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Old 11th May 2017, 10:48   #101
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final part for my GT90 came in today so I was able to get it finished and have a test fly... The all in one vtx/cam combo...( the thing stuck on top)



Pulled the goggles out and chucked on a battery. First impressions.... this thing is way to fast for in the living room in acro! Gonna have to put horizon and angle modes ( flight assisted modes) to keep control of it.

and the cheapo kingkong props from banggood are crap. First bounce on the ground and they just fall apart. Need to find something a bit more durable I think.
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Old 12th May 2017, 01:11   #102
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Had a bash around a new spot last week and as I was bored last night I thought I would chuck a video together. Its not the best quality as one of the previous batteries I may or may not of hit a post which caused my Runcam 3 to lose focus .... But this pack I really enjoyed!

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Old 14th May 2017, 13:49   #103
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Fixed my wobbly grommets. Shrink-wrapped the motors to make the diameter just that little bit bigger:



I'll trim the excess when I'm done. This made the motors a seriously tight fit and very difficult to push into the grommets... so I took some inspiration from Mythbusters to get them to fit: "With enough lube we can do just about anything!"

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Old 14th May 2017, 16:04   #104
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Made a bit of progress today.



The observant amongst you may have noticed that the camera PCB isn't connected. That's partly because I need to lengthen the power wires, but mainly because I found this online:



Some helpful soul has mapped the pinout on the camera PCB and lo and behold: Pin 4 is a video output. This means I can use it for FPV flight without needing to replace the camera. Sweet.

Quick weigh-in before a flight test. It still works perfectly btw.



Obviously the tape isn't permanent; I still need access to the bottom of the flight controller PCB to re-attach camera power. The camera PCB adds about 3g, so it comes in at around the same weight as the original body shell.

Next I'm on the hunt for a very lightweight FPV transmitter. It needs to be SUPER lightweight for this frame, especially considering this camera/TX combo unit is only 4.5g.
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Old 15th May 2017, 00:54   #105
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Looking good. Rubberbands are your friend when it comes to holding a battery on.

Maybe something like the eachine VTX03 would do the job for the vtx?

Only 2.9g in weight.
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Old 15th May 2017, 12:33   #106
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In other news, I've been pricing up a self-built aerial photography multirotor. Based on this frame kit (which includes motors and ESCs) it comes out to nearly 450 all-in . If I drop the video system and gimbal I can save a shedload, but video was part of the point of going for a larger hexacopter frame... Maybe I'll look into other frame kits...

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Looking good. Rubberbands are your friend when it comes to holding a battery on.

Maybe something like the eachine VTX03 would do the job for the vtx?

Only 2.9g in weight.
That tape isn't permanent, it was only for a quick flight test. I will be properly mounting the FC & camera board soon, once I've finished wiring it all up. That VTx looks spot on, ta . I need to test the camera output first, make sure it does actually output a composite signal. I have a small composite input LCD I can test with here.
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Old 15th May 2017, 13:28   #107
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Had a bash around a new spot last week and as I was bored last night I thought I would chuck a video together. Its not the best quality as one of the previous batteries I may or may not of hit a post which caused my Runcam 3 to lose focus .... But this pack I really enjoyed!
*Snip*
That looks like loads of fun. Awesome flying too. How long does it take, roughly, to get that proficient?
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Old 16th May 2017, 00:52   #108
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Originally Posted by Yadda View Post
That looks like loads of fun. Awesome flying too. How long does it take, roughly, to get that proficient?
Depends on how well your hand eye co ordination is. I have been flying about 12 months now and I am no where near some of the guys I fly with that have been doing it for less. It all boils down to stick time. A number of guys I fly with will get 4 or 5 packs every day and it shows everytime I see them. I manage to fly once a week if I am lucky.

Another thing that helps is what I call embracing the fear. Not worrying about crashing and having confidence in your ability allows you to fly with a lot more freedom. If you think you will crash... you will. Simple as that!
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Old 16th May 2017, 11:14   #109
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It all boils down to stick time.
That's pretty much what I was going to say: like anything it just takes practice.

And yeah, not being afraid to crash certainly helps!
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Old 16th May 2017, 16:15   #110
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Was looking around again today at aerial photography quads. I very nearly decided to go with a "cheap" video quad, the UP Air UPair One, until I found somewhere selling the hex frame kit I was looking at for a much better price. I also found this on sale over at GearBest: Firefly 7S 4K action camera.



It was in stock in the EU warehouse, so I couldn't resist. Has WiFi video transmission as well as local recording to SD, but it does also support A/V out over the USB connection for use with a "proper" FPV transmitter. That'll come later I think, WiFi should be OK for now; according to Civil Aviation Authority rules you're supposed to maintain line-of-sight on the quad at all times (so FPV goggles are a no-no unless you have a spotter) and stay below 120 meters in altitude, so I won't need the range that a "proper" FPV system will give. (Of course these restrictions don't apply to a licensed operator - we've got a few in this thread).

