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Sep 20, 2019, 07:31 AM
Rabid Rabbit
PookaHat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Route666
I just wanted to point out that "drones" in the sense that we're talking about as hobby pilots, don't actually have any military origin. People think they do because for some stupid reason the term "drone" got attached to quadcopters.

So what is the real origin of quadcopters and how did they suddenly appear en masse on retail store shelves?

Somebody pulled the computer gyro board out of a Nintendo Wii controller, mated it to a Arduino board and the first flight controller was born. The gyro detects the relative position in space of the quad(pitch/yaw) and the flight controller uses that info to keep it level and straight. Thus auto-stabilization was born and flight controllers can also be installed in winged aircraft to minimize the amount of physical trimming needed to achieve level flight.

So in truth, "drones" have their origin with a Japanese videogame company who mass produced digital gyros which were then incorporated into a flight control board by a hobbyist whose breakthrough was then reverse-engineered and mass produced by the Chinese.

The more you know!

That IS interesting.
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Sep 20, 2019, 07:52 AM
A man with too many toys
Thread OP
The original definition of a Drone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_(bee)

.
Sep 20, 2019, 07:52 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Route666
I just wanted to point out that "drones" in the sense that we're talking about as hobby pilots, don't actually have any military origin. People think they do because for some stupid reason the term "drone" got attached to quadcopters.

So what is the real origin of quadcopters and how did they suddenly appear en masse on retail store shelves?

Somebody pulled the computer gyro board out of a Nintendo Wii controller, mated it to a Arduino board and the first flight controller was born. The gyro detects the relative position in space of the quad(pitch/yaw) and the flight controller uses that info to keep it level and straight. Thus auto-stabilization was born and flight controllers can also be installed in winged aircraft to minimize the amount of physical trimming needed to achieve level flight.

So in truth, "drones" have their origin with a Japanese videogame company who mass produced digital gyros which were then incorporated into a flight control board by a hobbyist whose breakthrough was then reverse-engineered and mass produced by the Chinese.

The more you know!
Sorry, but that is inaccurate or misleading at best.

In the 80's a company called Keyans (sp?) introduced a quadcopter stabilized with a physical rotating caged gyro, similar to what the "ground-breaking" Silverlit X-UFO used (actually gyro-breaking if it crashed inverted). This Keyans quad used a patented 45° skewed flapping axis on the rotors.

While the X-UFO was a hit at the 2005 Nuremberg Toy Fair [Nürnberger Spielwarenmesse®], it had limited market penetration due to the easily broken mechanical gyro and NiMH power. Nonetheless, because they wanted me to dump them, sell as many as possible, I was asked to demonstrate them at the largest toy store here (while I was "secretly" doing market studies for my own flying toy items, slyly finding out why folks bought which items) .... and had lots of fun flying them in the evening around the electric wires and poles in the street with the X-UFO quad lit up like a Xmas tree (it was pre-Christmas). Actually it looked VERY "spacey"in the dark when lit up..




Flying Toys Silverlit R/C X-UFO Subtitled (2 min 35 sec)


Silverlit X-Ufo (0 min 33 sec)
Last edited by xlcrlee; Sep 20, 2019 at 11:11 AM.
Sep 20, 2019, 10:55 AM
Registered User
Mark Twain's Avatar
https://quadcopterarena.com/the-hist...d-quadcopters/

According to the article multirotors have been around a little bit longer than one might think. Which kind of makes it even more puzzling why the old timer fixed wing guys seem to have an irrational hate for the things.
Sep 20, 2019, 11:26 AM
Hey Guys, Watch This.......
mike2663's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Twain
https://quadcopterarena.com/the-hist...d-quadcopters/

According to the article multirotors have been around a little bit longer than one might think. Which kind of makes it even more puzzling why the old timer fixed wing guys seem to have an irrational hate for the things.
While I don't hate them, I'm laying the blame for goverment over-site directly on the shoulders of their operators. 80 years of basically regulation free operation pissed away because of it.

Mike
Sep 20, 2019, 11:40 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Twain
https://quadcopterarena.com/the-hist...d-quadcopters/

According to the article multirotors have been around a little bit longer than one might think. Which kind of makes it even more puzzling why the old timer fixed wing guys seem to have an irrational hate for the things.
Some of it may just be grumpy personalities(Certain fliers will hate on you because you don't have the level of scale detail on your fixed wing plane they think it should have, for example, or because you're not flying it the way they would fly it), some of it may be related to the irrational hate they have for heli and 3D fixed wing pilots, and some of it may be borne from how multirotor pilots are making life hell for all model aviators.

