Sonntag, 22. November 2015

Black Bullet

Aus Black Bullet
Get the Quad here:

This is my first really fast Quadcopter. The Trincopter was quite fast also, but this smaller one here has tilted motors - which makes all the difference! It's just so cool to feel this "urge to fly forward fast" from the quad! Nice option here to change a few screws and have the motorarms straight or angled (3 steps: 0°, 10° or 20°). 

The build was fairly easy, you have a good ammount of space in the quad. Battery compartment is large enough to hold an 2250 4cell - maybe even larger. But the best performance is achievable with small and extreme Lipos (1300mah Gensace 75C).

   ESCs: 4x 12A SimonK Maytech (without BEC)
 Motors: 4x T-Motor MN2206 - 2000KV
  Props: 6x4.5 ABS Gemfan Carbon reinforced
Battery: 1300mah 4cell Gensace 75c (3mins) / 2200mah 4cell Turnigy 45C (6mins)
 Weight: 720 / 820gr (with either Gensace or Turnigy)
620g (3s1300) - 700g with 4s1300 and Mobius
 Seperate BEC for powering the Naze32 board
Flightcontroller:  Naze32 with cleanflight 1.10 and Luxfloat PIDcontroller

PID Tuning:
BLHeli FW / ONEShot125
8.12.2015: Updated the PIDs below after some testflights with the new setup. Flies quite stable and smooth now!
Cleanflight 1.10
Oneshot125 enabled
Controller 2-Luxfloat

feature RX_PPM
feature FAILSAFE
feature ONESHOT125
set looptime = 2400
set rc_rate = 110
set rc_expo = 60
set rc_yaw_expo = 0
set thr_mid = 50
set thr_expo = 0
set roll_rate = 40
set pitch_rate = 40
set yaw_rate = 30
set tpa_rate = 53
set tpa_breakpoint = 1500

Issue with Yaw on fast miniquads (not only this here):
Reproduceable - on 45° dives from some alt and with some speed, you "feel" that yaw get's unstable and suddenly it snaps 90° (or more?) to the right (most of the times).

I tried so many things (mostly PID tuning and trying different PID controllers in Cleanflight 1.9.0) but nothing helped. After I changed to DIFFERENT PROPS!  the problem went away.
First set of props were normal, plastic Gemfan 5x4 (balanced with sandpaper) and the new ones were also Gemfan 6x4.5 carbon reinforced ones.
I think with the weight of around 800gr the quad was too heavy for the small props.

UPDATE: my friend Prometreus was also testing this quad and found that moving to BLHeli ESC firmware and using Onshot and Active Damping help to get the quad stable.
=>Video tutorial how to flash the Maytech ESCs to BLHeli

Links, Tips:
Black Bullet Buildlog (GERMAN) from Prometreus
Black Bullet Thread

Android App for Cleanflight
FPV-Community Cleanflight Thread
PID Tuning Knowledge:

Montag, 26. Oktober 2015

Black Snapper XS - folding Miniquad

Aus Black Snapper XS
Frame: Black Snapper XS from Globeflight
Dimensions (folded in):  22 x 13,7 x 2,6 cm (LxWxH)
Dimensions (folded out): 27,3 x 30,0 x 2,6 cm (LxWxH)
Frame weight (empty): 125g
Weight including electronics and without battery: approx. 320g
Motor axis diagonal: 360 mm (left to right front motor: 250mm)

MotorsEyefly 1806 (2300kv) running on 3cell 1500mah turnigy 35-70c packs.
ESCsEmax - 12A - Nano ESC Oneshot125 and Active braking (Artikelnr. 24-005)
  (no BEC!)
Seperate BEC for powering the Naze32 board:
BEC UBEC 3A E-Max - EMX-SC-0509
Props: 5x4 Gemfans

System weight: 381gr (all except FPV gear, Battery and HDCam)
around 600gr (including 150gr battery and 50gr RuncamHD)
Flighttimes: around 5mins with 1500mah 3cell and average fast flying

Flightcontroller:  Naze32 with cleanflight 1.10 and Luxfloat PIDcontroller
Naze32 Settings:  Cleanflight V 1.10  /  Pid Controller: 2 - Luxfloat
General settings:   oneshot125 and "active damping" (this is something that has to be enabled in the ESCs firmware)
Roll       1,6 0,04      30
Pitch      1,8 0,04      30
YAW    2,5 0,1       15
Roll and pitchrate 0,40 /   Yawrate 0,50
TPA 0,30   TPA Bpoint 1500
Receiver:  all default but RCRate 1,10

But as always if you find PID settings on the internet: they dont apply to every quad. You have to have a really similar setup than I do. Every quad is usually different. Many variables influence the outcome. But this can be a good startingpoint for you if you have simlar motors and ESCs...
I used a nice PDB (power distribution board) which has 2 switches for LED or VTX
So I can choose if I want my LEDs to be powered on with this easy switch.
I guess you can also hook up LEDs to be controlled by the NAZE32 board as well - but this is more advanced - the PDB is really easy.

