Yuneec Typhoon H un-boxing and first flights

I finally received my Typhoon H hexcopter. Yuneecs latest and most advanced prosumer camera drone.

2016-Yuneec-Typhoon-H-RTF-RC-Helicopter-FPV-RC-Drone-with-Camera-HD-4K-3Aixs-360
Typhoon H

Below is my unboxing video. it’s just under 5 minutes which is longer than I like. It as my first attempt at Facebook live, I did it outside on my picnic table, please excuse the video and audio quality

The un-boxing of my Typhoon H went well. everything was there and in good working order.

Disclaimer: If you read this please know that I understand most of it is my opinion, and that issues I may be having may be caused by me as I go through the learning curve. Also understand that I have been flying model aircraft for over 40 years

First Impressions

Pros:
Over all I love this copter. Compared to other multirotors I have flown. The Typhoon H is fast, maneuvers crisply. stable and easy to fly.

typhoon_H_360_1
Typhoon H Gimbal and 4Kcamera

I like the camera can tilt above the horizon looking slightly upward.
The video and photos are great. I love the 360 gimbal, and the that the gear retracts to take advantage of it.

4K-12 megapixel camera takes great pictures and videos

Battery life is over 20 minutes which is very acceptable for me. I’m even okay with the 2+ hour charge times, although I’m looking forward to hooking up smart/fast charger to them.

I like the ST16. Even though it is large I found it comfortable, easy to use, and surprising intuitive as I learn to use it.

The 7 inch screen is great.

I find it very light but not cheap feeling as some others have said. I think the folding arms and quick disconnect props work well.

Typhoon H
Typhoon H

Cons:
Time for the ST16 Transmitter to connect to the camera, seems pretty long to me.

I wish the camera Pan knob was on the far left where the tilt mode toggle switch is. Then I think I could roll it with my finger while my thumb stayed on the left control stick.
However it has not been an issue while flying yet. I have panned the camera instead of rotating the copter so when I’m turning the knob I don’t need to use the left stick any way. You can use the pan knob to set the pan speed (gimbal rotation speed. then switch your hand to the control stick to change altitude if you wanted to do a rising, or lowering pan shot.
Panning with the gimbal makes for a much smoother pan than rotating the copter, especially in windy conditions.

So far I am not a fan of the straps holding the big ST16. They come very close to the sticks.
Not saying you should do this but if it was hovering in the air and you bent over and the TX hung up on your belt, or if you set it down for a minute I nervous the strap may move a stick.
I found myself wishing I had a transmitter tray like I made in middle school wood shop. Maybe I will get used to it, maybe I will make something.

It took some studying to figure out the top left switches. “Tilt Mode” “Pan Mode”. reading the forums It seems to me there is some confusion on them. I’m still not 100% on them but have worked out how to set them for what I have been doing so far.
Which brings me to my next issue, detailed step by step documentation/How to Videos seems to be lacking from Yuneec.

Other than follow me, watch me, and POI (POI orbits the drone around a fixed point) I have not had any success with any of the specialty/autonomous flight modes. I’m sure I will figure it out.
I know I’m an older guy, but I’m pretty tech savvy with most things, so when I stumble with something I can’t help but wonder is it me, or could this have been done better.

With years of RC experience I’m really comfortable in angle mode which controls the copter like most RC vehicles, i.e. left is based off the direction the copter is pointing not the direction you are pointing as in smart mode.
I am not as comfortable in smart mode.
As I unsuccessfully played with the orbit, Cable Cam, and Journey modes I found it would hang up in smart mode for a few seconds after I switched it back to angle mode with the toggle on the radio. I’m sure it is something I am doing but I feel when you push a hard toggle switch it should override any automatic functions.

