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Posted by Daloaf | Oct 27, 2016 @ 11:09 PM | 10,825 Views
Well I finally received my Mavic a few days ago and after reviewing the footage I noticed that the lower left hand corner was really, really soft. The center was focused, but the edges were way off. So anyway, online chatted with DJI customer support and and spending 20 minutes convincing them that it had nothing to do with the app or my phone, they finally sent me a RMA and I shipped it back. Now the second long wait begins for the replacement. I will give DJI support credit though. They responded almost right away and were friendly.

Anyway, I was going to do a long review video of the Mavic, but considering that I only really had one day to fly it (3 flights), I just made a semi short video of the unboxing and some of the ground and aerial footage. I do have to say, I really loved the way it flew and can't wait to get another one up soon.

DJI Mavic first few flights, defective camera and unboxing (7 min 38 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Mar 08, 2015 @ 03:46 AM | 13,378 Views
SkyHi Aerial has just released their new 2015 Aerial Demo Reel. Check it out!

SkyHi Aerial 2015 Demo Reel (4 min 37 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Feb 23, 2015 @ 12:52 PM | 13,789 Views
Was out at the "Game of Drones" event at a park near the port of Oakland. So after the event was over we went and got some shots of the port and the awesome sunset over SF. It really was one of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen. I had my Tarot 810, AG1000 gimbal, Phobotic Centerpiece gimbal controller and GH4 (14mm lens) setup for 2 person controls and I put Roee (who designed the Centerpiece) on the camera gimbal controls. He did a pretty dang good job for his first time running the camera! It also helped that the longshoremen were on strike, so the port was full of cargo and empty of people!

Anyway, here you go.

Aerial Views of the Port of Oakland and Sunset over the San Francisco Bay (4 min 33 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Jul 26, 2014 @ 08:04 PM | 14,066 Views
I was down visiting the area I grew up in, Aptos, CA this week and had a opportunity to get some footage of the world famous (infamous) Aptos Post Office Jump Course. Pros from around the world ride this course when they are in the area, but this time only some of the local bad a$$ kids were ripping up the course. And they were cool with me flying around, kicking up dust while filming them. About 80% of the footage was shot with my GH4 on a Tarot 810, TPpacks AG1000 gimbal and my Viacopter 8bit AM board running 2.3b5. After I ran out of batteries for it, I put up my phantom 2, H3-3D and Gopro Hero 3 Plus and got another flights worth of footage.

SkyHi Aerial - Aptos Post Office Jump Course (3 min 48 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:48 PM | 14,714 Views
I just finished up my new 2014 Aerial Demo Reel for my company SkyHiAerial.com and wanted to share it. Take a look.

SkyHi Aerial - www.SkyHiAerial.com - San Francisco, CA (5 min 7 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Nov 04, 2013 @ 11:34 PM | 15,200 Views
Another video using the Sony NEX 5N along with a TPpacks.com AG1kDD 3 axis gimbal, Lobster V2 Y-6 Copter and my Sony NEX 5N. I went real early out to AT&T park, home of the San Francisco Giants to film the stadium. The first two flights were in heavy fog and like 10-15mph winds with gusts in the 20's. But the sun came out and the fog lifted for the last two flights. Almost all of the footage was shot over water using the 18-55mm lens set at 25mm (50mm equivalent with the sensor crop) so even with the close shots, I was pretty far away.

Aerial View of AT&T Park Home of the MLB San Francisco Giants By SkyHiAerial Multicopter - Alexmos (4 min 33 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Oct 29, 2013 @ 12:39 AM | 15,611 Views
I mounted a 2 axis, 3D printed brushless gimbal on my Skywalker 2013 and after doing a lot of balancing, I got it flying. I still have some other issues, mostly with my eagle tree stabilization behavior, but I'll work on those next time I fly it. The skywalker may not be the ideal platform for a nose mounted gimbal. Because of the prop wash hitting the tail and the large surface area on the side of the plane, I tend to have the nose wagging quite a bit, especially flying into wind or with a cross wind. That causes the yaw wobbles that you see in the footage. Otherwise, the gimbal behaved as well as I could have hoped and the plane flies fine with it. Although I love how much cargo I can lift with the skywalker, I'm going to start researching some of the larger FPV flying wings to see if the gimbal would work better on those. Basically I need a plane that flies really true.

And yep, I thought about going to 3 axis gimbal, but my 3 alexmos gimbal that are all 3 axis can only tilt 30-40 degrees before it starts to wig out. The 2 axis gimbals can tilt to almost 90 degrees without issue. It has something to do with the coding in the AM boards.

