August 2015

Well, I sit here in Starbucks about to write the most awesome Quad Talk ever. OK, I am over that now, so you will have to settle for the Double Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte version.

Actually, I am patiently awaiting the arrival of my new Phantom 3 Pro and its host of incredible new capabilities. Hopefully, my next month QT will be filled with insight and matchless information on four rotor cool stuff including a useful review of the two most popular FPV technologies; 5.8 GHz such as FatShark and DJI’s Lightbridge incorporated in the P3 and Inspire. And, with a little luck, I might be able to share the performance of Headplay’s V2 -1280x800 5.8 GHz headset coupled with my Blackout 330 FPV Racer.

As for my day to day, adventures with DIY quads, the past few weeks have been plagued with failure. There was a day last week when none of my DIY crap was flyable. As the weekday crowd knows, I can be a little rough on gear as I learn to fly 3D. (Watch out Joe. I am coming after you.) So, it has been fly, crash, rebuild, repeat. The problem has been failed parts. In fact, I had three failed ESCs within one week. And one was on my cute little fixed wing drifter. Fortunately, all the ESC failures were on the ground in bench tests for the quads and on Todd’s breathtaking runway for the Drifter. (Sounded like an injured Banshee chicken or maybe a Booted Bantam. Not sure.)

I also had a bad Spektrum bind plug. I have no idea as to how a friggin bind plug could be defective but it certainly was. OH, and the World’s Thinnest elevator horn connector broke on the Drifter as well. Thanks HobbyKing!

Anyway, everything is back in ‘ready’ status and I am good to go. Just need lots of props at the field as the frames are amazingly tough.

Let me know if any of you want to build a quad or crash one of mine.

Here is a little quad news that caught my attention.

New GoPro rumors

Speaking of GoPro, early in July and Kickstarter firm introduced a quad that could carry three GoPros. On nearly the same day, GoPro announced the new Session camera that is half the size and weight of the GoPro4. Not sure anyone needs six GoPros on a quad. Such is life in the fast lane.

The Swiss postal service, Swiss Post, is going to attempt drone deliveries for the first time ever using Matternet, a company working on perfecting drone-based delivery systems. The first tests will happen in Switzerland this summer as proof of concept to “to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.”

BTW, there are now 500 companies with FAA permits to fly specific commercial purposes.

Interesting website in the UK

BTW, BTW. I am making up a few of Tim’s Strobes for any of you quad fliers. They work great when placed at the rear of the model. Very bright. Let me if you want one. They operate on S3 power and I tap into the power distribution board using servo connector plugs for my quads. (Not shown here.)

Amazon has proposed some regs for Unmanned Gear with a reasonable approach. Most interesting is their comment about ‘Drones equipped with collision-avoidance technology and reliable links to the traffic-management system…’ I guess collision avoidance is coming sooner than we might think. My impending Phantom 3 will have some such system based upon the current sonar sensors available for under $10.  Check it out.

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