DeadCat Quad Gimbal Video

So in preparation for FPV, I started building a ‘Dead-Cat’ style quad.

So out of the box, I’ve hot this HK frame, and crappy arms which I replaced with DJI arms.  It flies well with Stock DJI (red) 2212 920KV motors with stock DJI 30A opto ESC’s and 10 Inch props. 

But when I weight it down with the Gimbal it’s a tad overloaded.

DeadCat Quad Flights.

For the most part I’m happy with the video quality, there’s still some Jell-O in the footage though.   It’s pretty clear in it’s current state I can’t add the weight of FPV gear.   So if this becomes an FPV rig, the Gimbal in it’s current form, has to go.

Perhaps a move to 4S batteries is required.   I’ll have to do some more research.   It’s not a steady as J’s Team BlackSheep Discovery Pro, which is heavier.   But is also using 900kv motors and 10” props which I’ve also only flown with 3S batteries.

I still enjoy and prefer the PixHawk Flight controller to the DJI Naza V2 that’s on the TBS.   Even with it’s pre-arm button ridiculousness.

Saving a Lotus T580+P (Part 3)

So following up on:

Saving a Lotus Part 1 and Saving a lotus Part 2

And that didn’t take long.   Sadly no video.  No kids were willing to come out and do the camera work.

Bottom line, it flew and flew pretty well.   Big and slow.  14” props, yeah, not my kind of machine.   I flew it for a good 10 minutes, then decided to try a couple different modes on the Naze32 flight controller, tipped it over a foot of the ground and broke a prop.   So it’s done.

It would be fine if I could source the props, but I didn’t like this enough to a new matching set since I can’t find the originals plus spares to keep this thing in the air.   So I’ll re-use the parts, probably chop up the CF frame and use it for other things.

So there you have it.   Multi-Rotors, the hobby.   About 6 hours give or take, of hard work mixed with fun, for about 10 minutes of flight time.   Certainly if I had more spare parts, I’d get a better return on investment than that.   But c’est la vie.

Still it’s better than spending 6 hours at a steel match where I actually only get to shoot for about 64 seconds Winking smile


Camera gimbal tilt with APM

Installed a Beholder-Lite Gimbal on my Hex this weekend.   The Beholder is a simple AlexMoss based gimbal that’s self sustaining.  All you need to is give it +5v (or in my case hook it up to power distribution and you’re set).

Once I had it mounted I thought, wow I’d like to be able to control the tilt so I ventured off to search the internets, but my google-fu failed me.   Mission planner and what I read said that APM was set up to control servo-based gimbals.  This is a brushless gimbal, and I don’t want APM to control it.   Only allow me to control the tilt of it so that when I’m filming I can tilt the camera down.

So after a little experimentation here is what I’ve got.

The Gimbal came with a cable and the weak documentation simply showed this:



So I poked around some more and found where I could plug those into the APM and in fact did so on the top. In A10 and A11, now I really don’t care about Roll, but I plugged it in anyway.

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And Finally, a good hex video flight.

This is what I’ve been after, albeit an abbreviated flight plan.

This is just a GoPro Camera attached to the hex, with a pretty weak anti-vibration mount and it’s OK.  Someday I’ll add a gimbal.

This flight is void of:

  • Crashing
  • Mission Planner Meters: Written as Feet, causing contact with trees.
  • Manually piloting into trees.

So yeah, take off, film, land.   Goodness.

Finally a good hex flight.

There was one scary moment, which is shown at then end as an out-take.

While the auto-flight path was happening, I set the controller down to do something.  When I did that, I bumped a switch ‘RTL’ I think, and it about fell out of the sky.   I was able to grab the controller, gain control and restart the mission.

Happy Multi-Rotoring.

Hex Crash II (Feet or Meters?)

So fresh off my last crash flight, I rebuilt the HEX, made up some ghetto landing gear from the other broken landing gear and had flown it successfully (manually) a few times.

Time to try another autonomous flight.

So the plan was pretty simple, a nice routine flight around our perimeter.


Batteries charged, I headed out to basically waypoint (1), or home.   Where I launched it manually, hovered it, the flipped it into Auto-mode to execute the flight plan.

Continue reading “Hex Crash II (Feet or Meters?)”