It flies.

Long story to this one, but I only have the last part, so will just tell you about that part of it.

While in Australia, we got talking about drones with Gary and Dan. Drones are more Gary’s thing, but Dan is happy to go along for the ride, regardless, when the three of us get to tell stories about our drone days, it’s never a dull time…. When I heard the story about a drone taking a chunk out of Gary’s dining table, my attention was peaked…. Where was said drone?
It was in the corner of bad drone shame…. Had been sitting there for some time. Gary was not sure it was safe to let out. Stupid or smart, he gifted it to me with stern warnings about its unruly behaviour and generally bad table manners.
Figuring it was up for a full rebuild, I just hastily stripped it and stuffed it in my luggage for the trip home. (Sorry, no photo for some sad reason).

Finally got some time on it just before Terry came home for Spring break.
The plan was to prep it for Terrys arrival. He is a whiz at programming the transmitter we use (I wisely purchased the exact same model transmitter for this exact reason), I am better on the drone side of things (for now, he is catching up).
Will do another blog on how to get Windows 10 to talk to the flight controller on the drone, but enough to say, glad I started a few days before Terry arrived.
Updated the firmware on the drone and was ready for the boy.

We only had evenings together after work – when I am never at my worn out best – but came home and checked his work on the programming, agreed it looked the business and so put some propellers on and took it out into the back yard.

I could be wrong, but this first flight seems to match the bad table manners flight description pretty closely.
Back to the drone room.

Re-checked and re-calibrated the flight controller after tweaking a few settings.
We also re-calibrated the electronic speed controllers. There are 4, one on each motor and they need to know (and all agree) both 0% and 100% throttle range from the transmitter and flight controller.

It’s a stretch to call it actually flying… but eh, we will take anything we can get at this stage…. In other words, any flight that does not break propellers is a good one?

Two issues. Firstly, the test pilot is still getting his head around how the DJI flight controller manages throttle. Terry’s drones take stick down to be ‘zero’, this drone thinks ‘zero’ at 50% stick. He’s getting his head around this while test flying an unknown and uncontrollable drone, happy to cut him some slack.
The second issue is that some controls are reversed, but we don’t know that for sure just yet.

The fact that it flew into the garden turned out to be helpful.
It tipped us off to the fact that two of the controls were reversed.
We are also getting our heads around the different flight modes that the drone has pre-programmed (GPS, Alti and Manual).
We are also slowly memorizing the LED flash codes before and during flight. This is helpful because it is the only window into the status of the flight controller. (DJI Naza-M v1).

Actual controlled flight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We did not film it, but after this flight, I put a pack through in the back yard. Loved it.
Super twitchy, very powerful and fast drone, but we got the little sucker sorted and that’s the main thing.

So, Thanks Gary. Sorry you are out a drone, but your Phantom 4 is more your thing, so I don’t feel too bad for taking this one off your hands.

Terry and I had a great time working on it together and we look forward to flying it more often now that summer is on the way.


2 Responses to It flies.

  1. Hahah, yeah, you got me on that one Gary… That IS a lot of skill.

  2. It still takes more skill to fly the thing inside into the wife’s favorite dining table, miss seriuosly injuring one of your children by mere inches, have flames coming from the motors and still allowed to buy another drone. That takes some doing.

    Anyway, congrats on getting it flying again and I’m glad it is soo far away.