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  • Steve,


    How did the hex build go?



  • Yeah sorry mate about the battery thing.

    Yeah I am not flying over a body of water, maybe some very sholw swamps. There are some great 'water proof' frames getting about now. I like the quadh20 , frame isnt cheap but well thought out. 

    My partner picked up some parcels for me yesterday, so I now have some foam for my ground station 'pelican' style case. I found Clark rubber very helpful to deal with on the phone and they were able to post it to me since my closest store is 10hrs away in Cairns.

    I was originally going to have it so my laptop gets transported in the too, but I think I will be pushed for room. Laptop has its own bag anyway, so I will have cut out for my tx and fpv gear instead I think. 

    Been working at sea and not home till well after dark so no flying lately but hope to next week, will do some flights with a ridged gopro mount then break into a few close auto flights after some range testing.

    Atleast if the auto flight goes pear shaped it will be on film and my gimbal will be spared ;-)

    Do you know what the failsafe parameters are ? I know I can set a low battery failsafe to RTL but will it try RTL if it loses radio link? Maybe I am not looking hard enough, its probably right in front of me.

    I was hoping to set it up and test it so it has a; low battery rtl, will NOT rtl if tx radio is loss, but I can abort mission and rtl over 433mhz in mission planner if needed and if 433mhz is lost it will rtl. 

    Have you played with this side of things much?

    I don't know if rtl on loss of 3DR radio is possible, I guess it will complete its mission and come back as long as coming home is part of its mission you planned before it loss 433mhz signal.

    I don't plan on going crazy distances away but it is good to have more than one failsafe to fall back on. Plus if I fly over scrub I guess this would degrade my signal quiete quickly.

  • You are right about not discharging batteries more than 80%

    Discharging a battery by 70% is the same as saying that there is 30% left in the battery.

    I have flown my quad up to 100m but only under auto mode and at that height from the ground you can’t see the quad that well J  The default height in Auto mode is 100m and I wanted to see what the quad would look like that high from the ground. I must admit at even just 40m I was beginning to wonder when the quad would stop climbing.

    I don’t recommend flying that high on your first auto flight   I would fly a small circuit, maybe 20m height with your finger on the switch on your transmitter that would bring it back to stabilize or loiter mode.  I was bitting my nails the first auto flight.

    When I am the “pilot” I fly up to 30m high and most of the time below 15m and no more than 100m distance from where I am standing.

      The areas where I want to fly at Bribie aren’t close to water, however if you do want to fly where your quad might end up wet there are some waterproof quads such as the Aquacopter where all of the electrics other than the brushless motors are encased in a hollow waterproof frame.  I have flown near water at Suttons beach at Redcliffe but I don’t fly too far out over the water (Small Snellflight quad, RC only and away from people and property)

  • Sorry my post was too long so I had to cut it into sections. Also I found this Calculator which you might find useful if you haven't already found it yourself. 

  • I got an email yesterday saying my FPV gear has been shipped, it has been held up for a month because I ordered some servos for a gimbal that were on backorder. Its coming from the UK so I guess it will be a couple of weeks

    . A mate of mine and his oldman who are both chopper pilots and have their own business here can't wait to see some fpv flying! He has his own quadcopter, he actually had his before mine, a RTF chinese one. He tried to fly it once and was scared and didn't fly again till I got interested, now he loves my APM quad and straight away wanted to know where he could buy a RTF with full fpv fatshark set lol. And this is a bloke with 10s of thousands of hours in various choppers.


    I lived near Woodford once upon a time, so I have been to bribie a few times. Where you can access the beach on the ocean side ( I forget the name of the area and track, maybe starts with a B?) would be a good spot to sent off from for a fpv / gopro flight.

    I worry about exposed electrics to even minute salt spray in the air, as i am near the coast too. I try and seal and heat shrink things the best I can, but I hold off spraying everything with inox even though I would love too. You got any ideas?

