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2015/10/29 Controlling 5 and 12V swtiching with SmartFPV RCCCv2 Video Switching Board
π 2015-10-29 00:00 in Electronics, Rc
The RCCCv2 board is an awesome little board, but unfortunately its switched output are not very usable as general purpose power swtiching. One is strobes, so it goes on and off no matter one, and the other one could switch any load, except that the GND line is switched, not the 5V line. As a result, if I plug my cameras into 5V, thir ground goes to the OSD board, the OSD board is connect to the autopilot and the serial communication grounds the circuit via the autopilot, which means my cameras would turn on regardless of whether their GND connection to the RCCC board is floating, or switched.
It's really too bad that the RCCCv2 will not switch the 5V line instead of the GND line.

My other issue was that I wanted to switch both 5V for the cameras and 12V for the VTX, so the best plan was to switch 2 volt lines with a dual relay. Doing this with the RCCC board was again a bit tricky because it would only switch a ground line that would go floating otherwise, so I had to use a pullup to 5V.

If I had to do this again, while I was not able to find any small RC controlled dual throw relays (the only one I found was huge and 3 times the size and weight), the Pololu 2803 RC Switch with Medium Low-Side MOSFET works for small loads, but if you need relays (and in my case I do because I needed a high side switch, and the mosfet was low side), the next best option is a Pololu 2804 RC Switch with relay. Sadly, the relay on it is big, but I can unsolder it and put a smaller one. I recommend the Pololu switches just because they're very configurable (you can change the setpoint, as well as change the direction they'll turn on/off for).
That said, for more than twice the money, a smaller and less configurable one is the PicoSwitch Radio Controlled Relay.

But anyway, I did have this small dual throw relay already, so I made it work with the RCCCv2 board to switch 5 and 12V.

Relay board testing:

Flipping the lights with my RC contoller

Breadboard testing:


Now trying the whole things with my plane electronics, and checking current draw:

My little dual latching relay board is quite small, it replaces 2 bigger relays:


Initial design:


Better design where the relay is not energized when 5 and 12V power are switched on:




And here is the end result board, showing how it's wired with the RCCCv2 board:

2015/10/16 RC Flying over Palm Springs
π 2015-10-16 00:00 in Rc
While in Palm Springs for the aviation expo, since I flew myself there, I took my RC plane and did a few nice flights above Palm Springs. I was hoping to get enough thermals to fly without power, but sadly they were insufficient for my glider's weight: I was able to sustain altitude at times, but not to regain it (then again, Palm Springs is also on the leeward side of a tall mountain, so that probably creates some downdrafts).

Here is a portion of one of my flights:

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And some screenshots from this beautiful scenery to fly over. I did a quick flight across the convention center to get the planes parked i the street, and then mostly stuck by the hills:


City shots:


wind turbines in the background
wind turbines in the background



sadly, the Marilyn Monroe statue had been removed and lots of new construction
sadly, the Marilyn Monroe statue had been removed and lots of new construction

Nice mountain shots:







Plenty of places were being terraformed for new houses:



houses being built
houses being built

another block ready to be built
another block ready to be built

I was hoping to get to that platform, but access to it was closed, it almost looks like a place to put an expensive home, and you can see parts of the Cactus to Clouds trail, sea level to Mt San Jacinto peak at 10,833ft.





Cactus to Clouds trail
Cactus to Clouds trail

more trails on the opposite side of town
more trails on the opposite side of town

On our last day, we took the tram up the mountain, and I picked a place on that access road with ground that was flat enough for a landing (I had looked for it via google earth beforehand), and did another flight from there. Sadly, the sun was getting low, and the wind was super strong, so I spent a fair amount of time fighting the wind. I suppose there is a reason why all those wind turbine are there :)




another block, ready to be built
another block, ready to be built


See more images for RC Flying over Palm Springs
2015/10/13 RC Flying over Thunderhill, 6 years later
π 2015-10-13 00:00 in Cars, Rc
It had been ages since I took some RC shots from Thunderhill in 2009. This was flown line of sight from the ground back then, so it was impossible to fly the whole track.
I now have better gear that I can fly several miles out, so it was easy to do a much better flight with front and rear video cameras in HD

my bigger power glider barely fits in my car :)
my bigger power glider barely fits in my car :)

it's a bit snug though :)
it's a bit snug though :)

2.6 meter wingspan
2.6 meter wingspan

Around lunchtime, I went for a 30mn flight around the track (easy to stay up with minimal power use due to the gliding capabilities). You can see videos (front and rear) and some screenshots below (synchronized version courtesy of viewsync)

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someone had fun doing donuts :)
someone had fun doing donuts :)


Here is a virtual lap of thunderhill (although my RC plane took more than 3:14 to do the lap I did in my car :) ):


turn 2
turn 2

turn 3
turn 3


turn 5 and bypass
turn 5 and bypass



turn 6
turn 6

I was impressed in the length of the protective tire wall  before 8
I was impressed in the length of the protective tire wall before 8

8 looks benign from here
8 looks benign from here

turn 9E doesn't look uphill from here, but we were taking the fork to TH West
turn 9E doesn't look uphill from here, but we were taking the fork to TH West

Turn 9C  is an interesting roller coaster, but you can't see it from here
Turn 9C is an interesting roller coaster, but you can't see it from here

what's interesting is how I've never even seen the 2W connector when driving by off camber and trying to get back to the right of the track
what's interesting is how I've never even seen the 2W connector when driving by off camber and trying to get back to the right of the track

a rear view showing 2W
a rear view showing 2W

3W is an interesting turn where I'm braking hard and steering at the same time so that I can make 4W
3W is an interesting turn where I'm braking hard and steering at the same time so that I can make 4W

I also never noticed that tire wall to protect people driving on the highway from being hit by an out of control car
I also never noticed that tire wall to protect people driving on the highway from being hit by an out of control car

5W is usually not a big deal
5W is usually not a big deal

here it's easy to see the shortcut at 7W we were taking
here it's easy to see the shortcut at 7W we were taking

the normal 7W hairpin is tough, but we were taking the straight instead
the normal 7W hairpin is tough, but we were taking the straight instead

the new 7W shortcut is very inviting from this angle :) You also catch a bit of air at the 10W connector
the new 7W shortcut is very inviting from this angle :) You also catch a bit of air at the 10W connector

10W connector from another angle
10W connector from another angle

again, seen from the rear camera
again, seen from the rear camera

rear straight with 1W
rear straight with 1W

1W isn't too bad
1W isn't too bad

funny how I've never seen 2W because I was so focussed on not messing up 10C
funny how I've never seen 2W because I was so focussed on not messing up 10C


the conection back to the east track is very downhill and off camber, always scares me a bit :)
the conection back to the east track is very downhill and off camber, always scares me a bit :)

I didn't even know this access road to the west track was here
I didn't even know this access road to the west track was here


11 and 12
11 and 12

12
12


I like driving over this bit :)
I like driving over this bit :)


14
14

15
15


It was fun to get a few shots of the cars that were doing drag racing:



I never noticed those numbers to setup cars on the front straight
I never noticed those numbers to setup cars on the front straight




I had never seen the cell phone tower at the top of turn 1 until now:



Some shots of the paddocks, many solar panels:

that was just after takeoff
that was just after takeoff







I was piloting from the shade under the pro shop
I was piloting from the shade under the pro shop

skid pad
skid pad




just before landing, crow flaps deployed
just before landing, crow flaps deployed


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