Helicopter for transporting the film crew

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!

Continue reading

Rendering of the TBs Gemini.

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

Continue reading

Zaggometry telemetry adapter: capable of reading the NAZA GPS and onboard voltage.

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).

Continue reading

openTX Companion

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.

Continue reading

Gallery: 2nd TBS Discovery Pro build


The image gallery of the first build can be found here.

The skyline of Zurich with the Bellevue bridge in front and the Limmat and churches in the background.

Spring in Zurich

Today was a beautiful warm spring day and I decided to do what all the people from Zurich are doing, going down to the lake. While the promenade was severely crowded, I had the sky all for myself ;)

The skyline of Zurich with the Bellevue bridge and the Limmat in spring 2014.
The skyline of Zurich with the Bellevue bridge and the Limmat in spring 2014.
The newly redesigned Sechseläuten square in Zurich with the opera house in the background.
The newly redesigned Sechseläuten square in Zurich with the opera house in the background.

[twoclick_buttons]

Broken main board, video TX antenna and GPS controller after a crash.

Nomen est omen: Crashpilot

Well, well, we all knew it had to happen. One of my copters crashed. It fell out of the sky, more then 30m onto asphalt. It looked really horrible. The Disco scattered into peaces, it had a totally broken frame with many damaged parts lying around. I could salvage a few pieces from the debris, but I will need to rebuild a new copter from scratch.

Some recovered parts after a crash. The copter fell apart, lost one arm and scattered into peaces.
Some recovered parts after a crash. The copter fell apart, lost one arm and scattered into peaces.

Luckily nobody got injured and nothing on the ground got damaged. So the worst thing is, that I don’t fully know why it happened. It could have been the almost empty battery, but I could also have been the camera controller board flying into the propellor. I guess I need to do more tests once I have rebuilt  my Discovery.  I just hoped I would not have to build a second Discovery Pro so soon again :(