Graham Dyer
  • Male
  • RPAS Pilot Instructor - Johannesburg. (ex-Safari Trails Guide)
  • South Africa

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Graham Dyer's Groups

Graham Dyer's Discussions

So how should someone be taught to operate an RPAS?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Graham Dyer Feb 21, 2016. 2 Replies

APM:Plane, odd warning sound - no messages?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Grant Morphett Aug 9, 2015. 18 Replies

APM 2.5 suddenly lost ability to connect via USB or Telem

Started this discussion. Last reply by Pavel Sorejs Feb 9, 2015. 1 Reply


Graham Dyer's Page

Latest Activity

Graham Dyer replied to Alex Maltais's discussion Skywalker X8 wing endurance VS the c-astral wing
"I got 2h17m and 114km with a Super Skysurfer with an un-aerodynamic gimbal and a weight of 3KG. I suspect that with the same battery/motor combo an X8 would have easily gone further/longer as flying wings are quite a bit more efficient with lower…"
20 hours ago
Ellen Zhu left a comment for Graham Dyer
"Dear Graham Dyer,     Hi!     I am Ellen from skywalker. You are interested in Skywalker X8 honeycomb composite material.      Pls give me your contact means, such as skype or email. I could send more informaiton…"
Dec 27, 2017

Graham Dyer commented on Emlid's blog post Emlid Edge in stock! Check out flight videos
"Yes, from their webpage: "Edge runs Ardupilot - the most fully-featured and robust autopilot software available. It supports MAVLink protocol, sophisticated flight control algorithms and various flight modes. The autopilot can control any…"
Dec 25, 2017

Graham Dyer commented on Ellen Zhu's blog post Skywalker X8 Honeycomb Composited Material on Sale
"Estimated all-up-flying-weight, wing span, wing area and price?"
Dec 25, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Max Wolf's discussion Hovering a plane using Pixhawk (ideally) in one position with GPS lock?
"The problem with a pusher wing is that there is then no airflow over the control surfaces when stationary so there is no control to hold the hover. The airflow may only have enough effect if the plane is climbing vertically with some speed thus not…"
Dec 24, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Gökhan Güler's discussion Listing problem on Pixhawk
"It seems to be under powered. From my experience 700kv motors with 12x5.5 props would need at least a 4S battery not a 3S battery depending on the weight. What is the all up weight of the quad? Have you tried 100% throttle? Power according to the…"
Dec 5, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Gökhan Güler's discussion Listing problem on Pixhawk
"List as in not hovering level? Or do you mean "Lift", if it's lift then we'll need more info: battery, ESC, motors, props, weight, etcBTW, that file is not a normal log format, it should have a .bin or .log extension."
Dec 4, 2017

Graham Dyer commented on Jack's blog post Preferred Motors Of DRL Pilots
"Jack likes to copy and paste"
Nov 28, 2017

Graham Dyer commented on Luka's blog post KapetAir VTOL test flight
"Elegant! May I ask why use only the tail motor for forward flight and not the two wing motors alone?"
Nov 26, 2017

Graham Dyer commented on Achal Negi's blog post Real time Drone Navigation and Telemetry Dashboard over 4G/LTE | Setup your drone with FlytBase Cloud
"Get this if I click on the link."
Nov 22, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Prashanth Rajagopalan's discussion Can the GPS be placed inside the drone?
"As Thomas said, because the GPS unit has the compass in it it needs to be kept it away from any wires carrying high DC currents and a clear view of the sky. DJI Phantom puts the compass in one or two of the legs, I think. You can experiment and find…"
Nov 17, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Bob Smith's discussion X6 new build battery discharge question
"The Ardupilot current and voltage sensors are not the best and the firmware even less so, voltage just has a simple filter on it to smooth down the value shown a bit. By my calculations…"
Nov 17, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Joel's discussion Toilet Bowl effect in loiter even after calibration
"Yes, currents in the FC and close peripherals can cause magnetic interference, definitely. APM2.0 had problems as it only had compass onboard and many things were tried to get around this. The way I understand it is that you can disable the internal…"
Nov 12, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Yukinarija's discussion First RC build - Hexacopter w/ many calculations ^^
"Joe, hijacking someone else's thread is not good manners, post your own thread in the correct section."
Nov 12, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Derick P's discussion 43lbs Thrust Hexacopter Configuration Help
"Joe, hijacking someone else's thread is not good manners, post your own thread in the correct section."
Nov 12, 2017

Graham Dyer replied to Joel's discussion Toilet Bowl effect in loiter even after calibration
"Toilet bowling is usually caused by the compass heading being out of phase with the true heading of the MR. Calibration fixes this normally on the ground but in the air other things can come into effect, particularly magnetic fields generated by DC…"
Nov 12, 2017

Profile Information

About Me:
I worked as a Safari Trails Guide (Lead Rifle) and Ranger in the South African Wildlife Tourism Industry for about 20 years.

Now I'm a qualified RPAS/Drone Pilot Instructor working for a drone school. Previously did lots of BVLOS flying, mostly nighttime. 340 hours logged and 16428km as of end Mar '16.

