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"Peppermint Patty"

A Super-X 125mm brushless from Hobby King, with an Eachine TX01 25mw video camera / tx. Patty was a plug and play kit, with everything but a RC transmitter and batteries. She taught me about Naze32 style flight controllers, and got me experimenting with the Micro MinimOSD.

12-3-2016: Trying to figure out how to make Violet fly more like an Inductrix I discovered the EXPO setting in Deviation (the transmitter). It's in the mixer menu, with separate settings for each axis and the throttle. I set all (except the throttle) to an EXPO symmetrical setting of 75, which makes my outdoor flyers more controllable without limiting their full-stick performance when needed. After some practice I should be able to fly FPV indoors.

Video: Today's test at 75% Expo.


12-2-2016: Replaced the video deck (10.9 grams) and the video battery (10 grams) with an Eachine TX01 camera / transmitter (4 grams) mounted to a piece of Pepsi can. This camera has a good power filter, so I get less noise in the picture, and I save lotsa weight. Tried flying around room, crashed several times. After a year and a half Patty has 8.3 hours of flight time.



4-17-2016: Concerned about the video system I did a walktest today. Think it's signal reflecting off the walls indoors causing the problem. Seems to work much better outdoors.

4-15-2016: Continuing to play with Patty. Added some earplug landing gear by hot gluing them to the arms. Cheap and light. Back in Cleanflight Config set the throttle: Min=1000, mid=1452, and max=2000. In PIDS, set yaw rate=.50 to turn that down a little. So now I have more throttle and less yaw. In failsafe, changed landing throt to 1100, and set the mode switch to failsafe instead of airmode, which is just nuts. Flew her around the room a while, but the video is terrible. Maybe the signal is bouncing off the walls, or a connection is failing. It looks the same with the motors running or not. The RR motor isn't spinning up at arm, but flies fine with some throttle. Here's what she looks like with the new gear.



4-14-2016: Patty not arming up as usual, so I plugged her into Cleanflight Configurator to have a look. It insists on upgrading to the latest version, dated 4-10-16. The backups I made don't seem to load, so I have to rely on my notes. Those setting were un-flyable, and an hour of searching turned up no new PIDS so I started over from scratch. Here's what I'm using for the moment, which flies at least. The yaw is too sensitive, and the throttle is at 80% to hover, so there's more work to do. For those as utterly confused as I am with PIDS, here's a screenshot of the current settings.To read it hold down the CTRL key and scroll the mouse to magnify.



3-24-2016: Some pics after cleaning off the surprisingly heavy paint. Needs more work.



3-21-2016: Looks like a few coats of paint are too much. Turns out that's enough to make her too heavy to stay in the air. Removed as much as possible without dismantling. "Patty" now has 7 hours flight time.


3-19-2016: After walking right by "Marcie" in some grass during an hour-long search I decided to enhance all my girl's visibility. Ugly? You bet! But the objective is not to lose another quadcopter. At first I hoped to do this without removing anything or taping, but it required several coats, so I ended up removing the rotors and taping up the motors and lenses, after cleaning up a lot of overspray. The paint thinner didn't damage anything, and I hope the paint isn't conductive. I really should have done one first to see if it's fatal, but painted all three at the same time.




2-6-2016: Flew Patty today in 20 mph wind, but failed to record it. Broke two legs on landing, decided to remove other two instead of fixing it. Now like "Marcie" and "Lucy" she lands on the battery.

11-25-2015: Tonight I flew Patty at night, FPV, within five miles of an airport. Even though I was indoors, any of these actions will be illegal in Los Angeles on 12-2-15, with no exception made for tiny harmless aircraft, or flying indoors. I would imagine there will be thousands of new criminals on Christmas eve. In this age we don't punish people who cause damage or injury, we punish everyone. Besides being wrong, this just won't work.

On this flight I smacked the wall rather hard, knocking all the spinners and the front of the camera off. Turns out the lens holder just snaps on the camera, with the IR filter in it. I snapped it back on and it works fine. I even found the missing spinners. I also broke a landing gear, but I have extras. Lucy and Marcie don't even have landing gear, I just hand catch them now. All the crashes are in the video.



