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DIY GPS Logger

gps logger closedI need a GPS logger, don’t have one, don’t want to buy one, so let’s build one! I have all the necessary parts, so let’s start!

1. What do I want?

I need a device that logs location, speed and course on an SD card. I could use my Android phone to do this, but the GPS would drain the battery within the hour. So let’s build a dedicated device.

Because it won’t have a display, it needs to have a way to show if it has a GPS fix. It needs to run on a 3s lipo (11,1v) for as long as possible (preferably >12 hours), but I also want it to warn me when the battery voltage gets too low because lipo’s should never be discharged below 3v per cell (9v total) or they get damaged.

All that must fit in a waterproof case. Why waterproof? That will be clear in a future post 🙂

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How to charge a LiPo with the Ultramat 14 Plus

Last weekend, at a skirm in The Chambers, I met someone who was having trouble setting up his Ultramat 14 Plus charger for charging LiPo’s. So this is for him and other people having trouble with it.

 

 

Yesterday I did my first real FPV flights with my Bixler! It was a blast!

06-Jul-2012 22:23, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, 5.0, 4.8mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100
06-Jul-2012 22:24, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, 5.0, 4.8mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
 
06-Jul-2012 22:45, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, 2.8, 4.8mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
06-Jul-2012 22:52, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, 2.8, 4.8mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100
 

A few things I learned:

  • People are right when they say the Gopro isn’t good for FPV. It’s really bad in low light conditions and often the ground is blacked out.
  • These cloverleaf and skew planar wheel antenna’s are great! I never had video interference at all, granted I didn’t go that far in FPV terms…
  • My COG (center of gravity) is way off with all the FPV gear on. I need to trim some weight of the plane. I will have to find a way to remove the gopro case and still be able to mount it.
  • Either I buy a new FPV camera which handles dark better, or I fly when the sun is higher 🙂

Here’s the video. Not sure what happened at the end. Probably not enough speed for the turn. It landed in knee-high grass, so no damage.

Hobby King Bixler Powered Glider

A while back I bought a Bixler powered glider at Hobby King. I bought the kit, so could swap out all the inferior components that come in the ARF (almost ready to fly kit).
It had been laying there, carefully planning how I would build it, but last Sunday it was finally finished!
The maiden flight went perfect!
A few flights later, I almost killed my sister though 🙂

These are the things I did:

* This ESC is too weak! It overheated after a few full throttle loopings and fly-by’s (see below). I will be moving the ESC to the outside of the body to cool it down, or swap it out with a 60A ESC that’s currently underway.
This prop/motor combination gives these results: 412.7 W and 36.69A!

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!

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