Originally I spec'ed a DJI Naza-M Lite flight controller, but this frame kit comes with an APM 2.8 FC - not exactly on the same level as the Naza, but it'll get me airborne. Time for a new spreadsheet!



I'm still going to keep building/upgrading my mini frankenHubsan; that'll be a "chuck it around for a bit of a laugh" quad .
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Old 16th May 2017, 16:23   #111
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That looks like loads of fun. Awesome flying too. How long does it take, roughly, to get that proficient?
It also depends on why you are flying. If you want fast and fun action then your flying style would be different to someone who is flying to record video and photography, where a lighter touch is needed. I fly the Inspire and Phantom, to capture video and photography, I use Atti (altitude hold) mode when capturing video as it gives a smoother end result but GPS mode when capturing still images.

A lot of the small drones don't have GPS or altitude hold so you have to keep making adjustments to maintain the height and position you want in a hover, and counter the current movement when you want to slow down or stop. Whereas with the larger drones with GPS and altitude hold, you let go of the sticks and the drone will hover in position. You do that with a drone that doesn't have that functionality and it'll drop like a stone and/or drift into something. Small inputs on the control sticks are the key I think for anyone starting out, regardless of the size of the drone. When I first started out, I was flying at a height of a couple of centimetres on the kitchen floor to begin with, just to learn the controls.

Flying drones does take some getting used to, especially maintaining orientation and reversing control inputs if the drone is facing you etc. I think it's easier to learn on the smaller drones first then move up to the bigger ones if you need to. You can learn on the smaller drones, and they are great for FPV action. The cost is significantly less if you crash too when compared to the more prosumer drones.

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Was looking around again today at aerial photography quads. I very nearly decided to go with a "cheap" video quad, the UP Air UPair One, until I found somewhere selling the hex frame kit I was looking at for a much better price. I also found this on sale over at GearBest: Firefly 7S 4K action camera.....
Looking good! I've used the APM FC, it can take a bit of fiddling to get stable flight and also to get the drone to fly how you want it to, but it's a decent bit of kit. Have you decided on the ESC/prop/motor combo yet? There is a nifty tool here: https://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.php?ecalc&lang=en

You can input the specs of the build and it'll give you performance indications for the specs. There is a free and paid for service. I've used both and it's worth the small fee.

Last edited by stuartpb; 16th May 2017 at 16:32.
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Old 17th May 2017, 09:31   #112
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Looking good! I've used the APM FC, it can take a bit of fiddling to get stable flight and also to get the drone to fly how you want it to, but it's a decent bit of kit. Have you decided on the ESC/prop/motor combo yet? There is a nifty tool here: https://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.php?ecalc&lang=en

You can input the specs of the build and it'll give you performance indications for the specs. There is a free and paid for service. I've used both and it's worth the small fee.
I was playing about with that yesterday, but I just paid for access in order to unlock all the options.

The frame kit already comes with ESCs, props & motors: 30A ESCs (unknown brand, maybe Emax, with SimonK firmware), 9450 props, and what looks like DJI (or most likely DJI clone) 2212 920kV motors.
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Old 17th May 2017, 11:15   #113
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The weather for the rest of the week has me grounded. I got my last flights in last week. This is a video from a currency and training flight I undertook. With the currency aspect, I have to maintain at least 2 logged flight hours every quarter, it's a requirement of the CAA for PfCO holders. I try to get at least an hour or two a week as a bare minimum though, which is hard with the great British weather!! In terms of training, I have to practice emergency procedures, flight and camera manoeuvres and generally just keep practicing. I have flight reference cards (checklists) and emergency procedure cards, so knowing them is important. I had to write them as part of my PfCO application.

I'd used 3 batteries with the Inspire for the currency and training part and had a couple left fully charged after that so I just captured some video. Usually the quarry where I was has mountain bikers and trials bike riders there so I was hoping to get some dynamic footage of them but when I got there it was dead. So I had a gentle flight just enjoying the scenery instead.


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Old 17th May 2017, 11:32   #114
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Edited post...
No worries . It's a good price but it doesn't come with a flight controller, whereas the one I found on aliexpress comes with an APM2.8 FC board & GPS module .

I've seen similar kits on ebay and other Chinese import sites, and they all hover around the 140-150 mark. It was on sale for 10% off on AliExpress... until about 7am this morning...

EDIT: Haha, sorry, didn't notice your edit .
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Old 17th May 2017, 11:53   #115
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No worries . It's a good price but it doesn't come with a flight controller, whereas the one I found on aliexpress comes with an APM2.8 FC board & GPS module .

I've seen similar kits on ebay and other Chinese import sites, and they all hover around the 140-150 mark. It was on sale for 10% off on AliExpress... until about 7am this morning...

EDIT: Haha, sorry, didn't notice your edit .
No worries

My first proper build was on the S500 frame, with very similar specs to yours. It flew great and I'm sure yours will too. Looking forward to hearing about your first flight!!

