Lunch Log: 2016-11-07

Flight Practice

Ahh…. this is where I got to fly.  No obstructions, almost no people.  I spent the time flying from one end, to the other, looping around that yellow cone, then up into the air where I dodged projectors, then landing on the stage where I was sitting.

Good times.

Unfortunately – I’ve got one battery that’s gone bad on me, which seems to be common with the stock battery that comes with the Induxctrix FPV.  So I only got about a total of 6 minutes air time, but what a six they were.

I also briefly put the quad in Acro mode.  Boy did I regret that one almost immediately!  A hell of a lot more punch, but I’m way more likely to crash.

On the upside, I did almost do a flip.

Some other notes: Over the weekend I went to my mothers, who has a good sized, fenced in yard.  With the wind still, I took it outside. I briefly flew over her house before a gust sent me down.  After that, I did a lot of flying around the yard, and even into the house itself.

Ham Update

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me: *obtains minor interest in thing*
minor interest in thing: *bursts through the doors to my brain* my city now

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Next purchases

So I recently spent way too much time angsting over buying some motors for my “outdoor” quad I want to build. While I didn’t, it does get me in mind of “next steps”

Immediate & Long term needs:


Especially as I move to using more powerful quads, and a better transmitter, I’m going to need this.  Charger requirements are capable of charging 4S batteries, as well as 1S batteries if I get the adapter.  Should be fairly easy, and this may be one of those purchases that just kinda stick around for a while.

Reuse: The USB charger will probably stay in my EDC bag, so I can charge a battery whenever.

FPV Goggles with DVR

While I’d love something like the Fat Shark stuff, I honestly think I may just get a nice $100 set from BangGood. It gives me goggles, gives me DVR, and gives me some good antennas (I hope lol). 

Reuse: The screen I have today will likely go in my kit to be used for “spectators” (ie: the kids) while I fly.  I may even keep the mount for it at work and cart it with me in my EDC bag for when I fly at work if I don’t use Goggles there.


So I think I’m mostly set on the Taranis 9XD Pro. I’ll need it, as well as a a FrSky module for it, potentially a receiver (I can always get that later), an OrangeRX module so I can connect to DSM2 (and thus the Inductrix), the LiPo batteries for it (see charger, above), and a case because I’m not carrying around a $200 piece of hardware in a canvas bag.

Reuse: The stock RTF radio for the Inductrix will stay at work, making it less stuff I need to carry with me so I can fly at work.  I’ll also probably have the screen mount with it, so I can use the screen there too.  Downside is, unless I have my goggles (above) no DVR.

Where I’ll be at that point

So I’ll have phased out some of my hardware in favor of upgrades, but at that point I’ll have two kits: My “serious” kit – goggles and a good radio, and my “office” kit – the stock radio and screen.  I won’t be carting things around except for the Inuctrix, which I can fit easily in my bag, and it makes flying both at home and at work much easier.

Then What?

That question really comes down to how much I want to push myself.  In reality, I think I’d be better buying an almost ready to fly kit, but I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to do and I may be better off buying it piecemeal. And as much as I would love to fly a bigger quad, it’ll be all but useless without the Radio, and the DVR stuff is something I’d love to do so I can share my flights.   And, let’s be honest, I can’t really use the radio (and actually, the goggles) without being able to charge up the batteries.

So – that’s where I’m at, as soon as I get past the Holidays.  Although if someone gets asked about Christmas gifts for me I may have directly linked a few of the “sexier” things that I’m eyeballing.

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Lunch Log: 2016-11-04


Office was kinda busy today, and couldn’t get to the auditorium, so I went to an empty classroom. That was a bit intense.  Let’s start from the beginning though, yeah?

Starting off I had a huge rudder issue (or so I thought).  No matter how much I adjusted my trim, the quad was rotating.  I couldn’t even fly in a straight line.  So I sat down and looked at it and – sure enough – hair caught around the motor.  A quick off and on again, and I was flying perfect.

First I did a few laps around the room – good, basic flights.  Focused on stability and control. Focus was on being able to control where and what I did, as well as maintain as much elevation as I could.

Then the fun kicked in: I decided to do a low flight, about a foot off the ground, through the long rows of chairs and tables.  To say that was incredibly fun is an absolute understatement.  The best description I can give of it is the first-person view in A New Hope on the speederbikes

Seeing the chairs fly by, seeing the table legs fly by, all while I know one wrong twitch and bye-bye repaired frame.

And I’m proud to say – no crash, either.

Battery 2 was a disappointment.  I believe it had almost zero charge, and I got almost no flight out of it.

Battery three though made up for it.  Lots more  intense flying through chairs, and poked out into the hallway a few times to see students walking by.  Several laps around the room and through the chairs, and a safe landing at the end.

Also: No frame damage at this time!

