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Old 08-08-2007, 03:17 PM
  #51
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Here are a couple of stabilization systems using the same technology as the DF. The first two pictures are a small 3-D helicopter on which I have installed the FMA Direct Co-Pilot CPD4. This was a proof-of-concept test to evaluate how well the system works. Picture #1 is the IR sensor, same as on the DF. The Falcon is a non-CCPM design and you can see in picture #2 there is a wire controlled by a separate servo that runs up the center of the main shaft, controlling collective pitch on the swashplate through a slot in the shaft. The CPD4 will work on airplanes and non-CCPM helis; FMA Direct is working on a newer system for CCPM designs, but it has not been released yet. The results - super stability for such a small heli.

Picture #3 is the Spartan-RC AP2000i controller, which works with all know swashplate mixing schemes and radio types. FMA Direct owns the patent for the leveling technology, so DFI and Spartan-RC license the designs from FMA. Notice in pic #4 the same FMA sensor is used. The AP2000i has been around for 4 or 5 years now, and the technology is pretty reliable. One nice feature is it displays the number of glitches and bad frames during a flight, and also the current and lowest Rx battery levels under load. This could give you invaluable data if you're testing a 2.4GHz downlink with your 2.4GHz Spektrum or FASST Rx, and want to see if they're interfering with each other. The AP2000i is also set up to interface with an altimeter to show highest altitude, and also 2-axis gyros for further stability.

The calibration and operation of these units is quite different. On the CPD4, you hold the heli sideways and press the cal button. When you release it, one of the servos starts to tick off a count between 1 and 10, indicating the calibration strength. I would typically get an 8. This is equivalent to the two green LEDs on the DF, but obviously more precise. Then the swashplate gyros begin to oscillate in a slow continuous motion. Then level is set similar to the DF and you're ready to go. You only need to calibrate and level once, unless the weather conditions change drastically, or you move from say, Bogota to Reykjavik.

The AP2000i is calibrated internally and doesn't have to be re-calibrated unless you feel it's needed. Then you can either calibrate the earth/sky gain, or the level, but they can be done separately. Of course there are many other adjustments that are programmable, such as response rates, etc. I fly the AP2000i on about 50% authority, switched on after it's high enough to see over the local thermal clutter. Anything above about 70% and I find it difficult to overcome the device's control. Instead of just setting the expos on the Tx, the DF would probably be well served by a %control adjustment on the spare channel, or a potentiometer on the controller. Mike Dammar said he had put a remote gain control on the DF and it was a disaster, but that's a lot different than a %control adjustment.

A practical note on flying your DF with Ti on in the wind. Sometimes it suddenly doesn't seem to have the guts to fly back to you. Turn it 90 degrees and fly it sideways, or fly it backwards towards you. A lot of times what's happening is you set the level with the nose away from you, and when you turn it around to fly back it could be bucking the Ti level. I've found that invariably it will fly better with one of the other rotors leading. This is worth practicing when conditions are favorable, so you'll feel comfortable with the maneuver when things are a bit more critical.

- Bruce


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Old 08-17-2007, 10:17 AM
  #52
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Zup guys?!

I started my AP company using SAVS.. we have evolved to using gassers.. but we still use SAVS for indoor shoots..

We now specialize in aerial video documentation of motoring events...

www.aeroeyeasia.com

check out our sample clip at the following URL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTK19fG6Z18

Cheers!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:18 AM
  #53
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Some great footage, really professional, good work and quality, nice locations too!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:47 PM
  #54
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Howdy Clement! That was some great AP video! The pans were very smooth and didn't overshoot the stops which is common with remote heads. I had seen that creek video before but didn't know it was yours.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:58 AM
  #55
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Hey Sky! Hey Dirk! THANK YOU FOR THE COMPLIMENTS!!!

