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  1. Today
  2. Introduction Letter

    Excellent, Thanks for the information, I will take a look!
  3. Large Print Photomerge

    Postcards? What are these postcards you speak of? There's a market for that?
  4. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Hi, Jeff. Its important not to drain a Lipo battery below 3.0v per cell. Also don't over charge. The optimum voltage per cell is 3.7v and fully charged 4.2v. Use a "balanced" charger which will automatically stop charging when all cells are balanced to 4.2v. Its also good to have some sort of low battery alarm like this... It will produce a loud beep when a cell drops below 3.3v. Its a wise move to invest in a decent transmitter. I have a FrSky Taranis X9D and paid around $200 which included their X8R receiver about 4 years ago but it was well worth it. Their recently released QX7 is only about $100 I believe and has received some good reviews. Richard
  5. Drone School

    Are you charging for that class? If so, how much? What kind of drones are you planning on using? What types of drones is this targeted at? Im the skeptic on this forum... If this is targeted at consumers, keeping anyone's attention for more than five minutes is going to be tough. Sorry but Phantoms, MAVIC's, and Spark's fly themselves. Anyone who's played a video game will know how to operate it in less than five minutes. Also, crashing is part of learning. if it's a safety seminar for parents then I don't see why it would take more than an hour. The reason most people break the rules has little to do with flying the drone, the allure is that it has a camera and YouTube is full of idiots trolling for click bait. Unfortunately the more feedback they get on YouTube the more likely consumer drone operators are to take chances. sorry, Alan don't take this the wrong way, but studying for the 107 is boring, but you have to do it. Consumers don't have to take a class to buy a drone and go fly. I'm not sure what sylibus you could use to attract enough customers to be profitable? If it's a non profit then you might consider aligning you corriculum with a high school STEM program or local flying clubs. But if your business model is to attract responsible parents, well that topic probably belongs in a whole different forum.
  6. LAANC Fast-Track Requested by FAA

    I just got an invite to a Skyward webinar and thought I would share the sign-up link. Skyward and LAANC Thursday, November 9th @ 10:00AM - 11:00AM (PT) "On October 17th, the FAA approved Skyward to provide instant access to controlled airspace as part of the new Low Altitude Airspace Notification Capability, or LAANC. The FAA is launching the program starting with four airports and will be rolling out more in the coming months. Getting authorized to fly in controlled airspace has been a major challenge in the U.S. In this webinar, we’ll show you how we’re simplifying the process and what the outlook is for the coming months. If you're unable to attend, go ahead and sign up, and we'll send you the recording of this webinar along with future LAANC communications. Learn more about LAANC and see how to get access to controlled airspace in just two clicks! Here’s what we'll cover: Controlled airspace: before and after LAANC What this means to businesses that use drones The logistics of flight planning in controlled airspace Authorization and status updates Up-to-date resources for future airspace access"
  7. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    I agree, Ed. The FAA is treating the Remote Pilot as a lower tiered certificate. I would rather they require whatever is needed to allow operating with the same responsibility and liberty as with other certificates. A private pilot can operate in basically the same way an ATP operates in the airspace.
  8. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    This is what I was talking about before. If the chart says that it is ok to fly up to 400' in a particular location, why do we need an algorithm to "grant approval?" When I fly full scale into class C (for example), I have to establish radio contact with the controller first. Before my flight, I don't have to go online and contact "x" company and get approval. I just have to follow published regs and procedures. Why do we need this unnecessary step when flying uas? If the FAA feels that the Remote Pilot is not up to the same standard as a "regular" airman and needs "more help and oversight". Then why not address that instead? @R Martin In areas that need special approval like the 0' areas you mentioned, then a contact of some kind would be warranted. However those type areas are far fewer than just the area in "vanilla" controlled airspace.
  9. Drone School

