Is it possible turn around inside the building?

Virgis tries to flight into building, turn around and come back. Almost happened ;)

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I was flying around. It’s getting really dark. Nice light cast from the tractor.

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51 Crash Team: Low and fast


The best of Virgis

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FPV range calculator

Try this experimental range calculator:

http://www.fpv.lt/lang/lt/fpv-range-calculator/

5.8 GHz video transmitter test

First test of 5.8 GHz video transmitter. There was 2.4 GHz RC control used and it served good for about 400 meters. As a result we have few poped Lipos and a great video :)
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Monumentum


Short flight near Kaunas

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Gliding

I had a chance to pilot a real glider for the first time. About 10 minutes of my own flight. Seriously cool stuff. Then instructor took over control and showed what the glider is really capable of. It means loops, free fall, “diving on the wing” etc.. Unfortunately there were no thermals due to very hot weather.

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New personal record – 1 km


Finally I’ve reached 1km distance ;) . Even RC control was poor, and almost gone 2 times, video downlink was good. This flight I’ve been using diversity receiver with 3dBi dipole and 11 dB biquad antenna. Very likely that RF interference was cause by high voltage power lines beneath. I must repeat such flight far away from RF noises.

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UAV/FPV shop has launched

Please visit our new FPV e-shop http://shop.fpv.lt . We are starting with few products, and hope that soon we’ll be able to provide more;)

New heights with new OSD, V-diversity and step-up

I’ve tested my new, custom made equipment:
- DC/DC setup-up 12V converter (custom PCB 1×2 cm made by myself;))
- Smalltim OSD
- 2.4 GHz video diversity.
I love it! EasyStar with 3 meter 35 MHz RX antenna.

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First quadrocopter’s flight outside

We’ve tried to launch quadrocopter for the first time outside. It was more successful than I’ve hoped, but not so great as it should be :) . It was quite stable along horizontal axis, but it was turning around Z (vertical). I had to take it down, because it’s not controllable in such situation.

During second launch, when I’ve connected battery to the copter, one of the field transistors burned down. New hole in the transistor and puff of smoke informed us that it’s over for a now. I had such problem for a few times. It seems that it’s necessary to limit the current upon startup. I’ll fix the problem with regs, Z gyro and try again ;)

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2.4 GHz diversity controller

My new finished diversity controller based on airwave module. Soon to be expanded to work with 4 signals, video spliter, telemetry uplink to the PC. Expected price <100$.

520 TVL day/night camera

My current cmos camera was very bad quality, so I needed to change it. I’ve choose this one:

SecurityCamera2000

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Virgis’ flight inside the cowhouse

Virgis (51 Crash tem) crossed through the building 2 times. Great show.

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Interesting way to control quadrocopter


New type control was demonstrated in Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (Switzerland). Stick’s rotation and position change is translated into quadrocopter commands. The principe is very similar to already used system by RC hobbiests. Stick has integrated accelerometers and gyros to detect movement. Maybe such type of control will spread to other applications as well.

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EZ crash


During the flight, I’ve lost control of the plane. It seems that the problem was not in electronics, but in mechanics. Poorly glued tail section became loose. I was able to find the plane by turning the motor on and off. I’ve found it in the bushes, so no heavy damage was taken.

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Chasing EasyStar

Just a nice evening with very little wind. Trying to fly formation. Also some very low flight. View from Virgis’s camera.


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ETOP – Electronc Tethered Observation Platform

Israel Aerospace Industries has announced new Quadrocopter. They call it ETOP (Electric Thetered Observation Platform). It is a pure electric powered, Tethered airborne platform for observation and other applications. The ETOP uses cable from the ground to feed a HAV.

The ETOP can be deployed form a static or moving ground vehicle/station. The platform is generated by electric powered propellers which can hover at a predetermined altitude above ground for long periods depending on the ground platform energy storage capability. The ETOP can carry a payload of up to 20Kg to a maximum altitude of 100m. As long ground station station has power, the quadrocopter can hover. It should be mass produced in 2013. Supposed to be used by military units in urban areas.

http://www.iai.co.il/35510-41041-EN/default.aspx

Amazing quadrocopters


Quadrocopters do amazing things: turning upside down in the air, flying through window vertically and perching.

