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Posted by Firepower | Jul 20, 2020 @ 06:33 PM | 4,924 Views

Calibration MUST be done properly and miss one small thing and you can get problems. I had a twitching servo from new and had to replace it. If there is too much tension from the elevon hinges that can cause servo problems. Sometimes you need to move the elevons fifty times to full extent to ensure there is not too much pressure put on the servos.

The GPS unit should be positioned away from the other electronics including LiPos. Foam over the GPS is not too much a problem but keep clear of carbon fiber in the foam. GPS lock will take longer on the first test of the GPS than subsequent LiPo connections with the GPS connected. You MUST have GPS lock before you take off. Check the motor works in Stabilized first if launching in the other modes. When GPS lock is obtained it has the mininium satalites locked for launch. It is worth waiting another couple of minutes so a few more satalites are locked.

Here is a few things to check. (just a few)

Setup for Flying Wing, V-Tail or T-Tail

Follow Setup instructions in KoPilot Manual

Transmitter Throttle ESC Calibration

Do transmitter throttle ESC calibration as shown at 9.10 in this video. Watch the whole video as he covers lots of good points for the KoPilot.

ZOHD Drift Kopilot setup

Lots more here on KoPilot:

Kopilot Angle/Neutral Calibration

- Do Kopilot Angle/Neutral Calibration before doing...Continue Reading
Posted by Firepower | Oct 16, 2016 @ 08:52 PM | 8,928 Views
Just getting all my quads up to scratch and now need more practice.

The Taranis is the only transmitter to get unless you want to spend a lot of money for a name brand. The speech is great and I have speech on every switch change so I know exactly what the switch is doing.

Also a must in a transmitter is the RSSI level (transmitter signal strength) which I get it to speak every 15 seconds. This is mainly needed when flying planes quite a distance away when there is no transmitter signal strength showing in the OSD.

Every little bit of change I make improves my racing flying including moving to a Taranis.

Most quads have installed:

1. Changing to all FrSky X4R receivers.

2. I have all Naze32 controllers except for one Kakute controller in the Martian. These are great and you also just solder wires straight to the board. I am running the latest Betaflight on most quads.

3. The speed controllers are DYS XM 20amp . I get Version 1 which are the same as Version 2 but do not have wires soldered on. Just have to remove the wires from Version 2.

4. The video transmitters are the SkyZone type. (now all Immersion Tramp - very good TXs)

5. Cameras are mainly the 1177 type that most use.

6. RCTimer 3amp BEC which is small and light.

7. HobbyKing E-OSD is just for the voltage but must install my Minim OSDs some time.

8. Just moving to all 4S LiPos and they provide more control.

9. I have just moved to three bladed props on everything as seem to be much better.

The last purchase was the Martian which is a Alien clone. I do not think I need any more of these quads (until the next one ) now after getting the Martian as it flies really great.
Posted by Firepower | Aug 18, 2015 @ 01:16 AM | 11,551 Views
It comes up from time to time which is the best transmitter to buy and everyone has their own opinion which is great.

Read the following pages where FrSky and Spektrum are mentioned. You may not buy Spektrum after reading the following links and start at Post 29,000.

I use FrSky module in a Futaba 9C with a FLD-02. The FLD-02 includes signal strength so I can find the quad if a prop breaks.

But I suspect some Spektrum owners will disagree with this.
Posted by Firepower | Mar 30, 2015 @ 08:09 AM | 12,350 Views
I had been looking for a good video recorder for years and bought this one which has paid for itself by locating quads in the bush. It has proven to be a good recorder but youtube degrades the video quite a bit.

The videos do not show any great flying in interesting places but were made so I could see the quality of the videos and know what to buy more of.

After I bought the recorder I found other SurveilZone FPV gear is good and my recent purchase is the $10 camera and the quality is amazing for $10.

SurveilZone BRILLIANT 800TVL $10 RC Camera (0 min 49 sec)

Another good camera I bought a while ago is the $35. The following video is brilliant if you look at the green tones in the trees.

SurveilZone HS1171 CCD Camera - GREAT CAMERA (1 min 35 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Firepower | Mar 01, 2015 @ 10:30 PM | 13,498 Views
ZMR 250 Quadcopter Build with a Naze32
1. Push a threaded nylon spacer through the top of the middle board into a nylon nut under the middle board. Mount the Naze32 later.
2. Screw the red or black posts into middle plate.

Photo 1 attached.

EDIT: I now use a power plate and the fitout is much easier and cleaner.

