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UNREAD_POSTby Spoonboy » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:41 am

Hi all, just thought I'd share this.

Recently bought a quadcopter, a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0.
I've been having a lot of fun with it. Its nimble, simple to fly (controlled with your smartphone), and it'll take punishment when you crash it (and you will!).
It flies via it's own wifi, received by the phone, and shoots video and stills.

There are numerous mods you can apply (see attached pics).
Good early projects have been cable-tie landing gear and swivel mounts for the camera (mine is made from LEGO; simpler but heavier metal ones are available).
There are some great videos online that helped my research. Most useful has been a youtube channel from a guy called Kyle Tarpley is the US. He also has a store selling spare parts, mods and extras.

The main reason I got it was to see things from a different point of view.
To see familiar objects from the air using a craft you control is enlightening, and I can highly recommend it :)
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Re: Quadcopter

UNREAD_POSTby desktopsimmer » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:50 pm

I've got a AR Parrot V1. I've got one app that is pretty cool.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/astro-d ... 77649?mt=8
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Re: Quadcopter

UNREAD_POSTby tomwatts » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:26 pm

I've also got the version 1 AR.Drone, and it's absolutely fantastic.

Like you said, seeing things from several metres above the ground is very interesting, we live on the edge of a rural village so you can fly it up really quite high without worrying about hitting anything. From the heights it gets up to you get really stunning views, even thought the camera on the version 1 drone isn't HD (by a long way :)).

My favourite control app doesn't seem to be on the AppStore any more unfortunately, but it's called FlightRecord. It seems a pretty lightweight app, and the drone seems more responsive when using that app compared to some of the others that I've tried, though that may just be my imagination.

Here's a video of a nice high flight I did a couple of years ago. I assume that the readout from the altimeter just gives 2.3m once it's above a certain height, I'm pretty sure that is higher than it says!
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Re: Quadcopter

UNREAD_POSTby Elefant » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:15 pm

I like your countryside, Tom.
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Re: Quadcopter

UNREAD_POSTby Spoonboy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:29 am

That looked great Tom :)

I'm on Android. There seems to be less choice of control apps out there, but I'm trying AR.Pro atm.
It's a lot more featured than the stock app. More flexibility in setting flight parameters, you can test run motors individually (useful for checking when you've bent a prop shaft), and it supports Combined Yaw manoeuvres, so rolling left/right also turns the nose that direction too. Makes turns easier and seem a bit more natural. It's a shame the stock app doesn't support this, as I prefer its layout to AR.Pro, which can feel a but 'flakey'.

The camera swivel mod I applied is useful for these high flights, as it gives a better view of the landscape and cuts out a lot of the sky, which can confuse the sensor into darkening the picture too much.

I fly with the indoor hull mostly. Mainly because I prefer the look of it, but it also provides slightly more crash resistance!
I'm chewing through a lot of spare prop shafts, they bend easily. If you get more, I recommend against the cheap options shipping from China; they are fractionally thinner than the official Parrot shafts, so don't fit as well. This means they wiggle, making the drone less stable.

Great fun - I'll post some videos if I'm able to do this direct from my phone? Haven't put them on YouTube as yet.
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