austntexan's blog View Details
Archive for April, 2014
Posted by austntexan | Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:24 AM | 9,904 Views
update/edit. . . been using this tool a lot lately. Very handy. You need one if you go through bearings on your builds and like reusing your motors instead of buying new ones.

There are ready-made tools for this purpose, but I needed one today and it's dead simple to make yourself.

Tools Needed: Dremel, Dremel cut-off wheel, 220 grit sandpaper, polishing compound(optional).
Sacrificial Screwdriver: We all have a pile of these sitting around our tool boxes. If you need to buy one, give harbor freight a look. Super cheap tools, perfectly suited for this application.

Motor I'm working on is Cobra 2204 1960KV. It's currently being used on my Mini300 quad....Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Apr 29, 2014 @ 02:29 AM | 4,487 Views
Been wanting to put this together for a long time. I've amassed about a million and one sets of cables this year. Finally found a use for one of them.

Total cost is around $85, not including the LiPo.

Cheap Flat Screen ($35)

RMRC 1.3Ghz vRX ($49)

edit. . .
Just found this on Yes, it's 3X as much, but it won't give you a Blue-Screen and all the cabling is included pre soldered for FPV

For the casual ride-along, the Blue Screening is a non-issue. However, if you're using a LCD to fly (and not goggles) you need something with rock solid screen.

For a simple passenger ride along, it's hard to do better then the $31 Amazon el cheapo unit.

Get something that doesn't Blue Screen if this is going to be your primary FPV monitor.

...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Apr 27, 2014 @ 10:56 PM | 3,360 Views
Fun sesh at W&M this evening. I've got one or two where I'm holding the line and not bouncing all over the place like one of those 'drunk pilots' at an airshow.

Amazed at how well she tracks. Outfitted with an Acro Naze, it practically flies itself. I started with some of Fokker's Metal H-ead PIDs. Work very well with this prop combo. I actually don't think I'm loosing that much time by running the additional 40g of a GoPro3 over a Mobius.

Each flight, I set down with 20% still in the tank.

Mini300 DIY: Day 3: Fun on the Field Hocky Pitch (5 min 19 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 27, 2014 @ 04:28 PM | 3,324 Views
Did some more testing this morning. I'm on my last set of props so I need to grandma it until I get restocked!

Ran the quad with a GoPro, instead of the Mobius. I've cut the plates such that either or can be used. The only change needed is swapping out the velcro strap that holds in the GoPro. EZ-PZ

On a somewhat related note, I'll be uploading some pics of how I shielded my Dominators and LaserBGC 1.3Ghz module. I received a working replacement for a malfunctioning unit, it only included a grounded alum box shield (it might be tin, not sure) but it doesn't cut it, if you're flying LRS on 433. I got a ton of static, right away.

My previous unit, I'd added the tin can, but I also covered the can with copper shielding tape, then grounded it. I'd wondered if it was doing it's job. Guess that answers that question. It's like night and day. More to come on this.

Off to go shoot some Mini300 video downtown on the Intramural Fields of The College of William and Mary. Fingers crossed I don't get kicked out by the Campus PoPo. Man, I'm loving this little guy. Flies even better than my QX. I've done almost no tuning to get it flying the way it does. At this point, I'm testing speed, flight times, and how different LiPos run with the Mobius and GoPro. Lovin' It!

DIY 300mm Mini H-Quad:GoPro3, Speed & Braking Test (5 min 22 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:58 PM | 5,712 Views
I'm flying a Mini Quadcopter on LRS and recently had a FS. It's possible the issue was my Mobius, as I'm aware that it spews a good amount of RF noise on the 433mhz band. I was also flying next to a particularly noisy area that contains two powerful transformers. I'm sure the combination of cramped quarters and transformers wasn't helping matters any.

In any event, having an extra noise producer, on board a mini, is never a good idea. I've been wrapping all my Pololu voltage regulators in the copper too. So far, it's all been working great.

Similar to wrapping a gift. I drew it out on vellum first, then transferred it to the copper PSA foil

This is based, in part, on Sentry's(FPVLab owner) "BlingPro" GoPro style shielding.

It's not grounded and I'd heard opposing views on the necessity of even doing that. Testing before/after with a GoPro version, using IRC RF tools, indicates it's whisper quiet on the 433 band. This should increase everyone's range, esp if you're on a LRS system. Adding a ground should not be an issue, if required.

I've used this same foil to make a PCB Vee 1.3Ghz vTX antenna in a previous blog entry. Same stuff luthiers use to line electric guitar pickup cavities and pick-guards. Still use that antenna btw. Works great and is very crash-resistant.

