Category Archives: Hitec Skyscout

RC Flying over Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales

I’ve always wanted to fly FPV or otherwise, in Mt. Pinatubo.  It finally happened last week. Unfortunately, my FPV gear remains languishing in a corner, unassembled for a year now (my main beef is the interference of the 800tvl camera on the vTX and never got to do anything about it — too busy with a new baby I guess).  So as with all my flying this year, I had to be happy using my good friend the Hitec Skyscout and a Xiaomi Yi camera for the vid.

The Mt. Pinatubo caldera looks even better than I ever imagined, FPV would have been really cool with incredible footage of the crater walls and aquamarine lake water.

Flying LOS and manual in the crater is a bit challenging mainly due to the unpredictable wind directions and gusts brought about by the surrounding crater walls.  I had enough adrenaline and chocolates in my system that I didnt even eat lunch!


FVP using 2W 5.8Ghz VTx

Finally got an SD DVR recorder to record some FPV videos over Britanny RC airfield.  The setup has a 2.8mm lens on a 700TVL camera and a 2W 5.8Ghz Video transmitter.

The camera gets totally washed out when it’s pointed directly to the sun (I understand some cameras automatically superimposes a black dot of extremely bright objects like the sun).. not really a big issue.

The stock Yagi Antenna’s on the VTx and VRx are good enough, although once the plane is directly overhead and goes through the ‘donut hole’ video signal is lost.  Simply shifting position / angle of the receiver or the Video Receivers antenna easily fixes it though.  Circular polarized antennas a.k.a. Cloverleaf should give better performance.

Here’s the vid:

Flying and more grass eating in UP Diliman

Did a couple of flight checks at UP Diliman over the weekend.  The RC field is at the corner of University Ave and CP Garcia.  Perfect for park flyers and 3D planes, quads and ‘copters..Good field to fly in on a lazy afternoon.

However, it can get quite muddy after a heavy downpour which is a big inconvenience OR saving grace.. during the Skyscouts maiden flight a few weeks ago, I managed to nosedive and crash it. As an experienced dirt-eating RC pilot, I thought that was it. However, from a distance the plane was strangely perpendicular to the ground.. it turns out the nosedive was perfect with the nose stuck a good 5 inches in the mud!  The front section was just slightly bent (and still is today, even after the  hotwater/hair blower treatment). Without the mud, I doubt if I’d still be flying the skyscout today.  Moral lesson is, even mud has a purpose.



Eating grass at Brittany RC field

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Hitec Skyscout 1st Flight with Gopro3 black

The first step to my FPV dreams is to get a good mini camera onboard my Skyscout.  Looks like the Gopro is the best way to go on this one..At $399- this took a huge bite off of my ‘hobby budget’.  There being no price difference from distributors and retailers I decided to buy the thing directly from Gopro.

Mounting it on the plane, I had to decide whether to include the Gopro’s waterproof case.. the problem with the casing is it weighs  more than the camera itself.. I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out how to balance the added weight relative to the CG.  The only way I can do this is if a) I place all the electronics behind the CG — not a good idea since the servo cables are pretty much set and I dont want to make unnecessary access holes in the fuselage —  or b) move the battery to the CG  or  b) put a counter-weight on the tail.

In the end, I decided to just go with minimal weight changes and did the following:

1)  Took out the ESC from within the fuselage and placed it on top (also took out the motor power cable extensions to lessen the weight)
2)  Made a camera platform from some good ‘ol appliance hard styro.
3)  Transferred the battery placement nearer the CG (it used to be flushed in the nose of the plane), a bit aft of the orange Orange RX in the pic.
4)  Used a black garter with sewed-on velcro for a custom made adjustable camera clasp.  This is what’s keeping it on top of the styro platform.. that and a strip of double sided tape at the bottom.

Here’s how it looks like:

Skyscout with gopro 3
With minimal weight changes and just a tad nose heavy.. the first flight went well: