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Posted by zanek | Apr 27, 2012 @ 08:53 AM | 3,232 Views
I just recently got a Micro Keychain camera off of eBay, because I wanted to have a lighter camera that I could put on my rc things. I figured that I could get more realistic footage to how the planes/quadcopter flies because it would have less weight on it. Here is a picture of how small it is and a sample video that I shot from my quadcopter:

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Posted by zanek | Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:55 PM | 3,258 Views
After I got all of the vibration issues under control with my quadcopter, I made some longer landing gear and put my Gopro on the bottom of the quadcopter. On the first flight I have vibration issues, because I took off the support for the arms so they flexed and amplified vibrations. After I put them back on, the quadcopter flew well. Here are the videos I have made so far and some pictures of how the camera is mounted.

Quadcopter Aerial Video Second Attempt (2 min 16 sec)

Quadcopter Aerial Video #3 Walking along (4 min 13 sec)
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Posted by zanek | Apr 09, 2012 @ 08:45 PM | 3,066 Views
Here is the second flight of my quadcopter. I have gotten all of the vibration issues ironed out and it flies nicely. Here is a video:
Quadcopter second flight (1 min 46 sec)

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Posted by zanek | Mar 07, 2012 @ 09:55 PM | 3,892 Views
The quadcopter finally flies. I got the gyro fixed and it works!
Quadcopter maiden flight (4 min 56 sec)

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Posted by zanek | Mar 05, 2012 @ 09:48 AM | 3,964 Views
So I tried to do the maiden flight of my quadcopter yesterday, but there were some problems. The first one turned out to be the gryo was the wrong way around so it was giving positive feedback. Then on the next flights the quadcopter was just jitering everywhere. I hooked it up to the GUI on my computer and it turned out the gyro was bad. It was showing movement even when it was sitting perfectly still. I am planning on trying another maiden flight this morning. Here is the video I got of the flying I did do:
Quadcopter maiden flight (sortof) (1 min 37 sec)

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Posted by zanek | Mar 03, 2012 @ 09:30 PM | 3,570 Views
After some more problems and a few more hours of work, the quadcopter is finally ready to fly. Since the last update, I have mounted all of the components. I tested it and there was a short circuiting speed control. It fried my battery (which turned out to be a good thing as I replaced it with a more quadcopter friendly nice thin pack). After some experimenting with the speed control it seems that it was the heatsink, though I really don't know. I took off the heatshrink and heatsink and tested it and it worked fine so I put it back together. I got my props painted on the front. I am planning on going for a maiden tomorrow morning. Here are some pictures:

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Posted by zanek | Feb 20, 2012 @ 10:08 PM | 3,590 Views
I finally got the long awaited motors and speed controllers in the mail along with my propellers. I spent the whole morning assembling the quadcopter only to find it just didn't work. Nothing when you plugged in the battery. After a few more tries, and some testing with an external BEC I think that one of the ESCs has an internal short circuit, and the load from that causes the battery voltage to drop below the operating voltage of everything else so nothing turns on. I will work on fixing it in a few days when I am less frustrated. Other than that the build went well. Once I have all of the electronics working nicely I will work on tidying the spaghetti bowl of wires. Here are some pictures:

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Posted by zanek | Feb 07, 2012 @ 10:58 AM | 3,608 Views
I finally got (almost) all of the soldering done. Now the only soldering that I have left to do is to connect it to the speed controllers, which I don't have yet. I have spent about 8 hours soldering so far. Here is what it looks like:

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Posted by zanek | Feb 05, 2012 @ 09:16 PM | 3,716 Views
This is what my car looked like after an hour at an especially muddy track. Nice and dirty, just like it should be.

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Posted by zanek | Jan 29, 2012 @ 09:40 AM | 4,472 Views
Slash 4x4 onboard camera driving around with Losi Mini 8ight (10 min 18 sec)

Gopro onboard footage from my Slash 4x4 driving around with a Losi Mini 8ight. I am running a Mamba Monster 2200kv on 4s lipo and the Mini 8ight is stock. Watch the video in HD if you can. Come check out my rc blog at
Posted by zanek | Jan 27, 2012 @ 01:36 PM | 3,867 Views
I did some more work on the quadcopter and got the Wii components uncased and finished the sanding on the frame. All that is left for the frame is to glue and screw the parts together. I also got the Orange RX receivers in the mail, so now the only thing that I am waiting for is the propeller/motor/speed controllers. I should get the soldering on the Arduino and Wii components done this weekend. Since I can't get metric sized wood for the arms, I set up a jig that holds my Dremel in just the right place, so I can just run the wooden arms between the sanding bit on the Dremel and the block of wood that it is sitting on and they get cut to size. Here are some pictures, and you can see me using the Dremel jig in the video.

