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Posted by on May 29, 2014

HowTo No 1: Binding a Devo 10 to an RX1002

HowTo No 1: Binding a Devo 10 to an RX1002

In the first of my handy ‘How-To’ series, we’re looking at how to bind a Walkera Devention 10 to the receiver that comes with it, the RX1002, giving us a 10 channel system, with Fixed ID. If this is not the first RX unit you are binding to the transmitter, setup a new model first, and complete the following steps within the settings for that model. Power the RX via an ESC control cable (power that by plugging directly into Battery with screwblock adapter or similar). Clear any existing Fixed ID by plugging the bind plug into the BAT socket, and then powering the unit. Remove bind plug, power down. In transmitter, go to Model > Fixed ID and turn it off. Power down TX. Power RX, which should now slow flash red. Power TX, which should make RX go solid red when found. Go back into Model > Fixed ID and turn it on Cursor down to the number, alter randomly, or leave, but scroll all the way to...

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Posted by on May 26, 2014

Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage

Launch Day Always a tense, but much anticipated day, and Sunday was no different for me as I loaded up, drove to, and unpacked at good old reliable Test Site 02. This isn’t the first flyer I have built myself, but it is the first TBS discovery, and it’s been a challenging build, not without its problems. But I’m fairly confident it will fly nicely, and somewhat less so about what that gimbal is doing… The good news …is that after the GPS calibration and restart, she took off, and responded well to controls, and didn’t do anything that suggested anything was wrong with the build, wiring or setup. As expected, she’s a nippy little flyer, smooth in all directions as hoped, and with an impressive amount of climb rate, and locked in feel. Flight times were great – 4000 mAh buys me a solid 6-7 mins of airtime in windy conditions, and the craft looked nicely balanced most of the time. You can tell the props and motors...

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Posted by on May 24, 2014

The Quadfather 2

The Quadfather 2

The Beast is born… After nearly a week’s work, on and off, my hex is no more, and in its place we have a smaller, sleeker, blacker, sexier machine that in theory does all the good things its predecessor did, like 90 degree Top-down view, ultra-smooth AlexMos Brushless Controller, and the Naza GPS wonder-stuff, but without any of its drawbacks. It’s easily carryable in a small aluminium case, can fit in much smaller gaps, and go more places where it would be dangerous to send in something as heavy as a 3.5K flyer nearly a meter wide. Also, our gimbal is now integrated with the frame, as are the other electronics, which means no landing gear is required there’s lots of space to expand, and we get a basic OSD thrown in for free so we can remotely monitor battery levels. It’s an expensive frame, but it shows in the design and thought that has clearly gone into it. Blackstar The TBS discovery is an interesting frame beyond its...

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Posted by on May 15, 2014

Spring Greens & Golden Glades

Spring Greens & Golden Glades

New Fly Site ! Having left the house perilously close to sunset, but with a vague plan in mind, I headed out on the A272 toward Midhurst, with it in my plan to visit one of the many flying haunts off that road, but impulsive and inquisitive as I am, sometimes I just see something interesting, and dive off the beaten track and go exploring. Today’s exploring led me to somewhere I’d never been before – an almost perfectly idyllic fly site, eminently suitable for integration into the normal cycle of good places to go regularly. It’s Tullycombe Forest, just outside Trotton, and features an array of features that make it high on my list of good places to go flying. Large car park, minimal walk to a large nicely featured clearing, almost perfect for long, slow descents, and surrounded on all sides (thusly protected from wind lower down) by forest, but not the sort of forest in which you wouldn’t stand a higher than normal chance of retrieving your craft...

