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Old Aug 18, 2011, 11:32 AM
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Yorkshire, England
Joined Mar 2010
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Build Log
Sky surfer, newbie FPV build

This is a log of my first ever FPV project. I've been collecting all the items needed and will post pics shortly. I will be attempting to use the following: Sky surfer plane, 900mhz hobbyking video tx/rx and sony 1/3 PAL camera. A 12" monitor for the ground station and eventually a goof proof patch antenna. Tonight I begin to piece together the jigsaw so please wish me luck!
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Yorkshire, England
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Ok so christmas definately came early today!
When I got home, two parcels waiting!

One was the Sky surfer from BRC hobbies in the uk.
Its well designed and made from EPO so it should be quite durable too!

Second was the video tx/rx from hobby king.

I set to work making the power cables for the video link and held my breath for the first switch on!
Thankfully the link sprang into life and I had a very nice picture on my screen.

After dinner I set to work on the plane and apart from gluing the main wings together, its almost complete!!

Very easy to build once the fiddly routing of the motor wires has been dealt with!!

In the picture you can see the main items of the project, the two plates bottom right will make up the patch antenna to improve range eventually. Initial flights will be done with the standard rubber whips.

Apologies for picture quality but I've misplaced my camera, mobile camera instead.



Here's some more details on the tv, it ran for 40mins on a 3s 2200mah lipo and I've made a lead to run two in parallel to further extend run time if needed.



It has plenty of input options for other occasions too!



Next stage is to maiden and fly the plane until I'm comfortable with the flying aspect.
Then we can move on to installing the pan n tilt mount and testing out the video link whilst flying 'line of sight' (LOS)
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:07 PM
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Did you buy the kit version and use your own servos,esc etc or did you buy the plug and play one that just requires your own receiver ?
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Yorkshire, England
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Its the kit version 61 delivered!! I used 4x turnigy servos from NilesInstalls on ebay uk and an etronix 25A esc from my local hobby store.
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:30 PM
First to go over 106K feet
Crist Rigotti's Avatar
United States, TX, Waxahachie
Joined Mar 2008
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See my posts #6, 10, 11

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...ght=sky+surfer
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Cheers

I should have had mine built by now.....

Wanted to buy one from BRC, phoned Monday to be told they're out of stock (PnP version), they told me they'd be in Wednesday and to phone then, don't think they're open Wed cos it was engaged all day, called today, told they were out of stock still, enquired further and it turns out the only thing they haven't got is the 20A ESC, I asked if they have any others, well of course they have, they've got 25A but it would cost 7 more
Had they told me that on Monday I'd have just bought it there and then

No way I'd have time to build it for this weekend now so I won't bother
Have you got what you need for the mods ?

Wing spar, control horns etc ? (wing spar is a flimsy 5mm tube which folds up and horns are flimsy too alledgedly)

Oddly BRC are aware of this, first guy I spoke to told me they'd had several where the wings folded in flight, second guy tells me he's only ever heard of it once (that was cos I asked for a free 3mm rod to go down the centre of the tube LOL )

I think the tube is just about adequate if you glue the wings on as per the instructions but nobody wants to do that as it's too difficult to transport then, there's some good mods for holding the wings on in flight though
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeJayBee View Post
Cheers

I should have had mine built by now.....

Wanted to buy one from BRC, phoned Monday to be told they're out of stock (PnP version), they told me they'd be in Wednesday and to phone then, don't think they're open Wed cos it was engaged all day, called today, told they were out of stock still, enquired further and it turns out the only thing they haven't got is the 20A ESC, I asked if they have any others, well of course they have, they've got 25A but it would cost 7 more
Had they told me that on Monday I'd have just bought it there and then

No way I'd have time to build it for this weekend now so I won't bother
Have you got what you need for the mods ?

