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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:07 am 
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Welllll, X( X( time turned to :ymtongue: :ymtongue: time. The first motor quit on Saturday and one more yesterday. Nope, it never got to steady hovering on the spot, never mind how I set the trim and whose instructions I followed. It just would not stay in one spot.
Replacing motors is easy enough, but after reading a few more similar complaints — this was after I ordered an additional set of spare motors — I decided that was enough. Canceled the orders and ordered a Holy Stone F180C to replace the Hubsan X4.
Better features and steadier flying on the HS F180C — YouTube is the place to go for comparison videos — and a lot of the (consumable) parts are identical.

As they say "Better luck next time".

PS Probably use the camera as a spare. :-B

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 2:23 pm 
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The replacement for the Hubsan arrived — four days earlier than projected. B-)

The forecast calls for a rainy weekend; naturally, it's the beginning of the Summer Long Weekend season. Whoever is camping won't be a "happy camper". Been there done that back East with rain and cold on the Victoria long weekend. aka 24 (two-four) Weekend since it will take at least that many beers "to survive".... if one is camping in the rain.

But the rain won't bother me, I'll be practicing hovering in the TV room, where the carpet dampens the crashes and the noise. ;) :) The good news, yes, this little beast hovers. The vertical control is very touchy, that's what I need to practice. :-ss :-ss

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 8:48 am 
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Updated weather forecast: 5-10 mm rain during the day, 10-15 mm over night. I'll be playing with the new drone in the TV room and/or reading. :-B :-B One advantage .... I could turn off the irrigation system.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 6:26 am 
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Finally doing some more controlled flying in the garden. Low, slow and still tinkering with the throttle controls (on both of the beasts!) to keep them at a constant height. That and setting down gently.
The video will be a future reminder on how it all started.

https://vimeo.com/167957036

The new Holy Stone F180C has 4 sensitivity settings in 25% steps, I'm flying at the 25% setting. The Hubsan X4 H107C I got trimmed down to 20%. Nice and easy is the target. :-ss

Oh yeah, the rain stopped and the sun is out, very little wind.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Summer came and went with a minimal amount of drone flying. But that didn't mean I wouldn't follow the drone scene and watched how the prices came down and the capabilities relative to price went up.
Hover? Did someone say hover?
As all interesting things come in threes — I won't go into details — I bit the bullet and ordered one more El Cheapo machine. This one is an X5 HC from Syma, "H" stands for hover and "C" for camera. Arrived yesterday and after charging the stock batteries I took it for a spin. So far so good!
The first mod was changing the connectors to the same type as the other birds/batteries. More on the rest later. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:04 pm 
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I see there's now a "Droner" magazine....how to get the most out of them ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:28 am 
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Actually there are two that I'm aware of, "drone 360" and "Rotor Drone". Remind me of model railroad mags, lots of ads and somewhat limited other content.

BTW the new SYMA already bit the dust, did some very strange things. "Undocumented features" that are not listed in the manual or reviews! X( X(

e.g. kept on climbing despite the control stick being in the Hover position — bringing it back down to the ground took some doing.
Next, kept on flying forward in a straight line despite the stick being in full reverse.
Also, on landing, the legs would catch on gravel and/or grass, pine needles etc and promptly flip the "bird", I felt like doing the same! X( X(
The last time that happened, close to the car, it did a triple flip and ended up against a wheel with three props free and one up against the tire. Meaning three kept on rotating, without the overload feature shutting them down — there is a 5 second delay to get the props to stop.

Result: one motor is toast, replacement parts on order and extra parts for the planned modifications also on the way.
As is it will be a "Less than Can$100" kitbashing project.

The gist of the reply from the mfg? In their best Chinglish:
Quote:
When you open drone and controller. The first time need to frequency. And then take off. You can see the manual book so that you can flight better and better
This after I let them know that I actually read the downloaded manual before the drone arrived and set it up following the instructions — yes they are also in Chinglish, but I got used to reading Japanese manuals eons ago, so it's just more of a similar variety.
OTOH these guys obviously didn't get past the first paragraph of my detailed account on what happened. I even included the barometric pressure and wind speed.

Live and learn time. After that reply I lowered the product rating in my review on Amazon.ca from 4 stars to 2 stars and listed all the "features" that showed up in my update.

Now for the good points, very easy to "service/maintain" and the camera is better than on the smaller ones.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:35 am 
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I suppose there's no kind of warranty regarding controllers that don't work/react....you smash/you pay....


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:26 pm 
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ritter - John N wrote:
I suppose there's no kind of warranty regarding controllers that don't work/react....you smash/you pay....

Yep, that's how it is with the stuff that's less than $100.

But I'm impressed with Amazon.ca; ordered the spare parts on Wednesday and the goodies were in the mailbox today. :-o :-o

What most of the Chinese mfgs understand quite well .... unflattering reviews on Amazon.ca, especially if it's the first review of a given product and the rating went from 4 of 5 stars down to 2 stars on account of the feedback I received from SYMA.
Soooo I'll resubmit my complaints, one at a time so that they have time to consider what the problem is. ;) :D I'm sure they are not impressed by having the warts exposed in a review.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:51 am 
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HJ -
Welcome to model aviation! Congrats. Before the advent of drones, the only way to do obtain aerial photography was with RC Helicopters, of which I have a few. Have some BIG helicopters. TRex 700 - weights about 20 lbs loaded with a 7 foot rotor disc span. Teething issues resulted in 2 or 3 minor crashes while setting up and programming the gyros. Each "crash" was $500 +/- for this $3500 bird.

