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Posts Tagged ‘quadcopter

Invertix CanopyLike a kid in a candy store, I quickly got to work building the Invertix 400 from Encore RC and Bobby Watts. It took a couple of hours (I’m very careful with all my builds, so actual time may vary), but she came out looking great!

Check out more galleries after the jump!

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Normally we post RC On TV when we spot a cool RC segment, but this weekend we found RC in our Comics! This weekend’s Zits featured a ‘drone’ doing a little reconnaissance on Jeremy and his girlfriend.

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For this weekends comic, or any others, make sure to check out the official Zits Comic website.

Blade 200QX Quadcopter by Horizon Hobby – Review

200QX Up Close

In a RC World where quadcopters are becoming THE thing to pilot, Blade Helicopters took the popular 350QX platform and shrank it. Luckily, there was no movie starring Rick Moranis, but I did get the opportunity to give the 200QX Quadcopter a good test and you can see my thoughts on the aircraft after the jump…
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quad_band

Everyone know’s I’m a sucker for automated drone stuff, and there is something about this video. It ‘looks legit’ yet part of me thinks, wow it would be tough to pull that off. That all being said, I’m pretty sure I’d pay to see this in real life as a small concert, or be able to buy the ‘drone band in a box’ kit for my house to enjoy.

Check out the video below of a handful of drones playing a few different tunes.

FlyTrex Live

Hot off the presses via their blog, the guys over at FlyTrex have updated their GPS MultiRotor telemetry system to also provide live data feed straight to their website, making it the first ‘Black Box’ for quadcopters. FlyTrex Live uses a GSM (cell phone data) connection to transmit Speed, Location, Altitude, and Battery Voltage live directly to their website.

What makes this such a big deal? Thanks to that GSM connection, one can provide real time tracking data to help search and rescue operations for fly-aways, crashes, etc.

Other features/statistics as shown on their page:

  • GSM Powered - Flytrex Live uses standalone GSM data connection that transmits your flight telemetry automatically to your personal Flytrex Profile whenever you takeoff and for the duration of your flight.
  • Auto Flight Logger - Similar to the Core, Flytrex Live brings powerful flight logging capabilities. All of your flight details are logged and stored in your personal Flytrex Profile. With Flytrex Live, logging is done automatically and you no longer need to copy mission files after flying. All of your flight missions are automatically transmitted to your Flytrex Profile and will show almost instantly after landing.In addition to GPS location, speed, altitude and temperature, Flytrex Live adds voltage logging that helps you analyze battery performance during your flights.
  • Live Tracker, Last Seen - Unlike other trackers that rely on challenge-response operation, Flytrex Live maintains a live data connection that guarantees you’ll always know where your multirotor was last seen, making sure you’ll never lose your multirotor again. Should your aircraft go MIA, visit the new Last Seen tool in your Flytrex Profile to see where your multirotor was last spotted.
  • Live Flight Channel - Share your flight in real time with your personal Live Flight Channel. Your Live Flight Channel let’s you broadcast your flight telemetry, stats, and Google Maps flight path as-you-fly. Link to your channel, share your Flight Channel with other Flytrex pilots, or allow Flytrex to automatically post to your Facebook timeline as soon as you takeoff!
  • Lightweight & Robust - Flytrex Live was designed to be the smallest, most lightweight and robust black box solution for multirotors. Flytrex Live weighs only 34 grams and measures 4.5 x 4.8 cm.

On top of that, there will be an iOS app for the FlyTrex system that will have some fun features, but no specifics given.

The FlyTrex Live sells for $190 and also requires a $9 cable for the GPS quad of your choice (Supports DJI NAZA-M, Phantom, Blade 350QX, and Ardupilot 2.5/2.6). You can order now and see more details regarding the Flytrex Live on the Flytrex webpage Right Here.

Click Here for more Flytrex News on BigSquidRC.

Estes Proto X New Colors
The mighty little Estes Proto-X has become a huge phenomenon. With their low price point and huge fun factor, everyone (and their Uncle, and their Uncle’s dog) bought one. However, if you’ve flown your Proto-X as much as we have, you already know they do eventually wear out.

