The RC Cars/Planes/Boats/Helis thread

leviathan

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After flying multirotors exclusively for over a year, I've obtained a used Bixler for 30? yesterday, and put it in the air today:



Sure, they're not as useful or versatile as multirotors... but even after a single hour of airtime I already love the simplicity and relaxed-ness of flying a very basic plane :) No complicated electronics, no expensive parts, no hour-long tuning - just a battery, a receiver, a motor, some cheap servos and a bunch of foam, and it flies beatifully.
 

leviathan

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Sad to see no activity here. Well, I'll post an update nevertheless :)

Since last post, the Bixler has been crashed, rebuilt and crashed again. It's flyable now, but rests in the workshop... because this is just more fun:


Three FliteTest depron scratchbuilt warbirds with pan/tilt FPV setups = lots of fun chasing each other and trying loose formation flying :)
 

MXM

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Those FT warbirds look brilliant. I think I'm gonna build one. Or a couple ;)
 

leviathan

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Awesome! 3D flying like that is waaay above my level, I wouldn't probably even trust myself with a plane that size - I'm a horrible line-of-sight pilot, only any good in FPV. Stuff like this is always fun to watch and admire the skill at the meets.
 

Olie

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I also have:

Upgraded to a DX18
Purchased a JR Forza 450
Purchased ALOT of batteries

lol, and that is my second one of those airframes, the first one had a small accident.

It is a 3D Hobby Shop 72" Extra 330SC.
 

nsx_23

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I just recently got back into flying quads. Wondering if I have the CG or electric trim wrong as I need a fair amount of forward stick to stop it moving backwards when I increase power.
 

leviathan

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Never use trim on your TX with quads or other FC-equipped models! Set all trims to zero and re-calibrate the transmitter input in your FC. If you need to trim to keep it level, it means one of the following things:

- 1: Your FC is not calibrated correctly. The ACC needs to be calibrated exactly level, the exact procedure varies between FCs, check the manual or Google it online. Also, the gyro on most FCs calibrates the null point the moment the FC initializes on powerup; this means you need to keep the quad as still as possible for a few seconds after plugging in the battery, to allow the FC to read precise gyro zero values with no movement.
- 2: Your CG is horribly wrong. The CG always belongs in the exact center point of thrust. Imagine diagonal lines connecting the opposing motors of your quad; the point where they intersect is where the CG should be. Move the battery forward or back to get it at least in the general vicinity - depending on power reserves and PID settings, most FCs will be able to compensate for a slightly nose- or tail-heavy setup.
- Which leads to 3: your PIDs/gains are setup wrong. Depending on which FC you're flying and what hardware you have, the gains/PID values almost always need tuning to work well with the specific hardware setup. Specifically, the I value for Pitch axis is what's primarily responsible for compensating a bad CG; try increasing it in small steps and look for signs of improvement.
 

nsx_23

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My Quad was feeling lonely, so I bought one of these:



Moving from quad to heli shouldn't be too bad. I think.
 

leviathan

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Hah, I knew this thread was buried somewhere in here.

So nowadays, drone racing is a thing. I've been to one of the largest races in Germany this weekend, and this is what happened:


There was also a proper video production company on location, the kind that does "real sport" events (think ski races, bike races, extreme sports events and so on). With live coverage, a duo of commentators, tons of cameras (as well as live views from the drones)... very much looking forward to what they are going to come out with. It was awesome.
 

CD82

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I just ordered an RC car and now I'm wondering if I can stick a camera on it. Not just GoPro-style recording but watching the live feed. Could someone point me in the right direction? I guess I'm looking for a lag-free connection with decent range, as well as a receiver/display (not too bulky).
 

leviathan

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What you're looking for is called FPV (first person view). As you correctly guess, it's usually done with an analog connection, using a special camera (basically repurposed CCTV cameras), a video transmitter, and a display or goggles with a built-in receiver. Examples of hardware (there's a lot of choice on the market, these are the simplest choices to start out with though):

Camera with built-in transmitter and antenna: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__89779__Quanum_ELITE_TX_CAMERA_COMBO_Micro_Cam_VTX_25mW_40CH_5_8GHz_NTSC_EU_Warehouse_.html
Display with built-in receiver: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__72711__7_inch_800_x_480_5_8GHz_Receiver_FPV_Monitor_Fieldview_777_RX32_EU_Warehouse_.html
Much better antenna for the receiver (optional): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__77911__ImmersionRC_5_8GHz_Circular_Polarized_SpiroNet_Antenna_V2_RP_SMA_EU_Warehouse_.html (display comes with a linear-polarized antenna, and the one on the camera above is circular-polarized; basically circular is a must to get good range and signal stability)

Hobbyking is a popular cost-effective supplier of this stuff. They have a EU warehouse if you prefer not waiting to shipping from China (all links above are EU WH). There are also many online shops based in Europe (including Germany and Switzerland), but they are usually more expensive.

