brett binnekade's Posts (6)

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Drones threaten RC model flying

Bruce from RC Model Reviews has some very interesting points on this topic and he mentions something about him developing something for FPV models to detect full scale aircraft.

If you fly any type of RC model airplane then you ought to be concerned that various politicians around the world are seeking to have "drones" banned. These people aren't talking about the Predator or Reaper drones we see unleashing hellfire missiles at "insurgents", they want to remove your right to fly any RC model with a camera -- or even any model capable of carrying a camera.

We (the RC and especially the FPV community) need to stand up and be heard now, before it's too late.

I'd love to hear from viewers as to how they think the RC community should respond to this threat to the hobby. Is it time to form a global FPV body which can bring the strength of numbers to weigh when challenging this threat?

And please... don't call any FPV model a "drone" -- it's an RC model (whether it has a camera or not).

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Skwalker X8 catapult

With the amount of equipment in my X8 is on the increase, so is the weight. Its becoming very difficult and somewhat dangerous to hand launch. 

Iv decided to build a catapult. I dont like the idea of a bungee launcher because of the amount of flat space required. some places I fly dont have this.(eg: off a cliff =) ) I really wanted something self-contained and foldable.


The APM flies the X8 really well BTW =)


If anyone wants to build one I have posted all the info and pics here



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My "indestructible" quadcopter Build

This is the result of my "indestructable" quadcopter design blog.

3689432534?profile=originalI dont know how well it crashes it yet but after 2 test flights, it flies very well! I need to do some PID tuning as the arms are quite short. They are 450 size heli tail booms that I cut for no other reason but to make the quad smaller and see what happens. Any PID tuning recommendations for shorter arms?


On to the nitty gritty. All the carbon fibre is 1mm thick. It was cut with a jigsaw using a fine metal blade and it works really well. The motor mounts are made of 4mm perspex and were cut using a hole saw. The landing gear is also 4mm perspex cut with a jigsaw and bent with a mini blow torch. I never realized how strong perspex actually is till I started messing around with offcuts! its unbreakable! under huge stress it just folds but never breaks in 2.


The total mass without battery is 630g and with 2200mAh battery 828g. I actually have no idea if this is light or heavy for a quad?



2x 100mm x 300mm x 1mm carbon fibre: $10.79ea

4 x 450 heli carbon fibre tail boom: $2.40ea

Screws, nuts, bolts: $8.00 nylon screws are quite pricey!

Perspex 300mm x 300mm x 4mm sheet: $10.00


Total: $50.00 Not Bad =)



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My "indestructible" quad copter design.

Who am I kidding right? its almost impossible to design an indestructible quad copter frame! That's why this frame is actually the complete opposite. Its designed to fail! 


This is nothing new. Most designs nowadays are designed to fail, but they are designed to fail correctly and safely. There is always something that needs to be protected and for that to happen something needs to fail. Like crumple zones in cars or pressure relief valves on pressure vessels.


In the case of a quadcopter, I'v got not passengers to look after but I would like certain parts (the expensive parts) to survive crashes. Also after crashes it should be easy to fix.


Iv taken what Iv learnt from my arducopter v1 frame (which is now very tired) and my engineering diploma and put together a frame that will protect all the valuable items and break the cheap readily available parts.


So, every nut and bolt is nylon except the motor mounts. Any hard impacts will shear the bolts and save the frame. This happened alot with my arducopter frame. its a good thing =) rather break a bolt or 2 than a landing gear. I will be placing some high density foam right in the center of the frame for when an arm gets pushed into the frame. This should absorb some energy and stop further damage as those carbon booms dont break easily. I have placed the motor mounts slightly inside the boom as I think they are vulnerable at the ends. Yes, this now makes booms vulnerable but nothing a rubber stopper cant fix =) Where the arms meet the frame and motor mount I want to put thin strips of high density foam to absorb some vibration from the motors and also absorb some energy in crashes.  


