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MultiRotor Pilot Mag

Turnigy Graphene LiPo Batteries

Power with a knock-out punch!
By Adam Strong

This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Drones Magazine.

The new Turnigy Graphene LiPo batteries are designed for high output and available in a range of sizes and capacities to suit everything from the smallest racing quads up to the biggest aerial photography setups. The Graphene packs use carbon in the battery structure to form a single layer of graphene just 0.335nm thick. The graphene forms a dense compound that allows electrons to fl ow with less resistance compared to traditional LiPo technologies. This means better discharge and more consistent voltage through your flight, all while staying cooler and providing extended cycle life with claims of lasting over 600 cycles. Compared to an identically rated Turnigy NanoTech LiPo the Graphene pack does come in a few millimeters larger and more than a few grams heavier, but the consistent high power output more than makes up for the weight penalty. The jewelry case style packaging grabbed my attention the second I opened the shipping box and had me itching to try them out.

14.8V 1300mAh 65C #9067000128-0
14.8V 1500mAh 65C #9067000131-0
11.1V 1800mAH 65C #9067000132-0

I have now been using these packs exclusively in my RCX 170mm and Armattan 225mm race quads for a few months and have really put them through the paces in real-world conditions. High throttle, high energy freestyle flights are loads of fun and the Graphene packs definitely maintain the extra punch needed for aerobatics and ripping around trees at my private field. Cruising around the race course, the high discharge is very noticeable in hairpin turns when you need the extra thrust to hold tight into the track and cut back to the next gate. I have abused the packs a bit to see how well they hold up to over discharge. Even after repeatedly taking them lower in voltage than advised, they have held up excellently without any puffing or loss of performance. The packs have also seen their fair share of impacts and I have found them to be very tough, sustaining little more than a few scrapes and some torn shrink wrap with no deformation at all.

In the pits, the Graphene batteries require only a standard LiPo capable charger and can handle high charge rates of up to 15C on some packs.  Charging at my typical 3C rate has them full in around 20 minutes time from around 70% discharge. In my use and testing, they have lived up to the capacity and discharge ratings very well and have maintained the low IR numbers in spite of the abuse.  The silicone wiring and thick shrink wrap are very durable and will easily stand up to the occasional drop or pull on the wires without any consequence.

The quality feel and excellent performance have made a big impression right from the start. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in my quads or any other RC machines whether it’s race day or just ripping around for fun. The magnetically sealed boxes and velvet-like bag that each battery comes in are only the icing on the Graphene cake.

HOBBYKING hobbyking.com

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Summer of FPV’s

This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Drones Magazine.

Said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no more explosive segment of drones than FPV these days. Whether it’s the constant development and redevelopment of new hardware and components or the dazzling track displays that David Moquay of FPV LightTrax and others cook up for gates, there’s no denying that there is more of a positive fervor going on with FPV, far and away more of a “keeping up with the Joneses” than in any other facet of RC.

Just around the time that this issue hits the newsstands across the country, Governor’s Island in NYC will be gearing up for a steady fl ow of media and racers to partake in the fi rst ever Drone Nationals on the East Coast. Drones Mag will be in attendance as will more than a few of our newer contributing writers. This issue, Patrick “Lucidity” Sherman gives us an insider’s perspective on just what went into the planning of the event and why this little island smack in the busiest city in the USA was chosen.The very same week as Drone Nationals, the annual IRCHA Jamboree will be going on out at the AMA headquarters in Muncie, Indiana. Though it is an RC heli event (the largest one in the world, in fact), Bert Kammerer and Bobby Watts have teamed up to put on a display with FPV racing that they have dubbed “Smack FPV”. They have already released a few teasers on what exactly Smack FPV entails, but knowing those two guys, it’s going to be fun as heck.Then, for those fortunate enough to have qualified (or paid their way), the Drone Worlds will be held in Hawaii the last week of October. We will assuredly be bringing you coverage for that event, though the bosses here still haven’t okayed my request for a month long stay on the island after the race to decompress from all the awesomeness I will have witnessed during the event.

Whether you’re up in the northeast, out in the cornfields of Indiana or shackled to the paradise that is Hawaii, be sure to check out one of these events. They are all spectator friendly and should all pack some mighty fine flying and competition.

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Walkera F210 3D

This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Drones Magazine.
by Stephanie & Trey Player

Speed and agility: those are the top two qualities you need if you want to compete in drone racing. In most cases, in order to obtain these two necessities, it requires a ton of research online to see what components other skilled pilots are using, how their PIDs are tuned and the time/effort/money to build a race drone. But who has the time and energy for all of that? If you want to quickly jump into the hobby of drone racing, you need the Walkera F210 3D.