In the process of building a SCALE Sikorsky S76C++. Fuselage is 10', rotors disc span about 14' - 4 METAL blades, 6' each. 40-50lbs when done. 1000+ hours build. Estimated $25,000-$30,000. Not looking forward to having ANY teething problems.

The smaller the helicopter or drone, the less stable it is, the more likely it is to crash. I have 3 or 4 helicopter in the sub 5lb range. My first was a Blade CX2. I have had some many crashes with that thing and rebuilt it so many times, I have paid for it 20 times over in terms of spare parts!! Had fun each and every time. Just the way this stuff is!

The point of this is my amazement at how for $200 you can by a fully gyro stabilized drone which bounces off walls and is airworthy again in 10 minutes for under $100. Amazing. ALL model aircraft crash, and ALL model aircraft have "bugs" - you have to expect that 100%. May not a problem with the drone you purchased, may just be the reality of model aviation! We are spoiled by Model Railroading - you purchase a loco (from some manufacturer), it arrives in pristine condition, and works flawlessly for 30 years (some of my oldest locos are 1970's LGB, still working flawlessly today!) That doesn't exist in model aviation, which was a big surprise to me when I got into it. The only way to obtain that same level of perfection is scratch building like my S76, however, even that will have issues upon first flight until the bugs are worked out.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Yeah, technology is marching right along, however ..... inexpensive or cheap goods out of China are just that CHEAP. Kudos to Amazon.ca they got the replacement out here in two days, no they weren't delivered by drone. :p
Installed the new motor and checked a few things, mainly how do things look on the PCB board. A questionable solder connection for the antenna, the Gizmo that sits on top of the barometric-pressure sensor was not properly aligned. There could be a lot of crap happening between those two, never mind flaky software etc. etc.
Oh yeah, that PCB all the SMCs are neatly machine assembled .... and all the external connections look as if an amateur worked at a kitchen table. X( 8-|

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:40 am 
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Check out BergenRC. Magnus quality helicopters / drones. Look at the Observer Turbine or Industrial Turbine or the multirotor they make. Mount a Nikon D5 to it, Nikon or Zeiss Otus glass, and you are ready to shoot 4K train videos. I HIGHLY recommend ANYTHING from Bergen. Easy to maintain, easy to fly - push start and go. Camera system is fully gyro stabilized in all axes and separately controlled, so, you fly and someone else controls the camera. Some people even install uplink gear extending the range to 40-50 miles and fly via a VR headset from a second 3D camera located higher up in the fuselage. Amazing stuff. Flight time between 45 min and an hour.

Definitely the Magnus of helicopters...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:57 am 
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Jonathan L :D :D

You missed a minor point ..... this is a "doing it on the cheap while learning" project. Admittedly I figured it would just be the "Learning to Fly" part that would take time. However that only applies when one throws a bit of money at it and even then one gets to tinker and curse and sweat blood because the drone heads off into the big blue yonder, not to be seen again and/or goes for a dive in a pond/lake/ocean.
I read it frequently on the various fora and it concerns drones in the $2000 and up range. :-o :-o Sooo, I'm grumbling, cursing, fixing and improving the El Cheapo stuff, but it's a lot less money than even a LGB coach. ;) :-B
And I get to learn Chinglish. :ymdevil: :ymdevil: :ymdevil:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:02 pm 
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I understand HJ, I started way back when with a Blade CX2, a small coaxial helicopter in the $200 range. What a blast. Easy to learn to fly. Easy to repair, etc...

I get what you are trying to achieve with the drone you purchased. My points were two-fold: 1-crashing a and repairing is part of the hobby regardless of complexity/expense of the bird. 2-my amazement at how the technology has advanced so rapidly as to permit "non-model aviators" the ability to spend a few bucks and get up and flying in no time at all. When I got into the hobby 10+years ago, if you wanted to fly helicopters, it was a lot more expensive and the learning curve was STEEP as there was no flight stabilization or autopilots available, just a tail gyro.

If you need anything, help, advice, etc..., please don't hesitate to ask! It would be my pleasure to help you however I can as a thanks for giving us this wonderful forum in which to share our love of model railroading and now model aviation!

Check out Bergen RC though if not just to see what's possible, the equipment is amazing!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:18 pm 
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While working on "11.22.63", the Stephen King miniseries, they were shooting drone shots when I arrived on set. Their drone sounded like a lawnmower and was about 8 feet in diameter, able to lift a full digital movie camera with swiveling heads. It was amazing to see it fly down a narrow street with enough wash to blow up leaves on the ground from 8 feet up....
But it might be hard to store it in your garage, HJ. ;-)

ps. Happy Thanksgiving everyone up here.


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