NOTE: A lot of the following can be deleted now with the use of the Diatone power plate.

3. Install the arms between the two bottom plates. The top plate does not go on for a long time.
4. Run a red and black 16 AWG wires from 5cm behind the rear of the quad. If you want thicker wires use 14 AWG wires but I only use 16 AWG wires. I feed the wires from the rear through the bottom two plates and bring them up to the top of the middle plate and run them under the controller to the front. Where the wires come up some fibre glass tape should be put on the middle carbon plate so it will not cut into the wire.
Cut slots into the silicone wire to expose the metal wires and solder in the speed controller wires. These wires need to be cut to fit but do not make them too short/tight. Note the yellow heat shrink which shows the position the speed controllers are joined to the main front to back wires. The joins must not be under the Naze32 for good clearance.
Attach the speed controllers to the arms with wire ties.

Photos 2 and 3...Continue Reading
Posted by Firepower | Nov 27, 2014 @ 09:44 AM | 13,626 Views
If Unable to Program the Naze32 Board
1. Short the two pads labelled "Boot" making sure you do not short to the 5V pad.
2. Apply power to the board.
3. Remove the short on the board

Cleanflight configurator
1. Select the correct hardware and the desired release of the Clearflight firmware
2. Put a check in the "No reboot sequence" (check this)
3. Flash firmware

Other CleanFlight Settings
set looptime = 2500
set deadband = 6
set yaw_deadband = 6 (if wrong use the following)
set yawdeadband = 6

In the menus:
feature -PPM
feature MOTOR_STOP

To Set Mininium and Maximium Voltage Level in CLI so Buzzer Works

1. Go to CLI.

2. make sure vbat is enabled, also your vbat scale need to be 110 if you're running 3S (type "set vbatscale= 110)

3. On CLI's command bar type:

- set vbatmaxcellvoltage= 43

- set vbatmincellvoltage= 33

Type "save" and wait to LED stop blinking,

NAZE32 Full House with GPS and Minim OSD v1.1

CC1564 FPV Nightcam test (5 min 25 sec)

Posted by Firepower | Mar 25, 2013 @ 05:55 PM | 14,198 Views
To set the accelerometers on Mode 1 transmitter:

When battery is installed turn power on and:
1. push left stick in to show Expert Mode and light flashes.
2. hold the left stick bottom right with throttle off.
3. shake right stick back and forth keeping throttle off until lights flash on

For the camera system to get clear video the following were used:

5v step up regulator:
A 3.3v step down regulator:

Following is information on Calibrating the Accelerometers and Transmitter Stick Calibration for the new style Hubsan with a camera.
Posted by Firepower | Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:21 AM | 14,254 Views
Looks like I have enough quadcopters so just need to get more experience flying them.
Posted by Firepower | Jun 09, 2012 @ 09:53 AM | 14,914 Views
The following is for setting up the Stabilized Mode on an FY20. This should be read in conjunction with the Installation and Operation Manual.

The following was prepared to remind me what I should do when ready to fly with a FY20. Anyone reading it does so at their own risk. (any crashes are your responsibility.)

1. After the plane is setup with all gear on board, double check the FY20 tray is SECURELY attached to the plane. If it comes loose you will have a disaster unless you quickly flick off the switch. For new planes I fly the whole flight with a finger on the switch ready to turn it off.

To date I only use the Stabilized Mode and have never used 3D Mode, as I am looking at using them for FPV flying with a camera.

2. Ensure the FY20 wires are loose so as not to pull on its case. I attach the wires to the body about two inches away from the FY20 so the wires do not put any pressure on the case of the FY20 but it is still able to move a little with vibration. This is in an attempt to not have the FY20 move out of position and even be the same if you do a loop, with the FY20 turned off of course.

3. Make sure the center of gravity is correct.

4. Fly the plane with the FY20 turned off and trim the plane for level flying at the throttle level you will be using. Also do the Dive Test (on my blog) with the FY20 off to ensure the c of g is correct. Ensure you are confident before doing this so you DO NOT crash the plane. I have never done this but...Continue Reading
Posted by Firepower | Dec 31, 2011 @ 12:14 AM | 15,292 Views
I will put various technical matters here that are of interest to a lot of people including myself and it will be in random order for a start.


Wiring External UBEC

You must not use the positive and negative from the ESC, as indicated in the video:
External UBEC "How To" (5 min 27 sec)

Bec Testing

Batteries and Chargers



Dive & Glide Test & C of G Trim

Propeller Calculator
Posted by Firepower | Jan 16, 2011 @ 09:43 AM | 18,466 Views
These are the latest of the powered gliders that I have.