  • Wow you went to 100m , 328ft that would be scary hardly being able to see your orientation. Especially here as you always need to have a bit of stick input to counteract the wind, I would have a finger resting on the rtl switch lol.

    After my bit of a scare with the wind catching it the other day I worry about it disappearing into the scrub forever, lucky for rtl and loiter ay .

    As I haven't done waypoint missions I haven't done auto take off but I have let it auto land via rtl and sometimes it is smooth and other times it skates around a bit  probably due to more varying gusts and changes in wind speed when it is close to the ground, sub metre. Once it wouldn't land it just loitered around a 2m area and I gave up waiting after maybe 30sec - 1minute, waited about twice as long as it normally takes before I took over. I think maybe a gust of wind blew it off its spot and that upset it? Sometimes after it lands it won't shut the props down it just stays at a slow idle, which make me nervous but easy fixed by switching to stab mode and throttle down and disarm. Lol you can't trust that it isn't going to have a brain fart and just go full power on you :-)

  • Sounds like you well and truly have a head start on me with the gps waypiont mission side of things!

    Firstly you draw your lipos down to 30% !? What is the settled voltage at 30%? I don't think you should/ are meant to draw lipos down past 80% if you want any sort of longevity. If you drop below 3v per cell you risk permanently damaging your lipo and even fire.

    Maybe we are looking at 30% differently? :-) Anyway I found this Understanding Lipos page which helped me with knowing their limitations. I also use a low battery alarm which is used set and displays cell and pack voltage, I got it from HK .

    Sorry if this is all old news I don't mean offence, I would hate for you to loose your  quad over a dead battery..


    I haven't found my loiter mode to wander but there is always a strong breeze here so it could be because it is constantly holding against the wind?

    RTL is beautiful and smooth even in the gusty wind.

    I am currently using a Turnigy 9X TX and haven't had any dramas with it so far, touch wood. I hear some people have all sorts of issues, I guess at the price of them quality control can be a issue, which you just have to expect to take a chance and cut your loses if you get a dud..

    I changed my from mode 1 to mode 2, wasnt to hard thanks you tube for some pointers. I also added a back light. 

    I haven't done a decent range test yet and I have only flown in close since I am getting a feel for it and testing. So probably only out to 50 -70m and 10- 15m altitude? I will have to watch some flight logs to get more accurate figures.

    My RTL altitude is set at 100, I am guessing this is 100ft ? But this can't be right it didn't look anywhere near 30m off the ground?  I just double checked this figure and updated to 1.2.51 at the same time, wow that update changed the size of a few windows. The quick window figures and gauges are really small now, will be hard to read when outside with sun glare on the screen.

    I have found that my altitude hold can be a bit jumpy, I am thinking that I should do a vibration analysis to see it this is the reason.  

    I have thought about the joystick idea but haven't jumped into this yet. for two reasons.

    1-   I am getting a feel for a rc tx again haven't touched on in about 10 years never lone a computerized one.

    2-   I am currently doing my commercial helicopter pilots licence, in between work and don't want to mix the motor skills of both. Maybe later though, I like the idea just not while I am training and developing these motor skills, don't want to confuse the 2 if I have to make split second decisions.

    I am excited and scared to try some waypoint missions. I will have to reread the wiki before I have a go. Do I set one of my flight modes on the Tx to auto or something like this to start a mission the I have already planned? So then I can just flick it back to stab on my 3 position switch that I use for flight modes, yeah?

    I'm also moding my quad to carry 2 batteries for longer flight time, as it is quite power hungry at 2.1kg! I currently have a 3s 3300, 2x 4500 and soon 2x 4000. It has been getting ok times while I hover and test in close even with some fast short runs with hard full lock direction changes. But once I start doing some missions and constant forward flight I guess the flight time will drop dramatically. So I am adding a extra battery in parallel, so I can get out and back. Especially once I start FPV, a few minutes might not be enough. Mmm more weight ;-)





  • Angus,

    My quad is running on 30 amp DJI Opto ESCS and my telemetry the same make as yours and on the same frequency.