Here are some more Aerial Shots I did using a gasser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCB9kDfY6Uc

These were all taken in different locations here in the Philippines... (AIRCAM ASIA, AERIALCAM ASIA and AeroEye ASIA are one of the same company... I couldn't make up my mind which company name to go for until the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry approved and awarded me with AeroEye ASIA as our official name)...

To keep the shots in frame, I still use the EYETOP that came with my SAVS, upgraded my TX to a DX7 to be safe when doing aerial video documentation of motoring events, and a 900MHz video downlink as not to conflict with the 2.4Ghz of the DX7. Video signal kept dropping when we were still using the 2.4Ghz downlink... Scott of SLCITY was a big inspiration on flying with EYETOPS on.. Yes, it can be done!

Cheers!
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:05 PM
  #56
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Hi Clement7,
Your aerial video work is excellent - what most of us strive for! We're trying to decide to add a second heli to our fleet, and are undecided between the Maxi-Joker2 electric and the Century Condor gasser.

I have two questions for you, if you don't mind:

1. What model gasser do you fly?

2. Did you have the engine balanced before you built it, and if not, how's the vibration level?

The nice thing about the big electrics are that they're super smooth German engineering. Of course the shortcomings are shorter flight times and less lifting power. The batteries are also expensive, but if you baby them they'll run for 100 hours, and I think that makes up for the mess and fumes.

Thanks a bunch,
Bruce
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:19 PM
  #57
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Hey Bruce! Thank you!

I started with DF's SAVS but the AP requirements of my clients demanded at least 3CCD if not HD and most of the time shoot during windy conditions. I had no choice but to move to using a NITRO-powered 90-size Hirobo Freya which was locally available in our country with good LHS support on parts and service. The concerns I had with my Freya is fuel economy and the one-way bearing would tend to give-up easily when my payload exceeds 4 pounds and during high speed flybys. But surprisingly, it held on for a year as my AP platform till I decided to make the switch to gassers. Almost half of the shots in my demo reel are by my Hirobo Freya which proves that nitro-powered helis can pass for an AP ship. I just had to find a way to redirect the exhaust pipe and bling it a bit to handle the 4 pound payload of my camera mount.

Now to answer your question, I would go for a gasser. My gasser is proudly Philippine-made.. It's a MAXUM. Those exotic shots in the mountains and beaches and covering motoring events are so demanding that you wouldnt want your batteries to quit on you when it's your turn to fly. Good thing my receiver battery packs are cheap and I can get a lot of those and just swap them when I need to. But for my work, longer flight times is a major requirement. There was one event I had to fly for 4 straight hours and just land to refuel then go again. I can easily gauge how much flight time I still have through a quick visual inspection of the fuel tank while the heli is on the air. There are times I have to land, keep the motor running and wait for the cars to start the race... the safety officers of my team keep constant watch of my fuel tank.. with electrics, it's hard to estimate how much flight time you have given the same situation. There is simply no time for me to charge higher capacity batteries on the field.. and again, shorter flight times of electrics won't do.. and I can't afford to buy more battery packs.

But wait, there's more! (hehehe I'm sounding like an infomercial here)

....There's a generator available already that you can attach to a gasser to continuously charge the rx battery pack while on the air. That means, I only have to land to fuel-up, no more swapping of rx battery packs. Cool!

For your next question...

When I got my gasser 2nd hand, it came with a 23cc Zenoah 2-stroke engine.. The owner of the MAXUM shop was so kind enough to replace the defective carb and help me tame and tune-up the engine. It flew smoothly without any other modifications done to the engine. Then someone sold me a 26cc piston head and I had it installed. It was a major mistake. Vibes were all over the tail, horizontal and vertical. No matter how much tuning, needle tweaking we did, it just won't go away.. We were able to minimize it but it was still there.. and lo and behold, during one of my AP shoots, my gasser pirouetted uncontrollably. I had to chop it to save it from hitting the car we were shooting. The tail servo gave-up. It overheated. The high-frequency horizontal tail vibes was too much for it to handle. Crash cost me about $200, main blades, tail blades, fins and tail rotor assembly had to be replaced, plus the tail's digital servo. I was so lucky the main mast, spindle and tail boom were all intact. The camera and the camera mount survived, no damage.