Tonight's flight on Youtube.

11-8-2015: Changed the embedded videos to links, which don't slow down page load.

10-11-2015: I was surprised when Patty flew away on the first flight today. She went straight into orbit on take off, wouldn't respond to commands, and kept on going East for maybe 500 yards (meters?). I know her radio range is only 100 yards or so from previous tests. The video kept transmitting, so I used the ground station to find her in the tall weeds. The directional antenna (only) got me in the neighborhood, and removing all antennas gets you within a few yards. There was no damage, but I'll want to do some indoor testing before another outdoor flight. I'm only good for one search like that a day. I may also stick a lost key tag on her next time. These cost about seven bucks from China, and work with any smart phone. Range is at best 100 yards. Analysis: Found that failsafe was OFF in Cleanflight. Also found that the transmitter power was set to 10mw, changed to 100mw instead. With Deviation it can be set to 150mw, but I'm afraid of frying the transmitter.

Video: Flyaway



10-3-2015: Landing practice, rapid descent from altitude.

Video: Landing practice, rather long.

9-13-2015: Flying at twilight to test video system.


Video: Low light camera test. Works too well, much darker than it looks.

Morning flights cut short when a landing gear breaks. Since I super-glue these in place, removal requires cutting them out.
Video: Landing gear breaks.

9-12-2015: Flyng at the field, the failsafe lowers the aircraft safely when out of range. Several crashes.

Video: Failsafe lands Patty gently(?) when out of range.

9-7-2015: I hate the idea of a separate video battery. But I found out the price of filtration (in weight) is practically the same, and it really works. On arriving at the field I found Patty was blind. The trace on the video transmitter was gone, as many others have complained about. They're only ten bucks each, and I have several. But I'm both too cheap to just stick on another one, so here's what happened.

The first picture shows what's under the shelding. Next is the voltage step-up regulator for the camera, stuck under the top plate.

Below is the damaged "pad".

Below is the blade of grass found inside.

Now I start scaping the trace gently with a razor knife to find some copper.

Soldering onto the trace doesn't work. Any vibration or heat takes the wire off. Will need some mechanical support.
So I bent the wire into a clip, and super glued it to the other side.

I cut a slot for the repair to clear the shield and put it back on.

Here's the super glue supporting the clip. I scraped any glue off the wire and soldered to the back, to prevent any heat from getting to the other side.

I clipped the audio wire and removed the mic, since I just found the sound annoying. Here's how it looks back in place. Instead of running multiple power wires to fragile points, I spliced into the video power lines. I have to power the transmitter and step-up regulator on 3.3 volts. After this the whole thing was painted with liquid tape for insulation and shock resistance.



Video: Flew pretty good, gets about 16 minutes per video battery.
Video: Ringstate Vortex
Video: Flight 3 aso ends in a crash

8-29-2015: Flew FPV at the airfield, first longer range, higher altitude flights. Still too much video noise, which gets worse as the battery runs down. "Punch Outs" a joke, just enough power to stay in the air. This is why I'm building "Lucy", with larger motors and a 2s battery. Patty has no beeper or radio beacon, so I'm careful to keep her over short grass.

Video: FPV flight

8-24-2015: Decided to have another look at BANGGOOD.COM's site to see where I went wrong. Turns out the filter caps are right there in the schematic. Not having either any 450uf electrolytic caps, or the patience to wait a week for some to arrive, I scavenged a 220uf cap off something and put it across the power lines, magically filtering out all the motor noise. Well most of it. I'm not even going to bother with the video filter. And since I probably couldn't see them anyway, I'm going to forget the LEDs I was going to add. Patty still has a very short range radio, so I don't think any long FPV flights are possible. Maybe I'll test in a football field somewhere where I might find her again. Carbon fiber is cool, but very hard to find.
Video: Trying to filter video.


8-23-2015: Flew outdoors at the airfield. Video so poor I won't bother uploading it. PIDs are great, I'll leave them alone. Battery duration unaffected by extra equipment, still getting eight minutes on the 700 mah batteries. If a regulator won't fix video I'll need better transmitters. Also need to add LED panel on rear, since I can't see well enough to orient much beyond 50 feet.


