This morning, I went to a meetup "Flight Time" at Cataldi Park in San Jose hosted by Ed Martinez.  The park is great for close-in flying in that it isn't that large, but it is nice, clear of trees and wires, and people, and is JUST outside the "no fly" zone around San Jose Airport.

Several people were there with their DJI stuff, and Ed brought a cute little 200mm (if I remember correctly) quad.    I believe I was the only one who brought something custom. In fact, I brought 5.  I think my huge 'hex' and the little 150 mm quad got the most attention. Although DJI stuff is nice, it doesn't excite me as much as flying something that I built myself.

This was the first time I had a chance to fly the 150 in open spaces, and it was a dream.  The little thing is fast, and I'm almost ready to try some aerobatics with it.  Considering that it was made from 'junk' parts lying around my one-room workshop, it is a really fun machine.

I have a GoPro mounted on it, but I have some more work to do on the mount.  The mount must be very small, yet isolate the camera from the motor vibration. Video from this morning's flight has too much 'Jello' effect.  

So, I made a slight change and my latest iteration is shown below:

Shown below are the top of the anti-vibration "balls".  The flight this morning was made using the same sized balls, but the original ones were stiffer.  These new ones are very soft.  If you wonder what the green stuff in the middle of the balls are, it is earplugs - straight from CVS drug store!  These earplugs are of the memory-foam type that expand when you put them in your ear.  They also make excellent vibration damping material. Jamming an earplug into the center of the anti-vibration ball makes them much more effective than the balls alone (just check the research on the net).  

And here is a side view:

I got a new gimbal today ($61 with controller from China), and I noticed that all the screws were loose. Transportation in a bag would not cause them to work loose - I'm convinced that they were not tightened in the first place.  So I tighted the screws and noticed that one tiny screw was missing.  I found an equivalent screw in my junk box and installed it.  Next I noticed that the pitch motor didn't turn freely.  Closer inspection showed that there was a loose screw inside the motor !!! (the missing screw!), and it was held in the motor by the magnetic field.   I noticed that the loose screw had cut the tiny wires (probably 34GA) of the motor coil. If only one wire had been cut, I would have attempted a repair, but 10 or 12 wires were broken. 

So, I will probably contact the seller (on Ebay) and tell him that he screwed up, and please send me a new motor. Who knows how long that process will take, so today, I ordered a new same-size gimbal motor from Hobby King's US warehouse ($17 + shipping).  I'll probably have that in 3-4 days. If and when I get a replacement from the seller for the defective motor, I'll keep it as a spare.

And I said it was more fun building your own stuff!