You need a really small FPV cam for it to fit between the front booms!
I use the Fatshark 600TVL which as a really small housing. I even had to file it down on the side a bit for a good fit.You can tilt it a bit by using more double sided tape on the top of the cam holding frame than on the bottom. Works ok for me.

HD Cam:
initially made to mount the Mobius/runcamHD type of flat cams - but gopro or SJ5000+ in my case works also. Vibration dampening works really well - even wih unbalanced motors / Props I have no jello issues!

Black Snapper XS

Dienstag, 29. September 2015

Easy Antenna tracker - review and fieldtesting (ImmersionRC ezAntennatracker V2)

Immersion sent me their ezAntennatracker V2 some time ago. First I was sceptic if I want to use it, since tracker setup sounded way to complicated for me when I saw it in use by other FPVers.
But since they have "ez" (for easy) in many of their products I thought I'll give it a try. I opted to use only the PAN-Servo - TILT is only needed if you fly really high or if you have a very directional antenna. I use the 13dbi Spironet with 35° horiz and vertical beamwidth - so I dont need to TILT with the tracker.
This makes the mechanics way easier - just a big "plate" directly on the huge sailwinch servo where I placed the antenna. To get this on my tripod I just taped all together (doublesided tape) - the ezTracker with DiversityRX and servo. Of course the diversity here is overkill - if using a tracker you shouldnt need a diversityRX.

If you have a copter or plane with ezOSD onboard - this tracker is really nice and easy to use. It gives you 360° of really good video signal quality! The fact that you have to have telemetry however is a showstopper for me on many FPV vehicles (I have many quads and planes and only few of them have telemetry).

For me: I packed the diversity and the tracker on one groundstation and I can switch between: tracker operation - or just diversity. Recently I made this quite modular with some gopro mounts (i can plug in antenna and monitor additionally if I want to).
In a next video I will try to compare the use of a tracker to my normal use of diversity RX with different antennas - most noteably the new Pepperbox high gain, high beamwidth antenna!

Pan-Servo: HS-785 HB Sailwinch Servo
Antenna: Spironet Patch 13dbi
you also need some SMA Antenna Extension cables!

►Startup (5mins!):
- set home (FPV vehicle with enough SAT acquired and with ezOSD telemetry running! standing next to the groundstation
- BEARING Calibration:
I found this to be the easiest way. You just move the copter away in one direction (20 or 30ft) and make sure the antenna is pointing in the right direction - if not - adjust.

►Requirements to get this tracker running:
Quite simple - you just need their ezOSD (or maybe some other compatible telemetry downlink?). the OSD sends GPS position and other telemetry info encoded in the audiochannel of your normal FPV downlink (one audio channel).

Donnerstag, 16. April 2015

Aaronia Spectran HF6065 Review - very powerful handheld spectrum analyzer!

If you want to get a better understanding of how the video downlink or radio uplink to your FPV model works - you need such an measurment device. It's nice to read a lot about the theories but I need some proof. Here you can see what's going on.


Freitag, 27. Februar 2015

Thunder Tiger Ghost+

Aus Ghost+
Size: 450mm (motor2motor)
Weight: 2.25kg
Motors: 28x14mm  450kv
ESC: 30A - 6S
Props: 11x5

Flighttime (in hover with gimbal and cam):
~15mins (used 1462mah for 4:39 flight and calculated the estimate flighttime for save 80% battery usage)

1100€ (RTF with Copter+Charger+Gimbal+Radio+Battery)
+ 250€ for FPV Set (TFT+RX and TX)

Battery-Bay (Plastic housing):
3,5cm height
8,4cm width
housing is around 16cm deep (but you need to get cables in there...)
orig. battery without housing:
13,5cm x 7,2cm x 3,2cm     6S  6000mah   8c dicharge (48amps)  1c charge

Morpheus Gimbal:  for GP3 and GP3+  (not GP4?)
Weight: 280g,    2s-4s voltage
Tilt: 90°    Roll: 45°   Pan: 360°

Flight controller Gains:
without gimbal: (set per default)
Roll: 55
Pitch: 55
Sway:  95 (Yaw)

WITH gimbal (a bit heavier)
Roll: 45
Pitch: 45
Sway : 80 (Yaw)

FPV Set:
7" TFT monitor with sunshade and good brightness!
Internal battery, chargeable via USB plug.
8ch: 5733  5752  5771  5790  5809  5828  5847  5866

Official Thunder Tiger Infos
German instructions and tons of infos
German FPV SET description

PART 1: unboxing and review
PART 2: build video and indepth review
PART 3 Follow me mode tests

Freitag, 13. Februar 2015

Parrot Bebop

check out above album for some pics!

