Zippy, the zip tied FPV racer on Kickstarter

Today Benjamin from Austin, TX sent me his Kickstarter campaign for the Zippy, a 3D printed quadcopter frame only held together with zip ties. While there are tons of interesting Kickstarter campaigns I think this one is worth mentioning as it proposes a conceptually new and simple way of building a quadcopter frame inherently designed to be easily repaired and fine tuned out in the field. Exactly what a crash pilot like me would need to advance in FPV racing. Genius!

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Drone flight visualization from Taranis log

I’ve recently stumbled upon doarama.com a new website to visualize your flight paths in a 3D map, alongside the original drone video. Even tough the website is till beta, it looks really awesome. Here is my Zaggometry test flight from last summer. Check it out!

All I needed to provide was the GPS coordinates of the Discovery Pro drone in .gpx format and a link to the corresponding youtube video. This is pretty simple.

You can swap the position of the video and 3D map, by clicking the smaller one. The visualization needs WebGL, which is fine with Firefox and Chrome and Internet Explorer. In Safari it first needs to be enabled.

Find your drone guide part 1: Drone-Personality

Quite often I get asked, “which is the best quadcopter?” or “which drone should I buy to get started?” There is no simple answer besides; “It depends”. In my experience it largely depends on your main motivation to fly a quadcopter. So the better question is: What is your Drone-Personality? Are you a Pilot, a Cameraman or an Engineer? May I present the FPVblog Find your drone guide! 😉
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This was 2014!

The first full year of the FPVblog comes to a peaceful end with some relaxing days in the snowy mounains. My copters are all flying again and I could record some nice footage throughout the year. My highlights of 2014 were:

I hope you had a great 2014. Happy 2015 New Year! And see you next year with some Gemini unboxing and flight videos.

Happy 2015!
Happy 2015!

Filming: Killer Landslides

This summer I had the pleasure to accompany  a film crew with my TBS discovery Pro to record aerial shots for the PBS science show NOVA. We were filming at the rupture zone of a landslide site near Preonzo in the south of Switzerland. The terrain is quite spectacular with all the cliffs and cracks as only about half of the unstable ground came down during the last incident in 2012. The ground we were walking and flying over is in fact the dirt and debris of a future landslide. Scary!

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TBS Gemini, new FPV racer is shipping

In August Team Black Sheep announced a new FPV racer on FPVlab.com, the TBS Gemini, a small hexacopter made for racing. It supposedly has a top speed of up to  100 km/h (~60 mph), is less than 400g light (~1 lb and a bit) and comes fully packed with all the FPV gear. Finally, the wait should be over soon. TBS just announced that the first batch started shipping.  YESS! My order is also lined up and hopefully I can play with the little flying crab very soon.

A photo posted by peabody124 (@peabody124) on

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Zaggometry: How to log your flights with the Taranis

The Zaggometry is a clever little piece of electronics which can read the NAZA GPS coordinates of you copter and send it over the telemetry link down to your Taranis RC-remote for display and logging.  In other words, it is a bit like a Flytrex Live flight recorder  for your Taranis. The 29€ Zaggomety was developed and is produced(!) by Eberhard Rensch in Germany. In this article I would like to show how I installed it in my TBS Discovery Pro and the data I logged during a test flight (video).

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Taranis upgrade to openTX 2.0

I usually never change a running system but I wanted to play with some new telemetry sensors and all the new LUA scripting features of the openTX 2.0 on my TBS Disco Pro. This is (not yet) an official FrSky firmware. They are stuck at some older, feature restricted  1.x version and they might never offer some of the newer features, as they consider the Taranis a feature complete product. Well, I don’t.

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