Monday, January 28, 2013

Turnigy 9XR: Radio Calibration

You need to calibrate two things when you're setting  up your 9XR -- sticks and voltmeter.

Both are in the radio setup menu -- Click the left arrow to get there

Sticks and Pots  -- setup menu 5 will give you a three-step process to calibrate the sticks and pots.  Don't over-stretch the sticks, just move them along the axes for the full range of motion. Be sure and center the pots by moving the blue notches to the topmost position.

Battery Voltage -- if you have a multimeter, you can calibrate the radio voltage display on setup menu 4. Most of the screen displays internal register settings and is used for debugging, but the bottom item is used to calibrate the voltage.  Attach a voltmeter to your battery, and match the radio's voltage level to that of you voltmeter.  Back on setup screen 1, you can see the voltage alarm level.  For LiPo batteries, 9.6 is a good value.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Turnigy 9XR with modules

Here's some quick pictures showing how my current 9x modules fit into the 9xr.  This is the FrSky module with whip antenna.  This is the module that I anticipate using the most, so I'm happy to report that it's a perfect fit and the antenna is nicely positioned.  Laying the radio down flat isn't a problem.
 Here's the original FlySky module, the one you have to unsolder from the 9x when you first get it.  Case fit is good.  As with the 9x, it's painful to see the weight of the case resting on the antenna, although as a practical issue it doesn't seem to present a real problem.  I used enough epoxy to patch a battleship, so I'm not too worried about it.  I possibly might replace this module with a store-bought FS TM002 module, which has a profile similar to the FrSky module.
 Here's the FrSky with the patch antenna.  Super-happy with how it contours to the case.
The odd duck in the bunch is the OrangeRX DSM module.  It's a tight fit in the case, so I use my pocketknife screwdriver to release one of the tabs (update: fit has loosened up, so no problem now).  The module align properly, so there's no stress on the Tx pins.
I'm not sure why HK positioned the antenna connector the way they did, but it's not in a good position.  The radio basically pivots on the antenna.  I'm not too concerned about this, since I plan on getting the 9xr DSM module whenever it comes out. (update: I'm still using the module, and it's continuing to work well. No problem with the odd antenna position!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Aerotestra Hugo: New Features

 Sean stopped by with a few of his latest improvement to the Hugo.  First up: Ardupilot Mega!  It flies nicely with the default settings.

Also very nice, an external power switch for disconnecting the battery power.
 Here's a closeup of the APM 2.5 holder.  It's really nice... the unit fits into the holder snugly, the GPS unit screws onto the top, and the receiver velcros onto the bottom.
 And a sonar unit has been added.  It was an old Sparkfun unit that Sean had sitting around, model number unknown. We haven't configured the APM to use it yet.
 The USB cable fits nicely in the ventilation gap.  Sean's going to figure out something to attach to the cable to stiffen it up so it will be easier to plug in without removing the cover.
And it looks quite fine in its new case as well!

Turnigy 9x: Enspringing the THR stick

Over on RCG, information about adding a spring to the throttle gimbal.

Turnigy 9X Self-Centering Lever, $5 postpaid

and one of these springs:

Turnigy 9/XR with FrSky Telemetry, Shopping List

Here's a complete shopping list.  (update: this post used to have "telemetry" and "no telemetry" options, but FrSky discontinued their non-telemetry line.  I've updated the post to remove links to the discontinued non-telemetry items.  Note that even if you get the telemetry-enabled units, they work just fine without using the telemetry.)

First, you need the "no module" version of the transmitter.  Get the "Mode 2" (left hand throttle) unless you know otherwise.

Here's two good LiFe batteries.  The 2100 has a bigger capacity, but IMO the 1500 is fine for many hours and a better value.  That's the one I've used before.  You can also use just about any 3S battery if you've got a spare, so you can consider this "optional but recommended."  I've been using a 3S 500 mAh and it's been great.
Here's the telemetry module with one receiver, and extra receivers.  The module comes with one receiver.  Get enough receivers so you have one installed on each model.

Note: everything below is optional.

Here's the telemetry display screen.  It plugs into your module. You need to figure out a way to attach it to your transmitter.  Most people attach it to the transmitter handle.

Here's a better whip antenna and a patch antenna.  The higher the dB, the better range, and the more directional.  Neither of these are very expensive, so they're probably worth it if you're doing FPV or autopilot stuff.

Here's the Voltage sensor.  It's the only sensor that doesn't need the sensor hub.  It's the sensor that makes the most sense (haha!) to get.
Here's the sensor hub and some other sensors.
[shopping note:  all the above links have an affiliate code which gives me a small credit when you use them, at no cost to you.  Some people are bothered by the concept of affiliate codes... if you are one of them, please feel free to remove the affiliate code!]

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Deshaker for Virtualdub

If you've ever seen video stabilization that works by shifting the frame around, there's a good chance it was stabilized by Deshaker for Virtualdub.

Virtualdub runs on Windows, but I think I might try it out and see how Deshaker works on a couple of my videos.  Here's a sample from some Apollo footage.  They could put a man on the moon, but they couldn't get him to hold his camera still!