The upside-down quad-copter build

3 June 2015

Back in January we had the first rLab quad-copter build party. And here is my effort.

Original Quad-copter build

Original Quad-copter build

This has flown well, and I have slowly learnt how to fly these things. This learning process has involved quite a few crashes, with varying degrees of damage. I think I have replaced the arms about 8 times now, and recently the body frame was so broken that I needed a total rebuild the machine. I decided to try and rebuild it with the body hanging down and all the control stuff inside the body of the copter. Here is the result of my efforts.

Upside-down quad-copter

Upside-down quad-copter

This seems to be a an improvement. The flight is more stable and easier to control. Take-off and landing are easier as there is a bit more space under the props. The control unit is harder to get at but this has not proved much of a problem. Overall a great improvement.


Default settings for devices

16 April 2012

I have had a Sansa clip music player for a couple of years, and find it pretty amazing little device, but I have always struggled with the volume levels.

Mostly I just set it to the maximum, and some podcasts I listen to I had to edit the mp3 file to increase the volume in the file before it was usable.

Then in some random searches on the internet I stumbled across some discussions that said that setting the country to something other than europe, sorted out the volume problem. A simple matter of resetting this to the “Rest of the World” and the volume is much better.

The point here seems to be that for europe the maximum volume has to be limited because otherwise its citizens will all have their hearing damaged due to excessive volume on their mp3 players.

Now I have the usable device that is as was designed by the engineers.

The next was a thermostatic shower tap, fitted to the bath. Again we struggled to get the tap to provide a mix at a reasonable temperature. The tap was supposed to have be calibrated with a mid-point of 38°C.

Practical use meant turning this up close to the limit of the red end. When it got to the point that the hottest setting produced a luke warm show at best it was time for action. So some googling later, it turns out that these taps need to be calibrated, which is a simple case of removing the temperature control tap cover and setting the water temperature to 38°C and re attaching the control.

Again it appears that the factory setting is such that it is somewhat conservative in the temperature presenting. Presumably so that they don’t want scalded customers complaints, or just erring on the side of caution.

The moral of these stories is either, it is your responsibility to hack, and calibrate your world to make sure it functions correctly. And that the institutions of our society have conspired to keep us so safe that we struggle to hear our MP3 players, and have luke warm showers, unless we take control.