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.

Accomplishments:

  • 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

Multimedia:

Equipment:

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

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Diablo super light racing frame

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

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NitroX well balanced freestyle frame

Sponsors:

 

 

My FPV Quadcopters

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

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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: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:143530

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: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:596820

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
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The EchoQuad FPV and Race Ready
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The EchoQuad can be extremely compact when folded

 

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Awesome scenery, flying below Stellenbosch Mountain
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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:

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

 

FPV Racing – A New Sport

FPV Racing is a pretty new thing, not many people have heard of it, and most of the people who have are enthusiasts themselves. With that being said, if you have heard of it and you’re not an enthusiast, you should probably go see a doctor.

Instead of explaining in simple terms what it is, watch this video and you’ll have a pretty good idea:

There you have it, it’s basically the modern day equivalent of the racing that Annakin does in Star Wars, except it’s not as life threatening or expensive.

If you feel that you have done enough reading and want to get started, follow the Flying Robot link in the FPV Racing menu.

My love of remote control flying things runs deep into my veins. I have a very particularly intense love-hate relationship with remote control helicopters. I love flying them and I hate crashing them, something which happens way too often and a rebuild is ridiculously expensive.

With mini quad racers on the other hand, a crash is something you do when you want to get better, and most of the time the damage is propeller or two. It doesn’t really compare to the utter destruction at the crime scene of a helicopter crash, at all.

When I watched the video above the bug bit me instantly, I ordered parts from HobbyKing and waited a agonizing six weeks for them to arrive in Cape Town. I hurriedly slapped all the necessary parts together in a very sloppy build and Voila! I had my very first quadcopter.

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Myself and three other pilots in the first official South African FPV race ever!

The next few chapters of this love story is a dramatic tale of love and hate, albeit a lot of love, and very little hate…