Two Races, One Weekend // First 150 Lap Team Race

Last weekend, I competed in two California MultiGP races. It was fun, exhausting, dramatic, and I’d totally do it again.

The first was the year end race for the Sacramento chapter located at Gibson Ranch. The venue is amazing and they set up tracks similar to the Regional Finals track from 2016. It’s a long drive, but I always have a great time hanging out with the Sacramento crew and so it’s totally worth it! I competed with my AirVuz and Spektrum teammate, Colby. I won first place and Colby won 2nd, only a single point behind.

The second race was the “Treasure Island 200” team race hosted by the 415 MultiGP Chapter. Due to time constraints, the race was cut down to 150 laps, but that was still enough for one hour of the most enjoyable chaos I’ve ever seen. It was the most fun I’ve had racing in 2016. We had five teams racing head to head, non-stop for an hour. Pit stops were located 30-40 meters away from the pilot area and we powered up/down while others were in the air. I was concerned about this, but was mostly unaffected and never felt I was going to crash from someone else powering up while I was flying. We transmitted 200mW on FS2, FS4, FS7, E2, and E6.

During the race, my team alternated between pilot and pit stop positions. To my surprise, I enjoyed retrieving, placing, and straightening props under pressure for my team almost as much as I enjoyed flying. Running around a field of drones flying at 60MPH certainly gets the adrenaline pumping (not advised)!

Overall, my team’s strategy and execution was almost flawless and we won the race by completing all 150 laps in the shortest amount of time (1 hour and 3 minutes). Congrats to my teammates: Mewo, JFK, and Jrey.

Also, congratulations to the second and third place winning teams:

Team Baylands 2 – Snoke, TenFPV, RandomMoon, DV
Team Propsman – SFPV, LAZD, Charlie, ElliotSkiis, Hunter, and Fred

I want to put out a HUGE thank you to both MultiGP chapters for hosting these events. I know hosting a race is a ton of work and it’s greatly appreciated!

How to Make Betaflight 3.0 Feel Locked-In

For weeks my BF3.0 rigs have sat on the sidelines because they just didn’t feel as tight as my BF2.9 builds. I finally figured out how the key to BF3.0 (for me anyway) is to run I values between 90-100. Seems insane right?

In 2.9, my I values were around: 65, 75, 75. I never thought the PID controller in BF3.0 would be so different. However, it felt loose and I thought the solution was to mess with the rate curves and super expo values. This did help a little, but the quad still didn’t feel “locked in” and tight. On a whim, I jacked up the I values last night to 95, 95, 95 and now it feels great! If you’re experiencing the same looseness after coming from BF2.9, please give this a try!

Heres a video right after I increased the I values. 3.0 feels smoother and more precise than 2.9. With some more tinkering with the rates, it’s going to become my main firmware! This speed addict was also running some older hardware: F3 Dodo, LB20s, and XNova 2206-2300kv motors.

https://www.airvuz.com/videoPlayerEmbed/57e75d662bd9796a39397f14%20height=

Multirotor Superstore 180mm Frogger Build

This was my first day of focused racing on the 180mm frogger. It’s so light it accelerated out of corners very quickly. Top end speed is similar to a quad on smaller 5″ props. Very impressive! I think my lap times were faster with this setup than it was with my 5″ on 5045BN props. Probably because the indoor section was really tight!

motors: RCX 2205 2600kv
ESCs: littlebee 20
props: dal tri blade 4″
FC: naze 32, 2khz mode enabled

Testing a new spot with TenFPV

So I managed to destroy two frames in less than ten battery packs! Seems to happen frequently when I fly with TenFPV, but is normally from crashing full speed mid-race! This time we had a head to head collision as we shot through the same gap from different directions. Luckily, my Mitsuko 5″ prototype frame survived and I only lost a couple front motors.

I used this opportunity to install the new RotorGeek 2204 2300 kv motors. Just flew the Mitsuko again on the new motors and will post again with a new video very soon!

Event Announcement! ASL South Bay Fall Classic

The Aerial Sports League South Bay chapter is excited to announce its second event for this year – The Fall Classic! The event will begin at 9 AM on Saturday, November 21, 2015 (practice starts at 8:30 AM) and is open to racers and battlers alike. We’d love to see you there! If you’re unable to make it, however, the event will be streaming live thanks to the folks at AirVuz.

If you’re interested in racing, please note that spots are limited to 60 pilots. You can register at tiny.cc/enlist. All pilots will need to check in the day of the event in order to participate.

Important: Video Transmitter Power Limit – Baylands Park is a noisy RF environment. To provide the best FPV experience, we request pilots use no more than 200mW of power while transmitting on the 5.8ghz band. If pilots do not have the means to use 200mW or less, please inform us so we can plan appropriately and try assign you to a channel that is on the end of the 5.8 band. Ultimately, if you are stomping on other pilots and are using a 200+mW VTX we may ask you to sit out from racing. Thanks for your understanding.

Available frequencies: Fatshark 1, 4, 7 and Boscam E 4, 7. 1.2 and 2.4ghz are also OK. Please set your VTX before coming to the event and let us know what channel you are on when you check-in.

How the races will be judged: The Fall Classic will be using a point system for scoring instead of using a transponder/lap timing system. Pilots will always have points for participating in the races, even if they crash out at the beginning or at the end. Points will be reported and available in real time online. Further information to come.

Point System
Each pilot will fly a minimum of two qualifying races. The pilots with the most cumulative points from qualifying will move on to semifinals. Each race, pilots start off with 20 points.

Your position will dictate how many points you lose from the 20 points.
1st = 20
2nd = 18
3rd = 16
4th = 14
5th = 12

There is a -5 point penalty for crashing and not finishing a race. If you get back up from any crash, just continue with the race. Pilots must complete all obstacles. If an obstacle is missed the pilot must go back and complete it.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment on the ASL South Bay Facebook group.

My QAV250 Build

I decided to build a new 250 sized racer and received a 250QAV as a gift from my family. Thanks everyone! I’m attracted to this frame for it’s bottom PDB / ESC storage space. I used Charpu’s idea of mounting the Naze32 on top of the ESCs. This allows the battery to mount between the bottom and top plates. I manage to fit a 2200 4S pack in with the CG balanced just a tad to the rear. I’ve only tested on 5×4″ props, but the balanced CG creates much smoother rolling behavior in comparison to my other frames. I want this to become my primary racer, and am working on extending the arms to fit 6″ props.  The carbon fiber extensions from RCManchild are currently sold out, so I’m printing my own out of ABS.  At 5mm thick, the extensions are completely rigid.

Setup

  • Kiss 18A ESC
  • 200mW 32 Channel Boscam TX
  • QAV250 carbon fiber frame
  • Tiger 2204 2300kv motors, will switch to sunnysky 2207 2100kv or cobra 2208 2000kv after extending the arms
I tilted the motors forward 12 degrees using parts from thingiverse.  They assembled pretty well and I haven’t noticed any adverse flight behavior.

Build Tips

  • 6.5cm length for the LED power wires was not enough for me.  I suggest leaving 75mm of wire and then trimming to length after the PDB is mounted.  I had to add an extension after everything was already assembled.
  • You can mount a standard board camera with hot glue to the provided mounting bracket.  This allows you to tilt the camera up about 12-15 degrees.  Great for flying fast!

Update, here are my extensions mounted with Sunnysky 2207 2100kv motors and HQ 6×45 props.  The extensions are 6g each, 5mm thick ABS.  They’re rigid and fit great!