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Most recent entry: 2015-05-17 00:00:00 -- Generated on 2015-05-24 05:17:44 by Rig3 0.4-440




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2015/05/17 Cularis 7 Channel Glider With Crow Flaps and Washout Taranis Config EEPE
π 2015-05-17 00:00 in Rc
The Taranis is a great transmitter, but it can be a tough to program when you're learning:


So after many hours of making a very custom 7 channel config for my Multiplex Cularis FPV Glider, with differential flaps, crow flaps, aileron washout for tip stall avoidance, and switches to control my FPV camera and talk to APM::Plane, the autopilot running on my pixhawk, I've published my setup with explanations so that others can use it.


Again, here's a link if yould like to read about my Multiplex Cularis FPV Glider Build.

You will need sounds to install on your Taranis in SOUNDS/ subdirectory on the sdcard:

  • sounds (it's a complete collection, more than the ones I use, but you should find them useful)
  • Here is my EEPE config file for companion to load the config into OpenTX:

  • Cularis EEPE
  • Last, but not least, you will want to read this document that explains how it all works:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bGKjyvOksHBhD8gT3Q20ZmDu1TUsDn15BvGPHw-doVg/edit
    You can also download (a maybe slightly out of date) PDF:

  • Cularis_Taranis Setup PDF
  • 2015/04/23 FPV with Multiplex Cularis, v2
    π 2015-04-23 00:00 in Rc
    This is my pretty custom build log for an FPV Cularis with Ardupilot. If you'd like a basic build log with lots more info on basic Cularis building, see this: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669739

    After an unfortunate high speed crash of my old Multiplex Cularis, due to a servo horn that failed (because of a prior crash due to an underpowered setup, and a takeoff that went into a stall and full power crash into the ground), I decided to make sure my new Cularis build would have enough power to take off under any condition with sheer motor power. Incidently, the totally overpowered motor I inherited with my old Cularis was 1200W capable, so I switched to a 4S setup (from 3S) and better wires/connectors so that I could get more than 30A (which was my limit on the old one).
    Since I already had an 80 Amp Castle Phoenix ESC, I'm now 60A limited probably because of some wire limitation somewhere, and I can now get 60A peak at 16V, or 960W (from 300W or so before). This now gives me over 3kg of thrust, which is more thrust than the Cularis' weight, making sure that I can take off easily without stalling or worrying about throwing at the right angle and right speed.

    Here are the specs:

  • 80Amp Castle Phoenix ESC
  • Neumotor 1905 2.5Y 600-1200W motor 865kV (too heavy and powerful but I inherited it with my old Cularis)
  • 4S 3300mAh lipo
  • 14x8 folding prop, 60A, 960W power at full power takeoff (same power with 12x8 prop)
  • 5V BEC to power servos and backup power to pixhawk
  • Pixhawk with ardupilot 3.2.3
  • 433Mhz telemetry radio
  • MinimOSD with minimosd-extra R800
  • 12V uBEC for Vtx
  • 900Mhz 500mW video TX with 5V output used to power 2 mobius cameras and FPV camera
  • Narrow angle Mobius for forward bottom view
  • Wide angle Mobius for rear bottom view
  • Fatshark TVL 600 FPV cam on top
  • RC controlled onboard video switcher for the 3 analog video sources
  • Lost model finder plugged into an RC channel
  • Separate loud Keyringer with independent battery, sound activated
  • Total weight is a bit heavy, around 2.1kg, but with the huge wings, it's not a big problem. The wing area is 55dm^2, and wing loading of about 40g per dm^2 (the pure glider version is only 25g per dm^2).

    Since I was doing a build from scratch, I took the time to carve the body to add electronics that I had to fit badly in my last retrofit. My old Cularis has crap hanging all around it, creating a fair amount of drag. This new build, I did my best to keep the airframe as clean as possible. I kept the cameras inside as much as possible:



    I had to put small skids from a heli to allow for not landing on the camera
    I had to put small skids from a heli to allow for not landing on the camera

    I didn't think the wings through well enough, this is where you put extra connectors, like the one I'd have used for an airspeed sensor I'd have fit at the end of the wing:


    Grr, I totally should have put an extension cord for my airspeed sensor before closing the wing:
    Grr, I totally should have put an extension cord for my airspeed sensor before closing the wing:

    Since I had skids on belly anyway, I also didn't like damaging my wings on each landing, so I added another kind of heli skids under the wing tips:



