Do you know, that with proper equipment you can fly your drone at night? In darkness? Without any lights? You only need a special camera that can see in the dark. I'm using RunCam Night Eagle that unfortunately is now discontinued and only Night Eagle 2 is available.
Cloners gonna clone and chinesium keeps being chinesium! It did not take long for Banggood / Realacc to clone Lumenier AXII FPV antennas and call them Realacc UXII circular polarized FPV antenna. Coincidence? I do not think so.
I've ordered few of those in December, they arrived last week and this is what came in package
Unfortunately, in this case, the build quality was typical chinesium. As soon as I opened one of them, antenna disintegrated… oh bugger…
I only hope the other (the one I did not open) works like expected. I did not test them in real life conditions since the weather is rather bad over here. This weekend maybe… In a meantime, here is a video of what is happening inside Realacc UXII 5.8GHz antenna.
Is it only me, or is Matek starting to build very good FPV hardware? I think everybody knows Matek's PDB. Matek F405 flight controller series is also very popular. But do you know Matek also started to build VTXes? I didn't and when a friend showed me this:
I almost knew I want one. Matek 5.8GHz 40CH VTX-HV is quite interesting design. It can be mounted above flight controller: M3 mounting holes are 30.5 apart. That's not all, it supports serial protocol (Tramp), can be powered from 5V rail or main LiPo (7-24V), has u.fl IPX connector, comes with small dipole antenna and SMA pigtail, has 3 power levels (25mW, 200mW and 500mW) and supports Raceband.
But the best feature are: 2 buttons and a set of LEDs. It really makes setup super easy. Press Button A to select function, press Button B to cycle options (power, band, channel). And current state is presented with LEDs. Cool. Not like with TBS Unify Pro where you have to count blinks!
Bangood stated it uses SmartAudio, but it is not true. It is ImmersionRC Tramp protocol. Thank you Andrey for pointing that out.
A few days ago I went back in time. Or to be more precise I started to browse my photo archive. And I've found pictures of my first FPV quadcopter… Oh my… ancient times…
Doesn't it look awkward? At least a little… But this baby was pretty cool to think about it. At least when I finally learned how not to crash every few minutes. If I remember correctly, the specification was more less like this:
Flight controller: CC3D running OpenPilot!
Afro ESC 20A with BLHeli
Turnigy MT2213 935KV motors
10" APC props
FlySky/Tunigy FS-i6 radio link
Some cheap FPV set I've found on HobbyKing with VTX, camera and crappy bucket goggles
Today another video tutorial. It's just simpler to show how to make something on video than with text and images. So, without further ado: How to make Inverted Vee antenna for 5.8GHz FPV at home. All that is required is:
coax cable (here RG316)
copper welding wire
At the end we have small and light FPV antenna that just works. Sometimes it's just worth to make something by yourself, right?
When few months ago my older daughter (10 years old) started to express interest in FPV quadcopters, I was both happy and concerned. Happy, since I would have someone to fly with. Concerned, since she has no idea how to fly, I do not have a quadcopter for her and there is a big chance she will get bored fast. So, instead of getting her a brand new, cheap, standard off-the-shelf drone, I checked my repository of “spare” parts and drones, purchased this and that and week later “Omlette du fromage” came to life…
When I saw this video from rctestflight I knew I will build something like that for myself. A voila, few months later it is done. Here is Dropship Glider.
It is 29cm long with 20cm wingspan. Weights 97g AUW and has 21g/dm^2 wing loading. So, in theory, should glide. Somehow… If I got center of gravity right. And did not made ailerons too big. Or…
Delta 6mm Depron "wing" is attached to 6mm carbon fiber rod and has some quite big dihedral: 15 degrees.
The biggest problem was radio link and mixer for ailerons. I could not use my Taranis: I need that for a carrier and only radio control link I had was EM-16 with PPM output only and no way to setup any kind of mixer. The radio just has no "features" like that…
So, took one Arduino Pro Mini and wrote short program that acts as PPM decoder and mixer for ailerons.
power is supplied by 1S LiPo taken from my Tiny Whoop
FPV AIO Eachine TX02 also taken from my Tine Whoop
5V is supplied from cheap, regulated, step-up converter
3rd servo is to release tether
First flight, or rather drop, tomorrow. There will be a video from the event of course…
My GPS Racer is less and less fun project. For last few weeks it acts as sensor platform for my attempts to bring rangefinders and terrain following modes back to INAV. This time in a way that will work.
Two weeks ago it was carrying HC-SR04 sonar (crappy device). Week ago it was carrying US-100 (much better device). This week it is carrying both US-100 sonar and VL53L0X lidar!
DigitalEntity apparently had too much spare time and he finally wrote (ported) a driver for VL53L0X and starting from version 1.8 (probably) INAV will be able to use this cheap lidar.
Yes, VL53L0X is cheap and that means it's not state-of-the art device. First of all, it has limited range. 2m is all it can do in a room. No idea how it will behave in sunlight. Hard to guess, but I'm afraid that 1m will be all it will able to do in real life conditions… But we will see in a next few days.