Here is some video of POI mode

 
The Wizard

Typhoon H yuneec_wizard_stick_gps_tracker_q500
Typhoon H Wizard

The first versions of the Typhoon H shipped with a Wizard. The Wizard is about the size of a small TV remote and will fly the Typhoon H or the Typhoon Q500. It is perfect for clipping on someone/something to have the copter follow it, or do a selfie. without the bulk of the ST16 controller

My wife and I often do some cool/fun stuff and we love our selfies. I am tired of being in shots holding a transmitter. So I really like the idea of the Wizard.

Knowing this going in I made it a point to spend 1/2 of my first flights using the wizard. So to date I have 2 flights with the wizard.

Years and years of RC TX use gives me decent muscle memory for flying with the ST16. The Wizard however has me back at square one. The premise is simple enough I just need some practice. I find it mildly inconvenient that I have to bind the wizard to the H to use it, then if I want to fly with the ST16 I have to bind it to the H, that which of course unbinds the Wizard. So back and forth as you change controlling devices. Fortunately the binding process is fairly easy for each.

Typhoon H Wizard WBCF-Card
Typhoon H Wizard

The Wizard works as advertised… actually works better than advertised as it has a couple functions with the H that it apparently didn’t have before. Besides being able to raise and lower the gear, you can turn on/off obstacle avoidance, start and stop video recording and take stills with it. I found this info on the cheat sheet card that came with it. I have tried all of it and it works pretty well once you figure out the button technique.

The wizard is mainly for watch me mode and it works very well with it.
It can also be used with “Team Mode”. In team mode you fly the Typhoon H with the Wizard and a second person controls the camera with the ST16.
If I was doing a photo or video shoot using team mode I think I would feel more comfortable flying the copter with a standard Transmitter. Yuneec says you can do this with the ST12. Also from what I can tell the Wizard doesn’t allow for all the fancy autonomous flight modes you might use for such work, like CC, or POI.
I have not tried it with team mode yet. but team mode or not I am looking forward to playing with it more.

The biggest issue I have had so far with the Wizard is my lack of experience/muscle memory. A couple of tense times out of nervousness I almost flew it into a tree. I will keep practicing.

Here is a short video of me flying the H with the Wizard.

I have started using the Typhoon H to help finish my latest video project I started “The Welaka Lodge & Resort Dockside Bar”

This is what I have so far shot with my Yuneec Typhoon Q500. I plan to redo some of the shots and add some new shots with the H.

That’s about it on the Typhoon H for now.

Here is some quick catch up.

  • In April I went to the Drone Dealer Expo, hooked up with a Drone Distributor and this month I opened an online drone store. www.MikesDroneStore.com
    B
    esides great deals on camera drones and have set up links to some of the best tutorials I know of on the web.
  • Partnering with my friend Mark of 808 Post We are waiting on a 333, as well as FAA Part 107. In the mean time I’m doing video/photos for free while I work on improving my skills. www.MikeFlys.com will become my video service site when I get time to update it.I hope you enjoyed this post, as always drop me a line or post a comment if you have any questions or have anything you would like to share.

Until next time fly safe

Mike

 

 

No products found.

No products found.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500+

I recently picked up a Yuneec Typhoon Q500+. I know I know it’s not the latest greatest, but honestly that’s the point.  With almost everything technology wise when the new models come out the prices drop on the older models. I bought this quad through Amazon with 2 batteries, an Aluminum case, spare props and the steady grip, which allows you to turn the 1080p camera/gimbal into a hand held steady cam. This is March 2016 and I paid $700 for this package. It is a lot of bang for the buck.

1914587_10208919465969054_4894390965686516190_n

I set up a video camera to show the unboxing. No offense to all the UAV/Drone guys doing unboxing videos, I really appreciate what you do but for me, you take too long. I’m sure it’s ok for everyone else. So my video is probably the shortest unboxing video ever.

The Aluminum case is lighter than I expected, and while I’m not a huge fan of the cheaper feeling hard white Styrofoam I got used to it pretty quick. One of my goals for this quad is to be able to strap it onto my motorcycle for hauling around on our riding adventures…. More on that in a future post.

