Author Archive: fpvcentral

FPVCentral is a private, independent news and review site for all things related to First Person View RC model flight. Covering everything from hobby, commercial and military drones, RC models and electronics related to FPV flight, we are not sponsored by any manufacturer or affiliated with any company or project.

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Eric Schmidt calls for state to take “mini drones” out of civilian hands

Eric Schmidt calls for state to take “mini drones” out of civilian hands

April 15, 2013 9:28 | By | Add a Comment

Google’s head honcho, Eric Schmidt, recently gave an interview for the Guardian, in which he urged lawmakers to regulate what he called “mini-drones”.

“How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”

He also mentioned the alleged risk of terrorist attacks using homemade drones, saying “it’s got to be regulated”.

What we are seeing is a typical call for a ban of the tool. Invasion of privacy and attacking other people is already well covered in most country’s law. The problem is that such calls for regulation contain two grave errors in reasoning: One, the assumption that powerful tools should only be in the hand of the state instead of the individual is a flawed one, since states aren’t immune to misuse of power, and have in fact always been biggest mis-user of weapons, for example. Two, regulation of “mini-drones” will kill RC model flight, while potential terrorists and other lawbreakers will… break these laws.

To hear such simple-minded arguments and calls for bans from Eric Schmidt of all people is pretty alarming.

Source: Slashgear

(Photography: Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0)

Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

April 3, 2013 20:04 | By | Add a Comment

This is really rather cool: The “Micro Mini Quadcopter” out now for $55 on GLB rocks a puny Atmega328p, but also the excellent MPU6050 gyro/accelerometer. The board comes pre-programmed with an unknown version of multiwii (probably 2.1-ish) but there’s FTDI connectors for easy flashing. A 1S 350mAh LiPo supplies power, the even connector works fine for the default Walkera plug. You bring your own receiver, and probably solder on the individual channels too.

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GPS, although not supported officially, is probably possible. However, with a total weight of 17 grams sans battery you’ll have to find a damn small GPS module, fiddle with the board layout/processor pins, and use the latest SVN head of MultiWii 2.2 to cram all that into the little Atmega328p. What you definitely can do is slap a Bluetooth module on this, and heck, even enable Bluetooth remote control.

The little quadcopter that could was already on sale some time ago, however this time it comes with a better sensor, nice machined landing skids and a new price.

So yeah, this is a toy. You can do worse than spending $55 on this upgradeable little quadcopter though.

Rabbit 2: Rabbit tries it again

Rabbit 2: Rabbit tries it again

April 2, 2013 13:41 | By | Add a Comment

Remember the Rabbit flight controller? The one that violated the open source license of MultiWii while claiming they did it all by themselves? They’re back for more – more of your money, that is. Check out what $120 (on Goodluckbuy) will get you from them after the break.

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FPV Playground

March 25, 2013 16:13 | By | 1 Comment

Always nice to see people taking an unusual location and transform it into a challenge for FPV flying.

 

FPVCentral.net in new, mobile-friendly design

FPVCentral.net in new, mobile-friendly design

March 22, 2013 15:28 | By | Add a Comment

FPV Central now comes in a sleek new design that is responsive and scales smoothly to whatever device you are using to access it. We’ve also changed our article format a bit and made the individual news and article postings more pleasant to look at and read. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Crius All In One Pro Review

Crius All In One Pro Review

March 18, 2013 15:38 | By | 7 Comments

With MultiWii 2.2 out and advanced features like waypoint navigation becoming really usable on this platform, versatile flight controllers become more and more important. But is the Crius AIO Pro a solid choice, or should you keep your distance? Find out in our review after the break!

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Crius All In One Pro GPS Howto – Updated for MW2.2

Crius All In One Pro GPS Howto – Updated for MW2.2

March 17, 2013 0:38 | By | 9 Comments

The Crius AIO promises loads of functionality with its many ports. But how do you hook up that GPS module anyway? We’ll show you how in this updated MultiWii 2.2 tutorial. Things are substantially easier with the new version, read on after the break.

