August 28, 2015

Broken balance connector

So annoying.

Fixable. But still annoying. I'm letting this battery rest until I have nothing better to do.

August 13, 2015

3GX MR tail adjustments, impossible to reverse compensation direction

I've had a CopterX 250 standing on the shelf for some time. I used to fly it frequently two years ago but had less time last summer and one of the cyclic servos gave up in-flight. Since then it took a while before I decided to fix it and while replacing the servos I also wanted to try out the 3GX MR gyro with built-in S-FHSS receiver.

Other things caught my attention and until today it has just been standing there on the shelf. But today I decided to take care of it.

The 3GX MR is a very peculiar gyro in that it has very few configurable settings. Most settings are fixed and essentially the only thing you can adjust is servo centering (swash leveling) and endpoints in addition to the cyclic gain potentiometer and a cyclic rate potentiometer. Appearently I had almost finished everything except for one little detail, tail servo direction. It was compensating in the wrong direction.

Now, with every gyro I have ever used there has been a setting to adjust the compensation direction. One for each axis as well. On the 3GX MR? No! There is no such thing. With this gyro there is but one thing to do, move the servo to the other side of the tail boom to reverse the operating direction of the servo arm.

August 1, 2015

FQ777-124 Pocket drone

Banggood sent me the latest in the never ending series of micro quad copters; the FQ777-124 Pocket drone. This a new incarnation of the Cheerson CX-10 with a few differences like a bigger transmitter, headless mode and "one key return".

I fly a lot with the CX-10, the X4 and now this pocket drone. They are perfect for playing around calm evenings with friends, annoying the wife while she is reading and while on break at work. In particular the CX-10 is a fantastic flyer. And the pocket drone is no less!

Pocket drone to the left, Cheerson CX-10 to the right

One of the main differences is the transmitter. It is configurable for mode 1 and mode 2 operation. The quad copter can be stored inside the remote, protected during transport as well as charged via a cable using the 4 AA batteries inside the remote. It is also more ergonomic due to its bigger size compared to the Cheerson remote.

Headless mode is an excellent addition to this generation of micro quads. When headless mode is activated, using a button on the transmitter, the quad adjust cyclic commands according to the quads orientation in relation to the starting position. In effect, independently of the quads orientation, any commands given will be in relation to the pilot and not the heading of the quad itself.

I tested this mode outside, when it was a bit windy, and I was surprised how well it worked. It is important to note that the quad must be properly oriented when switch on and activated with the transmitter or it will become very hard to fly.

One key return is supposed to be a magic mode that on the click of a button on the transmitter will make the quad return to back where it started. This works not so well. It is a bit hard to determine what it actually does. It does try to come back. It has some idea of what direction home is. But not where. It misses its target and it does not stop when it should.

But the manual states that the mode should be used if the quad flies to far away and the pilot is unable to control it. And yes, it might be a saver in that case. But it is nowhere near what the icon looks like, coming back and landing on the starting point.

In addition to these two modes the pocket drone has the usual set of functions like different speed modes (2 modes), flips and rolls, trims on all channels. It also comes with some spare propellers, a USB charger and propeller protectors.

Update: Having flown it more this weekend I have discovered that

  1. It does not fly as well as the CX-10. The CX-10 has a more precise feel to the controls.
  2. Headless mode works fantastically well. No problem to pull full yaw and fly eights. Just ignore the orientation.
  3. One key return does not work. It just slowly drifts off in a random direction.