DRL Racer 3 Introduction

I haven’t posted to this page FOREVER. However, this is a special occasion! Today DRL announced the Racer 3 and pilots for the second season! I’m excited to return for the second season to compete with the best pilots around the world. It’s gonna be an amazing experience!

https://thedroneracingleague.com/racer3/

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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=

Getting ready for USA Drone Nationals

Dad always said, “practice makes perfect.” In 2016 I applied this to the growing sport of drone racing, it’s no longer a hobby for me. I used to fly a five to six batteries per practice session and would only practice 2-3 days per week. After going to a few big races this year, I realized I needed to commit more time to the sport if I wanted to remain competitive with the big boys.

For the past couple of months I’ve been practicing every day after work and heavily on weekends. I’m trying to replicate my dedication to sports from high school. Back then, I got out of school, headed to the pool for swimming or water polo practice until 5:00pm. I would go home, have dinner, and then go to the community college for Tae Kwon Do from 7-9pm. Lastly, I spent the rest of the evening studying and finishing homework until midnight. I often feel asleep with my face in a textbook. Was it worth it in high school? Completely!

Now I am trying to do the same with Drone Racing. The sacrifice to my personal life is significant, but I love to fly and my family is supportive. I often don’t get the park until around 7pm, but it’s summer in California and the sun is thankfully out well past 8pm. I typically get home late to have dinner with my wife, Pam, around 9pm. We hang out, I make repairs if needed, and then we are in bed between 12-1am. I don’t sleep very much so I drink lots of coffee to keep me going! Kimera Koffee for days where I need an extra boost =) On weekends I try to fly 30-50 packs a day which can take a few hours.

People at public parks look at my equipment and often comment, “this looks like it takes a lot of time.” I smile and nod because they see right through me.

Tiny Whooping My Dogs!

My dogs love to chase my Tiny Whoop around the house. Several batteries and they are both done for the night. Their obsession has grown to the point where they recognize the sound of one-cell lipo batteries hitting the table and plugging into the charger. If I turn on my DX9 anywhere in the house they come barreling through the hallways to chase their favorite toy!

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.