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Feb 07, 2016, 03:12 AM
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2015 Best of FPV vid and wrap up discussion

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 necessary, and during that time I can make 4 FPV
quad flights with my Nighthawk, or one sporty flight with my Skyhunter flown below
line of sight. I'll admit it's a bit of a solution in search of a problem, but there is
something incredibly liberating about not having to constantly think about maintaining LoS
back to the ground station. So liberating, I flew the battery out of my Nighthawk a couple
times, because I wasn't paying attention to time in the air, and battery voltage.

Then we had fun chasing each other around at the annual spring/early summer CO FPV meet
near Hartsel Colorado in South Park (it's a large rift valley in the mountains, not a town).
Did a four way long range formation flight Saturday morning, a couple hours before
I'm normally out of bed. Did our first miniquad races around an all natural tree course
and some 4-5 way popwing racing and formation.
Some folks drove an old short school bus from Oregon with a full cockpit simulator in
a trailer and many people got to try it out. Fun time had by all, and *lots* of flying.
This is not like any other big FPV meet. We believe in direct pilot to pilot communication
rather than frequency boards and time slots, and all that. There were no shoot downs
this year.

I spent some time in Montana both in January and again in late Aug, early Sept, and
made regular flights out to the mountains 6-13 miles away, often flying only a few feet
from the rocks and trees. Also pushed the limits flying around the property with
the quad. Lower/faster/smaller gaps..

In the fall Ezikiel121212 picked up a prototype Drak so we re-explored the usual
ridges with it, and he chased the very fast Graugans around, and I chased him
with that and the Skyhunter. Looking forward to seeing what the new molded
Drak will do.

Throughout the year I made at least as many flights with my trust EMAX Nighthawk 250 (really 280)
quad. It's not super fast, but it's fun and very quiet, compared to most other mini-quads.
Good value for money, and easy build. 3/4 of all FPV vids posted these days are
from mini-quads so I didn't feature it as much in my own vids, (my subscribers like
fixed wing vids), but I still take a lot of enjoyment out of buzzing around under the trees
and scraping the rocks and so forth. Picked up a Vortex 250 Pro at the end of the year
and hoping to do some real racing in 2016. I've been really spoiled by 1.3Ghz video though
so now I really dislike how crappy 5.8Ghz video is when I'm flying low, behind trees, and
near rocks.

I own 6 or 7 different model/brand UHF systems and for years I've been looking
for one that I generally just never have to worry about. Finally found one,
and it's not one of the big names.
I flew the whole year using the Rlink (aka MFDLink) UHF system, and it was rock solid
reliable at all ranges, and when flying with many other people on UHF. COFPV partner
ezikiel121212 had some issues with his OpenLRS system (had several scary failures, last
one resulting in a crash into the water), so he switched to Rlink just before the Moab trip,
and hasn't had a *single* glitch since and he flies even lower than I do.
In my opinion this is the best value for the money of all UHF systems available
and it has non-LOS perform absolutely second to none. Where some
other systems are clearly hurt by multipathing, Rlink seems to thrive on
reflected signals. Have ground range tested it out to 65mi (105km) at 1W with stock
whip on the transmitter, and a simple homemade dipole on the Rx. Yes, there are cheaper
systems for sure, but they don't provide the same features, and level of confidence.

Video gear hasn't really changed in years. Same ol FOX800 1.3Ghz VTX with Cloverleaf
or CL Ultra on the Tx, and a SAW filter modded Racewood Rx with either Mad Mushroom
or Crosshair antenna. Quad uses 200mW VTX which is more than enough for
flying deep into the trees, and range as far as the battery will last.

Been using the ET Vector in most of my fixed wing aircraft (Skyhunter, Graugans, and
SW1900 relay). They added some features I needed, and has generally been
quite reliable. Saved my Skyhunter once (ground station blew over disconnecting
a couple wires) and RTH brought the plane home safely).

The Skyhunter is not the best plane for any single job, but it does all of them pretty well.
With a few simple strengthening mods, it'll take almost anything I can throw at it in the air
(vertical dives over 110mph, super turbulent air) and rough landings. Hand launches the same
whether it's carrying a single 5000mAh pack, or twin 8000's (which is how I fly it most
of the time these days).

Anyway, lots of fun.

In 2016 I want to do some racing, and I've got a monster composite
plane called the Applied Aeronautics Albatross with which I want to do a long
range slope soaring mission at a special location. We also need to find some new places
to fly mountain ridges, because we're going to lose access to our favorite local
flying spot due to rapidly encroaching development.
Last edited by Daemon; Feb 07, 2016 at 03:30 AM.
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Apr 18, 2016, 01:50 AM
Foam Snow
Daemon that GrauGans looks amazing - does it fly as well as it looks? Is it still a once off?
Oct 29, 2016, 12:01 PM
Registered User
jaen's Avatar
That plank looks monstrous!
Jun 20, 2017, 05:44 AM
More gadgets please.
pete914's Avatar
I've been watchin your slope FPV video's since 2012. I kept telling myself, "I'm going to do that!" Thanks for posting this info although I'm a bit late to it.
I finally have a radio setup that is working for me and I've had my first few weekends of successful flatland FPV soaring!

I'm using a short range setup but I'm very interested in exploring some ridge soaring FPV style out here in the Appalachians. Keep the video's coming, they are awesome!
How come you never invested in a nice composite ship to soar with? I'm in a foamy now and it doesn't penetrate worth a crap...
Jan 12, 2018, 10:14 PM
Registered User


sir could you please guide me in building my quadcopter i have many doubts as am a beginner
please do acknowledge me
this is my email id : [email protected]
shall i control my quad without manual controls using apm 2.8 by presetting the waypoints if yes how
how could i transmit video using rx&tx
please do reply me
im in need of your help
Mar 07, 2018, 04:39 PM
Registered User

Still got that graugan

Hey daeman
I was wondering if you still had the original flying plank from sevedes, and if not what was its fate. I'm trying to recreate it!
Feb 04, 2019, 10:55 PM

Please sell me the HD2

Hello I saw t=your message that you said you may sell the HD2 to someone who wants one. I saved for a long while to get the hd2 or T2 and when I finally got the money they were all sold out. Please let me know if you would be interested in selling these. 2677727213 or email at [email protected]

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