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Posted by TMacFPV | Jan 18, 2019 @ 05:53 PM | 696 Views
Superhero Quad! Iron Man Wizard! This is our 2nd video in the series HOW TO BUILD FPV 5 INCH RACE DRONE. In this video, we cover both the BetaFlight and BlHeli setups of our Eachine Wizard X220 5 Inch Race Drone after helping it shed 20% of its original weight in Part1 of this video series. We step through each of the applicable Tabs of Betafliight, use BlHeli32 Suite to “Play Some Music” with our Airbot ORI32 4 in 1 ESC, and conclude the video with our maiden flight! There is a "clickable" hyperlinked Table of Contents in the video description so you can "jump" to any section of the video you're interested in just by clicking on the "Time Stamp" next to the topic. Hope you will find this short 5 Inch Build Tutorial helpful in the construction of your very own FPV Racer! 👍

Posted by TMacFPV | Jan 11, 2019 @ 04:09 PM | 972 Views
Decided to begin the New Year with a resolution to help our Eachine Wizard X220 (FrankenWiz) shed some weight! We replace the old, heavy parts with new, upgraded, lighter weight parts and "squash the frame." We start with the frame base plate and work through each step of the build in using speed-enhanced video without sacrificing important build steps. There is a "clickable" hyperlinked Table of Contents in the video description so you can "jump" to any section of the video you're interested in just by clicking on the "Time Stamp" next to the topic. Hope you will find this short 5 Inch Build Tutorial helpful in the construction of your very own FPV Racer! 👍

Posted by TMacFPV | Jan 07, 2019 @ 09:38 AM | 1,879 Views
I am constantly searching for the "best" (and best value) FPV set-up for my flying conditions. I fly primarily proximity in my "rural" yard and around my house at low-altitude while I continue to improve my skills. Every once in awhile, I will venture out into the "open" for more freestyle type flying--right now, I'm mainly flying Micros low altitude around flags and through gates.
Anyway, in pursuit of the "best gear' I currently have an Aomway Omni Directional Clover Leaf on one side of my Aomway Commander V1 Goggles along with a 10dB TrueRC X-Air directional. Thought it might be worth a try a VAS 13dB Pepperbox to see what the difference would be (if it made any difference while flying low-altitude around obstacles).

For those interested, in the below video, we do a side-by-side comparison of the two Right-Hand Circularly Polarized (RHCP) FPV Goggles directional antennae-the TrueRC X-Air versus the Video Aerial Systems (VAS) Pepperbox. We take a look at the manufacturers’ specifications, describe some of the important parameters of the antennae and what those mean to you as an FPV Pilot. We describe our testing methodology and conclude with a flight of approximately 315 meters distance out from our launch pad, purposely flying behind trees to determine when video drops out for each. Wish I had done a long-distance run of both as well! Please let us know your thoughts on these (and any other) antennae you might suggest. If anyone has more experience with the Pepperbox, please post your thoughts on it's pros/cons. Thank you!

Posted by TMacFPV | Dec 29, 2018 @ 10:21 AM | 921 Views
Recently, I had to relearn the importance of applying Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 to motors screws when mounting motors. The reason I had to "relearn" it was because I forgot to apply it when previously replacing a micro motor on my GT R90--I "cut corners." This, in the end, actually cost me both time and money, which if I had been paying attention to begin with, I could have been using that time I spent waiting on a replacement motor to arrive for flying instead. Thought I should demonstrate the importance of Loctite to folks unfamiliar with using it so they may learn from my mistakes. Stay in the air and Happy Flying!

Posted by TMacFPV | Dec 20, 2018 @ 04:01 PM | 1,002 Views
I’ve been flying for almost a year now and have never flown with live audio from my motors until recently. While flying on the Velocidrone Simulator, I noticed how much I enjoyed the sound of the motors and how it was actually helping me with my altitude control and throttle management. Thought, why haven’t I implemented this with my Micro Quads?!? So, after searching, I found a very small “buzzer size” external microphone (with volume control!) to place on my Micro Quad. Pure fun!

