The FPV slope soaring thread - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 13, 2017, 01:06 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by parajared
Hey, I know that area! I spent a few weeks learning to fly paragliders at Elings Park.
Ah yes, a popular spot! You can slope/thermal there some days, though only when the paragliders aren't up... which is infrequent but hypothetically possible.


Quote:
You can get more distance/ get in some "real" exercise fetching a downed plane using directional antennas .
For me, distance is really not a design requirement at the current time. My personal goal is to explore translating my LoS slope aerobatics into FPV, and for that, I only really need 200-300m range at most. With that said, it's occurred to me that I don't necessarily need to keep standing in the same place I've traditionally flown from, and there's one spot on the cliff with a small point of land jutting out that has LoS down the whole ridge... which makes a good case for a directional antenna, I think. I could position myself on the point and then fly the "usual spot"... although I'd have to get in a bit of exercise walking back over to pick up my plane when it wrecks

Quote:
pan only is pretty robust. If you want to look up or down though you have to bank the plane and look down the wing, a bit annoying if you are chasing another plane or just want to cruise flat and level and want to look straight down.
Tilt is helpful for acro because you can look "up" to spot your exit line when looping, or when setting up for inverted passes, and stuff like that. Pan is helpful in that context for ensuring the up and down lines are at 45 and 90 degrees. It's going to be fun to experiment!
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Oct 13, 2017, 01:12 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon
As for the HT, I recommend this one
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ift-OpenSource)
Can build it from components or buy one pre-made. No drift, and it can be configured
to have different rates/endpoints for pan/tilt. If you use a good radio like the Taranis
you can do anything you want with the HT inputs on the trainer port.
FWIW, the Fatshark headtracking module in the Spektrum Focal DVR goggles works really well, with the comparatively minor complaint I made noted.

I had a Multiplex Profi 4000 for years, honestly despite initial enthusiasm for FrSky and OpenTX I'm finding myself really won over by the ease and convenience of Spektrum's AirWare. I've never really spent any time looking at the manual and can easily figure out how to program everything I need. And have had a really positive experience with their radios for 10+ years now, going back to the "bad ole days" of the original DX7 (whose receivers I never powered with anything less than 6V to avoid brownouts, LOL ) But in my slopers, on both 4.8V and 6.0V (and also 6.6V LiFe), it's been great, as well as for my HH BNF toys (quads and UMXs).

And the DX6e is easily my favorite radio ever... I can with the flick of a switch change between sprung and unsprung throttle stick, or between Mode 1 and Mode 2. This is huge for me, due to needing the sprung throttle for aerobatic slopers and the unsprung for powered planes and quads. Being able to bring just one radio and instantly switch without using tools or opening cases is truly a game changer for me, and nobody else offers it.

With that said, the Taranis ecosystem has become really great, and if I didn't already own a bunch of Spektrum stuff I might find myself motivated to pursue it further.
Oct 13, 2017, 12:08 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Can't do the spring trick but Taranis is pretty much the de-facto choice for FPVers so there's
a lot of support for stuff like this.
I bought one originally for my aerial relay project, where I'm literally piloting two
aircraft at the same time through one radio. Not many (if any) other systems at any pricepoint
that can pull that off. Been using it pretty much exclusively since then.
I like the fact that FrSky has supported telemetry almost from day 1 (used it to find
many a downed sloper over the years), while Spektrum was pretty late to the telemetry game.
Oct 14, 2017, 10:43 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar

How do I Pololu?


One of the challenges of getting into FPV is that you have to learn something about electronics... it's a bit easier these days with all the plug-and-play stuff out there, but if you want to do your own thing, you're going to have to break out the soldering iron and multimeter before too long.

My current struggle is admittedly a trivial one, but it's a good example of the type of stuff in the FPV learning curve.

I'm trying to get my Ahi hooked up for FPV. I have a micro all-in-one camera/VTX from Lumenier that runs on 3.3-5.5V. I want to run it off my receiver pack, which is generally considered a terrible idea, but I'm doing it because weight and space are at a premium.

By swapping the stock 4.8V NiMH receiver pack for a 6.6V LiFe pack, I create a net weight reduction which I can then use to compensate for the weight of adding the camera.

The catch is that I need to step down the voltage from the LiFe receiver pack to avoid damaging the camera.

I'm trying a 3.3V Pololu which can output 500mA, more than enough (in theory) to power my camera. However, when I wire it up, the Pololu only outputs 1.68V. I believe the camera is trying to draw more power than the Pololu can supply. Or I've done something else wrong... not quite sure yet. But I have to figure it out to move forward in my project.

And that's just one small taste of FPV, baby

Steve
Oct 14, 2017, 10:49 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
One of the challenges of getting into FPV is that you have to learn something about electronics... it's a bit easier these days with all the plug-and-play stuff out there, but if you want to do your own thing, you're going to have to break out the soldering iron and multimeter before too long.
That is part of the fun.

I am always a little surprised by the FPV guys and how hard they make certain things. Like "building" an airplane by gluing in servos.
Oct 14, 2017, 03:33 PM
Flagstaff, AZ
dawsonh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
I'm trying a 3.3V Pololu which can output 500mA, more than enough (in theory) to power my camera. However, when I wire it up, the Pololu only outputs 1.68V. I believe the camera is trying to draw more power than the Pololu can supply. Or I've done something else wrong... not quite sure yet. But I have to figure it out to move forward in my project.
I wonder if they sent you the wrong voltage unit... they make a 1.8 v model. Have you tested the output voltage unloaded. Is the input voltage correct?

