Drones

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Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:52 am

Like I just said! Get in line behind me!

Here's hoping private pilot ground school covers most of the test.

ladajo
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Re: Drones

Postby ladajo » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:41 pm

I wonder what this means for us Hobbyist fliers...
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:18 pm

Flying drones from the Us with 10 day aloft capability, to any point on the globe for 24/7 surveillance is game changing.

How long until they're flying over every major US city?

http://video.boeing.com/services/player ... 1877361001

Boeing's New Spy Plane
General Characteristics:
Wingspan:
150 ft (46 m)
Takeoff gross weight:
9,800 lbs (4,445 kg)
Cruise speed:
150 kts
Maximum speed:
200 kts
Altitude:
65,000 ft
Engines:
(2) 2. 3L 150 horsepower
Endurance:
4 days at 65,000 ft
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:18 pm

They might, but we could vote them down and likely would. But they would not be much of a threat compared to the ubiquitous cameras all over the place. For instance, if you pass my place, be sure to wave and smile. One of the new IP cameras will catch you.

Hey, GIThruster, I saw that ... I said wave, and that doesn't mean one finger!

Worse, the cameras are on a FLIR cloud service, which means The Machine and Samaritan can hack into them.

But at least I caught the guys who have been stealing our newspaper.

The UAVs will be able to tell how many of us are bald.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:30 pm

Cruising LinkedIn just now I finally broke the code on something an old business contact has been up to. The former CEO of the UAV controls company I used to work for recently got a job at Google. There I was thinking he was working for the project wing at Google, but that should read Google "Project Wing", their proposed UAV package delivery service.

I've probably mentioned Dave Vos here before. He's an MIT wunderkind, an import from South Africa, and a guru in using low-cost MEMS sensors to make UAV control systems. His graduate project was an autonomous unicycle of some notoriety. His main contribution is utilizing Kalman filters to work drift problems out of the sensors, essentially making them self-calibrating, so that low cost sensors can do the jobs that it used to take a million dollars worth of ring laser gyros and precision accelerometers to do. In other words, it is the tech behind all these low-cost UAVs presently on the market.

Dave has been working on the problem of making UAVs work "in the system" for some years, and thinks he knows how to make them work compatibly with the rest of air traffic control.

It'll be fun to watch. The guy is a bona fide visionary, but there are practical limits to how useful this tech can be. Personally, as a bicyclist, I kinda lean toward bicycle couriers, but that's because I have fanasized about actually doing it.

Pay = terrible
Exercise = outstanding
Hell < working conditions < Heaven (depending on weather and traffic)

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:26 am

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:00 am

http://athriftymom.com/quad-copter-unde ... g-options/

A video by a friend of Bob Parks (mentioned earlier) is a bit cut off, but he points to his $33 quadrotor, and a couple more prices roll off his tongue including $16, apparently for the camera. Something cost $60 but I could not tell what. Maybe the controller? Looking up $33 quadrotor I found the link above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2D1qe5EANw

I doubt it is a GPS camera platform, though, and it will take skill to fly it. But at that price you could carry a bunch of them so that when one crashes you just pull out another. It does have MEMS gyros, so it is not totally manual control.

Bob said he has had some time with the DJI Phantom and says it is pretty good for the price. Around a thousand bucks gets you one with a fairly good camera. This is rigged for reasonably precise programmed flight. I would not want to try stunts with it, but for something that can climb to 100 ft, hover autonomously, photograph the site, and return to a designated landing site, not too shabby. They have another in the $3k range for the well-heeled. Not bad if you can find paying work for it, and not prohibitive to learn to fly on an amateur basis while waiting for the proposed rules to become actual rules.

One particular configuration of the DJI Phantom 2 that looks promising. This is rigged to transmit video via BlueTooth and Wi-Fi, and there are range boosters available for it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 ... m/alsVwDtl

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:03 pm

This is the kind of stuff I really love and would buy if I had the time to play.

http://tx-ready.com/txr-aircraft.html#hadronanchor

It was always an annoyance to me that so many RTF's come with the TX when you really just want one TX and set it up for half a dozen planes. These planes come with no TX so you can do that.

The Hadron has thrust vectoring--something I had planned to build into a brushless and carbon fiber reinforced Wattage TurboVector but never got around to. As the cameras TX kits shrink in size, I'm sure you'll see them in these more conventional designs. Piloting from the viewpoint of the plane is going to become common over the next few years and you'll see next gen TX with nice displays built right it. And if you have the skill to pilot it, a drone that flies 100-200mph is much more survivable in a battle zone than one that hovers. So these skills have real world uses.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:30 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:37 am

As a guy with a busted RTF sitting on a shelf just overhead, for which I have a perfectly good controller, yeah.

This particular plane apparently has a bad motor controller (built in to the receiver). But the replacement has been upgraded to Li-Po, and installing it means changing so many of the most expensive components that a new plane would be cheaper. And then I'd land it on its nose one too many times as well, and then I'd have TWO perfectly good controllers with nothing to control.

