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Posted by spagoziak | Jun 20, 2011 @ 03:50 PM | 3,995 Views
Is a lockout different than a loss of signal? I was about 75 feet away, me on a hill about 20 feet above it, with clear LOS. I'm using an OrangeRX receiver, no satellite. I'm using a dx6i, no mods (yet). The OrangeRx has a failsafe programmed on it that sets the throttle to about 30% if it loses me. I also have the MWC failsafe enabled in the code, which will put minthrottle+300 if somehow the rx dies.

The motors weren't spinning, so neither of those failsafes went active.

So I was thinking power... but if power cut on the board, it'd cut on the RX too, which would then blink showing a brownout. It wasn't! After the crash, I just reset the arduino--didn't cut power at all. The RX had no trouble picking up the TX after the reset... so I'm thinking it hadn't lost link at any point.

If the ESC's had lost signal from the MWC, they would beep a short beep every 1.5 seconds or so. If they had lost power from the wiring harness, same beep. No beeping from anybody!

If I had a sharp voltage drop, like a bad battery, I'd have seen it on my video rig, either from the OSD, which reports the voltage as read from the line, or perhaps even a drop out of video transmission, which needs 8.6v to operate.


Interesting notes surrounding the event:
  • Autolevel was giving me shuddering fits a minute or so before the event.
  • I couldn't get the GUI to pick up the MWC after the crash until I hit reset on the arduino. I never cut power to the system so I could preserve the ESC state.
  • After resetting the MWC, the GUI loaded fine and everything read normal. I unplugged it and got it right back in the air, no troubles.

Here's a video of the crash, with a bit of flight leading up to it:
4 motors shut off problem (0 min 28 sec)

Seems to me like the MWC itself halfway locked up... it was still sending signals to the ESC's but nothing above minthrottle. How can it be?

Posted by spagoziak | Feb 28, 2011 @ 09:57 PM | 4,598 Views
Hey folks,

I've had a rangevideo receiver & transmitter (both no longer for sale on the site) for just about a year, and have used both some but always been very careful to keep them dry and protected from incident.

Everything worked great yesterday....

But today when I turned it all on to show a friend, all I could get on my feed was garbage! Later at home with some poking around, it seems that something has happened to whatever thing handles the channel separation inside the RX. All RV units ship to work on channel 1 (910mhz), and that's what has worked over the last year.. except today, I could only get garbage on 1 and parts of a picture on channel 2.

Remember back in the 80's (and earlier) how you'd have to tweak your tv knobs or adjust the rabbit ears to get a decent signal on a tv? And during that adjustment event you'd get just static at the worst? That's channel 1 & 3. Then as you get closer to the sweet spot, you'd get the picture, but it'd be racing up up the screen in bands? When you get it almost just right you'd have just one band across the middle of the screen, not moving? That's channel 2. Channel 4 is more like the tv's on TV/VID and the VCR isn't plugged in yet.

Incidentally, the separators on that channel switch feel pretty weak, like the little cams that lock it into each position have given up a bit. Which is interesting because I've never really moved them more than twice, ever.

Here's video of some bad radio:
http:/...Continue Reading
Posted by spagoziak | Dec 16, 2010 @ 10:19 AM | 4,998 Views
Hey folks, I've made a survey on google documents to help us get a good understanding of what's flying out there that works well.

It covers most of the details of the MWC quad and includes questions about PID settings.

This survey open for anyone to fill out, but it's intended to be filled out in reference to your established, working MWC craft. Stuff that's still being adjusted significantly each flight shouldn't be included.

The purpose of this is to help all MWC folks get an idea of what combinations have been proven to work. Well, and to see what folks are flying, because that's always neat

Since I can't use HTML at RCG, I can't post the actual results page within a blog post, so I'll just start adding the links to my signature. You can also bookmark the results page and check back now and then.

Take the survey!

View the results!

View the spreadsheet!

Posted by spagoziak | Nov 11, 2010 @ 01:07 AM | 4,902 Views
This was a really cool flight. Wind was at 10mph or so; it blew me up to 347 feet at one point!!

Quad FPV flight over the hunting shack (5 min 8 sec)

Sorry for the camera jittering at a few points; I was trying out a mix I had put in on the transmitter that let the camera tilt opposite my pitch input in an attempt to keep an eye on the horizon. Still needs some issues worked out, I think.
Posted by spagoziak | Nov 02, 2010 @ 08:15 PM | 5,270 Views
I only had a few minutes and wanted to test out a keychain cam.

So up we go and I trim, then send it out and up to get a view. While I'm up there, the quad starts to yaw CW pretty hard, so I rudder L to counter it... no dice. I rudder R to bring it back around and get it home, when it veers off on its own. We struggle for a sec, and then it FLIPS over and heads straight for the ground. BAM!

Nothing damaged... maybe an arm bent a bit, that's all.

I got it up right away to see if it was still alive... it is, but wants to yaw CCW seriously bad. Trim is all the way R, so is subtrim. Still doing its own thing. No good!!

Here's the video from one of those 808 car key cams:

Quadcopter Very Bad and Very Lucky (1 min 3 sec)

The day's weather was 1 mph wind, 45 degrees F. Fully charged 3S battery @ 12.4v.

I WAS using FY20A during this flight. I understand that really complicates the situation... but when I did my 2nd flight right after the smash, FY was disabled and that's when my yaw was CCW (instead of CW during the event). So something is still awry, I think.


The next day I did some testing.
  • The motors appear to be in good health, though I'm really not experienced with brushless motors in decline, so I'm not a very good judge.
  • I recalibrated the esc's right before flight. The craft had been sitting in today's weather all morning so no temp drift was expected.
  • I flew a battery 2- 6 feet off the ground, working on stable hover...
...Continue Reading
Posted by spagoziak | Nov 02, 2010 @ 08:08 PM | 5,212 Views
Just getting more FPV practice in. A neighbor stopped by to check out what I was up to.

Sunset Quad FPV Flight (5 min 57 sec)

Posted by spagoziak | Oct 08, 2010 @ 09:26 AM | 5,188 Views
By no means is it exciting, as it is just a test flight to get the feel of the thing, but nevertheless, it's the first step!

First Quad FPV Flight (5 min 29 sec)

Posted by spagoziak | Sep 25, 2010 @ 02:04 PM | 6,723 Views
So I've actually been flying this thing for 3 weeks now, but just got things in order to take a few lousy shots.

BTW, that motors-stopping-in-mid-flight issue was solved by removing the HK bullet connectors and directly soldering the motors to the ESC. The motors also seem to have more power now too!

KapteinKuk Quadcopter (2 min 5 sec)

Here's a link to some pics. I'll do a better job when I've got another person to shoot some video while in flight

List of what's on board:

Posted by spagoziak | Jul 14, 2010 @ 12:25 AM | 5,400 Views
So the battery wasn't secured and my plane did terrible things before plunging nose first into the ground from 60 feet at 45 mph. Sad panda.

Here's the post: