If so, what are you working on?

:-)

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Hi Jean, 

I am from Brisbane, I am working on a fixed wing drone, I am interested in long stable flights - and using it as a base for cameras (air photos) - and eventually looking at using this to monitor water pipes. 

I am also interested in rockets and making a rocket glider that can be controlled to land back near the launch area. 

I have an Autonomous rover, that we used to test things before we out an APM in the air.

I have been playing with using an accelerometers and Arduino to do a few side projects with as well. 

I am more of a software guy than a hardware guy, my background is 20 years in GIS. 

From looking at the member list there is about 150 people here from Brisbane, I think we should try and organize a Christmas drink some time ;) Maybe we should make a QLD group - there is a WA group. 

I am based in Graceville. 

Awesome, Stephen.  I am also interested in long flights and am currently working on a tailsitter quad/rigid-wing hybrid.  I'm also interested in rocketry (though I have no experience in that area) - I imagine you've been following the work of Team Prometheus and their ardurocket project.

Are you a member of the Brisbane Hackerspace?  They have some great facilities for people such as myself who otherwise would not have access to that equipment.  Definitely keen for a meetup at some point.

Cheers

Hey Jean and Stephen

I'm on the north side in Brisbane.

I have a bunch of different multirotors and FPV planes as well as a tone of other RC stuf.

My current project is nearly finished, it's a Hexacopter on a APM 2.5 board with GPS/sonar/optical flow & 3-axis cameral gimbal that is flown from a joystick. It’s based on the HK talon frame but with plenty of mods. Just getting the optical flow sensor locked in at present and the plan is for this thing to film 4x4 racing with a pilot (me) and a second person doing the filming. It just sux that here in Australia we have to have a commercial Pilots licences to fly these things for commercially (that’s $65K to get).

I am more of a builder than a software man so I struggle a little with custom coding and rely heavily on a mate to make any software tweaks and test (when he is around).

I will admit my favourite FPV unit is my Bixler at present, with flights in excess of 1.5hrs I will be looking at going to a APM setup and one of these “3G drone cells” in the near future to increase my range and get away from having to cart round the tracking station (presently using an eagletree setup).

My next project will be to convert my 6ft B2 into long-range FPV, not sure how I will go trying to use EDF for FPV, but with such a large wing area I hope I can carry a couple of kilos of batteries to make up for the hungry motors.

Australia day is coming up, it is a great day to get a couple people together and have some fun......and of course drink :)

Down in Melbourne there is a group of guys who have started a competition to race multicopters using FPV.  Perhaps we could get a similar thing started here in QLD.

Whereabouts on the northside are you?  I'm at Newmarket.  Would love to catch up and see some of your gear!

at Stafford, so just up the road, it's too bad the bloody council has been planting trees in the parks everywhere round us for the last 10 years, although Finsbury park hockey/soccer fields are great.

Yeah, we should look at say doing something with real cheap models, something like the new HK quadcopter with the inbuilt ESC and cabling that work out to be under $60 with everything. Not exactly fare if I use something like my new hexa as it does a little over 80km an hour....

The old combat wings a pretty fun as well, and they work out to be even less, around the $40 mark, I have plenty of FPV gear so all we would need to do is put a Velcro patch on them to chuck on my little “don’t care if it gets destroyed” setup. And maybe some pylon racing, it's always fun to have an event where something will get destroyed :)

Cheap Combat Wing

Better Combat Wing

The Combat Wing I use

 

Have you found anywhere in Brisbane that’s has decent range of RC gear? Everywhere I go their range is very poor, mainly do RC cars, are full of static plastic models or are tiny little stores focused on basic all-in-one packages for gifts. The 2 stores that use to be awesome (Virginia Hobbies and Southside Hobbies) are both long gone and it sucks having to either wait for a shipment to arrive from overseas or get some inferior crap from one of the local stores (if they even have something that will do the job). Budget Hobbies seem to be the only “real” hobby store around but their store is so small and overpriced it is not worth going there ($20 for a 9x7 3-blade MA prop is ridiculous).

 

My Bixler V1 Setup, its just so nice to fly for FPV

 

Stafford is close!  Small world.

I think it's going to become increasingly difficult for brick-and-mortar shops to compete with online stores like Hobbyking etc.  Otherwise I would probably consider opening a shop locally to cash in on the inevitable explosion of interest in multicopters.  Maybe when we get a racing group or something organised in Brisbane we can think about group orders to save on shipping costs.

You seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this stuff.  How did you get into this hobby?

Been in it since I was about 4 (30 now). My next door neighbour was the president of 2 RC plane clubs growing up (lived next to him for 14 years from the age of 4), so as you can imagine I have had an awful lot of planes in my time ranging from RC to control lines as well as free flight (played with a lot of boats as well being a hydrologist and all). Only been into the multirotor scene for the last 1.5 years but I never do things by half. It also helps to have a father that is an electrical and computer engineer so my electronics building has been indoctrinated from an early age.  I never buy RTF versions of anything, I like to do the research and build everything from scratch or kit form otherwise I am not too interested (and because most ARF/RTF are filled full of junk parts or the bare minimum that will work). How about yourself?

 

I am fortunate enough to have my own house and live alone so nothing and no-one to stop me wasting plenty of money on toys (he who has the most toys wins right! ).

 

Australian retailers are just greedy in my opinion, in most cases and most items can be bought for retail overseas, shipped in and resold in retail for less than the stores are doing here….just greedy store owners that don’t seem to understand volume is more important and the more people able to afford to get into a hobby the more repeat business they get. Take for example HK here in Australia, it cost less to buy the item from their USA site and ship it here than it does to buy it from their Aussie site let alone it cost less to ship the item from Hong Kong to Australia than it does to ship it from or too the USA (they add what I call the “Australia Tax”).

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