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MultiWii 2.2 Released

MultiWii 2.2 Released

March 16, 2013 14:52 | By | Add a Comment

MultiWii 2.2 is now available for download from the project’s Google Code site. This is a major update that boasts greatly improved GPS support (incl. native ublox GPS support, no more manually setting baud rate and GPS update speed!) , new flight modes, improved stability, as well as a redesigned ground station software. Want to do waypoint-navigation via google maps on your mobile phone? This is the way to get there without breaking the bank.

Full changelog after the break.

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HD FPV is possible today, for a price

HD FPV is possible today, for a price

March 13, 2013 12:27 | By | Add a Comment

Yearning for that HD FPV experience but don’t know how to transmit the video back from the plane? Boxx TV offers a HD video transmission system, the Zenith, for a pretty penny. For over $5000 this is probably not going to be within reach of the FPV hobbyist, luckily there are alternatives. Around $3000 will get you the MicroraptorHD, a 1W transmitter capable of transmitting between 1GHz and 6GHz.

Still too expensive? In that case, the Wireless HD Dev Kit can be yours for just $925.

Bottom line: HD FPV is definitely possible, but it hasn’t quite reached the hobbyist price point yet.

RCExplorer sends FPV Funjet into Space

RCExplorer sends FPV Funjet into Space

March 12, 2013 16:15 | By | Add a Comment

David from RCExplorer.se is always a good address for interesting projects that push boundaries. This time they sent a modified Multiplex FunJet into space via weather ballon, and then piloted it back to the ground via a 1.2GHz FPV link.

Not all went well however, as David explains they lost almost all the build pictures, their ground recording equipment stopped a few minutes into the ascent, and a cable on their receiver broke just while the balloon was nearing the burst point, which is why they were unable to sever the cable to the balloon before it popped.

Regardless of the difficulties, there’s still plenty of awesome imagery and detail in his writeup and the annotated video. For example, one might not know to remove the grease from your servos to avoid the grease freezing – unless you watched his video!

 

 

HefnyCopter Firmware 0.9.6 for KK2 released

HefnyCopter Firmware 0.9.6 for KK2 released

March 11, 2013 16:59 | By | Add a Comment

Do you like the KK2 controller, but wish it had support for telemetry and altitude hold? Hefny’s latest alternate firmware is here to serve. All the details after the break.

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High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 1: The Shopping List

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 1: The Shopping List

March 11, 2013 14:11 | By | 95 Comments

We’re giving you a step-by-step guide on building your own $120 high-performance super-stable quadcopter! This is part 1 of a new series, so dive in!

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Hobbyking selling iMaxRC X200 for half the price

Hobbyking selling iMaxRC X200 for half the price

March 7, 2013 11:45 | By | Add a Comment

Remember the cool-looking-but-pricy X200 charger? Hobbyking is now selling the very same device under their brand for less than 90 bucks, a little more than half the previously circulated price. The technical data is identical, as are the benefits (UI) and drawbacks (external connector box with proprietary plug).

Still, $90 is a much more sensible price and one where a lot of RC enthusiasts are likely to spend a little extra for a fancy color screen instead of buying a plain four-button charger with the same power.

RC flying threatened by laws across the globe

RC flying threatened by laws across the globe

February 25, 2013 15:19 | By | 4 Comments

FPV and RC model flying as a hobby are under attack by new legislation which is being introduced around the globe right now. Read up on some examples and draft proposals after the break.

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iMaxRC X200 Touchscreen Charger

iMaxRC X200 Touchscreen Charger

February 11, 2013 12:03 | By | 2 Comments

200W for 150 bucks doesn’t sound like a steal, but the X200 charger tries to soften the blow with a fancy touchscreen user interface. Read up for more pictures and details!
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