RC, photos & tech


ReadyMadeRC Polarising Filter on a GoPro3 Black


A real quick look at the effect of using the readymaderc polarising lens protector on a GoPro 3 Black. The filter seems to help balance out the bright light coming from the window with the shadows of the surrounding office. The sky colour also looks a more natural blue.



rctimer brushless gimbal settings for GoPro 3

These are the settings I'm using with "". They seem to work well for me. Sample video from the gimbal on the hex to follow soon.


Brushless-Gimbal-Tool (for v49)_2013-07-16_22-46-28 Brushless-Gimbal-Tool (for v49)_2013-07-16_22-47-07 Brushless-Gimbal-Tool (for v49)_2013-07-16_22-46-58


A GoPro, a gimbal and a hex

The gimbal has been mounted on the F550 hex. Just need to tidy up some wiring, mount a 3S to power the gimbal, find a new spot to mount the new 4S main battery and run a cable to switch the gimbal tilt 90 degrees manually.




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GoPro 3 Waterproof Case Broken Latch.

I broke the latch on my GoPro 3 waterproof case while closing it. A genuine replacement is $50 and a Chinese eBay special is about $35. Seems such a waste when it's just the latch that's broken.
I got in touch with Gopro via their support web page and after emailing them some details and a photo of the broken latch, they've shipped a replacement latch to me under warranty (no charge).
I guarantee we'll see latches available to buy separately in the shops or on eBay soon.


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GoPro Hero 2 firmware downgrade to v124

After applying the latest firmware update to enable Protune mode I encountered a number of problems;

  1. Occasionally on startup the camera would hang showing the video icon and nothing else.
  2. In Protune video mode, the camera would not create a second video file after reaching a maximum file size of 1.85GB on the first file.
  3. Startup would take noticeably longer.

I've since downgraded the firmware back to the original version available to download here

After the firmware downgrade I had my reliable old camera back.

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Flips & Rolls with the Naza F450 Quad

This video shows my first loops and rolls with the DJI Naza F450 Quad. I did at least one in every direction (left, right, forwards and backwards). The entire flight was flown via FPV which I found much easier for these moves. Flying line of sight at this height and distance makes it hard to maintain orientation.

A guy that started flying the F450 about the same time as me told me how he tried to roll it, it got half way and dived into the ground. Broke an arm or two and some props. Thanks to the well thought out F450 frame, he was back up and running in no time but after hearing such a tale I was a bit apprehensive to try it myself..... until now. With my FPV gear up and running it's much easier to gain a lot of height and maintain orientation. 

The setup is a stock F450 quad with 8" props and 4S battery (4000mAh on this flight). Other than the gain settings as described here (, there's not much to it. Gain plenty of height and bang the stick over. I can see how if the gains were set too low, the roll rate might not be quick enough to complete the roll without losing too much height. 



New GoPro Mount for the DJI F450 Quad

I used the DJI F450 Quad and GoPro v1 to take some photos of a house under construction but found with the GoPro mounted flat on the front tab of the frame, most of the photos were angled too high and showed plenty of the roof of the house but not much more. Also the props were quite prominent in the photos and video. i needed something to angle the GoPro towards the ground but I didn't want to mount the GoPro hanging beneath the frame.

Easy solution, buy one of these . But I prefer to make things where I can so I bought some 3mm perspex from bunnings, cut a 7 x 4 cm square, heated it with a mini blowtorch for the bend and Bob's your uncle, a new GoPro mount.

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4S 5000mAh on the Naza Quad

I threw the 4S 5000mAh battery on the DJI Naza F450 Flamewheel quad. I expected the battery might be a bit too heavy weighing in at 530gr plus the weight of the GoPro camera plus EagleTree Logger, EagleTree GPS and the DJI GPS, the Flamewheel has put on a bit of weight since it's maiden flight. I'll have to weigh all those parts and see what they contribute to the all up weight.

I was pleasantly surprised at the climb rate even with a half kilo battery onboard. The EagleTree log shows I flew for around 16 minutes of fairly sedate hovering with six ascents to high altitude.

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Stabilise Filter Example – Telstra Tower


On the left is the original footage from the DJI Naza F450 GoPro. On the right is the "stabilised" version. By uploading the original to YouTube, applying the stabilise, then downloading the MP4 and running it back through YouTube you're able to see a side by side comparison. 

The stabilised filter has some funny side effects where it appears as though the video is suddenly zoomed in and out. The blurriness of the RHS probably isn't a fair representation because that side has been uploaded, compressed, and downloaded.

The process does crop the video slightly and uses the edges as a buffer to remove the sudden  movements from side to side or up and down. 

The videos are in pretty good time sync but you may notice the RHS looks like it's behind the LHS. This lag is due to the smoothing effect of the filter and sudden movements take a little bit more time to catch-up with the RHS.

I've since changed the mount that the GoPro uses and without any post-processing the video is quite smooth. It will be interesting to see how smooth a video would look from the new mount after applying the stabilise filter.

Overall for this type of video, the stabilise filter does a pretty good job.



EagleTree Logger V4 on the DJI Naza F450

The first full flight with the EagleTree Logger v4 running on the DJI Naza F450 with GPS. The first 140 seconds show little activity while I plug things in and wait for GPS lock. When I eventually takeoff with a 4S 2200 Nano-tech LiPo, the voltage drops to 15.4 Volts and within 40 seconds drops down to 14.8 Volts as you'd expect from a 4S battery. It seems to hold the voltage fairly well throughout the flight keeping in mind it was fairly sedate backyard hovering with the GoPro onboard and recording. The voltage seems to start decling quickly after about 500 seconds where there's a few spikes in current and corresponding drops in voltage where I did a few short sharp rapid ascents with the throttle wide open. At about 670 seconds, the voltage drops too far and the second level protection kicks in where the Naza automatically descends. For my liking, it descends too rapidly but I'm not sure if that might be the result of setting the second level voltage protection level too low so there's nothing left in the pack to land safely. I wonder if I up the Voltage level, will the descent be more controlled when the Naza takes over.

I got about 2,000 mA out of the 2,200 pack which seems fairly good. The quad is loaded up with a GoPro, Naza GPS, Eagletree logger and Eagletree GPS so it's carrying a little more weight than usual. 8.5 minutes hover time seems pretty good I reckon. Average current draw with the 8" props is around 13 amps with a peak at 24.5. The 30Amp ESCs should be more than comfortable to handle that load.

This was the second flight with the DJI Naza GPS and all went well. There's been many rumours floating around the forums that the GPS doesn't work so well in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) and after my first flight I was worried they were right. During that flight, whenver I activated GPS mode the Quad would veer off to the left and never recover. After entering the X,Y,Z co-ordinates in the software configuration and mounting the GPS on the stick, it works great. At most the drift was maybe 1 meter but most of the time it seemed to hold position withing bout 30-50cm.

Next mission - Test the Return to Home (RTH) feature. I'll need a bit more space than the backyard though because it's supposed to ascend 20 meters, return to base, then land. Need to make sure there's no trees in the way. At the moment, the only way I have to trigger failsafe mode is to switch off my transmitter. That could be a bit nerve racking. In all my years of RC flying, I've never deliberately (or accidentally) switched off my Tx in mid-flight. I might have to make sure to have the video camera recording that one.


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