I’m just back from my trip to Indonesia, a beautiful country with big contrasts, lovely people and impressive volcanoes. On my journey in November 2013 I visited two islands, first Java and then Lombok. In my backpack I am not only carrying a GoPro but also the Phantom quadcopter I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take some great shots and videos at very unique locations. But please see yourself.
Gili Air, one of the three Gili islands off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Photo taken with the GoPro on a Phantom copter.
In the following days I would like to share with some of the nice spots I was visiting with the copter:
Ijen crater, a volcano and sulfur mine at the same time. I was there at night to catch the blue flames and inhale some nasty stinky sulfure clouds.
Mount Rinjani on Lombok. It is the second highest mountain in Indonesia with 3726m above sea level. We hiked all the way to the top in three days.
Gili Air, tropical island off the coast of Lombok with is great for snorkeling and relaxing.
I am still sorting through the Gigabites of photos and videos. Please be patient for the final videos to be edited and uploaded. But they are coming!
This is part 2 of the epic TBS Discovery Pro build. It got a bit delayed because I really wanted to show you the Leistkamm Video before finishing my second quadcopter. But now, back to the Discovery Pro.
After assembling the gimbal and motors and soldering the bottom plate in the TBS Discovery Pro build part 1, I put all the pieces together. It’s relatively straight forward to mount the four arms and red spacers to the bottom plate and then close up the sandwich with the top pcb plate. All the electronics and wiring is integrated into the frame and aside from the gimbal and controller, there are only a few cables connecting to individual parts. During the build I got to appreciate zip-ties for fixing all sorts of things, such as the electronic speed controllers (ESCs) onto the arms and the flight camera to the frame. The last piece I screwed on was the gimbal and it slides from the front.
Wrongly assembled gimbal. The tilt motor should face the other direction. Oooops!
At this point of the build I realized for the first time that something was a bit strange with the gimbal cables. I had to cross them to reach the appropriate connectors on the frame, which seemed a bit like a design flaw. But as it turned out later, I had misassembled the roll axis by 180 degrees, so the pitch motor facing the fpv camera instead of away from it. It took me until after the first power-up to realize this. The crossed cables lead to a second mistake: mixed up roll and pitch motors. The result of this is a hysterically spinning gimbal, rotating constantly as if were fully drunk. After fixing the gimbal orientation and connecting the motors into the correct pitch/roll connector everything was OK. The gimbal was level as expected. Wow, it looked cool!
Fully assembled Discovery Pro
I finished the ‘mechanical’ part of the build by adding more electronics, such as the video transmitter with the 5.8GHz cloverleaf antenna on the front right arm and the FrSky RC receiver X8R in the back on top.
Hiking in Switzerland is great, but it’s even more fun if you bring you quadcopter! Enjoy this great video that I recorded along the hike from Arvenbühl up to the Leistkamm. Music Credits: Phase IV (lo-fi is sci-fi) / CC BY 3.0
For filming I used my stock Phantom quadcopter with a GoPro Hero3. The hike itself starts in Arvenbüel (1273 m) and takes about 2h40 to climb up to Leistkamm (2101 m) and another 2h to get down again. The view along the hike is very rewarding, especially on top where you are standing on a small rim. To the west is Lake Walensee, to the south you are looking along the Churfisten rim, of which Leistkamm is the most Northern one.
Phantom and backpack on top of Leistkamm in Switzerland.
During the hike, I strapped the Phantom outside onto my backpack. Batteries and remote went inside. All in all it’s still pretty light and I can definitely recommend taking the Phantom with you all the time! So, stay tuned for more great videos from FPVblog.com
Today I would like to describe a workflow for natively handling high-frame rate videos with iMovie 11. I use this workflow to create super smooth slow motion scenes from 60fps or 120fps footage recorded with the GoPro. The following method uses iMovie 11 only with original videos straight from the camera. No additional software, plugins or other video pre-processing is needed. The trick is:
Import the videos straight from the camera or sd-card into iMovie 11 through the “Import from Camera…” dialogue.
In the next dialogue I then select Optimize video in Full – Original Size. The import takes quite some time, as the videos are transcoded while being imported. Once finished, the videos can be added to projects (such as 30fps NTSC). Without any additional transcoding the “Slow Motion” settings of the clip use the higher frame rate to make super smooth videos. Example slowdowns are 50% with a 60fps clip or even 25% on a 120fps clip.
iMovies’ Import from Camera dialogue preserves the high frame rate (60 / 120fps) from the GoPro without additional transcoding.