For all you guys needing a new Proto-X, Estes has announced that you can now get them in Six Different Colors. The colors are the original black, plus green, purple, red, white and yellow. But that isn’t the only thing different on the new Proto-Xs, they now come with an Auto-Upright Stability feature that makes hand launching a breeze.

The part numbers are #ESTE48** and the price stays the same at just $39. To be the first person on your block to have a Proto-X in one of the new colors, hit up This Link over on the Tower Hobbies website to get yours on pre-order.

Click Here to read more Proto-X news on BigSquidRC.

Some pretty cool video of fireworks shot with a quadcopter, thought everyone might enjoy! Go fullscreen and HD.

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What better way to challenge yourself and your piloting skills than earning achievements and sharing your bold and daring exploits with fellow pilots? The guys over at Flytrex have come up with a flight recorder to measure altitude, speed, and other metrics to share with your fellow pilots.

For added fun, they also included in their social networking challenges and achievements to earn and add a little bit of competition between pilots. Personally I’m already at my limits of comfort flying my quad, so any challenges outside that zone may be ignored just to keep my flights fun. Either way, I cannot wait to slap this bad boy either into my Ardupilot quad or my 350QX.

The chipset plugs as an intermediate between your GPS and mainboard, and starting at $50 you can hook it up to Ardupilot, DJI Phantoms and Naza-M systems, and Blade 350QXs. Details and how to order them can be found on the Flytrex website Right Here.

For more quadcopter articles on BigSquidRC, click here.

 

Futaba Drone Radio Transmitter
The crew over at Futaba have been very busy lately. News came out earlier in the week about their flagship 4PX surface transmitter, now they are teasing a new Drone Transmitter. Our friends over at Hobby Media have posted pictures of a possible new drone transmitter that was on display at the Shizuoka show. The drone version has huge rubber covered sticks on it, as well as a vast array of switches, sliders, and buttons. We don’t have any information on when, or even if, it will become available, but should we get an inside scoop we will certainly share it with our readers.

Build Title PicPart 1 of the Mega Multirotor build can be found Right Here.

The frames are built, and now it is time to get the right motors and speed controllers for each of our three multirotor setups. Don’t be afraid, with every kit/frame there is available for purchase there are always suggested motor and speed controller combos that go well with that particular frame. Even easier, theses combos can be purchased with the frame company to take out the legwork in finding the perfect match, but normally that adds a leg (or at least an arm) to the price.

I did all my shopping a la carte, so ideally this should cut down on costs, which we will sum up at the end of each part of the series. Let’s start with motors and finish with ESCs.


Motors:

As I stated, motors are usually suggested by the manufacturer of the frame. Now these are only suggestions; you can install any size motor you want, but going smaller risks labored performance of the multirotor aircraft, and bigger motors may have large power or ESC requirements.

Lynxmotion 400: In this case a 2830 (28mm stator diameter, 30mm length respectively), was suggested so I was able to acquire 4 11-turn, 1000kv motors from Turnigy (via eBay), with a maximum draw of 22amps (more on why that matters in a minute). All four motors shipped cost $84.

Armattan 258 V-Tail: This quadcopter was by far the smallest of the 3 frames, so this frame required the small 2208 motor (22mm diameter, 8mm length). I picked up Suppo 2208 14-turn, 1450 kv motors from RCPlaneBuilder. These motors have a maximum draw of 14amps, and cost $62 after shipping

DJI Flamewheel 450: This frame was a little more open for interpretation for required motors, so I picked a midrange size: 2212 (22mm diameter, 12mm length). I also relied on RCPlaneBuilder and acquired more Suppo motors, this time 2212 10-turn, 1400kv. These have a maximum draw of 14.5 amps, and only cost a little more than the 2208 with $66 after shipping.

Speed Controllers (ESCs):

The ESC is the barrier between battery and motor, giving us the power to control all that is the multirotor. Most important is that there must be a fast response between Transmitter and/or Multicontrol board (gyro). With that in mind, we need a more responsive ESC, which is found in flashed ESCs. Like updating a program or hardware on the computer, an ESC is flashed to update to a faster data transfer rate as well as modify various settings. The most common firmware programming set is called SimonK. This is the common programming in all the ESCs I acquired.

