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Posted by Daemon | Feb 07, 2016 @ 03:12 AM | 98,481 Views
2015 wasn't my busiest year of flying and video making (that was 2013), but the COFPV
crew really packed in some fun flying.
Best of my 2015 Adventures in FPV (2.7K) (14 min 0 sec)

Early in the year we discovered some nearby steep mountain ridges that had pretty good Rf
LoS for 2-5 miles, so we started flying formation down them as low as possible (and sometimes
a bit lower than that). ezikiel121212's Chimera was a pretty good match for my Skyhunter so
he has many videos chasing me, and me chasing him.

I was given a very large efficient one of a kind plank called the Graugans capable of
140mph in a power off dive. It's featured in 2-3 of my own videos and ezikiel's Moab vid part 2.

Late spring we scouted out some interesting locations on BLM land south of Moab and
3 of us made a quick trip down there to fly through Corona Arch and explore
the ridges and cliffs near the Potash ponds. Discovered later that this is also the same
location that some of the last scenes in Fast and Furious 6 were filmed.

I finally got around to moving all the video and control gear from my original Daemon Relay
into a fixed wing platform (Skywalker 1900).

The relay quad could fly for about 12-14 minutes, which meant it could only sit on station for 9-11 minutes at most
which didn't give much time to explore with the FPV quad.
The Skywalker with the same sized battery pack, will orbit for a full 30 minutes plus
time to get on station, and glide home if...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Jul 19, 2014 @ 02:34 PM | 102,197 Views
This entry is really about FAA's latest new press release but we need to take one
step back to put it in proper context.

FAA re-intereprets Special Rule for Model Aircraft
There has plenty of discussion around the FAA's latest interpretation of the FMRA Section 336
all over the forums. Their interpretation has many negative consequences to the
entire RC community so is worth *everyone* reading and responding to. Many people think
it *only* affects FPV pilots. It does not. It affects anyone who flies RC aircraft within
the 78 square mile area (5 mile radius) surrounding any/all airports. It affects anyone who
gets paid or sponsored to develop/test/review/demo any model aircraft or buys products
from those who may be negatively affected. It may even prevent prizes at contests.
Furthermore the FAA has declared that they can pick and choose any/all full
scale manned aircraft FARs to apply to any/all model aircraft pilots without limit.
Read: https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_..._spec_rule.pdf
Respond: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketD...=FAA-2014-0396

For FPV pilots though, it is particularly bad. The FAA has gone out of its way
to re-define the phrase "within the visual line of sight" to mean that the operator
of the aircraft must have eyes on the aircraft at all times. The AMA helped craft
the language of Section 336 and that was *not* their intent (it was meant to convey the
distance and airspace that a person can see, not a...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Mar 09, 2014 @ 03:06 PM | 102,764 Views
I'll keep this blog entry simple.
One aerial video/control relay, one FPV quad, one FrSky Taranis transmitter.
Daemon Relay - World first 2 quads, one transmitter, below-line-of-sight FPV (7 min 38 sec)

Full details and discussion in this thread

Posted by Daemon | Feb 24, 2014 @ 08:27 PM | 102,339 Views
Here's a teaser for my latest project. Everything pictured here acts
as a complete system. The only thing not shown in the pic is a set of goggle and the DVR.
Yes the quad on the right got beat with an ugly stick, but it's fully functional
and those long wires let me set it up with arms up to twice as long, in only a few minutes.

The complete system has been flown several times, and proven to work, so all I'm waiting on
is good weather and an interesting location to demonstrate its capabilities.
Some elements of this project have been done before, but in many ways
its totally unique. Stay tuned. All will be explained.

Feel free to speculate in comments on what it is, and how it works.

Posted by Daemon | Feb 13, 2014 @ 04:09 PM | 103,047 Views
[edit]They fixed some of the styles so I've reduced my tweaks to the following
See original post below the code block...
@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("www.rcgroups.com") {

pre { white-space: pre ; display: block; unicode-bidi: embed }

a:link, body_alink {
    color: rgb(1, 50, 233);
    text-decoration: none;
a:visited {
    color: rgb(150, 0, 150);
    text-decoration: none;

.forumtitle {
    font-weight: bold;

.forumtitle, .threadtitle {
    font-size: 15px;

.lastposter {
    font-size: 13px;
    font-weight: bold;

While they're busy discussing how to fix the new horrible looking thread view list
and mismatched font sizes, colors, and such, I decided to try to find a way to fix em for myself.
If you'd like to do the same, here's how. It's quick and easy.

