Two Weeks Running

I can’t remember the last time I managed to go flying two weeks running, but it was quite a while ago. This week wasn’t exactly good weather, but the rain held off (just) and it started out as a very dull grey morning that gradually turned sunny. It’s just a pity about the wind, which was really strong.

I was on my own in the bleak conditions to start with. My first flight was with clear glasses, something I don’t do very often, so it must really have been bad. Almost immediately after launch the Sun came out, so I ended up getting blinded.

Soon after that a young boy turned up with a 3D Robotics Iris quadcopter. I haven’t seen one of these before, so I had to ask him what it was. It flew really well considering the gale that was blowing, which is almost certainly due to the fact that it was flying with GPS assistance. The thing I didn’t like was that it sat on the ground for ages before it was able to get a GPS fix. During all this time the controller and a tablet computer were being fiddled with to try to rectify the issue. Personally, I just want to power it up and fly, but it won’t let you without the GPS.

After that we had the EFlite Advance 25E, a family with a DJI Phantom 3 and the guy from last week with the FPV foam flying wing. He broke something on his first flight, possibly due to the extra weight of the FPV camera, which is mounted high up, and the really seriously windy conditions. He then went away to get some hot melt glue to fix it back together and then come back again in the afternoon. The Phantom flew really well and he teased the little ones by flying their teddy bear away. It’s not great when they try and chase after it though. We also noticed that there was another Phantom flying down in the woods at the extreme corner of the field. I wonder if he was the same guy from last week, but he seemed intent on trying to crash into the trees? As for me, I had 4 flights with the RS352, trying and failing to do a harrier. The conditions were against it really, but for some strange reason, all our landings were really good. Because of the wind we were all able to hover down to the ground with almost no forward speed. Other than that, I nearly had a mid air with the Advance 25E, but I doubt it was actually that close. He’s a lot bigger than me and I think I was well underneath him, but it’s closer than I like to get.

The only building I’ve been doing for the week is to put together a micro quadcopter which we need for a project in March. The problem I’m having is that I need a brushed motor controller and the only suitable source seems to be the “Ready to Fly Quads” brushed motor driver which is only available in the US: http://www.readytoflyquads.com/brushed-motor-driver. I’ve been looking at building my own as you only need a diode, MSOFET and resistor, but I’m going to have to put in an RS order as I don’t have any suitable MOSFETS. You need a low threshold voltage due to the 1S LiPo power source, plus a low gate drain resistance. My current experiment is with a BJT, so I’m going to try putting it all together later this evening and see if it will lift the weight of the radio gear. Every gram counts on something this small.

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Lots of bits and equipment in the process of building a micro quadcopter

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