Updates

Return to flight?

A busy year with a new job and unfortunately not much time to play with drones or create posts here.

Firstly my F55o: After experimenting with a tri-copter setup, I decided the efficiency cost was just too great. I tried various combinations of prop sizes, had a few failures and eventually rebuilt it back to a hex setup on an S550 frame. While it did fly, the extra weight of the G40 gimbal and Sony RX100III cut flight times down by around half! It also pushed the total weight of my craft just over the new 2kg limit for unlicensed commercial operation – which was a major goal for me and the main reason I tried the tri configuration.
I then had some random stability issues with the rebuilt S550 with it deciding to tilt 45 degrees and dive flat out toward the ground – or nearest tree, I’m still not sure if this was a flight controller issue or due to the extra weight of the gimbal causing a pendulum effect. I ran out of time, money and enthusiasm to continue trying to sort it out.

Until yesterday.

A mate (Regis) and I have been watching developments on the relatively new DJI Mavic in forums.
He’s decided to bite the bullet and get one, leaving his well loved Phantom3 looking for a new home – so I decided I would adopt it as an interim craft while I probably wait for V2 of the Mavic in a year or so.
SO, I should be back in the air very soon gathering more footage around Hobart and Tasmania.

Back to yesterday …

unidrone
Regis and I took a short drive to the Utas soccer fields on Mt Nelson so he could take his P3 for a fly. The main fields were empty, but someone was busy using a theodolite and setting up reflective markers. Turns out it was some guy’s from the Uni, preparing to test their latest 3D mapping UAV! This thing weighs around 15KG, has 6 batteries, 3GPS receivers and was an amazing thing to witness lifting off the ground – surprisingly not much louder than the S550.
Here’s a link to the Uni project, though at the time of posting, there was no info provided on this particular drone.

F500, RX100, G40 wiring

WIRING_DIAGRAM-F550Y6
I’ve drawn a complete wiring diagram of my new Tricopter. You can access an easier to read PDF version HERE. Hopefully the diagram above might help someone out using similar components but I also did it for my own reference.

The F550 Y6 Tricopter rebuild with Sony RX100 III and G40 gimbal has been moved to a new seperate page HERE.
Further details about the diagram above can be found on the new page.

F550 Y6 Tricopter – Sony RX100 III

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After an almost complete rebuild it’s now ready for launch – when some new props arrive.
Some initial testing will be required and I may need to change some configurations.
I changed the legs from the earlier photos saving 65g.

Technical information: DJI F550 flame-wheel frame with Aimdroix extended arms, iFlight G40 gimbal, GentWIRE-MULTI  remote controlled Sony RX100 III camera, NazaM V2 flight controller with iOSD (On Screen display providing in-flight information live from the craft), F12E controller with First Person View. 6600 mAh battery, expected flight time around 12 minutes.
AUW: 2.4kg, Motor centres: 56cm apart. Top props 9443, bottom props 1145 – this may change depending on efficiency.

F550 Y6 Tricopter conversion

03 F550 Y6 Tricopter

Over the last week, I’ve been converting my F550 Hex into a Y6 Tricopter!
It’s coming together nicely with some wiring to be completed before getting airbourne with a Sony RX100M3 controlled remotely by a gentles GentWIRE-MULIT mounted on a G40 gimbal – which I plan to modify and lighten down the track. I’ve used lighter Aimdroix extended aluminium arms and have some 1145 (11 inch) props on the way.

Further details and photos can be found on the updated F550 page.

“New” Sony RX100M3, gimbal research

I’ve been looking at getting a better camera on a UAV since, well, since I looked at getting a UAV!
I had plenty of time to research while saving up and bang for buck, the Sony RX100 series constantly came up trumps with almost anything I compared it with. I ended up getting a second hand RX100III. In a compact body under 300g it delivers crisp 20mp RAW stills with good dynamic range and after testing I’d have to say it’s better than my entry level Nikon D3200 DSLR! I have yet to fully test video so will save comment for a more indepth review down the track.
This week I began the serious hunt for a suitable gimbal – again, bang for buck and minimum weight the main criteria.
Walkera make the G3-S gimbal specifically for the RX100, it’s reasonably priced and only 340g. Many reviews point out that it is unreliable and many users swap out the controller for an AlexMos or Storm32.
As my current G3-D won’t save adjusted settings, I have to reconfigure it every time I launch and given my past experience with Walkera, I began hunting elsewhere.After comparing pretty much every available gimbal option including building one from scratch, today I ordered the fairly newly released iFlight G40 with 32 bit BaseCam AlexMos from AliExpress.
There’s not much information out on the G40 at the moment, a few company video’s on youtube where it looks buttery smooth and the odd feedback on store sites which is positive.
I will probably mod this gimbal eventually – it’s arms mainly – to get the current weight of 564g down as much as I can, hopefully writing a positive review of it in a month or three.

For anyone else searching for a gimblal in that awkward mirrorless camera range where there’s really not much around, here’s some notes from my research – if you can make sense of it, perhaps it will help you. Please don’t blindly follow my decision, I’ve been known to pick the wrong product 😉
– Tone.

(Prices below are generally in Australian $, links provided aren’t nessecarily the cheapest available or reliable sellers, your purchase is your decision.)

GIMBAL for RX100:
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*****   iFlight G40-BLG (for RX100) w 32bit BaseCam Alexmos –  564g   –   $345AU ($334 sale) 13.11.15 $367AU
Ready to Use (!)With 32-bit Alexmos Simple BGC
Gimbal Basecam firmware 2.50.b
Motors:  iPower GBM4108H-120T   =   98g  = $42.50 ea
 $286US – about 560g
3 Axis Brushless Gimbal w/ Three Motors & 32Bit Control Board for Micro DSLR Camera Sony NEX5/6/7 FPV Photography
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Quantum Mid-size brushless gimbal 4mm carbon (only 2 axis)   –   399g   –   $242AU
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MOY 3-Axis RTF w 32bit Alexmos  –  560g  –  $390AU
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DYS brushless 3 axis kit   With Storm32   –  617g    – $279 (modifyable arms to make lighter)
Recommend Gimbal motor:(not included in this listing)
– Item no.: BGM4108-130
– Weight: 93g ea = $150 for x3
EASY Gimbal 3-Axis Brushless RTF   –   Alexmos , $382US   gimbal 380g motor 93g
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X-Cam A22-3H  –  110g?  –  $854
Xcam X140Bs-3H
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TRD Beholder NEXt gimbal 3-axis –  AlexMos 32bit   –   564g   – $599AU TRD, $420AU Frame Kit no controller!
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Arris Zhao yun Pro 3-axis Alexmos 32bit   –   840g   –   $550US
Arris CM3000
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Infinity MR-S    – Alexmos   –   747g?
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AG500-DD
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GHT EX-gimbal
GHT NEXt EZ
Gimbal EZ Gimbal V2 4oog $200 + Mount 340g GHT Pro 3 axis 5208 $276AU + F550 damper $94 + controller $280
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ORDER SEPERATE PARTS FOR BUILD:

Motors:  3506 (for gopro with case)     4006 pancakes  (for RX100)

motors x3.: BGM4108-130HS   – Weight: 93g ea = $150 for x3
Alexmos BaseCam 32bit controller:
Controller case: $20
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Walkera G3S 340g
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※Gimbal Controller PID setting instruction [HERE]
※Newest firmware and manual for Alexmos/Basecam gimbal controller [HERE]
User Manual/GUI for Alexmos 32bit: http://www.basecamelectronics.com/downloads/32bit/
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HDM VIDEO OUT TX
Skyzone TX-5D – $101AU  –  29g, 600mw (mini HDMI)
ultra light hdmi – av converter from Hobby-Wing
HDMI flesible ribbon cable? Micro HDMI on Sony –
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REMOTE CONTROL FOR CAMERA

Lates video – the F550 over Hobart.

The footage in this video was captured over the last two months at various locations around Hobart.
Everyone that has approached me while flying has been positive and curious about the craft, I’ve now had over 100 flights with the F550 with no issues.
Legally, UAV’s must fly under 120m and 30m away from buildings, vehicles and crowds and though capable of flying 2 km away, they must be kept within line of site.  My UAV carries a wide angle camera for landscapes and it not set up to spy on people.
Please enjoy the video, I’ve been practicing my video editing skills as well as flying and capture skills.

kunanyi – Mt Wellington in the snow!