8-22-2015: Fixed Patty's FPV, sort of. Installed 200mw transmitter and a 650tvl camera from BANGGOOD.COM, along with a circular polarized antenna. Had to use a 5 volt step up regulator for the camera. Produces the worst power noise I've ever seen. Everything is very small, and having a decent soldering station is necessary. Adjusted the PIDS closer to what they were, keeping the higher yaw rate.


Video: First test new FPV system from Banggood.

8-15-2015: Set the PIDs to those listed on OVERSKY.COM. Barely flew, shook violently. So I reset all but the YAW setting at P=8.5, I=0.050, and D=50 which works great. TPA now 1 instead of 0. I'm also starting to mount the FPV back on the top plate. The new 200mw transmitter is stuck on with UNDERSIDE of the plate with some foam tape and a 2mm nylon tie in case it gets too hot. The transmitter was around $10 at BANGGOOD.COM. I'm waiting on some ultra-light antennas from OVERSKY.COM.



7-31-2015: Re-mounted the Spektrum VA1100 camera, minus the broken transmitter. Rather than stick it on top, I mounted it to the bottom of the top plate. It's sitting on some scrap plastic which supports it and angles it up a little. I've ordered some 3 volt 200mw transmitters, still in 5.8 Ghz. The transmitter will get stuck under the main plate also. I'm starting a new project, Lucy, for longer range flights on a 140 mm frame. Still have to set the PIDS on Patty.



7-25-2015: Tested new 700 mah batts: 8 mins ea (flown till it lands itself) x 5. Tested Baro hold: climbs. Tested Horizon vs Angle: Angle stronger. Tested LuxFloat in Clearflight: about the same, flying very gently. One crash broke a rotor. Spinners help with orientation. No camera aboard, no FPV, can hardly see the aircraft at 50 feet, needs lights.


7-22-2015: Here are a couple of fresh pics after repairs and reassembly, with the huge 700 mah battery. I saw someone else mount their ESC's with tiny bits of tape, and it seems like a great idea, as these are the weak point and need a lot of cooling. I got an email back from OVERSKY.COM, saying that the serial port doesn't output anything, and can't be used for an OSD, which is interesting because I see something blinking the lights on the unpowered FTDI. I may need a 150mm frame, flying a full-size NAZE32 / MultiWii board to do what I want. On a 2S battery, so no more voltage issues. Meanwhiile, I'm going to figure out how PIDS work and continue learning how to fly these things. I may stick the VA1100 back on when I fix it, without the Micro MinimOSD and it's voltage regulator.


7-21-2015: Not a lot of flyin' goin' on here. On the way home I bought five new batteries, 1S x 700 mah to power all the junk I'm trying to add. They use JST connectors, which carry more current than the LOSI ones it comes with, so the flight controller had to come off to solder a new power wire on. While unplugging the ESC's I uprooted one of the connectors on the flight controller, so the radio had to be removed for repairs. After that was all fixed I updated the Cleanflight to the latest (1.9.0) and got all the settings restored from backup. I'm trying the LuxFloat PID system now. It was hoped the upgrade would let the OSD work. Instead I'm now getting no video carrier. After fixing the antenna that had fallen off there still is no video. So I removed the VA1100 camera / tx / OSD and did a quick test hop, which went OK. Once she flies right I'll fix or replace the FPV system, if she survives.


7-19-2015: Think I figured out the problem. The USB port is supposed to be shared with the serial port, but the two devices are different voltages. I need a logic level converter between them. It only costs three bucks, and I can get one from ALL ELECTRONICS by my office. Using the FTDI I can see that the serial port is still putting out signals, so I haven't blown it out yet (!). Temporarily I've disabled all the OSD stuff that won't work yet, and did some test hops with the new flight controller. I noticed the flight times were kinda short, so I started looking at larger batteries. Then I remembered that I have an extra cell phone battery in stock. It's 1100 mah at 3.4 volts. I'll top it off and see if it will fly. It's 29 grams of dead weight. I'm not flying acrobatics, I just wanna get there and back. This should be interesting.



