Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Search Begins: New UAV Platforms Being Evaluated

Due to the damage, and lack of suitable upgradeability, I am going to forgo repairs on the Tipsy Nipper and instead buy a larger, more repairable, more upgradible test platform for the system.

Key features to consider:

  • Portability of current power system (Motor, Speed Controller, Battery)

  • Availability of spare parts and/or repairability

  • Slow speed

  • High lift

  • Pusher prop (so propeller doesn't get in the way of the video feed)

Many people have been using the Mutliplex EasyStar, but I feel this may be due in part to the large success of vrflyer using this platform (essentially many people probably just copy his setup).

I am looking at possibly buying the Wingo Porter (see picture above). It has two motors, HUGE wing area, and is very durable and repairable. In addition, the Porter is also designed to carry a payload. Unfortunately, it appears as though it may no longer be available.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Disaster: Nipper Damaged

Sadly, after hosting a raging halloween party, somehow the Tipsy Nipper got knocked from its perch in my basement. The wing spar was broken causing the wings to come apart, the rudder was broken in the middle, and two holes were punched in the monokote. Sad day indeed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

First Video

Success! The system worked like a charm, except for some sporatic interference mainly due to me flying behind a hill which was blocking the video RX. Erik served as Ground-station Master General and manned all the electronics on the ground while I flew. We flew for about 15 minutes and captured a lot of great video. Since I didn't have a free channel to control the pan mount of the camera, I decided to couple the rudder to the camera movement. Unfortunately, the ratio of camera movement to rudder movement was far too small. This resulted in almost no pan ability because the massive rudder control threw the plane into death spins. Landing was 'interesting' as I tried to slow the plane down to a safe enough speed for Erik to catch it; unfortunately, in addition to my shoddy piloting skills, the heavy plane just wouldn't fly slow enough for a mid-air retrieval.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

First Platform: Bohemia Models - Tipsy Nipper

The Bohemia Models 'Tipsy Nipper' will be my first platform for integration of my video equipment. Smaller parkflyer for a brushed Speed 300 size motor.

  • KX-131 Color Camera
  • 600mAh Camera Battery
  • 300mW TX
  • 1800mAh Main Battery
  • AXI 2212/20 Brushless Motor
  • 8x6 APC Propeller