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Old Feb 05, 2013, 07:47 PM
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Outdoor flying

So a BMP085 arrived. It was an improved barometer that came after the mighty SCP1000, but the current state of the art is the MS5611. The MS5611 is the one giving the bouncy, ground effect altitude hold on the latest ardupilot videos.

It's still not fast enough to compete with ground based vision or sonar, but closer. The problem is any barometer is only useful in an outdoor vehicle, which resurrected the idea of flying outside again.

Flying outside is super expensive, $100/hour in broken parts. The last outside flight was in 2011. There was a plan to abandon the tri copter & convert it to an H quad. The H quad was the 1st vehicle I envisioned in 1988, but only now is it becoming popular with RC fliers.

As in the military industrial complex, evolution is slow in the RC hobby. In both industries, it's extremely expensive relative to the participant incomes to try new ideas. Simple changes take years to popularize. After years of Y frame tri copters, the T frame tri copter finally started catching on & the H quad once again seemed less desirable.

The T frame is always going to be cheaper & lighter than an H quad, using 1 less motor & requiring fewer propeller replacements. Any return to outdoor flight would begin with purely manual flying with a camera. The accuracy & reliability of consumer GPS, barometer, & IMU still isn't good enough to make it a more pleasant experience than manual flying.

The old remote control, being passed through the laptop for telemetry, will return. The Vika 1 configuration will never fly again. The future will be exclusively the Marcy 3 configuration. The mane differences are the attitude hold being done on the copter instead of the ground & a 168Mhz ARM replacing the PIC.

After years fighting to keep the motors aligned, the round carbon fiber & mounting tape are going away. Square poplar & plywood have become the dominant T frame materials, the weight proving not to be a problem.

Switching completely to Arducopter still lost favor, because of the amount of machine vision software & scripting support in Marcy 3.
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