Actually it wasn't. As soon as I arm the ESC's the lights go out. I reboot the aircraft, all seems well till I arm. Put a fresh battery in, still flys fine. Guess phone batteries just don't have enough C's to work. There are high current 1S's available, I'll just have to buy one. After a couple of wall-smacks I realized that I have no YAW. Trying different PIDs trying to improve YAW and flyablility. Now playing with LUXfloat, which is a newer 32 bit system. Took camera off to see if it's overcompensating for the off balance location. Will locate back in the center of the plate, since the GPS won't fly. Have to get a better video antenna. Several crashes broke the wire off again. Will end up using a separate antenna / camera, there are 200 mw tx's available.

7-18-2015: Looks like I'm NOT going to be able to add GPS to Patty. Problem is that there is only one 2-port uart aboard, and both ports are in use. The USB and serial port share one, and the radio is always on the second. The USB port can share because it's not always connected. I unplug the OSD when it's in use. There are no soft serial ports on the flight controller. That would have done fine. I tried checking the GPS with the FTDI, but the tx/rx lines must be swapped to see it's data stream. I'll buy some jumpers today.PM: Installed the replacement flight controller from OVERSKY.COM, restored the backup from Cleanflight, and replaced the bad ESC twice. One of the new ones didn't work. She flies again, but the same problems exist with the OSD. New flight controller came with Cleanflight 1.9.0 installed, and shows 2 software serial ports. No variation of settings or connections could get data out of the flight controller. Tested the GPS module, works fine. Maybe I can use the FTDI to test the serial ports on the flight controller.


7-17-2015: The GPS "Navigatron" unit arrived from FLYTRON.COM in England today. Here it is kinda sitting on Patty to see if it will fit. Every way I put it obscures the rotors a little bit. Wondering if a short mast might be in order. Wonder if I should run it on 3 volts or 5, and how to select it. Will be fun to see the GPS work in Cleanflight Configurator. The replacement ESC has not arrived from OVERSKY.COM yet, so the unit won't arm, and the OSD won't work.Hope to get it working this weekend.


7-11-2015: Finally learned about the mysterious "bootloader pads". Everything I read said to ground the bootloader pad, when in fact (on this board at least) it has to be taken high, to 3.3 volts. The pad is the one I believed it to be, by the USB connector as shown below. I got the 3.3 volts from the camera power pin, which is the center one. The 3.3 volt pad referenced in the picture does not exist on my board. It worked, and Cleanflight configurator did a full erase and flash to version 1.9 on connect. Some suggest you have to hold the reset connection during the re-flash, this is not the case. Once this was done the flight controller worked as new. I'm still trying to get the serial port to send data to the MinimOSD board. There is a new serial command in version 1.9 of Cleanflight which is not documented very well. I suspect the problem lies there. Many thanks to OVERSKY.COM for quickly answering my question and providing these pictures. By the way, the replacement board I ordered from OVERSKY.COM has the barometer that's missing on HOBBYKING.COM's version of the same flight controller. It's a few bucks more, but barometric altitude is more accurate than GPS, unless the weather is changing rapidly. Another issue fixed: In this version of Cleanflight you must specify that a port is used for serial RX for the radio to work. The radio is on UART2, at 115200 baud. The old version had no setting like this. Thought I had fried my radio too. This board can take PPM radios, and a chat with Dragonlink reveals that they are working on a tiny UHF receiver compatible with their V2 transmitter, which I already have. He says it might weigh 8 grams with pins, which I can remove. Should be on their site in a couple of weeks. Deviation on my Walkera Devo-10 transmitter works just fine with DragonLink, I use it with Gidget already.