Important: Any other import method will not work properly. The higher frame-rate will be lost if you add the exact same file through the general “Import” function or through the iPhoto library. This must be a bug or accidental feature of iMovie, depending on how you look at it. Have fun!
Soldering iron, screwdrivers, zip ties, loctite 222 (the purple one)
I’ve started with the gimbal assembly, a big puzzle with motors, screws and aluminum parts. The small screws are for the metal parts and some of the short bigger ones (from a separate bag) are for the gimbal motors. The small electronic board was a little bit too big, but after grinding the board on two ends by fractions of a millimeter it fit snugly into the holder. Two tiny little grub screws are used to hold the tilt motor. One is not enough as I had to find out. The cables are attached with zip ties, which have to be attached exactly how the video shows. Otherwise the ends of the zip-ties collided with other parts, preventing the gimbal from turning freely. For the time being I chose the standard red and orange damper configuration. However, this might change as the dampers need to be fine tuned. There are reports of vibrations with the standard setup. All orange seems to be a good option too. I will have to test this out. [Update] The roll axis on my build is 180 degrees wrong and should be flipped around. While the GoPro cage is upright, the dampers are upside down. They should be forward on top and backward on the bottom for a push/pull configuration. [/Update]
Fully assembled gimbal from the front.
Next, I put the gimbal to the side and started with the frame by soldering the ESCs and the battery connector. I started out with a very fine soldering tip but this did not work and I had to mount a fatter soldering tip which could deliver enough heat. This was fairly easy. And I completed the work on the bottom plate with gluing the Naza flight controller with a 3M patch.
Disco Pro ground plate with Naza Light in the center and the dji power unit on the bottom
Last step of the today was assembling the Tiger 900kv motors. I removed all the screws on the prop holders and mounted them with loctite to the top of the motors. Then I found out that short silver screws and the cross piece in the package are not used. Instead the motors are directly bolted onto the arms with screws out of one of the bags. The quality of theses screws however gave me headaches. None of my standard screwdrivers had a tight fit. Finally, I used a hex key to tighten the screws on the arms. I did not use loctite for now, as the arms are plastic. But if they come loose I might have to reconsider this.
That’s all for the first part of my build log of the TBS Discovery Pro. So far I am positively surprised about how everything is designed (minus the screws). The official build video is sometimes a bit too fast and I needed to rewind it many many times. Stay tuned for the next part of the build!
Today, my brand new discovery PRO quadcopter arrived. Hurray! It looks awesome. But have a look yourself!
The TBS Discovery PRO, how it arrived in the box. Plus googles, arms, Naza, etc.
Besides the actual frame kit in the big top left box, I also added goggles, the Naza Light flight controller, arms, props and a 5.8 GHz video link. I’m really blown away by all the beauty. Let’s start the build and get everything assembled and configured!
A sneak peek into the boxes with all the nice little parts. Now the puzzle begins…
Flying multipcopters is booming. Not only do people take incredible pictures and videos on land but also at sea. Today, I would like to share with you this impressive video from a guy who throws his copters overboard:
As you might know I am currently waiting for a new copter to arrive. Even though the Phantom is a lot of fun to fly, the new DISCOVERY PRO is going to be the new big thing. It will not only feature full first-person view capabilities but also an integrated camera gimbal. In order to shorten my wait, here a hilarious unboxing video of a lucky new owner.
This new frame from team blacksheep was released in summer 2013. It improves over their previous model by integrating a two axis gimbal into the frame together with the electronics for video switching, power and gimbal PID control. The frame can be ordered as a kit including propellor motors, ESCs, dji flamewheel arms, a NAZA flight controller and the wireless video transmitter.
As of today the second batch of frames is being shipped to customers. Given the order numbers posted at fpvlab.com, they must be shipping several thousands of these frames at the moment. In order to motivate his packing crew, TBS posted this comment about the video:
Quote by Trappy from TBS:
very funny unboxing video, really well done. I’m going to show this to the lads tomorrow morning, so they know how and where their boxes are being opened
Let’s hope mine is arriving soon, so that I can show you some more nice videos.