southern california to portland via ArduCopter.

Just finished a trip up from southern california to portland and brought my copter with me.


Shot all with a heavily customized quad i put together using ArduCopter... So much fun! This is just a few spots cut into a sample video. Cheers to all and hope yall enjoy.


music by: gipsy kings.


PS: Any of the Arducopter group up here in Portland? I just got here!  [ TEXT ME! ]



You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Amazing, gorgeous video.  So how about some detail and pictures of your quad?  When I first read the title, I thought you were eluding to actually flying down the pacific coast.

    • Hi Forest and Pedals,

      At it's base it is for the most part a  RC Timer 450 ( from here ).

      I used a turnigy 9x tran/receiver (worked great) + added code in arducopter for failsafe (BIG THUMBS UP for whoever coded this! Worked perfect many times) RCTimer 30A ESC (simonK)

      and really just basic 6m GPS,

      RC Timer carbon 1045 blades (EXCELLENT!)  and RCT 2830 motors.

      For FPV: immersionrc 600mA and fatshark goggles with immersion antennas, RTFlyer Power Module wired directly to board, MinimOSD Extra, 3 channel camera switcher wired to a gopro3 and sony cam, and a simple goodluckbuy gimbal with a LOT of work to get it in position correctly for CG and jello free.

      That after wrecking about 5 craft in the field during the about 6 months of FPV practice and rebuilding copters over and over to try to get them 'right'... The craft isnt pretty to the naked eye but she sure runs like a top... really kind of funny looking as I used a cranberry juice bottle to house all of the electronics. This works perfect for me anyway, because i this copter was either jammed into the back of a car or riding tandem in a backpack to away places.

      Huge thumbs up to RcTimer for the props, motors, frame, ESCs and APM. I am getting ready to dig into their new Spider model very soon ( )... Very nice work by Frank of RCT.

      Love to all!


      PS: this is an older photo of this craft back in december (all i had of it on this drive) but it looked very similar to this on the trip.3702480488?profile=original


    • MR60

      In your experience, when comparing FPV to normal flight, when is FPV good to use and not good to use?

    • I used to take off using line of sight (LOS) but now take off with FPV every time (goggles on). On this trip i didn't do any LOS flights mainly because i got to a point of trust with the copter that i knew exactly what it was going to do most of the time. For the most part, i would take off in loiter, get up about 10 feet then switch it to drift mode. I really like the drift mode for FPV and although it takes a bit of getting used to it is excellent for film but i also use alt hold, and loiter for slow moves and stabalize a lot too. I don't use the second camera that is mounted, in fact it became disconnected and i never fixed it, so i use the GoPro3 for FPV which is fed the telemetry from the minimosd.  For me this works out really well, but again it takes getting used to as you are using a gimbal and your orientation isn't what it would be if you were using a fixed position camera. I learned to do this by practicing a lot at in a field by my house. Then i learned to use the tilt while flying. The trick to all this is being able to control all this together ...and get the shot you intended to get in the first place. This can be trick and i found that strange things will happen, so expect the unexpected AT ALL TIMES. This mean being prepared to thru it back into stablize mode if for some reason the GPS just suddenly stops getting a good signal and it starts a very fast decent to the right!  This happen to me a lot, but what i have found is that staying calm, and practicing this manuver will help you if this happens in the middle whatever you are filming.  All of this sounds easy in theory, but when you get out over open water or places not so forgiving it can become really exciting...even nerve-raquing. In fact, many times when i am flying i am standing on very windy places on cliffs ...places i probably shouldn't and i literally start to shiver. This is fear i am trying to overcome and i am not sure if this is due to the excitement or just being nervous.

      But to answer the question about when to not use FPV, close tight stuff where it makes sense. But for the most part, i do FPV for everything.

      At present i am trying to create a new design that is really portable for use in hiking and biking. I am starting to eyeball the mobius camera and smaller designs > 450. 

      Forest, would love to hook up with you and anyone else out here interested in copters/arduino for that matter. I am by the PXD airport.

      Cheers to all.


    • Another point when it comes to having stab mode easily accessible in case something goes whacky.  Throttle setting.  When you're in loiter, alt hold, circle, or auto, centering the throttle stick means hold altitude.  The moment you flip to stab, or any other mode, center throttle stick reverts back to reality.  If you have a heavy bird that will sink like a rock at 50% power, or a light weight that climbs like a rocket at 50% power, you need to be ready to take over altitude control immediately.  This is also critical if you use auto-takeoff from the ground.  When you switch out of auto and forget the throttle is still at zero, that could be ugly.

    • MR60

      you are so far ahead of me.  i'm still trying to get a craft to fly with camera for about an hour.  will be working on a stable camera platform after that.

      would love to see your craft and understand how more about how you integrated the gopro for FPV.

      weather up here sucks right now for flight (too wet).  but if it clears a bit, try going east on 84 along the Columbia River.  there are incredible water falls that will be rushing after this rain.  many of them are not within park areas so probably safe to video.

      if you do get closer to Hood River let me know. The farther you go east the dryer it gets.  For example, the forecast for Monday in The Dalles is sunshine and the forecast for Portland is constant heavy rain for a long time.  I'm pretty busy with taxes, but would make time.  We have sort of a dormitory in our daylight basement you are welcome to use as a base of exploration.  I also would have you take photos and a video of a standard image while in flight to get a feel for photo quality.  Also have a pretty well equipped man-cave if you want to tinker. 

  • MR60

    Thanks for sharing that.  Nice.  Where was the waterfall going to the beach?

    If you get over to Hood River (about an hour east of Portland on 84), let me know.

This reply was deleted.