So here's the video:

Skywalker 2013 with 2 Axis Brushless Gimbal (6 min 37 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Oct 14, 2013 @ 11:34 PM | 15,571 Views
This weekend we had perfect weather for the Spreckels Lake fleet day military regatta here in San Francisco. I got some aerial video of it with my TPpacks.com Y-6 Lobster copter and AG1KDD 3 axis brushless gimbal carrying a Sony NEX 5N with 18-55mm lens.

Aerial View of Spreckels Lake RC Boats (4 min 31 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Sep 30, 2013 @ 10:58 PM | 15,600 Views
Well I got back from Yellowstone and Grand Teton a few days ago and finally got the aerial footage edited. This was all shot on my TPPacks.com Lobster V2 Y-6 copter (6s) with the AG1KDD 3 axis gimbal and Sony NEX 5N except for one shot over the deep valley was shot with my Shrimp Y-6 and a Gopro Hero 3. Most of the days I was flying the wind was over 20mph and some days were over 30mph So I did have to do some post stabilization in a few of the clips to get some of the jitters out, but there were almost zero big wobbles or movement from the gimbal, even in 30mph winds, which was pretty amazing.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton From Above (7 min 7 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Sep 14, 2013 @ 01:45 AM | 15,265 Views
A buddy of mine who does aerial video for the movie industry recently setup one of his large heli's with a red epic brushless sized gimbal. He's using iFlight 8017's and a Viacopter controller and 3rd axis board. The gimbal is huge and inside the ball he has a 4s 5000 pack for both the gimbal and as aux power to the camera. He had to spend many hours adding lead to it to balance as it's not adjustable, but it's incredibly wind tolerant being inside the carbon fiber ball.

I was shooting from my Askman/TPpacks AG1kDD gimbal and a sony NEX 5N along with the Viacopter board and FPVmodel 3rd axis board.

iCam Productions Heli shot from a TPPacks Lobster Y-6 and AG1KDD Gimbal (6 min 11 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:40 PM | 15,671 Views
Yesterday I took some footage using my RCManChild 3D Printed 3 axis gopro gimbal and got the best footage yet. First off, the copter I am using is a TPPacks.com/Askman Shrimp Y-6 using DJI F550 motors and escs and a DJI Naza Lite Flight controller. I attached two 10mm tubes under the copter to act as rails to mount the gimbal as far forward as possible. When using a 2 axis brushless gimbal you only need the gimbal forward enough so the props aren't in the shot. But if you have the 3rd yaw axis and use follow mode on the alexmos controller, your going to get prop in your shot every time you yaw the copter and the camera rotates to smooth out the motion. My solution was to mount the gimbal almost between the front props of the Y-6 so that the gopro hero 3 black on 1080 60p medium can pan about 60 degrees left or right and not see the props.

Youtube doesn't do justice to how smooth this was, most of the jiggles I had in the past due to the vibration isolation setups are gone now.

TPpacks Shrimp Y6 and RCManChild 3 Axis Brushless Gimbal (6 min 14 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Jul 28, 2013 @ 01:03 AM | 16,301 Views
Today, I got my first few flights with my new TPpacks.com AG1kDD 3 axis brushless gimbal with my Viacopter AM board, the FPVmodel 3rd axis expansion board and a Sony NEX 5N and it all worked flawlessly. I flew it all on a Askman/TPpacks Lobster Y-6 copter on a 4s 9000mah pack. Previously I was using 2 AM boards to test out this setup, but I was always getting some jitters at certain angles of tilt, caused by a jitter feed back loop between the two IMU's. With one IMU on here, I can now tilt the copter 50-60 degrees without jitter. I setup a switch on my TX so I can switch between yaw Follow mode and yaw heading lock mode and that worked great. I would have to adjust the angles of the camera when switching from follow to heading lock, but it wasn't a big deal. Overall, I'm really happy with the results I'm getting with this setup.

AG1KDD 3 Axis Brushless GImbal with Alexmos Controller (8 min 29 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Jul 08, 2013 @ 03:57 PM | 15,323 Views
Had a few fun flights get some video of my new Askman Shrimp Y-6 copter with a prototype RCManChild.com 3 axis gopro hero 3, 3D printed gimbal. It's being run by 2 alexmos gimbal controllers. My buddy Mike was flying his DJI S800 with a Zenmuse and Sony NEX 7N. I still have a bit of tweaking to do on the Shimp, mainly figuring out a way to move the gimbal further forward so that they lower props don't show up in the video when the yaw axis rotates.

