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Jun 24, 2013, 12:17 AM
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To Wii or not to Wii?

Simple question.

When one has a contact at one's local hobby shop totally immersed in all things multirotor, it stands to reason that some of the enthusiasm he shows is bound to rub off.

Less than two years ago, I walked out of the AMA Expo with a Rotor Concepts HPQ1 quadcopter in tow.

To know then what I know now.

That overpriced monstrosity currently sits in its case in my closet, victim of a propretary ESC which literally had chips falling from it and is now inoperative. I'd blogged about my experience with regarding an equally inoperative and poorly packaged replacement and the horrific experience of trying to get my money back.

Which, I'm glad to say, I did.

Anyway, the nearly useless radio system in that quad wound up in an experimental park flyer, namely a SkyFly2 with a Turnigy brushless motor upgrade. Languishing in that quad is a new Spektrum full-range receiver.

What to do? Enter my buddy Chad, the quad expert.

Once I get past my currently pressing hobby and non-hobby obligations, Chad and I are going to resurrect that quad with his recommended HobbyKing Multiwii control board and HobbyKing ESCs, all of which he'll reflash with SimonK firmware and all for only a few bucks more than replacing the Rotor Concepts/LotusRC ESC. About forty bucks beyond that gets me GPS capability.

Today, I watched while Chad flew a similar non-GPS setup based on a discarded DJI Phantom frame and outer shell, both crash damaged by a hobby shop customer and which were given to him by that customer. He did a masterful repair job; the repairs are invisible.

With its Cobra motors, the thing seemed to fly at least as well as the real Phantom I'd seen fly not two hours before at my club.

Is there hope for my HPQ1 with its new motor endbells and its as-yet unused camera mount? Chad says yes, especially when the new quad-specific props from APC hit the shelves.

Multirotors have blazed a brave new world in recent years, reminding me of the early days of personal computers with development in the public domain. Today, one can build a custom multirotor simply by mixing and matching readily available parts, much the same way one can build his or her own custom computer. Is this a golden age of multis? Maybe.

This should be fun.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Jun 24, 2013 at 12:30 AM.
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