Category: News

Devention Devo 6 Update adds telemetry without hardware modification

Devention Devo 6 Update adds telemetry without hardware modification

March 3, 2012 17:22 | By | Add a Comment

The Devention Devo 6 Transmitter supports Telemetry out of the box. All you need to do is apply the latest upgrade by Walkera and bind to a compatible receiver with telemetry support, like the one built into the Mini-CP.

Bonus: The Mini-CP has the exact same flight setup as the Genius-CP, so you can just copy your existing model and pretty much fly right away.

Walkera USB Software Update Utility

Devo 6 Firmware v0.3/0.2

 

 

2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

January 11, 2012 14:19 | By | 14 Comments

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all the multirotor controller boards and units out there. While the level of sophistication is increasing with most of these offerings, some are just open-source projects rebranded and sold under a different name. Here are some of the more interesting offerings at the moment which are either extremely sophisticated, or come at a price that makes it easy to get into this hobby.

 

 

DJI Wookong

http://www.dji-innovations.com/minisite/index_en.html

Source: $1099 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Wookong is probably the most expensive, and the most complete package out there. This is not only a mere multicopter controller with three gyros. It also incorporates S-Bus compatibility, GPS for position-hold, return home and other nifty functions. At a price of just over $1000 it does not come cheap. However, by adding a data downlink transmitter (=another 300-400 bucks) and using the supplied PC based flight control software you essentially get a turnkey drone system. A quad or tricopter can be built or bought for under $100 these days, and a sub-2000 dollar pricetag for a drone system that is easy to set up and lets you place waypoints on a screen is pretty damn good. Yes there’s the open source Paparazzi project, but that’s far from easy to get to work.

 

 

DJI NAZA

http://www.dji-hobby.com/naza/index_en.html

Source: $238 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Naza is the low-cost alternative for those of us who don’t need PC control, GPS and all that. At a price of over $200 it is more expensive than the open source counterparts, but it does offer S-Bus compatibility as well as a 2-axis gimbal output for stabilizing camera mounts, and comes with documentation, software and upgrade capabilities.

 

 

Bumblebee

Source: $186 at Goodluckbuy

The Bumblebee controller looks very much like the NAZA, and for a good reason: It’s essentially a stripped down OEM version without S-Bus support and gimbal output. It also only supports quadcopters.

 

 

XAircraft FC1212-S

http://www.xaircraft.com

Source: $150 at Goodluckbuy

The FC1212-S from XAircraft is part of a modular system similar to DJI. In addition to support for an external GPS module and other features, the FC1212 features a 3-axis camera gimbal stabilization output AND a camera shutter output. It should be noted that a high-quality 3-axis gimbal mount will cost you another $300 dollars, but for that you get the best possible camera stabilization.

 

 

Rabbit Flight Controller

Source: $90 at Goodluckbuy

The back says “Love it” and it sounds rather unconvincing. The board features 3-axis accelerometers in addition to the 3-axis gyros, and supports 4, 6 and 8 rotor craft. It supposedly also supports return-home via a GPS addon, but there’s only a flimsy pdf manual, and the included software is not fully translated to english.

The Rabbit software, note the weird button labels...

We have tested the Rabbit flight controller, check our Review for more information!

 

 

FF Free Flight Controller

Source: $50 at Goodluckbuy

The cheapest offering is also one of the best: 3 axis gyro + 3 axis accelerometer, 2 axis camera stabilization, solid PC software, firmware upgrades, and manuals in english and french language. Only drawback: It only supports quadcopters.

On the other hand, you can get the IFLY-4 folding quadcopter kit including this controller for under $200 right here, including the quadcopter frame, 4x 1200kv motors, 4x 12A ESCs, the FF controller and a no-soldering ESC connector board. Even the props are already included.

 

In conclusion, all of these controllers are suitable for FPV flight, and most boards offer stabilization output for creating smooth and stabilized action footage with your DSLR or GoPro HD. Note that it’s not advisable to mount the FPV camera itself onto the gimbal, unless you’re used to flying with a stabilized camera – it’s very difficult to judge your relative motion if you don’t “see” what angle the craft is at.

While a self-made quadcopter was a novelty in 2009, it’s safe to say that the sky will be buzzing with the little buggers in 2012.

KKMulticopter board for $33

KKMulticopter board for $33

September 10, 2011 10:24 | By | Add a Comment

Thinking of buying a KK Multicopter board? While the current sale price over at http://www.kkmulticopter.com is 75 GPP ($120 USD), Goodluckbuy is currently selling the very same board for a mere 33 bucks.

 

This offer even includes the USB programmer…

The KK Board itself without the programmer is available for $25. And to make things even more interesting, worldwide shipping is free (even though it may well take some 2-3 weeks to arrive)

(Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement)

Hobbyking listens, updates Smart6 charger

Hobbyking listens, updates Smart6 charger

July 19, 2011 20:10 | By | Add a Comment

In our Smart6 Review we complained about some bad PCB layout decisions and build quality issues in what’s otherwise a very good balancing charger. Hobbyking has obviously watched our youtube video (which was posted a few months ago) because not only did they fix both the fan connector and the keyboard connector, but they now also make the annoying buzzer shut up with some hot glue.

The revised PCB has all our complaints fixed: Proper connectors for fan and keyboard, and the buzzer is not painfully loud anymore

We’ve updated our review accordingly. Thumbs up to Hobbyking for listening and acting!

FPV Central launched

FPV Central launched

July 13, 2011 11:51 | By | Add a Comment

Hello and welcome to FPV Central!

We’re aiming to provide you with a stable and trustworthy source for news and reviews about the wonderful hobby of FPV flying. We’ll be examining both general RC gear and gadgets as well as FPV systems and components, from camera modules to transmitters, video goggles and On Screen Display systems.

We intend to bring you more in-depth reviews than the usual “seems to work okay”-stuff. Flying a model plane or helicopter from the cockpit perspective is a subject with lots of question marks, and you can easily burn though hundreds of dollars before finding out that what was advertised as FPV system is not really up to the task.

We want to take out some of the guesswork and give you a good, balanced and honest coverage of the products on the market. If something’s a piece of crap, we will let you know!

We’re still getting settled in right now, but expect more content and especially the first detailed reviews here soon!

Upcoming reviews

Upcoming reviews

July 13, 2011 9:00 | By | Add a Comment

There’s a number of reviews being prepared right now. For starters, we will compare the famous FatShark FPV goggles with some non-brand and cheaper competition. Suffice to say that there are a few surprises there!
Furthermore, there’s been a slew of new chargers that we’ll cover, as well as various FPV cameras. We will establish a standard comparison process that will allow you to visually compare the quality of the camera picture, among other things.

Finally there’s a number of HowTo’s on the way, for example a build and wiring instruction for an all-in-one FPV camera pod that can be easily removed and attached to different airframes.

Stay tuned!