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Posted by davymac | May 31, 2021 @ 02:26 PM | 21,333 Views
I went out for a flight yesterday evening with my drift.
Nice evening for it, nice and sunny and the wind was quite low, 5-7km with gusts up to about 17km according to my weather app. Felt lower to be fair.

The first 10 minutes of the flight were going fine. I have the ZOHD Kopilot installed and the auto launch system worked well, bringing it up to about 70m and circling with no major issues at all.

I seem to have a minor issue with my level setting on the Kopilot, in stability mode it need a small bit of up stick to stay level, nothing major though. The problem started when I selected manual mode. The plane dived for the ground. I pulled up and tried to level it but couldn't get the plane to fly level. It then decided to dive again for a second time and this time I wasn't able to pull out of the dive and hit the ground, hard.

So the long and the short of it are that I just spend the last 24 hours or so rebuilding the Drift. I've run into a major snag though. The carbon spar that connects the 2 wing roots in place is awol, looks like it was pulled off by the right wing as it failed. Not sure ehat to replace it with, I tried printing up spars on the 3D printer but PETG is too flexible and PLA is too brittle. Can't find solid square 4mm carbon fibre bar anywhere online either, just 4mm rod.

I'll figure something out though, possibly just use 4mm CF rod or maybe just some steel rod that I think I have lying around somewhere.

Oh, and I made a complete mess out of the VC400 camera on the drift.... It aint coming back to life, circuit boards shouldn't bend.
Posted by davymac | May 18, 2021 @ 03:08 PM | 29,129 Views
So I got a chance to do a quick test on my PineCil soldering Iron today

I decided to run it off of a 12V QC USB charger to see how well it would work. One thing I did notice was that it took a minute or so to negotiate the proper power from the charger before it would provide the full 12 (11.5 really) volts. Once it had done that though it was ready to go. I tinned the tip using some Loctite tip tinner before soldering and I set the iron to 350C as a starting temperature as I was using leaded solder. It's a bit on the high side but I wasn't sure of the temperature profile on the Iron so I decided to play safe at the top end of the temperature range.

I soldered up the pins on a LoRa 32 board as a test and it worked very well, especially considering the pads were tiny. I did have to break out the magnifying headset though, my eyes are getting old .

I am very happy with the Iron though, it worked very well and even though it wasn't a very heavy test of the unit, it still performed very well. I'll have to get a few more tips for it though. Not a huge fan of the conical type tips for soldering.
Posted by davymac | May 11, 2021 @ 10:08 AM | 2,610 Views
My PineCil soldering Iron arrived today. Not a bad delivery time, bought it on the 18th so just over 3 weeks to get here.

Nice little smart soldering Iron. It doesn't come with any cables and just one tip but it has options for USB-c and a DC jack. I was able to hook it up to my Nokia QC charger at 12V and my battery charger power adaptors DC jack at 16V and both have worked perfectly. On the 16V power brick it got to 350 C in less then a minute.

The tips are standard TS-100 style tips and its really comfortable to hold. Its even designed for the case to be removed and there are 2 other cases available, red and clear plastic. It has an earthing point on the Iron as well.

Good menu and plenty of user controls including a sleep timer and an auto shut off.

Really happy with it so far. Now I just have to give it a good run to see if it will be worth using as a daily driver or just a small toolkit type iron.
Posted by davymac | Apr 28, 2021 @ 02:14 PM | 2,288 Views
I thought I'd post a quick introduction here.

My name is David and I am in my early 40's. I'm Irish and have lived in Ireland all my life. I have a young family and am currently an Electronics Engineering student going for my Degree. Prior to this I have done CAD and engineering technicians courses and have worked for a company that makes sensors and sensor control systems for manufacturing and safety systems.

My main interest in electronics is sensor technology and it's applications in real world situations and in the live use of sensors, as opposed to just being used for monitoring and alert systems.

I am an active user of 3D printers for prototyping, as well as being interested in the use of CNC machining to create prototype PCB's. I have several 3D printers and a small CNC mill at home which keeps me entertained.

I originally became interested in drones as platforms for sensors but my research on them led me down a rabbit hole of FPV videos on YouTube and I remembered going out to the fields around our locality to fly model aircraft with him (he had a cub type nitro powered aircraft i think).

I own a Zohd Drift and have enjoyed flying, crashing and repairing it so far. I'm getting better with it though so hopefully the crash and repair bit of the hobby will become a less regular part of this hobby for me.