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  • jonathanshorer334 5:38 am on September 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    FPV Discussion Site 

    This group is designed for active FPV flyers to be able to exchange views in a free and fairly private arena.  All FPVers are welcome not just MFNZ members. To save you counting, we have around 40 members and the number is growing steadily.  MFNZ have now published the Code of Practise and CAA have a copy.  In 2013, we expect that CAA will begin the process of creating rules for the use of UAS and our aim is to ensure that those rules do not diminish our ability to enjoy FPV.  The more input we have from active flyers the better, so speak up and be heard!

    Because we are wide spread and many fly without contact with other FPVers, it isn’t always easy to know which gear works well and which is dud, so please share your experiences so we can avoid buying stuff that doesn’t work well.  Please post pictures and descriptions of what you are using.  Thanks.

     

     
  • hendorog 9:48 am on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    FPV rules 

    Since I killed this blog stone dead with my first post, I’ll take some responsibility and try and bring it back to life.

    This link contains doc’s explaining CAA’s view on FPV rules:
    http://www.caa.govt.nz/rpas/index.html

    The relevant document is this one:
    http://www.caa.govt.nz/rpas/interim_rpas.pdf

    In summary it looks like CAA want this:

    • To allow model flying for recreational purposes only under the existing Part 101.
    • Create a new rule for all non-recreational operations regardless of weight. All non-recreational operators will need to register with CAA to be assessed.

    In general it seems pretty reasonable to me, but there are a couple of areas of concern:

    • A hobbyist who takes money for some pictures would be breaking the law. This plays into the hands of the commercial interests lobbying CAA
    • How to define ‘non-recreational’ e.g. Youtube income and R&D for a possible commercial product.
    • How much will the safety assessment cost – again playing into the hands of the bigger commercial guys. Consider that these rules are being created partly due to an expected increase in the number of these pesky ‘drones’. So there could be a high of demand on CAA for assessments and they have finite resources to do them.

    Some food for thought anyway.

     
  • hendorog 2:19 pm on April 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Intro 

    Hi all,

    I’m new to RC and just wanted to introduce myself.

    I’m interested in doing some FPV flying and during my online research I became aware of the uncertainty around the rules and regs, which resulted in me ending up here. I imagine I’m like a lot of people and at some point I’d like to make some long range flights.

    A bit of history about my career to date:

    I purchased a Belt CP V2 heli from trademe last year and have since graduated to an HK450 heli and now a Sky Surfer (X-UAV version).

    I figured the Sky Surfer would be good to learn to fly and build up experience on, and also a good FPV platform. Its just a touch more forgiving that the Helis as well (ahem…)

    My plan is to add just video to normal LOS flying  initially. Then upgrade to the controller/OSD/RTH etc as I gain some experience.

    I have assembled some FPV gear and am starting testing and installing it.

    These are the electronic bits that I have, basically the cheapest but well reviewed I could find:

    Sony 600 WDR camera (SecurityCamera 2000)

    200mW 5.8GHz Rx/Tx (Hobbyking)

    7″ LCD In car monitor (Trademe)

    Multiwii and Megapirate AIO Flight Controller (Hobbyking)

    Minim OSD (Hobbyking)

    Neo 6M GPS (Hobbyking)

    I got the video stuff working last night. Weather and family permitting I’ll have a first crack at FPV reasonably soon.

    Finally I mentioned earlier I’m watching the rules development and discussion with interest. There seems to be a fairly diverse and obtuse mix of CAA Rules, CAA Policy, MFNZ Rules and MFNZ Policy in play at the moment. Its pretty confusing trying to make sense of it so hopefully this site helps to iron it out.

    Cheers,

    Roger

     
    • Carl 2:31 pm on April 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi roger, where are you from?