Ham Progress

Been reading a bit in my book.  I need to find a highlighter as I want to highlight key things in the book as I read.  I also remember why I spent most of my college years not reading textbooks.  I learn better by doing.

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LunchLog: 2016-11-03

Good to be in the air again!

Today was just mostly a fun fly.  Loops around the office, a few (almost good) landings.  Not much ham progress worth noting. 

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Grounded – Stand By for Takeoff

As I mentioned before, I’ve had…. a rough few days with my quad. Plus, aside from actually looking at the book for the Ham license I’ve done like NOTHING on this stuff lol.

OK – that’s not true.  I made an attempt at a few things, and I’ve been doing repairs.  Probably tonight I’ll get back in the air again.

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Push on prop fix

Push on prop fix

So I’ve had… a very, very bad run over the last few days when it comes to my Inductrix. 

  • My kid lost one of the screws for the inductrix while I was replacing the frame
  • I’m having a lot of issues with the new frame, which are largely my own doing, I admit.
  • Stock frames are non existent right now.
  • Finding the screws from point 1 was also really difficult (you have to order the canopy kit… yeesh).

So, last night though I finally get things settled and set (mostly), go to take off… and my props go flying more than the quad.


Thankfully, the Tiny Whoop facebook group had a solution for what I was certain is a common problem. It turns out there are two solutions for when the prop on a micro-quad won’t stay on:

The Super Glue Trick (See video, above)

  1. Take a small pin and put a dab of superglue on it.
  2. Smear the glue around the inside of entrance to the hole in the prop.
  3. Wait for the glue to dry.
  4. Prop is ready to re-insert.

The Dental Floss Trick

  1. Thread some dental floss through the prop.  I suspect waxed would work better.
  2. Fit the prop to the motor shaft.
  3. Trim excess.

The dental floss trick seems like it will be better for “need to fly now” type scenarios, and quite frankly given the fragility of super glue some days may be longer lasting.  However, the trimming step, especially under the prop, seems more difficult.

I also wonder about simply pushing the motor shaft into wax (say a crown or candle) to give a bit more friction.

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Racing Drone Project: The Frame

So I’ve started thinking on my “outdoor” drone with an eye to racing if I ever “get good.”  So I pulled up a resource that has compiled all the parts, so I can start trying to think through it.  Thankfully, his stuff lends really well to dropping into spreadsheets.

The frame, I feel, is going to be one of the most important pieces.  I want light weight, I’d prefer carbon fiber, and I don’t want to break the bank.

Before I converted Liang’s list to a spreadsheet, I was skimming through and looking at stats.  The Loki X5 caught my eye first on stats alone.  Then I scrolled through and it caught my eye again for design.

Then when I sorted it, the Loki was tied for the second lightest, and of the lightest 5 one of the two cheapest (the frame tied for price was 21g heavier).  This is all on top of the fact it constantly caught my eye and I have recently been having a lot of attraction to Norse influences.

So… I think it’s going to be the Loki.  I know my frame.

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Lunch Log: As close to outdoor flying as you can get indoors

Skills Update

Didn’t get a chance to fly yesterday as I had something more important to do. Tomorrow I have a lunch meeting and won’t get a lunch log.  But Today…

Today I got to fly in one of the big, empty spaces at work that has almost no furniture it (just a few tables because of an event yesterday, and a stage). I mean, as an example: Here’s half of my flight area.  The cluttered half:

So, lessons learned today:

  1. I am getting WAY better at landing.  I would bring it back after a few loops around the room and then land on the table next to me.
  2. This was my first real attempt at flying at speed without wind & kids.  It helped me figure out my ability to maintain altitude as I push it, although I also noticed the drone would drop altitude a bit more than expected, but I was able to adapt.
  3. My batteries, not surprisingly, do not last very long at full speed.
  4. This little thing books!
  5. I also thoroughly suck flying Line of Site.  Like if I’m looking at the drone, odds are I’m going crash.

Also: Small chance one of the student organizations may end up getting a drone for arial shots of campus*, to which I’m going to point out that legally someone needs a Ham license to operate.

Speaking of:

Ham Update

The “I may fly a DJI for work” Thing:

*One of the staff members who works a lot with the student groups saw me flying mine and she was like “You could get so many good shots of campus with something like that…”  And the student government has more money than they know what to do with.

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Fix Tiny Whoop Struts V2

Fix Tiny Whoop Struts V2

Found this video today on repairing the stock Inductrix frames, because – let’s face it – these things are fragile (they must be Italian).

Anyway: summary of the video is:

  1. Drive a pin under the motor strut to make a small hole
  2. Cut off the head of the pin to make a small rivet
  3. Insert the rivet to it goes under the strut
  4. Using a needle and thread (not sure why needle, but whatever) wrap the thread around both the thread and strut.
  5. Tie off the thread with a “granny knot
  6. Coat the thread and rivet with epoxy and allow to dry

This doesn’t quite fix internal mounts, but still a great solution.

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