Graham Dyer
  • Male
  • UAV/UAS Pilot - Johannesburg. Trails Guide, ex-Sabi Sands Game Reserve,
  • South Africa
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Latest Activity

Graham Dyer replied to Randy's discussion ArduCopter-3.1 released!
"Thanks John, please let me know if you test it (without sonar), I'd be very interested to know if it's my board or APM1's in general."
2 hours ago

Graham Dyer replied to enya's discussion Firmware for APM 2.0
"APM 2.0 can load and run v3.1.3 no problem, as can APM1.4, 2.5 & 2.6. Future versions of APM:Copter (vis. v3.2) may not be able to load the code or will have new features missing due to running out of space on the board. Plus and cross have a…"
11 hours ago
Walter Smit commented on Graham Dyer's group South African DIY Drones User Group
"@Gary - it is called "life happened". Started a new job (not my own boss anymore) and getting married (*really* not my own boss anymore). But on a serious note - it is also too far for me to travel, since I am currently based in…"

Gary Mortimer commented on Graham Dyer's group South African DIY Drones User Group
"Why is it not ready Walter?? I've done stuff like that before but its a little far to travel. Just get the Talon flying!"
Walter Smit commented on Graham Dyer's group South African DIY Drones User Group
"Hi guys (girls?), I have an aerial photography (for GIS) project that I need to do in the Western Cape (Overberg). It is a 27km stretch of a river that needs to be flown and the images georeferenced. Unfortunately my Talon is not ready yet -…"

Graham Dyer commented on AKRCGUY's blog post More Amazing Rocket Footage Shot From Multirotor
"Are the landing leg supports supposed to catch alight?"
Daniel Allen commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"Gram, I'll definitely try to get a post going in the future. I didn't do the best job in using a scientific method. That's why I want to redo some of my tests with the proposed method above. But if you want to see this temp video,…"

Graham Dyer replied to JB3's discussion Seeking prop balancing tips
"Joe, I have also tried to chase down vibration in video with some success. It only works with a combination of balancing and isolation. I like RCExplorer's way of isolating the camera from the frame but I have also used moongel to separate…"

Graham Dyer commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"No worries. A few more tests like this would be really good in increasing our understanding of multirotor props.Please put your results up on a blog. I did some tests a while back of some expensive carbon Tiger Motor props and they drew more current…"
Daniel Allen commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"Gram, my apologies. This is what I get from reading the comments first since I was looking for the key word 12x4.5 MRPs. I was under the impression you were testing on a bench, yet without a scale to measure thrust. So sorry for that. I actually did…"

Graham Dyer commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"Daniel - I don't know how you think 4 amps per motor (49W) in my real world hover test is pushing it on a motor that's rated at 150W? But this is such a common misconception, in fact each motor drew just 0.5A more in the hover with the…"
Daniel Allen commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"- Gram - I can't believe you pushed a 12x4.5 on those tiny motors. I was pushing 10x4.5s and that would already pushing the limit. Do you think you can do some actual hover time testing? I think real world tests are always the best. - Thomas,…"
Andrew Rabbitt commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
Ravi commented on Graham Dyer's blog post Prop testing on a 'copter
"very useful test for most fliers. i wish there was a full data bank of all commonly available props. using efficient prop is like getting free extra thrust. a simple excel sheet showing various figure would be enough to start with. flutter (vertical…"

Graham Dyer replied to Charosenz's discussion Batt FS triggering too soon, any ideas appreciated
"Ok, I see it now. Yes, perhaps it is sensing current higher than actual and therefore the mAh counts down really quickly?"

Graham Dyer replied to Charosenz's discussion Batt FS triggering too soon, any ideas appreciated
"6: Battery failsafe ECode 1: battery voltage dropped below LOW_VOLT or total battery capacity used exceeded BATT_CAPACITY"

Profile Information

About Me:
I worked as a Safari Trails Guide (Lead Rifle) and Ranger in the South African Wildlife Tourism Industry for about 20 years.

Now I'm a professional UAS/UAV/RPAS Pilot.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
DIY Carbon H-frame QuadCopter with 200+ flights (25+ flying hours), APM2, 3DR Telemetry, 20-22L motors, 12x3.8 carbon props, 5000mAh 3S Turnigy Batts, 15 minute flight time, Sony 520TVL camera, 1.2GHz 700mW Video Transmittor + inverted Vee antenna, Video googles & 9" Dvd monitor.