    • hendorog 2:34 pm on April 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Carl,
      I’m on the North Shore in Auckland

      • Carl 7:35 pm on April 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Bit far from me, I’m in Chch. 🙂

  • busterratchet 9:45 am on January 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Hi Guys.
    I’ve finished building an H Frame quad–all frame parts were sourced from Bunnings.

    http://s33.beta.photobucket.com/user/Antipodes/media/P1000862.jpg.html?sort=3&o=6
    I wanted to hide the power feed and escs into the frame itself-I was a bit concerned about heat build up in the closed compartment–so I drilled a hole in the top plate, over the escs–The prop wash cools the interior nicely.

    http://s33.beta.photobucket.com/user/Antipodes/media/P1000866.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4
    I installed a cc board-9″ props-flashed escs and 2650 nano-tech lipo.

    http://s33.beta.photobucket.com/user/Antipodes/media/P1000871.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

    Flys very well, after a lot of tuning and balancing–next step is FPV-which frankly scares the hell out of me. I’am undecided about the FPV cam view–I purchased a gopro2 and added a composite cable to the TX–There’s a lot of mixed feelings about using the gopro as the FPV eye.
    Some say dont go there, and others say they have been using the gopro system for years at 720-no pic lag, with no probs.
    I would appreciate your thoughts on the issue.
    Here’s a vid of the quad during a tuning session in the backyard–Please excuse the intro–it was made for my grandson who asked–“how high can it go”

    Cheers.

     
    • Mat Wellington 8:15 pm on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nice looking machine ! great solution for cooling. I know a few guys who use the go-pro feed with no issues. i believe if not set up right you can get a loos of feed, if the go-pro shuts down, or has memory card issues. i did a web search a while ago and most of it is solved using a 5v supply from the BEC to keep the Gopro powered up. this forum (which you probably know being an openpilot pilot) has some great infos http://forums.openpilot.org/topic/9682-fpv-guides-for-success/

      • Mat Wellington 8:18 pm on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        hey Baz, just realised its you 🙂

        • busterratchet 3:01 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink

          Hi Mat.
          Just had my first FPV flight–nice and slow-with no mishaps.
          phew. Strange but enjoyable feeling. Except when you look up and the goggles slip down over the eyes–yikes. Fortunately had enough height to recover safely.

    • Mat Wellington 8:48 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      very cool, much better than my first flight – nicely done !

  • jonathanshorer334 8:40 am on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    A set-up for a beginner 

    If you were recommending a set of equipment for a beginner to FPV what would you recommend?

    I’d start with:

    Fat Shark Dominator goggles with 5.8Ghz  video rx

    Security Camera 2000 Sony 600TVL Camera

    Immersion RC 600mw tx on 5.8ghz

    Fat Shark Circular polarised antenna.

     

     

     
    • www2pmbconz 11:06 am on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Goggles without in-built receiver may offer more options for receivers and antennas. You shouldn’t run a long coax from antenna to receiverbut you can run a long video cable from receiver to goggles.

      The SC2000 camera gets good reviews. I haven’t bought a camera in a long time, but I still use two of the cheap HobbyKing CCD cameras. They are the best I’ve found for “general use”. Good on bright days and very good low light performance for dusk. Not quite so good on dull overcast days. Handles bright sky and dull ground well.

      I’ve found that good video is a result of camera-transmitter-receiver-display working well together more so than a single item. Unfortunately this is the hardest to achieve. Some of the available equipment is not as plug-and-play as it should be regarding video signal levels etc.

      I wouldn’t recommend 600mW video transmitters.
      200mW and good antennas is plenty for out to 4 or 5 KM.
      Basic CP antenas should get you to 1KM; a long way for a beginner.

      600mW is a lot of power and will eventually interfere with other users. Considering that some of the 5.8G channels are out-of-band, someone will complain and could lead to a bigger problem.

      To go beyond 1KM you should consider, a helical recever antenna, stability control, OSD/GPS, a spotter, and recovery when it does go down.

