Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New DJI Mavic just killed baby Gopro Karma and DJI Phantom 4 also ???

Hello to all of you drone enthusiasts and not only. It's been a while since I posted on my bog, but today I really felt to do so...What do we want from multirotors or drones? Some of us searching for thrills want speed and fly mostly smaller and more agile drones, some of us want good camera performance for our "artistic" side and therefor we need good camera outputs with 3 axis gimbals, all of us I think we want our toys to be small and portable but to stay a long time in the air alike, right?
Before going to today's subject for this post I want to let you know that I build a few multirotors myself, in various shapes and sizes...just a few examples:

Building and programming the FC's are really a nice learning experience that will get you to a certain level of knowledge on how to debug and fly these RTF quads, unlike other guys that buy themselfes directly Phantoms and upload on different media channels how high or crazy they fly...sorry guys but this is my opinion...Now if you ask me why in the world I bought myself also a Phantom3??? The answer is very simple: IT JUST WORKS...yes, you heard me...last quads I sold were my Tarot 650 and my flip FPV PRO which both flew very well, but none of them could take pictures or record movies with one click on my Ipad, none of them could fly over 3km's like the P3A does, and none of them could stay airborne for 20 mins ( Tarot with lower kv motor and larger props could but in a much larger format)
So, today I have my P3A that I trust a lot when airborne and an Lumenier Qav R "race quad" for when I need to feel the thrill :)
Now back to the original idea...The drone industry is a new realm that has an increasing cash turnover and here DJI reigns supreme...Gopro on the other hand is of course our favourite action cam (where the budget allows it ofc) and they also rule that market...So they thought to wait and see what are the best offers in the market (drones like the P4, Yuneek, a.s.o) and speculate the weaknesses in order to release their product at the right time.

So, the Gopro Karma was announced on the 19-th of september and compared to the P4 it has foldable arms making it more portable, front mounted gimbal accomodating a gopro camera, a nice all in one remote including LCD and a nice handheld camera gimbal for the Gopro camera in the package. All this of course for an correct price including or excluding a Gopro hero 5 or Session 5.
The hype was on, all the guys that recently bought Phantoms were looking at the new Karma that came in a smaller more portable form factor, unlike the P3/P4 that has fixed arms and landing gear.
Now, to be honest, I really like my P3A and was not crying tears of despair for having all...
But GOPRO's joy didnt last long...I am sure that DJI who owns this market, doesnt like any real competition and their higher management team  were pushing hard the Mavic project release earlier than scheduled, just to provide Gopro "la coupe de grace"...
They did this by  launching today the smallest and most portable drone in their portofolio: 
DJI MAVIC. This thing is kicking the Karma in terms of size/portability, flight time, the range of 7 km's !!!!!, sensors built in,  flight modes / options and ways of controlling it (via controller or only smartphone) I think it's worth mentioning the fact that Dji for the first time are offering FPV goggles, allowing to fly the Mavic as a racing quad, which could mean that DJI wants to extend their operations also into the FPV goggles, where Fatshark is the leader? We'll have to see...time will tell
What's more interesting to me is the "collateral damage" resulted from the launch of this new product that has similar or sometimes better characteristics than their hobby consumer top drone the P4. 
I think they realised that it is the only way to beat the Karma and they assumed the chance of doing so. Now, same like buying a new product, it is better not to jump on the first batch but wait for the first update, but that is only if you can hold you back not to buy it.
So, what package do you Guys like the Gopro Karma or the new DJI Mavic?

Official DJI release movie for the DJI MAVIC  link here and here

The small and compact remote

Please share your comments and thoughts below

Monday, December 1, 2014

Are Afro ESC with SimonK firmware that good?

Hello again,

As you might know, I have amongst other quads a Flip Fpv Pro-G version, the G standing for gimbal.
Since this is my main beater quad, I thought it deserves some better ESC's than the old(non SimonK) ones it had, so I got 4 from HK + the programmer for them.

Since the main benefit over the regular ESC's is the better refresh rate, meaning the commands from your flight controller will reach the motors faster and thus giving a more stable and "locked" feeling in flight, I was expecting to see a real improvement during testing.
To be honest I was a bit disappointed  since I could barely see a faster motor reaction compared to my old ESC's .
Since these have the original SimonK firmware I assume they should work as advertised, do they?
 Below is the movie I made...please check it out and let me know if anyone else had a similar issue with their SimonK Afro ESCs? Some other movies that I have seen on youtube showed a better motors response than mines...
I want to mention that my motors are Sunnysky X2212 / 980KV.
Thanks a lot !

The Tarot bag for a 500 size rc heli

      Hi Guys
I received some time ago a really nice looking and practical bag for carrying a T-REX 500 class heli. For the smaller helis up to 450, you can, let's say improvise using some other bags, but the 500 is already quite big, so in my point of view a decent bag is needed.
This one I got from miracle-mart and is not the one in the picture on the link but is this one which looks like the Align bags.
So far I had no issues, material is fine, zipper also feels well built...
I also made a short review on the rcg forum, link here
And this is where you can get the product for only 13.5 USD !!!, link here
I attach below some more pictures that hopefully will make you decide on this bag:

Top view with my VCTRC 500 FBL resting inside

Doesn't come with included pockets but it has the velcro in place for add-ons
Enjoy the short review on my youtube channel and let me hear your way of carrying your 500 size helis.

What I liked:
  • looking good(better than the pictures on the miracle-mart website)
  • good build quality
  • enough space inside
What I disliked:
  •  wish it had also pockets inside for small bits and pieces(at least it has the velcro in place already)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The smallest mini quad I have, Cheerson CX-10

The versions available

Hello again dear friends,
Even tough I prefer the bigger, more stable quads and helis, offered to send me this tiny mini quad, offer which I couldn't refuse...I was curious about this, since it is almost as big as my Crius Aiop flight controller I use in another project, and I think it is amazing how small things got in this hobby.
Please check below the youtube movie I uploaded and let me have your comments or questions...
I guess a test flight video will follow, so stay tuned :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Syma X5C, the affordable quad with camera

After having several quads and a hexa I thought the X5C will fill a gap in my line of toys, by being not too big but still quite stable and be able to take a movie also...
And I was quite right...Bigger than my Ladybird, but smaller than my flip, the new Syma X5-C is a nice and an easy to learn on quadcopter...I would say that even if you start on quads, you can have a basic reading on the manual for the transmitter operation, and be able to take off and land safely...
The quad is light at under 70 grams, it has a 6 axis gyro, meaning it can be hand thrown( I don"t recommend this) and the camera can be operated from the TX, cool huh? :)
It also has led"s under the arms to help with orientation, but I would suggest swapping them instead of the defaults-orange in front and green in the back.

Please use the below link to purchase it, it is from banggood, for which I would like to thank for providing this sample, and they send it with free shipping everywhere in the worls...

I will upload later, a flight test and a camera footage since many people asked about these points...
Fly safe...
I like: 

I don"t like:
-battery compartment under camera
-flight commands with a tiny delay

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