Right out of the box, this quad is efficiently tuned to allow any user, from beginners to advanced pilots, to fly at extreme speeds and combines the ability to flip and roll with ease. We flew this model with the standard OEM settings to see if this little bird perormed as good as it looked. To our surprise it was much faster and more fun than we ever anticipated. New pilots can start off in 2D Stabilize Mode, which provides self leveling to the bird and prevents you from being able to flip and roll. Next is 2D Intermediate Mode, which still self levels, but also gives the user the ability to flip and roll. Finally, 2D Advanced Mode gives the user full manual control over the quad with no stabilization; this mode is reserved for very experienced pilots. With a flight time of 8-9 minutes, no matter what 2D mode you fly in, this bird will not disappoint. More on 3D flying later…

DIMENSIONS: 182x182x103mm
FLIGHT TIME: 8-9 minutes 3D
FLIGHT TIME: 5 minutes
BATTERY: 14.8V 1300mAh 40C 4S LiPo
VIDEO SIGNAL: 5.8GHz (antenna included)

First, let’s get into the frame and components. Its sleek and rugged carbon fiber frame ensures extreme durability in case of a crash. Weighing in at 370g (battery included), the beefy design and well-placed components really show that Walkera put a lot of thought into the concept of the F210 3D. This bird operates on a 1300mAh 40C 4S LiPo, paired with the tried-and-true Walkera 2500Kv motors, which together help to push it to those exceptionally high speeds. Even with the low discharge rate of 40C, it has more than enough punch to get you out of a hairy situation. The built in motor guards are also a nice touch, as experienced pilots know that it only takes one crash to render an unprotected motor useless. The dual receiver antennae are collapsible, which not only helps when storing or transporting the bird, but also are easily knocked aside in a crash, preventing breakage and damage to the antennae themselves.

The included 700TVL, 120° camera provides a clean, crisp image when used with goggles, but besides the nice horizontal resolution power and wide field of view, the super bright forward-facing LEDs almost allow you to fly in complete darkness; however, this is really only recommended for experienced pilots. The newly-upgraded OSD system keeps the pilot constantly informed about important functions such as roll/pitch angles, horizon reading, battery voltage and flight timer. A geared camera tilt mechanism is integrated into the frame design, making it a cinch to affix it to whatever tilt angle that suits your flying style and speed. When flying LOS, the rear LEDs actu- ally function as brake lights and turn signals, keeping the pilot continuously tuned in on the quad’s ever-changing orientation.

Enough of the regular stuff; let’s get into what really sets this bird apart from the others: 3D flying. With the flip of the Flight Mode Switch on the DEVO 7 Controller, pilots can go from the standard horizontal flight mode to inverted 3D mode, midflight. The motors instantly change their spin direction to allow for a seamless transition from upright to upside down. All controls are reversed in this mode, for obvious reasons. For pilots that require an adjustment period to each of these flight modes, you’ll be happy to know that the quad also features a lost model alarm, so if you do end up losing control and crash landing into the great unknown, you have the added security of just flipping a switch and being led directly to your quad.

As a whole, this quad surprised us in so many ways. Rarely are RTFs so fine tuned and flight ready right out of the box. We were flying and testing the 3D flight modes within minutes of unboxing. The controls are super responsive, which is key to maintaining control of your aircraft at all times. Its speed and agility really blew us away; whether we were trying to reach top speeds above the treetops or maneuvering more slowly through tight spaces and tree branches, the Walkera F210 3D quickly adapted and responded to the change of pace. If this is just the beginning for Walkera race quads, we can only imagine how they will continue to improve and impress in the future.

WALKERA walkera.com

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Force RC ‘Tis the season: 12 Days of Deals!

Click for 12 Days of Deals

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Multi-Rotor Drone Propeller with Unparalleled Thrust and Efficiency

Need longer flight time for your multi-rotor drone? This is not a rocket science anymore.

R. Cordova, CA (November 21, 2016) – Master Airscrew (MAS) introduced a new line of aerodynamically optimized ultra high performance propellers for Multi-Rotor drones named – the “MR” series. Suitable for both commercial and hobby applications, the novel propellers will be available in diameters from 7” to 16” and various pitch angles.mas-mr-propeller

Key features

  • Thrust – Having the best propulsion system with the widest lift range is a design goal of every professional or hobby drone builder.
    MR: offers up to 11% HIGHER thrust than offerings of leading competitors.
  • Efficiency – Every extra minute counts!
    MR: offers up to 14% BETTER efficiency than offerings of leading competitors.
  • Low Vibration profile – smooth, wobble-free aerial cinematography.
    MR: is factory pre-balanced for minimum vibrations – thus addressing the problem at the source – something that no absorbers and up-scale gimbals can truly cope with.
  • Silent operation – noise reduction is critical when operating nearby populated areas. MR: features an advanced CFD refined airfoil design and structural geometry with special focus on the reduction of the turbulent airflows.
  • Durability
    MR: propellers are manufactured from GFR Polymer composite for optimal strength / flexibility ratios.

    First MR propellers (certain sizes) will be available for purchase starting Nov 21st. Expect new diameter/pitch sizes on a regular basis.

    More information:
    www.masterairscrew.com customers@masterairscrew.com Phone: (916) 631 – 8385
    Fax: (916) 631 – 8386

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