Sunday, December 30, 2012

Video: Schwing 88 at the Pierre Percée



The "Pierre Percée" is a natural stone arch located on a hill upon the commune of Pierre-Châtel and La Motte d'aveillans, 30 km south of Grenoble. The slope faces the south direction and offer a stunning and awasome scenery with a large valley, which is in fact a plateau surroundered by mountains. On this plateau (also called Matheysine) , shaped by glaciers during the previous glacial periods and surrounded by high mountain ranges, the bise wind blows intensely, being frosty during Winter, but pleasant in Summer. Furthermore, at Winter time, the area can face heavy snowfalls. For these reasons, Matheysine is being nicknamed "Little Siberia".

All this area and the mountains around are my playground with plenty of slopes I fly in summer. I must agree that I live in a beautiful place. This is one of the reason I moved here to finish my studies in 1987.
I haven't flown this particular slope for almost 20 years so it was like a new discovery today. The slope produces a good and wide lift and the flying space is so huge that it makes sensations even bigger. I had a great flying session with the Schwing 88 yesterday afternoon. I did some onboard video with the KeyCam 808#16V2 Lens D and I'm happy with the video sequences the Keycam captured. The more sun there is, the better is the video. Hope you will like it !


Friday, December 28, 2012

Video: Grenoble from above



In this end of the year (not of the earth hopefully ;) ), today was sunny enough to do a short aerial video with my EasyStar 2, equiped with the GoPro and the Keycam 808#16 V2 Lens D.
This is the version RR of the Easystar 2, and with the 200g of the 2 video cam, the plane was obviously underpowered. I need a better solution for aerial pictures and video. I also noticed some jello effect this time, so not enough filtering of the vibration.


According to Wikipedia, Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps  Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère. The proximity of the mountains, as well as its status as the most populated city of the Alpine region before Innsbruck and Bolzano, has led to the city being known in France as the "Capital of the Alps".
Grenoble's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village. While it gained in stature by becoming the capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century, Grenoble remained for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France.
Grenoble grew in importance through its industrial development, the city experiencing several periods of economic expansion in the last centuries. It started with its booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries and ended with its post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city is now a significant scientific centre in Europe. The population of the city (commune) of Grenoble at the 2008 census was 156,659. The population of the Grenoble metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine de Grenoble) at the 2008 census was 664,832.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Keycam 808#16 V2 + Lens D

Few year ago, I had a keycam and lost it during the first flight. It detached from it support and falled from altitude on the slope. I never retrieved it. At that time the resolution was VGA, the image format 4/3 and the FOV was too narrow.
Things has changed over the years and we can easily find HD ready and Full HD Keycam. the most interesting things is that now you can find it with a new lens D that provide a FOV of 120°.
I really wanted a cam to mount almost everywhere on a plane, the Go Pro or equivalent cam being too heavy and big for this excercice.

I decided to give a try and bough my Keycam on EBAY. The seller is very serious. I paid via Paypal and the cam has been shipped the next day. I received the user manual in a mail. 10 days later the cam, very well packed, was in my mailbox !



I paid 53$ for the cam and a 8Go Kingston microSD card. The cam comes with some accessories: One USB cable, a pair of adhesiveVelcro, and a pair of Video Output cable (see photo). This video output is interesting for Pilots doing FPV.

Characteristics:

  • 1/4” CMOS WXGA  HD Sensor / H.264/AVC1 DSP / 512M DDR2
  • Rechargeable  LIPO Battery (250mah), with Battery Charger Manage IC
  • Video: 720P HD  H.264/AVC1 video codec, 1280 x 720 30fps .mov
  • Photo: JPG  1280*960 (no degrading by  upsizing to interpolated "5 megapixel" size)
  • microSD card  slot, supports up to 32GB (memory card  not included), suggest using Class 4 or above. 
  • USB2.0, plug  and play, easy connection with computers, no driver needed.
  • Size: 50mm (L) x 32mm (W) x13mm (H)
  • Weight: around 17g


The other strength of this tiny cam is that it is totally configurable thanks to a configuration file that allow you to set lots of video or audio parameters. The procedure is quite easy. you can export the current config file and write it on the micro SD card. Then on the PC, you can edit the parameters (self explained), then apply the load procedure on the cam to read the file an apply it. The file is then removed from the SD card, indicating that it has been taken into account.

I was really curious to see what this cam could give as a result. I built a pod to fix on the wing. It is made of a carbon square tuve fixe in a coroplast (correx) plate with hot glue. The coroplast is then glue with cyano on a very thin (0.5mm) epoxy plate that can be easily tape on a wing. On the other side, another small coroplast plate receive the velcro to fix the cam. One in place, the can is secured with a piece of rubber band hoocked to a horizontal small carbon rod.

The first test has been done on my Needle 100. Here is the result:


The quality is not that bad as you can see. More to come in the coming weeks !

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A nice micro slope glider: BOAR

Boar is a micro slope model, just below 1 m wingspan, weighting about 320g, fully moulded, and made by the KERR soaring team in Hungary. This team is Endre Kaposi and Róbert Remény. They fly slope and F5J and obtained good result (second place at the national F5J champioship) with the F5J400OR. The created their workshop and use CNC to mill moulds, and cut parts. In project, a 2 meters V-tail sport model, called Unicorn.



You can visit their website http://www.kerr-soaring.hu/


More pictures about the moulding and construction of the Boar can be found here: Boar Photo Album


RC Soaring Digest, January issue

The january issue of RC Soaring Digest webzine has just been released and features a photo report about the 2012 F3F championship in Rügen.

It can be downloaded at following the URL: HERE


Mistral Soaring - Rognac

Yesterday we had a good friendly winter contest in Rognac, between Aix en Provence and Marseille. I left Grenoble aroudn 7am under the sn...