Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • FPV 10.4.16

    Today I went out to test out Rate mode and do some FPV flips and roll. I have been flying my autonomous drone and forgot to change the transmitter pitch inversion back and when I went to change it I accidentally inverted the throttle while it was armed! Luckily only two propellers were on so it just flipped but I did almost burn out a motor before I was able to disarm it. After that close call I did some line of sight flying to get used to stabilising flips and roll, at the moment it is set to 1 flip a second, which is a little slow but is easily to level out. I think I will change it to 2 flips a second and change the mode to ratittude instead so I will be able to level out easier. I uploaded my last flight which was being flown FPV, unfortunately I lost the video feed half way through…

  • Flight Log 23.3.16

    Last Wednesday I went to the local park to check PID values and start moving away from stabilised modes towards rate modes. Before the flight I changed the stabilised mode to more aggressive to suit FPV flying and increased the PID values. I noticed a big difference in the tightness of turns and responsiveness, but did notice instability when losing altitude rapidly as you can see near the end of the video. This week in between loads of uni work and a few camping trips I have been doing an overhaul of the setting of the quad and deciding the future setup which I will be detailing extensively in the next flight log. Also in the near future I will be doing some videos about my FPV gear and setup as well as product reviews. In the video you will notice the quad flying around a 400m track in 29 seconds which averages out to 50km per hour. I’m hoping…

  • Autonomous Drone Build

    I have had a dream to build an autonomous drone from the time I learnt about drones over 3 years ago, this has recently became reality. December 2015 I ordered an unofficial ArduPilot APM 3.1 flight controller which features a GPS, compass and barometer for autonomous flight with the intent to rebuild my photography drone into an autonomous drone. The build started in early January, designing how I would fit all the components in the small 450mm class frame and would fulfil the main objectives of: -creating rugged Autonomous Drone that can be stored in a shoulder bag -designing a vibration resistant flight controller mount -designing a robust mounting system for brushless gimbal -designing a easy to store landing gear   This design phase continued to the end of February as I was also occupied with sharping my FPV piloting skills with my 250 class racing drone. Once the design was finished I made the wiring loom which required many…

  • Aerial Photography Drone

    Three years ago I started following the open source drone community, I was fascinated by the willingness of developers to release their work for free solely to benefit the community. After 12 months of following the technology I decided I wanted to get onboard. This required a lot of research to understand the technology with the aim to contribute to the community not just to be a consumer and purchase a DJI Phantom Drone. I began by purchasing a $50 micro quad online to learn to fly proficiently which was invaluable experience because flying full sized drone is dangerous. You are piloting an aircraft weighing typically in excess of 1 Kg at speeds of up to 50Km/h  with 10″ propellers spinning a thousands of RPMs which can badly injure people.   I spent 6 months researching everything in relation to unmanned aerial vehicles from frame materials, propeller types, brushless motors, electronic speed controllers (ESCs) , flight controllers and first person…

  • Competition Spec 4 cell Racing Drone Build

    This is a build proposal for a 210mm sized, 4 cell racing quadcopter. Requiring a combination of lightweight, a well-balanced setup and insane power. The setup would run a F3 Naze32 flight controller and a combined OSD (on screen display) and power distribution for a very tidy and clean setup. Unfortunately I don’t have the money laying around to build it, maybe one day. The components are as follows:   Lisam LS-210 210mm Carbon Fiber Frame Kit $34.42 From <http://www.banggood.com/Lisam-LS-210-210mm-Carbon-Fiber-Frame-Kit-Mini-Quadcopter-p-1001216.html> Similar to the QAV250 but smaller, has 3mm 3K carbon fibre combined fuselage and arms for great strength, angled FPV camera mount, optional Gopro mount and great price.     Tilt XiaoYi Gopro 808#16 Camera Gimble Mount PTZ For FPV QAV180 QAV210 $22.61 From <http://www.banggood.com/Tilt-XiaoYi-Gopro-80816-Camera-Gimble-Mount-PTZ-For-FPV-QAV180-QAV210-p-1021116.html>   Angled gimbal mount, a bit pricey for what it is but is well designed as very useful     MXK Power Distribution Board PDB with OSD BEC $28.44 From <http://www.banggood.com/MXK-Power-Distribution-Board-PDB-with-OSD-BEC-Output-5V-12V-3A-LC-Filter-for-CC3C-Naze32-F3-p-1031375.html> Another pricey component but worth…

  • Flight log 21.2.16

    I went to my local park to practice my flips after modifying my FPV goggles from a 4.3″ screen to a 5″screen and hardwiring my 5.8Ghz receiver to my AV DVR. Unfortunately was no good and was just getting a blue screen so I will have to check that out. So instead I was practicing flips with line of sight and had a light crash after coming out of a loop to low. I broke my 2.4Ghz receiver and lost some gimbal dampeners. The reason I broke the receiver was because I had soldered on a rubber ducky antenna I hope to get better reception. It worked but made it weak so I won’t do that again. What I learnt from today: all gimbal dampeners need to be cabled tied to prevent losing them and not to solder on SMA adaptors to receiver boards.

  • Flight log 8.2.16

    I went down to Bella Vista Farm to do some proximity flying between trees and co-incidentally some power lines. Everything ran perfectly, got some good footage and definitely made some improvements. Although I was flying in stability mode so I was flying pretty reservedly. I’m looking forward to going back to do some more runs. Check out the footage!