7-4-2015: Installed the Pololu 2115 5V step-up voltage regulator, item U3V12F5 on the side of the Spektrum VA1100 camera, to power the Micro MinumOSD. Confused? So am I sometimes. Had I installed this first, and not sent 5 volts back down the serial port, I wouldn't have fried my MWC (Micro MiniWii Controller). To fit the wires more closely, I stuck the regulator on first, then soldered. It's not very pretty, but it works. It's hard to strip the wires when they're that short, so I cut, size and strip and tin them before soldering in place, using tweezers and a magnifying headset. The data lines and ground will be added to the header on the OSD, which I'm leaving on to program with. If you solder on the base end the FTDI still slides on fine.The regulator was ordered from GETFPV.COM. The GPS from England and the replacement flight controller and other parts are coming from China.


Video: Added 5v regulator for OSD to VA1100
6-27-2015: Ordered the stuff to fix and upgrade Patty. Lots of landing gear, motor shafts, couple of ESC's and some props from OVERSKY.COM. 5V pull-up regulators (3) from GETFPV.COM. And a Navagatron GPS unit from FLEXTRON. I'm going to stick the regulator to the OSD, and use just the TX, RX and ground lines to the MiniWii (which is a Naze32 from Oversky). I got the upgrade version with a barometer, for more accurate altitude readings.Think it'll take a couple of weeks for the parts to arrive.


6-27-2015: Beginning to think I blew up Patty. Upgraded to Cleanflight 9 to open up the serial port, worked at first but still no data to the OSD. Was powering the OSD from a five volt supply, but had the Vcc port wired from serial port to OSD. Tried flashing several models, since MWC wasn't on the list. Turns out NAZE32 was the right one. Flashed the wrong one, and lost ability to reflash. Regained access once with the "flash on connect" method, but can't find the "bootloader pads" to reset the flight controller. Removed the camera and the receiver from atop the flight controller for a better look. Documented what chips are used, and looked up their datasheets. Think I identified the boot0 pin, but grounding it doesn't seem to cause a reset. Also an ESC smoked when the battery was plugged in. Think I drew too much current through the system to feed the OSD, or feed too much back into the fllight controller through the serial port. So now I have a naked flight controller out of the aircraft, which still lights up when plugged into the USB port. Red (power) and blue (?) stay on steady, and the green light blinks after a few seconds. I may buy another whole kit, or try other flight controllers, that the beauty of this airframe. Next time I won't use the VCC pin to serial, and use a Poulou 5v step-up regulator to power the OSD. I also need to figure out exactly where the bootloader pads are. The chips are: STM32F103, an MPU-6050 for accelerometers and gyros, a Cypress CYRF6910 based radio receiver. The radio is attached with a 3-pin header on one end, and some sticky tape. On the bottom is a Silabs CP2102 uart chip for USB communications. Here are some pics with the radio lifted up:


These show the naked board, radio, and the damaged ESC.



6-24-2015: Had to go buy an FTDI to flash the OSD with MWOSD 1.4.1, and run the configure program to set it up. Had to install Oracle's JDK 8 (Java Development Kit) and manually set the path to it. Had to install the Aruduino program to flash the update. It came set up for the Auducopter, not MultiWii as I expected. With all that done, it still complains about not finding the flight controller, and almost none of the stuff I wanted is displaying yet. To protect the wiring I stuck the OSD on the back of the camera. I'll probably leave the header in place to facilitate programming.



Video: Flashing micro minimOSD.


6-23-2015: Tonight I hacked my Spektrum VA1100 camera / transmitter to add a Micro MinumOSD. Turns out it's easy, and saves me from having to buy another camera with separate transmitter. Inside the case are two boards, connected by two headers. The connections are marked, I only had to clip the video header and solder a ground and video in/out on either side of the (cut) video header. All that fiddling unhooked the power and antenna, which had to be soldered back on. I also had to butcher the case for the new wires. The OSD will stick on the back of the transmitter, once I add the cables to the MicroWII flight controller. In the video below it looks like the OSD is blinking, but it's not on the monitor. It's the cheapo DVR dropping lots of frames.There's a bench test video, and a final test after mounting the camera back on the aircraft, where I refocus the lens and glue it in place.