Posted by TMacFPV | Dec 08, 2018 @ 10:52 AM | 715 Views
A couple weeks ago, we posted our thoughts (and a video) on some stuff we learned from our 2.5 inch FlexRC Ascent X build pertaining to Flight Controllers and ESCs. Today, we continue down that path and discuss what we've learned about 4 different Micro FPV Drone VTX Antennae.

Specifically, we wanted to find out which of the four types of FPV VTX antennae we have actually worked best for proximity flying near & around obstacles (like trees, buildings, etc.). Thought we might as well make a video on it and perhaps others could benefit as well. We compare the standard linear dipole antenna with the circularly polarized Actuna GEM, Foxeer Lollipop V2, and Lumenier AXII antennae. Side-by-side flight video of FPV feeds along with manufacturer spec’s. Slow the video down to 0.25 or 0.5 speed during the flight videos portion by using the "gear"/Settings Icon at the bottom right of the video. This will allow you to make a better comparison of the 4 flight videos simultaneously. In your opinion, which one wins?

Posted by TMacFPV | Nov 30, 2018 @ 03:12 PM | 1,168 Views
Able to complete a basic LED FPV Race Course on & under our front porch mentioned in our last post! Not elaborate, but a start. Certainly fun to fly, even with a Beginner FPV Whoop like the Eachine QX65! Check it out! Happy Flying All!
Beginner FPV Whoop Drone LED Flight (3 min 12 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Nov 29, 2018 @ 08:22 AM | 1,744 Views
This could be the start of something really BIG or TINY (Whoop). The beginnings of our front porch LED Whoop track. Hope to fly it real soon. Wonder if I can make it through the tiny gaps under the porch. What do you think?
Posted by TMacFPV | Nov 24, 2018 @ 09:53 AM | 1,668 Views
Bottom Line: Below I have posted a video doing a side-by-side comparison of two of the most feature-packed Flight Controller and ESC stack combos for Micro FPV Quads. 👍

Why I have done this? – I have just completed a Micro FPV 2.5 inch build and learned a lot of stuff that I thought might be useful to some if I passed it along. In this case, I started out with a different Flight Controller and ESC stack than what I eventually ended up with. My first choice was a stack that had the flight controller and ESC connected by pins. I saw reviews and heard comments from some that they have had problems with this type of arrangement where the “housings” both the “male-type” with the pins and the “female-type” with the receptacles for the pins would physically become disconnected from the boards. So, I thought to alleviate this (because I liked the size, weight, and features of this particular stack), I would apply some epoxy to the joints holding the connectors to the board (as others had done to alleviate this issue). I did not have any problems with this. I did have other issues with the stack, however.

First of all, the ESC in this stack only worked sporadically and erratically and finally ended up burning out a motor (during set-up, not flight!). Secondly, the impact of “normal” unintended landings (i.e. crashes) caused the pin connector’s housings material (I believe it to be plastic) to crack—there would be cracks in the housings. These then led to...Continue Reading
Posted by TMacFPV | Nov 17, 2018 @ 08:28 PM | 1,033 Views
Finally! Got to do the Maiden Flight video on our Micro FPV 2.5 Inch Build!
Meet “Lexi!” Our FlexRC Ascent 2.5-inch build, with on-board Runcam DVR, as she sets sail on her maiden flight. She’s sportin’ the Orange and Green pinstripes.
Maiden Flight was a “Blast!” Check it out below. It’s a Jolly (Roger) Good Time, Savvy? Yo-Ho! How many different “Pirate” things did you see in this video? What did you think about the Onboard Runcam DVR video quality?
Micro FPV 2.5 Inch Drone Build - FlexRC Ascent Maiden Flight (4 min 28 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Nov 10, 2018 @ 12:48 PM | 1,361 Views
Decided to do an "Intro" video to introduce myself and our TMac FPV Youtube channel to those folks who are not yet familiar with our adventures (I know there are a few of you out there!).
Hope you enjoy!
Journey to Better - Introducing TMac FPV (1 min 36 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 28, 2018 @ 07:46 AM | 1,682 Views
Scary Good! After completing our First Build, it was time to give it the ability to fly by configuring it in BetaFlight and setting up the motors and ESCs in BLHeli Suite. In the video below, we do just that in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step BetaFlight 3.5.2 setup for FPV Micro, FlexRC Ascent X 2.5.