I love that it comes with everything you need to fly and record video/pictures, down to the memory stick, right out of the box. It lives up to Yuneecs reputation for that. 2 sets of props, and a nice strap to secure the radio make for a very nice package.

After unboxing the first thing I did was to put a copter battery on charge. While it was charging I removed the cover and battery from the ST-10+ transmitter and install the small micro SD card that came in the Accessories box.  This allows the transmitter to log all the flight data and even some low res versions of what the camera sees. Having a micro SD card in the TX is good for a few things, if something goes wrong with your copter in flight the data on the card maybe able to help you or Yuneec determine what went wrong. As it logs data from the copters GPS if you lose it this may provide a clue as to where to look for it on the rare chance it flys away. On the lighter side you can pull the data and play with it, plot your flight, add flight info to your video more on that in a future post.

I removed the gimbal protecting brace and installed a super-fast 32 gig micro SD card in the Camera

Next I installed my FAA UAV number in a couple spots and printed a couple of the certificates I’m supposed to have on me when I fly to keep in the box. The law is the law.

I downloaded Q500 GUI and updated the firmware for the TX, Copter, and camera.

Lastly I installed the A and B props making sure they were secure against their rubber O-rings

With my wife using our DSLR I  set up near our RV for the first flight.

1917479_10208921079569393_8277106804685135781_n

I pushed/held the start button and the motors spooled up. Then I eased the left stick up for takeoff. Having flown several quads and RC helis I will admit it took me by surprise when it leaped into the air. I was trying to do a smooth take off so my instinct was to slow it down which caused it to bounce some. Since them I have learned that it launches the first foot or so at it’s own pace to get it away from the ground. Landing is the same way only slow. If your GPS has an accurate signal all you have to do is just hold the left stick down and it will land itself. Note: My experience is to wait the extra few seconds to make sure the copter & TX both have GPS signal and that the speed and altitude read 0 Not only does this make for smoother landings, but it also will have more accurate telemetry data for the first few seconds of flight.

Here is a short video compilation of the first flights I did with my Yuneec Typhoon Q500+

It didn’t take long to get the hang of it. The Typhoon Q500 is easily the most stable quadrotors I have ever flown. Even more stable than my DJI F550 hexcopter. I found it to be so stable in fact that I could comfortably check the screen on the ST10 to check the telemetry data, see the altitude frame the shot, check battery voltages.

When the copter battery gets low the Transmitter (ST-10 Ground Station) will flash, beep and vibrate to let you know. It’s a great feature and very important when flying an aircraft powered by Lipoly batteries.

I up got up early the next day to shoot the Sun Rise.

1919239_10208927614772769_5594700637474093548_n

YUNC0061

I fell in love with this quad very quickly. I fly it as often as I can and it is a great camera platform. I will discuss the steady grip in a future post. I’m also planning on doing some posts on shooting and editing video, including the 30 second videos I do for my Instagram posts @Mike_Flys.  You can find the software I use in my A-Store

I hope you enjoyed this post and the videos.

I have preordered a Yuneec Typhoon H and am very excited to get it, Of course I will do a post on it as well.

If you have any questions or anything you would like me to write about please let me know.

Thanks,

Mike
Please check out my UAV website/store www.MikesDroneStore.com
and
The UAV Daily news www.theUAVdaily.com

 

No products found.

No products found.

Introduction: How did I get here? Or, what makes me think I know a little something about UAVS?

Introduction

How did I get here? Or, what makes me think I know a little something about Drones?

I have always been mechanical, good with my hands. For as long as I can remember, I have taken things apart and put them back together. Even to this day, when something breaks, my first inclination is to fix it, not replace it. I must get my mechanical aptitude from my father, as well as my love of vehicles – especially those that fly.

It Runs in the Family

My father was an aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II before the U.S. Air Force existed.  Growing up, he never tossed me a ball, but he would buy airplane models for me and my brothers to build. Then he would hang them from the ceiling in our basement. He worked with me in the garage, showing me how to use tools properly, take my bicycle apart to pack the bearings, adjust the pedal crank bearing  and steering head bearing s as the final step in servicing the bearings. I was the only kid in my neighborhood that took his bike apart every spring for a major service!