    Speaking of the wings, I've moved my servo center to allow much deeper flap deflection (this means that flaps up is mostly level/flat, flaps center is half way down, and flaps down is a lot more down than normal if center were level). This picture shows the result:


    I carved out the battery bay to fit a bigger battery a bit farther back (for better aft CG):

    before
    before

    after
    after

    Power kit:



    this motor isn't meant to fit there, and is a bit heavy, but it works. 1200W is nothing to sneeze at :)
    this motor isn't meant to fit there, and is a bit heavy, but it works. 1200W is nothing to sneeze at :)

    Now let's get to the avionics. It's a very tight fit. Thankfully the pixhawk fits just on top of the plastic separators. Under the pixhawk, the 12V uBEC, 5V ESC, and first mobius camera:



    I made a hole to fit my 3DR radio mostly inside the body
    I made a hole to fit my 3DR radio mostly inside the body

    In this build, I put the L9R antennas in inverted V inside the body, underneath the electronics (see the 2 antenna PCBs sunk into the foam. Later, I carved up the foam some more to fit the receiver under the electronics, away from interference hopefully and also putting it farther away from the GPS/compass on top:



    I designed my power system with a BEC to plug on the servo side of my pixhawk so that the pixhawk is getting power from 2 sources: power module and ESC on the servo side. This also lets me plug all the electronics (except the motor) into the battery balance plug directly without having the main battery connector plugged in. This is huge for debugging on the bench because I now know there is no way at all that my motor can power up and shred my fingers, or like last time, my laptop, when the pixhawk decided that return to land meant taking off from my desk.


    On this test I added an X8R as a 2nd receiver with RPM sensor and battery tester to try them out. By then, things were getting very full and the canopee hard to close. I had to carve up the top to allow it to close:


    The video system, I made my own power/video cable for the mobius, and low profile bracket for my FPV camera. My first design looked good, except for a not so small detail:



    testing 3 cameras with my video switcher board
    testing 3 cameras with my video switcher board

    custom made low profile bracket for my FPV camera
    custom made low profile bracket for my FPV camera

    yeah, all done
    yeah, all done

    oh crap, my prop is totally going to rip out the camera
    oh crap, my prop is totally going to rip out the camera

    I had to redo the top, moved the battery voltage forward and camera back
    I had to redo the top, moved the battery voltage forward and camera back

    instead of putting steel balls for CG, I added a keyringer in front of the Vtx
    instead of putting steel balls for CG, I added a keyringer in front of the Vtx

    moved the antenna a bit back, closer to the rudder surface
    moved the antenna a bit back, closer to the rudder surface

    hopefully this is as clean as possible airflow-wise
    hopefully this is as clean as possible airflow-wise

    rear pointing mobius barely fits between the receiver and the battery, but it fits
    rear pointing mobius barely fits between the receiver and the battery, but it fits

    more carving to limit drag compared to having the camera be outside
    more carving to limit drag compared to having the camera be outside

    Here is a demo of my 3 cameras:

    And my test flights went great, although I had to adjust the CG and trim a bit. The hill from Rancho is great since it gives you altitude to recover before hitting the ground. Too bad the rangers want to prevent anyone from flying from there:

    first flight before FPV camera
    first flight before FPV camera

    self made video receiving station
    self made video receiving station

    Unfortunately, as I write this, my Vtx apparently half died and doesn't transmit past 100m or so, so I can't fly FPV with it, but he's a quick video showing what it's supposed to look like. Forgive the questionable landing, it was very hard to get down due to updrafts and a pretty good upslope wind, so I had a hard time controlling the way down while being pushed around by wind, also I didn't have enough trim down when crow flaps were on (I fixed that in the taranis later), I got a bit slow, making it harder to control. On the plus side, my aileron washout modification ensured that I didn't get any tip stalls (which would have caused a spin there):

    See more images for FPV with Multiplex Cularis, v2
    2015/04/23 Rescued Baby Black Eyed Junko
    π 2015-04-23 00:00 in Public
    This poor little guy banged itself against our glass door and looked visibly injured, so Jennifer took him in and gave it first aid on its wing. At the time, it looked broken, so Jennifer tried to set it, but not knowing exactly what to do, she bandaged the entire bird, when in hindsight we were supposed to bandage just one side (but hard to do on a small bird).