Askman Shrimp Y-6 vs DJI S800 (6 min 19 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Jun 24, 2013 @ 01:34 AM | 20,108 Views
Just for a fun project, I worked with my buddy Don (Dhdsracer) to make a 1 axis brushless gimbal for my new Skywalker 2013 FPV plane with the 1900mm wing. I'm using a Viacopter alexmos board alone with a 2212 brushless gimbal motor from RCManChild.com (mine is a prototype, they should be for sale soon). The gimbal is 3D printed and really nice and compact. Hopefully I'll get to show some photos of it soon, once it's nearing production.

This was not the best day to test out the gimbal as the winds were in the 10-15mph range with gusts that would probably higher. And adding the gimbal to the nose of my plane through off my CG a bit making it nose heavy. Next time I'll work on getting the flight pack further back.

The gimbal and the AM board worked pretty flawlessly, but being only roll axis, it didn't do anything to help the pitch, which with this wind, was another problem. Still, the wings were rocking around quite a bit and the camera is nice and level for most of the flight. Next I might go and try to make this 2 axis and see how it does.

Flying out to the ship I was 1.5 miles out.

Skywalker Alexmos Roll Axis Gimbal Test (4 min 28 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | May 20, 2013 @ 06:51 PM | 16,989 Views
Here's the first real flight of the Yun-1 with my 3 axis mod. FPVmodel stated that they will be releasing a 3rd axis add on for the Yun-1 in the near future, but I didn't want to wait, so I did it myself. On the Yaw axis I have the "Follow" feature turned on, which the gimbal follows the nose of the copter, but is delayed so that it can smooth out the yaw axis. If the copter's nose "wags" on descents or from the wind, the yaw axis can correct for it giving very stable video in all axis. For the yaw axis I'm using a iFlight 3508 motor and a Viacopter Alexmos board. I also replaced the roll motor with another 3508 motor and 100g damper balls with 300g damper balls to stiffen up the vibration isolation. In calm winds and with smooth flying, I'm getting nearly perfect video now. The only time I get jitters are when I descended too fast (which I did thanks to some unknown Naza 3.12 firmware issue) or when I tried to fly later in the day in 25mph winds (which was still amazingly usable).

This was one for those epic mornings in San Francisco. It was Sunny, warm (at 7am) and maybe a 3mph breeze if that. They also shut down the Golden Gate Bridge shortly after I crossed over for the Amgen Tour of California bike race. I got some flying in before and after the racers went by, but I stopped to watch the event.

Yun-1 brushless gimbal 3 Axis Mod with Golden Gate Bridge in the background (4 min 58 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | May 03, 2013 @ 02:47 PM | 15,905 Views
We had one of those perfect flying days a few days ago. Like 2-3mph winds, sunny and warm. I went up to the Stanford University giant radar dish to do a few laps around it with my Yun-1. The Yun-1 is mounted to a MF450 quadcopter and the camera is a GoPro Hero 3 Black.

Yun-1 flying over Stanford University Radar Dish (4 min 26 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Apr 24, 2013 @ 02:26 AM | 16,458 Views
This is my first video with the Askman and Tppacks.com AG 600 Brushless Hybrid Gimbal with my NEX 5N. This gimbal uses brushless motors and an Alexmos controller hooked up to belts and gears for a big increase in torque, while still being pretty dang fast. With the extra torque, balance isn't as critical and I was able to easily use my heavy HDMI video out cable dangling off the side.

Aerial Flyover of Stow Lake, San Francisco (5 min 6 sec)

Posted by Daloaf | Apr 01, 2013 @ 10:28 PM | 15,867 Views
Figured I would share my favorite Multirotor and Gimbal (including brushless gimbal) threads in no particular order.

Askman quad copters and Y-6 copters as well as servo and soon brushless gimbals. Check the later posts for all of the new stuff:


Yun-1 Brushless GoPro gimbal from FPVmodels:


Viacopter simple brushless gimbal controller and brushless gimbals:


This gimbal design looks like it has all kinds of potential and is beautiful as well:


This thread is about a guy making a DJI Naza OSD that is now for sale (preorder).

Posted by Daloaf | Mar 26, 2013 @ 09:03 PM | 16,417 Views
Here's the video I shot this weekend for Kymera Body Boards. They are in the process of making an electric powered body board. Think electric jet ski that you lay down on and does 20mph. And it's light enough that it can be carried to the water by one person. The video was shot with my Askman Lobster, Ag 600 and Sony NEX 5N and my MF450, Beta Yun-1 and GoPro Hero 3 Black. Check it out.

Kymera Electric Body Board Aerial Promo (3 min 14 sec)