TanGenT RC Log All the crashes you could imagine

Tree Maiden

Another night flight, this one was a little more intentional.

I’ve been getting better at line-of-sight, so I took it through the trees a little. Predictable crashes to be had there. Dust was fun to get the reflectance in the LED panel but not worth the follow-up cleaning (wet wipes and pressurized aircan).


  • 2 trees grazes, causing minor prop chipping and folding one prop arm (1 trunk, 1 branch overhead while FPV)
  • 2 inversions, and somehow made a flat spin? that was a bit of a surprise - and again: predictably crashed.

chipped props (all four like this)

I’ve since learned that one needs to teach their co-pilots (spectators / spotters) how to indicate directional obstacles. And, while my line-of-sight flying on this copter’s improving, I’m still very much a FPV rookie.

A good obstacle alery has three traits:

  1. Obstacle type
    • tree / stump / fence / person (person implies critical stop)
  2. Directions
    • High / Low (up/down)
    • Front / Back (ahead/behind)
    • Left / Right
  3. Criticality
    • Near
    • Now
  4. “DROP!”
    • fall-out-of-the-sky mode, critical problem imminent

Next Purchases:

  • replacement d4r-ii antennae (buy a pair, or three)
  • gemfan props replacements (5030 and 5045)
  • AA batteries or LiPo for Turnigy 9x

Next configuration:

  • f/s on d4r-ii
  • dominator DVR
  • PID tweaks? investigate non-AnthonyRC protune with acceptable angle mode
  • Turnigy 9x LiPo mod

Rusty Iron Maiden

Conditions this time around were less-than-ideal, mostly because I waited around too long and it had gotten a little dark (blame a tasty soba noodle dinner and dont complain, lol :)). Practice-wise it was more of the same - launches and radial moves. Two observations - (1) Man, is the LED panel ever bright! (2) The FPV camera has suprisingly good low-light detail. The illumination was 90% streetlamps, and the fact that I could make out the terrain change in the grass is impressive.

Backpack + Setup

Unfortunately, by the time I got into the groove - about to load the second battery - it started raining and I had to pack it up in a hurry. I’m glad the backpack showed up today.

New arrivals:

  1. Backpack (evecase 15.6” Laptop / DSLR Camera Backpack)
  2. Antenna cable guards / mount (45deg-90deg mounting bracket)
  3. Transmitter Lanyard (rebel alliance)

I have mixed feelings on the lanyard; I don’t think I relax my arms enough yet (certainly not when LOS) to make use of it or it’s too short.

Second Maiden

Objective this time around was to get better at throttle control and executing yaw/roll moves at the same time (radial motion). Generally happy with how that all worked out. Took one hard landing which made the front-right prop arm collapse, but that’s as intended. Awesome.

Initial Setup

Five-minute timer on the 9X feels a little restrictive - definitely feels like the batteries are increasing their runtime as I cycle them.

  • Walk-the-dog
  • Out-and-back
  • Out-and-back with orientation change
  • Launch + Descend (1:08, 1:29, 2:19) (avoid vortex ring state)

Also, a little boy came up to me asking if I knew how to fix helicopters. Out of a tiny box he pulled a four-blade/two-prop self-balancing heli which could only spin up one propellor. I couldn’t fix it without any tools, but through the vents in the frame you could see the small drive gear wasn’t meshing with the second prop gear. I showed him and his sister how you needed to make them mesh so they’d rotate, I don’t know if they’re be able to fix it but I hope so. When he asked why I had goggles, I showed him the view through the FatSharks and waved I waved the VorteX at his sister. His awe was pretty much exactly how I felt when I got to FPV the first time.

This is a sweet hobby.

Maiden Flight

Maiden flight today, Hanging out with friends (spotters).

Started out LOS, with them having the fpv goggles, pretty sure whoever was first on the dominators got airsick, lol. Fortunately I’d figured out the FC mode toggle, and setting it into horizon mode made everything smooth as butter. Punched up higher than the trees and gave them a sweet view - the image quality coming over the wire on these Dominators are so sweet and stable. So much better than the Hubsan X4 used to be.

Taking the gogoggles, FPV was harder than expected. Having done all those flight sims way back in the day I felt like it’d be easier. NOPE. Part of that likely has to do with how different the roll character on a heli is from a plane. Hopefully as I add horizontal speed that’ll get a little easier.

Initial Set Up

  1. definitely take the props off before doing ANYTHING.
    • The lumenier motors are standard-threaded, so you hold the outer housing of the motor and rotate the prop nut CCW with a hex key

It was the first thing I did and I’m SO glad. By the time I finally got the flight controller armed I had forgotten that I’d need to, and the motors just spring to life! The props idle slowly when the FC is armed, but if you bump the throttle, you’re going to get a quadcopter-sized-hole in your ceiling.

In order to get the Turnigy 9x talking with the Vortex, you’ll need to use the FrSky DJT module (or DXT ) and do a tiny amount of transmitter modding. It’s really straightforward and will take about ~30min. Make sure to: 1. desolder the existing antenna 2. cut down the plastic exposed in the JR module bay 3. swap the JR module for the DJT. It should seat easily, don’t force it.

With the FrSky module in place, make sure you have a clean profile for your module on your transmitter. For the 9x, that’s pretty straightforward once you figure out that “Mode” means “Model” - “Mode 1” on the main screen means “model 1” o_O. Use ACRO mode for the config or at least be sure that the mode you choose doesn’t link the throttle and pitch controls (some HELI modes will).

There’s an unboxing and setup video from a youtuber called flightclub which shows the orientation on how to connect the FC to the FrSky Rx. Note the [gnd/+/-] orientation and the jumper plug for cppm+telemetry on CH1.

Initial vTx freq is channel 1 on the FatShark default band, tune your goggles appropriately. Plug in the antennae first, then batteries (copter+video) and you’ll be in the configuration Wizard! (OMG THIS OSD IS SWEET) Also, make sure the Quad is on a level surface, as it’ll calibrate the accelerometer once the Wizard completes.

The Wizard did all the configuration I needed (minus the FC mode switch…more on that later). I had to invert the throttle on the turnigy to get the Wizard to read it’s input properly. I don’t know if that’s a general issue - might be related to trim cutoffs (I think i’d need to connect to cleanflight to check throttle min/max values).

Once done, wiggle the roll/pitch stick (mode 2) and it’ll fire up the telemetry OSD. So cool.

The full vortex instruction guide shows how to arm the FC and how to enter configuration mode for the OSD (doc heading “flight controller stick commands”). That’s where you go to tweak your SWEET LED tail-lights. I learned that from an OSD setup video from UmmaGawd.

I am SO excited to get this guy in the air, there’s no perceivable latency to the goggles, and all the OSD modes are cool (HUD mode and it’s live artificial horizon is awesome, but ezOSD is probably the most useful), and just the fact that you can control the OSD with the transmitter sticks is CRAZY.