I read somewhere that having it balanced would be your best bet to minimize the vibes further.. but that facility is not available in our country and I'm already happy with how my gasser flies. Well you saw my clips, vibes were not that obvious anymore..

I look up to VOLOVISIONE, SKY HIGH and Scott of SLCITY. VOLOVISIONE uses gassers and SAVS. SKY HIGH, he really flies HIGH and loves his SAVS! . . . And Scott's success in maximizing his SAVS with real-estate applications and flying while monitoring the shots through his EYETOPS, now that's something to really look up to.. takes a lot of guts and practice to master what these people can do..


Cheers!


Clement
www.aeroeyeasia.com



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Old 08-18-2007, 09:53 PM
  #58
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Clement,
Thank you for your tutorial! You are a gentleman and a scholar - and a darn good salesman to boot! You definitely convinced me to go the gasser route instead of the big electric, based on your real-life experiences. Sometimes things look good on paper, but then reality raises its ugly head . Also, you're right that you can visually check your fuel level, when with an electric it's always guesswork. Although the T-Rex 600 is great for stills, the first question everyone asks when you discuss aerial video is "can you shoot HD?". Looks like the gasser is definitely the way to go. I've shifted most of my technical discussions over to [link=http://www.helifreak.com/forumdisplay.php?f=53]THIS FORUM[/link] as "crewchief" so I hope to see you over there too.

Thanks again,
Bruce
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:29 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Ey Bruce!

I'm glad to be of help!

Clement
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:25 AM
  #60
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Sky, why don't you show the gang the technique for making aerials look like miniatures? After I saw those examples you PM'd me, it's easy to visualize how shots like these could be candidates for the "miniature train" treatment.

Ciao,
Bruce
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Ah yes, winds 25 MPH gusting to 45 - what better time to check out what's going on over at Jethro & Bubba's place? All that wind howling, they won't hear a thing. Can we get a little banjo music here? This is the place that the DF crashed previously with a power drop-out. Pretty scary sneaking back there behind those buildings trying to find it. The pieces were lying around right next to a suitcase of 8-track tapes of the Bee Gees and Olivia Newton John. I didn't know if we were going to get shot or meet a bad dog. High price to pay for a controller glitch. What a difference spread spectrum makes! Just to make sure you get a feel for what the wind was doing ABOVE the treeline, listen to [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXhwwn6q1DE]THIS[/link].
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:29 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION


Quote:
ORIGINAL: BB_DF

Sky, why don't you show the gang the technique for making aerials look like miniatures?
Turns out Picasa (free download from Google) has this function built in. I has just two sliders, one to set the size of the center oval, and the other to set the degree of soft focus outside the circle. Works great. Great price, too!

Ciao,
Bruce
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:10 AM
  #63
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Quote:
ORIGINAL: BB_DF

Sky, why don't you show the gang the technique for making aerials look like miniatures?
I didn't do it the best way because the edges of the blur were not feathered to blend with the focused area for the optimum effect. But [link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616600]here[/link] is a link to quite a few pages of AP images processed with this effect.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: BB_DF

Turns out Picasa (free download from Google) has this function built in. I has just two sliders, one to set the size of the center oval, and the other to set the degree of soft focus outside the circle. Works great. Great price, too!
Now that is convenient. Thanks for that info!
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:58 AM
  #64
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Finally got a chance to use my SAVS for one of the shots in this teaser video I made for an offroad events management company... can you guess which shot?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9LhDR0jKvk
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:01 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Is it the 44 to 47 seconds spot? If it was, thats a little disapointing on the quality of the video.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Clement7, I would say that opening shot was in reverse because it followed the exhaust trail downward. I couldn't figure out which shot was the SAVS. Firefly, I don't think the section you mentioned was the SAVS because of the exhaust trail in the shot. Exhaust in the shot is one of the downsides of a liquid fueled helo.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:35 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Hey Sky! Nice to hear from you again! You're right about the opening shot! Yes it's in reverse, I used a nitro-powered heli for that shot. The other shots, I made use of a gasser.. the SAVS, well, I'll still leave everyone guessing.. I have another version coming up.. what I'm trying to achieve is to prove to myself that SAVS can make the cut for some of our TV show's Aerial Video requirements.. I've invested so much on the SAVS to get myself started on AP and like you and Scott of SLCITY, I want to maximize its potentials and work around its limitations..

