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 ActionDrone's discussion Flying with KP-Index above 5 in the group PIXHAWK
"The Kp index is quite often above 5 as geomagnetic storms come and go and yet there are very few drone pilots who even know it exists or of it's implications, if any. Note: 5 is considered a minor storm, 6 a moderate storm and 7 a strong storm…"

Graham Dyer replied to Henry Scheun's discussion 250 Quad with Pixfalcon autotune help in the group South African DIY Drones User Group
"Those seem OK, proof will be in the flying."

Graham Dyer replied to yangdaonline's discussion 20MP 30X optical zoom camera for drone inspection
"Awesome zoom! But not very stable image for the price?"
Jul 3

Graham Dyer replied to Johnny Schoko's discussion Arming Problems
"If you connect to Mission Planner it will give you any messages as to why it won't arm. To arm is THR low and rudder right for 4 secs. Or you can arm with a button in Mission Planner. If it still won't arm post a log file (*.bin) from the…"
Jul 3

Graham Dyer replied to neil sam's discussion Elliptical wing for small UAS
"Not an expert but I've found that the gains are small overall and may not be worth the extra effort in construction.If a an electric UAS can fly 2 hrs then a 5% inprovement in lift distribution may only result in a 2% decrease in perceptible…"
Jul 1

Graham Dyer commented on Jimmy Oliver's blog post Phantom 3 No-Servo Cargo Drop System
"Rob, I'm making fun because people are overreacting, not for the seriousness of what has been happening (and I'm fully aware of what). Good thing this wasn't posted on FB because that is where I'd expect this kind of…"
Jul 1

Graham Dyer commented on Jimmy Oliver's blog post Phantom 3 No-Servo Cargo Drop System
"Just laugh, Jimmy. It's the keyboard police with nothing better to do. Terrorists don't need to get ideas or products from you to do this kind of stuff as they've been doing it for long time now and have their own…"
Jul 1

Graham Dyer replied to Duffy's discussion Just another 5 hour endurance full electric VTOL
"2+ hours with LiPo's takes a bit of doing, with Li-Ion it's a bit easier but 5 hours is a real challenge especially if it's going to do a VTOL takeoff and landing. So I'd suggest doing a documented duration test, and post the log…"
Jun 24

Graham Dyer replied to Duffy's discussion Just another 5 hour endurance full electric VTOL
"Why not put the motor wires inside the tube arms? Looks really tacky and unprofessional with them hanging loose with just the odd cable tie.5 hours duration on LiPo's is a pretty ambitious claim, do you have a log or video to back that up?"
Jun 24

Graham Dyer replied to Venkatakrishnan's discussion Why the drone Crashed ?
"Yes, most likely vibrations, switching to stabilize would have stopped the climb. Note the 7.37! : "Test: IMU Mismatch = FAIL - Check vibration or accelerometer calibration. (Mismatch: 7.37, WARN: 0.75, FAIL: 1.50)" There are lots of…"
Jun 24

Graham Dyer replied to Matthew S Dreyer's discussion Fail-Safe: RTL to Terminate
"If you're not able to regain connection with the plane it will loiter over the home location until the battery runs out, whereupon it will descend in it's loiter pattern until it lands/crashes, normally the ESC will eventually cutoff and…"
Jun 13

Graham Dyer replied to Mohammed A. Shakir's discussion HELP! analyse the reason behind crash
"Autotune in Arduplane only tunes the roll and pitch axis, there is NO yaw autotune. (From the wiki: "uses changes in flight attitude input by the pilot to learn the key values for roll and pitch tuning") I suspect that when you tried…"
May 21

Graham Dyer replied to Chad Frazer's discussion $100 Gift Card to whoever solves this: Airspeed Creep - Airspeed artificially increasing - Fixed Wing (ROUND TWO!)
"So was this ever definitively solved? Chad? I have the same slow ascending airspeed on the ground yet it creeps down to zero while flying, very bizarre. All tubes good, triple checked, everything else mentioned here OK."
Apr 15

Graham Dyer replied to Jimmyscott's discussion how long this battery lasts in flight?
"How long is a piece of string? orHow much current are you drawing?"
Mar 18

Graham Dyer replied to Mira's discussion Skywalker x8 weaving during flight in AUTO mode
"Your RLL2SRV_I and PTCH2SRV_I seem quite low, is this after autotune? Way back I used RLL2SRV_P = 1.4 and RLL2SRV_I = 0.3 on an X8 I tested with. NAVL1_PERIOD was 20 and NAVL1_DAMPING 0.75 with max roll at 45° This was 60km of flight in…"
Mar 17

Graham Dyer replied to Rado Ino's discussion Voltage of battery going up and down all the time
"The voltage calculations and conversions within the APM code are fairly rudimentary. There is just a basic filter to smooth out the voltage number reported. The power modules are also notoriously inaccurate and as most of us are used to millivolt…"
Mar 17

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 (16 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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