So hopefully all I will be replacing after crashes is nylon bolts. Even if not, I still like the frame =)


More about the frame itself:

The arms will be shortened 450 heli carbon tail booms from HK, $2.40 link

The carbon sheet is 1mm thick also from HK which I will cut with a dremel, $10.79 link

landing gear will be 3mm clear Perspex strips bent will mini blow torch

Motor mounts will be 4mm perspex discs made with a hole saw and file =)

Electronics, motors, etc will be from my arducopter frame.


Will post a build blog when its done.

Please criticize =)


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Recent solar flare may disrupt your GPS


For those of you that are not getting GPS locks, waiting 20mins for a lock or loosing GPS locks, you may want to add this to your list of possible reasons.

An article from CNN Tech:

We're the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, so double-check your GPS, and watch where you're going.

On Thursday, the sun unleashed a massive solar flare (see video of the flare and how its effects have been moving toward Earth). Solar flares can disrupt radio communications, including devices that use Global Positioning System technology, such as cell phones, airplanes and car navigation systems.

So if you're relying on your GPS for driving directions, to find your location on your phone's mapping tool or for any other purpose, have a backup navigation system handy, such as a printed map.

Even more important, pay close attention to where you are and where you're going. Don't rely solely on your GPS to give you directions.

In 2006, research from Cornell University proved that solar flares can cause GPS devices to lose signal. This can cause these devices to temporarily misrepresent your location or otherwise malfunction.

"If you're driving to the beach using your car's navigation system, you'll be OK. If you're on a commercial airplane in zero visibility weather, maybe not," said Paul Kintner Jr., head of Cornell's GPS Laboratory. In fact, the Cornell researchers warned in 2006 that 2011 would probably see lots of GPS disruption.

In addition, solar flares can disrupt power systems.

This week, National Geographic reported: "Under the right conditions, solar storms can create extra electrical currents in Earth's magnetosphere -- the region around the planet controlled by our magnetic field. The electrical power grid is particularly vulnerable to these extra currents, which can infiltrate high-voltage transmission lines, causing transformers to overheat and possibly burn out."

Across the nation, electric utilities and grid operators are preparing to respond to such problems.

John Bogdan, director of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, told The Associated Press that a number of such blasts is expected over the next three to five years -- and the biggest flares are yet to come. On a scale of one to five, he likened this week's flare to "probably a two or three."

This week's flare (called a "coronal mass ejection") registered M9.3 on the "Richter scale of flares," about the highest level in the "medium" category. Larger flares that fall into the "X" category can cause global radio blackouts, but large M-class flares also can cause radio disruptions.

This is one of a series of recent bouts of severe space weather, as the solar cycle approaches solar maximum in 2013. Other major flares came in February and June, and more may follow. A good place to follow solar activity is

In the meantime, keep those maps handy.

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was browsing the net today and came across this!

WOW i think its amazing what horizon has done!

take a look at the stuff on the their site too. amazing!

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies latest hydrogen fuel cell release is designed as a drop-in replacement for battery packs used in small electric Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Weighing 4.4lbs (2kg) and storing 900Wh of usable electric energy, the Aeropak can to increase flight endurance by up to 300% over lithium batteries, meaning longer range missions and more energy to run on-board cameras and sensors.

Designed for high-impact and able to operate at up to 22,000 feet (6700m), this miniaturized power system uses refillable dry-fuel cartridges and is scalable (up to "several kilowatts") and customizable to suit different unmanned platforms. The drop-in design should also make modifications unnecessary.

Apart from enabling flights to go further and last longer and the ability to run more power-hungry devices, the Aeropak offers a very low heat signature and and silent, reliable power. Other applications are likely to include powering remote ground systems and as emergency power back-up for larger systems.

Perhaps best known to Gizmag for the fuel-cell powered H-Racer RC car and for its involvement in the radical Hyfish jet-wing aircraft project in 2007 Horizon supplied a hydrogen fuel cell that helped the Pterosoar micro-UAV set new distance records for aircraft of its type.

AeroVironment has achieved also achieved success by marrying fuel cell technology to the UAV platform, setting a new long-duration flight record of over nine-hours with fuel cell hybrid-powered Puma UAS.

here's the origional link:

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