DIY Pumpkin Drone Build – HALLOWEEN Idea ;-)

With Halloween approaching very fast, we have decided to do something special and we got a Halloween idea. We are gonna do a Halloween Pumpkin Drone and in the case likely the first in the world. A flying Pumpkin Quadcopter with lights and scary sound.

 

 

Welcome to Drones & Electric Unicycles where we make weekly tutorials, provide tips and reviews to help you get the best out your equipment. and help you make scary Halloween items with this Halloween idea 😉

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I sometimes get the question why the channel is called Drones & Electric Unicycles, when most of the drone stuff is around DJI Mavic Pro.1 Before I purchased my Mavic I was building my own stuff so I know the ropes. I was especially fascinated by Tricopters and Quads. build a lot those from scrap parts picked up around the net. This build will be using parts from one of those builds to make the Halloween Pumpkin Drone combined with a Plastic Pumpkinhead picked at a local store.

Before we get to the part where we integrate the pumpkin, lights, and sound into the Halloween Gimmick we need to make a stable quadcopter platform. To be able to build a quadcopter we need some essential parts like 4 motors, 4 props, 4 ESC (speed controllers), 1 flight controller and an RC link. On top of that, we need a battery to power the drone, and RC transmitter to control it, and a frame to strap it on. This is the basis of any quadcopter, anything else like camera and GPS is just icing on the cake, but clearly makes the flying experience better especially for new pilots
If you can complete this build, you have the basic knowledge to build your own stuff.

In case you are up for it, we will only use easily accessible parts that can be purchased either on Amazon and the local hardware store. We have found out the prices on Amazon are not competitive, so the list below is from HobbyKing instead.

Basic components for this Halloween idea

Hobbyking KK2.0 flight controller (now Hobbyking KK 2.1.5)
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbyking-kk2-1-5-multi-rotor-lcd-flight-control-board-with-6050mpu-and-atmel-644pa.html

1350KV 28-26 Brushless motor
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/propdrive-v2-2826-1350kv-brushless-outrunner-motor.html

30A Speed Controllers (need to have UBEC to power flight controller)
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobby-king-30a-esc-3a-ubec.html?wrh_pdp=3

3S lipo battery – 25C / 2200mAh
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/zippy-compact-2200mah-3s-25c-lipo-pack.html

Battery alarm
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbykingtm-lipo-voltage-checker-2s-8s.html

1045 propellers (you need minimum 2 pairs)
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/1045-glass-fiber-nylon-black.html

RC Transmitter & Receiver
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobby-king-2-4ghz-6ch-tx-rx-v2-mode-2.html

Connection wires (RC link to flight controller)
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/10cm-female-to-female-servo-lead-jr-26awg-10pcs-set.html

Double adhesive foam pads
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/3m-gyro-mounting-pad-3pcs-bag.html

You also need:

  • Bullet connectors
  • Wire Red/Black
  • Heat Shrink
  • XT60 Connectors (MALE)

Frame & Others for this Halloween idea

  • Pumpkinhead and lights (super lightweight)
  • Speaker with SD card (as light as possible)
  • Aluminium or wood profiles
  • MDF plate (5mm) or really thin plywood plates
  • Bolt and screws
  • Electrical binders (strips)
  • Hot glue

Watch the video to see how to assemble the Halloween Pumpkin Drone

I know this was not very nice to keep you hanging like that 😉 In the next episode I’m firing up the drone, configure the flight controller and install the sound system, and make the first test flight. Stay tuned and make sure to hit that bell notification icon below, so you get notified when it’s online.

Tool for Motor / Thrust Calculation

https://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.php

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Quickshot Mavic Footage – New Flight Modes

Includes: Quickshot Mavic Footage

During last weekend I had the chance to borrow DJI Spark to test and review. Review of DJI Spark will be up on the channel soon. Funny enough the QuickShot features was one of the things I really liked about the DJI Spark and with the latest firmware 01.04 DJI now makes it possible to make quick shots with Mavic Pro

 

 

DJI Press release: https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/mavic…

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The idea with Mavic Pro Quickshot is to make video clips with 10s of duration with rather complex camera movements. I have previously made tutorials that show how you can get some amazing footage by combining intelligent flight modes with stick commands.

These tips made it easier to get that amazing shot, it still requires some practice to get it right. With QuickShot this makes it even easier, you just frame your target and the Mavic will automatically take care of the complicated part. One the Quickshot has been completed it will return and you are now left with the 10s great looking footage. Almost sounds too great.

