Donnerstag, 4. Februar 2016

SnapperXS exploring Fields, construction, live commented, with DVR downlink

These were some very relaxing flights with my Black SnapperXS aka the "Magic Carpet". With oneshot and cleanflight on Naze32 it works like a charm. The place here (I already flew there in the past: ) is actually great because I sit on an elevated spot and can reach 360° and explorer some fields, a construction yard / quarry, the smokestack, and the treeline.
Was nice to see the deer hiding in that potatoe? field there ;-)

I flew with the focus fixed Xiaomi Yi and also included you the DVR footage so you see the video link. I used and tested different antennas - but my conclusion was that the best combo is a patch (13dbi) and a SPW - both Spironets from Immerison) on my diversity RX.

Having the ZoomH1 mic really adds to video I think. It helps me remember (or note things to myself while flying) and I can sync it to the flight footage later and give you more "athmosphere" with it. The mic from the flying cam is most of the times not useable - or just as a background motor sound.

Donnerstag, 28. Januar 2016

Actioncams compared - Firefly 6s, SJcam M10+, SJ5000+, Xiaomi Yi, Foxeer Legend1, Eken H9, Gopro3+

Over the last months I was looking for 60fps capeable actioncams that are cheap AND good quality. Some guys just buy a Gopro (350$ or more!) and hope nothing bad happens to the expensive cam.
The last addition to my nice collection of cams is the Firefly 6s. Find all the details below!

1. Firefly 6S
2. SJCAM M10+
3. SJCAM SJ5000+
4. Xiaomi Yi
5. EKEN H9
6. Foxeer Legend1
7. Gopro3+ Black

►►DOWNLOAD the Siemens Star comparison PICS in Highres

Firefly 6s FW: 2.3 (REVIEWED here)
Sony IMX078 CMOS illuminated sensor
Processor: Novatek 96660 chipset
1600mah Battery! (but same phys size like 1050mah gopro3+ batt - sceptic I am ;-)

Android app cannot set 4k mode or 2.5kmode (4k mode isnt compatible with wifi operation)
iOS app

Size: 59 x 41 x 12mm Weight: 70g
Working Voltage: 5V Charging Current: 800mA
Working Time:1.5h Charging Time: 2-3h
Compressed Format : H264 Video/ Photo Format: *.MP4 / *.JPG
Optical Parameter: Diaphragm: F/2.8,7 glasses Angle: 105 degree level, 140 degree diagonal

Photo Resolution: 16M/8M/5M
Video Resolution: 1080P 60fps, 2.5K(2560 x 1440) 30fps and 4K (4096 x 2160)24fps (4k video is only 2880 x 2160p).
ISO: AUTO/100/1600
AV Output Format : PAL/ NTSC
USB Port: compatible with Gopro Gimbals (but not the "old" zenmuse with Gopro Back connector!)
Support HDMI output:YES
Support max 64G TF card, Class 10
Support WiFi (Wi-Fi doesn't work on 4k mode!)

Power Button: Press once for power on, long press 3 sec. to turn off, Photo/ Record Mode switch.
OK Button: Start/ Stop recording
Up Button: Enter menu/ Add options of menu; long press to turn on WiFi
Down Button: Enter menu/ reduce options of menu.
Xiaomi Yi
16 megapixel Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS
Processor: Ambarella A7LS
Hacking the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera:
Upgrade firmware: (I'm at 1.2.13)
- why is the battery so small (phys size?) there is 2-3mm more space in the compartment!
Foxeer Legend1
get the latest (currently 1.7) Firmware here on their Facebook Page:
(just download FW file, drop it in the root of your SD card, then turn on the cam and it will auto-update in a few secs)
Size: 75 x 37,5 x 17,1mm Weight: 49gr

16 megapixel Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS
Processor: Ambarella A7LS
166° wideangle
Lens: F2.5

