Prop Balancing

Phantom 2 Prop Balancing Tool

To help quads, helicopters, etc. fly well, we want to eliminate vibration and to also have the motors run evenly and smoothly. One thing that helps with that goal is balancing the props (propellors). Props are mass-manufactured, and they’re not perfectly even on both sides. That means one side will be slightly heavier, so when they spin, they won’t spin perfectly evenly, which can cause vibration. Here’s info about how to balance the DJI Phantom 2 props.

Naza Mode and the Phantom 2

Out of the box, the Phantom (and Vision) ship in a very simple mode. Flight is heavily GPS-assisted, and if you let go of the controls, the quad will try to stay where it is (wind/battery-permitting). Inside the Phantom is a flight controller, the Naza-M, which enables this type of flying. (You can actually buy the Naza-M by itself and put it on another quad.) However, there are other flight modes on the Phantom (don’t worry–they’re not all scary manual!) and extra controls that you can enable by switching from the simple mode to Naza mode.

Getting Started with the DJI Phantom 2

A few years ago, I started thinking about using a quadcopter to carry a camera, as I was planning on going to the arctic, wanted aerial footage, and a “real” helicopter was $100k/week. That trip didn’t happen and technology’s changed a _ton_ since then! I’m heading to the arctic this summer, and I decided it was time to plunge into a camera-carrying quadcopter.

The DJI Phantom 2 with no mounts attached.

The DJI Phantom 2 with no mounts attached.

Product/Market Fit

Earlier this year, I was doing some product consulting work at a startup. They’d been working on their app for a while, yet they essentially had no users and didn’t understand why. The new VP of Marketing and I quickly found that there was no product/market fit or path to one: product development was based on guesses for varying target audience needs, ranging from consumers to enterprise, depending on which person in leadership had the best argument that week. The CTO, who wasn’t familiar with the idea of product/market fit, believed that they had no users because they didn’t advertise the app, and if they pulled the marketing lever, everyone would flock to the app.

Relaunching the Blog!

A couple months ago, I finally updated my website to take advantage of PhotoShelter’s great new responsive Beam templates. Unfortunately, my blog was left behind! OK, truthfully, I’ve been leaving it behind for too long in general. Thanks to the amazing Thomas Huxley, my blog is up and running again, with a beautiful theme that matches the rest of my site! In addition to random musings about photography, I’m also going to be posting about startups and products periodically. I hope you all enjoy!