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Monthly Archives: April 2013

DJI Phantom Zenmuse Brushless Gimbal Gopro Video

Update: 16th May 2013 New RAW test video from one of the first Phantom H3 2D brushless gimbals out in the UK. Pre order the Phantom H3 2D Zenmuse gimbal today... New video from DJI showing the amazing video footage from the new brushless gimbal, the Phantom Zenmuse for Gopro hero 3 First test of the Zenmuse for GoPro from DJI Innovations on Vimeo. Please join out email new letter to the right for Dji Zenmuse Phantom brushless gimbal.  

DJI Phantom LED Status Lights Guide

Our little guide on learning the DJI Phantom LED status lighting system. It's highly recommended that you learn what the lights mean on you DJI phantom quadcopter. DJI Phantom LED status lights guide DJI Phantom LED status lights guide DJI Phantom compass calibration LED status lights guide DJI Phantom compass calibration LED status lights guide Buy DJI Phantom

Drone School Teaches Students How to Fly & Build Unmanned Vehicles

At a remote-controlled model airplane field in Sarasota, Fla., Justin Woody was struggling to operate a mini-copter. It was not a toy but an unmanned air vehicle, a drone, and Woody was getting hands-on training on how to fly a variety of them at a three-day session offered by the new Unmanned Vehicles University. Woody is one of the current crop of students at Unmanned Vehicles University, the only institution in the United States to offer post-graduate engineering degrees, both masters and doctorate, in unmanned aerial vehicle systems. The program, which is the first of its kind, is the brain-child of retired U.S. Air Force colonel and F-4 pilot Jerry LeMieux. "We look at the jobs first and then we designed the courses and curriculums around getting a job," LeMieux told "Nightline." For $1,600 per quarter, students are trained in robotics, drone design, sensors and flight tests, and communications. Coursework is mostly taught through web seminars covering topics from drone technology to program management and mission planning. Intensive weekend seminars are also held around the country. For those like Woody who want to learn to fly unmanned vehicles, the university offers three-day hands-on courses, where the students take the controls, seeing what the drones see through special goggles. "Having the goggles on and feeling like you are in there is challenging but you get used to it," Woody said. Woody tried his hand at operating a drone similar to a helicopter. It can hover and it has a camera mounted underneath for scanning terrain. "We've had this long time when we've had military systems out there, and we're just now entering this emerging market when commercial UAVs are being manufactured," LeMieux said. Drones captured the American imagination in the last decade as unmanned U.S. military reconnaissance planes that could fly high over war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, keeping the pilots far from harm. First used as just eyes in the sky, the military quickly expanded the drones' missions to include launching deadly attacks without putting a pilot's life at risk. As technology improved and the costs for drones shrank, the demand for them has exploded. Armed with cameras and other sensors, but not weapons, law enforcement, border police and other agencies are using them for tracking criminals. While that raises questions about privacy, security and safety, the Federal Aviation Administration estimates some 10,000 commercial drones will be in the skies within the next five years. For now, however, the commercial use of drones remains limited in the U.S. Read more here...

DJI S800 EVO Vibration Absorber Demonstration

Video from the DJI youtube channel showing the DJI 800 EVO anti vibration upgrade that will be seen in some form in the new S800 EVO system. Product page for the new DJI S800 Evo DJI S800 EVO Vibration Absorber Demonstration S800 Vibration Absorber Setup Demo Video added 27/04/2013 More S800 EVO news dji zenmuse evo brushless gimbal dji s800 evo news wookong a2m Please join our news letter for more updates from DJI regarding the new S800 EVO and A2M flight controller

