Sunday, April 19, 2015

Flight Sessions 17 and 18 - Just good flying.

Been kinda rainy here, but managed to work-in two sessions recently. Flying at main-big field a couple of weeks apart. Calm winds (5-10mph), partly cloudy, good sats/hdop.

Took both the Nova and the Hubsan 107d. Flew 2-3 batteries through each on both weekends.

Using the Hubsan as current "warm-up" flier. Getting better with it in the real-life outside winds. Still mainly flying it LoS, but trying to use LCD more.

Getting more confident with Nova. Enjoying flying it and having fun with it ... and less nervous. Practiced manual landings and exploring more modes. Really like flying fast in Alt-Hold mode at about 10 meters (so it misses tree-tops on field edge) and also tried it at 3 meters :-) Then, did the procedure we talked about in Forums ... took it up to 60 meters, switched to Loiter, and dropped throttle to zero .... descent is controlled and very nice (handles prop-wash) ... switch the Land-Mode before it hits ground... pretty cool.

Only recent parameter change is THR_MID,575 (from 570). Seems perfect for the quad in this payload setup (with Mobius camera, stock vibration-dampened camera-mount, and 915Mhz Telemetry radio). AuW with 2700mah battery is 1002g.

Also, I changed the main Mode switch from:
Loiter, Stabilize, Alt-Hold ... to
Loiter, Alt-Hold, Stabilize ... seems to make more "progressive" sense. Now just to remember it, after getting used to it the old way (after all those flights).

On last flight Tower/DP3 was giving me a Telemetry-Low RSSI warning and I was only 3 meters away, still doing pre-flight on ground. Tried switching tablet to Airplane-Mode (WiFi off) but didn't seem to help. Checked a few more things and it got better so flew it and all was fine. Later found out I had forgotten to turn Mobius back on for this last flight (so that's weird) ... 915mhz radios work better with Mobius on ? Still wondering if Tower/DP3 RSSI is accurate or if maybe scale is off? (this issue has cropped up before). Also, turning on some more periodic voice updates (ie altitude) and liking those.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DJI Phantom 3 (Advanced & Professional) Released

While I don't own a DJI copter yet (or use their proprietary Naza flight controllers) the new DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopters do look nice. They aren't exactly cheap, but there is a lot of good components there for the money (plus, it's already assembled and wired-up). Should be a good choice for pilots looking for more of a "turn-key" solution or a "flying camera" for Aerial Photography (AP) purposes. Here is a video.

The main difference between them is the camera. The Phantom 3 Professional is capable of shooting spectacular 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. The 100-watt charger provides shorter charging times. Both have the new style Transmitter and computerized Flight-Controller.

  DJI Phantom 3 - Advanced DJI Phantom 3 - Professional
Ready-to-Fly (RTF) Configuration Yes Yes
RC Transmitter (Rechargeable/ DJI) Included Included
Flight-Controller with GPS/ Mapping/ Altitude/ Gyro (New Version) Included Included
Flight Battery (LiPo) Included Included
Intelligent Flight Battery Charger Included (57 watts max.) Upgraded (100 watts max.)
Camera Included Upgraded
- Video max. resolution   1080p/60fps 4k/30fps
- Video 1080p/60fps capable Yes Yes
- Photos (12 MegaPixel) Yes Yes
Camera Gimbal (3 axis) Included Included
LightBridge (Real-Time 720p Video Streaming Downlink) Ready Ready
Vision Positioning Sensors (optical and sonar) feature Included Included
DJI Pilot app for iOS and Android Ready Ready

While the Ultra-HD 4K camera in the Pro will future-proof your investment, the camera in the Advanced is still really nice because it can record 1080p at 60fps (not just 30fps). To use DJI-Pilot features, just connect an Apple iOS or Android device. LightBridge requires similar or monitor with HDMI-Input. DJI has phone-support and most local hobby-shops are familiar with DJI aircraft if you need some local help. You can use the links above for fast service and free shipping.

Monday, April 13, 2015

3DR Solo Smart Drone - New quadcopter from 3D-Robotics

3DR Solo drone is looking good. Appears to be more of a "turn-key" system with new 3DR Transmitter. Utilizes the new "GoPro-Bus" for full GoPro control (even while in flight) and new 3-axis gimbal. And the rumors are correct ... on-board you will find the new PixHawk-2 Flight-Controller.

Specs and features.

Pre-release intro video.


And finally, the full 3DR Solo Launch Film
As usual, best viewed by clicking Gear icon to go HD 720 or 1080. Click box at right to go full screen.