Twin boom FPV 1.75m plane for long distance Nav & FPV. ArduPilotMega1 v2.65, 4+ flying hours.

Old: Own design & built twin-boom UAV Plane (now RIP)
ArduPilot v2.7.1, ArduIMU, MediaTek GPS. Had clocked 50+ hours flying time.

Slowstick - ArduPilot Legacy v2.6.2, Thermopiles, Used for FPV and as a stabilized trainer.
Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Graham Dyer's Blog

Prop testing on a 'copter

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 9:43am 16 Comments

I wanted to do a few real world hover tests with different prop sizes to satisfy my curiosity.

I tested 3 sizes of some commonly used props, the RCTimer Carbon 10x4.7, 11x4.7 and 12x3.8, all carefully balanced. There are other very similar props branded differently.

The 'copter is a carbon…


ArduPilot formation flying revisited

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 11:29pm 10 Comments

Further to our first attempts at fully automated formation flying (see…


Another 100km+ flight

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 4:00am 35 Comments

Went for our long distance flight attempt today, flew a test flight with a 6S 2600mAh LiPo and then put in the 18650 batteries in, the log unfortunately shows both flights as I forgot to reconnect so I have calculated the time and total distance from the launch of the second flight to the…


Finwing Air Titan

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 11:30am 13 Comments

Looks like a good fpv/camera ship for long distance flights with…


ArduPilot formation flying attempt

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 1:00am 12 Comments

We tried some formation flying with 2 different APM equipped planes.

Both were loaded with AP v2.76 and the same exact mission except for the chase plane flying 20m higher than…


Comment Wall (14 comments)

At 5:52am on July 24, 2009, Robert Hannaford said…
Hi Graham,

Please give me aring when you get a chance, Rob Hannaford 011 781 4029, 0733000337
At 5:43am on August 20, 2009, viky said…
have u got success in reversing ur aileron ... i m using same setup with XY sensors
At 2:12am on August 21, 2009, viky said…
i think i can correct it but want a clear view ur ailerons r reversed in automode or manual mode. If its auto change is to be done in the code else it has to be reversed using RC remote... let me know whats exactly it is
At 2:40am on August 21, 2009, viky said…
so u must have tried #define ROLL_REVERSE 1 , then nothing happened ... am i right..
At 3:08am on August 21, 2009, viky said…
actually the same problem i had faced but my elevator movement was reversed
in autopilot so i tried to correct it by #define PITCH_REVERSE
but nothing happened later i found thaT this header is not at all used inside code so i just follow the logic in code and got the line to reverse the motion of either aileron or elevator in ... void pulse_servos(int roll, int pitch) //Normal mode
pulse_servo_2(90-pitch); //invert sign if you want to reverse the servo...

This is what i had changed then to work it well.
I did few tests and got semi success in few , hopefully i can make it this time atleast 80% success with little changes in trim as u recommended in ur blog failure and success.
Its very nice blog i will try to write the one ... it really helps ourselves and others
At 2:49am on August 24, 2009, Garth said…
Graham please contact me
021-7827148 or 0827708200

At 4:41am on March 11, 2010, Cronselaar said…
Hi, this must sound stupid, but how do you get the nice line logs in GE... My current position just constantly changes. I'm using a E406. I can't seem to get the right altitude data in the GS2 either.. Any help would be appreciated.

At 9:58am on August 17, 2010, Robert Hannaford said…
Hi Graham, won't you please send me you cell no I have lost it, Regards Rob Hannaford

At 8:08am on October 17, 2011, bruno voisin said…

Hi Graham, this is Bruno from Cape Town. 

These are my first steps in the UAV world, and I am interested in building a ArduCopter to conduct game counts in a nature reserve.  Any advice / recommendation would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

At 1:31am on November 7, 2011, Robert Dielenberg said…

Hi Graham,

we're developing a UAV here in Newcastle, Australia. We've been experimenting with the ardupilot 2_7_1 for a few months. Having huge problems with altitude hold and throttle. We're using a petrol engine. We realize the original ardu is for electric. It seems there is not much data on petrol engines for ardu. We had a crash last week and lost the plane. We're going to rebuild the code from scratch and simplify it. Will get back on to you on our progress. Cheers,


Rob Dielenberg, MotMen UAV (

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