MISTAKES can be costly, SEVERAL mistakes can be an utter disaster

It was a beautiful day... well, as beautiful as 40 degree weather can be, I wish we were getting those temps now. Anyways... It was a good day to finally test my S500 for the first time with props on. I had done all of the usual pre-test and everything should have been good. As the GIF shows, I plug in the battery and step back to launch. I've learned over the months to hit the throttle with ease on a launch, especially on a new build. As I ease up the stick, it tilts backwards. Some of you may have noticed my mistake already. At least I believe it was the mistake. When I plug in the battery, I tilt the quad forward, and my guess is the gyro recorded that reading as level on power up. Notice when it tries to take off, it tilts in the opposite direction.  I'm not 100% sure that is what the cause was, but I have a strong feeling it was.

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Something in the Works

So I have had this S500 project in the works for about a year now. I didn't have all of the parts so I never got around to working on it much. Finally a few weeks ago, I ordered the parts I needed to complete it. They finally arrived yesterday.

I have gotten everything soldered and mostly setup. I did have one little scare. The main power pads on the PDB were a little confusing, and I soldered my leads incorrectly, causing a big spark and quite a bit of smoke that I can still smell hours later. Luckily the short stopped right there and didn't harm any of the other components. I fixed the problem and I have connected to the software, tested motors, and assigned modes, and everything seems to be fine.

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Taking On New Business!

Most of you know, I design for a living. It helps pay for all my gaming and FPV fun. Unfortunately one of my primary clients has had a bit of a decline in business. This happens often around the holiday season. People spend their money on their friends and family instead of services.

This has prompted me to start taking on design requests again. I gotta pay to play! That being said, below is a basic pricing guide on what I am currently offering.. and if you don't see what you need, don't hesitate to contact me and I am sure we can work something out!

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$149 Cheap 5" Quad Build


I keep saying it.. and now I have started the process! I am building a 5"! Thank you to UAV Futures for his video showing me how affordable this can be done. I made some personal changes from his build, but he got me pointed in the right direction and for only $148.91 my 5" is on the way. Its all coming from Bangood so it will probably all be here just in time for Christmas NEXT year. I am kidding, hopefully it won't take quite that long, but they do have a reputation for slow shipping.

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A Good Rip on a Cloudy Afternoon

Good news! I think I solved all of the problems that were keeping me grounded. The first thing was the VTX. The VTX was mounted so tightly within the frame, that the band/channel button was being inadvertently pressed, causing me to lose video signal. I removed the 3m 2 sided tape holding my VTX to the top frame, and used a small zip tie instead. This provided just enough room, to prevent the sandwiched components from inadvertently changing channels or cutting into wires. Speaking of cut wires. The sandwich effect was also pressing onto my receiver wires hard enough to flatten them and create a short in the connection. I replaced the receiver wires that were damaged from the component sandwich, and rerouted them so that they would not be damaged again.

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A Great December Flight

On the most beautiful December afternoons so far, I managed to get 3 packs ripped without any major issues. It was a lovely 62 degrees outside with a slight breeze. The sun was shining and the sky was calling.

The first couple packs were pretty much flawless. I focused mostly on controlling my craft and less on trying to do tricks. I still thew a roll or a split S in here and there, but mostly just made the quad go where I wanted it to go. At the end of the second flight, I touched down a little early and bounced on the ground. It came back up but almost instantly my video died. Luckily I think I have figured out why my VTX dies for what seems to be no reason. It's my theory that because I have all of my components squished so tightly in between the top and lower frame, any sudden jolt actually presses the channel button, causing me to loose the video altogether. Knowing that is great, but figuring out what to do about is gonna be tough. I am pretty much out of room and can't really move anything around. I will have to open her up and take a look.

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It's Not the Prettiest but its Progress!

So I went out to fly.. as soon as I walked out the door I noticed raindrops on the car windshield. Of Course that didn't stop me I just hurried as quick as I could to the filed, in the light rain, hoping to get in the air before it got worse.

I threw on the first pack and launched into the sky. The rain was still lightly falling and by the time I got to the second pack, it had picked up a little, but the overall flight was a good one. Still quite a bit of video break-up but it was manageable.

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All Systems Go!

We are back! Went out this afternoon and had an amazing flight. The shakes are 100% gone and the ol Shuriken is flying nice. No more low radio signal warnings either. I did have a little interference in my video. Come to find out I was flying on the wrong band, not sure how but this entire flight was using the wrong band.. and if you watch the included video there are some clips from my DVR of the noisy video. I took it pretty easy during the flight.. I pushed it a little but not too much.

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Working Out The Bugs

I got my new VTX in.. I was super excited to get it in the ol Shuriken and put her in the sky. I had to move some components around to squeeze it all in but I got the job done and headed out to the field to try her out. I didn't have a good feeling about it. I probably should have tested it out before hand but I really just wanted to get in the air. I got everything setup and within a couple seconds of the launch the damn thing started having a seizure. It was shaking pretty bad. I flew it around a little, hoping it would clear up, but it didn't. And if that wasn't;t enough I was also getting a low radio signal warning from my Taranis. I knew one of my antennas was a little beat up so that wasn't really a surprise. The shaking on the other hand kind of caught me off guard.

I was kind of confused my first thought was the accelerometer just needed calibrating, but I later recalled the acc didn't have any effect when in acro mode. So I was at a loss. The only thing I could think of was the little soft mounted board labeled IMU, that I moved over to fit my VTX inside the frame. I really wasn't sure what that board did... but I didn't think moving it would be a problem.. I only moved it forward a couple centimeters.

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Waiting on the Mailman is Nerve Racking

Well... with incoming snow and slush, my VTX could not have picked a better time to commit suicide. Today is Monday, it's the first dry and somewhat warm day since its unfortunate incident, and my new VTX is on the way and scheduled to be delivered today. I find myself checking the driveway everytime I hear a car engine, or a door shut, which is quite often, in hopes that the postman will make it here before the sunlight fades. Unfortunately its been my experience that that is seldom ever the case. I will wait anxiously all day, expecting a knock on the door at every half hour, until 30 minutes before sunset, when I finally hear that knock from the man or woman I have been impatiently awaiting, just in time to see the sunlight fade into the incoming darkness.

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A Little LOS Test Flight in the Snow

The snow is melting and the sky is calling...  I havent gotten my VTX yet, but I decided to fly a little line of sight in the snow. Still not 100% confident with my repairs so I took it VERY easy. Just a simple, slow, low altitude flight to give me my flying fix. Obiusly it didn't give me the same thrill as ripping theough the field, but for now it will suffice.

The quad repairs seem to be holding up thus far, but knowing my luck, the day I decide to go out in the field and let her rip, it will fall from the sky to its unfortunate death. My VTX will be here tomorrow so hopefully I will get a chance to really test it out sometime this week.