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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 9, 2012 at 2:29pm

Can you give us some details on your gear? 

Comment by Robert Sinclair on June 9, 2012 at 4:38pm

The croc was a nice surprise.  Would have prefered at least some audio of the motors/props.  And what chris said, What is your set up?

Comment by Nick Mann on June 9, 2012 at 11:13pm

Well, the gorge with the harmless, freshwater croc was Windjana Gorge, and swimming was not allowed there on indigenous grounds.  The swimming was at the crocless (maybe) Bell Gorge.  The huge structure is the Devonian Reef, an ancient coral reef from the wetter Devonian Age, or Age of the Fishes, and is actually twice that height if you scrape away all the accumulated dirt around it's base.

My set-up varies.  I occasionally flew with my old APM 1.0, but mostly with its closed-source, more expensive usurper, the DJI Wookong-M.  I posted this here because I 'grew up' and learned most of what I know with DIY drones and APM flight control.  This video is just the best I've managed yet and felt it appropriate to post on the site I've visited most during my drone development.  There have been many elements of DIY on the journey, so I still feel it appropriate to post here.

The frame is the F450 flamewheel with xaircraft landing gear zip-tied on.  DNY, SimonK-flashed 30A ESCs, Sunnysky 2814-11 brushless motors (very good, robust motors, at least the equal of Avroto or MK) and 10" Graupner electroprops (a little light for these motors, but effective enough).  I usually ran a 3 Ah, 4S, 25-50c Turnigy Nanotech lipo which gave about ten minutes with the GoPro2 camera hard mounted to base of frame in it's housing - the whole shebang weighs in just under 2 fat kilos.  The APM set-up is a few grams lighter, but requires a lot more manual flying attention than the Wookong.  None of this flying was done by waypoint and the most UAV elements used were in position hold and return to land.  

Comment by Jerry Normandin on June 10, 2012 at 10:17am

The Video you shot was great!    I've never been to Australia , and with the video you shot I've got a better idea

of what Western Australia looks like!   Well done!  

I'm hoping to shoot a video along the shoreline where I live as soon as I get good enough at flying.  

Comment by Nick Mann on June 10, 2012 at 7:33pm

Thanks, Jerry.  That's only the northern part of West Aus, and not many people get up there, so it's not a prime example of Australia in general...  Good luck with the flying.  Trusting my machine and myself enough to fly over water was a huge step for me.  Always after a good check on prop-adapters and motor connections!  

Comment by Jerry Normandin on June 11, 2012 at 6:17am

I've got a similar frame for my APM 2.0 board. I'm using the hobbyking sk450,  250w 1200kv motors (but i am running on a 3s battery  so th motors is running at 200W, Hobbyking 30A blue series ESC, and the 3drobotics APM 2.0 board.   Parts have been shipped, I'm hoping to build it soon.

Comment by Hai Tran on June 12, 2012 at 9:26am

@Nick.  Nice video.  Just be careful when posting videos showing you flying a model aircraft (clearly) less than 30m from a person or vehicle in Australia as CASA do monitor videos posted online and you might get yourself in trouble.  I don't have an problem with your video, it looks great, just thought you might want to know that big brother may be watching.

Comment by Nick Mann on June 12, 2012 at 6:36pm

Thanks, Hai, I'll keep that in mind in future.  The two lads in the water were my workmates, so it was a consensual fly-over!  Nonetheless, I know this is against the rules.  You fly in Perth, yes?  Is there a UAV group you're in or could we not form one?  Would be nice to meet and fly with fellow addicts in the region.

Comment by Nick Mann on June 12, 2012 at 6:40pm

@Jerry Normandin

Looks like a nice little frame.  The flamewheel has the advantage of the built-in PDB in the base-plate, but this HK one has the extra shelf for instrumentation (things get pretty crammed on the flamewheel).  Will be interesting to see how it flies for you.  

Comment by Hai Tran on June 12, 2012 at 7:33pm

@Nick I tried getting a UAV group together but the web site doesn't seem to make it easy to "network and communicate".  I think someone has started a group on DIYDrones.  I'll find you the link.


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