ritewing mini drak

Ritewing Mini Drak Center of Gravity

Ritewing Mini Drak is a fantastic R/C airplane. Fast, stable, and thanks to smooth lines and negative swept wing, it looks great. Thanks to negative wing sweep and a long nose, it has a very unusual center of gravity (CG). Mini Drak’s CG is located almost at the leading edge of wings.

Mini Drak Center Of Gravity

The Center of gravity should be measured from the front edge of the front wing spar.

  • For beginners as well during maiden flight it should be located around 25mm (1″) in front of the front wing spar
  • It can be moved back to approximately 20mm (0,8″) from the front edge of the front wing spar for advanced pilots.

Remember that correct setup of the center of gravity (CG) is critical for stable flight!

Long-Range FPV tips

Long-Range FPV Tips

Long-range FPV is one of the hardest aspects of the modern R/C hobby. Not only will you be sending your foam airplane of drone miles and miles above the line of sight range, if anything goes wrong, but you will probably never recover your UAV. Dead servo, burned motor, broken linkage, or just depleted battery equals crash. Finding your model miles away is extremely hard even if you know the GPS coordinates and last known position. Before making a first long-range flight, do everything you can to ensure your airplane or a drone will come back safely.

Long-Range FPV Airplane Mini Drak

Here are tips about how to do that. But bear in mind, that I will skip the most obvious tips like:

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Radiomaster TX16S Review

Radiomaster TX16S Review

Radiomaster TX16S is probably one of the two most awaited for radios in 2020. The second one is the Jumper T18, but let’s not talk about it now. There will be time later to compare Radiomaster TX16S with Jumper T18. Let’s take a look at this hot radio and see what changed, why it looks like black T16, and is it worth the money they ask for it.

Radiomaster TX16S Multiprotocol Radio

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Diatone Hey Tina Whoop162

Diatone Hey Tina Whoop162 with FalcoX

I will be very frank with you: I do not like those tiny whoops. You know, 2″ and smaller propellers, plastic frame, a camera on top. You know, those almost cheapest FPV drones you can get. I’m saying that builds like BetaFPV 65X or Emax Tinyhawk are bad. I just do not like to fly them. Somehow flying indoor is not my thing and I do not have enough space in my home to do it. And taking those tiny things outside makes little sense. So, bottom line: not my thing.

Diatone Hey Tina Whoop162

When I was contacted to make a review of Diatone Tiny Whoop162 my first reaction was: meh… To be honest, I would turn the offer down and choose something more suited for my flying style, but then there was one thing that made me change my mind. The unit I was offered what flashed with FlightOne FalcoX and I wanted to give it a try for some time now. A few weeks later Tiny Whoop162 landed on my desk and this is my original impression of it. Bear in mind, I will ignore the FalcoX for now and concentrate only on the hardware itself. Read More

Dalprop FOLD F5 folding 5-inch propellers

Foldable propellers are nothing new. We use them on RC airplanes and consumer-ready drones like DJI Mavic for years. But they were never available for 5-inch mini quads! Until now that is, since just today I got a package from Foxeer with 2 (2 and a half) sets of brand new Dalprop FOLD 5.1″ folding propellers for multirotor FPV drones! Yay…

DALprop FOLD F5 foldable 5-inch propellers

DALprop FOLD F5 foldable 5-inch propellers

What to say… They fold indeed. My props are pre-production samples and came not assembled! Double the fun with some puzzles!

DALprop FOLD F5 foldable 5-inch propellers

DALprop FOLD F5 foldable 5-inch propellers

DALprop FOLD F5 foldable 5-inch propellers

Unfortunately, I can not yet test them. It’s raining and the weather forecast says it will be raining for 2 more days. But after that, nothing will stop me from testing them on my favorite flying spot!