    • jonathanshorer334 12:40 pm on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

  • Mat Wellington 7:11 pm on January 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Nice positive use of FPV – was on 3 News, quadcopter mustering sheep via FPV

    http://forums.openpilot.org/topic/16510-mustering-sheep-fpv/#entry168115

     
    • marksbwilson 1:32 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Good one! I remember having some fun clearing a small mob of stroppy rams out of a friends paddock a few years ago using my 450 size electric heli. My friend said it worked better than him shouting and waving a stick at them.

  • carlfromchch 5:25 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    FPV’ing Mountains 

    Hey guys, here’s a couple of vids of a days FPV’ing from Flock Hill.  Nothing too adventurous just yet as it’s a hell of a walk if sh** hits the fan!

     

     

     
    • stubbed 7:25 pm on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That’s awesome. I drive from Chch to the Coast for work quite a bit and have always thought around there would be the best for FPV. I share your thoughts about a long walk if it goes wrong though!

    • Matt 4:57 pm on May 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Carl, I’m in chch and would love to see your setup in action or on the bench, if you will to show off your gear contact me when your available, I’m in sommerfield/cashmere, thanks. Matt

      • carlfromchch 5:30 pm on May 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Matt, yeah, you can come over and check it out if you like mate. Txt me for a time eh 0273158105

  • jonathanshorer334 9:39 am on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    FY31AP review from Mark Wilson 

    Here are some comments from Mark Wilson on the FY31AP autopilot.

    Hi Jonathan. I’m pretty pleased with it so far. It pretty much works as advertised and is not that hard to install and configure. I haven’t set up the ground station software yet so it is using default settings for things like hold altitude and orbit radius.

    I’ve tested it in some reasonable turbulent and windy conditions and the stabilisation, RTL and circle modes all seemed to cope ok.

    I find I am flying most of the time with stabilisation switched on and only turned off for aerobatics. You can really see the change in attitude and effectiveness of stabilisation if you turn it on while the plane is climbing or banking – it just levels out almost instantly.

    For video recording purposes, i’m sure the stabilisation improves the picture stability.
     

    One very beneficial aspect I have recently realised for using stabilisation when fly FPV is that there is a tendancy when you get to the fringe of reception or momentarily loose video for a bit to try to turn the plane back to where you think you can restore the picture. With an unstabilised plane, this will tend to put it into a somewhat uncontrolled turn that can easily become a spiral dive as long as you are flying blind. I’m pretty sure that’s how I crashed my AXN flying FPV – the last thing I saw was the ground spinning in a dive.

    With the stabilisation, you can more safely allow the plane to “fly through” the drop out with the confidence that it will fly straight and level and if the video isn’t restored, hit the RTL to control the turn around. I suspect this is easier said than done to begin with!!

     
    • marksbwilson 1:29 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      By way of some footnotes to my comments above, it is perhaps useful to understand that when you engage return to launch or circle mode, you still have input to control to the plane. The autopilot doesn’t take over completely.
      So for example, you could engage RTL but override enough to keep flying away or where you want, but when you center the sticks, it will turn you back toward home.
      It’s a kind of weird way to fly because you feel like you are competing with another pilot trying to go in a different direction.

      With regard to testing that the RTL will engage correctly when the receiver goes to fail safe, I think a simple a reasonably safe way to do this is to push the Range Test button on your transmitter to simulate loss of signal once you are at a safe height and with stbilised mode on. If fail safe/RTL doesn’t engage, you can quickly recover by releasing the button.

    • jonathanshorer334 1:34 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Do you use an RSSI feed in your OSD. If so, what control rx are using, did you have to fix it up yourself or is there some other way than attacking the circuit board with a hot iron?

      • marksbwilson 6:14 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I wish I could. My Remzibi OSD has an analog input that can be used for RSSI but I haven’t come across a good way of getting RSSI or equivalent from my Spektrum AR8000 receiver.
        I have got the telemetry module that goes with the AR8000 and I was using that on my AXN. You can set alarms on conditions like low battery and packet loss or holds. This is better than nothing but does’t really give the same level of information that a proper RSSI indication would.
        I’m thinking about getting a long range system before too long so I’ll be also keen to make sure I can get RSSI from that.