    The goal right now is just to teach people of all ages how to safely fly drones and give them a better understanding of the rules and regulations pertaining to drone use. The time constraints are in place because my boss plans to try to reach out to parents who will be buying their kids drones and he thinks that anything longer than 3 hours wont be able to hold the attention of a teenager and even some adults. Basically he wants to be able to bring in someone who knows absolutely nothing about drones and in 5 hours teach them how to not crash it, understand the rules to follow, and just have a better general knowledge about drones.
  10. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    To answer your question, you need a third party vendor to approve your authorization because the FAA is swamped and needs the additional staffing without the additional overhead. I seriously doubt that the FAA envisioned that the demand would be so high for authorizations when they first allowed the general public to start flying UASs in the National Airspace. As far as simply complying with the published charts, there are areas blocked off as -0- altitude and you would be barred from operating there at all without someone to consider an application. And you don't need authorization from a third party if you so choose; you can continue to use the established portal as well. Maybe with an outside party authorizing request, both methods will be a lot faster to negotiate. Maybe the vendors bog down next and the FAA portal is the speedier alternative. Maybe the entire process is improved to near-instant approval of request. Maybe your life will be made a little easier. I've got enough to deal with without dealing in maybe's. I'll wait and see what shakes out.
  11. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    If this streamlines the authorization process for commercial operators then I am all for it. I have always gotten fast service, but I also work for state government and have an FAA team assigned specifically to us. I know that is not feasible for the rest of the general public in terms of manpower, so anything that eases the burdens on you, the rest of the general public, is a positive step in the right direction. I also noticed that in addition to the new system, the old system will remain in place so that I have the option to continue using the portal which works for me. I file well enough in advance for authorization that a month turnaround is not a big deal to me. That, and on the last round instead of six months the FAA extended the time period to one year for me.
  12. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    I think the answer is this. Even though FAA wrote the rules, wrote the sylllabus, created the testing, and issued the Remote Pilot Certificates, I don't believe that they put certificate holders in the same category as pilots, and I'm not suggesting that they should. If they did, then we probably would not have to go through all of this.
  13. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    Ok so the same setup on MP. Great. My query was also about how to connect up in my earlier post. I.e. I'm using both telemetry ports already and don't have a port labelled "serial" on my pixhawk 2.1. I know I'll be able to connect it up to one of the other ports but I've not found any instructions on how to do this. You mention connecting it up via SBUS. I'll have to look into that. Also I'm not currently looking to control camera (yet). Just gimbal. Thanks
  14. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    There's nothing wrong with being an optimist, there's also nothing wrong with questioning the validity of these policies. If all there is to getting clearance to fly in the squares of LAANC then why do we need all of this automation? Not like the airspace is changing? So what this has the potential to become is a drone specific chart. What's the big deal? Why do they need to send these publically available "drone" charts the third party vendors when all I have to do as a licensed operator is comply with the chart, the same way a pilot does? Why do I need to get "authorization" from the third party?
  15. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Richard, Ok, we've got some action over here. So, The process above was great and I have 3 of the motors spinning and 3 not spinning and I have detailed the issues below. What's interesting is I was so excited about some success that I wanted to show one of my buddies and the ones that worked no longer did. Hmm! I saw that the TX was low on batteries so I replace them and tried again. Nothing, The only thing I could think is that something is wrong with the Lipo, that I said last night I had such problems charging. I think in all of this tonight the common denominator is the LIPO battery. I didn't do these in order BTW. 1. Beeps on startup, No second beep motor does not spin. 2. Good 3. Beeps on startup, No Second beep, motor does not spin. 4. Good 5. Good 6. Motor beeps, Motor gets 2nd beep, then motor spins back and forth. (Shaking) So, I got 3 good ones, 2, 3, 5, then 6 kind of goes crazy, then 1 and 3 nothing. Once again, I'm thinking the LIPO. Just do to the issues I had last night charging it. I didn't like the new Transmitter so I'm sending that one back too along with the battery. New/Different ones coming by Friday. Links to the new battery, and transmitter below. Going with a 3S this time and the transmitter a little better. I'm sure Amazon hates me! Any comments, advice, thoughts are so appreciated. Thanks again for your time. I'm learning a metric crap ton and loving it!! Thanks, Jeff
  16. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    @R Martin, I got the same release from Jonathan earlier today. This will enlarge, explode, and so on and so forth. There are those that will criticize whatever the outcome, I'm sure. In spite of all of that, I do believe that FAA is at least trying to work this all out. OK so I'm an optimist!
  17. Pixhawk 2.1 and pixhawk 1 gimbal control are the same setup on Mission Planner.
  18. Yesterday
  19. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    Awhile ago I purchased the Tarot T4-3D 3 axis gimbal for the GoPro Hero 4. I currently use a Pixhawk 1 running the latest version of Arducopter but I don't see why you could not use it on the Pixhawk 2.1 as it has both a PWM and S.Bus interface to control the tilt and pan axis. Initially I had the tilt and pan controlled directly from my FrSky Taranis transmitter but now have it connected to the Pixhawk. This allows me to program the tilt and pan angles from a mission planner script or the drone kit SDK. Control can be switched back to the TX for manual operation from MP. I can provide you more details of the configuration if this is what you are looking for. This of course only controls the gimbal, controlling the camera is another story. PS - Looks like Tarot has a gimbal now for the GoPro 5 I believe the GoPro 6 is the same dimensions as the 5 so I guess it should fit too!
  20. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    Further reading on the subject matter.
  21. You might want to check out Bentley Systems' ContextCapture.
  22. The LAANC Plot Thickens

    I think a bigger potential problem is where do they get their information and would I get the same approval across all platforms. We're on standby to fly the burn areas in Northern California, I logged in to check TFR's, what a clunky antiquated way of presenting data. Something that should be so simple, and I'm sure it is, but I don't have the patience to figure out the bad design of the FAA website. Another pet peeve of mine is that the companies on the FAA ARC committee's should not be allowed to profit from their involvement. These companies are creating policies to regulate out the competition while a lot of "drone" companies who are engineering real solutions to real problems have no say in this process.
  23. N3 gimbal for FLIR Duo

    I'm after gimbals similar to these: Or anything else similarly priced that will work (can be controlled by) Pixhawk 2.1. I'm not planning on using an expensive camera either - the reason I ended up here is because of many google searches involving "pixhawk 2.1 and camera gimbal" Johng above said that he had used Pixhawk 2.1 and a tarot gimbal (which is one of the recommended ones on the ardupilot website), however the guide is written for using a Pixhawk 1. There is very little info I've found on pixhawk 2.1 and reasonably priced gimbals. Not looking to do professional services. I'd like to but it's just hobby stuff at the moment. If I ever have the balls to do it I might quit my job and jump in. I would probably buy better kit if I decided to do that though.
  24. Drone School

    Hi Alyssa, great to meet you. What are the goals of the company / course? When you boss wants this to be a 3-hour classroom course and 2 hours of simulator time, why those numbers / constraints? Hard to know what to incorporate into a syllabus without understanding the goals purpose, so if you can share some more details there, hopefully we can help give you some good direction.
  25. Need help with new S550 Hexacopter build

    Richard, Thanks again for the direction. I'm going to try this and let you know as soon as I can. Thank you so much for your help. Jeff
  26. LAANC Fast-Track Requested by FAA

    And according to Jonathan Ruprecht's release, so is Amazon, Google, Harris, and Boeing!
  27. Hybrid Drone Maiden

    @Av8Chuck - interesting, thanks. Have you ever looked into hydrogen cells at all ?. I guess they would solve some of the downside issues like noise and vibration while still keeping the upside of a rapid refueling.
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