STM32 F1, F3, F4, G4, F7 and H7 flight controllers

STM32 F1, F3, F4, G4, F7 and H7 flight controllers

Currently, almost all flight controllers we use on our multirotor FPV drones and airplanes are powered by microcontrollers from an STM32 family. When we say about flight controller families or generations, we refer to them by the family of the MCU. For example:

F1 flight controllers are no longer supported

or

You should get F7 to do it

STM32F1

Historically speaking, F1 were the first flight controller boards for MultiWii derivatives based on STM32 MCU. All the F1 boards like Naze32 or CC3D (ok, this one is from OpenPilot family) were equipped with STM32F103 chips. Currently, F1 boards are not supported by any major flight controller firmware. Reasons are simple: low speed, lack of hardware floating-point acceleration, very little RAM and Flash memory, only a couple of UARTs. They were not powerful enough and as a result, had to die.

Do not buy and if you have one, just keep it somewhere in a drawer as a souvenir of good old times. Read More

Betaflight 4.2

Betaflight 4.2 Gyro, Looptime and Gyro Stage 2 Lowpass Filter

Betaflight 4.2 brings some very important changes to how various tasks are processed. Especially how gyro,m filtering and PID loop are working together.

First of all, the gyro is sampled always at the gyro native speed. This means, MPU6000 will be sampled at 8kHz. Always. At the same time, PID and filtering are working as a separate task at 8kHz, 4kHz, 2kHz and so on. Depending on user configuration and MCU processing speed.

5-inch mini quad with Betaflight 4.2

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Betaflight 4.2

Betaflight 4.2 – new features and most important changes

It’s been a while since we had the last release of Betalight. After all, Betaflight 4.1 was released in October 2019. Half a year ago. Luckily, developers were not hibernating over the winter, and brand new, 4.2, release is scheduled for May 2020. Slightly more than 2 weeks from now.

Below is the list of the most important (from my perspective) functional changes.

The most important changes:

  • By default, Betaflight 4.2 sets DISABLED ESC protocol and it is up to the user to set correct protocol supported by ESCs
  • Virtual Current Meter uses now throttle setpoint, not RC command. Now it will work correctly with throttle limiting, throttle boost and so on. It should give more reliable current estimation now
  • Support for FrSky Graphical OSD aka Pixel OSD
  • By default, stick arming is disabled in Betaflight 4.2. It can be changed with enable_stick_arming CLI command
  • Improved STM32H7 support
  • Added the STM32G4 support. We can expect boards based on STAM32G4 to appear in the future
  • Dynamic Notch Filter improvements – it is now faster and more reliable
  • NFE Race Mode implementation known from Silverware
  • Yaw Spin Recovery auto mode
  • Scheduler improvements – gyro processing works always with full gyro sampling rate while filtering is run together with the main PID loop. It results is a more reliable scheduling and less jitter
  • Quick Rates System – max rotation rate is set in degrees per second and curve is set with the expo. This is very similar to rates used by INAV
  • For Crossfire CRSF it is now possible to display SNR in dB instead of RSSI dBm in OSD

Other change:

  • D_min and FF improvements
  • disarm reason is now logged in the Blackbox log
  • ICM42605 gyro and accelerometer sensor support
  • Dynamic LPF curves are now configurable
  • RC channels preview was added to the OSD
  • CLI name command removed
  • OSD distance from home alarm
  • CMS VTX management improvements
  • More GPS options are now settable from Betaflight Configurator
  • SOFTSPI feature removed
  • support for Redpine protocol for CC2500 RF chipsets
  • serial passthrough via MSP
the best rc radio transmitters

The best RC radio transmitters for Q2 2020

The last year was a good year in terms of new radio transmitters. It’s no longer a choice between FlySky and FrSky. We have new players and new products. Below is my, very subjective, overview of the most interesting radios on the market.

Still the best – FrSky X10S Horus

FrSky X10s Horus

In my very personal opinion, FrSky X10S Horus is the best option out there. Some might argue that the shape is not the best, or gimbals are not in the “perfect” place. Perhaps. On the other hand, I do not find those things an issue and I use my X10S for 2 years now. Amazing gimbals, good layout, great LCD and ergonomics. If I would have to find a real-life problem with the Horus, it would be a small battery. You really have to charge it after every trip to the airfield. Besides that, perfect! Read More