Flying the Quadcopter

Here is some quadcoptering around the house and at the “dog field” at Bull Creek. No dogs there on a 101°F day. The external heat, combined with the motor output, heats up the aluminum arms quite a bit.

The video is a bit jumpy, especially when the copter is in “ACC” mode, where it returns itself to horizontal attitude quickly. I was pleased to see though that there is not much high-frequency vibration visible. The frame has some simple vibration countermeasures installed.

The flights are regular radio control flights, for fun and as practice for FPV and autonomous operation later.

Quadcopters are kept in the air by a flight controller board, which is essentially a computer with sensors. An Arduino is used in many cases. The computer takes sensor readings (position, attitude, compass, for example) and pilot input from the remote control. It then issues commands that adjust the motor speeds, to make the craft go where it should be going. The flights shown here use a Quadrino Zoom flight controller board. It has good handling characteristics and is fairly straightforward to program. But a recall has just been issued for this board, so it will be taking a break from flying.

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