Flux FPV

Multirotor Tech and DIY

Category: General

The easiest way to discharge your batteries?

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.

Use your Android phone/ tablet as a DVR with EasyCap

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:

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BlackBox Stick Overlay on a Mac

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:

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