    The poor little bird, when it got a bit better after getting over from the trauma of hitting our window, wasn't happy to be turned into a little sausage, but at the time it really looked like it had broken its wing, so we thought it was best for it.



    we tried to feed it before bed time
    we tried to feed it before bed time

    The next morning, it managed to get out of the bandage, so I figured it was getting better. It started being able to make small jumps with flight, so I got convinced that its wing was just injured but not broken, and clearly not injured enough to prevent flight anymore, so I picked him up, and we let him go outside:




    it soon made little noises outside and was able to call its parents to get fed
    it soon made little noises outside and was able to call its parents to get fed

    it still wasn't flying very well, and the wing was still droopy, but it seemed well enough
    it still wasn't flying very well, and the wing was still droopy, but it seemed well enough

    and soon the happy little family was re-united :)
    and soon the happy little family was re-united :)

    See more images for Rescued Baby Black Eyed Junko
    2015/04/08 2ft Powder Day at Kirkwood on Top of Almost Nothing
    π 2015-04-08 00:00 in Snow
    This snow year in California has been as bad as last year's. Bad enough that I hadn't set foot in Tahoe at all this year yet, but as Kirkwood was melting away, and you had to start walking back to the lift because there wasn't snow all the way back, we got a nice little storm that actually got downgraded quite a bit as it happened. Tahoe didn't get that much snow afterall, and Heavenly only got 6 inches by the time we had arrived on tuesday evening.
    Thankfully the K factor delivered, and kirkwood got 2ft of fresh snow in that same amount of time. Not surprisingly the parking lot was almost full by 09:10 when we arrived.


    It looked quite nice in the morning:


    Kirkwood hadn't looked like this nice in over a month
    Kirkwood hadn't looked like this nice in over a month


    the previous day you had to hike to sentinel bowl
    the previous day you had to hike to sentinel bowl

    wee!
    wee!


    The wall opened while I was hiking from Cornice
    The wall opened while I was hiking from Cornice



    but I got a nice run there instead, so not so bad
    but I got a nice run there instead, so not so bad




    Although it got tracked quickly and unfortunately this the rocks underneath came back quickly:

    the drain was better than before, but rocky already in the morning
    the drain was better than before, but rocky already in the morning



    My favourite run to the top of solitude was rocky as hell, my board got damaged quite a bit:


    I had a good day overall, the powder was great in the morning, although it would have been better to have more snow underneath and not have damaged my board as much :) Thanks much to Seongbae for getting me there and back.

    2015/04/04 Time for another Drive around SKyline
    π 2015-04-04 00:00 in Cars
    It was good to see friends again for another drive around the hills. We got to Zondas in addition to the already nice list of typical cars:



















    2015/03/26 John's Private TH Trackday, 1:58 lap with the bypass
    π 2015-03-26 00:00 in Cars
    Thanks to Arnaud for introducing me and John for having both of us for a day of play at the track. Arnaud started easy in his 650S since it was his first day with it, but I egged him on enough that he got close to my speeds after a few sessions ;)

    I was up early, so I did a nice night flight takeoff and got to watch sunrise from the sky:


    new avionics in an old C182
    new avionics in an old C182


    I managed to scrape a 1:58 lap time (with the bypass) in the morning, but unfortunately, my times went downhill from there as my tires got worn, and apparently due to a lack of negative camber issue, once the sides of my tires were gone, so was the traction, and I lost up to 5 seconds on my laps at the end of the day.



    this Z06 with the same tires than me was hella fast
    this Z06 with the same tires than me was hella fast


    Arnaud's track machine, nice leather
    Arnaud's track machine, nice leather


    This is a session where Arnaud and I were running together. Around 13:10, I stopped a bit to let him pass me and film him from behind:

    For fun, I also filmed 2 laps from the rear of my car, showing the wing. Once narrow, and once wide:

    On the flight back, I didn't stand much of a chance against Arnaud and his Cirrus flying back too, but I got to enjoy the views as usual:




    2015/03/23 Embedded Linuxcon 2015 in San Jose, CA
    π 2015-03-23 00:00 in Linux
    Thanks to my good friend Craig, I was able to go to ELC for fun to see some talks on drones and meet the 3DR folks.

    Good to see my friend John Hawley showing up the minnow board, his K9, and he brought a killer X8 quadcopter for his talk, which he was smart enough not to fly indoors ;)



    One talk was Gregoire Gentil from Always Innovating on a lightweight nano-quadcopter with 4 cameras and image recognition to follow a subject being filmed while doing indoor navigation using. His talk info is here.







    Another interesting talk was about using a X-UAV Talon to carry relief payloads to places under siege:




    Tridge did the keynote on drones, it started with legos:





    We ended with a dinner on tuesday night:


    It was great to have been able to go, thanks again to Craig.


    More pages: May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980