EASYSTAR: Just finished it but not flown yet. I have a co-pilot on it and after I test that I'll install the Easylogger, OSD Pro, GPS, camera, video transmitter etc.

EasyGlider: Only had two flights to date and a very good powered glider.

MINIMOA: Had it for a while now and has a camera and video transmitter on it. Had the initial design problems with the plane but overcoming them.
The wing rods are not in the wings in the photo and that is why it looks droopy.

AXN Floater-Jet: Only had one flight to date and it flies very good. I should have gotten this one a long time ago as it is a ready to fly one with virtually no problems. I have not had any to date. This one can be fitted with all the FPV gear.

When we get some fine weather I have lots to fly.

NOTE: Last 5 photos added 16 November 2014
Posted by Firepower | Jan 16, 2011 @ 09:23 AM | 16,034 Views
The Yak 54 which has a 49inch wingspan is one of my latest one to complete.

I have only had a chance to fly it once so far and it flew great. Can not wait to practice knife edge etc.
Posted by Firepower | Dec 16, 2010 @ 07:57 AM | 16,768 Views
I have had the Swift 2 for a while but thought it would be good to keep flying when it gets dark. I put an electronic switch on the plane and a switch on the transmitter turns them on and off.

I have not flown it at night yet but it should be interesting.

EDIT: It is now December 2011 and I have flown both the MiniSwift and Swift 2 a lot at night. They are are great to fly at night with no problems unless you let the small one drift too far away and it is hard to bring back, as you can not see which way it is going.

I have not flown the EasyStar at night yet but should be easy after the smaller flying wings.
Posted by Firepower | Sep 13, 2010 @ 02:04 PM | 16,827 Views
This is the latest a Minimoa. It has serious problems out of the box with motor mount melting etc but starting to overcome the problems.

Sold it as did not suit what I wanted it to do including FPV. Would suit a true glider person.
Posted by Firepower | Aug 14, 2010 @ 06:44 PM | 16,623 Views
Here is a photo of most of my planes. Some in the front including the EasyStar and EasyGlider have not been started yet. The second photo includes my nice looking YAK which I will fly for the first time soon.

From the fawn coloured transmitter you can see how old I am as I bought it new. No quite - a single channel transmitter was my first one. Those were the days.
Posted by Firepower | Jun 06, 2010 @ 08:41 AM | 16,918 Views
I still have not finished the EasyStar and Easy Glider but have purchased a Minimoa ARF. It has serious issues from out of the box so PM me if you intend to buy one.
Posted by Firepower | Jun 06, 2010 @ 06:53 AM | 17,411 Views
My 40 year old Trident was still looking great until recently - 28 April 2010. I cut the nose and put a motor on it in early 2010.

I have had a few mid-air collisions but not as dramatic as this one. My mate has a petrol plane with a 12 inch prop and the prop cut straight through the almost 40 year old Trident wing. No damage on his plane. It was a nice glider but it will fly again. The whole half of the wing except for the wing tip will need to be rebuilt.

Unfortunately the on board camera was not turned on.

Trident RC Glider Mid-air Crash 29 April 2010 (3 min 10 sec)

Posted by Firepower | Jun 06, 2010 @ 06:47 AM | 17,599 Views
Next came all the flying wings. I now have:
(updated November 2013)

1 Skywalker X5
1 WingWing
1 Bonsai
2 Elle Bees with motors
1 Elle Bee glider but have bought a motor pod for it from Windrider.
1 Mini Bee (gave away)
1 Zagi (gave away)
2 Mini Swift

The Mini Swifts are tremendous. Attached is a video on basically the first flight before trimming it. I might make it look better with putting the receiver in the wing etc and not use the masking tape for the battery. It is 24 April 2010 and not the date shown on the video.

Mini Swift - not trimmed yet but fast with catch 24 April 2010 (2 min 56 sec)

I will probably sink the receiver etc in the wing when I put a camera on the top. The mini swifts are unreal. I have tried a lot of planes but why would you need another after trying this one. I have quite a fast motors on them and I can not stop saying - IT IS UNREAL.
Posted by Firepower | Jun 06, 2010 @ 06:37 AM | 17,001 Views
I started again about mid 2009 after more than 30 years with the Foxes.

The two pylon ones were the first which were a bit of a pain with all the problems and the planes had a tendency of wing tip stalls etc etc. The one with the prop in the front was quite good from the start but the Mini Bee props are much better than the orange ones.