Starving Dragon The ravings of a caffeine-depraved programmer & gamer

Fun with drones

Starving Dragon presents: Fun with flags..er..drones

Some of you may have already noticed the surge in ‘multi-rotor’ popularity that seems to be going on at the moment; there’s been a crowd-funded, third-person tracking drone, a drone controllable with your phone, a professional photography drone and talk of Amazon delivering parcels via unmanned drones. Everywhere you look there seems to be talk of drones revolutionizing some aspect of life…

However, none of that has really been that interesting to me personally, I mean sure, they are pretty cool and if they somehow make my life easier / more convenient then thats a winner in my books, but am I particularly interested in them? No, not really.

That was, until I saw these:

I had no idea at the time what it was that I had accidentally stumbled upon, but wow, it looked amazing!

FPV (First Person View) quadcopters are a (relatively) new idea, but it’s an idea that’s taken the internet by storm and has caused a huge uptake of interest in the world of drones. Essentially, to make an FPV drone, you mount a camera right at the front of the drone and attach a transmitter:

QAV250

Then you add a receiver built-into set of FPV goggles and voilà, you have a live-streaming video feed of what the drone can see, right in front of your eyes.

FatShark

So after learning all about it, I decided that I wanted to have a go myself. Jumping into the world of multi-rotor building is like jumping into theoretical-physics with only some basic-level maths, it’s a minefield.

To build a basic quad (not even an FPV) from scratch you’ll need at the very least: a frame, flight controller board, battery, (at least) 4 motors, 4 ESCs, 4 props and a ton of cables, zip-ties, straps, etc. Then, for each of these parts there are a huge variety of different options, each with their own different flight characteristics, weights, etc.

So for my first attempt I thought I’d play it safe and go for a kit; essentially just a collection of off-the-shelf parts that someone else has put together, tried & tested and ensured that they all work well together. I decided to go for a Hurricane Mark 1 from RadioC as it was both affordable, repairable, had room to add FPV equipment and was the right size for racing.

Hurricane Mark 1

Stay tuned to find out how I got on!