Possible to remotely control photo/video mode with servo wire connected to your RC receiver!
Chipset / Sensor: Sunplus 6630M + OV4689
Weight: 64gr
Size: Product Size (L x W x H): 6 x 3.2 x 4.1 cm
no TV Out!
Chipset Novatek 96660(Newest)
Sensor: OmniVision OV4689
12Mega Pixels CMOS-Sensor (but I read pictures are only 4mp and interpolated to 12mp?)
Ambarella A7LS75 DSP
Panasonic MN34120PA 16 Megapixel 1/2.33 CMOS Sensor
170° FOV

Filmed with Gopro Hero 3+ Black - check out !
used the great MP10 lens on my Gopro3 to get DISTORTION FREE video! check out the lens!
Some shots with Lumix GX8

Donnerstag, 14. Januar 2016

Blade Chroma Review

During my flights with the Chroma I could test most of the functions (hopefully).
Summit: Flight performance great, RTH+follow mode work also great, Wifi Link and cam performance are average. Wifi: 500m are reachable, please check if the cam quality is ok for you - if not consider the Gopro Gimbal version or the CGo3 (4k).

Videoindex Hangar-Review:
01:02 Backpack friendly
01:35 different versions / pricing (this will surly drop!)
03:01 Powering up the Chroma / Radio closeup
04:05 Display on radio
05:08 Flightmodes
06:09 Battery / Flighttimes
07:34 charging adaptor tip: bl8624
09:28 note on follow me / tracking mode setup
10:05 Low battery behaviour
11:29 Video range?
12:39 Props
13:12 motors
13:37 size / weight
14:27 cgo2 video quality?
15:30 final thoughts; Chroma vs. Phantom3...

Videoindex Flighttests:
01:23 takeoff (maiden flight actually!)
02:10 first flight footage
03:02 chasing the girl (and the dog ;-)
03:37 first RTH tests
04:24 first crash on Follow-mode tests (and low-battery landing)
05:44 follow-mode and tracking tests
07:50 Return to home - test (what's home?)
10:13 wifi video link (Quality, issues)
13:34 Low battery behaviour
15:29 updating "Geofence" settings for more than 200m range

Follow or Tracking mode:
you have to enable it ON THE GROUND for it to work; as soon as you're in the air it will follow/track you if you go into smart mode

Test return home:
RTH flies to your current (radio) position and lands around 5m infront of you
RTH flies at about 13km/h and descends pretty fast on landing approach to land very smooth (good autolanding!)

Low Battery behaviour:
vibration alert on radio at 10.6v and the max alt is reduced to 60m - LEDs are blinking RED
initiating autoland (whereever it is at this moment - NOT RTH!)
if you're getting below 10.4vs
I had little over 1min from first alert to autoland.
so if you're out far and you get the first alert - try to fly a safe route home - a route where it can land safely if it chooses to (no water, trees etc.)

28.11.: Flighttime 24min, 500mASL and mostly hovering, did autoland on 10.5v
3.12.: warm battery; 10 degree C sunny, no wind, 700m ASL: 19mins (50% hover 50% flying around medium fast, not much climbing - I was around 50m once)

Range: how to get more than 200m?
As per default the "Geofence" is at 660ft or 200m! And this is a direct line from your Radio to the copter. So height also counts - not only distance as seen from above.
There is a way to enlarge this Geofence:
Download the GUI Software from
GUI Software instructions video

Cam quality below Gopro3, a bit oversharpened, pixelated
Bitrate: 30mbit on 1080p50fps

Nice portability - easy to pack in a sleek backpack landing gear easy detachable cam with quickrelease and only one plug (looks like the wifi happens directly in the cam)
GPS tower foldable

Status leds:
Motor POD LEDs are very bright
RED blinking means LOW Batt! - return imediatly or it will autoland soon where it is!
purple LEDs indicate the "angle" Mode (which I normally flew it in)

well built, all switches labled and logically placed;
gimbal tilt slider on one side, speed slider on the other
Built in touch display with suction cup mounted sunshade - computer is android based
video transmission is 5.8ghz wifi, latency notable (400ms)
- suctioncup mounted sunhood doesnt stick too well (mod it with velcros might be a good idea)
- position of screen is not ideal, screen ABOVE joysticks is better

Props are similar to Phantom - selftightening
10" Props - very silent - efficient
Motor: 3508 780kv. blh8611

