Another small device on my workbench: RunCam Mini DVR. Just like a name says: it's a DVR and it's small. You install it somewhere between your FPV camera and VTX, put a micro SD card, press a button and it will start recording. The simple solution to a simple problem. Of course only as long as your problem is lack of DVR in your FPV goggles…
URUAV LiPo Killer is a small device that is designed to do 2 things:
- kill a LiPo. When the battery is close to its death and should be disposed of, you can not just throw it away. It still has some electric charge inside and can catch fire when not handled properly. Discharge with a low current will drain the battery to 0 in a safe way
- Discharge it to the desired level. For example for storage. You plug the balancing lead, select cutoff voltage with a button and leave it for a night. Built-in microcontroller (STM32F103, the same that is in Naze32 or CC3D) will measure voltages and stop the discharge when voltage will drop to the level you want
Who could have imagined that tricopters can be so much fun? For sure they are interesting devices that lost a lot of "market" when quadcopters gained extra torque and plenty of reaction moment to do fast yaw turns. Almost no one flies them now. Too bad… And good luck if you want to buy a tricopter frame for 5-6 inch propellers. There is almost nothing on the market right now!
Luckily, we are living in interesting times, and everyone with few hundred dollars can get a 3D printer and make whatever he wants (right, if it was that simple…). Thanks to this, I give you a 3D printed tricopter frame designed to use miniquad parts: 2205 motors, 5 inch propellers and 9 gram servo:
STL files can be downloaded from Thingiverse
- Racestar BR2205 2300KV motors
- Racestar RS30A Lite ESC
- Turnigy TSS-10HM servo or similar
- Omnibus F4 flight controller
- RunCam Swift camera
- VTX03 video transmitter
- Lollipop antenna
- R-XSR receiver
- STL files
Flight controller runs INAV 2.0.1
Today a very popular topic: how to setup INAV on a flying wing – level intermediate.
Let's take a look at:
- INAV mixer configuration
- motor and servo refresh speed
- gyro settings
- flight modes
- basic PID (or PIFF) tuning
- some tips and tricks
FrSky R9 radio system is storming the RC hobby. It's super cheap after all. But there are problems: EU version is facing a lot of problems and people like to replace original antennas with something else.
Last week I was asked to check what is going on with antennas shipped with FrSky R9 Mini. After all, the same hardware can be used both for FCC 915MHz and EU 868MHz version. Is the antenna tuned somewhere in between? Or not so much?
220x motors are the workhorse on the RC hobby right now when it comes down to mini quads. Sometimes they are joined by 230x too. But 2205 and 2206 brushless outrunners have a serious problem that limits their use with propellers bigger than 5 inches. They might still be fine with 6-inch props, but on 7-inches problems begins. What 220x lack is torque! They are just too small to have enough copper wire and diameter to deliver enough torque to drive much heavier 7-inch propellers.
Let's welcome something much more powerful: ION Drive / ION Raaange 2506 1250KV!
Is Matek F722-SE the best flight controller of 2018? Perhaps it's "slightly" too early for such statements, but for sure, it looks like one of the strongest pretenders for such a title (if the title existed).
In a meantime, a video showing brand new Matek F722-SE flight controller and most of its features.
At the beginning of 2018 I've stated that Matek F722-STD is the first F7 flight controller that makes sense. Today, I have in front of me I have the first F7 flight controller that has all you need (and more) when 4-in-1 ESC is not what you are looking for.
It is Matek F722-SE!
- STM32F722 processor
- MPU6000 and ICM20602 gyro/acc – user selectable to match the needs. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of dual gyro design. From my perspective, MPU6000 is enough for everyone. Really!
- OSD compatible with INAV and Betaflight
- BMP280 barometer
- 5 hardware serial ports
- possible 1 software serial
- 8 outputs
- I2C bus
This is the standard data. Nothing super fancy at a first glance. Until you go into the details:
- PDB with a current meter is integrated into the design
- you can connect 2 separate FPV cameras and select the one that will be connected to OSD and VTX with your radio without any additional hardware. Super option for fixed wing flyers
- power VTX on/off from your radio as well (I really will have to test that soon)
- TX6 is conveniently positioned at every corner for ESC telemetry setup
- F7 means that you can connect anything you want to any serial port you want. F7 series have integrated serial inverters, so SBUS and SmartPort is no longer a problem
I'm super eager to put this baby on one of my racing quads
Matek F722-SE is coming soon!
I have to honestly admit, up to the beginning of 2018 summer I was rather against 4-in-1 ESCs and flight controllers combos. The reason was quite simple: 4-in-1 were a rather new thing, had a tendency to burn without a reason and were quite expensive. Pretty much a normal state of a new technology. In comparison, FC + PDB + 4 separate ESC had more flexibility, were cheaper to replace when something puffed the magic smoke and seemed to be a reasonable choice when few extra grams of weight was not a problem. Lately, things started to change…
4-in-1 ESCs are no longer a new thing, manufacturers learned their lessons and prices went down! And that means you can get a decent quality flight controller and 4-in-1 ESC for less than $50. That's cheaper than 4 ESCs! C'mon, things ARE happening.
Today let's take a look at the example of a new age FC + 4-in-1 combos: Mamba F4 Power Tower.
What comes inside the package?
- Mamba F405 flight controller
- Mamba F40 4in1 ESC
Mamba F405 comes preflashed with Betaflight 3.3 and uses target FuryF4 OSD (FY4O). It comes in standard 30,5×30,5mm hole spacing.
- STM32 F405 processor
- SPI connected MPY6000 gyro
- 3 hardware serial ports: UART1, UART3, and UART6
- LED support
- built-in OSD
- built-in 16MB flash memory for blackbox logs
- I2C pads
- 40A constant, 50A peak current
- DSHOT support
- uses QN3109 MOSFETs
- current sensor
Pros and cons
Some pros and cons after taking a "static" look at Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC
- pretty good quality PCB, I would even say surprisingly good for a price
- FC comes with rubber grommets for vibration damping
- side mounted DFU button instead of flat buttons or just pads on some lower quality boards
- c'mon! $45!
- FC can be used only with 4in1 ESC, no separate soldering pads for ESCs
- There are many versions of QN3109 MOSFETs, and depending which PDF you take a look at, 40A rating is either overrated or underrated… hmm…
- location of pads for motors on the 4in1 is problematic. It collides with mounting standoffs. Careful soldering required!
Overall verdict? So far, positively surprised! Really, this thing goes to one of my mini quads immediately!