I saw one of your videos you posted here, I'm really amazed on how you fly your SAVS.. I couldnt seem to hold it into hovering in place during a live outdoor shoot or fly it smoothly in a straight path or get to fly it that high like those posted on DF web site. I guess I need to do some more tweaking to balance everything and try again this weekend.

Hi Fire Fly, if you take a look at it more closely on the 44 seconds spot you mentioned, you'll notice the shadow of my nitro heli in the middle .. I added GHOSTING effect using Adobe Premiere to simulate vibration and shots as if taken using an SAVS and intentionally not dampending the vibration and stabilizing the video.. Just like the Brown and Bondi's "Let's Get Out" music video to make the shot look not so plain. I sold my nitro heli already, I'm left with a gasser and SAVS. Should my gasser fail to operate during a music video shoot, I would like to have the confidence that I can still do amazing aerial videos with the SAVS just like Volovisione's demo reels.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Clement7

... I have another version coming up.. what I'm trying to achieve is to prove to myself that SAVS can make the cut for some of our TV show's Aerial Video requirements.. I've invested so much on the SAVS to get myself started on AP and like you and Scott of SLCITY, I want to maximize its potentials and work around its limitations.. ...
I agree that with the right conditions the SAVS can fly very smoothly and get some nice video shots.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Clement7

... I saw one of your videos you posted here, I'm really amazed on how you fly your SAVS.. ...
Which video are you talking about?
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

I couldn't find the link.. the video I'm referring to is your shot of a nice building that looks like a castle.

link filename is flyaround.asx
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

I was just about to post this when I saw your update. Here is the video link. That is Berry College which is the largest campus in the world as far as acreage. Those are the Ford Buildings built with a grant from Henry Ford himself. Several movies, TV shows and music videos have been shot on that campus.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:21 PM
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Thats good to know about that shot, I was hoping that the SAVS didnt take that shot
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:25 AM
  #72
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Ey guys! Zup?!

Just wanted to share this video we shot last Saturday:

[link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkY-xyOXL1I]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkY-xyOXL1I[/link]
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:23 AM
  #73
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

Great video, Clement, as always!

What's that camera mount with the skids that fold up? I've seen that before and it looks like a good design.

Here's a real estate marketing slideshow put together with shots from the T-Rex over the last couple of days.

http://www.360vplus.com/204358

Cheers,
Bruce
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:23 PM
  #74
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

This looks interesting. It's small, and light, probably more like the Silverlit UFO than a DF, but aside from the Ti feature, it might not be too different, except the price

http://www.walkera.com/en1/particular.jsp?pn=UF0+4%23

$119, coming late Oct to early Nov.

http://www.rc-fever.com/walkera-ufo-...1-pr-3055.html

It's the last thing I need, but I'm mighty tempted to order one just to see how well they fly.

Rusty

PS- Be careful of the shipping cost on these. It's pretty outrageous from what I see on the cart.


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Old 10-10-2007, 05:36 PM
  #75
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Default RE: NON-DRAGANFLYER / OFF TOPIC DISCUSSION

13BRV3, I saw that over on RCG. It looks even more fragile than the DF though. However it is much cheaper. Below is the little bittiest RC plane I've ever seen.

http://www.microflight.com/Online-Ca...icro_Butterfly

Flight Videos
http://www.microflight.com/Videos/Mi...tterfly-Videos
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