Hope someone finds this useful. ...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Apr 24, 2014 @ 07:36 PM | 4,069 Views
Got this idea from Hanson Hobbies website.

They're well designed and cheap enough. I would have bought the Hanson board had I not already had a sheet of Stripboard on my bench. Very elegant design for distributing power.

You could use a similar method to make a synching board for your 1 Servo wire in to 3 copper strips, 4-8, 3pin headers set up inline. Attach to throttle channel on RX, attach ESCs to each of the pin set. Synch as normal.

Stripboard comes in handy in so many ways in this hobby. At some point, I'd like to integrate a 5V Pololu stepdown to this mix. Would be very compact and out of the way. By drilling holes in the PCB board, you can create stress relief for the servo wires.

Hope someone finds this useful.


-...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Apr 23, 2014 @ 10:18 AM | 3,391 Views
Having to do some fine detail work today, desoldering servo wires from 12A ESCs.

Tried braid, after I accidentally dropped a blob of solder on a neighboring surface mounted component. It was too big to work on such a small ESC.

Since desolder braid is essentially fluxed coated braided copper wire, I had the idea of making my own, finer gauge desolder braid, out of standard 100% copper servo wire and Rosin Soldering Flux.

It's thin enough that you can lay the rosin loaded wire right on the pad, and simply hit it with the iron tip and pull it through, pulling the old solder with it. Good quality wire also helps. I got this stuff through Hanson. It's very nice. Super dense, with lots of copper strands to soak up the solder.

Let me know if anyone else tries this method and how it's working for them!
Posted by austntexan | Apr 22, 2014 @ 07:24 PM | 3,478 Views
Flight #2. . .

day 2 flight 2 (3 min 46 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 22, 2014 @ 04:18 PM | 3,154 Views
More to come on this but I've made a few changes since this flight to attenuate more of the vibes I'm getting in FFF at around 60% throttle. At WOT, the TPA takes care of the vibes and it's glass smooth.

Actually ended early due to a crash (IN THE WATER!). I either forgot to hit record or the file was corrupted! That would've been pretty cool. The blades had seen better days and I think they either got to the FC or I had a UHF FS, near a couple of high power transformers(this seems likely) and got shot down.

All is ok with the frame. No breaks, bends or anything else. Lost a prop adapter and had to clean a bunch of clay out of the motor wires. Have all the electronics in the warmer, hoping nothing is damaged.

DIY 300mm Mini: Getting Closer -liftoff @ 0:28 (6 min 18 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 21, 2014 @ 05:26 PM | 3,015 Views
Still sorting through vibes on this build. Hopefully get some better performance soon.

Details to follow. . .

Mini Maiden (3 min 40 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 17, 2014 @ 11:38 AM | 3,335 Views
Posted by austntexan | Apr 14, 2014 @ 09:14 AM | 4,424 Views
All great vendors. Just putting a list up so folks know where to go to get fast service. Delivery is usually less than 5 days (and I'm on the EZ Coast)

RMRC ( - Midwest based
MRSS ( -West Coast/Cali based
Getfpv ( - 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)

Concerning bargain basement style e-com US based/shipping sites(none of the above companies of course). . .if you see prices on hardware that are super low, you can be guaranteed someone in the food chain is not getting paid.

The victim here, is typically the original designer of the device, the guy/group who actually came up with the idea and is now watching it be mass produced and sold for next to nothing, without their consent or compensation.

Any money you spend with companies like this, is heading straight out of North America/UK/Europe and directly to the mfgr/wholesaler in Asia(prob China) (with a small piece going into the pockets of the site owner).

Items that have been engineered/designed, and are obviously being pirated(flight controllers for example), I try to purchase from vendors who are known to...Continue Reading
Posted by austntexan | Apr 14, 2014 @ 01:59 AM | 3,840 Views
Unoccupied house on county/park land. First time at this location. . . nerves got the better of me and it ended with a low alt flip into the asphalt. 3 HQ 950 props swim with the fishes now.

pids test (8 min 37 sec)

Posted by austntexan | Apr 10, 2014 @ 07:31 PM | 3,588 Views

Posted by austntexan | Apr 09, 2014 @ 10:44 AM | 3,182 Views
Wow. Can't believe I didn't do this sooner. Why on earth doesn't FS make these in 1.3 as an option? Simplifies everything.

If you fly in the brush, like I do, and hate setting up a standard GS (even one in a backpack), you will love this module. Plugs right into your Dominators.

Using ezUHF in the video, btw. Before flying, I fully shielded the module bay with copper tape (same stuff in my DiY PCB Vee antenna blog post). I think this helps with any 433mhz interference. Very simple. I'll post pics of this later.

QX-9 :LaserBGC 1250Mhz range test (9 min 22 sec)