T J Gilbert's blog View Details
Posted by T J Gilbert | Feb 05, 2017 @ 12:49 PM | 23,175 Views
Now that the Mavic is here, the weather and work are not cooperating w.r.t. a maiden flight.
And I'm not too much for indoor flight as I don't currently have access to a gym or empty warehouse.
I'm using the grounded time to accomplish all the "TJ" improvements I'd planned while waiting four months.
1. Screen protector (Zagg brand) on Tx screen to prevent scuffs
2. Propeller socks to keep them tidy and prevent airframe scuffs
3. Foam cube to take place of battery while craft is stored in case
4. Nanuk 925 case
5. Custom device holder that allows use of Lifeproof case and Tx lanyard

I'm not too much for the gaming size controller, so the device holder increases the footprint of the Tx + iPhone.
The lanyard is SOP for me particularly if I hand catch.
It does get in the way when viewing the device screen, but I generally fly LOS and use the screen primarily for framing shots.
I learned that Brother P-touch labels don't stick too well to the grained surfaces of the Tx and craft...
Posted by T J Gilbert | Nov 15, 2016 @ 07:23 PM | 23,520 Views
I am an amateur AV/AP hobbyist pilot.
Most of the time my camera settings are "Auto"
I cannot afford or adequately use either of the two professional platforms above.
I have waited almost six weeks now for a Mavic Pro.
It's much more my speed.
So you guys that covet the top shelf stuff above please cancel your order and let me get what I covet.
And please don't try to scalp some poor hobbyist by selling them your Mavic to finance your addiction to the high class product.

DJI is really defining pro and consumer class drones.
The pricing of the pro stuff makes it easy for me to be a satisfied consumer!
Posted by T J Gilbert | Sep 30, 2016 @ 07:41 AM | 24,305 Views
It's been a while since I've posted on the blog.
I've been relatively busy at work and with family.
My flying has been centered around P4 and I1 adventures that also involved Litchi missions.
As many of you know, I'm a long time AMA member and fly exclusively at my AMA field.

Well, as the title of this post indicates, things change.
There are rising opinions within the AMA that they feel they have veered from their roots by embracing multirotors.
I'll admit that there is even some dissent within my own club.
I feel that many of us remained loyal to the AMA while the need for a landing strip and open spaces diminished for pilots flying rotor craft.

Now DJI jumps into the pocket drone market with the Mavic, and it is a mind-blower!
I resisted the temptation to buy one for about 24 hours.
For the first time since I started with multirotors, I'm reconsidering where I might attempt to fly safely.
Launching an I1 from a pasture or a park is one thing, but doing this with the Mavic may warrant some thought.

As long as I observe the AMA safety guidelines, there is the option of flying at locations other my official field.
The nature of the craft and the piloting of it are changing, and it might just be time for this old, bold pilot to change too.
Posted by T J Gilbert | Jul 23, 2016 @ 03:44 PM | 28,994 Views
If you are trying to figure Litchi out the DJI way, and are just immersing yourself in the experience without regard for instructions or a manual.... DON'T!
The Litch Home Page has a Help tab.
Click on it and you will find pretty extensive explanations for every Litchi feature.
The various features are on tabs at the Help page...

Don't just have fun; have knowledgeable fun!

Also, here's a helpful video...
Litchi For DJI how to maintain an altitude relative to ground level (7 min 37 sec)

Posted by T J Gilbert | May 16, 2016 @ 12:03 PM | 25,458 Views
When DJI introduced the iOS Ground Station a year or two ago, it had a few bugs, and it seemed more a curiosity than a practical tool.
Litchi is the GS perfected!
It allows you to make a flight plan (about as complex as you desire), fly a specific mission (repeatedly), and not waste any unexpected battery or air time.
You can fly at the edge of BVR, and still rest assured that the craft is behaving.
The craft and gimbal movements can be programmed smooth or exactingly snapped.
When I go to the grocery store, I take a list and get what I need.
I seldom shop.
A Litchi flight plan is like that list.
You can cut out the shopping and get specifically what you need...