Britain’s secret role in America’s drone war

A major British defence company is supplying the deadly US drone programme, which has killed scores of civilians, leading critics to condemn the UK as complicit in ‘war crimes’. The firm, Cobham plc – which specialises in defence and communications electronics, including satellites – manufactures antennas for armed Predator drones used to launch fearsome weapons on to targets. The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the Government has approved a series of controversial export licences for the firm, showing that Ministers are officially sanctioning the controversial US drones war. The unmanned Predator, armed with Hellfire missiles or guided bombs and with a top speed of 135mph, has been used to find and kill Al Qaeda leaders and terrorists in a series of covert missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa. Human rights groups say that the drone attacks violate international law and kill civilians. British companies supplying military equipment to other countries must seek approval for contracts from the Government. Last year another British company, GE Intelligent Platforms, pulled out of supplying the Predator programme following an outcry. But according to a document seen by The Mail on Sunday, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) granted Cobham 31 drone export licences between 2008 and 2012. Many of the parts covered by the licences will end up being used in drones, including the Predator and Reaper. In its literature, Cobham boasts of its work with the Predator. It says: ‘Cobham’s communications antennas, radar components and sub-systems play important roles in modern UAVs , including the General Atomics Predator family of drones.' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312201/Britains-secret-role-Americas-drone-war-Government-approves-UK-defence-company-supply-technology-U-S.html#ixzz2RAnfm14h Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Ivory Coast wants UN UAV drone border surveillance

The UN is already due to deploy surveillance drones to DR CongoIvory Coast asked the United Nations Tuesday to monitor its border with Liberia with drones to make up for the expected decline in the global body's presence in the African country. Should a planned withdrawal of UN peacekeepers go into effect, Ivory Coast is seeking "the deployment of qualitative resources such as surveillance drones in the border area," said the country's UN envoy, Youssoufou Bamba. At the end of March, the UN Security Council had authorized the use of drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor that country's borders with Rwanda and Uganda -- a first for a peacekeeping mission. Several Council members had at the time insisted that the move did not set a precedent. The United Nations foresees reducing its roughly 9,000-strong operation in Ivory Coast, known as UNOCI. Discussions with the Ivory Coast government are ongoing. "I would like to indicate that the Ivory Coast government believes that the current level is good," Bamba said during a Security Council debate on the situation. Several Liberian army units were deployed to border posts between the two countries last year to counter armed gangs raiding the Ivorian side from Liberia. The groups have targeted western Ivory Coast since the end of the country's 2010-2011 crisis, which left 3,000 dead in the wake of a disputed presidential election. In one attack in June 2012, seven UN peacekeepers lost their lives. Read more....

ImmersionRC New Xu Gong Foldable Quadcopter

ImmersionRC has a passion for flying, filming and photographing.We also have a passion to travel.We set out to design a revolutionary quadcopter that could fit in a shoebox, not only did we want it small, we also wanted to be able to deploy and fold it in 20 seconds or less with no tools and without removing connectors. The idea grew from the desire to able to throw the entire quad into the smallest of backpacks, and take it to some of the most beautiful and difficult to reach places on the planet.We also wanted perfect video from a GoPro 3, and an FPV camera, without ‘rubber banding. Since we fly on a daily basis we understand the unexpected landing does happen. We designed in crash protection. Over the process of development we have inadvertently tested the concept and proven that the design can withstand the occasional misfortune with no serious damage. We succeeded... Introducing the XuGong Foldable Quadcopter, from ImmersionRC (pronounced ‘Shoe-gong’, partly tohonor a wonderful mechanical engineer, and partly... because of the shoebox) We are very proud of this product. The original design was for our own use, with no intention to produce it commercially. As the concept developed, it became clear that it had to be brought to life as a commercial product. The combination of the XuGong Foldable Quad, 5.8GHz 25mW/600mW A/V transmitter, EzUHF control, and FatShark headset with integrated 5.8GHz receiver is too good not to share. Specs: - Foldable arms, no tools required, click and fly - Incredibly compact, fits in a shoebox, the average handbag, or a hotel safe. - 8” or 10” props, with 8” standard, and 10” as an option (extended outer arms) - Unique Vibration-dampened camera platform, CMOS camera friendly- ~1.2kg, with 3300mAh 4s pack, GoPro Hero 3, and next-gen CMOS flight camera installed - 90 degree camera tilt, compensated by the flight controller - Designed for DJI Naza, but compatible with other flight controllers. More info here....