HGLRC FC/ESC stack, Runcam Mini FPV DVR, AKK FX3 VTX, Caddx Turbo Micro F2 camera, FRSKY R XSR RX, TMotor/Racerstar 1106/6000kv Motors. Also includes BLHeli Suite motors set-up.

The starting PIDS we used split the difference between those provided to us by Mark Sutter for his 2-Inch FLexRC Ascent X build and those outlined by Albert Kim in his baseline setup for 2-3 inch builds. We also set up three different Rate Profiles on a switch (Race, Practice, and Freestyle), Flight Modes (Angle, Horizon, and Acro), External Buzzer on a switch, Blackbox on a Switch, and Arm/Disarm on a switch. We work through a motor issue which we had and prepare our FlexRC Ascent X 2.5 for its maiden flight! Let us know your thoughts and any recommendations. Happy Flying!
Micro FPV Drone BetaFlight Setup - FlexRC Ascent X 2.5 (46 min 8 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 20, 2018 @ 01:16 PM | 1,183 Views
Well, here it is, my 1st Ever Build-Ascent X 2.5 Micro! 4-Board Stack with TMotor/Racerstar 1106/6000 motors! Amazed with frame versatility. Variable motor mounts, wide range of camera angles, slide camera forwards and backwards, room for a 4-board stack! Incredible!
Thoughts? Speed enhanced video below:
MIcro FPV 2 5 Inch Drone Build Part 2 FlexRC Ascent X 2.5 (21 min 57 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 16, 2018 @ 07:30 AM | 1,989 Views
In my last post I mentioned my interest in building a Micro 2.5 inch quad primarily 2S (meeting MultiGP MIcro class specifications) with some 3S.
Below is a video of how I went about choosing each of the components to include the options i was looking at. It includes the parameters for each component I think are important, options for each component, components specifications compared side-by-side with each other and my choice for each component. This stuff may help out others fairly new to builds also.
Micro FPV 2.5 Inch Drone Build (19 min 54 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 10, 2018 @ 08:59 AM | 1,470 Views
While I continue to improve flying skills with Velocidrone and Backyard FPV Race Track over time, I now have also become interested in building a Micro-Class 2.5 inch prop "racer-type" quad primarily 2S with some 3S. More info on this relatively soon.

In the meantime, for each of the components listed below, what would be YOUR choice for that component and why? Remember, more of a racer quad than a free-style quad. All comments welcome and appreciated!

Flight Contoller & ESC:

Happy Flying!
Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 07, 2018 @ 10:14 AM | 1,479 Views
Got the last Velocidrone track (with flags) down fairly good with "altitude control" and coordinated power turns. The reason I put "altitude control' in quotes is that when you're flying through Race Flags there is no "ceiling" to the gap, so you can actually fly as high as you want. So, the next step in our Journey to Better is to fly this track substituting all Race Gates for the Race Flags. With the gates, it forces me (us--you and me) to maintain our altitude closer to the ground throughout the track even while performing coordinated power turns.

This "gated track' took me "quite some time" before I was able to complete ONE lap! i would say, it took me somewhere between 5-10 hours on and off over a 2-week period before I was able to fly it somewhat comfortably. Slow learner? Maybe, I don't know how long its supposed to take! But Hey!-- that's what this is all about, right?! Improving our flying skills, having fun doing it, and always learning!

The video below shows one lap on the Velocidrone track followed by 2 laps on our Backyard FPV Race Track set up to resemble the Velocidrone track as closely as possible. "Reality flying" this was not easy either! Enjoy!
How to Fly FPV Race Drone Gates Galore (3 min 47 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Oct 02, 2018 @ 05:10 PM | 1,861 Views
In my last Blog entry I stated "The main things I am focusing on throughout this process are: 1. Improve my flying skills, 2. Have fun, 3. Keep learning. These are the "Stepping Stones" on my "Journey to Better!" "

Well, the two types of FPV flying I am currently aware of are Freestyle and Racing. I enjoy them both and not good (yet) at either! However, I do know that I have a competitive spirit and struggle to be "artistic" at times. Given these facts and the fact that no matter which style of flying I choose to pursue (or both), if I practice at one, I will hopefully become a better pilot in general and get better at both.

Therefore, I have chosen to implement the Velocidrone Flight Training lessons as I am a firm believer one (at least I) should practice on a simulator prior to actual flight. This tends to save me from extensive crashing and therefore also saves money on parts, and time repairing things. The reason I chose Velocidrone after having used Freerider, Liftoff, FPV Air 2, and Velocidrone is because Freerider, in my opinion, isn't that great. Liftoff is too graphics intensive for my computer to run properly, FPV Air 2 I DO like because it runs on lower-end computers and the fliight physics seem very good. Velocidrone, however, has the same "goodness" of FPV Air in that it runs good on my computer, it has great flight physics, and it is full-featured.

So, I've got hovering down (quite some time ago). I've got basics flying down with long, slow turns, etc. The next item I went to work on was more coordinated turns using the power of the quad to make the turns and also altitude control. Here's my "Simulator to Reality" Lessons Learned on that:
How to Fly FPV Race Drone (7 min 40 sec)

Posted by TMacFPV | Sep 29, 2018 @ 01:33 PM | 1,205 Views
So, as I mentioned in my first blog post, I took it upon myself to learn Line-of -Sight (LOS) before FPV. I started this with my first quad ever the 5-inch Eachine Wizard X220 in my backyard. i had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. Realizing I needed help, I went to Google. Found a series of flight lesson videos from Painless360:
RC Basics: Learning to fly a multirotor (23 min 14 sec)
Started doing those with my X220 and not getting very far. Then, I realized he was suggesting doing them with a Hubsan X4. The first time I heard this, I had no idea what a Hubsan X4 was! Then I found out it was a tiny indoor quad! Duh! Now it started to make sense. Go smaller at first! So, I purchased a Hubsan X4 and went merrily on my way through these lessons. i then branched out to Flite Test video lessons and eventually FPV lessons from Joshua Bardwell and FPV Academy:
New to FPV? // Start Here // The FPV Academy Build-along Videos and Training Platform (6 min 29 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by TMacFPV | Sep 24, 2018 @ 09:28 AM | 2,061 Views
Good Day to All!
This is my first "blog" post and am not sure how this is really supposed to work, but I'll give it a shot. First, a little about my journey.
Started flying quadcopters for the first time ever in January 2018 as a result of my purchasing quads for my sons & daughter to fly. I thought they were cool and my children would love them. turned out--I loved them too and wanted to give them a shot! So, Line-of-Sight I went, learning basic flying skills and attempting to do so with my first quad (a 5-inch) in my backyard. That didn't go so well, as you can imagine.

Got a Hubsan to learn indoors. Better. Got a QX65 to learn FPV. OK, I'm hooked! Got a Diatone GT-R90. What a blast! FPV simulators--yes, plural! This process has taken me several months, but I have enjoyed the journey and learned a lot and continue to learn. I hope I will always! This stuff is SO Much Fun!

So, I wanted to start this blog by passing on some of my lessons learned over the past several months, beginning with my thoughts on a Beginner FPV Drone "Kit." Looking back, there is a much better (and cheaper) way to get started in this hobby with better equipment than I did. Here's my stab at it:

BEST BEGINNER FPV DRONE KIT - Racing Drone for Beginners (22 min 39 sec)