GIThruster wrote:This is the kind of stuff I really love and would buy if I had the time to play.

http://tx-ready.com/txr-aircraft.html#hadronanchor

It was always an annoyance to me that so many RTF's come with the TX when you really just want one TX and set it up for half a dozen planes. These planes come with no TX so you can do that.

The Hadron has thrust vectoring--something I had planned to build into a brushless and carbon fiber reinforced Wattage TurboVector but never got around to. As the cameras TX kits shrink in size, I'm sure you'll see them in these more conventional designs. Piloting from the viewpoint of the plane is going to become common over the next few years and you'll see next gen TX with nice displays built right it. And if you have the skill to pilot it, a drone that flies 100-200mph is much more survivable in a battle zone than one that hovers. So these skills have real world uses.

GIThruster
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:30 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:But the replacement has been upgraded to Li-Po, and installing it means changing so many of the most expensive components that a new plane would be cheaper.

I feel your pain, but the last year I was designing, building and flying regularly I found that cheap single components can often be found on EBay. You'd be amazed at what folks will let a state of the art brushless motor or controller go for when they have no purpose for it. I was regularly snatching up $75 motors for $5. You should scan the site for deals if you know what you need. I had a huge stockpile of wonderful gear and I'd send it to you but I shipped it off to a nephew. He got the Turbo-Vector, a brushless F-22 RTF, a brushless P-38 and a ton of other stuff. Sure hope he's using it.

BTW, looks like we're only one small step from the vid being built into the TX. May already have been done but this is as close as i can find in 10 search:

http://www.rclogger.com/Products/Produc ... X-Set.html

If you already have an expensive TX, this is better than paying $1,000 for a new one.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:01 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:25 pm

GIThruster wrote:BTW, looks like we're only one small step from the vid being built into the TX. May already have been done but this is as close as i can find in 10 search:

http://www.rclogger.com/Products/Produc ... X-Set.html

If you already have an expensive TX, this is better than paying $1,000 for a new one.


One thing holding me back from the DJI Phantom is that it is designed to use a smart phone as the video monitor. Don't own one, don't want one. I've thought about a tablet, but have not found those to be compelling, either. I have a really dandy HP laptop with all the bells and whistles, a great screen, i5 processor, video processing software. A bit clunky if I were trying to stunt fly but for hover and shoot photography it should be fine. Hardware wise it should work but I can find nothing on suitable software. A built in video monitor would be wonderful.

The controller for the old Typhoon is no big deal ... the whole RTF 4-channel rig was around $150. But it is 73.83 MHz, whereas the link you gave was all 2.4 GHz, so buying one of theirs less the TX is no help. A shame ... they sell what I should have bought in the first place. The Typhoon is too aerobatic, and what I wanted was a 4-channel Cub or comparable high-wing trainer. The local hobby shop had no 4-channel trainers, and I insisted on ailerons.

At this point, I'll conserve capital until my needs and a good quadrotor camera platform intersect. That probably won't be long at the rate things are going. A video display built in to the controller might turn the trick.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:39 pm



Looking at the likely market, the largest initial demand is probably in dense business districts, starting with places like Manhattan, and their competition will be taxi delivery and bicycle couriers, which thrive in this environment. These urban canyon environments are GPS hell, due to reflections. Modern L1/L2 GPS systems will deal with it better, but I believe GPS accuracy will be degraded. The MEMS sensor systems on small UAVs are highly dependend on GPS to correct for the bad effects of low sensor performance. Small position errors will result in buildings being hit.

Rooftop delivery in Manhattan may be out, because of conflict with helipads, and I suspect the 500 ft AGL limitation will stick. Maybe urban centers could have nav beacons set out on delivery UAV routes. This would be no more bother than cell phone repeaters.

No design will be commercially viable if it can't deliver 3 large pizzas.

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:08 pm

Most of the old VHF systems were not true "proportional" in that the control surfaces actually corresponded to the positions of the sticks on the TX. The newer microwave systems are supposed to be vastly superior, and even the older ones 7 years ago were reportedly much better than VHF. And this is why I like one TX, because if you're not buying them over and over, you don't have to haul them around and you can put several crystals into the better models, then switch channels with a switch, one channel for each model you fly. Put vid aboard that kind of system and they'll be charging $1,000 them again.

Tablets, at least you have the advantage of a nice sized screen and some of them are cheap as dirt.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-7-T733-3G ... 2a4cbeb4a3

Not sure though, the advantages between a traditional stick on a TX and a tablet. Could be the tablet is even easier. If you can hold it in one hand and fly it with the other, that is an improvement. I always had to wear a strap around my neck so I could use both hands without dropping the thing. Could be with a tablet you can fly with two fingers right on the screen that gives you the view. That would be cool!
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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