Install the Firefox extension called Stylish https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/stylish/

Following a restart of Firefox, a new icon appears at top right with an "S".
Click on it to show dropdown menu, select Write New Style -> Blank Style
Give it a title like RCGroups
and then copy and paste the following stylesheet information (Note:
you must click "Continue Reading" to see the full contents of the Code block)
into the Stylish main edit box and click Save. Browse away.
You can also tweak the styles and hit Preview button to see the effect they...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Jan 11, 2014 @ 08:32 PM | 102,730 Views
Slacked a bit on Blog entries in 2013, but I got in a lot of good flying.
Compilation has clips from 33 different locations in 6 different states.
Best of my best 2013 Adventures in FPV (20 min 9 sec)

If you've got the bandwidth and your computer has the horsepower, can bring it up on
YouTube and select the "1440p" resolution option to get a much higher bitrate version
that's significantly sharper.
Check out the video's description for a list with links to all the various videos that went into
this compilation. Much of the footage was previously unpublished as well.

2013 was dominated by two aircraft, the FPVModel Skyhunter and my
home built Whaka Battle H-Virus quad. Did my longest flight yet at 12.2 miles (speeded up to only take 10
seconds in the compilation) with my X8.

Posted by Daemon | Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:12 PM | 107,180 Views
My annual Best Of video disappeared in a virtual blizzard of other good FPV vids posted a
few weeks ago and I figured it deserved a little highlighting. Also tired of "Quick Tricopter
Update" in my sig from months ago. Enjoy. Best at 1080p. (More info below vid...)
FPV - My Best of 2012 - Year in Review (19 min 39 sec)

For those on mobile devices who can't watch it on YouTube, try it on Vimeo
FPV - My Best of 2012 - Year in Review (19 min 38 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Oct 30, 2012 @ 11:52 PM | 109,506 Views
Through patience and persistence, finally got myself an Openpilot CC3D board
to replace the cobbled together KK board + FY30A stabilizer. That combo
actually worked pretty well, but the CC3D board is in a league of its own.

It's allowed me to really explore the limits of this beater airframe.

One thing I added was another anti-vibe mount for the controller itself. Using thin
ply, and 4 earplug halves, with notches in their sides to reduce the amount of foam
for the lighter weight board. It helps me cut some vibes the board was seeing.
Had to tape the servo wires down so they wouldn't blow in the wind, and yank the
board around. May put a plastic cover over the whole area too.

Couple vids showing what it's capable of, and I'm still just getting comfortable with it.
FPV - OpenPilot CC3D first session (3 min 22 sec)

FPV - Tricopter Flips and Rolls (4 min 18 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Jun 19, 2012 @ 02:07 AM | 107,556 Views
The build method described in my last post has proven itself extremely crash resistant but it's
heavy. I can't do anything major about that, but I made some minor changes which do help:
1. I dropped from 1/8" thick aircraft ply down to 3/32" and then covered it in a layer of 1.7oz Kevlar.
Stick it lightly to the wood with 3M 77 spray adhesive, and then thin CA to bond it. Works great.

2. I also dropped from 1/2" OD diameter dowels for the arms down to 7/16".

3. Built a lighter anti-vibe mount for the GoPro. The old one is aluminum plate with squishy
silicon-like donuts between. New one is just two layers of ply with 5 memory foam style
earplugs glued between them. It has proven very effective at killing jello inducing
vibes, even when I've beaten the props up and they're no longer balanced.

All told this reduced the weight by about 5oz.

I've also been battling flaky ESCs. I originally used cheap Hobbyking 18-20A ESCs and
they worked just fine. I cooked a few over time (mostly getting em wet) and had
to replace em. Problem is, the newer version of the exact same ESC (looks identical)
has different electronics/firmware, and it now uses auto-throttle calibration. This just
does not work for multirotors because any sudden high throttle maneuver can cause one
ESC's throttle range to extend while the others do not, and suddenly it acts like you've got
a full stick's worth of trim... Lots of crashes...Continue Reading
Posted by Daemon | Nov 17, 2011 @ 05:27 AM | 111,105 Views
My first Tricopter started life as the simple wooden framed Mongrel Gear Trilogy
using 4 cheap rate gyros, 3 cheap ESCs, 3 cheap motors and the RC Tx's CCPM mix.
The rear motor was mounted on a platform supported by a heli blade shaft and pivot
which is a popular option for Tricopters.
However, during the learning process (having never flown any rotor-craft before), I
found that any crash on the rear arm bent the heli blade pivot. In fact any
hard landing would do it as the weight of the motor simply bent the shaft down.
That meant the yaw trim changed constantly and eventually the shaft just
snapped off.

I rebuilt the rear tilting motor mount using steering parts from a crawler
so that it was a tilting platform with the pivot point directly over the center
of the rear arm. That mount is totally cobbled together with zip ties
but it has been absolutely bulletproof. I tweaked the servo position but otherwise
transfered that mount over from old frame to my new one, unmodified.

It wasn't long before I was buzzing around low between and below trees, over water,
etc. Accumulation of crashes including an inverted water landing went through
the first batch of motors pretty quickly. When I got into the 2nd batch
of motors (and some ESCs) ordered from HK I found some un-subtle differences
in power. I was having to use a-lot of trim to get it flying level. Problem is,
that wasted precious flight time, and if I tried to leave it trimmed when changing
...Continue Reading