Battery: 3cell 6300mah
important TIP: get the bl8624 adaptor to charge on your normal charger to have it recharged faster and with more control over how much juice was put in
25-30mins Flighttime at 0m ASL in warm temps

WEIGHT: 1,3kg
PACKING SIZE: 33x33x9.5cm
gimbal 12x12x8cm
radio: 25x19x11cm

Useful Links:
Discussions about Chroma

Freitag, 25. Dezember 2015

DIVE fast - CRASH hard! Drone proximity in awesome mountains and horrible crash

I started to do more training flights with the Black Bullet (see the copter here) and had 2 sessions in the "Höllental" again - since it features the best accessibility of wonderful rocks and cliffs in good range.
On the 2nd day I found more tight lines down between cliffs that were still LOS. Unfortunately the 2nd flight on that day ended in an disaster. I guess that one motor or ESC burned to death up there - suddenly it fell out of the sky. I still have the Marco Polo beacon live up there so there's a chance to locate it - but I have to find a good climber to actually recover it from this remote location.
It's hard to find the reason for the crash - but overall I wasn't so satisfied with the T-Motors used here. Had to replace a few of them because magnets slipped, and also on my test field I had a burnt motor before (over save ground, no real damage back than).

You see different cams used here:
On the poor light shots (overcast, shadow) I used SJCam M10+ in 2k mode with stabilizer and also the Foxeer Legend in 1080p60.
On the 2nd day with good sunlight up there and shadow below I used only M10+ in 1080p60 mode + stabilizer.
See my M10+ review
Had to do a lot of color correction to make it look better (especially on the overcast day).

Thanks to BackyardAirways for spotting and supporting me up there!

Donnerstag, 10. Dezember 2015

Black Bullet FAST dives and proxy in the mountains (Höllental revisited)

This has been so much fun! I was tuning the Bullet for quite some time (since it was an prototype) to get it to dive for me. This particular location is perfect for this kind of diving. Now I'm really sorry that back in summer I didnt use the Gopro (and had no cheap 60fps cam).

I hope I can continue to DIVE soon enough - definitly the most fun!

(filmed with RuncamHD in the first part, and on the field also with Xiaomi Yi some shots)

Secret 2nd version of this video
(only works if you're outside Germany)

Kids Cover Sober By Tool / O'Keefe Music Foundation

Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2015

Black Bullet - fast DIVES with drone down the hills and trees

As promised in my review ( of this copter here's the first fast paced diving video. A friend did visit me in Summer and I needed to test this prototype. We had some really nice FPV sessions on my favourite places. If you know my video your should recognize these two spots (it's near "Ruine Klamm", Schottwien and 2nd part is at my standard hill the "Eichberg").
First part here was filmed with RuncamHD (30fps) and 2nd was with Gopro3+ in 60fps. Settings were suboptimal and I had some jello, but performance of the quad was brutal and the flight feeling there was really good.
On the first location we only could do one flight until the farmer asked us to leave ;-)

Montag, 23. November 2015

Black Bullet unboxing, build, Review and fast testflights Miniquad, Racecopter

This is my first really fast Quadcopter. The Trincopter was quite fast also, but this smaller one here has tilted motors - which makes all the difference! It's just so cool to feel this "urge to fly forward fast" from the quad! Nice option here to change a few screws and have the motorarms straight or angled (3 steps: 0°, 10° or 20°).
The build was fairly easy, you have a good ammount of space in the quad. Battery compartment is large enough to hold an 2250 4cell - maybe even larger. But the best performance is achievable with small and extreme Lipos (1300mah Gensace 75C).

see more details over there in my "Hangar"
►buy the quad here: Globe-Flight

Freitag, 13. November 2015

Update 2015/11: Landingpads, Arkbird AAT and OSD, XUAVOne, Hover82

Zoom H1 Mic 1:08
Polaroid LED Light 3:06
Arkbird AAT 3:21
and OSD/RTH 7:00
X-UAV One Plane 8:00
Mini FPV Cam 12:22
DALRC Qosd! 12:48
FPVers Intro: Hover82 14:28