I am a strong supporter of switch arming over stick arming and I believe it is currently the more popular of the two methods. A typical configuration (which I use) is to have a simple two position switch on your radio set to arm/ disarm with airmode always on. However, this also creates the risk of accidentally bumping the arm switch and having your props spin up. I am guilty of the same mistake – accidentally arming my quad in my hands and cutting my finger. Here are a few screenshots from my Taranis that show the method I use to mitigate this risk:
Essentially what this does is:
- Set channel 5 (AUX1) to high – arming the quad if BOTH switches are not in the top position
- Set AUX1 to low – disarming the quad if EITHER switch is in the top position
This means that it is extremely difficult to accidentally arm your quad as you need to flip two switches instead of just one, but it is still as quick and easy to disarm as you just need to flip one switch to the top position. I used the switches SE and SG, but you can use any switches that you are comfortable reaching.
The TBS Racetracker is an extremely handy piece of equipment that lets you keep track of your lap times without having to put any extra equipment on your quad. It’s a great tool for those who enjoy racing as it helps you keep track of your progress and push yourself to get faster. However, one issue it suffers from is extremely poor Bluetooth range. Out of the box, I could barely walk 10 feet away from the unit without losing signal. Since the idea of the Racetracker is to leave it at the start gate and have your phone record and call out lap timings, this is quite an issue since you either have to stand very near the gate (dangerous) or leave your phone near the tracker ad check times later (which loses some of the functionality).
However it is possible to improve the Bluetooth range of the Racetracker. All it takes is to replace the stock antenna with a better 2.4GHz antenna. Some people use a regular FrSky receiver antenna, and others use a WiFi router antenna with a u.fl to SMA/RP-SMA pigtail. I chose to use the ‘official’ TBS Range Extension kit for a convenient and neat installation. I bought mine from GetTBS. Since it does not come with instructions, in this post I’ll be showing you how to install the range extension kit.
In this post I’ll be reviewing the iSDT SC-608 charger. iSDT is a relatively new company that makes a few different LiPo chargers and accessories, which are very different from most of the others on the market (that generally follow the same ‘4 button’ or iCharger inspired templates). After looking at their unique designs, I really wanted to try them and I’d like to thank Gearbest for providing this charge for free to review (though with the customs duties + DHL’s ridiculous ‘storage and handling fees’ I ended up paying the same as the cost of the charger). If you are interested in reviewing products from Gearbest, take a look at this post on IntoFPV and get in touch with them.
I’m sure it has happened to everyone some time or the other. You charge up all your packs planning to go out and fly your quads, and then it starts raining, or for some other reason you don’t get to. And the thing about LiPos is that the longer you leave them fully charged, the more the chemistry degrades. This can lead to reduced performance, or, in extreme cases the battery getting puffed. This has happened to me several times, and I always wanted a way to discharge my packs. Most of the chargers I have owned have had a discharge mode, but only at 5W, meaning that packs take ridiculously long to reach storage voltage and the charger often gets pretty warm.
Here is the solution I have found: this “3-in-1 Battery Balancer, Discharger & Voltage Indicator” from MyRCMart. I believe that for 12$ + shipping, this is a great deal. At 150W, it can discharge most batteries in a matter of minutes. You can set the voltage at which it stops the discharge (3.80-3.85V per cell for storage). It is very simple to use and even keeps your cells balanced during the discharge. One thing you have to watch for is that the 3 bulbs used to discharge the batteries get really hot, so keep them away from anything that can melt or burn. A stone/ concrete floor is perfect, or you can DIY a wooden stand to hold them. Banggood also sells what appears to be the same thing, but at slightly higher price. I am really happy with my unit, and think it’s a great investment for any hobbyist.
In this post I’ll be reviewing the Eachine Micro Skyhunter. This is an EPO foam airplane with a 780mm wingspan. It comes PNP (plug-n-play), meaning that it contains the airframe, power system and FPV system (there is a variant without it as well) and requires minimal assembly. This is my first airplane, since the scratch builds I attempted before this were complete failures. A lot of people say this is not a suitable plane for beginners, as it is fast, does not have self-correcting tendencies, and doesn’t have a rudder. I still wanted to find out for myself though, and my main aim is too determine whether this is a good option for mini quad pilots who want to fly something different (and may be bored by trainer planes). This is very similar to the ReadyMadeRC Nano Skyhunter, probably coming from the same factory, though it uses a different material (EPO instead of EPP). What interested me most about this plane is the compact size and the fact that it uses common mini quad parts, meaning that if you’re a mini quad pilot who wants to fly this, you probably have the right size of LiPo, as well as better motors you can put on it.
Here is a quick disclaimer (inspired by SoloProFan on RCGroups) before we get to the review itself.
Disclaimer: This product was provided for free to review by Banggood. I will do my best to keep this review fair and unbiased. Product specifications and quality may vary at the manufacturer’s discretion, and are beyond my influence. I cannot guarantee you will get a product that performs exactly the same as seen and described in this review.
This will be a short post, and here I will show you how to fix cropped PAL video on the Eachine ProDVR. The ProDVR is probably the cheapest DVR on the market and works very well. However, it has for a long time had an issue where the bottom few lines would be removed from the picture if your system was using PAL. This is especially an issue if you have an OSD and want it to show up in your recordings. However, a new firmware has been released which fixes this issue, and this is how you use it.
Warning: Flashing new firmware risks bricking your DVR and I am not aware of any method to recover bricked DVRs. This process worked perfectly for me but I am not responsible if you brick your DVR attempting this.
In this post I’ll be reviewing the new Eachine TX250 250mW video transmitter from Banggood. Here are the specifications:
- Transmitting Power: 250mw
- Operating voltage: 7V-26V
- Channels: 40 (Raceband capable)
- Dimensions: 21X32.5X8.1 mm
- Weight: 7.5g
- Connector: RP-SMA
- Antenna Circular Polarization: RHCP
In this post I will be showing you how you can use an Easycap AV to USB adapter to use an Android phone or tablet as a secondary FPV display or DVR. It is probably not a good idea to use as a primary FPV display as it introduces extra latency in the system. This is what you need:
I recently started recording my FPV flights and to help me tune my PIDs, I thought I would try overlaying BlackBox data on the video. The flight controller I am using – the XRacer F303 V2 has 16MB (Megabytes, not Megabits) of dataflash, allowing me to log almost one entire flight, even at 1/1 logging at 4 kHz. The method I originally attempted was the one described in Oscar Liang’s blog post. After waiting a LONG time to render the frames, I ended up with over 13000 pictures that would need to be stitched together. I did not want to spend money on Quicktime Pro to do this and the free tool I was using – Sequimago; wasn’t able to handle so many pictures at once. I managed to stitch together 20 seconds of video, then I had even more trouble trying to overlay it on the flight video.
While going over the log again, I suddenly realised that Blackbox Explorer extension for Google Chrome had an “import video” option. This was far easier to use than the procedure I was trying earlier. Here are the steps you need to follow to overlay Backbox data on your flight videos:
In this post I will be reviewing the Gemini Dual-Channel (2x)80W balance charger. I would like to thank Banggood for providing this charger for review. Before this, my primary charger was a cheap IMAX B6 clone so when I saw the RCGroups thread on this product it seemed very interesting. This charger can charge all common battery chemistries, has a nice form factor, twice as much power as your average 4-button charger and a built in power supply. You can buy this charger at Banggood.