Graham Dyer
  • Male
  • RPAS Pilot - Johannesburg. (ex-Trails Safari Guide, Mala Mala Game Reserve)
  • South Africa

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Latest Activity

Graham Dyer replied to Will Finamore's discussion Arduplane Automatic Takeoff Pitch Control
"FWIW, we currently use a takeoff pitch angle of only 12° with just 1 fail in over 400 reliable takeoffs, speed being controlled by takeoff throttle but with the new firmware looking to fix that."
May 19

Graham Dyer replied to Rob_Lefebvre's discussion AC3.3 TriCopter Improvements, need Input and Testers!
"Hi Rob I have one which I can run a few tests. I can confirm there's no servo movement when disarmed AND also no servo movement unless the throttle is raised above idle.There is an argument for those to work, however... at the moment when…"
May 15

Graham Dyer replied to GRM's discussion Arduplane Toiletbowling and Ignoring WPs
"Couple of thoughts and observations: A compass error should give a "bad compass health" warning msg and auto analysis of your DF log shows no issues in mag variation so good there. Your Z-axis has very high vibrations with the biggest…"
May 15

Graham Dyer commented on Jeff Taylor's blog post Event 38 Mission Planning & Mapping Workflow Updates
"Would love to try it out but the E38 Mission Planner won't start after install, also access to all the folders and files are permission denied."
May 13

Graham Dyer commented on Jesper Andersen's blog post And they say smoking is bad - part 2
"I maybe late to the party with these but is anyone using them? They're not the high capacity of the 18650B's but it's claimed they can do 10A (3.4C) as opposed to 3.4A (1C). Panasonic 18650 2900mAh High Drain NCR18650PD"
May 10

Graham Dyer commented on Jesper Andersen's blog post And they say smoking is bad - part 2
""(ignoring the volt differences for the moment)""
May 4

Graham Dyer commented on Jesper Andersen's blog post And they say smoking is bad - part 2
"Would it need electronics? Could one put the two packs in parallel (ignoring the volt differences for the moment) so that when the current demand is high then the LiPo pack resists the volt drop more by supplying more current?"
May 4

Graham Dyer replied to Graham Dyer's discussion APM:Plane - external compass not reporting?
"Martin, did you sort this out? The times I've had the second compass not reporting was when the external compass was not actually working despite being plugged in."
May 4

Graham Dyer replied to vishnu's discussion 500 kg lifting Drone
"A very rough electrical estimate requirement for a quadcopter = 200 Watts/kg. To lift a big enough quad you'll need say 60kg+ of motors, (15kg+ each motor) running at 8-10KW, to lift an additional 500kg payload you'll need another 100KW. A…"
May 4

Graham Dyer replied to Shaheen Adelinia's discussion FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. PLEASE HELP.
"Batteries, prop size and motor Kv can make an enormous difference in power of a quad. You'll need to state which motors exactly, which ESC's you're using, which batteries (cells and c-rating) and your prop size you're using?"
May 3

Graham Dyer replied to Tony Kenward's discussion new APM flavor released: APM Mini Pro
"The pinouts look suspiciously like the AUAV-X1/X2 ( Is this 32 bit?"
May 2
OG replied to Graham Dyer's discussion Spin on / quick release / self locking prop adapters?
"hello Graham sorry  there are no self locking prop adapters for  regular props only for DJI mout style with 2 holes . as for folding props there available from 8x4 to 17x5 covers most frame sizes avaleble in 2 blade and 3 blade…"
Apr 26

Graham Dyer replied to Graham Dyer's discussion Spin on / quick release / self locking prop adapters?
"Some folding prop systems seem to be appearing too, based on the DJI S900 system:,,…"
Apr 25

Graham Dyer commented on Jesper Andersen's blog post And they say smoking is bad - part 2
"Likewise a very similar experience and it all comes down to the C rate of discharge, if used at 0.5C or less they give close to their rated capacity. At 1C (3.4A) they give just over 3000mAh…"
Apr 24
Martin replied to Graham Dyer's discussion APM:Plane - external compass not reporting?
"Graham, did you get to the bottom of the second compass not reporting (in Mission Planner) ? I have the same result on a Pixhawk with Plane 3.2.3 and a genuine 3DR GPS/Compass and the latest MP. In compass Live Calibration only the LHS xyz graphic…"
Apr 8

Graham Dyer replied to Autonomost's discussion How does everyone feel about Ardupilot being used in a Warzone?
"No problem, you can just leave it. If someone wants to view the link they can. But no discussion."
Mar 30

Profile Information

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

Now I'm a professional UAS/UAV/RPAS Pilot. I fly drones 40-120km, both at day and at night, 7 days a week on a special project. 320 hrs and 14668km as of end Mar '15.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
DIY Carbon H-frame QuadCopter with 200+ flights (40+ flying hours), 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 googles & 9" Dvd monitor.

DIY FPV folding carbon Tricopter - XUAV-X1 (Arsov) powered (300mm width)

Twin boom FPV 1.75m plane for long distance Nav & FPV. APM2.6, 20+ flying hours.

Old: Own design & built twin-boom UAV Plane (now RIP)
ArduPilot v2.7.1, ArduIMU, MediaTek GPS. Had clocked 50+ hours flying time.

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

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Graham Dyer's Blog

Prop testing on a 'copter

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 9:43am 16 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 10 Comments

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


Another 100km+ flight

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 4:00am 33 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 17 Comments

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


ArduPilot formation flying attempt

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 1:00am 12 Comments

We tried some formation flying with 2 different APM equipped planes.

Both were loaded with AP v2.76 and the same exact mission except for the chase plane flying 20m higher than…


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, viky said…
have u got success in reversing ur aileron ... i m using same setup with XY sensors
At 2:12am on August 21, 2009, viky 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, viky said…
so u must have tried #define ROLL_REVERSE 1 , then nothing happened ... am i right..
At 3:08am on August 21, 2009, viky 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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