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Posted by bionicbone | May 10, 2016 @ 01:13 PM | 5,816 Views
After contemplating for some time of how to cut this foam so I could make a transmitter case out of an old aluminium flight case I found the perfect solution.

A Tesco finest, electric carving knife, 9.50

Tesco Electric Carving Knife

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After a few tests I went straight for it.

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Posted by bionicbone | May 03, 2016 @ 02:41 AM | 6,602 Views
I discovered that it is possible to have one frequency set on the Video TX and a similar frequency set on the Video Rx and it was possible to still get a picture. Clearly, since you have a frequency miss match the quality would be unstable. So, the point here is, you can not just turn on your goggles and start flicking through the bands and channels until you get a picture, if you do you'll find a good picture on many channels, however only one would continue to work some distance out!

This got me wondering though, if some frequencies are so close, and one channel is only 1MHz difference, that must lead to some channel bleeding. With that in mind I was curious which channels were best, i.e. which channel had the biggest gaps between any other channel.

Of course this is a huge subject and I'm not even going to pretend I know anymore about this than the standard guy using FPV equipment. Reading a little I'm sure antenna polarization plays a big part also.

Have a look at this list though, the most important column is the "lowest gap", this is how close that frequency is to another one either up or down and for FPV groups flying on 40ch or 32ch. You need to be at least 20mhz away from another FPV flyer on the same field, more if possible.

For best results, if just two people are flying the best bands are band E channel 4 and band E channel 8, these are at oposit ends of the available frequencies. If three people flying, choose the next one to be in the...Continue Reading
Posted by bionicbone | Apr 13, 2016 @ 09:54 AM | 6,283 Views
I built an X8 before and although it worked just fine the problem was the home made feet were just horrendous! So this time I want a better design. I have some left over legs from my Tarot 680Pro that I did not use because I wanted to fit electric reacts on that project.I also want to mount the ESC in the main frame area rather than on the arms because again I did not like the look of them. Apart from that I'll be keeping a similar design apart from this time I will make the arms a bit shorter to aid transportation.

As a base frame I will use the HobbyKing X666, this is very cheap (15) and available in the UK or International warehouses. I will use some extra main frame parts because I will build up layers to mount all the parts (i.e. the ESC's). Also, its very easy to convert to X8 using some upside down motor mounts.
We'll be using two frame kits and this will leave us with some spare arms.
X666 Frame

The first task was to mount the legs to one the the main plates that has the X666 markings. Note the X666 markings go from front to back not left to right for my design to work. I also made to CF retainers to strengthen the frame for the leg supports and had to drill 4 new holes so we could mount the legs. Other than that the legs are put together as they should be for the Tarot 680Pro.

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Once this has been done the batteries 2 x 3S 5000mAh should fit "just" between the two legs using some Velcro and a strap. The batteries will be used in parallel to give...Continue Reading
Posted by bionicbone | Feb 24, 2016 @ 03:08 PM | 8,167 Views
Tarot 680 Pro Stretch to 930, 45 mins flight time with GoPro camera and gimbal (2015)

Over recent years I have been getting into "Drones" and while the word drone seems to cover a plethora of vehicles these days for me its about multi-rotor vehicles that have the ability to fly a complex mission without the need for human intervention. To that end I have been playing with, testing and generally pushing the open source project APM:Copter to the limits and that was my flight controller of choice for this project.

The project started with a simple Hexa Copter frame (Tarot 680 Pro), a reasonably priced (80) frame that is light and can be fitted with propeller size up to 13". It suited my storage conditions by the type of flat folding, this ultimately means that I have workshop ceiling storage by the means of four hooks that hold it using the react landing gear. Pretty cool where storage space is at premium!

However, using eCalc for the calculations it was clear that 13" props is only going to give less than 18 mins of flight time. While having to agree it seems to be the standard I felt this was somewhat limited and wanted at least 35 minutes. To achieve this I was going to need to increase the propeller size and find some ultra low KV motors and a big battery. Oh, and to fit those propellers, stretch the frame (as it turned out a fair bit)

My research lead me down many paths and was put off many times about using big props, everything from &...Continue Reading
Posted by bionicbone | May 29, 2015 @ 01:38 PM | 7,333 Views
While I am waiting for some new parts to arrive for a new HexaCopter I needed something to pass the time.

Looking around the workshop I found some spare parts, probably enough to make a mini quad, around 350mm motor to motor.

Remember, what I use here is what I already have, the budget is 0 for this, so its about finding what I have and making use of it!

Fingers crossed it will be based on the APM:Copter project, mainly because I love all the functionality and if you've not tried the awesome Drift mode your missing a treat. With that in mind I'm naming this the APM: Drifter350!
For drifter mode to work we'll need GPS and compass, the props are going to be massive at 9" along with motors that will be 2830-1000kv, again all re-used from other projects.
I have enough 13mm x 13mm square aluminium tube to make something good, but this is heavy and probably a bit chunky for a 350. I also have some 10mm x 10mm Carbon Fibre Square Tube, will this be strong enough? I'm not sure but this is a test build so let go for this. The tube is cheap but feels ridged and strong and I have 4 750mm pieces so enough to play with.
Carbon Fiber Square Tube 750x10mm

I took to Microsoft Visio because I dont have a CAD program and came up with this design for the arms:

I then started to cut the arms to make two 330mm x 10mm x 10mm pieces. In the middle the top is cut away down to half way while leaving the bottom side in tacked to create a 10mm gap. Also, part of the sides are dremeled out...Continue Reading
Posted by bionicbone | Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:47 AM | 7,573 Views
Oct 2008 - Belt CP

Around October 2008 I bought my first ever RC Heli, OK I'd had some of those little polystyrene things, and a cheap 20 one that went up and down and could turn with only weight on the front flying it forward so I guess the Belt CP was my first real one.

It was a difficult decision to splash the cash (I don’t part with it easily), but the guys in the local hobby shop (LHS) talked me into it and a few minutes later I was walking out the door with a big grin on my face, yep 40 years old and smiling like a teenager J.

I done quite a bit of research about the Belt CP, I knew it was in my price range and more importantly I could get spares locally, of course it wasn’t long before I was at the table doing my first repair job!

I spent much of the UK winter out in the cold, fingers freezing trying to learn how to fly using the Esky rate gyro to hold the tail. I remember once it was quite foggy and very cold. I was trying to do my hovering when the Belt CP started to shack. I quickly landed to find icicles stretching from the back of the blades; they melted too quickly for me to grab a camera, I knew I was hooked then.

I spent a good year learning with the Belt CP, it was an expensive time with buying spare parts for the many crashes, all the CF and CNC bling, along with all the tools required for this hobby.

The last crash was the hardest of them all, it resulted in a major repair job after a literally broke both sides of the CF frame in...Continue Reading