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Archive for the ‘UP’ Category

NEice presents at ‘Social Outcast’ at Boston Rock Gym

2012_NEice_UP_logo_url Blue

On Sunday, December 15th, 2013, Boston Rock Gym in Woburn, MA will be hosting the 7th installment of their Social Outcast Club—a unique way for climbers to learn, socialize and share experiences about what we all love in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. During each gathering, several BRG climbers and guest speakers cover a range of climbing topics.

NEice will be the Special Guest that evening to show the first year’s UP! Film and talk about flying with the RC Helicopters.  Doug has been hard at work this summer building more sophisticated choppers for this years filming and we are excited to get them in the air and capture better and more stable footage.  This event kicks off the second year into this project for us and we hope you’ll join us!

 

 

Below are more details about the event from BRG’s Event Page on Facebook:

Sunday, December 15, 2013  7:00pm-11:00pm
 JOIN US FROM 7-7:30PM FOR SOME SLACKLINING AND A PULL-UP CONTEST! (PRIZE TBA)

DECEMBER TOPICS:
-Showing of the BRG’s ice climbing trip video from 2012-“How an average climber can make the most of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca- Taking down big mountains.” by Ilya Tatar and Lidiya VI

-Special Guest Speaker, Doug Millen.
Doug founded and runs NEice.com and is very active in the ice climbing community. He will be doing a talk/show titled “The NEice UP project. Filming and photographing ice climbing with RC helicopters.”

-GEAR SWAP!

COST: FREE for members or with the purchase of a day pass on Sunday.
(Come in after 4pm and stay for this event and receive a $10 a daypass!)

WHAT TO BRING: Your favorite food and drinks for the potluck table-and a smile of course…

ADDITIONAL: Please email us, or let us know if you want to share your experiences and show your videos at one of the upcoming meetings.Social_Outcast

The gym is located at
78 Olympia Drive
Woburn, MA 01801

-Submitted by Courtney Ley/NEice.com

Ardu in for a tune UP!.

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GETTING READY FOR WINTER..

Ardu has been flying great all summer and he is ready for this ice climbing season.

The Building of “ARDU”

by Doug Millen

The most advanced RC Helicopter I have built to date

Building helicopters is fast becoming my main addiction (like I need another). It has been one of the hardest and most challenging things I have done in my life. Building and flying helicopters in the mountains is no easy task. Every trip we have failures, but we learn from our mistakes. I have made a lot of mistakes since we started but the helicopters just keep getting better and so do my flying skills.

 

This is the fifth helicopter I have built. This one is made completely from scratch and of my own design. I have incorporated the best features I have seen and I am using the ARDU auto pilot system APM 2.0. APM is the world’s leading open source UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) autopilot. It’s basically a robot that flies!

ARDU will know where he is, how to get home and able to run a mission with many way points, all on his own. Plus he will be sending back live video and filming with a GoPro Hero 3.

This rig will have all I am looking for (I hope) and teeth for the mountain winds. Here is a video of me fighting the wind in Huntington Ravine with the “Pocket Kong”. Clearly more power is needed for control.

It all starts with an idea and a drawing. I had been thinking for awhile what my next build would be. I would incorporate all I have learned over the winter. The plan was to make a Quad copter for stability and with enough power to battle the mountain winds and be able to survive a crash with minimal damage.  The helicopter must be easy to repair and parts readily available because, “you’re gonna crash” and  break some parts. That’s a given. It must also be easy to transport and backpack to where we want to be. UP high!

Below is my latest effort to get even closer to that perfect helicopter I have envisioned in my mind.

Building ARDU

Planing for the main controller (MC), GPS and radio Receivers.

 

Planing how the engine speed controllers (ESC’s) will fit into the frame, a very tight space.

The layout of the MC, Receivers and Telemetry for ARDU on the top deck.

The main frame cut out and ready for sanding. I used 1/4″ marine plywood. It’s what I had around and should work great.

Cutting out the poplar motor arms to receive the motor mounts. Wood is a good material for helicopters. It is light, strong, cheep and vibration resistant.

The motor mounts ready to be glued to the arms.

Gluing the plywood motor mounts to the arms.

Gluing the side rails to the main frame.

The Frame is ready for some paint and final assembly. Notice that the arms will fold back and hit the wood stops during a crash. This helps absorb energy. I got this trick from  building my Tri copter “Woody”. It works great!

All the components ready to put together, I hope everything fits!

A coat of paint to protect the wood and make it look cool.

The main power distribution board with ESC’s attached. A big power system (30A ESC’s) to battle the winds.

The bullet ends of the ESC’s  need to be soldered on and then shrink wrapped.

The motors mounted and ready to go. The motors are held in place with zip ties, the weak link in a crash. The motors just break the ties and eject instead of letting the force damage the motors. I used the Avroto M 2814-11 Short Shaft 770KV Brushless Motors for this build. A good, strong and reliable motor.

A tight squeeze for the ESC’s and Power Supplies. It’s going to be hot in there  in the summer, so I need to figure out how to vent it. I have installed a temperature sensor to keep an eye on the heat. It could be a problem, but not in the weather we like to fly in.

ARDU ready for the final test assembly

ARDU 1.0

ARDU 1.0 ready for programming, testing and tuning.  A sweet looking unit.  I can’t wait to fly it!

 

I hope it doesn’t smoke when I plug it in!

Stay tuned for part two – The Programming and Testing of  “ARDU”

 

 

NEice takes to the air in Huntington Ravine

It was Easter weekend and what better way to spend it than with our friends at Harvard Cabin!  Packed in a sizable sled, the latest and greatest flying machine and it’s components were headed up the trail Friday night, ready (or not!) for the job ahead.  The weather and snow conditions were superb for climbing and skiing in the ravines, but NEice pilot, Doug Millen, had his eyes on another type of weather forecast.

After a few weeks of rebuilding the new Woo Kong, version 3.0, we were ready to give it the ultimate test. With its lighter, smaller frame and only 4 props, it earned it’s nickname Pocket Kong.  Saturday morning was a little breezy as we hiked up the trail into Huntington Ravine.  We could have estimated the wind speeds, come up with theories about thermals, debate morning versus afternoon wind directions, time in between gusts, where to fly and when.. or.. we could just Send It UP!  And we did just that.

A few of our aerial photos, courtesy of WooKong 2.5

(click on images to enlarge)

 

Taking frame grabs makes flying look so beautiful and smooth.  For those of you in the ravine that day, admittedly, it may not have looked so in control.  The winds were high and Pocket went for the ride of its life!   Even though we did get a good few seconds of stable footage (a few seconds is considered a successful flight).. I thought you all might enjoy the best of the worst footage from this weekend.

Here it is, the Out-Take Reel!


 

Submitted by Courtney Ley

The Missing Link

Up to now we have been flying blind. But that will change. I just finished building a ground station down link that will receive live video from the GoPro. We will be able to see what the camera is seeing as we fly. This will help us better compose our footage and save valuable flight time.

I also received my new GoPro Hero 3 Black. My original camera stopped working after a bad firmware up-date and had to be replaced. Looks like they got it right this time. Everything is working as expected. What a pleasure it is to operate the camera with the phone app.

The complete Aerial Filming System: Photohigher AV130 Camera Gimbal, GoPro Hero 3 Black, The GoPro phone app.,  a 1.2Ghz video RX with a 1500mW TX and a monitor for live video feed back.

 ~ Doug

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