    I have found the RTL mode a great way of getting out of trouble as well as loiter when you just need a few seconds to orientate yourself.  I have flown  10 flights in auto mode with around 5 waypoints and the quad never further than 150m away from me (So that I could regain control if things turned pear shaped) from where I was standing most of the waypoints were at only 20m height and a couple of flights with the waypoints at 100m height. I have also flown a few auto missions where I have stopped the Auto flight mode half way through a “mission” just to see what happens (I have my radio set so that it defaults back to stabilize mode) I just took control again the quad just keeps on flying (Good to know J)

    I have found that in Auto mode the quad isn’t wandering around as much as it does in loiter.  On my first Auto mode flight I had one of the waypoints directly above a corner of a cricket pitch that was clearly visible on google maps so that I could gauge how accurately the quad was tracking and it seemed to be within 5m which was great!

    How high have you flown? I have had my quad up to 100m and at that height it is a little hard to see.

    If the weather is good on the weekend I am hoping to fly at Curlew Park at Sandgate. This park has several playing fields and some wetlands surrounding it, the flying area is about 500m by 150m (Over the fields).  The aim is to fly longer and a greater distance in auto mode than previously with most of the waypoints at the 100m height mark but gradually reducing to 20m so that it will be easier to take control and land.  I haven’t yet taken off in auto mode but  If the wind is calm I will on the weekend. (Only if it is calmJ)

    I am hoping once I am happy with the way the quad is setup to do some longer flights at Bribie with a video camera.

    The setup that you want is pretty much the way I am aiming for, a case with the laptop, radio telemetry dongle and video receiver in it.  I haven’t flown FPV yet but that is the next bit of gear I will be purchasing.  I have made a few videos but currently have taken the camera off the quad because I have had to rearrange where some of the electronics are placed when I added the 3D telemetry transmitter.

     My quad is powered by 1 3S 2200 mAH battery that gives about 8 minutes flying time with around 30% left in the battery.

    I have a spectrum receiver in my quad and use a DX7 Spektrum Transmitter to control it.  I would however like to flying using the telemetry radio and a joystick soon.  Have you already tried that or are you like me using just an RC transmitter for control?

    Where do you fly?

  • I am using a HK H.A.L. quad frame with APM 2.5, 433mhz 3dr radios, HK 30 amp blue esc flashed with simonk firmware, 35 NTM motors and currently 1147 props. I have been working through testing different flight modes and rtl at different locations. Next chance I get to fly I hope to test some waypoint navigation. 

    Did you auto takeoff and land as well as do waypoints? I hope to give this a spin. I have had pretty good success with rtl when working with some strong wind. once landed right where it took off , another was only 1m off. I also used rtl when I had a operator issue and momentarily lost orientation while flying at around 15m in strong wind and the wind started to take it (read had taken it and was running!).

    If it wasn't for rtl that time , I might be starting a new build...

    I am also currently converting an old pelican style box into a ground station of sorts. To make it easyer to cart my laptop, telem radio, AV / fpv gear etc. I also made up a field spares box from a very small $2 shop tackle box, for spare blades, common tools ect.  

  • I have now flown a DJI 450 with an Ardpilot and 3D Robotics Telemetry. I set some of the waypoint to fly above some landmarks to gauge how accurately it was on track. I am very pleased with how well it is working and even just in stabilize mode it is more stabile than the previous snellflight controller.

    I didn't have that many problems setting the APM up which seems to be a bit unusual when you look at the forums.  What sort of Drone do you have?


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SEQ Drone User Group

Hi everyoneFollowing this post on the DIY Drones forum, I have started a Meetup group for drone / UAV operators in the South East Queensland region.You will find the new group here.The purpose of the group is to host regular meetups for drone enthusiasts and commercial operators, and to help improve public opinion regarding civilian use of drones.  Cheers!

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