The transmitter in the camera above is limited to EU-legal 25mW of power. With good antennas, that yields anywhere between 500-1000m of range with aircraft, probably about half that on the ground (because of signal reflections and shadowing). You can get more powerful transmitters, though not many shops carry them in the EU - they are actually illegal, though few people really care.

You'll also need some sort of power supply for the display. If your RC car runs on LiPos and you already have a charger for them, best get a cheap 3S Lipo from Hobbyking with your order - ~1800-2200 mAh will keep the display running for several hours on a charge.
 
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CD82

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Thanks, I really appreciate it! It saves a lot of time when you know what to look to for and where to look for it! Let's see what I can do with this. Obviously an RC car is not as exciting as something that flies but I wanted to start slow ;)
 

CD82

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So after having a look at the links and suggestions, I should maybe clarify that what I bought is this:



1:10 Jeep with an open top and a rollcage. So there is enough space for a camera and battery available, and weight is no issue whatsoever (the whole car weights quite a lot, and a lot more than your average drone). Also, I tried to understand how the TVL "resolution" of an analog camera corresponds to the resolution of the screen I should be using to display the image.

I tried to look for the stuff myself, but so far I haven't been too succesful. How much more expensive would a digital setup with an HD camera (720 or 1080p) and corresponding screen be? And would it be worth it? Of course 60 Hz for both camera and screen would be great as well, but maybe I'm expecting too much here?

Currently I'm just worried that I might invest into a system that I'm going to replace anyway with a bigger camera and screen, so I might as well do it right the first time round. And while hobbyking.com was a great hint, the site could seriously do with some advanced filtering options, like for instance resolution & aspect ratio.
 

smib

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I've been thinking on and off of digging out my Emaxx and making it usable, but then I think about what it would cost and remember all those adult responsibilities. Then I think "Maybe the XX4 instead", but as I would only tool around in the back yard, something that small is kinda bogged down by grass. THEN I think of maybe some kind of crawler(I have areas inside and out that could be setup for some smaller-scale fun with that), and return to problem #1.
 

CD82

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I'm getting a bit frustrated while looking around for the stuff I need. A lot of websites don't have the sort of information I'm looking for - like for instance what type of plugs and connectors the various devices (camera, screen and so on) use. Also it's really difficult to find things like datasheets or manuals online, where I can get more detail. Apparently all the information there is consists of a couple of lines on some webshop and a couple of unanswered questions in the comments sections below the products.

Maybe a lot of the stuff is pretty obvious once you are familiar with the topic at hand, but to an outsider like myself it all seems like buying and just hoping that it will work out in the end.
 

CD82

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So here is a fun riddle:

Yesterday I created an account at hobbyking.com. I could log in, manage my account and so on. Today I try to log in with the same email and password, and it tells me that my password is wrong. Which is unlikely, since it's just a throw-away password I saved in a txt file (I typed it there and then copied it to the account creation form). Also, I could use it yesterday to log in.

Anyway, onwards to password retrieval. My (correct) email adress is already filled in because that's also the email adress I used to log in. Password retrieval tells me that my current password has now been sent to my email adress (let's not talk about the fact that sending a password in an unencrypted email is a terrible idea. How about sending me a link to reset my password instead?).

30 Minutes pass. No email. Try the password retrieval form again. It tells me again that my password has been sent to my email adress (definitely the right adress).

Some more time passes. No email. Out of curiosity I try to create another account with the same email adress. It won't let me create the account because the email adress is already in use (so it's definitely the right one!). Try to log in again - now the site tells me that my account has been disabled and that I should contact customer support.

I go to the customer support site, only to discover that you need to be logged in to contact customer support. So how exactly am I supposed to do this? There's no other way of contacting them and all the standard mail adresses (info@, shop@, sales@ ...) have been disabled. Seems a bit sketchy to me, if you put so many barriers between you and your customers...

Also, when I created my account it told me that I should enter my phone number without area code (I guess the area code will be generated from whatever country I enter). Problem is: My phone number has a different area code than the country I'm living in (+49 instead of +41). So it's kind of crucial to have the +49 in front of the number even though I live in a country that uses +41. And how come the final price of an order differs wildly from when I add up all the items? I had components for 140 ? in my basket, but before placing the final order it said I had to pay over 200 ?. Even if the prices aren't including tax - and Switzerland has only 8% VAT - they can surely not charge 50+ ?, even for international shipment?
 
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