CarthewBay

Flying Over Lake Simcoe, Orillia, Ontario – Carthew Bay

Flying around beautiful Carthew Bay near Orillia Ontario. This slice of paradise was a fun little spot to fly around with shallow warm water (wasn’t too too worried about going for a swim to find it if something went wrong). Should have flown a little higher so I could get a few views from a higher angle since it is a really beautiful bay. Perspective is a funny thing since from where I was standing I thought I was getting perilously close to some hapless birds. Watching the video afterwards I can see I was really miles away.

spring

Winter Is OVER! (it better be!!)

This has been a tough winter and I am glad it is quickly coming to an end. Its actually been tough to find good opportunities to fly since both of my ‘copters seem to become a little brittle in the cold (broke landing gear on my RCT800 and 350Qx this year… on decent landings!). Early spring in what will become a very busy park… for now its deserted!

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Blade 350QX Modifications – Camera Mount for Sony Action Cam

Camera Mount for Sony Action Cam: Its pretty easy to put together the existing 350QX camera mount (made specifically for a GoPro) so that you can use your Sony Action Cam instead. It should work for any camera the Quad can carry really.

Here’s what I did:

  • Assemble the two existing Camera Mounts inside out: Top Plate secured to the 350 normally, bottom plate reversed… IE Facing the wrong way if you were assembling for a GoPro.
  • Get a bolt with the right thread size for the Sony Action Camera (1/4″-20) and insert that through one of the existing holes in the “bottom” Camera mount plate. I found a nylon bolt which was very easy to trim to size (you only need 3-4 threads poking through the hole).

Here are some shots of what this looks like:

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Blade 350QX Modifications – Faulty Props

Like many people I bought my 350QX without much knowledge of the issues that Blade has had with these props. Of course, after buying the 350QX I did a little research and found that many of the stock blades are actually disintegrating in mid flight. A scary prospect if you are planning to make videos and or fly anywhere near anything!! I think Blade has been replacing the faulty props for people but the other possibility is to ditch the plastic props all together and go with after market parts! This is what I decided to do: get some aftermarket prop mounts and carbon fiber props!!

Used the following Parts for this mod (they work right out of the box):

Small Parts CNC – Blade 350QX Prop Mounts

DJI Phantom Carbon Props (fit the Small Parts CNC prop mount well)

Here are some close ups:

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I don’t think I had more than 4-5 flights with my 350QX prior to making this modification so I can’t comment on the relative flight performance but I can say that the above mods seem to work well and still allow me to carry a GoPro/Sony Action cam without much difficulty at all!!

NatureReserve

350QX Maiden Flights

Have been dying to fly my new little Quad around to see what quality video I can get. I’m quite happy with the results given the less than ideal conditions for these test flights (this was a very windy day with 20-30km/h winds). A little tentative since the quad is new and I don’t have a good feel for it yet. It seems very stable but at the same time very maneuverable.

Initial thoughts:

  • This is a great stable little quadcopter!!
  • This rig seems ideal for a little camera! I think the “Jello table” camera mount is awesome since the quad doesn’t sound that smooth but the footage seems to be largely absent of vibration. I filmed the above in 20-30kms/h winds and for the most part you can’t tell it was windy. I think I need a similar camera mount for my RCT800 (maybe a little more robust because I’d like to carry a bigger camera)
  • Flight control functions are great and actually quite slick (return to home and safe circle). I paid ~~$400 for a Naza-M flight controller with GPS and only a little more for this fully functional quad. You could make a good argument for the Blade functions actually being better than the Naza but I haven’t done any kind of comparison (yet!).
  • For those of us that like to RTF… they need to provide a real one with the model.
  • Here’s another early flight… conditions weren’t ideal and the 350QX got a little wet because the fog was so thick… Still couldn’t resist going for a flight!!

    Winter Flying – RCT800

    Flying around in the fresh winter air!! I am getting good performance from this setup in the winter however on a recent flight I came down pretty hard and broke some landing gear on my rct800. I am sure this would have been fine in the summer but in the cold they snapped… extreme cold definitely will affect your battery performance! I came down early when I broke my landing gear after draining my battery at least 3-4 minutes early (it was -7).

    UFO

    UFO Sighting in Uxbridge…

    Recently found a great place to fly around in Uxbridge, Ontario; a big empty field on the outskirts of town! From the right perspective and distance this would have been a UFO sighting for sure. Anyway, if you look around on the internet for this kind of thing I am sure you will find quite a few supposed UFO sightings where the video looks something like this:

    I think that in *most* cases its probably not aliens flying around… just someone like me having a bit of fun!!

    **I’ve actually been thinking about adding more LEDs (orange) to the rear of the craft because its still ((surprisingly!)) possible to lose orientation.

    ansnorveldt

    Ansnorveldt: flying around an empty space

    Recently tried to capture a sunset at a local nature conservancy: Ansnorveldt (not sure what the heck that name is about but apparently its also a hamlet in Ontario?).

    Ansnorveldt,Ontario

    There are about 3-4 houses nearby (whats the definition of Hamlet again?) but otherwise this area is mostly deserted! After recently crashing I am looking for deserted areas to fly around and film so the risks are minimal. I don’t want to risk an accident and I am still not certain about my craft given that it flew away without a well known cause. (I suspect parts failure and the parts has been fixed… but you never know)

    Anyway, flying in a deserted area also allows you to have some comfort about flying fairly high/far… not sure if the video worked out how I saw it in my head (there was a good sunset and it was a nice night) but there is a pretty good view of the Holland Marsh at points and the farmer just across the street is irrigating his fields. Ansnorveldt is mostly fields and a few little forests here and there; a good place to hike and check out the birds. There are quite a few hiking paths and relic buildings on this property (accessible from both Dufferin and Bathurst) and a million birds!!!:

    FPV2

    Back to making videos…

    The RCT800 is back up and flying after crashing into a river a few weeks ago. After rebuilding almost the entire aircraft it was finally time to strap on a camera and go make a video of a nearby nature conservancy.

    It was a nice day and the area was completely deserted but I was taking it nice and easy too! I lost a little confidence after the crash and I am slowly working back to feeling like the aircraft is an extension of my arm again.

    Looks like I am on track since the video shows almost no vibration: