Blom FPV

In March 2016 my FPV racing career took a drastic turn, I got several sponsors and started taking my racing and practice very seriously. Here is a list of my accomplishments thus far, as well as my sponsors and my equipment.


  • 3rd Place – Open Class South African Drone Racing Nationals
  • Qualifying for Drone World Championship 2016 in Hawaii
  • 1st Place – TMC Viking Quad Invitation, Durban, South Africa



I fly a Drone X Labs racing frame called the Diablo at competitions equipped with some of the best hardware from my other sponsors:

Diablo super light racing frame

For freestyle and videos I fly a Drone X Labs Nitrox frame:

NitroX well balanced freestyle frame





Drone Consulting

Over the years I have received quite a number of questions regarding multirotors, FPV racers and “drones.” Some of the correspondence led to informal consulting opportunities whereby I would help a client with his Remotely Piloted Vehicle.

These consulting activities included:

  • Repairing broken multirotors
  • Setting up multirotors to flying condition
  • Flight-training
  • Value quotations of old second hand goods
  • Sale of a client’s second hand goods at a sales commission

I have worked with several types of multirotors, I am relatively proficient in Mission Planner software and I have experience on the following flight controllers:

  • 3DR Pixhawk
  • HKPilot 32
  • DJI Naza M-Lite
  • APM2
  • Naze32

If you require any advice, consulting or repair services, please contact me. Below are a few testimonies from clients I have informally serviced in the past.

Google Glass Gimbal Control

These Google Glass control was migrated from the prototype 3D printed frame to a large heavy lift quadcopter gimbal. Below is a demonstration of real-time wireless control of the pitch and roll axes of a heavy-payload carrying gimbal, controlled hands-free by Google Glass. This control is a applied to a project I worked on at Simera Technology Group, see: Anax Heavy Lift Quadcopter.

Unfortunately the yaw motor for the large gimbal is faulty, but a full three-axis demonstration video will be posted as soon as the gimbal motor is replaced.

To apply this project to your own gimbal system, you can see my instructable:

Gimbal Control By Google Glass Instructable

Anax Heavy Lift Quadcopter

Anax (Greek: ἄναξ; from earlier ϝάναξ, wánax) is an ancient Greek word for “King”

The Anax Quadcopter with Gimbal Payload

The Anax quadcopter is rightfully named the Anax, it is part of a side project undertaken by Simera Technology Group. I was hired as an intern to take on the project and responsibilities of building, setting up and flying the quadcopter.

The Anax compared to it’s smalled training platforms

The purpose of the Anax is to serve as a testing platform capable of lifting heavy payloads, such as multi-spectral cameras developed by Simera to do data acquisition and testing. The first successful flight of the Anax took place on the 28th of Nov, 2014.


Test Flight.png
First successful test flight of the Anax


The Anax is capable of lifting a large gimbal with a heavy camera payload, and has undergone rigorous testing in the hopes that my undergraduate thesis, Gimbal Control by Means of Google Glass, can be applied to it.

In-lab software development for Google Glass gimbal control

Below is a demonstration of real-time wireless control of the pitch axis of a heavy-payload carrying gimbal, controlled hands-free by Google Glass.

See: my undergraduate thesis on Google Glass gimbal control

Simera Technology Group

The Mechabrewers

The Mechabrewers are the winners of the 2015 Pneudrive national South African engineering design competition. The winning design submission received an all-expenses-paid trip to the SEW and SMC head quarters in Germany and the UK.

Find out more about Pneudrive, visit their website:

More about our project, see our website:

Media Coverage and Articles:


More about us:

The Mechabrewers is a mechatronics design team from the University of Stellenbosch that was formed to compete in the Pneudrive Challenge, a national engineering design competition in South Africa. We love designing mechatronic systems through our specific and individual skill sets. Using our combined experience and expertise, we can solve any automation problem.

The Mechabrewers Pneudrive Team
The Mechabrewers Pneudrive Team: (From left) Jean Swart, Josua Blom, Madeli du Toit, Johannes Leuvenink, Reghardt Pretorius.

We undertook the project in collaboration with Stellenbrau Breweries to assist them in their production line by design a system that could potentially automate a specific process.

photo 1.JPG
The Mechabrewers team with Stellenbrau Staff

Our design submission for the 2015 Pneudrive competition was the BottleBot, an automated robotic arm intended to move beverage bottles around in a production line.

