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Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in Blog, Video

Stoner Hill Highs Part 2: South-West Rise

The best direction is up…

Well after the horrors of the North valleys, with their GPS blocking, jetstream style winds and tiny viewing windows and all those trees, on the other side it’s a bit different, with lots more open space, and the best wooded valley I have ever seen, immediately off to the left.

As soon as I crossed the style into the take-off field, I could see things were very different to my last (Winter) flight here, when the grass was short enough to easily accommodate a take-off, and there were sheep, keeping it so.

Just 3 months ago, it looked like this...

Just 3 months ago, it looked like this…

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Looking a lot greener and fuller now…as you’d expect.

No, it’s too long…

Today, as you’ll see, there’s no sheep (bonus), but grass is now growing quite literally ‘wild’ and is about half a meter tall. Beautiful but unhelpful.

There remained only one spot to take off from where the grass was trodden down enough – on the path that leads through to the woods. The problem with this is that my normal fly site is up the other end of this field, where there are no paths, and I have excellent 360 degree visibility at pretty much all heights.

Here, I have good visibility at heights greater than about 300 ft, but lower, the trees near the take off area really get in the way of me seeing my craft clearly. Its current habit of unexpectedly yawing left combined with this to leave me often wondering which direction my craft was pointing in at distance, and having to go into Home Lock Mode to drag it back to me, although this did result in some lovely diagonal / side pans I wouldn’t have got any other way…

The GPS Problem

As I mentioned before, my craft has started unexpectedly yawing left as I perform other moves.  having now made a better mounting, I had hoped my GPS-related problems would go away, but no, they really haven’t. I will have to try other things to conquer this one by the looks of it. I was trying a new setting in the mounting options, where I measured Z distance to what I thought was the true CoG of the craft (taking the gimbal and camera / battery tray into account), rather then to the centre of the Naza unit. This gave me a measurement of -25 cm, which may have been causing some of my problems.

I’ve put that back for tomorrow’s flights. And tightened a prop I suspected might have been slipping.

Optimum Gain

Realising as I am that Naza V2 is very different in the settings department from V1, I am having to start again with gains, and throw away assumptions I had made about what might work. I’m used to having my gains up in the 170’s + for a really nice quick, but not jumpy moves, and smooth, responsive flight.  This doesn’t seem to work with V2. I don’t know what does yet, so I’ve centered pitch, roll at 140, yaw at 130, vertical at 150 and auto-gains at 140.

But now I have now engaged X1 (Aux 5 rotary on my TX)  to control those gains (all of them except vertical and attitude gains) and set the travel limits to allow them to go about 30% either side of the centre points.

I’ll spend a whole battery tomorrow doing simple on-cam gain tests, and we’ll see if we can’t improve the flying experience in GPS mode.

The view from the top

Our reward for valiantly battling the wind with slightly flaky navigation is some lovely smooth footage along the crest of the Ridge of Hills that joins Stoner Hill itself. So we can all enjoy that.

Because I was short of video time (alot wasted waiting for GPS lock before take-off ) we’re back down to 30 frames a second, which is a shame, as a lot of these shots would have looked great at half speed. Never mind they’re not bad as they are, and as usual I’m loving (and over-using) the diving top-down manoeuvre :)

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So that was the last of my Springtime stoner Hill adventures – hope you enjoyed watching it as much as I scared myself witless getting it :)