Blog posts

Talking FPV drones on Jay Boston show

Jay Boston invited me on his live show to talk about my experience with FPV drones.

It is a long conversation. We go deep into a range topics:

  • What FPV drones are. What makes them different from consumer drones such as DJI.
  • How to start with FPV.
  • Different classes of FPV drones.
  • Analogue vs digital FPV systems.
  • What equipment you need to fly FPV drones. What to buy and where to buy it.
  • Where to find more information about FPV.
  • Safety of FPV flying.
  • Rules and regulations of FPV flying.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Blog posts

Blog posts

Why I want an autopilot in my racing drone

About a year ago Hobbyking was having one of their “Flash Sale” events. During a few days, they dropped prices on a few hundred items. An online shopaholic in me couldn’t miss it. I meticulously studied the offerings until I found something worthy of my attention and money. That was a Jumper 218 Pro racing quadcopter, almost ready to run. A bargain at a just a bit over $100! I just needed to add an RC receiver.

Jumper 218 Pro Quadcopter

Jumper 218 Pro Quadcopter | Source: hobbyking.com

I received it a few days later and, as it often happens, put it on a shelf for a few months. From time to time I would take it off the shelf, hold it in my hands, make a few plans for it, and then put it back. At the time I was still concentrating on building my Alien 560 quadcopter, and the smaller drone was a distraction. The “project Alien” appeared to be never-ending. Every time I flew it, I saw a way to improve it. I would disassemble the copter and work on it for a week or two. Then put it back together, fly it, and then dismantle again. Only when I crashed the Alien, I decided to take a break from it and turned my attention to the Jumper.

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Blog posts

My midlife crisis

My new Evolve skateboard and I

They say every man goes through a midlife crisis. They used to be associated with flashy purchases like fast cars or motorbikes. But recently a new trend started to emerge. Generation X men coming into a mid-age increasingly choose carbon fibre bicycles over Porsches. This is in part because of the financial pressure - there has been no real wage growth over the last few decades, and at the same time, a larger proportion of the income needs to be allocated towards mortgage payments and other living expenses. Besides, men are chasing their youth, which is the essence of a midlife crisis, while Porsches are frowned upon as a sign of old age since only older men can afford them.

But every man is different. I honestly thought that my midlife crisis was behind me without any flashy manifestations. Well, I bought a red car ten years ago but it doesn’t count (sort of, right?). As for a bicycle, I have never been a bike person. I had a decent bicycle, but I barely rode it, and most of the time it was just idly sitting in my garage. Moreover, a geek should have a special kind of geeky midlife crisis, or otherwise, what’s the fun in it?

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Ghostbusters: Legacy

Sometimes I see dreams which are like movies: they are vivid, bright and clear. It doesn’t happen often, but whenever it does, I rush to write them down first thing in the morning before I forget them. Here is another one. I am not a writer. If anyone wants to take this and turn it into a work of art, be my guest. Just let me know. Here we go…

It’s been 27 years since the original Ghostbusters saved New York City from Vigo.

An organisation called The Legacy fights a new threat - humans possessed by ghosts. That combination makes those creatures extremely violent and dangerous. The technology developed by the Ghostbusters seems to have been lost: long gone are the proton blasters and high-tech traps. Members of The Legacy go into their battles armed with swords, crossbows and guns (Walking Dead - style).

A young member of The Legacy (male, 17-18 yo) is doing it very tough. He is not as strong as his older peers, and every encounter with the enemy leaves marks on him, both physically and emotionally. After yet another close call his fellow mate (a female, 25yo) advises him to check out the underground vaults of The Legacy’s headquarters. She hopes he can find something that can help him in a battle.

Our protagonist descends into the vault and among the piles of defunct old equipment buried there for decades he finds a Ghostbusters’ ghost trap. He retrieves the trap and decides to take it with him to the next mission.

During his next encounter, he places the trap but he is reluctant to activate it. After all, the trap was designed to work on ectoplasmic ghosts rather human-ghost hybrids. He finds himself pinned against the wall, and his comrade (male, 25-30yo) activates the trap to save him. Unfortunately, when the trap is used on a human tissue, it explodes, and the whole scene is turned into a bloody mess.

Disappointed and discouraged, our protagonist doesn’t know what he should do. He decides to locate Dr Egon Spengler and seek his advice. At the time, Spengler lives alone on the outskirts of the city. When our hero finds him, Egon is reluctant to admit him, but finally, succumbs when he finds out that he is from The Legacy.

Our hero asks Spengler what happened to the old Ghostbusters. It turns out that the Ghostbusters are still technically intact. Sometime after the New York battle with Vigo, the original members of Ghostbusters found themselves facing an ever-escalating threat from ghosts and other paranormal activity. The city they saved turned its back on them, and the Ghostbusters felt hopelessly outnumbered. In a hope to even a playing field, they agreed to a large corporation’s offer to acquire Ghostbusters. They hoped that the corporation will provide the support and resources they needed for their fight.

Unfortunately, the company soon discovered there was not much money in fighting ghosts. Instead, selling Ghostbusters merchandise made more sense to them. The funding was cut and the Ghostbusters team was disbanded. The former Ghostbusters HQ at an old fire department was turned into a tourist attraction, with ghosts slowly leaking from the high-tech vault. The iconic Ghostbusters wagon was sold to the city museum. The high-tech gadgets such as the proton blasters were seized by the corporation’s top secret military R&D department to develop new kinds of weapons based on them.

The disgruntled members of the original Ghostbusters withdrew themselves from the public scene. They stopped their fight but used their remaining money and influence to found a new organisation which would pick up where they left - The Legacy.

Our protagonist asks Egon for advice. He has an idea: to join the corporations R&D department to attempt to learn the ghost-fighting technology they develop, and they use that knowledge to help the Legacy. Egon replies that that may not be the worst idea.

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