Video: Added MicroMinim OSD



6-22-2015: Can't believe how hard it is to crimp picoblade connectors. Wired up the tiny MicroMinum OSD to a regular camera and transmitter to see what happens. It overlays a message: "Auducam OSD V2.0, waiting for mavlink heartbeats", because it's not hooked up to the flight controller yet. Don't know if I can put this in parallel with the blackbox data recorder or not, but the OSD seems more important. I've ordered the JST-SH pigtails to connect the OSD to the FC, should be here in a week. I'm not sure where I'll get five volts from to power it, and I don't have a separate camera / transmitter small enough for Patty yet. I found a video with a camera perched under the lower deck, with a transmitter on the front of the main deck. It had longer, straight landing struts attached to the arms. Maybe carbon fiber tubes, maybe thin aluminum, I can't tell.This video is about antenna design, and he's using 1.3ghz video, which I won't again, but look at how far he's going with the stock radio, and how high.

Video: Antenna upgrade
Video: OSD wiring test, just blinkenlights.


6-20-2015: After driving around to all the local hobby shops I yet failed to find any JST-SH connectors used on the MX MicroWii x32 MWC. Sparkfun.com sells them (PRT-10359 for $1.50 each with 8" leads), but I wanted to add the black box this weekend. I wonder if the power figure for the OSD is just wrong. How could two SMD chips eat half an amp? Think I'll hook it up and measure it.


6-18-2015: I've received a tiny "MICRO MINI OSD Minim OSD W/ KV TEAM MOD" for ten bucks on Ebay, and an equally tiny "RTF "BLACKBOX" FLIGHT DATA RECORDER (CLEANFLIGHT) OPENLOG" data logger for another seven bucks. These were both from HERE. Turns out the Micro MinimOSD needs half an amp (!) so it's really too hungry for Patty. Another problem is the poor documentation on the MX MWC 32-X. Turns out the serial port is on the starboard side, and the I2C port is on the port side. The connector on the front is for an outboard radio control receiver, I think. I2C is a great way to mount a tiny GPS unit. I'm trying to get a Navagatron I2C from Flytrex. It's got a sub-processor that takes all the work out of GPS processing, so the flight controller can focus on flying. Another question was what kind of connectors are those ports? Turns out they're JST-SH, 1mm x 3mm for the 4-port. I've got to buy some pig-tails to connect the BlackBox and GPS when it arrives. I've also found a tiny 433 mhz beacon which I can track with my scanner, just like the Micro DragonLink on Gidget. The eventual goal is longer range, like half a mile (?), RTH capability, logged / mapped flight history, and improved recovery if lost.



6-13-2015: Found out my antenna repair actually shorted out the transmitter output. It's not one "wire", it's a circuit to ground through the antenna. After removing the antenna, I can see that it's impossible to solder that back on without shorting it out again, so I ran two small wires to the antenna instead. There are holes in the "mast" and the antenna itself that make this easy. Later I put a piece of plastic straw around the wires to hold the antenna up straight. I flew Patty at the RC airport with the camera, the video is below. I did break two landing gear. In the first the retainer fell out and I couldn't find it, so I used a tiny piece of bailing wire and hot glued it in place. To prevent losing the rest I hot glued them all in. In another crash I broke the lower "foot" off the gear, so I used a tiny piece of shrink wrap to extend the leg. I'll buy some replacements for around $3 bucks a set, but this will do for now. Having set my timer reset switch right next to the motor arming switch, I ended up disarming the aircraft in the air. It fell about three feet, so no harm done. I was so low in fact that I flew into a weed. I used to fly into trees, weeds are easier to recover the aircraft from.



Video: Patty with VA1100

6-11-2015: Stuck the Spektrum VA1100 camera (that was on Tina) on Patty. Power not wired yet, going to make a Y-adapter. But it looks pretty good. Have to solder the antenna top, the joint broke with all the crashes. Tina was really humping to keep this camera airborne.Still considering a smaller camera with a tiny GPS, OSD and discreet TX. Have the OSD and Blackbox recorder on order.



6-7-2015: Attempted some banked turns at the RC Airport today. Crashed once, no damage. Only flew a couple of batteries due to a club event, pylon racing, causing all other flying to be halted again today. Some helicopter / quad pilots refused to comply, so some club officials responded by engaging in verbal abuse and actually threw rocks at an airborne quadcopter. The police drove through the parking lot, but never stopped, and eventually the rebels all went home. I wonder if there will be fallout from this. Either way, don't mess with creepy guys flying toy airplanes.