I'll add that Litchi has performed flawlessly for me...
Because it's come up on the threads recently that Litchi can cause problems...
I'll say that I meticulously go over complex missions looking for errors in judgement on my part.
Unless you're doing a simple out and back, take the time to use the Litchi Hub mission planner on your computer
Also, close DJI Go completely when using Litchi...

Posted by T J Gilbert | Mar 20, 2016 @ 01:39 PM | 26,407 Views
I started using the Nanuk 945 case with the P1.
It is large enough to hold a Phantom, and leave the props on.
The P2V+ lives in one.
When I gifted my AMA club the P1 as a club trainer, I kept its case.
I got a new set of foam inserts when I was considering the P3, but never bit.
Now, the P4's new home is the old P1 case...
I like the foam protection minus the extreme tightness of the OEM P4 styrofoam case.
Still plenty of room for more stuff!
Posted by T J Gilbert | Jan 25, 2016 @ 10:48 AM | 26,620 Views
Many traditional RC pilots are heard to say:
"If it weren't for the multirotors showing up and ruining things for everybody, we'd still be flying our planes and not have to be registered."
"When I go to register, it pains me that a multirotor is pictured on the FAA website, because I fly planes and don't pose a problem."
But one of the "drones" that got the FAA's attention & wrath (back in 2011) was a fixed wing craft:
This just goes to show that we are all in this together...

Added Content:
Here's another fixed wing drone making the news...
Posted by T J Gilbert | Dec 18, 2015 @ 08:36 AM | 27,777 Views
This DJI Christmas ad video is really touching, and I wanted to not only share it, but not lose it.
So, here you go...
Merry Christmas RCGroups!
DJI - Holiday 2015 - "The Photo Album" (2 min 57 sec)

Posted by T J Gilbert | Nov 21, 2015 @ 05:58 PM | 28,095 Views
This is my first attempt at walking while filming with the DJI Osmo.
Reminds me of filming from a horse or a row boat.
Oh well, practice...

Mall Fountain (1 min 14 sec)

Posted by T J Gilbert | Oct 12, 2015 @ 04:02 PM | 28,988 Views
Right now, this looks a little silly.
At the rate cell phone sizes are increasing, it might not be silly for long...
Remember the Motorola brick?
Posted by T J Gilbert | Oct 01, 2015 @ 05:38 PM | 28,421 Views
After several years as part of the DJI Forum Support Team, DJI has asked me to step down.
This is due to their intention to have a team composed solely of DJI employees and private contractors.
My position, as a volunteer, is not a part of DJI's present business plan.
This job needs to be done now by individuals that can devote full-time attention to it.
We are parting ways on amicable terms, and my NDA stands.
I will be rejoining the ranks of regular RCGroups forum members.
I plan to continue my thread activities as before, helping where I can.
I wish Ed, Ken, and DJI's new forum support team nothing but success.
Now, on with the show!

Update 10/5/15:
I will continue to volunteer as Empire Hobbies Forum Support on RCG.

Posted by T J Gilbert | Sep 15, 2015 @ 09:07 AM | 28,117 Views
My father-in-law flew B-25s and later DC-3s.
This was his favorite flying poem...

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

My favorite flying poem (or rather song) is...

Learning To Fly
Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast,
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought, I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unladen, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try

Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied...Continue Reading
Posted by T J Gilbert | Jul 17, 2015 @ 01:01 PM | 27,614 Views
Had to save this...
Short and sweet!
Phantom 3 ND Filters - Neutral Density Filters allow the Best Video Settings (1 min 51 sec)

Thanks, GhostMaster, for posting the link!
Posted by T J Gilbert | Jun 22, 2015 @ 07:16 AM | 27,328 Views
Over the weekend, a poster assumed that the pirate avatar I've sported since I joined RCGroups meant that I condoned malicious activities like hacking software.
Lessor things have been construed from the skull and cross bones avatar, but this latest one troubled me enough to decide to change.
I'm all about not rocking the boat here and helping any way that I can.
Hopefully the new avatar will exude calm and serenity...

FWIW, I chose the pirate avatar long ago because I'm good at scavenging various parts & pieces from different airframes and equipment and putting them together into a unique mechanism.
So, I essentially liked to pirate from this and that to get what I was wanting...