I was patiently waiting for this little tech stuffed drone to come out. I bought the AR.Drone 1 back than and loved the new concept. Skipped AR Drone 2 because I didn't see much difference (and had enough other quads) but this one was on my wishlist!
It's a wifi controlled flying cam rather than a drone. It looks like a camcorder with arms and props ;-)
Tech spces:
- weight: 393gr (without bumpers)
- flying time (11mins?  I estimate 8-10mins with std. 1200mah 3cell battery)
- fully stabilized 1080pcam (records fisheye 14mp and computes software stabilized video)
- tilt-able video (with two fingers on phone for example)
- video and control over 2.4 or 5ghz wifi
- can be controlled with only phone or dedicated skycontroller
- range varies (with wifi noise, used controller, channel,...) from only 100m to 2km (with skycontroller) under optimal conditions
- ios and android app (with lots of cool features)
Video quality:
At the time of this filming I didn't have a day with good sunlight (were the cam performs best) - so you see rather poor performance but a decent stabilisation (it was cold and gusty this day, didn't wanna leave my car). This session was fun - maybe I'll post the whole video from my first flights.
As soon as we have some nice weather I will show you that the cam here can work really nice.
- Center CAM-View:   double tap smartphone/tablett (non SkyController mode!) with BOTH fingers!
Now I need to see how you can center the cam in Skycontroller mode!
- Brightness/Contrast settings DO AFFECT the recorded video!

minor Problems I found:
Apps: make sure you always use the most current (my iPad app was 1 week old and had an issue with GPS status which I didn't have on my android).

You should be able to see your drone on a google maps style view but you have to preload this data. Because if I'm connected to drone I have no internet (even if I turn mobile data on my android stays just wifi and has no internet).

HDMI / Video:
I wanted to try my Fatshark Dominator HD, got a HDMI to MICRO HDMI cable and connected it to the skycontroller. Only got a few seconds of image on the goggles - flicker than black.
If I connect HDMI monitor to the skycontroller it works - so it must be on Fatshark side - or it's an incompatibility...
Hope I find I way for this.
But anyhow - the iPad view works really well. It's sharp image - but with some lag and occasionally stuttering video (control data is prioritized over video).
Bebop + Oculus Rift DK2? - not yet from what I read here
Wifi tuning to get optimal range
Official Bebop Blog
Facebook Group
Bebop News on
Good Review @
2 different sets:
Bebop alone (500€)
2 batteries
wall plug charger
4 spare props + propmount tool
bumpers (for indoor)

Bebop + Skycontroller (900€)
all of above +
1 more battery (used for skycontroller)
skycontroller ("real joysticks", strong wifi repeater, directional antenna, Smartphone/Tablet mounting)
sunshade (2 Parts)
7" Tablet adapter

Review Video:

Sonntag, 4. Januar 2015

ImmersionRC XuGong V2 pro

Propulsion Set from DJI called E300
ESCs: DJI 15amp
Motors: DJI 920kv (Phantom2 style)
Props: std. "Phantom2 Props"

Weight: 1085gr
(all except flightbattery which was 343gr)
so roughly 1,4kg min flightweight with small battery

Packingsize: (30x25x13cm)

Naza Settings:
light battery - 90-100% Gains
heavy battery: go down with gains a bit (best to assign roll and pitch gains to X2 so you can set it while flying).

Power consumption:
ezOSD showed 13,7amps in Hover - really nice!
Modified ezOSD here shows mah/min consumption as well (gave me 230-250mah/min).

Pricetag (as of 5.1.15):
200€ for Frame (incl. ezOSD)
200€ for Brushless gimbal (with controller)
109€ DJI e300 pack
129€ DJI Naza Lite (or better)
~70€ VideoTX
  70€ 4ch lite RX
+ Gopro, Fatshark, Antennas...

more Pics in my XuGong V2 pro Picasa album:

more Infos:
Official Page at (Manual, Firmware,...)
->> excellent infos from Deweytube here on RCG

XuGong Pro v2 - How to Update Gimbal Firmware (FY-G3)

Resonances? Try to get proper CoG and tighten the Joints on the arms!
(CG pic thanks to Deweytube!)