In other news, ordered a tiny OSD and a Blackbox unit for Patty, about six bucks each. This means a separate camera / TX unit will be needed. I think all three units will fit under the red top plate. A tiny GPS system might fit on top. Also moved the ESC's onto the arms, using electrical tape to secure them. The props were striking them stick out of the body. With a true FPV system I can send Patty on longer flights without fear of loss.



6-6-2015: First outdoor test flight. Forgot about the arm switch! After that all well. Extremely stable. Tried different modes, no noicable difference. Crashed once upside down, no damage. Landed back on table. Extremely quiet also. Ran through all five batteries.


6-4-2015: Patty flies! Ordered on Monday, received from China in little pieces on Wednesday, and flying perfectly on Thursday. On first attempt she wanted to flip. Using the config utility (an add-on installed in Chrome), I calibrated the gyros (just push the calibrate button), and used the transmitter trim to edge all the gains (except throttle) up to the 1500 midpoints. I had some trouble finding an ini file for the Walklera DEVO 10 transmitter, flashed with Deviation firmware, ended up adjusting one for the Devo 7. Figured out how the MODE screen works, on mine the GEAR switch arms the aircraft, and the FMOD switch goes from Horizon to Angle flight modes. Forget Acro for now. When I get a GPS I'll add that on there also. I've got a 7th channel not used yet assigned to the Rudder/DIR switch. I'm spelling this all out to make it easier to find. Anyway, she felt very stable and completely in control. I landed gently several times, no crashes yet. Wish they had included the battery charger, bought one locally for five bucks. I have five batteries total. No camera yet.



6-3-2015: Received the package from Hobby King today, and after an hour of (easy) assembly Patty was complete. Everything fit just fine. The flight controller is different than what they advertise. It's a new model with cleanflight installed, and a built-in USB port so no com stick. There are only four ESC ports instead of six. The radio sits above the flight controller, instead of behind it. The new board mounts with less hardware, so less weight. I hooked her into a Windows 7 computer, which downloaded the USB driver automatically, installed Chrome and the GUI add-on from cleanflight.com. It found the virtual com port by itself and connected. I ran the motor test to see if they're spinning the right direction, and they do. The batteries use a different connector than the Nano QX, so I'll need to do some wiring before I can charge the batteries. I bought five total.



6-1-2015: After some thought I decided to christen this Super-X micro-quadcopter "Peppermint Patty", having many of the qualities of the Peanuts character. She's tough, but not too smart. She shipped today via Fedex from somewhere in China. To give her a warm welcome I'm learning all about the Nano MultiWii, her flight controller. Here is another fully programmable project, like the Deviation code, that I'll have to learn about from scratch. I like the nano quads, but their fragile motors and primitive flight controllers relegate them to toy status. I won't be able to fly Patty miles away, maybe 300 yards. But I think she'll be more stable and flyable. By comparison, I think Tina's range is about 50 yards.Spoke with a trusted pilot who said he threw the MicroWii board away, unable to make anything work. If it's junk, at least she didn't cost much.



5-31-2015: Ordered from Hobby King, $150 with Fedex delivery, and 3 more batteries.Should have ordered lots of 3-bladed rotors, but not sure what shaft size yet.I'm not sure about the MicroWii controller yet, but it looks smarter than the toy grade units. I've watched some horrible crashes with carbon frames, and they seem almost indestructable. This uses a slightly larger 1S battery, so I can continue using the VA1100 camera without modifications. It's radio is on the same protocol as the Nano QX3d, so I can bind to it with the Walkera Devo 10 / Deviation without further work. There's a cool video of it flying (seems like forever) FPV around a jogging trail in China. Would like to have a tiny, quiet long range FPV quad, with the same features and fail-safes as the big boys.I want GPS and OSD for longer flights, antenna tracking, and recovery. Technology may not get there for years.
Video: Ultra Micro BL Drone (not my video)
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