Just noticed what you said about FPV and licensed operators. We are bound by the same rule regarding VLOS (visual line of sight). We have to maintain it at all times, unless we have enhanced permissions from the CAA for BVLOS (beyond Visual line of sight) so FPV is out for us too. The 400ft AGL limit and 500m distance (as long as VLOS is maintained at all times) still apply too. There are further restrictions too, no flying within 150m of congested areas or groups of over 1000 people. No less than 50m from people or structures that are not in our control and we have to maintain 30m separation for our landing and take off zones. We also have to obtain the landowners permission to operate from their land.

For any deviation from the standard permissions, we would have to submit an operational safety case, where we would have to show how we intend to operate beyond those limits, what safety procedures are in place and that we can operate safely. The enhanced permissions request would have to be approved by the CAA. It's not cheap and the CAA looks for evidence of safe practice as well as us demonstrating the procedures and safeguards too. The rules are pretty restrictive when you're starting out commercially, but if you need to be operating outside of the standard permissions, it is possible. The turnaround on OSC requests is sloooow though!!

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Old 17th May 2017, 17:17   #116
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Ah I see, thanks for the clarification.

Part of the point of building this hexacopter is to get into aerial photography - hence the larger frame, so I can carry more payload than just a little mini-camera. It'd be quite a lot cheaper to build something like a 250-sized frame and get up & running quickly.

That's some fantastic footage by the way; it really highlights why you'd want to spend 1K+ on an aerial photography quad when you do this stuff for a living! I'd love to do it professionally but obviously I'd need a lot more experience! And getting the PfCO in the first place is awfully expensive for someone who isn't in the business!
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Old 17th May 2017, 17:19   #117
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Forgot to post this in here - I know I'm double posting, but WGAF.

Yesterday I managed to modify the camera board from my little Hubsan H107C to get simultaneous SD card recording and live video output. Win!



It only officially supports SD card recording out of the box, but being able to have live video transmission at the same time will be awesome.
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Old 18th May 2017, 00:44   #118
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good stuff!

Personally, I havent done any flying at all due to
A: work and
B: rubbish weather.

I was hoping to get out this weekend but we are due some heavy storms rolling through over the weekend so I may not be able to... suuuucks!
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:53   #119
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In other news, it seems pretty much all my parts have now shipped. These are hopefully arriving tomorrow:
  • Firefly S7 camera
  • APM Buzzer/LED module
  • Turnigy 9X w/module & 8ch receiver
  • Turnigy LiPo charger
  • LiPo charging bag
  • 2x MultiStar 5200mAh 3S LiPo

The 3-axis gimbal should be here early next week, and these are all apparently on a slow boat from China...
  • S550 Frame
  • 30A ESCs
  • 2212 920kV motors
  • APM 2.8 Flight controller
  • APM Power module/UBEC
  • Ublox Neo-7M GPS Module
  • 1045 Gemfan props

The wait is the worst part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
good stuff!

Personally, I havent done any flying at all due to
A: work and
B: rubbish weather.

I was hoping to get out this weekend but we are due some heavy storms rolling through over the weekend so I may not be able to... suuuucks!
That sucks. I'm in pretty much the same boat with my little X4; a mouse fart is enough to make it drift, so I can't fly it in all but the lightest of light breezes.
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Old 18th May 2017, 16:00   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
Depends on how well your hand eye co ordination is. I have been flying about 12 months now and I am no where near some of the guys I fly with that have been doing it for less. It all boils down to stick time. A number of guys I fly with will get 4 or 5 packs every day and it shows everytime I see them. I manage to fly once a week if I am lucky.

Another thing that helps is what I call embracing the fear. Not worrying about crashing and having confidence in your ability allows you to fly with a lot more freedom. If you think you will crash... you will. Simple as that!
Interesting, cheers. They've come a long way, I had no idea 100 drone (if that's right for a 90GT?) could get you so much fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartpb View Post
It also depends on why you are flying. If you want fast and fun action then your flying style would be different to someone who is flying to record video and photography, where a lighter touch is needed. I fly the Inspire and Phantom, to capture video and photography, I use Atti (altitude hold) mode when capturing video as it gives a smoother end result but GPS mode when capturing still images.

A lot of the small drones don't have GPS or altitude hold so you have to keep making adjustments to maintain the height and position you want in a hover, and counter the current movement when you want to slow down or stop. Whereas with the larger drones with GPS and altitude hold, you let go of the sticks and the drone will hover in position. You do that with a drone that doesn't have that functionality and it'll drop like a stone and/or drift into something. Small inputs on the control sticks are the key I think for anyone starting out, regardless of the size of the drone. When I first started out, I was flying at a height of a couple of centimetres on the kitchen floor to begin with, just to learn the controls.

Flying drones does take some getting used to, especially maintaining orientation and reversing control inputs if the drone is facing you etc. I think it's easier to learn on the smaller drones first then move up to the bigger ones if you need to. You can learn on the smaller drones, and they are great for FPV action. The cost is significantly less if you crash too when compared to the more prosumer drones.
I'd fancy a small racing drone, for sure. Wizzing through a technical course, like under the clubhouse awning in the video above, using POV looks like too much fun.
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