There are 3 modes available for
– Mavic Pro QuickShot mode: Dronie
– Mavic Pro QuickShot mode: Helix
– Mavic Pro QuickShot mode: Rocket

Before we shoot some Mavic Quickshot Footage, let me ask you a question? What to do think about this about 10s predefined intelligent flight modes?
What would other flight modes you like to see with the Mavic Pro?
Leave a comment below, don’t be shy as the best advice is often found among the comments from you in the Drones & Electric Unicycle community.

The way it works is you select Quickshot from the intelligent flight mode menu, and then you frame your subject with the green square, and then select the Quickshot mode, and press ok.

Let’s see the modes in action

1. Dronie

The aircraft will fly backward and upward, the camera constantly tracking the subject. Tap the dronie icon to check and set the flying distance before you press go. Make sure there are no obstacles behind your Mavic when it back away, as there are on sensors to save you from a collision.

2. Helix

The aircraft will fly backward while spiraling up around the subject. Tap the helix icon to check the flying distance before and set the direction before you press go. Again make sure there are no obstacles on the side of your Mavic, as there are no sensors on the side to save you from a collision

3. Rocket

The aircraft will ascend with the camera pointing downward at the subject. Again you can Tap the Rocket icon to check and set the flying distance before you press go.

Pretty cool don’t you think? The quickshot modes are known from Spark, that also has a 4th called circle. This is the in principle the same a POI, which could be the reason for `DJI leaking out of the options for Mavic.

You need to the latest firmware from DJI for your Mavic Pro and the DJI GO 4 App needs to be v4.1.10 for both Android and iOS

It getting from time to time a bit annoying with the frequent updates from DJI, but once I a while they really add value to the platform.
I think DJI is doing a great job supporting and improving their Mavic Platform to the benefit for all of us to make some great Mavic Quickshot Footage.

If you liked this video about Mavic Pro QuickShot make sure to smack that like button below, this helps me understand if this the kind of content you like.

Have a nice day and see you on the next one.

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3D Mapping with Pix4D – Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of 3D Mapping with Pix4D. The last episode ended with a successful mission but the water tower we tried to capture was out of frame in the preview. Let dive back in and see how I fixed it.

 

 

In case you missed Part 1: https://youtu.be/u-wkMmA8KZ0

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Now let’s look at the options. The capture angle is not vertical as needed to fix the framing, but horizontally. Increasing the capture angle will only space the captured photos further apart. I would recommend to keep it low. This leaves only one option to fix an object out of the frame and that is the height.

Once uploaded you get an email from PIX4d with estimated processing time for your model, this takes around 40min. Once the model is ready, you get another email with detailed pdf report about of your model.

Them email also contains a link to the model so you can preview it in a browser. Super smooth process, nice job Pix4D

Let see how the model compares to tower by comparing it to the drone footage from the Mavic Pro

As you can see the model is far from perfect, and it will require some more practice to get it right. When flying high above your object, areas that are not visible to the camera will not be part of the model. With that said it’s pretty amazing you can do a 3D model like this from 2D images.

It’s possible to export your project and import in Pix4D Desktop version but that is only for windows. From the desktop, you have access to additional tools to improve the model and event get a height map. I like the cloud service as makes it super easy to get started as the picture are downloaded from the drone automatically and you can push them to the cloud directly from the phone.

Now you are ready to go an experiment with 3D mapping, it’s easy and fun to get started. But sure you know your options if you experience a flyaway like I did and use the information provided in this video at your own risk.

Finally, I want to mention I studied the data from the first mission when I discovered the pictures in the app preview was cropped. You can just click the image, and see in full size. Obvious when you think about it. It turned out the images was actually ok with the tower in the frame. I do recommend to look at the pictures recorded live by pressing the camera icon during the mission, this will give you a clear view of something is wrong.

 

3D Mapping with Pix4D - Part 2

 

Hope you enjoyed this 3D mapping tutorial useful, if so then smash that like button below. If you are new to this channel hit the subscribe button on the logo next to me so you don’t miss out on the important stuff. I hope you will have a lot of fun doing your own models and I see you on the next one.

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Check out Pix4D Drone compatibility list:
https://pix4d.com/product/pix4dcapture/

Pix4Dcapture Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pix4d.pix4dmapper&hl=da

Ctrl+DJI Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pix4d.plugindji&hl=da

Pix4Dcapture iOS:
https://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/pix4dcapture/id953486050

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