Author Archive for CrispyCargo

Fun-loving, off the wall, and energetic, this crazy red head sometimes enjoys building more than flying!

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A Crispy take on the Valley of Death – God’s Scrap Pile

February 12, 20135 Comments

Death Valley is certainly one of my favorite places to go in the US. Everything there is so unique, and fascinating, and SO random (as you’ll see in our videos). The terrain seems to change with every passing mile; hence the name “God’s Scrap Pile” ūüėõ

Growing up, my family would come here every Easter for vacation; it was our number one tradition. And while I’ve seen most of this gorgeous creation, we still never managed to visit everything. But while I’ve seen so much, this trip was extra special because I got to see it all again with a VERY different perspective.

My flying experiences here, though short lived (yeah, I crashed…), were exhilarating. And when I wasn’t flying, I would act as a separate pair of eyes during FPV flights. We WildPilots always work in a group. Its just safer that way: one pilot, one copilot, LOS operator, and cameraman/2nd LOS operator. With so many sets of eyes, our habits exude safety, confidence, and (of course) fun.

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TBS Discovery

October 5, 20120 Comments

Well I ordered my TBS Discovery back in late July and I finally¬†received¬†it a few weeks ago. The demand for the Disco is so high and it takes a while to get it (at least for me it did). And after I opened the box I realized the reason for the high demand. This frame is VERY well built and thought out. And assembly was very easy too! I had a few screws missing from my order, but a quick email to Trappy at TBS solved that – they’re sending the extra hardware free of charge.

To me, the icing on the cake for this copter would have to be the TBS Core. I’ve always flown 4S and when I got into FPV that posed a slight problem because FPV equipment runs off of 12V or 5V and the 14.8V+ from my 4S LiPo’s would most certainly fry them, so I resorted to running a separate 3S battery. In no way did it ever keep me grounded, but it certainly was a thorn in the side – having to deal with the extra batteries, charging them, dealing with excess weight, another thing to plug in and slap a LiPo alarm to, blah! No thank you. With the Core all I have to do is solder a few jumpers (once) and plug in the battery and GO! AND… I now have OSD (On Screen Display). The Core only informs you of battery voltage, current, mAh used, RSSI, and flight time – and really when you’re flying a multicopter, you don’t need anything else.

Here are my built pictures showing each step I took in assembly. I’m very pleased with this quad and I know its going to be my no. 1 quad for a long, long time.

Got DJI arms? Let’s save your motors!

September 12, 20122 Comments

Alright. This post is really for anyone who is a multicopter pilot, but its focused specifically toward those who fly with the affordable and available DJI arms.

As most of us know, the DJI arms seem to break easily and it’s my opinion that they were designed to break that way. Upon impact with the ground post pilot error or mechanical foul up I’m sure I’m not the only one would would want my most expensive items on board to remain intact while the other cheaper items take the brunt of the asphalt¬†assault. After all, I’d rather my $4 DJI arms take the hit and break off than my $75 TBS Discovery frame!

So, to the point of this post, these arms we are using are not alone when they take a hit, they obviously have motors bolted to them, and most times they contain the ESCs, and sometimes a few other gadgets. Now if you do a Google search for “DJI arms crash” you’ll find several images of broken arms from the result of a crash and nearly 100% of the time the arm will break in 1 of 2 spots.

Most often is at the very end of the arm just before the motor. And, again, most of the time people will ziptie their motor leads to the other side of that break… showing here:

And as you can see, the leads for the motor have been ripped out – leaving this person with a worthless DJI motor. So what I suggest¬†is to¬†zip-tie¬†those motor leads to the outer most part of the leg and use 3.5mm bullet connectors so in the unlikely event that we’ll crash, that part of the arm will break off, taking the motor and¬†zip-tied¬†leads with it, and “hopefully” the bullet connectors will do their job and allow the leads to slip out once they are pulled on. Illustration:

So, anywho, that’s my little tip. I hope it helps.


New frame coming soon from Team-BlackSheep

July 20, 20120 Comments

From the makers of the Discovery frame (Team-BlackSheep) There should be a prototype coming in a few weeks according to Trappy’s post¬†here¬†on

This frame should address many of the issues people have with the Discovery, including the tune-ability of an asymmetric frame, and a possible fix to the vibrations that the arms seem to attenuate.

I was saving up for a Discovery frame, but now that I see this post, I’m gonna have to wait at least to see what they are talking about.