Should count my lucky stars none of that happens at my local flying spot. We have a few quad guys and they get along with everyone else just fine. And our quad guys aren't the type of guys that get the FAA pissed at model aviation either.
Sep 20, 2019, 04:21 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by xlcrlee
Sorry, but that is inaccurate or misleading at best.
No, it's not. Sorry but the quad you linked is like comparing an abacus to a laptop and pretending it's the same thing. It had nothing to do with the explosion of open source digital tuning that brought quads into the mainstream. Ardupilot didn't even exist until 2009. That point in time and going forward was the launchpad for everything people associate(positively and negatively) with quadcopter technology and capabilities.

Alot of pilots on both sides of the fence probably aren't aware that quite a bit of this massive step forward was documented in threads on this website.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...y-TriWiiCopter)
Sep 20, 2019, 04:30 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Route666
No, it's not. Sorry but the quad you linked is like comparing an abacus to a laptop and pretending it's the same thing. It had nothing to do with the explosion of open source digital tuning that brought quads into the mainstream. Ardupilot didn't even exist until 2009. That point in time and going forward was the launchpad for everything people associate(positively and negatively) with quadcopter technology and capabilities.

Alot of pilots on both sides of the fence probably aren't aware that quite a bit of this massive step forward was documented in threads on this website.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...y-TriWiiCopter)
You are changing the subject.

Earlier, you stated "Thus auto-stabilization was born and flight controllers can also be installed in winged aircraft to minimize the amount of physical trimming needed to achieve level flight.

There is nothing in there about Ardupilot. Why are you changing the subject?

While the Wii-based stuff was cool, it wasn't the first stabilization in models by DECADES. Gyros have been in model airplanes since they first came out - shoot, I was working on one for FMA back in the mid-90s, and that was during the conversion from mechanical gyros to digital ones (I was using a Murata sensor). The mechanical ones go back probably 10 years earlier, maybe more!

Keep in mind, Lee is the guy who did this stuff back then. He knows because he was there DOING IT.

Andy
Sep 20, 2019, 05:52 PM
Registered User
Well, like airplane crashes, it usually requires several things or factors to make a really good one.

Looking at the X-UFO in the air and actually the very nice flying original RC quad from Keyans (still not sure how to spell it) in the 80's, few would see the difference from solid-state so-called "giros" (the word comes from Greek and means spinning). I met with the German inventor who worked out the coding for the firmware in the prototype for the X-UFO before he licensed it to the German daughter company of Silverlit (a Chinese company who previously only made nice toy RC cars, etc.). He showed me a series of videos showing his models flying fast through what we used to call park "Monkey Bars", open pyramid-stacked squares of steel tubes for kids to climb on. Very impressive.

No, the mass-mkt "drone" CRAZE could not have happened (remember the 80's quad which flew WELL but didn't catch on) without the following:

1. I was in the Edu-Science factory in Champing Town (town with several million residents) working on a fixed-wing RC motor glider I'd designed (NiMH power) while Hiribo, then regarded as the foremost heli mfg,, was developing their "mass-mkt" 4-ch coax Llama heli. It couldn't lift enough NiMH cells to fly well, so while it was RC controlled, it got power from a cable! Japanese Hirobo, careful of their reputation, insisted that the factory flight test EVERY single one before shipping, and sold in USA for what today would be $507!

2. While in the factory I created the design for the cable-less version of the cabled 3-ch Vecton UFO. It was INHERENTLY self-stable using principles I first learned years before from Stan Hiller (helicopter pioneer) in his Los Gatos office who had explained a lot about helicopter stability to me and connected me to Mattel (how I got into toys). The NiMH powered one was called Vectron Ultralite and after Spin Master picked it up was a HUGE market success, and in various forms and illegal copies is still a success. I even helped Spin Master win a huge infringement lawsuit against Overbreak. That started to open the market, though the original sold for maybe 70 bucks I think.

3. Previous to ca. 2000 LIPOs were considered to be far too dangerous for mass-mkt toys (now please don't start arguing that the mass-mkt RTF quads are not toys, OK?). Then while I was working in China, on a visit to HK, in the large TRU there I happened upon a 1-ch carbon-fiber framed indoor plane from India -- a lot like the Vapor, but 1-ch motor control only -- which used a small LIPO. I immediately changed the design to a large jet fighter (from office copy paper, to test) as well as putting the motor+ RC +Lipo unit into a tiny molded foam toy Cessna glider and an engineer pointed out that it was really flying on the motor. So almost by ACCIDENT that led to the LIPO-powered "AirHogs" RoomRaider I designed and licensed to Spin Master and the re-branded Silverlit LIPO-powered Aero Aces they also marketed.

4. Then Alexander told me he used some of my design principles to make THE first low-cost mass-mkt toy IR-controlled 2-ch heli, the PicooZ for Silverlit. THAT created the low-cost toy RC helicopter mkt., and soon normal RC hobby helicopter stability systems were being used, though only with a single yaw-axis solid-state "giro".

Then -- and only then -- the long-before designed quads could enter the mass market. Without cheap "safe" mass-mkt created LIPOs and this newly emerging RC flying toy plane and toy helicopter mkt the "drone" craze would not have happened when it did. All the necessary elements LIKE cheap RC and cheap LIPOs and small, light PCBs and then solid-state giros were finally available. And a lot better crash surviving than the X-UFO with more onboard power, etc.

Finally, AFIK, the digital GAME mkt is still larger, but it took all of the above to get cheap stuff flying in the real world. A DJI quad could not fly well without LIPOs and would not even have a mass-mkt to enter, and as such would have been MUCH more expensive due to a very tiny otherwise "hobby"-only limited market. IMO, to be at once honest and give them credit, HH (plus some other mostly Asian marketers) mainly sells super RC toys and has merged hobby into "toy" with masses of cool RTF models.
Last edited by xlcrlee; Sep 21, 2019 at 03:17 AM.
Sep 20, 2019, 06:27 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Twain
https://quadcopterarena.com/the-hist...d-quadcopters/

According to the article multirotors have been around a little bit longer than one might think. Which kind of makes it even more puzzling why the old timer fixed wing guys seem to have an irrational hate for the things.
It interferes with their flying fixed wing aircraft. Same thing for helicopters too. They get annoyed when they sit around for three hours talking and then finally get up the urge to fly, and it takes them 30 minutes to get ready and then some guys are flying quads or helicopters.

But like mentioned already, they get annoyed if you don't fly like they do. Have the scale detail on your plane like they prefer, ad nauseum. They just don't like newfangled things getting in the way.
Sep 20, 2019, 06:52 PM
WJH
WJH
B747-400 First Officer
WJH's Avatar
I ordered two more Pixhawk flight controllers from Banggood, the 2.4.8 version for 59$. Already have two of them, they work flawlessly, and have the correct chips and correct revisions on those chips. I bought them for the same reason people are buying guns again, I expect the government to come after them.
After all, I view the Pixhawk as a weapons grade GPS guidance control computer, and can be used as such in the wrong hands. Only a matter of time before the politicians go after them. So is the drone craze over? Nope, and in fact, is the future of the hobby. Fixed wing balsa scale models will only be a tiny niche, and the drone haters will be happy with their foamies that get thrown away after too much hot glue weighs them down.
Sep 21, 2019, 01:01 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlwb
It interferes with their flying fixed wing aircraft. Same thing for helicopters too. They get annoyed when they sit around for three hours talking and then finally get up the urge to fly, and it takes them 30 minutes to get ready and then some guys are flying quads or helicopters.

But like mentioned already, they get annoyed if you don't fly like they do. Have the scale detail on your plane like they prefer, ad nauseum. They just don't like newfangled things getting in the way.
I like planes and quads, and think the whole discussion is pretty dumb, but I think you are pretty much right..

The dinosaurs were there flying their balsa planes in their little secluded niche, then drones came along and everything changed. It's like horse-riding fans getting upset when cars came along. You don't have to like cars, but ranting against them will not make them go away, or reverse the indifferent charge of history and technological development. The cat is out of the bag. Even yelling about it won't get it back in.

I recently read Darkness at Noon by Arthur Köstler. In it he articulates the theory of relative political maturity. The idea is that when a big technological invention comes along, like gunpowder, the steam engine - the internet, etc.., it takes people decades or even generations to come to terms with them and fully understand them. Until that point democracy is deeply flawed, because people are basically deciding for themselves in a world they don't fully understand. But I digress.. (though I thought this was a brilliant lens through which to view the Trump phenomenon for ex. - internet, media, Twitter, fake news, "reality TV", etc.. It amuses me to see intellectuals freak out about Trump, as if the world has turned upside down.. When really it is just that they don't really understand it as it is, as opposed to maybe how it used to be..) The point is, things change. Yelling and griping about it is not going to unchange them. Or, as I said before, put the cat back in the bag. Sure, a lot of guys(not necessarily idiots - just guys walking into an electronics store..) bought Phantoms and did things they shouldn't have. For some, how should they have known? There were also surely others who knowingly did bad things. But if I'm not mistaken that happens with guns in the US too.....
Sep 21, 2019, 07:56 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
Sure, a lot of guys(not necessarily idiots - just guys walking into an electronics store..) bought Phantoms and did things they shouldn't have. For some, how should they have known?

How much intelligence does it really take to figure that you probably shouldn't be flying this stuff over active runways used by passenger jets, or flying it over your neighbor's bedroom window?


I'm sorry, but anyone who walked into an eletronics store, bought a quad, and did that stuff is a massive tard. It doesn't take a degree in aeronautics to figure that one out. We're not talking scratch building a competition winning F3A pattern ship here.

I hold nothing but ire and resentment for these people because they're going to ruin a perfectly good hobby that has successfully self-regulated itself for damn near a century. I'm more than happy to share an airfield with a quad pilot, hell I'm more than happy to have one go up alongside me and get some good chase footage of my balsa glow dinosaurs provided he stays out of my exhaust plume(For his own sake; castor oil doesn't do much for FPV cameras haha), but the doosh canoe that flies their quad in a reckless manner can right off
Sep 21, 2019, 08:00 AM
Hey Guys, Watch This.......
mike2663's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by C6 Aviation
How much intelligence does it really take to figure that you probably shouldn't be flying this stuff over active runways used by passenger jets, or flying it over your neighbor's bedroom window?


I'm sorry, but anyone who walked into an eletronics store, bought a quad, and did that stuff is a massive tard. It doesn't take a degree in aeronautics to figure that one out. We're not talking scratch building a competition winning F3A pattern ship here.

I hold nothing but ire and resentment for these people because they're going to ruin a perfectly good hobby that has successfully self-regulated itself for damn near a century. I'm more than happy to share an airfield with a quad pilot, hell I'm more than happy to have one go up alongside me and get some good chase footage of my balsa glow dinosaurs provided he stays out of my exhaust plume(For his own sake; castor oil doesn't do much for FPV cameras haha), but the doosh canoe that flies their quad in a reckless manner can right off
and that my friend is the problem. Common sense went out the window years ago.

Mike
Sep 21, 2019, 09:47 AM
Registered User

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef9QnZVpVd8


Well there seems to be solid evidence that not only the "drone craze", but the cheap RC toy plane craze too is going away. A reliable and smart friend who imports such things from China to resell here (mostly over his Internet "shop") told me that the factories recognize the market is flooded and no worthwhile profit more to be made. The exceptions are giant marketing whizzes like Spin Master who keep finding crazy new stuff to sell.

My take on it is kinda "oil & water", like snowboarders and skiers on the same hill or sailboaters and powerboaters crisscrossing paths. Annoying at best. Generalities of course with some exceptions. For me I always tried to find uncrowded airspace and flew/fly in many places alone but always looking to be "invisible" and avoid trouble, fairly easy with electric, etc. And prepared for any consequences resulting from cops, dogs and the like. While testing new designs in China, my "audiences" were a combination of a water buffalo or two (who'd gotten used to me having to occasionally hop a plane over their back when some newly developed component forced the plane to not climb out as expected) and sweet "peasant" farmer-types who'd squat and offer me cigs, never having seen a full-size plane and certainly not a flying model. Now, for my own amusement, rather than travel and lug, I either fly small fixed-wing or heli models in the small nearby park or tiny ones such as the Estes/Revell "nano quad" in the tiny living room (flying it head first in fast banked turns like fixed wing).

If one needs to be social and show off for other RCers, that's another story.

"I'd Rather Be Flying" (than bitching ....)
Last edited by xlcrlee; Sep 21, 2019 at 11:07 AM.


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