Quadcopter Build Time Lapse Part 2 (1 min 25 sec)

Wii Motion Plus, Arduino board and USB programmer

Frame without motor mounts

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Posted by zanek | Jan 20, 2012 @ 08:50 PM | 3,847 Views
Here is a time lapse of me building the quadcopter, up to the part that I have done now. It includes building most of the frame, and unboxing. Here it is:
Quadcopter Build Time Lapse Part 1 (4 min 43 sec)

Posted by zanek | Jan 20, 2012 @ 10:42 AM | 3,843 Views
Yesterday I got the Wii Nucnhuck, the Turnigy batteries and the frame kit that I had ordered. I got right to work building the frame. Here is my progress so far:

Some suspiciously sized packages!

This is as far as I have gotten with building the frame

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Posted by zanek | Jan 18, 2012 @ 10:38 PM | 3,874 Views
After researching quadcopters this weekend, and ordering all the parts to build one, I was all fired up to build something. But snail mail being what it is- most of my parts for the quadcopter won't be here for 1-3 weeks. I was looking around my rc stuff yesterday, and I saw my old Traxxas radio. It was a link system, and it had stopped working a few months ago. That was when I got my HobbyKing GT-2 radio. The GT-2 system worked great for me, but I never really liked the feel of it in my hand, while I did like the feel of the Traxxas radio. After thinking for a few minutes, I decided to put the GT-2 electronics in the Traxxas case, so that I could have the best of both worlds. After a little experimenting I found that the steering wheel and throttle control in the Traxxas case would work with the GT-2 electronics. The main circuit board in the Traxxas radio is in the bottom of the case, while the GT-2 radio electronics are in the top part, so I had to add some extensions to the wires for the steering and throttle controls. I cut a hole on the top part of the bottom section of the Traxxas radio, right in front of the hand grip for the steering trims, ect. on the GT-2 circuit board. I had to put the batteries on the outside of the case because the GT-2 circuite board needed 8 batteries, instead of the 4 that the Traxxas radio case has space for. I haven't tested it extensively yet, but it seems to work. I will be giving it a full test this Friday. Here are some pictures:

Quadcopter update- The batteries are due to arrive on Thursday, and the electronics for the flight control board on Friday so the build will be getting underway soon

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Posted by zanek | Jan 17, 2012 @ 03:20 PM | 4,777 Views
Now that I have some more time, here is more information about the Quadcopter that I will be building. The flight controller I am using will be the Arduino board/Wii combo. It is commonly known as a MultiWii system. It reads the signal from the receiver, and the signal from the gyro in the Wii Motion Plus to control the Quadcopter. There is a whole website on MultiWii here. About the mechanical part of the Quadcopter, here is a list of the gear that I will be using:
Motors: Turnigy D2830-11 1100KV
Speed Control: HobbyKing 30 amp
Frame: Bluesky RC Sport frame
Flight controller: Arduino Pro Mini and USB Programmer
Stabilization: Gyro Accelerometer Wii motion plus and Nunchuck

More to come once I get the parts

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Posted by zanek | Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:50 AM | 4,185 Views
A few weeks ago I stumbled on this thread on the RC Groups forum. . It is about how a man used a Wii Motion Plus Gyro and a programmable chip from Texas Instruments to make what would normally be a $150-1200 Quadcopter flight stabilization system. I did a little more research, and found out that people where doing the same thing, more commonly with a Arduino Mini Pro as the programmable piece. Of course, I had to give it a try. I have ordered all of the parts so that I can build a Quadcopter with the Arduino/Wii combo. I will also be using a Wii Nunchuck. That will provide an accelerometer, which will give me an auto level feature. Basically that means that when I hold my controls in the center the Quadcopter will find level and hover all by itself. My plans are for a 16-18" Quacopter. That is a good size for carrying a Gopro, but not too big. More updates and a build log to come.

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Posted by zanek | Dec 29, 2011 @ 08:23 PM | 3,815 Views
Here is another FPV video from Castle Valley, UT filmed with the Gopro. This time the camera is in the same place on the center of the wing, but it is aiming out so you get a side view. Here is the video:
Castle Valley winter flying with Gopro part 4 (wing cam) (5 min 39 sec)

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Posted by zanek | Dec 28, 2011 @ 07:03 PM | 3,711 Views
Here is another FPV video flight in Castle Valley, UT in winter. It is interesting to see from the air how there is only snow in the shady areas because it gets just warm enough to melt in the sun. In this video I am out in the front yard, and in the daylight so the video quality and view is much better. Here is the video:
Castle Valley winter flying with Gopro camera Part 2 (different location) (2 min 41 sec)

Posted by zanek | Dec 28, 2011 @ 05:26 PM | 3,616 Views
I managed to get a video of me flying the Micro T-28, by using the Gopro camera on a headstrap, so it filmed where I looked. At times the plane is hard to see because it is so small. I will try to get a better video later. For now here it is:
Micro T-28 flights (3 min 16 sec)

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Posted by zanek | Dec 28, 2011 @ 09:53 AM | 3,718 Views
I just got home today, to my Micro T-28. First flight went uneventfully, as did the second. But then the wind picked up, and I had to stop flying. It was a little nerve racking at first, because it was my first time with ailerons. But I didn't crash, thanks to some beforehand practice on the simulator. I will go out and fly tomorrow morning, if weather permits, and I will try to get a video. Until then, here are some pics and specs. The plane is tiny!

Top view

Bottom view

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