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Beautiful flying site in outback Canberra

lobstermash

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#1
Today was a special day for me. I both cracked the 1km and did my first fully solo fpv session. I've been trying to find a nice FPV spot with a good landing platform, away from urban areas and preferably with some water about. I had thought that Point Hut might be a nice spot, but I didn't notice on previous scouting missions that there were a few power cables about. I headed out past Point Hut Crossing and took the road to Tharwa. Part way along, I came to Lambrigg Lookout, which overlooks the Murrumbidgee River and the Lanyon Homestead. There is also a nice little plateau for a landing strip and two dams close together to help navigate for landings. The area is grazing lands and isn't too thickly wooded, so if the plane went down I should be able to find it.

Hello.png

I hadn't flown FPV with the new 5.8Ghz gear yet, so wasn't sure how it'd perform. I got pretty much rock solid picture except when directly overhead with the 900Mhz setup. I also hadn't really tested my home-made cp antennas either - I don't have calipers, so the measurements on these aren't as precise as I'd like. My first problem however was the GPS. Usually they lock on straight away, but they refused to do so this time. I'd moved it behind the camera instead of in front, and it didn't like this at all. I experimented with more positions and sat it on the wing. It worked straight away. However when I stuck the wing camera next to it and turned it on, the satellites dropped off again!

Once that was sorted, I did a couple of flights without the wing camera. I wanted to see what I could do with the 5.8 system first. I did a few long, wide circles, trying to see what range I could get - the tx started beeping at me at about 800m, so I turned around and brought it in. I then put it up again and had a look at the hills. The picture blinked a lot less and the tx didn't beep at me until I reached 1110m away. Knowing the sort of capabilities I'd get, and having purged some nerves, I brought it down again and stuck the camera on. I moved the GPS to the other wing.

Being fairly windy (about 15-20km/h) I didn't think I'd get great video, but would be able to pull out some nice stills. Unfortunately I'd forgotten to switch the camera back to HD (I'd been playing around with the settings while trying to get it to double as a flight cam last weekend)! Anyhow, here are some pics of the area:

Flying 'lookout'.png
Another shot of the plateau that forms the lookout

Flying over the river.png
Heading south along the river - I was about 80m high and 1200m away. It was getting a little fuzzy on occasion at this point.

Murrumbidgee looking east.png
Looking east. You can see the homestead and a little of the southern suburbs of Canberra

Murrumbidgee looking north.png
Looking north along the river

Murrumbidgee looking south.png
Looking south along the Murrumbidgee River toward Tharwa

Rocky hills.png
Some great rock formations in these hills. I wish I'd caught this with HD footage :(

Two dams.png
The two dams made it so easy to navigate back to my home position
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#4
Will have to come out with the tri and gopro next time. Looks cool.

10min? That new car of yours is pretty fast!
 

lobstermash

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#5
About 7 minutes to Tharwa, about 3 minutes NW from there. Give or take a couple of minutes for traffic on the half dozen roundabouts to Banks. I went there the long way via Point Hut, but came back the fast way.

I've edited the video and will upload it soon. Trying to decide on the music.
 

lobstermash

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#6
OK, video is up:

Roy Orbison's rendition of Borne On The Wind was the track chosen. Youtube stuck a banner on there to pay for it... Funny how they didn't do that with the Powerfinger song I used last time.
 

lobstermash

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#8
Thanks teach. Got a short follow up video uploading. The above one is the mash up of two flights. I used the landing from the first one, as the wind wasn't throwing me around too much. The landing for the second flight was pretty hairy and I had to have a couple of goes. Let's see if Youtube stick an ad on this one...

Here it is:
 

lobstermash

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#10
The first flight (of the day, which wasn't recorded), when the wind was a light breeze, was much more nerve wracking as I didn't know how I'd go launching solo with the goggles on (nor how well the new gear would perform).

It was only landing that was stressful with the turbulence down low. After your last landing with my Bixler I know why you'd be worried about landing in windy weather ;)

But yeah, it wasn't all smooth sailing. I've learnt the trick of smoothing out some of the footage too.
 

lobstermash

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#11
I visited Lambrigg Lookout again this morning. This time I used the FrSky patch antenna and my 'nifty' retractable vtx. I also modified my secondary camera mount, putting it on top of the flight camera. This was really a test flight, and the new mount worked great until the landing, where it snapped forward and stripped a couple of teeth off the little 4g tilt servo :( However the flight footage is noticeably shaky and will take some editing to get nice. At least it was shot in 720p this time...

Another issue I had today was the gps. When I first got the G-OSD, it performed great. I don't know if it's the location (geographic or on the plane), but I don't seem to get more than 7 satellites now. Today was even worse, where it lost signal several times. My landing site is marked by 2 dams close together, but I had trouble finding them today. I made several circular search patterns and to top it off I lost track of which direction I was facing too.

I can happily report that the video feed was much improved with the new vtx location on the retractable mount. I got out to 1.5km with pretty much no glitches in the feed. The was the occasional fuzz out at 1.5km, but if I was game I'd have pushed through it... I wasn't game, as the gps was playing silly buggers, and once the river is out of view the landscape all looks very similar.

Anyhow, some stills and then edited video to follow soon.
 

PaulT

New member
Mentor
#12
Can't wait!
Weather at my place has been awful for doing anything outside of late.
Rain in Biblical proportions and snow perhaps tomorrow.
At least it's not -32 C like it is at my work!:eek:
Looking forward to you pics of spring.
Sorry...Summer... what was I thinking?
When you wake up to this:
it's easy to get confused!
 

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lobstermash

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#13
I'm sure you meant summer! It's was 22-23 degrees C and climbing steadily. The flies were just starting to wake up and a gentle 10km/h northerly breeze was blowing. Very pleasant conditions.

Here are three pics of the site and a blooper.

Point Hut Pond and Gordon a couple of km ahead
vlcsnap-2012-12-08-11h54m48s227.png

Namadgi Nature reserve and mountain range, with the lookout carpark below
vlcsnap-2012-12-08-12h14m02s196.png

Same again but lower to the ground I couldn't tell that this was one of the dams I was looking for to mark the landing
vlcsnap-2012-12-08-12h16m08s199.png

Ugh, sun is waaaay too bright *screw up face*. Love the red goggle rings around my eyes!
vlcsnap-2012-12-08-12h20m06s36.png
 

lobstermash

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#14
And the video is uploaded. Out-takes at the end from when the gps stopped working. I just couldn't pick the right dam to head to! And I was going around trees too, which made the flight video pretty sketchy half the time.

The camera mount wasn't really solid enough, and the plane seems to have bumped around more than I was anticipating. The wind never really got above 15km/h so it shouldn't have been that bad...

Enjoy the cool sounds of Morcheeba.


Grr, once again, the b****rds put an ad in there. They didn't even notify me this time. Is it just me, or is Youtube getting more sucky?
 
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