Did 116km total distance in one flight in 2014, as well as 02h17m duration with a 3kg electric plane.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest

DIY Carbon H-frame QuadCopter with 250+ flights, APM2, 3DR Telemetry, Sunnysky X2212-980 motors, 11x4.7 carbon props, 2200/5000mAh 3S Turnigy Batts, 15 minute flight time, Sony 520TVL camera, 1.2GHz 700mW Video Transmittor + inverted Vee antenna, Video goggles & 9" Dvd monitor.

DIY FPV folding carbon Tricopter - XUAV-X2 (AUAV.CO) powered (300mm width, 3DR Telemetry, Sunnysky X2212-980 motors, 10x4.7 carbon props, 2200/5000mAh 3S batts

Twin boom FPV 1.75m plane for long distance Nav & FPV. APM2.6, 60+ flying hours.

Old: Own design & built twin-boom UAV Plane (R.I.P.)
ArduPilot v2.7.1, ArduIMU, MediaTek GPS. Had clocked 70+ hours flying time.

Slowstick - ArduPilot Legacy v2.6.2, APM2560 + Thermopiles, was used for FPV and as a stabilized trainer.
Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Graham Dyer's Blog

RC Electric Calculator App for Android

Posted on September 3, 2015 at 12:54am 16 Comments

RC Electric Calculator App for Android - version 3.0 is coming out shortly with many improvements and some calculations…


Prop testing on a 'copter

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 9:43am 18 Comments

I wanted to do a few real world hover tests with different prop sizes to satisfy my curiosity.

I tested 3 sizes of some commonly used props, the RCTimer Carbon 10x4.7, 11x4.7 and 12x3.8, all carefully balanced. There are other very similar props branded differently.

The 'copter is a carbon…


ArduPilot formation flying revisited

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 11:29pm 14 Comments

Further to our first attempts at fully automated formation flying (see…


Another 100km+ flight

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 4:00am 25 Comments

Went for our long distance flight attempt today, flew a test flight with a 6S 2600mAh LiPo and then put in the 18650 batteries in, the log unfortunately shows both flights as I forgot to reconnect so I have calculated the time and total distance from the launch of the second flight to the…


Finwing Air Titan

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 11:30am 16 Comments

Looks like a good fpv/camera ship for long distance flights with…


Comment Wall (17 comments)

At 5:52am on July 24, 2009, Robert Hannaford said…
Hi Graham,

Please give me aring when you get a chance, Rob Hannaford 011 781 4029, 0733000337
At 5:43am on August 20, 2009, Vikram said…
have u got success in reversing ur aileron ... i m using same setup with XY sensors
At 2:12am on August 21, 2009, Vikram said…
i think i can correct it but want a clear view ur ailerons r reversed in automode or manual mode. If its auto change is to be done in the code else it has to be reversed using RC remote... let me know whats exactly it is
At 2:40am on August 21, 2009, Vikram said…
so u must have tried #define ROLL_REVERSE 1 , then nothing happened ... am i right..
At 3:08am on August 21, 2009, Vikram said…
actually the same problem i had faced but my elevator movement was reversed
in autopilot so i tried to correct it by #define PITCH_REVERSE
but nothing happened later i found thaT this header is not at all used inside code so i just follow the logic in code and got the line to reverse the motion of either aileron or elevator in ... void pulse_servos(int roll, int pitch) //Normal mode
pulse_servo_2(90-pitch); //invert sign if you want to reverse the servo...

This is what i had changed then to work it well.
I did few tests and got semi success in few , hopefully i can make it this time atleast 80% success with little changes in trim as u recommended in ur blog failure and success.
Its very nice blog i will try to write the one ... it really helps ourselves and others
At 2:49am on August 24, 2009, Garth said…
Graham please contact me
021-7827148 or 0827708200

At 4:41am on March 11, 2010, Cronselaar said…
Hi, this must sound stupid, but how do you get the nice line logs in GE... My current position just constantly changes. I'm using a E406. I can't seem to get the right altitude data in the GS2 either.. Any help would be appreciated.

At 9:58am on August 17, 2010, Robert Hannaford said…
Hi Graham, won't you please send me you cell no I have lost it, Regards Rob Hannaford

At 8:08am on October 17, 2011, bruno voisin said…

Hi Graham, this is Bruno from Cape Town. 

These are my first steps in the UAV world, and I am interested in building a ArduCopter to conduct game counts in a nature reserve.  Any advice / recommendation would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

At 1:31am on November 7, 2011, Robert Dielenberg said…

Hi Graham,

we're developing a UAV here in Newcastle, Australia. We've been experimenting with the ardupilot 2_7_1 for a few months. Having huge problems with altitude hold and throttle. We're using a petrol engine. We realize the original ardu is for electric. It seems there is not much data on petrol engines for ardu. We had a crash last week and lost the plane. We're going to rebuild the code from scratch and simplify it. Will get back on to you on our progress. Cheers,


Rob Dielenberg, MotMen UAV (

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