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Category: Quadcopter

Follow the build process of my quadcopters

This is a quick video I put together about the FPV flights I did last Friday in the polders of Tielrode.

Dutch-German Quadcopter and Planes Meeting – FPV

Some guys from the OpenPilot forum decided to have a meeting to fly our variety of crafts. We decided on a spot in Belgium, in the town of Kelmis, close to the German and Dutch border.
It was an incredibly fun day!

I wrote a little “discotheque” function for my quadcopter. Watch out for UFO alerts!

It currently has 4 patterns and I can flip through them using the channel 7 switch on my DX7 remote control.
In the Off position, all leds are permanently on. A quick Off-On (< 1 sec) changes the pattern, a longer flip (> 1 sec) continues the pattern where it left off.

First flight with GoPro Hero HD – UNCUT

Today I did some flights with my quadcopter, for the first time with a GoPro Hero HD (720p; 60 fps). It’s mounted with a handlebar mount.
This is the uncut version. A nicer one will be uploaded later.

The altitude shots are as high as I dare to go without FPV live feed. At that height things can go wrong quickly.

The buildings and structures are from an archery club. When the quadcopter is at it’s highest point at 3:24 you can see the river Scheldt. According to Google Earth, the river is about 700 meters as the crow flies.

Around 6:30 I crash, that’s because I lost line of sight behind the little white structure.

My quadcopter caught on film

I finally got my quadcopter tuned enough, and flying skills to a satisfying level, that I had my girlfriend film me while doing some flights.
It’s nothing overly exciting for now, since it’s still way too heavy to do any tricks. It’s filmed on a patch of grass enclosed by flats and houses, so I didn’t want to crash it in someone’s garden anyway.
Before I continue, let’s enjoy the movie.

For those who still don’t know what a quadcopter is, it’s basically a frame with 4 (hence ‘quad’) motors pointing upwards. Two of the motors spin clockwise, the other two counterclockwise. You can go from 3 to theoretically an unlimited amount of motors, though 8 motors is the maximum I’ve seen so far. At the middle of the frame are the electronics. They consist of a kind of processing unit (in my case an Arduino Mega) and sensors. The sensors measure the attitude of the craft (roll, pitch, yaw), height (with a barometer) and acceleration. These sensors help the processing unit to level the craft. You can even go as far as installing a GPS unit, range sensors etc… The processing unit receives commands from a transmitter and in turn commands the motors.

This is a very short explanation. If you want to learn more, head over to the Aeroquad site. Those guys made the actual software that’s running on the Arduino. I learned everything to get started over there.

For pictures of my quadcopter, go here.

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