More Gimbal Footage

A simple flight


I was super-windy…  15-20mph winds and this quad with gimbal is a tad underpowered.

Was still a good flight (read: No Crashes) and no APM Pixhawk issues.  At least not this time.  That was the reason I had set it aside for a while.   APM still has some issues.

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.

Multi-Rotor Madness

Saturday March 15th was awesome.   The weather was perfect and nobody was home but me.  The perfect opportunity to get outside and do some flying.    A buddy was supposed to come up and partake but he had “issues”, so it was a solo day.

First we spent some quality time with the Armattan, my current sport quad.

Some sporty flying…

After burning up a few batteries with that, I moved on to my newer “Dead Cat” Quad.  Built from a cheap frame upgraded with legit DJI arms, and utilizing PixHawk for the flight controller.

It flies awesome.   It’s not a hot rod by any stretch, but it will flip and roll too.   I had some issues testing the acro mode in Arducopter 3.1.2-r2 so I’m waiting for 3.2 before I try it again.   I don’t have a good camera mount for it yet, no gimbal, nor FPV gear so I ‘temporarily’ attached the ContourHD camera to the front.   All and all for as ghetto as the mount was it did pretty good.

Dead Cat with ContourHD

I ran it through a bunch of different flight modes.   Even executed a pretty significant autonomous flight.   Had some fun with guided mode from the tablet too.   Thought I almost lost it too.


In guided mode I flew it out over the pond at the gravel pit, then over to the east, then asked it to come back, and well, it was trying but while it technically wasn’t beyond visual flight distance, I couldn’t see it from where I was standing.

It was apparently on the fringe of my telemetry radio’s range.  At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.   I did eventually flip “Return to Launch” and it came back.  So all is well.

I also got out the Hex, which has the gimbal installed.   I still need to fix the Jell-O-cam issue which seems very EFI’ish to me.  But still, this hex is a stable flier.  

Hex Gimbal Footage


So this was an all around very awesome multi-rotor day.    I can’t wait to get the FPV gear and get going.   I really can’t wait to get my hands on a TBS Discovery Pro frame. 

More Hex Gimbal Footage

Last weekend was a good multi-rotor weekend.  Got to fly my high-performance quad a few times without incident.  Also flew my Franken-QX350 a bunch.  Each of the kids got a turn too.   All without incident.

Finally got spend some time getting the hex to fly right.  It would fly great in stabilized mode but loiter was broken, and if loiter is broken, none of the autonomous flight modes are available.  Well, they are available but you’ll just crash so it was in my best interest to get that fixed.    Turns out, somewhere along the way my compass orientation flag had changed form 8 which is roll-180, to 10, which is roll-180 yaw 90.   Honestly the way things are mounted I think they should be roll 180 yaw 270, but since it works just rolled, I’m leaving it that way.

For what it’s worth, my APM is mounted like this.


After a handful of manual flights and confident that loiter was fixed, I launched it a few times and flew it using droid planner.  Guiding it to fly here, then over there, and then over there.

Still have some Video Jello-issues to work out.   Looks/feels like electrical interference from something, likely with the Gimbal.

Super long video for my own amusement.

More DJI Hex, Gimbal enabled footage. Still working out some bugs.

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.