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Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Blog, Video

South Downs Sky Surfing XL

Up in the sky and it’s full of win !

The tests are over, everything’s fine, and it’s time to go grab some awesome scenery and get it down on film, hopefully without horrible crash disasters and other film-ruining surprises.

This is an XL blog – we’ll start with one video, and then add more as the days go on, so worth checking back if there aren’t at least 2 videos here yet. One may even end up on Vimeo, for Xtra high quality…

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Fly, fly my evil sky spider ! … but also please come back and don’t crash.

Lost in Hampshire

I’m having an extraordinary run of luck at the moment with driving to a potential fly site, getting lost on the way there, wandering off exploring down country lanes and ending up somewhere different, but just as good, if not better. Today was like that.

I was trying to get back to the site of my last Hill Rise blog, where a chronic gimbal miscalculation rendered all my otherwise brilliant footage of the amazing location all but useless.

Could I find that road again ? I found the same hill, but mysteriously ended up on the other side of it, and most of the way up it. That’ll do then.

Aeroxcraft, I love you.

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Ready to Rock…

I now have my brushless gimbal firmware updated (49B r77), perfectly configured (recommended settings except big changes to TX tilt parameters, see previous posts), and my god, did it do a lovely job for me today… Yes. It did.

I really can’t fault its performance. The only time you can notice any disruption to the ongoing smoothness is when I do some shitty piloting, and hang a turn too quickly, or unevenly, as happened a lot today, due to my crappy Yaw gain, which I keep forgetting to sort out. It really is 10 / 10 for build quality, controller, motors, speed of reaction, and final result.

The only criticism remains just how low to the ground the camera is slung. I really had trouble trying to find take off spots today, and in the end went for the car roof…

It’s not a hard solve – get foam landing skids, or take a box with you for launches and landings. or do what those Italian lunatics on Youtube do, and throw it off the edge of a cliff unpowered, and then throttle up furiously hoping they catch it the right way up ! Note I will not be doing that with anything bigger than a QR Ladybird.

Top (down) banana

I love those shots were the gimbal drops out as you fly over an edge. In the absence of a craft that I am brave enough to actually make do that by physically diving over an edge, this will do nicely until I can. I haven’t quite perfected this technique yet – my top down pan drops are a bit more random, but effective nonetheless. there’s a quite a lot of them in this first video. Definitely not over-using a new thing, then. Likewise, some nice looks up through the props at the stunning sky, so that was a double bonus.

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Launchpad

Naza V2, you rock.

It’s taken me a while to realise this, while I blamed my dodgy IMU mounting on it, but Naza-M V2 is pretty rock solid if I’m honest. It played ball without fail today, and rarely did anything unexpected, except a few non-input slow yaws on occasion. Its GPS hold was mostly excellent, although it had nothing to really test it on a minimally windy day, although there was a lot more up high. Talking of up high – might have gone to 580 ft today. Oops. I had great 360 degree visibility, and I could see there was nothing whatsoever in the sky, so I don’t feel that was in any way dangerous.

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AC1 V5 – perfected, optimized, and, finally, stable as a rock in flight.

Props all round.

My new carbon fibre 11 x 5 props combined with Tiger Motor 2814’s make the most amazing sound. It’s like a stunningly well-engineered robot hornet from the future. So we can all be pleased about that.

Bonus Music Quiz !

In the soundtrack to the first vid, it’s an old track by me, and I thought as something different and temporarily diverting we can have a little quiz. If anyone can correctly tell me what time signature I go into on the outro / fade-out, I’ll donate £5.35 to a charity of my choice. It’ll be Cats protection league. Come on – I want musically aware viewers. Enter on my twitter feed. If you can’t find that, you probably shouldn’t enter.

Next up, a whole flight, possibly narrated. But probably not.

Behind the Scenes…

Oh yes, here it is. You should definitely be watching in 1080 HD.

Happy flyings…

JW