I am looking forward to seeing the Ahi FPV video.

Dawson
Oct 15, 2017, 11:25 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawsonh
I wonder if they sent you the wrong voltage unit... they make a 1.8 v model. Have you tested the output voltage unloaded. Is the input voltage correct?
Thanks Dawson. I've tested two units now, both gave the same result. I've tried input voltages from 6.6V up to 12V, the output is always about ~3.3V unloaded, but ~1.68V when the camera is connected. The Pololu can supposedly supply up to 500mA, and the camera supposedly only draws 350mA max, and I've confirmed the camera's VTX is on its lowest power setting (25mW). But still no joy. I'll try a different buck converter next, I guess.

But with all that said, I was able to get some fixed-camera VTPR FPV flying in yesterday, and it was amazing! I made a little teaser here:

FPV VTPR Teaser (0 min 9 sec)


I'm not sure how compelling people will find the raw DVR footage, but this was a very encouraging start! VTPR aerobatics through FPV goggles is an entirely new challenge and there's much to learn, but I felt the Ahi was a fantastic platform for it. I'm super stoked to do more!

Steve
Oct 15, 2017, 12:44 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
It's possible that 350mA rating for the cam/tx is at 5V in which case it would pull just over 500mA at 3.3V.
Oct 15, 2017, 01:12 PM
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surfimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon
It's possible that 350mA rating for the cam/tx is at 5V in which case it would pull just over 500mA at 3.3V.
Yep, I'm pretty sure you're right. I don't remember now if the specs listed the voltage at which the 350mA draw happened, but that explanation lines up with how watts work
Oct 15, 2017, 01:20 PM
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My First Ahi FPV flight


Dream-Flight Ahi FPV - First Flight (4 min 6 sec)


I was stoked to confirm that 25mW is more than sufficient to give a great picture at the short distances I'm flying at Ellwood. That's nice, as it will give a bit better battery life than running at the higher outputs.

I'll definitely need to find a better solution for the VTX antenna, and ideally HD recording. I'm thinking the new Runcam Split v2 will be a good match. I won't need to run a voltage regulator, and the HD quality looks decent, with less weight penalty than a GoPro Session. As long as the latency isn't too bad it should be a good solution.

Interestingly, I didn't miss pan and tilt too much, though of course it would be better to have it. And was really pleased to see how straight the Ahi tracked, so long as I flew it cleanly. Relatively little yaw wobbling, which was really awesome - that's my least favorite thing about most FPV fixed wing vids.

Overall, it's a totally new challenge and I'm really digging it!!

Steve
Oct 15, 2017, 10:48 PM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
FPV VTPR slope aerobatics (3 min 28 sec)


One of my better flights from my first day flying FPV VTPR
Oct 17, 2017, 02:04 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Fun air-to-air video with my son José Luis flying his Weasel-pro in close proximity... sometimes too close?

FPV slope soaring - air-to-air with headtracking (4 min 20 sec)


Question: this camera is a Runcam Micro Swift 2. The image quality is pretty bad, anyone have suggestions for improving it? Like, adjusting focus and/or settings?

Thanks,
Steve
Oct 17, 2017, 09:07 AM
Flagstaff, AZ
dawsonh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
Fun air-to-air video with my son José Luis flying his Weasel-pro in close proximity... sometimes too close?
I love the air-to-air stuff with José Luis. I think you guys have a lot of potential to produce some cool chase videos. I am totally sold on the head tracker pan and tilt camera! You were able to keep JL in-frame most of the time. The FPV view of the quick head-swivel movements, as you searched for the “enemy” and/or picked up reference points, felt realistic... just like a combat pilot or aerobatic pilot.

Thanks.

Dawson
Oct 17, 2017, 09:10 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
Fun air-to-air video with my son José Luis flying his Weasel-pro in close proximity... sometimes too close?

https://youtu.be/TdtfheRwLlw

Question: this camera is a Runcam Micro Swift 2. The image quality is pretty bad, anyone have suggestions for improving it? Like, adjusting focus and/or settings?

Thanks,
Steve
Nice one I like the "high five" at 3:03
Oct 17, 2017, 09:46 AM
Piscine Promulgator
surfimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawsonh
I love the air-to-air stuff with José Luis. I think you guys have a lot of potential to produce some cool chase videos. I am totally sold on the head tracker pan and tilt camera! You were able to keep JL in-frame most of the time. The FPV view of the quick head-swivel movements, as you searched for the “enemy” and/or picked up reference points, felt realistic... just like a combat pilot or aerobatic pilot.
Thanks Dawson. Headtracking was what originally captured my attention about FPV, because it just improves the immersion of the experience so much. I truly, and deeply, enjoy just cruising in the Radian, taking in the sights. I hope to upgrade its camera eventually to have sound as well

I should mention that I have spent literally hundreds of hours over the past ~6 years in flight sims for the PC, using TrackIR - basically a less sophisticated version of headtracking that produces essentially the same result as the pan-and-tilt rig I'm using on the Radian:

Rise of Flight
SPAD XIII - SPADdin' It Up - Rise of Flight Multiplayer (6 min 7 sec)


Aerofly FS
Aerofly FS: ridge soaring aerobatics in the Swift S-1 (14 min 55 sec)


So, for me, the transition to headtracking FPV is really quite a natural one

Thanks!
Steve


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