And according to Trappy’s post here, again on, he considers the frame complete and not in need of any modifications or updates. So that tells me that this new prototype is not an updated Discovery frame like I originally assumed, but an¬†entirely¬†new frame design. But who really knows. We’ll just have to wait and see. Here are some more shots of the beautiful TBS Discovery:

School Flyin’

July 4, 20120 Comments

Fun outing with the WildPilots. I made sure to keep within the confines of the school’s playground – no need risking a crash into someones backyard!

This was one of my favorite flights so far. Beautiful time of day – Golden Hour! Enjoy.

Rail Jumpin’

April 5, 20120 Comments

Crispy Cargo went to the canyon.. the Grand one!

Almost there

November 9, 20110 Comments

With my sister’s wedding all finished I have suddenly found some time on my hands. Thankfully my Hexacopter is high enough on my priority list that I gave it some time the other day. Here are some pictures for this little update.

I was actually able to get a lot done. All that is left is mounting the props and RX, and configuring the CopterControl. Hopefully I will be flying by this weekend.

Tiny Update

October 26, 20112 Comments

As you know, all of my copter stuff (As well as Joe’s stuff) was locked in a trailer up near Mammoth Lakes for about a month and last week we finally got everything back.

Last night I got to working on the New Hex and here are a few pics of what I got done

Christmas came early this year…

August 22, 20110 Comments

Welp, I decided to take the plunge and buy some really nice motors for Hexacopter build. And before you get excited and expect some maiden flight video, I’ll just be clear and say that this will be a SLOW work in progress. The reason why is because I want to buy some really nice equipment for this build and unfortunately, “nice equipment” = more money! So… I’m going to be patient with this build – just taking it one step at a time, but I will let you know that this Hexacopter will be a beast! It’s purpose will be for lifting my Canon 7D for aerial videos and pictures (of course) so I’ts going to need some substantial components if I am going to feel safe strapping some $2k to $3k worth of video equipment to it.


So here are a few images of the new motors:



Stable Flight Success :-)

June 21, 20110 Comments

Welp, the time has finally come. I am able to fly with (some) stability.

I still plan on chopping those spider legs off and going with a carbon fiber landing structure, but that one will be inboard and have a much smaller landing platform – so I need to get better at flying first. Going with a different landing structure will not only save a TON of weight and give me longer flight times, but it will also be more stable and agile. With all that weight so far on the ends of the arms, the motors have to work even harder to make pitch/roll/yaw changes.

Here is a video I shot last night after I got all my prop savers on and motors balanced.

And now for some Progress

May 6, 20111 Comment

Yello Hall!

So, I know its been forever since my last post and I am sorry. BUT, that means there is a lot to update!! You’ll see lots of pictures from what I have been working on and later I’ll have some video up too.

So! Lately it has been very difficult to find time to work on the Y6, but finally, once we finished our front lawn I found the time. It took about three nights of staying up till about 1am but I was determined to get a lot done. As of right now all that is left to do is:

  • connect motors
  • load software
  • set up radio

…and that’s it. I am waiting on a shipment from HK and once that arrives I figure it would be about a day or two until I am in the air!!!! Well, assuming I haven’t royally screwed something up. Ok, enough talking, here’s what I have been doing…

Most of the pictures are self¬†explanatory… so I’ll just let you have at it.














oh yeah, i’ll be flying with you boys soon!


Cut and Drill

March 15, 20110 Comments

It was a successful time in the garage last night. Again, it might not seem like tons of progress, but for a guy who is very particular with his projects this work is right on schedule. I was able to cut out the upper and lower frames, square everything up, layout the frame plates/components/boom arms and finally drill my starting holes for when I begin to mount the booms to the frame. I took a lot of pictures, so enjoy!

I began with clamping the carbon fiber plate to the workbench and I cut almost every line free hand with a Dremel. I started using a blade that had teeth on it – like the kind you would use to cut wood – and that didn’t work out too well. When I started using the carbon-like disk it was much more like a hot knife through butter! It made all the difference in the world – less heat, faster cuts, and slower speeds.


And here is the bottom frame. All cut out and ready to fly!!! Well, almost.

Next was the top frame. And since this carbon fiber plate is strong only in one direction I mad sure to cross the lower plate’s linear strength with the upper plate’s linear strength.

Once I had both the upper and lower plates cut out I wanted to stack them and line them up as close as possible and then grind down each edge where it didn’t line up perfectly.