Wing spar, control horns etc ? (wing spar is a flimsy 5mm tube which folds up and horns are flimsy too alledgedly)

Oddly BRC are aware of this, first guy I spoke to told me they'd had several where the wings folded in flight, second guy tells me he's only ever heard of it once (that was cos I asked for a free 3mm rod to go down the centre of the tube LOL )

I think the tube is just about adequate if you glue the wings on as per the instructions but nobody wants to do that as it's too difficult to transport then, there's some good mods for holding the wings on in flight though
Was gonna glue the wings together anyway but will also look at a stronger rod. The control horns look ok, I've overlapped the epoxy around the horns to surface in order to increase strength.

Crist did you find it necessary to mount the video tx on the tail?
Did it require nose weight to counter balance its position there?

Cheers, mike
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 06:04 PM
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I'd have though the camera, mounting plate, pan/tilt and servo would have been enough

I want to put a GoPro on mine so I reckon I'll have to mount the vtx way back
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 07:01 PM
First to go over 106K feet
Crist Rigotti's Avatar
United States, TX, Waxahachie
Joined Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmist View Post
Was gonna glue the wings together anyway but will also look at a stronger rod. The control horns look ok, I've overlapped the epoxy around the horns to surface in order to increase strength.

Crist did you find it necessary to mount the video tx on the tail?
Did it require nose weight to counter balance its position there?

Cheers, mike
Mike,
I found that the was the best location without mounting the Vtx on the wing.
If I remember right, no. I used a 4S 2200mah battery and a 3S 750mah video battery.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 04:04 PM
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Today I finished the plane and even managed the first two flights!

The receivers are located on the outside of the fuselage, mainly to keep space reserved inside and to have the best direct line back to the transmitter as possible.



I need to tidy up eventually but might be best to leave that until I locate all my other fpv components.



Firstly I launched and it nosed into the lovely soft barley crop!! Thank you farmer!
Moved the battery back a bit and the next time with a little more oomph she rose up into the darkening evening sky.

It seemed a bit twitchy for a beginner plane so I landed and put the battery back to as far front as possible and launched again.
A bit more stable but with the fading light and still a bit wobbly (may have been gusty above the tree line) I landed.

Good that it flies but may try a little more nose weight, most of my planes fly with a little up elevator anyway!

I got some "shocking pink" paint to really light up the underside of the plane, in the hope that if needed I can re-locate the plane LOS quickly!!

Tommorow I hope to do some simple range tests by having the camera beaming a picture from one corner of the field while I walk around it with the tele!
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 08:04 AM
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Ok so I completed mark 1 fpv install on the plane:
I think it may be ok for close in flights and will play about with location as I go:
The camera has pan and tilt functions, pan on the rudder channel (Rudder disabled for now) and tilt using the Gear switch to move between regular forward view and to looking down, no inbetween.
All up weight turned out to be 950grams which is only 200grams more than it is without any FPV gear.



I revised my ground station to use a smaller tv slung around my neck. This will allow me to swap easily between LOS and FPV as I can hold both my transmitter and the tv as and when needed without taking my thumbs off the sticks!

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Old Aug 20, 2011, 07:25 PM
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HELP ! FATAL CRASH when loaded Skys with FPV

Successful maiden with SkyS; bird flew extremely well with much help from RC Blog Skys Mods, thanx to Prof 100, AJBaker, and everyone : www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1231310 I knew up front to get the weaknesses of the model right: all moving surfaces 3M taped, all servo horns dubro, even used soldered dubro ball joint rudder attachment with linkage guidance/router to make sure I get the extra credit as a kiss as$ student.... all four servos HS MG's, with HiMax engine, and CC 10A BEC and FY20A.

