Begin of June this year Matt and I spent a weekend with friends at the Kempten Airfield in Southern Germany. The airfield was the fly-in destination for a historic airplane meeting which one of our friends had organized privately. We took the chance to do some shots from our hexacopter FPV platform to capture the scene. Besides that we had the chance to join the crews of some of the real airplanes and take some pictures from high above over the Allgäu. Enjoy…
…and stay tuned.
(In some countries this video may not be available on mobile devices due to soundtrack copyright reasons. Sorry for that.)
A couple of days ago I received the all new Mastor G Gimbal from China. I pre-ordered it at BEVRC.com and had to wait for about two months before it was shipped. It turned out that the vibration dampers (red rubber balls, see photo in last article) are too soft to dampen the little vibrations and shakes effectively.
This issue was discussed earlier in several forums across the web. BEVRC reacted by fitting the new gimbals with stiffer dampers (they call them 300g dampers, instead of the red 100g dampers I have). They claim that with the new damping setup all vibrations should be gone.
I ordered a couple of the 300g variants to test this. Unfortunately the parcel is still on its way to Europe… I will report later on this.
After several weeks of waiting I have received a parcel from BEVRC (www.bevrc.com): It was the highly anticipated Mastor G Brushless Gimbal for GoPro sized cameras. Those of you who follow the scene more closely have probably heard about the new buzz in the FVP topic: Brushless gimbals. We have reported briefly from the Nuremberg Toy Fair about the DJI Zemuse prototype for GoPro cameras. Several other companies (mostly in China) jumped onto that subject and announced several products to hit the market somewhere this year. Chinese brand Mastor was one of the first to launch a industry grade brushless gimbal to the mass market. And here it is.
Some first impressions on the gimbal. It ships with an cable for power and pitch control connection (with proprietary plugs). The weight is specified as 232g without camera. I am no material expert but form its looks and feel (although the surface of parts looks like carbon fibre) I guess the material is glass fibre with fake carbon fibre prints on it. As it was not mentioned anywhere that the material actually is carbon fibre there is nothing to blame about that. The rear arm houses the controller board with the main CPU to put the two purpose made brushless motors to action. Everything seems nicely built and machined.
Before I mounted the gimbal to my Hexacopter I did a quick ground test and the gimbal calibrated automatically. The balance algorithms work really fast and you will be blown away by the accuracy if you have not seen a brushless gimbal in action before. Unfortunately I did not read the manual before the first test flights. So here is a remark to everybody who also tends to leave out manuals: The gimbal will only work for 3 minutes if you do not register it via the downloadable software (BEVRC.com and Foxtech.com provide the download). This is a security issue to prevent the controller software from being pirated by other (most probably Chinese) companies. It is a matter of 3-4 minutes to do this.
I have not cut the first onboard shots from the hexacopter. So please stay tuned for an update on the Mastor G experience and some video footage of it.
This January we spent a few days in Sölden (Austria) to go skiing. As posted earlier we took a quad up to the glacier and did some video shots there.
We are still working on the shaking stability of the quad (which is equipped with an APM 2.5). Nevertheless, the overall footage should be okay. The shots were taken with a Gopro 2 and a Gopro 3 Black Edition. Although the Gopro 2 image quality is still very good the Gopro 3 further improves that. Especially the 120 FPS capability is nice for slow motion and will be an perfect basis for further processing in tools like Twixtor or other slow motion interpolation tools.
To boldly go where no FPV-pilot has gone before! David Windestal, a Scandinavian FPV-pioneer, came up with an truely impressive journey. He sends his customized Multiplex Funjet with a weather baloon to the edge of Earth’s stratosphere and controlls the plane back to earth.
He tells the story in his calm and modest manner so that I can’t help myself but to enjoy every minute of this mission. Not everything went as planned. Even after the carefull selection of all of the FPV- and RC gear, the rules of physics and some bad luck changed the mission plan and gave it some unexpected twists. See for yourself.
Thumbs up for first class videos like this. (Also check out his website for more info on that project: http://rcexplorer.se/blog/2013/03/fpv-to-space-and-back-2/
Just like we reported three weeks ago from the Nuremberg toy fair, dji innovations confirmed, that they are going to sell the dji GoPro Zenmuse gimbal. With a smaller and lighter version of the Zenmuse Z-15, dji wants to offer an out-of-the-box soultion, working with their fight control system WooKong. Supporting the GoPro HD Hero 2 and Hero 3 camera this gimbal may become very interesting to most camera flyers.
