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Feb 01, 2016, 10:43 PM
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Discussion

DRL (Drone Racing League) Quad Equipment - what's so special?


I'm pretty excited about the Drone Racing League that has been generating buzz over the past few days online. I think it is going to be great for the hobby and should be entertaining to watch.

That said, I am very curious about their drones / setups that they have been flying. A couple notable things I have seen / heard:
  • They claim to have developed a proprietary video link for pilots to allow flight in corridors and behind obstacles - is there anything known about this system? It can be seen working plenty well in their stadium demo video
  • The intro video keeps showing pilots wearing a brand new (not even shipping) video headset called a Avegant Glyph though this demo from Avegant states that it isn't any good for analog / FPV racing? Are they wearing that just for looks?
  • I have been wondering is what size quads these are - perhaps 250mm? They appear to be quite heavy.
  • Is there any real innovation in the setups / tech they are using? I am having trouble cutting through the marketing to see what substance is there.
  • Anyone think they will ever release kit versions of their quads?

Anyway - let's have a general discussion about the tech used for DRL - I look forwards to learning more about it!
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Feb 02, 2016, 01:57 AM
Research Junkie
Yes all great questions. I was wondering about the goggles too. If Princess Leia and Jordy Laforge had a baby it would be the DRL racing goggles. Hahaha. Yea I was wondering about what the proprietary technology. Maybe it is some kind of digital video downlink like the DJI light bridge. The one thing that really excits me about the DRL is the development and innovation that takes place for a sport eventually provides better consumer products. Like F1 and other racing for the auto industry. Eventually a digital video down link will be mainstream. But I encourage someone with DRL facts to enlighten us. Thank you in advance.

DaGriff
Feb 02, 2016, 07:54 PM
Registered User
They might be using commercial grade video transmitters like Nascar uses. 40+ cars all with multiple live HD cameras. The technology exists, just get an FCC day license for the frequency spectrum.
Feb 02, 2016, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirRexAlot
They might be using commercial grade video transmitters like Nascar uses. 40+ cars all with multiple live HD cameras. The technology exists, just get an FCC day license for the frequency spectrum.
I wonder what the latency is on that type of commercial grade system. I would guess that it is definitely there, we just don't see it / care since it doesn't matter if the viewer lags behind the action...
Feb 03, 2016, 02:54 AM
Research Junkie

Maybe the goggles stet so bad for FPV


Here is an interesting video of the DRL video goggles. (Title should read "are not so bad")

Flying FPV Drones with Avegant Glyph Retinal Headset (12 min 44 sec)
Last edited by DaGriff; Feb 03, 2016 at 02:56 AM. Reason: Title error
Feb 03, 2016, 09:07 AM
I void warranties
They could be using standard 5.8ghz video with a big, hardwired repeater system setup. That's what I ways figured they did before I read this thread...
Feb 05, 2016, 03:36 PM
Registered User
Could very well be an off-the-shelf 4 port diversity receiver with antennas scattered around the course so no matter where a copter is it can always see an antenna.
Feb 05, 2016, 06:55 PM
Research Junkie
Yea that's the same thought I had....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirRexAlot
Could very well be an off-the-shelf 4 port diversity receiver with antennas scattered around the course so no matter where a copter is it can always see an antenna.
Feb 05, 2016, 10:25 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGriff
Here is an interesting video of the DRL video goggles. (Title should read "are not so bad")

http://youtu.be/O98kwszk6NE
The tracking at the end is great for search and rescue.
Feb 06, 2016, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGriff
Yea that's the same thought I had....
I wonder.... if you set something up like this with an antenna 100, 200, 300... meters away do you add some amount of latency with that distance from antenna to RX?

also since the antenna wire itself is longer do you lose signal strength? For example cat5 cables can only be so long before some kind of repeater is necessary....

Just curious about this stuff!
Feb 06, 2016, 05:22 PM
Registered User
The propagation through air is about the same as cable.
Feb 06, 2016, 07:56 PM
Research Junkie
Yes I think your on the right track, but I think FPV will make a beige jump when it goes digitall. Then you could have a series of antenna placed around the course, have one receiver receiving all the signals from the racers. Then the racers just plug in their head sets and it could also be displayed on a big split screen for the spectators o watch along live. I know the technology already exists it just to exspencive for the average person at the moment
Dec 30, 2016, 02:41 PM
Registered User
Anyone know the specs of the actual quads?
Dec 30, 2016, 04:23 PM
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Made in Austria's Avatar
There is nothing special about these DRL drones. They use pretty outdated tech. Naze32 that runs cleanflight, Rotorgeeks ESC's and cobra motors. It's on their website. The newer version of the DRL drones use three bladed props, and slightly better hardware. Anyone here could build a better, lighter, and more up to date one for not much money. The HD images we see on the TV screen are from a GoPro, which is mounted under the FPV cam. This footage was edited after the race in a studio.

The pilots use regular old analog video with repeaters throughout the course.
Dec 30, 2016, 04:29 PM
Registered User
Yeah I say they used 30A ESC's and Cobra 2205 2300KV motor's. What's the next big jump in motor's these days a 2206 2600kv motor with the silver windings?


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