Here they are, all finished.

A glimpse of how it will look

Yes that is BBC’s Top Gear playing in the background.

Wtih some fake components

I then stacked the two plates together again and got it ready to drill the holes for mounting the booms. I measured 1cm in from each end point and drilled a hole.

Next I spend a lot of time drilling the holes on the booms. Since I do not have a drill press I had to measure 5cm from the end of each boom, mark it, then find the center of the width of each boom.

I then used a drill punch to make sure I was starting in the right spot when I drilled and so the drill bit didn’t move on me when it started to spin. I did this on each side of each boom because I didn’t want to simply drill straight through the boom to the other side. Had I not been level with my drilling then the hole on the other side of the boom would not have been centered.

And that is all I had time for last night. I ordered some screws for securing the booms to the frames. And I still can’t wait until all the electronics start showing up on my front door. I only wish I had some tracking numbers for them. It’s too much agony just waiting without knowing!

Thanks for reading. And as always your questions and comments are much appreciated.

It’s a start…

March 14, 20112 Comments

I got to workin on my Y6 last night and I certainly took my time making sure every measurement was exactly right. I want to eliminate any extra bit of computing that the Controller has to compensate for. Below is my 12″ x 12″ x 0.1″ plate of carbon fiber. I got it from a place here in the states and it’s incredibly strong, but only in one direction. So my bottom layer will have the strength set from front to back and the top layer will have the strength set from side to side.


Gotta love cardboard. I decided to lay everything out (to scale) with cardboard. Once I had the boom arms where I thought they should be I then measured the distance between the ends of each arm and made sure they were exactly the same – this way I knew I had a perfectly equilateral triangle (my 8th grade Geometry teacher would be so proud).



Once I had everything in place and measured out I then outlined the dimensions and got it ready to cut out.



Once I finally cut it out (this morning) I taped it to the carbon fiber plate and masked off the area around it because I wanted to “trace” the outline of the cardboard onto the carbon fiber by the use of spray paint.




And there you have it. One perfectly outlined bottom layer of a tricopter. Since this picture I also traced the top layer of the Y6 to the carbon fiber.


I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I really wanted to make sure everything was perfectly straight and even. I don’t want to mess up on a plate that cost me about $35. I am hoping (if I have time) to have this cut out by either tomorrow or Monday night.

More to come!!! Thanks for reading.

I’ll give it a Tri…

March 14, 20110 Comments

I’ll see your Quad and raise you a Tri.

So… as my brother posted eariler he is building a quad-copter. And since I wanted to join in on the fun while not being a copy-cat I decided to design and build a Y6 tri-copter. It has the same similar concept to the quad-copter, but with only three arms. At the end of each arm there are two motors which totals to 6 motors. Now that the intro is out of the way, here we go.

After reworking my budget and finding out just how much I have to spend on this thing I have been able to start buying some stuff for the Y6. And before anything has arrived I’ve begun designing the center plates.


the bottom plate will be much larger than the top because the battery will mount underneath it.

Only 3 esc’s are showing because the other three will mount underneath the top plate and it will all sandwich together.


The top plate will be much smaller because all it needs to do is give a surface for the flight controller to be mounted and also to hold down the boom arms (dashed lines).

So far I have bought the ESCs – 50AMotors – 2830-14Batteries – 4000mAh 11.1v 30C, and a carbon fiber plate – 12″ x 12″ x .1″

ESCs – When it comes to cooling I am hoping that because I got “over-sized” ESCs (50A instead of 30A) they will not be working as hard, ergo not as much heat? I am also going to have holes cut out beneath each ESC where air will be able to circulate through. And I might put an elbow fitting at the end of each boom (under the prop) so it will catch the rotor wash and channel it through each boom all the way to where the ESCs are – essentially blowing air onto the ESCs (I hope that made sense).

Flight Controller – I found a really cool DIY board kit that you actually solder all the parts together yourself. You save a lot on cost. And this controller uses parts from three $15 gyros. It’s certainly a cool project to tackle. I still don’t know, however, if I will go that route.

Can’t wait until it all gets here. The carbon fiber plate should get here Today!

It should end up weighing about 1100g, or 2.4lbs, and be able to lift about 2100g, or 4.6lbs. The goal is to carry an HDSLR

Give me your comments and let me know what I have not thought of, or what might be better in terms of design.