No-fly drones


Zoe is going to the Cotswold Jam next Saturday, and then is definitely being retired.  Her Pi0W is just not fast enough to process 680 x 680 pixel ground facing video frames required to fly on gravel / grass.  On the plus side, she’s going to be asset stripped for bigger things.


Hermione broke her arm a while back, and the replacement has just been installed, but the weather is still too blustery.  She broke her arm in a free-fall landing; one of her CF legs took the bulk of the force, but punched a hole in her CF armpit.  As a result, in addition to the new arm, I’ve also got a new pelvis from for her legs which is thinner, lighter and prevents the legs from damaging the arms.  Also, because they are thinner, there’s space for larger props; When the need arises, I may well upgrade from the current T-motor 1240 CF props with the larger T-motor 1344s which are still within scope of her T-motor U3 motors.


Chloe is back, and is Zoe’s asset stripper, primarily her Garmin LiDAR-Lite V3.  C’s only using an A+ and I don’t expect her to be any better than Zoe as a result; however, very speculatively, the only missing gap in the RPi clan is an A3.  That’s what she’s waiting for.  She’s build only from left-overs / spares / shelved pieces except for her new CF arms, again from – isn’t she pretty?

Chloe reborn

Chloe reborn

A3 speculation

Here’s my best guess / hope of an A3 spec, based realistically on the middle ground between a B3 and Pi0W:

  • single USB A port as per A+ to avoid power drain of ethernet / USB port chipset
  • built in WiFi as per B3* and Pi0W, freeing up the USB port for GPS
  • 4 core processor – ideally, the B2 version rather than B3, again for power consumption reasons.

No-fly Zones

The few times I’ve flown my Mavic, it’s always warned me I live in a class C ICAO airspace designation zone.  It doesn’t surprise me really with RAFs Fairford, Brize Norton, and Royal Wooten Basset all within easy cycling distance.  The Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo normally has squadrons of classic Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster Bombers plus the Red Arrows flying over our back garden on my daughter’s Birthday weekend.  A couple of years back, Air Force One flew within a stone’s throw / spitting distance of our house.  I’m sure I saw ex-POTUS Barack Obama through the window eating his breakfast!  Should the POTUS Trump ever fly by, I’ll be sure to test the metaphorical distance literally.

* Ideally, the new A3 should also include a U.FL connector for a WiFi antenna allowing extended range, ideally switched between the inbuilt and external based upon the presence of an external antenna.  Worst case, I’ll add this myself.

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