I've been very bad at keeping this site up to date recently. As if often the way with blogging, good intentions quickly slip into bad habits and I have got into the habit of not writing about my projects.
That's not to say I haven't been doing anything. My burgeoning RC hobby has been carrying on apace. My latest project has been building a new quadcopter with enough size and power to carry FPV gear. FPV is an acronym for First Person View and is a relatively new development in RC aircraft that allows pilots to fly from the perspective of the model. Using small video transmitters and repurposed closed circuit television cameras to send images to video receivers it is possible to fly model aircraft almost as if you were sat inside it.
The effect is very striking particularly when combined with video goggles. These make you look between something out of ghost in the shell and a blindfolded loon.
Building an FPV Mini Quad
I had some very cheap and not very high quality quadcopter gear from RCTimer I'd bought on an impulse purchase. This is not wise and I would recommend you plan projects properly before purchasing parts and spares. These were some 2300kv brushless motors and 12amp speed controllers which are ostensibly perfect for FPV quadcopters. However RCTimer gear is very poor quality and I had a few motors with bad bearings, I will be replacing the motors with DYS 1806 of 2300kv motors which are similarly cheap but much better quality when they eventually smoke.
I'll write a proper build post but the model I built is below, I'm not hugely happy with the wiring and the power system. However using a Naze32 board running Cleanflight I have been hugely impressed at the stability of the model. It fly’s like it's on rails. Unfortunately I'm not very good at navigating these rails at the moment and have crashed it alot. So far the frame is holding up very well, it's a ZMR250 which is almost a clone of the Blackout Mini H quad but slightly longer and wider. The version I bought is also not real carbon fibre but seems very strong and the additional flex in the frame while not good for flight may have saved it in some of the more dramatic crashes I've had.
Flying FPV is something else, it's incredibly disorientating. It is a literal out of body experience. Your eyes are telling you the complete opposite to what all your other senses are and losing the ability to turn your head takes some getting used to. It is also genuinly amazing, about as close to flying without access to full size aircraft.
This has all been rather stream of consciousness so I'll aim to get some more coherent posts up on the build, how to fly FPV and my experiences as this really is a special technology. I would highly recommend looking into it, Blade a firm that specialises in ready to fly helicopters and planes have a tiny FPV quad called the Nano QX FPV which can be bought with controller and goggles. If you're interested that's where you should start.