Drone Issue 2, 2016

For enthusiasts, kids and commercial operators, covering new drone products, how drones work, what new uses they offer, the latest operating techniques, commercial opportunities, competitions and regulations

Yaffa Publishing Group PTY LTD
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in this issue

2 min

FIRST off, let me give a huge thank-you to all of our readers who bought a copy of Drone Magazine Issue 1. Drone Magazine began as a passion project more than anything else. Without the support of the drone community and advertisers, it wouldn’t exist. We are certainly pleased to present to you this next instalment and announce the next 2 issues for June 2016, and then November 2016. The exponential growth of the industry has seen an explosion of commercial drones this year. It wasn’t long ago that you had to build a drone from parts and really know how they worked, whereas now we are spoilt for choice when it comes to ready-to-fly options. On a professional level the systems are becoming far more feature rich and reliable. Camera tech has…

3 min
all i want for christmas

PARROT HYDROFOIL Parrot’s latest mini drone doesn’t just fly, it morphs into a boat-copter hydrofoil. True to the Parrot brand, this mini drone is all about fun. Snap the palm sizes quad copter into its sleek awesome looking plastic hydrofoil hull and it provides your power and steering. You’re not going to want to take it out to the beach as a wave will trash it unless there’s no swell, but in a pool or any flat water this little transformer drone is a lot of fun. You control it with your smart phone or tablet like all Parrot drones, which means its range is only about 20m, and there’s no return to home. So if you don’t fancy swimming to recover it, make sure it doesn’t get out of range…

10 min
build your own fpv drone

FOR a full FPV setup you could easily spend $1000-$1500 before you’re racing, depending on what brands you go with. But you don’t need to. After last issue we had a number of requests to feature a drone build, so we thought we’d set ourselves a little challenge. With a budget of only $700, we wanted to see what we could come up with. And it turns out you can put together something seriously kick ass if you don’t mind a bit of DIY. If you’ve had any exposure to RC hobbies, then you’ll know HobbyKing. They are the go-to store for anything RC. What’s more, they’re the cheapest option available and the perfect place to source parts for our FPV build. Let’s get stuck in to it then. SHOPPING LIST Here’s all the bits…

4 min
who’s in control?

WHAT IS A FLIGHT CONTROLLER? It’s no mean feat keeping a multirotor in the air. The fundamental design of a multirotor aircraft (AC) means it is not capable of flight without some serious smarts. Just to maintain a hover requires motor speeds to be refreshed hundreds of times a second, taking into account live data from sensors including gyros and accelerometers. Enter the Flight Controller or FC. Sometimes called the Autopilot, it’s completely capable of flying the drone all by itself. The FC maintains basic flight and stability control so that the pilot can focus on which direction and altitude the drone is required to fly. The FC autonomously manages multiple tasks and systems, but what is important to learn about here are the core GAIN settings that affect AC responsiveness and performance. WHY…

3 min
flight controller shootout hobby fcs

CC3D The CC3D is my favourite. One of the greatest success stories is OpenPilot. This is an open source community, dedicated to the perfecting of the actual flight algorithms. This is by far the easiest to set up with the best back end and uses a software wizard to configure the board. Features include pre-configured profiles, multiple flight modes and settings that allow for self-leveLling or complete manual input modes (Rate Mode), which is my preferred. The OpenPilot wizard is extensive and an excellent way to endlessly tweak your machine, but unfortunately it lacks the autonomous and GPS locked flight modes standard within the DJI Naza flight controller. NAZE32 Primarily designed for small to mid-sized multi rotor craft, this is another flight controller that is easy to set up and configure, based on the…

5 min
flight controller shootout pro fcs

HERE we compare three popular flight controllers and their features for UAV cinematography – the DJI A2, Mikrokopter and the Zero UAV Gemini. So what makes these guys stand out? A few basic things are important, how do they fly, are they reliable, easy to use and program, and what features do they offer a pilot and cameraman. Let’s begin with the A2. A2 The A2 by DJI is recommended gear for any S800, S900 or S1000 setup. With its CNC aluminium IMU and hi quality build and electronics it’s set the standard for pro level flight controllers since its release in 2014. PRO FCS Featuring a Dual CAN-Bus system, 12 output channels, a built-in 2.4GHz DR16 receiver which supports Futaba FASST, a high precision satellite receiver with a high gain antenna, a…