After checking the road to the top was open and great wind conditions, I braved the cold and headed up Hobart’s mountain backdrop to play with my F550 in the snow! I walked about 30 minutes south of the carpark and giant radio/tv tower to the boulder fields. The sky’s were clear on takeoff, but 12 minutes later the cloud came in and I hastily landed to retrace my steps in the mist with reduced visibility on a poorly marked track.
Here are some stills from the flight video using Xiaomi Yi – well worth the effort 🙂

Drone view of the bolderfield south of the summit.
Drone view of the bolderfield south of the summit of Mt Wellington, taken from over the edge!
Panorama of Hobart from kunanyi - 3 photos stiched from video.
Panorama of Hobart from kunanyi – 3 photos stiched from video.
kunanyi - Mt Wellington.The big cloud over the hill was on me in 12 minutes.
kunanyi – Mt Wellington.The big cloud way over the hill was on me in 12 minutes.
Closer shot of the bolder fields on Mt Wellington.
Closer shot of the bolder fields on Mt Wellington.
Bolder Fields as the cloud closed in.
Bolder Fields as the cloud closed in. Can you find me in this Pic?

Sunday Drive F550

20150524 NewNorfolk
New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia.

 

Thanks for viewing.  tasview.com
Railway Bridge, Derwent River above New Norfolk, Tasmania.
Thanks for viewing.  tasview.com
Derwent River railway crossing.
Missed the autumn leaves by that much. F550, Xiaomi Yi. Thanks for viewing.  tasview.com
Missed the autumn leaves by that much.
F550, Xiaomi Yi.

Major overhaul for Tasview website

To simplify navigation the theme has been changed for the entire website, there is now a menu to pages along the top and footer of all pages. Nesting of pages in navigation has also changed due to space restrictiond of the menu.
The header photo has been updated to reflect our current operational craft and many small modifications have been made on almost every page.
I hope you find it easier to get around and enjoy the fresh look.

We’ve currently had 28,357 hits to the site! We are still currently non-commercial operators but looking forward to CASA’s proposed rule changes to enable us to recoupe our investment in this great hobby. Onward and upward!

Aerial highlights around Hobart

Some amazing scenery above Hobart, the Derwent Estuary and kunanyi – Mt Wellington from the F550 with iLook.
Highlights from flights 30-60.

Flights include:
Waterworks
Peirsons Point – Bruny Island
Queens Domain
Montagu Bay
Chimney Pot Hill
Montrose Bay – MONA
Huntingfield – Northwest Bay
Carlton Rivermouth
Blackman’s Bay
Hobart Cenotaph (with respect, Lest We Forget.)

Photos from the F550

The F550 is flying great! Getting more adventurous as I gain more confidence in the craft – and myself. It’s a pleasure to fly and we’ve had some lovely weather windows providing oportunity to get creative. Can’t wait to get a better camera and gimbal on the hexacopter. Leaning towards the Gopro4 Black because of weight and price, also considering the Sony RX100 III for better  image quality for post proccessing. These are edited stills from the iLook+, you work with what you have 🙂

DruPointPhantom
Dru Point, Mike’s Phantom V2 Vision+ from the F550
MtWellington
Mt Wellington, over the edge.
Hobart Sunrise TF2sml
Dawn over Hobart.

 

Hobart Sunrise TF
Hobart sunrise

 

WaterWorksS
kunanyi from the Waterworks.

 

 

I’ve ditched the Scout X4!

After a pilot error with my Scout some weeks ago requiring around $450 to repair, I started researching other options and the DJI F550 Flamewheel Naza M V2 ARF kit caught my eye for just $650. I’d looked at this kit before purchasing the Scout X4 but didn’t think I had the experience then with multirotors to build one.
Since then I’ve had many factory errors with the Scout including:
– a fall out of the sky using RTL due to an apparent barometer error
– Taking off in manual mode to have GPS get a lock in the air and crash into my house!
– Leg retract worm servo switch break
– USB ports in the Scout, BT-2401B and padholder may detatch
– The sliding switch on one of my Scout Batteries has failed
These all required pulling the Scout apart to repair and I learnt a great deal – giving me no confidence in the Scout and the confidence to build a UAV from scratch.
I’ve now had 20 trouble free flights with the F550, not a single issue, flies great and I’m very happy and finally confident in my UAV.
Because of this, I will no longer be supporting the Walkera Scout X4 pages on this site or answering any question but I will leave them here for users reference.

For further support, please join the new Facebook Walkera Scout X4 and Tali H500 Support Group and ask your questions there.

I will be starting a new section on the F550 on this site shortly.
Good luck with your Scouts, you’ll probably need it!

The DJI F550 flamewheel rises with the sun on it's 20th trouble free flight.
The DJI F550 flamewheel rises with the sun on it’s 20th trouble free flight.