Idaho Supports Fourth Amendment Enacts Drone Restrictions

Another state is stepping in and shielding its citizens from constant surveillance by the government or law enforcement. On April 11, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law the “Preserving Freedom From Unwanted Surveillance Act,” an act reinforcing the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The law amends the Idaho code, placing new restrictions on the use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it comes to the gathering of evidence and surveillance of private property. Section 3 of the law mandates: No person, entity or state agency shall use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute, ordinance, regulation or rule, except to the extent authorized in a warrant. Along those same lines, Section 4 protects private property from the ever-prying eye of government by placing barriers on the buzzing: No person, entity or state agency shall use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of any individual, property owned by an individual, farm or agricultural industry without the consent of that individual, property owner, farm or agricultural industry. An owner of facilities located on lands owned by another under a valid easement, permit, license or other right of occupancy is not prohibited by this section from using drones or other unmanned aircraft to aerially inspect such facilities. Should police try and submit in court evidence illegally obtained by drone, they would find themselves running headlong into Section 5, which directs that, “No information obtained or collected in violation of the provisions of this act may be admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding in any court of law in the state or in an administrative hearing.” In a statement to Reuters given at the time he introduced the bill, Idaho state Senator Chuck Winder explained his impetus for pushing for stricter drone use guidelines. Read more......

Lipo Batteries Wire in Parallel vs Series adapter

Nice little basic video show you the difference in wiring 2 lipo batteries in Series or Parallel. video from Hairless Hippy Charging Charging LiPo batteries requires a very different charge method than other types of cells. It's imperative to use a charger designed specifically for LiPo batteries, and with most LiPo-specific chargers it's necessary to correctly select the cell count (1, 2 or 3 cells) manually. Serious Safety Issues If LiPo batteries are improperly charged they can cause an explosive fireball. Our staff recently tested the effect of improperly charging LiPo cells and the results were dramatic! We cannot over-emphasize the importance of using a charger specifically designed to charge LiPo batteries, and to be positive that the manual cell count (if the charger has one) is correctly set for the specific battery being charged. If you use a good quality LiPo charger, these batteries are totally safe.   LiPo Do's and Don'ts Do: Only use a lipo battery charger that is specifically designed to charge LiPo batteries. Using other types of chargers can cause an extreme fire hazard! Do: LiPos don't develop memory or voltage depression characteristics like Ni-Cds. Do charge them without the worry of cycling or discharging them. Do: Store LiPos at least partially charged. LiPos will maintain their performance levels over time, even during non-use, much better than Ni-Cds and there's no need to cycle them. Don't: Use any type of charger that is not specifically designed to charge LiPo batteries. Using non-LiPo-specific chargers can cause an extreme fire hazard! Don't: Fully discharge your LiPo battery pack. Most speed controller have a voltage cut off that will prevent over-discharging the battery. Discharging a LiPo beyond it's critical minimum voltage will cause damage to the battery. Don't: If you have a crash and the battery is damaged, don't put the battery in your car or house immediately after a crash. It's possible that a chemical reaction can take place in the damaged battery that could cause a fire. Put the battery in a safe place for a least one hour.  We will not be held responsible in any way for damage or loss of equipment incurred by following this guide.

Google chief urges action to regulate domestic drones

Drones like the one pictured are being used to detect poachers in the Indian state of Assam - one of the many non-military uses for such aircraft. The influential head of Google, Eric Schmidt, has called for civilian drone technology to be regulated, warning about privacy and security concerns. Cheap miniature versions of the unmanned aircraft used by militaries could fall into the wrong hands, he told the UK's Guardian newspaper. Quarrelling neighbours, he suggested, might end up buzzing each other with private surveillance drones. He also warned of the risk of terrorists using the new technology. Mr Schmidt is believed to have close relations with US President Barack Obama, whom he advises on matters of science and technology. more here...

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