%%% Problem and fatal crash on pre-FPV test flight: loaded full EagleTree FPV gear, with readymaderc pod-camera system, went out to maiden with the Already tested JR9Channel Tx with FrSky module and FrSky 8channel Rx, and Flight stabilization by FY20A; again the added equipment was the FULL eagletree gear: 1. OSD Pro, 2.Logger, 3.GPS AND, Camera/Pod 4. 900hz Vid.Tx, 5. SN540 RMRC Camera (powered by separate BEC battery, Hyperion 450mah 3S Lipo)

FATAL CRASH notes: as planned did NOT use ground station yet or even turn on any GS components as I was doing final flight testing with full FPV gear TURNED ON to make sure flight characteristic and RF environment was safe (looked good in the garage I tell you ! and all RTH programming and ET flight simulations where successful with the properly functioning pan and tilt outfitted EagleEye on my tripod; just in case it matters...by the way RTH command programming in OSD PRO was on. Again maybe it does not matter as GS was completely off (still in the car).

I have included photo of component placement; anyways, every time I flew within seconds engine would cut off, and some glitch would show, then few second later engine would cut off again, so I would land; I never dared to fly more than 100 feet away and brought her home; played with plane's antenna positioning and range tested w/plane 3feet on wooden bench and I walked out 90meters (3x of the 30meter range test rec. and I still had signal); one note: I never did GUN the motor during range testing (is that important?) which was the case in the air when it kept cutting off and glitch, on the ground I would test moving surface and slight motor run. OK this all I can think of, please HELP ! if you have any ideas to crack this nut of a bad crash: I hit asphalt from about 60 feet up at 45 degree when FS went into effect lasted at least 2 seconds this time and the last second i flipped remote FY20 but no effect, and of course elevator with zero effect.

So sad in my fpv career of 6 months I only got to goggle up one time on a skywalker (that liked to spiral of death) and never got any goggle time with this set up, however, I am not ready to give up FPV as I still have plenty of vinegar left in my tank...crashing hurts but I am getting faster at the set ups, thanks to all of you and all the knowledge you have made available thus far....crist rigotti your pencil markings/fpv schematic saved me hours this time compared to my previous late night wirings on my Skywalker; as a thank you I have posted the one single proper video I did make with my late Skywalker a decent flyer with very very very bad habits ! here it is, I hope you like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju-2ZR_8b54

RC-Guy
RootCanal-Guy
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Skywalker ?

hello Crist,
I am thinking of getting another skywalker ? last time I think I tried to have it descend too quick and it rolled hard and crashed bad and was using the copilot you warned me against ; perhaps I can fly it even more gentle and have the FY20A ; I did not have any reception/RF issues, probably due to all components being spatially away from each other.... I am waiting for the FPV Raptor to come out , but meanwhile do you have any suggestions or warnings about the Skywalker ?
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 09:47 PM
First to go over 106K feet
Crist Rigotti's Avatar
United States, TX, Waxahachie
Joined Mar 2008
2,486 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RootCanalGuy View Post
hello Crist,
I am thinking of getting another skywalker ? last time I think I tried to have it descend too quick and it rolled hard and crashed bad and was using the copilot you warned me against ; perhaps I can fly it even more gentle and have the FY20A ; I did not have any reception/RF issues, probably due to all components being spatially away from each other.... I am waiting for the FPV Raptor to come out , but meanwhile do you have any suggestions or warnings about the Skywalker ?
See your PM.
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Old Aug 21, 2011, 12:04 PM
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Yorkshire, England
Joined Mar 2010
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So today was my first FPV experience and boy what a treat!!

Having tested out everything as much as possible at ground level I borrowed my brother to be spotter and we set off for the field.

For the first flight I had him watch the tv while I flew and apart from a certain point in the circuit where the image would go bad he said the image was solid.

So I swapped over and had the tv while he spotted line of sight.
I did a few circuits after launch before looking at the tv!
Firstly it was very scary knowing your plane is up there but not actually looking directly at it!!
After tho I settled into doing circles around us, only one small fraction of the sky would have bad tv image and I need to experiment to find out why only in that area.

I regained line of sight and landed great.
Very cool and can't wait to try again on a calmer day.
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