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EasyStar with 4S1P


3S1P configuration was slightly underpowered so, I’ve added one more LiFePO4 cell to the setup. It still doesn’t have 90 deg. climb, but it’s pretty fast now. I think propeller 5.5×5x5 should be increased up to 6×4. Anyway 50% WOT time it get’s about 9 runtime. It’s really not much, but with 4C allowed charging current, battery will be charged in 15 minutes, and that’s not so bad.

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Towards digital FPV

On RCGroups member announced, that he tested new digital video link, designed for FPV. “Rotoconcept Robotics” from Canada, has developed bidirectional 2.4 GHz link, which enables RC control and digital video transmission simultaneously. The details are unknown, but they are probably using OFDM modulation. Encoder and transmitter is about 12×13x4 cm. Right now it’s too heavey for models like EasyStar, but it was successfully used on quadrocopter. Right now company tries to make this device smaller. They promise not only digital video transmission, but also OSD and GPS functionality. Integrated computer gives a chance to use this system for FPV purposes. Despite that digtal video transmission get much criticism in the FPV arena, everybody agrees that in 5 years, this technology will be dominant due it’s high performance in quality and range. In this clip, you can see difference between 1W 2.4 GHz analog video transmitter (first part) and 50 mW digital video transmitter. The test was performed in 180 meters, non line of sight conditions. Analog video was constantly interfered, while digital link was consistent during all range.

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http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1247779

Big wing EasyStar thermaled up to 2.3 km

This video was taken by Jumpjed101. Big wing EasyStar was sucked by thermal up to 2.3 km height and lost control. Once the pilot regained control, he tried to dive towards ground where he could get good reception. But such diving increases plane’s air speed and causes vibrations on the wings, which could break them. So plane had to be leveled back to decrease the speed, and the thermal lifted it once again. Thermals usually are not bigger than 300 m in diameter, so you can easily fly out of it. But this one was bigger and EZ couldn’t find it’s edge. Experienced pilot advise to turn the plane to your landing zone direction and roll the plane upside down. Wing’s lifting force will pull towards the ground and hopefully will overcome thermal lifting power.

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Great videos from Austria

Taken by Trappy

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Flight over iBėnai

Corona RP8D1 receiver RSSI mod – cheapest OSD ever

When flying FPV, it’s essential to have both video and RC links perfect. One of these missing will result grounding effect, when your plane will loose control and gravity force will pull it to the surface much faster than you usually do. It’s easy to notice weak video signal – colors are disappearing, frames are out of sync, view is “snowy”.

It’s much harder to notice RC control link failures. Especially if link is digital. Receivers usually has LED, which indicates link quality. Glowing green led means that everything is ok, blinking or red led means link failures. This led is not seen during the flight, because receiver is hidden somewhere deep in the plane where all the servo wires come in and it’s more easy to protect from external damage.

I’ve modded my Corona synthesyzed 35 MHz frequency receiver RP8D1, so that I could see link failures in video signal. I’ve desoldered the LED from the receiver and moved to the front of the plane. 1 mA current was enough to light up white led with moderate luminance. To make led omni directional I’ve sanded it’s surface. This mod is very basic. Going further we can take analog RSSI signal from the receiver, buffer it and show it on led’s row or put into OSD. The we could see signal strength expressed in percent, not only blinking. But right now I think I’ll be fine with that.

We need to take paper and plastic protection from the electronics, and foam which covers the microchips.


Receiver is a small part so you need to be careful. The magnifying glass can help you.

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Quadrocopter NordStar

Finnaly, I’ve tested my quadrocopter NordStar. Flight controller needs some tuning. Thrust is very good, it seems that it will be able to lift much payload. Brief specs:

- Plastic frame
- 4S1P LiFePO4 2300 mA battery (60A)
- 4x 927KV 150W electric motors
- 2x 10×6″ regular propellers (24 cm) and 2x 10×6″ reverse pushers
- ST Cortex M3 32-bit microcontroller

Planning to add GPS, 433 MHz long range communication module for telemetry and SD resolution video broadcast

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