Today, the fast growing company from Shenzhen accomplished that video on Youtube
The video shows how accurate and fast the system works. Even some shakes and little bounces are no problem for the small GoPro Zenmuse system. The camera line is still very smooth and it really looks like a grounded cam on a roll-bar.
The official statement form dji innovations names the features:
All aluminum alloy manufactured
Brushless motor direct drive
Based on the technology of Zenmuse
Camera Types: support GOPRO hero2 and GOPRO hero3
Support GOPRO hero2 remote photos shooting and video shooting control
Multicopter future has just started. The Guy’s from Sky-Hero, whom we met at the Nuremberg “toy fair”, came up with a new and unseen fresh design for multicopters. Mainly built of carbon fiber they offer some very robust looking frames, adorned with a organic shaped plastic cover. Special and different from common frames are the super-thick booms – 30mm diameter – which offer a lot of space e.g. for housing the ESC’s within the arms. Thus, the center plate only bears the flight controller and receiver. Also well engineered is the lipo mount. To reduce the high frequency vibration for sensitive electronics like FPV gear and camera, the developers from Sky Hero decided to mount the camera along with the lipo on a separate, rubber damped plate underneath the center plate. The mass inertia of the lipo will improve the quality of the recordings by filtering out the mentioned high frequency vibrations. To complete that all common professional gimbals could be fitted to the frames.
The cool dev guys from Belgium offer two different multicopter patterns. A “Spider” frame (X4 and X8 configs possible) and also a tricopter frame, which is called “Spy” (Y3 and Y6 configs possible). Depending on the personal purpose of the copters (fun fly vs. powerful carrier) you can choose the single or double powered configuration. The engineers did a great job on that. Also, all motor-mounts are similar and interchangable: One design fits all.
Besides the new design, the Sky-Heros adopted a common idea from clothing industry. They offer every copter in 3 different sizes. Small, medium and large are the dimensions the copter can be delivered.
In our opinion the work from Robert, Yves and Patrick from Sky-Heros is somewhat great. We appreciate the new ideas as well as the beautifully shaped and colored frames they’re putting into the multicopter market. We definately would like to see more from them. Keep up the good work, guys!
The Shenzhen based hobby and electronics company “dji innovation” had a successful start into the multirotor business by releasing their flamewheel and S800 product range last year. Besides the multirotor frames and some well designed out-of-the-box flight controllers one of their greatest achievements was the Zenmuse Z-15 gimbal for their S800 Spreading Wings hexacopter. The gimbals super accurate response time to shakes and direction changes in mid-flight were unparalleled in the industry. Unfortunately so was also the price tag for the Zenmuse Z-15 of approx. USD 3.000. Today on the Nuremberg Toy Fair we could take a look at a new product which will be released in April this year: A high quality dji gimbal for GoPro’s.
The gimbal is machined out of solid aluminum and will ship as a 2-axis or a 3-axis version. Release date will be for the 2-axis version May 2013 and the 3-axis version will be shipped in July this year. The axis’ are directly driven by high resolution brushless motors with a accuracy of +/-0.08 degrees. As the dji Naza flight conroller has an 2-axis gimbal control output it is very likely that the entry version of the gimbal could be hooked up to the Naza. The 3-axis gimbal is likely to have an external gyro unit for controlling all 3 degrees of freedom. The salesperson at the fair mentioned that the gimbal will feature the control algorithms of the Zenmuse Z-15.
Checking that specs we expect the small dji gimbal to set a new quality standard for GoPro sized multicopter camera mounts.
Vergangenes Wochenende haben wir das gute Wetter genutzt um unseren FPV Copter im Donautal auszupacken und einige Felsen vor die Linse zu bekommen. Hier die ersten Impressionen von den Felswänden. Weitere Videos, von der Donau und dem Donautal werden folgen ..
So long, stay tuned .. enjoy us, like us, share us
Die FPV-Geeks (Matt und Tommy) waren für ein paar Tage zum Wintersport in Sölden und hatten den APM2.5 Quadkopter inkl. GoPros im Gepäck. In den nächsten Tagen werden wir das Videomaterial für Euch “mundgerecht” aufbereiten. Freut Euch auf “Ski- und Copterspaß” in Tirols bekanntem Wintersport-Mekka! Stay tuned…