picture of me

BPQ-250 Build

First, some background: I have been flying larger quads with brushless gimbals, GPS controllers, etc… I made the break into an FPV quad with the Flip FPV by Hover Things. I quickly learned that I had no idea how to really fly a quad copter, so I purchased the SimpleCopter V-Tail and began to learn how to fly. This was a great quad to teach quad flying LOS (I think) because it is very easy to determine front from rear. I painted mine a florescent green and pink, so it really stood out.

I wanted more, though. I wanted to do some close proximity flying. Thus, I began my search for a 250mm mini-quad. After searching for a while, I decided to get a relatively new 250mm quad, the BPQ-250 from BP Multirotors. BPQ stands for Bullet Proof Quad and is made of Polycarbonate. It is suppose to be indestructible. I first learned about the BPQ-250 from it’s creators post on RC Groups and soon after placed my order for 2. Why 2? I break things… a lot, even indestructible things… besides that it’s a great price!


Easy Star 2 - Build Take 2

My first FPV build was a Penguin V2, it was a larger plane that (as loaded by me) just wouldn’t land! It would glide forever which made it problematic to land at my strip when the winds were in their summer time orientation. Thus, I moved to an Easy Star 2. I purchased the RR (Ready-to-Run) version because it was cheaper when you consider it included the motor and speed controller. The problem with this is that the fuselage was pre-built. The small Easy Star 2 compartment for your battery and RX gear just wouldn’t support FPV gear without having a rats nest of cables that you have to deal with every time you want to swap a battery.

Thus, I purchased the Easy Star 2 Kit Version. From that I built only the fuselage, but not after boring out compartments, testing weight and balance on my existing Easy Star, making nice wiring harnesses for the FPV gear, etc…


My FPV Setup

Within the last two months or so, I have gotten back into RC airplanes via FPV (first person view). This is a method of flying via an onboard camera that gives you the perspective as if you were actually in the airplane flying.

Here is my FPV setup:

  • Air station (the airplane)
    • Easy Star 2, stock RR equipment
    • DragonLink V2 UHF RX
    • EagleTree OSD with DataLogger v4, GPS and Guardian Stabilizer. I have the Airspeed indicator which I find very valuable, but due to lack of room on the Easy Star right now, it is not installed.
    • ReadyMadeRC 700PRO camera
    • CircularWireless Skew Planar TX antenna
    • ReadyMadeRC 1.3 GHz 800mw TX
  • Ground Station:
    • Futaba 8FG Super RC TX connected via the trainer port to the DragonLink UHF TX
    • CircularWireless Skew Planar RX antenna
    • IBCrazy PepperBox RX antenna
    • Sometimes an IBCrazy 3-turn Helical RX antenna
    • 2x ReadyMadeRC 900-1.3 GHz RX w/SAW filter upgrades
    • EagleTree EagleEyes (diversity, telemetry logging and video splitting)
    • ReadyMadeRC DVR1000 - digital video recorder
    • ReadyMadeRC 8” LCD mounted on an old camera tripod
    • The rest of the ground station (fixed equipment) is mounted on a camera lighting tripod that extends to 12’
    • Peak 900 Jump-Starter (ground station power)

Back to Vim

I am a full time programmer, beginning back in 1992 but in the past 5 years or so I have had on and off pain in my wrists and left elbow. When it first started, I got smart and did all sorts of things to my work area and that solved the problems. Since then I have grown lax and the pain has been back, on and off again. Hence, I’m doing something about it again.

Over the past 7 years or so I have used Vim on and off. I am not a newbie but far, far, far from an expert. To help reduce the amount of key wacking in a given day, I am moving back to Vim. These days I program mostly in Tcl, Python, HTML and JavaScript. Thus, I have found some plugins that really make things nice.


Publishing Weather and my WX station

Due to my family’s interests in Farming, Flying, Running, Hiking, Backpacking, Horseback Riding, Astronomy and Amateur Radio, we are a very weather oriented family. We have wanted a weather station for some time, but finally got around to purchasing and setting one up. We are now pushing data to the Weather Underground and the NOAA CWOP system as well as observing weather in our own home on the console.

So, how did we do all of this?