Gary’s Ramblings

Flight controller

January 22nd, 2017

I went with an X-Racer F303 v3.1 flight controller.  Pretty basic controller for doing things like building a racing quad.  This controller lacks the ability to do things like gps, but for a racing quad that’s not needed.

The controller comes without the pin headers installed, so the first step was to install those.



Lots of little tiny spots to solder.  I had to get a small tip for my soldering iron in order to do this, because all I had was about a quarter inch chisel tip style tip.  I actually put more headers in than I really needed.  On the left side I really only need the 1 for the sbus connection, but I thought 2 might be a little more stable.  On the right, I only really need channels 1-4, plus a channel for bringing in power, and the led pin set.  I figured it was easier just to put all of them in over there.

I did have a moment of panic while I was testing things with the multimeter to make sure I didn’t short circuit everything.  I was testing between various pins and getting continuity between them.  Took me a minute or so to figure out that that made sense – pins all along the ground line naturally all are connected to each other.

Motors and ESCs

January 22nd, 2017


First step is soldering the motors to the ESC.  For this build, I went with SunnySky 2100Kv X2207S motors and ZTW 20A escs.  The motor wires solder onto pads directly on the esc.  When I started this, my original plan was to leave the wires the original length and just tuck them in under the parts as I assembled.  So what you see here is the wires left at their original length.

Then after the first motor, the other 3 motors also need soldered.


Beginning quad copter build

January 21st, 2017


I’ve been pondering for a while building an fpv racing style quad copter.  Flying around just taking photos with a quad just never really quite interested me, but the more I watched video of the fpv racing stuff, the more that seemed like something I could find interesting.

So, given that, I’ve gathered the various parts needed to build my own 250 sized quad copter.  Pictured is pretty much the entire collection of stuff except for the video goggles.

2011 South American cruise photos

March 1st, 2015

Photos from our 2011 South American cruise are now posted.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Northern Michigan

February 7th, 2015

And now I’ve added pictures from our 2011 Northern Michigan trip

.Petroglyphs in Lake Superior Provincial Park

2011 Crown Princess Caribbean Cruise photos

February 7th, 2015

Ok, and now we have the photos from the 2011 Crown Princess Caribbean Cruise up.

2010 Common Ground Pictures

February 3rd, 2015

And now we have pictures from the 2010 Common Ground Festival.

New photos!

February 2nd, 2015

After a very long time of not getting any work done on photo arrangement, I’ve finally added some new photos.  I’m still a ways behind though, so the new photos are still from an older cruise, our 2010 Emerald Princess Caribbean cruise.

Leading edge

March 21st, 2014

Next the outer leading edge gets installed.


After this, built the second wing panel, but doesn’t look like I took any photos of it, so on to the center section.

Cap strips and shear webs

March 10th, 2014

Next the shear webs are added to the wing, and the top cap strips.