New FPV video: “Ukraine”

2016 I got to join the Rotor Riot on a trip to Ukraine. The trip was truly amazing. The guys from UADR (Team Ukraine) were the best hosts you could wish for.

We got to go in to the exclusion zone in Chernobyl and visit the ghost town Pripyat that was evacuated during the nuclear melt down.
We had permission to fly wherever we wanted within the town and we all got great footage. It was amazing to explore this place and drink in the history and scale of this disaster.Continue Reading

Cool project from the forums; Ducted Mini Tricopter

Kevin_eric on the forums is on a mission; To increase performance and efficiency of his Mini Tricopter. He’s doing this by adding 3D printed ducts around the propellers.

His method goes a little like this; 1. Design/modify ducts 2. Test results 3. Evaluate results 4. Go back to 1.

After making 7 revisions of the 5 inch version, the design generates at least the same amount of extra thrust as the ducts weigh. Which is a very promising results.

To achieve better efficiency and more thrust he’s now moving to a 6 inch propeller setup.

But why on earth does ducts generate more thrust from the same power setup? Mainly 2 reasons. When a propeller spins around the airfoil on the propeller creates lift by generating low pressure on the top of the blade. Nature hating differentials the high pressure air on the bottom wants to flow to the top of the blade and equalise the system. This results in a spiral vortex forming at the tip of the blade which induces drag and ruining lift. By adding a shroud/duct with a very small clearance between the propeller and the duct wall the high pressure on the bottom can’t flow to the top which almost completely kills the vortex at the tip of the blade. The second reason for the additional lift is the lip of the duct. This is designed to have a soft edge that rolls over the and down the outside of the duct. In fact it’s shaped like an airfoil! The air being sucked into the propeller rushes past this aerofoil lip, which generates a low pressure zone just like a wing, which we know generates lift! Pretty clever stuff.

Be sure to check out his work in this thread for the 5″ version and this thread for the 6″ version.

Keep up the great work Eric!

What features do you value most in Betaflight?

Lauka the wizard is currently working on implementing the Triflight improvements to Betaflight 3.2. The problem is that Betaflight 3.2 is so jam packed with stuff that it’s filling up the space on F1 and F3 processors.

In order to fit the Triflight stuff something has to go! So make your voice heard! Vote on which features you feel you need from Betaflight right now! Link to the poll here.

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Black Friday Sale!

Black Friday Sale!

This sale is active November 24th until November 27th.

You will receive a discount of 5% if you place products with a value of $60 or more in your cart. The discount is automatically applied and you will be able to see how much you’ve saved at the bottom of the cart.

But it doesn’t end there! You will receive a 10% discount if you order for more than $160, 15% at $260 and a whopping 20% at $400!

A big thank you to all of you that have supported us by buying things from our store. Without you we wouldn’t be able to do what we love.

Update: Big thank you to everyone that bought something during the sale! It really means a lot to us.

New ESC – Aikon AK32, 35A, 6S, 32 bit

Time for an upgrade of ESC’s! The Aikon AK32 will now ship with all electronic packages and will be replacing the Aikon SEMF 30A ESC’s in the store.

Aikon AK32 35A 6S ESC

A bleeding edge ESC running a 32 bit ST32F0 processor. Finally a ESC that uses hardware PWM control for a higher throttle resolution, smoother response and higher RPM ability. Features auto timing for higher efficiency and reliability, PWM frequency up to 48KHz, Voltage/Current limiting and ESC telemetry. It also has automatic detects if you’re running D-shot, OneShot, pwm or Multishot protocols.

Specifications:

Rated for 2S-6S
35A continuous, 45A burst
dimensions 30x18mm

Link to the Aikon AK32 ESC product page

Summer Super Sale!

A little late maybe but it’s finally time for a summer sale!

You will receive a discount of 5% if you place products with a value of $60 or more in your cart. The discount is automatically applied and you will be able to see how much you’ve saved at the bottom of the cart.

But it doesn’t end there! You will receive a 10% discount if you order for more than $160, 15% at $260 and a whopping 20% at $400!

A big thank you to all of you that have supported us by buying things from our store. Without you we wouldn’t be able to do what we love.

Back in business

We are back from our trip to the Faroe Islands and orders will ship as usual again.

The trip was absolutely amazing. A lot of hiking to get to the top of mountains and see great views. I brought a copter with me and did some high speed flying and some pretty sweet dives down vertical cliffs. Unfortunately on one of those dives I managed to block my RF signal and the copter ended up at the bottom of the sea. I do have enough footage to make a video though.

A highlight of the trip was to see the Puffin birds. Really beautiful creatures that only pooped on me thrice. I managed to take some close up pictures with my 135mm lens and they came out great.

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Time to cut another frame and do some experimenting

Upcoming: Short vacation – Delayed shipping and reply-time during June 22nd to July 2nd.

After the traditional Midsummer holiday (June 23rd) we will close down the premises for a short vacation. You can still place orders and/or contact us during this period, but we won’t be able to ship/respond until we open up again on July 3rd.

Orders placed after 09:00 CEST on June 22nd will not be shipped until we get back again, that is they will be shipped July 3rd or 4th. If you place an order before June 22nd, 09:00 CEST, this will be shipped as usual.

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Having problem connecting to cleanflight? Update to triflight 0.7

The incredible Lauka keeps on making amazing improvements to the Triflight code. The latest version is rebased on betaflight and offers all the advantages of the latest betaflight release.

Recently cleanflight also rebased to betaflight (kind of ironic as betaflight was based on cleanflight). This is why the latest cleanflight configurator no longer works with pre 0.7 triflight versions.

We recommend that you now use the betaflight configurator instead of cleanflight to get all the advantages of the code.

You can read more about the improvements of the latest Triflight here

Direct download of the 0.7 hex for flashing; F3FC, Naze32. Other boards are available from the link above.

This is a beta release of the 0.7 firmware. It might have some bugs in it. Please report any problems here

If you wish to use an older version of the Triflight code, you can by downgrading the cleanfligt configurator to a previous version.

Please consider supporting Laukas amazing job on patreon or via PayPal

Some behind the scenes of the RC Tank Battle: Revenge video

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Run forest! Run!

I’m one of those people that can’t fall asleep for about half an hour to an hour after going to bed. One night I got the idea to make another RC tank battle video. The first one was really fun to make and you tend to forget the difficult parts after five years, so you remember it being fun and easy. The seed was planted and I started slowly constructing a story during the many attempts to catch that elusive sleep fairy.

Continue Reading

Lets show our appreciation for the creator of Triflight!

The Finnish mastermind Lauka has spent hundreds of hours since 2015 developing, testing and improving a special firmware for Tricopters. Very few firmwares out there that are optimized for servo control especially for the immensely complex task of yaw control. The symptoms of “normal” firmwares were that it felt like you were fighting a wet eel instead of having a locked in heading, the feeling got stronger the smaller the size of the craft and it was quite the experience trying to do acrobatics or even just flying in a straight line.

Lauka identified the underlying problems and set out to fix them. 28 releases later, we now have phenomenal performance! And the work continues to make it even better.

Lets take a moment to thank Lauka for his incredible work and his contribution to the tricopter family.

If you want to support Lauka in his efforts please consider making a contribution on his Patreon site or via paypal.

To follow along in  the latest developments and helping out with testing, join the discussion on the rcexplorer forum. The next step in the Triflight development is full yaw performance even at 0 throttle!

Also we should thank Bengt-M and leothehuman for helping with the firmware development. Thanks guys!