    • jonathanshorer334 6:24 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I sometimes use a Corona RP8D1 and I found a thread showing how to attach an RSSI feed but I’m not that comfortable soldering extra wires onto the circuit board. It did work. The components are just so damn tiny! It would be nice if it were built in.

    • marksbwilson 9:33 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      A short update on the FY-31AP.
      A couple of weeks after getting it going, I noticed that it no longer appeared to be getting a GPS lock even with lots of time allowed. Initially I suspected interference from a switching BEC I had recently installed. Removing the SBEC didn’t fix the problem. After quite a bit of probing and testing, I discovered that the 0 volt pin connection for the GPS inside the AP was open circuit.
      I’ve resolved this problem by moving the 0V line to a spare connector for now to avoid opening up the AP or having to remove it from the plane and damage the anti-vibration pads it is secured with.

      Without the GPS, RTL no longer worked, as you would expect, but what it did do was just go into a circular orbit which is better than nothing I guess.

  • jonathanshorer334 8:51 am on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Current UAS operators 

     
    • sargenz 2:54 pm on January 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is considerably many more than the ‘handful’ that have been supposedly approved by CAA.

    • jonathanshorer334 3:01 pm on January 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If I remember correctly, when I spoke to Rex Kenny, he said about 20. I don’t know where the overlap lies between the approved list and this list or the total number of operators. What is clear to me is that people who say that New Zealand government etc is stifling development by over restrictive regulation are wide of the mark. Actively promoting innovation, maybe not.

  • jonathanshorer334 1:08 pm on December 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mark Wilson’s new plane 

    Hi guys. A fine still evening last night was ideal for the maiden flights of my new Bixler2.
    It flys really really well. In fact it didn’t need any trimming straight off the bench. The 2200KV motor and folding prop work well and provide plenty of power to launch off grass fully loaded. I found it does need full flap on take off from grass with the extra camera weight.

    My built in Gopro attachment works well too. I have two battery locations depending on whether the Gopro is mounted or not. With no camera, the battery goes in the nose as usual. With the camera clipped on, the battery goes back under the wing. This results in very little change in CG.

    I’ll post some video samples in the next few days.

    It’s quite nice flying a ‘straight’ plane again. The old AXN had got a bit out of shape and needed quite a bit of aileron trim just to fly level.

     
    • marksbwilson 9:55 pm on December 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s a quick summary of the setup. I’ll put in some more detail later on.

      Plane – Hobby King Bixler2 kit
      Motor and speed controller – D2826-6 2200kv Outrunner Motor, Turnigy TY-P1 25Amp HEXFET
      Prop – Hobby King Folding Propeller Assembly 6.5×4 (Alloy Hub/Spinner)
      Battery – Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack
      RC gear – Spektrum DX8 Tx and AR8000 Rx
      FPV gear – 300mW 1280Mhz Tx, 1280Mhz Rx, SecurityCamera2000 camera with with digital high contrast thingy, Fat Shark goggles (the older style), circularly polarised clover leaf antennas.
      Stabilisation, navigation and RTL – FY-31AP
      High def video – Gopro Hero 960 – record on board

      As mentioned above, I have two locations for the battery depending on whether the Gopro is mounted or not. As it happens, the Gopro and a 2200mAh 3S Lipo weigh almost the same so when the Gopro is fitted, the battery sits under the wing right at about the CG to keep things balanced. I removed one of the annoying little vertical tube thingys instise the fuse to allow this. The wings are still removable and the retaining screws can still be fitted.

      • marksbwilson 6:49 pm on December 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        A couple iof other bits of kit I forgot to mention:
        OSD – Remsibi
        Video RF filter – passive filter to notch out GPS frequency and 2.4Ghz harmonics from the video tx.

    • marksbwilson 10:25 pm on December 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s a bit of video recorded over Karori Park early this morning wi the new setup.

    • jonathanshorer334 9:10 am on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I see that your FPV camera is in a box. The one that I got from SC2000 was metal and a bit heavy. Are you using that or something else?

