Wow standing room only for our REAST member Ron Cullen’s presentation on some very impressive radio control kit.
Ron started with some history of his Radio Control (RC) journey starting in 1979 when he was in the Air Force and they had an Aero modelling club and even showed and RC controller from that era.
Ron was posted all over Australia and he took his RC planes with him. Zoom to 1998 and Ron left the Air Force and shelved his interest in RC. A couple of years ago he started to get back into it. The night Walrus was his first purchase and some VR google was he first foray back into RC. This included some interesting innovations including a Visual Approach Slope Indicator for his RC planes and this mirrors the use of this technology at commercial runways.
Ron went to a plane with a back mounted motor so he had clear view of front camera. However this has some challenges with the back prop and launching it. So, some experimental mock-ups created a launch ramp with bungee cord to shoot the plane off the ramp into the air. This lead to the development of a LIPD triggered bungee cord release innovation! This enables single operator operation.
First Person View googles was the next innovation followed by a flight computer and telemetry transceiver, on screen display, video transmitter and GPS feeding the flight transmitter.
There are five different frequencies used – 5.8GHz, 2.4GHz, 900MHz, 1575MHz and 433MHz.
The computer has many modes that help the pilot fly the plane and Ron brought up the Flight Software – Mission Planner that lets you use many of these modes. They include – manual, stabilise, fly-by-wire, autotune, training, acro, cruise, auto, loiter, circle, return to home.
There is also geofencing using GPS coordinates and terrain following.
Ron showed short videos of his experiments including the vision the pilot sees through his goggles with on screen display through-out the presentation.
Martin VK7MA also brought along one of his quad copters to show the versatility of electronics that Ron uses. These can be used in RC vehicles, Quad copter, hex/octocopters, planes, jets, etc.
Ron answered many questions and demonstrated many aspects including giving the audience a view through each of his FPV and VR googles.
Thanks Ron for a fantastic insight into this very impressive kit and your experience coming to grips with it.
We also had another first last Wednesday night with the presentation being streamed live to the internet via YouTube thanks to our connection to the NBN and Ben VK7BEN who setup the streaming.
We had a peak of 12 viewers and many good comments. The video of the stream has been placed onto the REAST YouTube channel and has already had over 80 views
(73, Justin, VK7TW)