Let There Be Light – Lighting the Hexacopter

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Categories: Build LogMultirotor Aircraft

What do you do when the hexacopter you’ve been building for months is flying fairly well and 90% of the way there for your needs?  Tear it apart!

After a few line of sight flights I’ve found it is easy to get disoriented.  Not only is it hard to tell what direction the bird is facing, sometimes a strange illusion happens making it look like the thing has rotated 90 degrees and is about to take a nosedive.

My little quadcopter had lights under the arms indicating front and rear, so I thought I’d replicate that same effect on the big bird.

Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

I also wanted to be able to turn the lights on and off.  Even more complicated, turn them on and off while IN flight.  Can you say stealth mode?

Last night I wrapped up that setup.  I had to run wire through the arms of motors 1,2, 4, 5 for the lights.  While I was in there I ran higher quality servo cable to those arms as well, and eliminated many solder points which were potential failure points.

Testing New Sony NEX-5T With Arris Zhaoyun Gimbal on Tarot T960 Hexacopter

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Sunday, July 27th, 2014
Categories: Aerial ImageryCamera GimbalMultirotor AircraftPhotographyVideo

If you can understand 1/3 of the title of this post, you are a heli-geek.  Yesterday I picked up the camera I will be using with my big hexactoper.  The copter frame is a Tarot T960.


The Sony NEX-5T (a mirror-less high quality camera) is mounted to the frame via a auto-leveling device called a “gimbal.”  That’s the Arris Zhaoyun (Chinese name of course).


I flew twice today.  The first flight was pretty smooth and the jello effect (vibrating video) was hardly there.  That’s what my current mode is, jello-reduction.  Actually I should say jello-elimination.

This afternoon’s flight was more in focus as far as the camera went, but there was way too much jello.  Post flight I looked at my remote and it looks like I had my gains turned down, which might have caused the jello.  Gains are a fine-tuning setting for the motors.  Also, the winds were up, which can also cause vibration issues.

DSC_3816In these photos you’ll notice that the camera is on one end, and the batteries on the other.  I’m using the batteries as a counterweight.

First Video Flight Through Fireworks

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Friday, July 25th, 2014
Categories: Aerial ImageryDJIGoProPhotographyVideo

The neighbors asked if I’d fly through their big fireworks show last night.  It was a state holiday.  Here’s the video highlights!

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