Speed Addict Freestyle at Sunset

I continue to love this frame for capturing gopro footage. The Mixuko is lighter weight and is the most responsive frame I have, but to carry a gopro the Speed Addict is balanced and so smooth! Or maybe I’m just crazy and love to fly whatever I have with me on any given day =)


World Drone Prix, Last Minute Tuning and Practice

It’s been a crazy week getting ready for Dubai.

Saturday – Ordered Frames
Sunday – Drove from Orange County to San Francisco
Monday through Friday – Regular work week at Google
Tuesday – Built first 6″ frame until 2am
Wednesday – Build party, finished 4.5 drones
Thursday – Build party, tuning, LEDs, additional power regulators for all the different WDP requirements
Friday – rained out, couldn’t practice after work. Only test hovered a couple frames, no real maiden FPV flights.

Saturday – woke up at 6am to go fly before it rained again. I was lucky enough to get a couple hours in before it poured. Was just enough time to PID tune and practice with different props and weight. Here are the results! Feeling excited and confident as we head to Dubai =).

Catalyst Machineworks Speed Addict 210 Rocks

This was the gopro maiden for my super-low Speed Addict build. I used the short standoffs in the kit (1/2″ tall) for the top plate instead of the medium-height standoffs. Shoved the X4R under the dodo instead of strapping it on the back and put the VTX there as designed. Not enough height for the VTX and receiver to share the same location.

Gotta say, I’m blown away by the performance. Even with a gopro on top, the quad just goes where I want it to. This is one of the only times I’ve had a lunch racing session and didn’t break a single prop.

These Lumenier 2206-11 motors continue to amaze me. They are also showing me that SMC batteries are garbage. They sag more than my Bonkas and Tattus, which are similar in age or much older. I don’t like to bash products, but when something is over-hyped I feel it’s necessary to put the correct info out there. SMC = garbage, save your money and buy something else! If I have duds, I welcome SMC to send me some replacements to re-try.

Battery Killing Combo – 2206 2350kv Motors and 5050 Tri-Blades

Want to kill your batteries?! This is the motor and prop combination for you!With these motors and 5050 tri blades, you better have decent battery packs!! My old ones sag down to 15V in less than a minute. My newer Bonka 1300 4S are holding up well to the abuse, but also don’t last for more than 2 minutes. I think lower-pitched tri blades or even 5045BN props might be better for batteries.

I ordered a bunch of Gemfan 5050 tri blades a while back and got a couple bonus backs of DAL 5045 BN tri blades in the box. Turns out the props are unbreakable and just slowly vibrate more and more after countless crashes. Probably good for competitions where some forgiveness can help keep drones in the air, but bad for nice videos! I put these props aside for practice days, but won’t be using them again for freestyle videos. I found PIDs for either set of tri blades were the same.

I’ve recently tried a bunch of different motors and the Lumenier 2206 2350 are my favorite. They are smooth and have tons of power. They make flying a tight racetrack feel effortless. They are lighter than the XNova 2206 motors and feel much smoother in the air. XNovas may have more peak thrust, but are heavier and not as smooth in the air. The Emaxx 2205 red bottoms are nice, light, and have tons of power, but don’t have the same smoothness as the Lumenier 2206. I’ll likely sell off some of the motors I’ve tested recently and focus on two types of builds:

1) Lumenier 2206 for racing, freestyle, and gopro flying
2) Super light builds with 2204 Cobras, maybe on a 5″ x frame without any gopro.

I also love F40s for garage flying. They are the only motors that I’ve used that can take dozens of crashes into cement and keep running. To be fair, I haven’t abused any of the other new motors yet: Lumenier, XNova, or EMaxx red bottoms. I hear they are all durable, but I need more stick time to decide how durable they are for myself.

HQ 5x4x4 and Gemfan 5x5x3 Propeller Freestyle Comparison

I tested two different props at the Ranch last weekend. HQ’s new four bladed 5040s and Gemfan’s 5050 three bladed props. Both were smooth and balanced. The HQs have that high pitched scream, similar to their three bladed props. They also felt very snappy and smooth on the F40 v2 motors. Coming out of flips and rolls and handling quick altitude changes felt crisp and effortless.

In comparison, the Gemfan 5050 tri blades created a much lower pitched sound. I tested them on Lumenier 2206 2350kv motors. Testing on different motors isn’t great for a propeller comparison, but these props didn’t feel as smooth as the HQ’s for acro moves. I will probably spend more time PID tuning for the Gemfans. I also noticed the Gemfans had more bottom end torque. You can see after quick altitude changes, my quad almost “Jumps” when I really want it to climb smoothly. Probably something I could get used to with throttle control or throttle curve. Again, could also be caused by the larger motors.

Overall, both sets of propellers flew great! I think both are excellent choices.

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

Waterfall Adventure!

Reiner is my hero! And mad respect to Marque and Reiner for climbing the waterfall before I could even think about whether or not it was safe. I used to be a rock climber and I always hated down climbing. The climb up the falls was probably similar to a 5.6 and was around 50 feet up. Wet, mossy, super sketch! So, thank you to Reiner and Marque for risking your own safety to rescue my quad! What a fun day.

Garage Flying and F40 Motors, Perfect Combination

The V1 T-Motor F40 motors didn’t do well and the V2s are on their way with bigger stators and thrust reports that give other top 2204 2300kv motors some competition. I’ve been abusing the V1 F40 motors in parking garages, honestly trying to break them because they are fat pigs. After dozens of crashes into the asphalt, cement pillars, and the garage ceiling, these motors refuse to quit. The bearings sound like junk, but they still spin smoothly and don’t create any jello or vibration in my gopro video. So, although I thought I disliked the V1 motors for their weight and low thrust performance, I fell in love with them for being unbreakable. Any other motor would have given up by now with a bent shaft, prop adapter, slipped magnet, or damaged bell. If the new TMotor F40 V2s keep the same durability and add more power, I’ll be flying them ASAP!