Hein du Plessis's Blog (11)

Mapping Chernobyl

I just want to share this very interesting article on BBC about the large scale mapping of Chernobyl.


Added by Hein du Plessis on May 9, 2019 at 12:30pm — No Comments

VTOL by Arkbird

Banggood is now taking pre-orders for a VTOL wing. It seems to be the holy grail of VTOL to me - no redundant motors, no extra servos, so it's a simple, reliable, and above all, efficient.…


Added by Hein du Plessis on March 31, 2017 at 2:00am — 17 Comments

A Practical APM Mobile Ground Control Station

In the last 4 years of being involved with UAVs I’ve always lacked a good ground station, one that’s practical and quick to deploy.


So I started drawing up a list of requirements. I had to draw the line somewhere, or the cost and weight would run away, so I ended up with a shortlist of key requirements that I need from a ground station. I had a look…


Added by Hein du Plessis on April 18, 2016 at 6:55am — 4 Comments

The Perfect UAV Mapping Camera

It’s really strange that there’s been so much development in all other aspects of UAV Mapping, except one – the camera!

Currently most of us are using the Canon S100-120 or Sony Nex7 etc, running custom firmware or tricky wiring and triggers to fire the shutter in flight.

So over the years I’ve been working on a wish list of what my perfect UAV mapping…


Added by Hein du Plessis on April 18, 2016 at 12:56am — 17 Comments

FPV Flight to Robben Island

A quick documentary of my FPV flight to Robben Island, where Mr Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.


Back then I was very worried about flying over water...


This was before Cruize mode :)


About 16km and 35 minutes, safe touch down!

Added by Hein du Plessis on December 5, 2013 at 7:30am — 21 Comments

A FPV visit to an offshore drilling rig, using Cruise Mode

I thought I'd share my recent marine excursion to a drilling rig that's anchored about 5.2km offshore. I was testing my new ReadyMadeRC 8000mAh 3S batteries (awesome, light) and the new pan & tilt mount, from Flite Evolution (changed my FPV life). As I was cruising down the beach I noticed a drilling boat that I recently saw in the harbour, so I thought I'd…


Added by Hein du Plessis on October 29, 2013 at 1:00am — 9 Comments

Dropping care packages for a crew in dire straights... DIYDrones style...

A few weeks ago I visited a ship that's been anchored in Table Bay with my Swift II FPV.

After reading up on the crew's plight, I thought it might lift…


Added by Hein du Plessis on September 24, 2013 at 11:00pm — 32 Comments

FPV Holiday in Namibia

I'm back from a 3 week holiday in Namibia, I took my small Swift II FPV ship with!

What fun, I flew over Walvis Bay's lagoon, game farms, dunes, beaches, chasing quad bikes, kite surfers, fantastic landscapes and mountains.

I decided to compile the best few seconds of all videos into one and posted it. It's long (15 minutes) but there are some…


Added by Hein du Plessis on January 8, 2013 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Filming a mountain bike race using FPV/Arduplane

I went out to Citrusdal to try to film a mountain bike race using FPV/Arduplane. It went really well and it could've worked, but I decided to relocate at the last moment and triggered RTL forgetting that I launched from the valley 350 meters below, so it dropped altitude while still over the mountain, smearing my Skywalker along a cliff face...


But we had…


Added by Hein du Plessis on September 5, 2012 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Camera Door for Protecting Lens

I've been using a Skywalker for taking aerial maps. By destroying my previous camera, I've learned two things:

1. Protect the camera lens from dust upon landing

2. Protect the camera from batteries during rough "landings"

So I've come up with the solution in the video above.

It works incredibly well! A sample of a stitch…


Added by Hein du Plessis on July 11, 2012 at 3:30pm — 16 Comments

First aerial photography

I'm experimenting with a downward-facing point and shoot camera for aerial photography & mapping.


I had a (very turbulent) flight with APM and called an early abort because of high wind. After looking at the footage, it seemed not bad, so I ran it through hypr3d:


Some awesome software they…


Added by Hein du Plessis on March 12, 2012 at 3:30pm — 22 Comments

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