The BottleBot.
The BottleBot.

To assist with our design submission we also built a prototype of the BottleBot that was made out of wood and pneumatics. Below is a video of the prototype in action:

My Itinerary for Life

Here is my bucket list. Places I want to go and things I want to do with my soon-to-be wife, Sandi:


  • Go to Capri in Naples with my Sandi

beautiful scenery of amalfi coast of Italy

  • Go see the Northern Lights:
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights
  • Go to Amsterdam and other small towns in the Netherlands:


  • A backpacking road trip in Bali
A temple in Bali
A temple in Bali
  • Mt. Huashan in China: Located in the Shaanxi Province, Mount Huashan is one China’s five sacred mountains. Historically, this trek was embarked on as a spiritual pilgrimage leading to a monastery near the summit.
Huashan Hike
Huashan Hike
  • Visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain:
The biggest religious building in the world
The biggest religious building in the world
  • Go to Menorca, Spain:
Ciutadella, the town centre in Menorca
Ciutadella, the town centre in Menorca
One of many picture perfect beaches on Menorca
One of many picture perfect beaches on Menorca
  • Go to the Great Wall of China:
great wall.jpg
The Great Wall of China
  • Go to Thailand and eat traditional Thai food


  • Go to the Philippines:



  • Race at the World Drone Prix, the premier FPV Racing Championship:


  • Go snowboarding and skiing in the Alps:
Snowboarding in the Alps
Snowboarding in the Alps
  • Go on a Contiki tour:
A Contiki tour to anywhere
A Contiki tour to anywhere
  • Get my para-gliding license:
The view from a paraglider
The view from a paraglider
  • Climb up to Machu Picchu in Peru:
The ancient city of Machu Picchu

My FPV Quadcopters

Over the years I’ve built several FPV racing quadcopters. My current fleet looks something like this:


My first setup included ever:

  • DYS 1806 motors
  • AfroESC 12A ESC’s with SimonK firmware
  • Naze 32 Flight Controller
  • Turnigy Nano-Tech 45C 1300mAh batteries
  • Hobbyking FPV Camera starter kit
My first FPV racing quadcopter, fresh from a crash
My first FPV racing quadcopter, fresh from a crash

The second quad I built was a a variation with the diatone frame, in an attempt to build a warp-quad (a very, very fast quadcopter) with my newly acquired 2206 Tiger Motors, as shown below:

My first attempt at a warp-quad
My first attempt at a warp-quad

The third multirotor I built was a tricopter. I had access to a friend’s 3D printer and from that point on it felt like the world was my oyster. I was curious to see what the flight characteristics of a tricopter would feel like, so I nonchalantly printed one, and many hours later it was up in the air:

You can find the design on Thingiverse:

My first 3D printed tricopter
My first 3D printed tricopter

After realising that my motors were a little bit too powerful for the tricopter setup, I opted for a V-Tail, a quadcopter design that has enhanced yaw-control. Despite the awesome look, there aren’t many tutorials or details on tuning setups for this design, so getting it to fly properly was quite a challenge.

You can find the design on Thingiverse:

An Example of the V-Tail quacopter that I 3D printed.
An Example of the V-Tail quacopter that I 3D printed.

My newest quadcopter is the EchoQuad 270, the frame is designed locally by a legend called Saadiq. FlyingRobot and EchoQuad have done an exceptional job of furthering the FPV racing scene in South Africa, and I commend them for that.

The setup on the EchoQuad quadcopter is as follows:

  • Tiger Motor 2206 2000kv Motors
  • ZTW Spider 18A Lite Opto ESCs
  • 1.2 Ghz VTx
  • Naze 32 Flight Controller
  • Turnigy Nano-Tech 45C 1300mAh batteries
  • Hobbyking FPV Camera starter kit
The EchoQuad FPV and Race Ready
The EchoQuad can be extremely compact when folded


Awesome scenery, flying below Stellenbosch Mountain
The newest version of the EchoQuad 270 with 5.8GHz FPV

I recently got sponsored by Drone X Labs in Australia. They sent me enough parts to build two fully functional racing quads with their DXL Hyper X Frame:

My DXL Hyper X racing quadcopter
My Freestyle version of the DXL Hyper X Frame with a RunCam 2
Waiting for a race to start at the South African Drone Racing National Championships where I placed 3rd overall.