Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Great Micro Connector Resource

Micron Wings is a great resource for all things involving small models.  This page describes the battery and servo connectors to small models, along with details about each one.

The second and third are UMX and Hubsan.

Here's the servo connectors.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Joy of Free Flight

Here's a photo by Concord Model Engineer Lynn Price of a participant at one of the recent Free Flight contests.

Sometimes low tech is the most beautiful tech!

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Monday, September 7, 2015

DJI Intelligent Navigation, Part 1: The Menu

The first challenge in using Intelligent Navigation is finding the menu!

  • Have the unit flying in the air.  If the unit is not in the air, the menu will not appear.
  • Flip the flight mode switch (the three-position switch on the upper left of the remote) to the leftmost "F" position.
  • If you're in the air, the Intelligent Navigation menu will pop up.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Intelligent Navigation": Interesting Thing Coming in DJI-Land

From an RCGroups post by blade strike of DJI Support, a pretty serious upgrade is coming.

"Intelligent Flight Mode", with the theme "Design Cinematic Shots Like a Pro."  I usually don't upgrade immediately, but this sounds pretty interesting so I think I'll give it a go.  Stay tuned!

Update: Downloaded, installed, and ready to fly!  Flight report upcoming...

Listed features are:
  • Waypoints
    "Set multiple GPS points, or Waypoints, and the aircraft will automatically fly to them while you focus on controlling the camera."
  • Point-of-Interest"Set a specific building, object or location as the Point of Interest and the aircraft will continuously cirlce around it while you record the perfect photos and video."
  • Follow Me (Phantom 3 only)
    "With Follow Me, the aircraft will automatically follow you and capture your every move from a unique aerial perspective."
  • Home Lock
    "Fix your controls to be relative to the Home Point. Easily pull back on the control stick to bring the aircraft back home, or push forward to fly farther away, no matter which way it is facing."
  • Course Lock
    "By activating Course Lock, the controls will be set to be relative to your aircraft’s current path. This easy navigation allows you to fly in a set direction as you fly alongside moving objects or across scenes."

Comments in the thread indicate that "Follow Me" won't be available for the inspire because of its size and relative power.

I'm intrigued by the comment that the firmware download will be through the app.  Does that mean we won't have to do the SD card beep-beep thing?  (Update: no, still have to do that.  It would be pretty nifty to be able to kick that off from the App!)

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Eric Cheng's Cool Inspire Add-On

So Eric Cheng really is the coolest pilot in the world!  Look at the back of this Inspire, where he mounted a GoPro on a gimbal.  Eric writes:
DJI Inspire 1 flying aggressively at the beach with a Feiyu Tech FY-WG 3-Axis Wearable Gimbal for GoPro (http://amzn.to/1E4hrGF) attached to the rear via curved GoPro mount. Shot with GoPro HERO4 Black. Footage taken during the lynda.com documentary shoot with (Santa Cruz) Flight Club.

I might try this with my old no-name gimbal and see how it goes.

Eric mentions he got up to 55 MPH on this video.  Impressive!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Modding an Apple Mac Power Supply, Part 2

 Now that we've got the Apple power supply running, we need to hook it up to the charger.  It turns out that standard 110V blades fit perfectly into the GND and 12V slots, so we just harvest a couple from an old wall wart.
Solder onto 12 gauge wire.  My charger has 4mm bullets, so I soldered that onto the other end of the wire.
 Shrink wrapped.  I measured how far the blades would go into the connector, and measured the shrink wrap accordingly.
 The fit is nice and tight.  I don't think it will slip out, but if it does that's safe since it will lose connection to the hot wires.
 I used a piece of bigger heat shrink to hold everything together.  Go onto ebay and you can buy a lifetime supply of various sized shrink tube for a couple of bucks. I think this was 10mm shrink tube.
 I tried fitting a switch in place of the paper clip.  I learned that you can't solder onto a paper clip!  The Internet reveals that they are typically plated with some sort of alloy (tin/nickel?) that isn't attractive to solder.

A couple of old male servo leads worked nicely, but was wobbly.  I might run this with a length of wire, and then attach the switch onto the charger.  Till then, it's a paperclip jammed into the connector, which somehow pleases me very much!

Out with the old, in with the new.  Goodbye old Dell power supply, and thanks for the years of faithful yet kinda ugly and a bit underpowered service you provided.

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