My dad and I used to park at the airport in Cheyenne WY and watch the Lockheed Constellation aircraft the army guard flew take off and land. And later the C-130s that replaced the “Connies.”

It’s no wonder I grew up playing with airplanes and rockets. I would build the balsa and tissue rubber band-powered free flight airplanes. Some of them bigger than you would think for a rubber band-powered airplane! It was a natural progression into cox nitro engine powered flight, free flight and control line flight.

An Obsession Develops

My first magazines were model airplane news. I would read them cover-to-cover when they arrived. One day, in a new magazine was an article called, “Part one of how to design an Airplane.” That article and, of course, the consecutive articles changed my life. I already knew the basics of flight, weight and balance and such. (If you didn’t understand that, even the airplane kits you built would never fly right.) These articles took me to a whole new level. In no time, I was designing airplanes on graph paper. Cutting out rib templates for cutting wing ribs from balsa wood. And building my own airplanes.

Of course, like all my friends, I was building and flying Estes Rockets as well. I guess it made sense that one of my earliest airplane designs was powered by an Estes “Cold Propellant” engine. It was a free-flight airplane. She flew great – and really, really fast!  That and the several versions of what I called a box Wing Canard were the most memorable planes I designed and built back then.

The Career that Got Away

From about 9 years old until I was 17, I wanted to be an Aeronautical Engineer. I even wrote Cessna when I was 14 years old telling them of my intent to apply for a job with them after college. I mentioned the Cessna 337 Sky Master was my all-time favorite airplane (at the time anyway).  They replied with a nice letter stating they were looking forward to my application and sent me a Sky Master brochure that folded open into a big poster of the push pull airplane. That poster stayed on my wall longer more years than any poster I have ever owned. I took as much drafting as an elective in middle and high school as I could.

What happened at 17 to make me change my mind? It was a few long talks with a well-meaning (but misguided) high school guidance counselor.  This was the early 80s, and people were starting to get sue- crazy. The liability of manufacturing small single-engine piston aircraft was becoming overwhelming for aircraft manufactures. General Aviation was dying. The consular convinced me of that. And that companies like Cessna, Piper, Mooney would be out of business soon. Or at least out of the General Aviation Business.  So if I wanted to be an Aeronautical Engineer, my best bet was to design rockets for General Dynamics or some other company filling military contracts.  It wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I gave up my dream of designing propeller powered airplanes.

My guidance counselor wasn’t entirely wrong. While Cessna is still in business, in the mid-80s they did stop producing single engine airplanes for liability reasons. So I decided to be a Mechanical Engineer but never made it finished school. I continued designing, building and flying what we called back then “Model Airplanes.”

From Model Airplanes to Radio-Controlled Aircraft

Not being able to afford transmitters receivers and such, I didn’t get into RC until after school. Reading the RC airplane magazines and playing with different RC kits is where I discovered what would become one of my all-time favorite airplanes:  the Lake Buccaneer.  Like the real Lake Buccaneer, the RC kit was a bit heavy and underpowered. But what an amazing airplane!

Learning from a Pro

Flash forward several years in the late 90s, early 2000s, I decided to try my hand at rotor wing. Helicopters. After struggling for a while with little RC electric helis and not getting anywhere by myself,  I met a guy named Dave at the flying field. He told me to get a Thunder Tiger Raptor .50 kit – and a flight sim. Then to call him when the heli was assembled and I could hover the sim. Not surprisingly, I really enjoyed building the Thunder Tiger Raptor. As for the sim, I struggled and struggled. I told Dave I couldn’t do it. He said keep trying, practice every day – then one day, it’ll be like you flipped a switch.

Sure enough with more practice I finally got it. I met Dave at the RC field in Henderson, Nevada, with my Raptor kit and TX. He went over every little detail, explaining how to properly set up the helicopter.  He test flew my helicopter.
Then with two sticks and 4 wiffle balls zipped tied to my gear to prevent tipping I actually hovered an RC helicopter. It was great every day. After that I would head to the RC field to practicing flying my RC helicopter nearly every day.

Becoming a Pilot

In the mid-2000s, I decided time was slipping by and I needed to get my pilots license. Traveling for work made it difficult. Getting a flight lesson two or three times a month is the long way there. But at least I was flying fairly regularly, even if it was with an instructor, or just solo by myself. It took 18 months, but I finally earned my SEL certificate (Single Engine Land).

Two years later I decided to get my SES (Single Engine Sea). Of course there was only one seaplane I wanted to be my first. Lake Aircraft Buccaneer. Getting my sea plane rating was one of the funnest things I have ever done.  Flying airplanes is a blast. Flying boats blows it right out of the water.

Fun with the Phantom (My first Drone)

I never really paid much attention to the multi rotors/Drones as they were starting to trickle out – until the Phantom. My first quadRotor/drone was a DJI Phantom 1 V2. Man, what a great, easy-to-fly craft.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the GPS lock and all, but part of me is concerned that thousands of people are learning to guide these things around letting the GPS do all the work. Maybe it’s the old school helicopter guy in me, but I think you need to know how to fly without GPS first. Get a little drone like ethos Q130 and fly the shit out of it. It’s pretty stable, no GPS and a ton of fun. Or at least practice flying your DJI or whatever with the GPS turned off.

Anyway, like I said the Phantom flys great, easy fun. But the video could be better. So the aircraft builder in me kicked in and installed a 3-axis gimbal, now the landing gear isn’t long enough and if I install longer gear, it won’t fit in the Plano case. So, the engineer in me kicked in, and I printed some clip-on gear. So it went until I had way too much stuff in this quadcopter/drone.
12718244_10208804469094204_4321963159972077204_n

Onward and Upward

Next, I needed to build a bigger better drone for a camera platform, so picked up a DJI Flamewheel F550, NAZA M V2 … More stuff, more 3D printed parts.

In the meantime, I continued to pick up and fly smaller multi-rotors, Blade Nano, Aeris Ethos Q130… I’m always evolving and looking for what’s next. Fortunately, I know some great people who share their thoughts with me and even let me fly their stuff, so I have gotten very good at the research side. I love my F550 but it is too big to easily drag around in my RV. Also If I could haul it on my motorcycle that would be a big plus. So time for the next thing. The F550 is for sale.
2016-02-18 13.58.33

I have had some friends in video houses and the insurance industry talk to me about doing some filming with a drone. One of the big things is safety. To do this at the next level, they like at least a three-person team. One to focus on flying, one to operate the camera focusing on the shot, and as many safety spotters as needed for the job. The insurance guys also expect perfect grids over the building or whatever they are inspecting.
I currently have a Yuneec Typhoon H on order. I can hardly wait for it. Seriously … I’m impatient, so I’m picked up a Typhoon Q50.0+ to tide me over until the H comes out. It may be a great compliment to it. read about the Q500 in my next post
H

Well that’s my nearly 50 year love of aviation boiled down to 1600 words. I hope you will come back and read what I come up with next. Reviews, How tos, and just my opinion on all things in remotely piloted aviation.

Thanks for Reading.

Want to know what I’m recommending in the ever changing world of UAV/Drones and video making?

Check out my Drone Store. With all the drone stuff online it can be over whelming trying to find what’s right for you. I make it easier for you. I only list products I have used, own or have personal knowledge of. Bottom line I only list products that I own, have owned or that I would buy.

Want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of UAVs? Check out the “UAV Daily”. Subscribe to my newsletter, and lots of drone goodness will show up in your inbox every morning.

Until next time,
Fly Safe, Have fun.
Mike

Have a question for me or a tip or something fun to share.

 

 

 

 

No products found.

No products found.