GotHeliRC VX-5N Brushless Camera Gimbal

Just a quick test of the GotHeliRC Brushless Gimbal.
I was luck enough to get one of the first batch… This is not tuned at all.
It came in the mail this morning. I mounted the Sony NEX-5n and plugged in a battery.

It looks pretty good… can’t wait to see what the footage looks like once it is on the Heli.

I bought it from GotHeliRC

Century NEO 660 Maiden Flight

I just finished building the Century Helicopters NEO 660 hexacopter.

Century NEO 660 Build

Century NEO 660 Build

At 660mm it is my largest multirotor yet. It is a very nice airframe, with seemingly high quality components. I will be doing a step by step build video in the near future, but for now enjoy this quick maiden flight video.

It flies nicely… some more tuning of the NAZA flight controller’s GAIN settings will be necessary to really dial in this larger copter. As a testament to how well tempered this hexacopter is, the video shot handheld on an iPhone 5 while I was flying with my other hand. There’s no camera onboard yet as I’m just doing setup test flights right now.

Century Helicopters NEO 660 Frame

NAZA GPS Flight Controller

Turnigy NTM2830 motors

Turnigy MultiStar 30A OPTO ESCs
Turnigy 10×4 Wooden Props and The Reverse Props
Spektrum DX8 TX/RX

Century NEO 660

Century NEO 660

FlyTron Infrared RC remote for Sony NEX

The FlyTron RC IR Shutter Controller allows you to manually trigger a SONY NEX camera to take photos and start/stop video recording remotely with any standard RC TX/RX controller.

Using it couldn’t be any simpler Just plug it into your any of your RX’s AUX channels. Use a 3 position switch to control your camera

picture of NEX-5n and IR Remote

UP Position:  Photo Shot (hold up for continuous shooting
DOWN Position: Video Start/Stop

Make sure that your camera can see the remote’s LED and that you enable “IR remote” mode from your cameramenu before using this device.  You can find the remote control menu under DRIVE MODES of your Nex5.

Close Up of Flytron IR Blaster

I bought mine at

The SONY NEX-5n is a great lightweight mirrorless inter-changable lens camera to fly on multi rotor helicopters.

SONY NEX-5n with 16mm lens

Testing Ardupilot Mega 2.0 firmware version 2.9.1 on DJI 450 Quad frame

This past weekend I updated the Ardupilot firmware to version 2.9.1 on my small quad. It is a DJI 450 frame with the APM 2.0 board and went out to a local park to give it a spin. Wow! My first reaction is that it flew remarkably well! I haven’t been flying the Ardupilot much lately because my other NAZA equipped copters are such a joy to fly. Maybe it’s time to have a second look at the APM.

I didn’t shoot any video of the flights… But here is a quick cellphone photo of the setup.



2013 San Jose Municipal Rose Garden Pruning Event

On January 12th 2013, 375 volunteers participated in the 5th annual Pruning of the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. The Friends of the Rose Garden asked us to come fly the Hexacopter over the event and provide them with a never before seen view of the event.

The aerial shots in this video were taken with a customized DJI F550 Hexacopter, NAZA GPS flight controller and X468 Gimbal flying a Sony NEX-5N camera. The ground shots were taken by my 14 year old daughter with a Canon T3 DSLR.

The Music was licensed from Kevin MacLeod

The Friends of the Rose Garden had seen one of my early test flight videos over the Rose Garden. Looking back at this video my aerial photography has improved quite a bit!

TRAXXAS QR-1 micro quadcopter

The TRAXXAS QR-1 micro quadrotor comes in the box with everything you need to fly it has six axis stabilization, it’ll do flips and rolls, comes in four colors and it’s very, very small. I’m really excited about this, the weather is too bad for flying outside and I don’t really have anything small enough to fly inside. The QR-1 is even smaller than I thought it would be, it’s tiny!

The QR-1 comes with two batteries, one is loose in the packaging and one ships mounted in the copter. It comes with four extra propellers. A 2.4 Ghz radio and four triple A batteries.

This little copter would make a great trainer before you jump into a bigger much more expensive multirotor. Wow this thing is a lot of fun… if your in the market for the simplest, lowest cost quadcopter out there… you can’t go wrong with the Traxxas QR-1 it flies really well.

Buy a Traxxas QR-1 Quad-Rotor Ready-To-Fly Helicopter on Amazon

You will want to buy extra propellers too!

Fall Colors Flight

Just a quick tune up test flight of my DJI F550 Hexacopter. I’m posting this video because I liked the fall colors on the trees in my local urban park. There’s no spectacular flying here, just a short test flight as I continue to chase down some vibration issues.

One item of note is that this flight was done with mismatched propellers….. the front and back X props are Graupner E-Props and the port and starboard props are Century Helicopter Glass Fiber. NOT optimal but keeping me in the air while I wait for a propeller order.

The ground camera footage was shot with an iPhone5

DJI F550 Hexa Flight over Calabazas BMX Park

We went to Calabazas Park in Cupertino, CA, just for a quick fun fly in an open space…. but we found a really cool BMX park with lots of kids hitting the jumps. Couldn’t resist flying over such a great subject for aerial shots… wish I was flying a camera with a little longer focal length.

The Hexacopter sure got a lot of interest from the kids.

My daughter was operating a Lumix ZS20 point and shoot as a ground camera.