With the DJI RTF stuff, I don't get to do this as much anymore...
Also, I'm a stickler for details and the menacing skull and crossbones represented the devil in "The Devil is in the details"...
Ah well, change is good, and it was time for it...
Posted by T J Gilbert | Jun 04, 2015 @ 03:20 PM | 28,186 Views
I have referred posters to this video several times, and it's worth saving...
Edit: I've used this video several, several times now to help answer questions.
DJI Phantom 3 & DJI Pilot App Walkthrough & FAQ (35 min 25 sec)

Thanks to Drones in SC!
Posted by T J Gilbert | May 25, 2015 @ 06:49 PM | 27,296 Views
The attached video is from jeffreyrc.
It depicts the consequences of indoor flight when VPS is no longer available and the I1 shifts back into Atti FM.
Indoor flyers need to be aware that this FM shift can be drastic and unexpected...
Thanks again jeffreyrc for sharing your misshapp...
Posted by T J Gilbert | Apr 19, 2015 @ 10:49 AM | 28,080 Views
I fly from an AMA field that boasts paved runways and mown grass for take-off and landing.
The P2V+ and the I1 both have low slung cam/gimbal units.
I fear damage from loose gravel and weed stalks when landing on the above surfaces.
I usually keep a sheet of masonite in one of the club's outbuildings to take-off from and land on.
I've seen several poster's fabricated helipads and some marketed by the dealers.
I wanted something a little larger, but still transportable in my SUV.
I went to Lowes and found a 48"x48" rubber pad that breaks down to four 24"x24" panels.
That was a little too large and standing up where I wanted it obstructed my rear view.
I reduced the overall dimensions to 42"x42".
Here she is...
The "H" is just white spray paint...
Posted by T J Gilbert | Apr 15, 2015 @ 09:56 AM | 39,611 Views
Back in the day when all we had to remember was what the LED flashes meant, I had a laminated card that helped...
With the I1, it's much more complex than that for this 64 year old...
It's hard to remember where a feature you might want to change is hiding.
Here's my laminated card for the I1...
It's for the Android App and it reflects the beta firmware features that were just released in the Inspire 1 v01.02.01.00 Firmware Update.
There may be slight differences because I've not thoroughly checked the latest features.
Consequently, this document is a work in progress...
It's originally in Excel format, but RCG will only let me post as a PDF.
Use it or modify it to iOS if you wish...

If you will PM me your email address, I'll send you the Excel file...
That's provided all 12,000+ viewers (in just two days!) don't PM me.
Thanks for the interest!

Posted by T J Gilbert | Apr 11, 2015 @ 03:20 PM | 28,168 Views
This memo has surfaced that offers guidance to FAA employees concerning such things as YouTube videos.
Also, here's a supporting Forbes article.
Posted by T J Gilbert | Mar 21, 2015 @ 02:01 PM | 29,442 Views
First off...
Even though I'm Forum Support, I have always purchased a good bit of my equipment.
This Secraft Tx Tray is something I purchased because I use Tx trays.

I have elected to transport my Inspire 1 set-up.
I don't have to spend lots of time assembling the airframe.
The SUV provides plenty of room for set-up transport.
Almost everything I fly stays set-up, and only the Phantoms go inside cases.
With the I1 set-up, the included case is really extra baggage, so I use one of the Nanuk 940 cases for the second Tx, lipos, Nexus7, sunshade, Tx harnesses, charger, & etc.
The Nanuk is more substantial than the DJI case, and it's smaller...

I prefer to use Tx trays because:
I use the pinch style stick grasp.
As I get older, my hands are not as steady.
The small I1 Tx is a little too small for my liking to have a tablet suspended above it.
In a high stress situation my hands get shaky.

When I saw that Secraft was making an I1 Tx Tray, I decided to start carrying the pilot Tx out of a case, and set-up as well.
I was a little concerned that they were not offering the hand rests like I use on my 14SG Tx tray.
These really steady your hold on the sticks, and the tray + strap takes all worry of supporting a heavy Tx off your mind.

I ordered the tray and the expensive (but worth it) tablet mount.
The tablet mount takes all the strain (if there is any) off the I1 Tx, and it holds the screen slightly higher than the stock mount.
As expected, the two...Continue Reading