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Posted by on May 14, 2014

Short Cuts

Short Cuts

Eventful flyings ! Having missed golden hour twice this week, I was a  bit more resolute to go and get it today, so headed up to Harting Down for about 7.30pm, and there it was. Here I had hoped to do some 1000 ft flight tests on the old hex, and had a veritable arsenal of batteries with me, ready to be put through their paces in what I thought was going to be some rather rewarding evening flights… Return to what ? The grass on the hill from where I would normally launch was very long, and would cause my gimbal to bind, and there are reports of big Naza GPS problems if you try and take off from the roof of a car, so I went for an area of car park close to the edge of the grass, and launched from there, making sure I had a full GPS home position register sequence before I took off. I completed a decent first flight (nothing too high,...

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Posted by on May 13, 2014

Discovery Debrief

Discovery Debrief

For around 6 months now, I have been running AC5.5 as my single flyer – a heavy lift version of the classic DJI F550, with seriously souped up motors, arm extensions and the decent Aeroxcraft landing gear / brushless gimbal combo, and this has made me very happy in the time I’ve worked with it. But there are a few things about DJI Flame wheels that have been slowly irritating me over that time, and now I have decided it is time to change up and change down at the same time. The reasons I am giving up on a hex setup are: It’s too big to effectively case, long distance transport, and doesn’t fold down. Fine if you’ve got a car that can go everywhere, but I need to backpack a flyer sometimes, or get it in a hand-held case I can take on a train or plane. It is slightly overpowered, and when fully loaded is slightly over frame-weight, therefore eating more batteries than it needs to and...

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Posted by on May 11, 2014

The Damping Factor – Pt 2

The Damping Factor – Pt 2

Video Quickies. New fly site ! Elsted Common LS2 – up the other end of it from where I normally fly, and a much more interesting / diverse landscape. So even though I was flying in horrendous wind, which killed most of my footage, a bit remained, so why not do a little video before I get into working out why the bits that I lost to shakiness were so ? There will be better videos from here, but this one’s helpful as reference for planning those, and then flying them when there’s proper light and my ongoing video problems are no more. Test Week 2. Silicone Triple Iso-mount upgrade for Aeroxcraft Brushless GoPro 3 Gimbal There are few reasons that sometimes cause my love of flying things to wane, and these are they, or variations thereof: Lack of interesting new places to film and difficulty getting permission to do anything anywhere anything interesting is. The very organisations that should appreciate my aerial efforts documenting castles and Abbeys, and ruins...

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Posted by on May 2, 2014

The Sundown Hills

The Sundown Hills

Woolbeding Common, W-Sussex. Up, up and away for the 3rd outing this week, and this time it was some drive-by flyings that led to the discovery of a completely new regular fly-site. Big wide open field – check Close to car park – check People around ? Nope Houses around – 1 Airspace – massive, clear: good for range tests and recovery, except if you land in the trees, of which there are thousands. So we’ll call that a Level 2 fly-site, and resolve to come back again, and try and get it into my regular rounds. I kept my flights today to under 600 ft (taking advantage of the new 1000 ft rule), and mainly scouted about from quite high, seeing what was where, and not going too far, or flying too close to stuff. Next time I’ll do more on the ground, and at low altitude – this sort of terrain is ideal for FPV, especially if I fly from the top of the hill I only...

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Posted by on May 1, 2014

Windy Valley – DPB, Hindhead

Windy Valley – DPB, Hindhead

Punching the Devil… or rather his wind, which despite BBC weather reports was not only there, but at height, it was there and then some. Made for some shaky moments up top, but my Naza Flight controller behaved impeccably, and the new gain settings I input this afternoon seem to have largely removed the small yaw on descent problem I was having yesterday. Having said that, control was a bit squishy, so I tweaked them up a bit on X1. Safety J I went at dusk mainly because I knew there wouldn’t be many people around, and I was right, but of the few there were, most stopped, and stayed to watch a flight (hi Steve!), or expressed an interest. Even met a passing cyclist who was into programming automated aerial team machines ! Everyone was advised about take off and landing, and there were only a couple of buildings to not overfly, so in general I largely had the sky and the ground to myself. Ideal. There were...

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