When it comes to choosing the amperage of your ESC, we refer back to our motors. The standard rule I’ve come to live by is round the maximum amperage of the motor to the nearest 10, and that’s a good ESC for your purposes without frying/overheating anything. So if the max amperage of a motor is 14amps, then a 20amp or higher ESC is sufficient.

Lynxmotion 400: With the maximum draw of 22amps for the Turnigy motors, I needed 30amp ESC which I found from BuddyRC. The DYS SimonK Multirotor 30A ESC was a perfect fit and reached me for about $66 shipped.

Armattan 258 V-Tail: The current draw of the 2208 motors only requires a 20amp ESC, but I decided to get adventurous (READ: shipping error). I picked up Afro 30A ESCs from -Redacted- for $62.

DJI Flamewheel 450: 14.5amps would required 20amp ESCs like the Armattan, and this time I did pick up the right ESCs. For this quad I also purchased Afro 20A ESCs from -Redacted- for $56.

At this point, it’s all just assembly for these electronics (soldering may or may not be required depending on the motor/ESC). Don’t forget your power distribution for each quad. The DJI Flamewheel has an integrated distribution board, so all I needed was a whip with a battery plug (Eflite EC3 Device Whip, $4). For the Lynxmotion 400 I soldered up a power distribution wire set with 3.5mm and a battery plug I had laying around (about $7). The Armattan was a perfect setup for a Turnigy Power Distribution Board w/ XT-60 plug I bought for $5. Below you will find pictures of the motors, ESCs, and some snippets of their install for some of the quadcopters.

 

 

Running Totals:

Quad Frame Motor/ESC/Wiring TBA TBA Total
Armattan $125 $129 $0 $0 $254
Lynxmotion $90 $157 $0 $0 $247
DJI $32 $122 $0 $0 $154

 

 

 

And with that, we are one major component away from having the electronics complete, which leads us to the title of the next installment: ‘If I Only Had a Brain

Until then, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

 

Invertix 400Recently released for pre-order via EncoreRC, helicopter pilot and designer Bobby Watts has created a new breed of quadcopter, one that does full inverted flight that is not collective pitch (where blade pitch determines throttle’s direction of thrust. This is not a new concept, but this is the first ever production unit of a quadcopter of this kind.

The genius behind the Invertix 400 is that during the inversion process, the motors slow, stop, and reverse their rotation, providing stable flight even upside down. The kit features:

  • The World’s FIRST 3D Fixed Pitch Multirotor
  • The Ultimate Machine to Practice and Enjoy the Art of 3D Flight
  • Incredibly Robust and Simple Design
  • Flight Ready in Under 60 Minutes
  • Ultra Low Parts Count – Simple and Affordable to Repair
  • High Visibility Canopy Design Provides Unparalleled Visibility and Orientation Awareness
  • NO SOLDERING REQUIRED

The kit runs for about $400  and will be shipping in a few weeks. Check out all the details on the EncoreRC website Right Here. See the quadcopter in action below!

Mad Dog LiPo Blade QX
Want to add 25% more flight time to your Blade 350 QX quadcopter? The guys over at 2dogrc have a new LiPo pack to give your quad more time up in the air.

Their new Mad Dog 3S 2700mAh LiPo is a perfect fit for the battery bay on the 350 QX and comes with an EC3 connector which plugs right into the quad. The pack is rated for a 25C continuous discharge, 50C burst, is rated for up to a 3C charge rate, and weighs in at 205 grams.

The part number is MD27003BL, they are priced at $30, and you can get complete information by hitting up This Link over on the 2dogrc website.

Check out This Link for more quadcopter news right here on BigSquidRC.

Estes Syncro Quadcopter
Maybe you have noticed that Estes has a new white version of their massively popular Proto-X. The white version is called the Syncro ($39) and Hobbico has released a video to showcase its Self Righting capability. Even if you hand launch a Syncro upside down, it will immediately self right itself into a proper upright flying position.

Check out the video below to see its self righting feature in action and you can hit up This Link to get more information on the Syncro.

Need more quadcopter news in your diet? Never fear BigSquid is here, hit up This Link.