    • marksbwilson 10:39 am on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I’m using the SC2000 SONY Super HAD CCD 600TVL D-WDR DNR Board Camera. I bought the case to enclose and protect it and it matches the mount I was using with a previous camera of the same size. The camera is mounted on a 9g servo driven off the rudder channel. I’ve monified the servo to increase the pan range and I get at least 180 degrees of rotation. The servo mod involved adding two 4700 Ohm resistors, one each in series with the servo potentiometer end pins.

    • jonathanshorer334 10:42 am on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve taken the idle route and ordered a 180 degree servo from HK. My order was nearly full and they suggested it to make up the weight, well who could resist and offer like that!

  • jonathanshorer334 10:31 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    How far away can I fly? 

    MFNZ met with CAA on 6 Dec to discuss the definition of LOS.  CAA have some fundamental conditions to operating FPV aircraft.  The basics requirements are that:

    1.  Operation must not endanger property or people.

    2.  Models must  give way to full size aircraft.

    3.  Model plane operators must be able to ensure safe separation from full size at all times.

    Most model aircraft being flown without the aid of a video link cannot be seen further away than about 750 metres and in most cases, are operated much closer to the pilot.  FPV equipment can extend that range considerably but at longer distances, the plane cannot be seen by an observer standing next to the pilot.  CAA are content that separation from full size aircraft can be ensured effectively by an observer that can supervise the whole of the operating area and warn the pilot to take evasive action if a full size were to stray into the operating area.

    The bad way to test whether an FPV plane is endangering people or property is to have an accident and be taken to court.  The good way is to have a flight plan that answers the question, “if I had a failure now, would the plane spear harmlessly into the ground or might it hit something that would send me to jail”

    So, the answer is, you can fly as far as your equipment will allow you provided that conditions 1-3 are met.

     
    • jonathanshorer334 9:03 am on December 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A little more detail regarding the CAA, FPV and UAS.

      The present Government has a policy of restricting the volume of new laws being passed which makes it tough for agencies like the CAA to simply create a whole new raft of law for developing technologies like remote flight. Instead, they rely on policy and the fundamental rule that air users should not endanger people or property. To be prosecuted, you don’t have to have damaged something but to have endangered it, which will be judged by a court. Flying in front of passenger planes coming in to land would be called endangering.

      Proving that you were not endangering would be judged by “12 good men and true” subjectively and without any technical knowledge.

      Creating some actual law around remote flying is on next years “to do” list and stands a good chance of happening. It is a two year process.

      Currently, UAS flying is approved by the CAA on an individual basis. Applicants have to prove to CAA that they are going to operate in a maner that cannot endanger people or property and that they are aware of all of the hazards and how the operation interfaces with other air users. A simple way of achieving this is to employ a PPL or CPL holder on the team. Some parts of industry are creating a specific UAS training course that embodies such things as Air law and are hopeful that CAA will accept this as a level of competence.

      We have given CAA a copy of our Code of Practise and it is being embodied in the MFNZ manual and sent out to new members. Model flying and FPVers are well regarded by CAA as being responsible air users. They have undertaken to work closely with MFNZ when they start to draft regulations.

      In the meantime, there is no point in hunting for chapter and verse of regulations because there aren’t any.

      In order to stay the right side of the catch all law “do not endanger”:
      Use good gear
      Plan the flight carefully to avoid people and property
      Remember that CAA’s policy requires you to stay below the mandated height for the area you are flying in and to have an observer with you.
      Use good common sense as to how your actions could be interpretted by someone with no understanding of what your doing. They may see it first hand or on video but be aware of media spin.

      We are in a good position to have regulations which permit us to go on having fun and push the boundaries of what the technology can deliver, the only thing that could jeopardise that position would be a headline grabbing incident.

    • kneedrag 6:53 pm on January 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Makes logical sense. Think and act responsiblly and things should be good. If you keep below the 400f normal limit by default seperation should be maintained. It would only be things like crop dusters etc which may cause issues.

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