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Old November 11th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #16
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

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Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
Do the manufacturers publish tables to allow determination of load capability when density altitude is taken into account? For instance your quad can't carry as much on a hot day (2000 DA) vs. a normal day (0 DA), or you can't carry as much in Denver as you can in Miami when it's the same temperature outside.
Nope. No operational charts like that. Especially since each helicopter has its own unique characteristics due to differences in components used and variations in setup.

There is a chart that someone put together that provides a rough idea of what a given rotor span can be expected to lift. And there's also a set of guidelines that suggest how many watts is needed to lift a given amount of weight for a multi-rotor design.

The only way to really know is to do your own flight tests and plot out the data points.

It's how some people know how long they can fly. They'll run the helicopter through its paces for a few minutes, then put the battery on a charger. The charger will then tell them how many amps were put back in.

It's the same way you determine fuel efficiency on a car. When you know how many amps were drawn and the time of the flight, you'll know how many amps per minute is burned, and how long you can run on a given battery until you get down to a floor of 20% capacity.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #17
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

I got the Drone yesterday and so far, it's still grounded and I'm pulling my hair out.
I have an Android and there is an app for it. My Android doesn't even see it though...so I bought an Ipad today. I wanted one anyway to review video in the field, make notes and misc stuff. It works on every router in town...except mine.

I'm expecting a long night!

Tomorrow, I'll install the Drone App, upgrade the firmware and by the grace of God, get it flying.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #18
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Flew it and love it. Now I have to experiment with mounting the GoPro. I'd love to mount it on the bottom if I can keep it clear of the sensors.

Velcro time.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #19
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

I have been toying with the idea of a quad-coptor for a while but have been reluctant to spend too much. However the new GoPro Hero HD 2 looks like a great camera to put on the Parrot AR.Drone. Most of the videos I have seen using this setup are pretty useless for professional video as the rotors are always in view as the cameras have been mounted on top. There are however mounts that sling the camera underneath & give a clear field of view. There are other extras available too like a 'proper' R/C transmitter rather than an iPhone. Check out this video where the guy talks through the options & shows some pretty decent aerial footage shot with the previous version of the GoPro camera. It looks pretty stable but there is a fair amount of 'jello'-cam.

I sat down with my financial controller today looking over the above videos & she has authorised me to go ahead with the purchase of a Parrot AR.Drone, GoPro Hero HD 2 & camera mount so hopefully we will be able to swap experiences soon.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; November 15th, 2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #20
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

I'm experimenting with a mount I made out of carbon fiber that mounts it under and slightly back of sensors.

Not an easy mount to keep steady.

The battery mount is OK as long a you're not shooting wide, that's when you get the props.
You do need to tilt hard to get the ground shots though.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #21
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

I've watched that video a couple of times Nigel and I'm on several boards with Chad. He's primarily an audio person but he's also nitpickey about details...so, if he's happy with it, it's probably pretty much top notch.

I went ahead and ordered the mount.

Getting reasonably competent at flying the thing is enough without fretting about experimental mounts.

What's another hundred bucks....I ordered the landing gear to.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #22
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Helicopters models or real ones fly in the same way bricks don't - how anyone keeps one in the air is beyond me. I got given a largish one that I figured would easily hold a gopro and got excited.

Read some books, learned how helicopters stay in the sky, and took it to a large field near my house. probably 200 yards square, with a single tree right on the corner, well away from the centre. I got it wobbly, about two feet off the ground, so have it a little more welly, and it hurtled off, smacked straight into the tree and smashed itself to bits. After two weeks, replacement parts arrive, and I try again - and this time smash it straight into the ground. Three weeks later I had my one and only real helicopter lesson - a trial flight and demonstrated by total lack of coordination. Far too many "I have control" comments from the instructor - who described me as "not being a natural" and "displayed a lack of coordination and spatial awareness".

So anyone who gets pictures from a helicopter is a genius in my opinion.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #23
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

By all accounts model helicopters are just as difficult to fly as real ones. The multi-rotor coptors are entirely different. They are intrinsically more stable as they are not trying to turn circles around the main rotor (that's what the tail rotor is preventing). There has also been some clever auto-pilot software developed that keeps them flying level & even hooks in with GPS so that they can be set to hover at particular co-ordinates & execute perfect return to base commands.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #24
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

DJI is releasing a new Quad in a couple days... should be a very nice platform for the GoPro... its going to be called the Naza F450

DJI Innovations - Wookong Multi-Rotor

I'm hearing around $500 ready to fly...

They are also getting ready to release new software for Waypoint flight.. via google earth 3d maps... you just show it where to go and take footage, then it comes back and lands for you... of course that software is mega
$$$
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Old November 15th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #25
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Almost forgot... ritewing is also releasing a new craft in the next week or two... its called the ZII.. purpose built for the GoPro... super setup with the carbon fibre covering on the craft...

here's the info on it... price for craft $130...

New molded Ritewing Zephyr II
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Old November 18th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #26
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Both my Parrot AR.Drone & my GoPro Hero HD 2 arrived yesterday but I am still waiting on the camera mount to arrived from Norway. Probably just as well as it will give me time to master flying the drone (well, not master but become more competent:-).

The drone is amazing to fly, very easy indeed with awesome auto-pilot that just allows it to hover safely in between me figuring out how to actually fly it. With indoor hull & the GoPro it weighs a total of just 535gm (about 1lb 3oz) which should be pretty safe for those underneath even if falling from some height as it is mostly padded with expanded polyurethane. The batteries give no more than about 10 minutes of flight time & take 90 minutes to charge so I have already ordered some extra batteries with 50% higher capacity.

The GoPro Hero HD 2 is equally amazing especially in good light. Very detailed & nice natural colours. Playback of the .mp4 files was a bit choppy on my MacBook Pro until I had installed the free Cineform Studio software. I wasn't aware until now that in fact GoPro acquired Cineform about 6 months ago so this isn't just a question of them buying in some software to transcode the video it's actually a full blown application to handle using two GoPros for 3D.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 04:40 PM   #27
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Still waiting on my mount too Nigel.
I added some software to fly the Drone that I think may help over water. I need to do some testing before I risk one of my uncased GoPro's.

It also addresses one of my big gripes with freeflight.
It compensates for the Drone facing you. Left turn means left turn no matter which way the Drone is facing.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #28
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

How does the on board video look? Can someone post a video of there iPad/iPhone while they are flying the drone, interested in seeing how choppy/leggy the video is. Can't wait to get mine.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #29
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

Onboard video's pretty crappy!
Low rez, choppy, poor color, etc.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 04:41 AM   #30
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Re: Smallest Heli/Plane I can mount GoPro

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Still waiting on my mount too Nigel.
I added some software to fly the Drone that I think may help over water. I need to do some testing before I risk one of my uncased GoPro's.

It also addresses one of my big gripes with freeflight.
It compensates for the Drone facing you. Left turn means left turn no matter which way the Drone is facing.
Which software? Yesterday evening I bought the other two AR.Drone applications in the App Store (Flight Recorder & Drone Control) but haven't had a chance to try them out yet.

I have ordered the 2.4GHz R/C modification as it by all accounts allows for much finer degree of control while keeping all the easy fly autopilot features.
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