idea is to have something that is easy to instal/remove. If I want to fly LOS, the entire unit detaches with 4 M3 screws.

The entire setup consists of. . .

- 2, G10 Plates (50mm square)
-4, M3 plastic screws (breaks or strips away in bad crash)
- 4, HK anti-vibration rubber

Here's my original post back in early March. . .

Some footage of the version 1 mount featured in the above post. Shot this 2 days ago. This was using a Kypom 3300 4S LiPo. You can hear the loose motor rattling. Not sure if the ESCs are desynching under load or if the FC is unhappy from all the vibes. I know everyone says this but my props were pretty chewed up at this point. I'd flown about 6 LiPos already and taken a few spills. . .

I was actually afraid to get on the throttle 100%. I've only got 12A BS/SK ESCs on. She gets a little warm on 4S lol. With nice props, possibly HQ 850 or 950s, she'll smoke. For clear FOV, 8" all CF Gemfans would probably work best though.

Sorry for the 720p. I shot this in 1080/48/wide but Quicktime pulled my resolution down when it posted. I'll do 1080p for the v2 version tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Warthox Alum + Simple FPV Mount v.1 (2 min 29 sec)

Newer version uses a typical gimbal isolator plate, found on many quads. These can be made very easily using common tools.

The FPV setup is modular and based around a previous DIY...Continue Reading