Friday, November 18, 2016

FPV Quad Racing

The quad copter scene has evolved at quite a rapid pace since I first discovered a website a few years ago called DIY Drones. They now have 32-bit microprocessors with the math co-processor.... tiny sensors not much bigger than a pinhead that provide 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, and 3 axis magnetometer or compass. The software that controls the copter and software tools for adjusting the myriad of settings that control just how rad your copter can fly is state of the art and supported by a huge number of folks that are always improving how it works.

First person view or FPV as it is referred to... is one of the more popular aspects of quad copter or drone flying where there is a camera on board that transmits video back real time and you fly the copter wearing goggles where you see only what the camera sees. It is a bit like virtual reality and you feel that you are actually in the copter flying it. Some of the flying is only possible with the goggles as they fly in places you could not possibly fly otherwise.

The popularity of this type flying has become pretty big and there are a huge number of youtube videos to prove it. I bought a used 250 size copter at the fall all electric fly in down in Woodruff. The 250 means 250mm between the props centers... so they are pretty small and pretty beefy as well... they have to be because this type of flying usually involves all too close encounters with the ground, trees, other copters, often with no damage other than a broken prop. Mine does not have the add ons needed for FPV flying but probably just a matter of time before I bite the bullet and go whole hog. Below is a video shot at an ad hoc  race site.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Moss Monster of Portland

I did encounter a moss monster in my son's back yard..... This was not really planned... This tree limb had a teardrop piece of moss growing on it and I took a couple of pics... when switching between them it looked like motion... my son and his friends are all apple folks and the latest thing on apple phones is animated gifs that you can send in text messages. Funny things come full circle... animated gifs are from the early low bandwidth days of the internet and were a way of having motion pictures that were not really video. There are sites online where you can build your own if you have a set of pics you want to animate.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sneads Ferry

If you've never been to the NC coast around the New Bern, Oriental area you owe it to yourself to visit there. It has so much personality and charm that you will be compelled to explore the area. I recently visited there to check out some sailboats with the intention of keeping it in the area and spend some quality time sailing and exploring the Pamlico Sound... a huge protected sailing area with so many places to check out... I shot this video at Swan Point... a marina at Sneads Ferry that is a handyman kind of place... you can live aboard your boat... even if its sitting on the ground... or on the hard and it is normally referred to. It is unedited... save adding some music... just wanted to get it online while I was there. It was pretty toasty when I was there... looking to revisit in October.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A New Copter

I've been piddling with scratch built quad copters and tri copters for several years now... the off the shelf versions have come down in price so much and up in sophistication that I broke down and got one. Looking at this pic it reminds of one of the war bots in Star Wars... the three axis gimbal mount looks like a gun turret.

It transmits HD video back to the controller via a 5.8 G wifi connection... you can also see the video real time on your smart phone.  it records 1920 x 1080 mp4 video on a micro SD card that plugs into the camera. It has GPS in both the copter and the controller so it can do some quite amazing things like follow me... look at me... as well as a more normal flying mode with GPS position hold.... here's a little video I shot nearby at USC Upstate.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Out and About

I just got a potters wheel and fixer upper kiln and already turned out some warm up pieces. I was looking online for some vase forms and found quite a few interesting sites... some pottery... some not... here's one of the nots.