Tarot T-2D Mounted to Rotorbits Hexa

There are a lot of brushless gimbals out there, and there are a few videos takITen by Rotorbits based multirotors out there that were obviously shot using a gimbal. I have yet to see a video where anyone actually showed HOW they got it mounted or what brushless gimbal was used. With all of the possibilties out there, I settled on a Tarot T-2D, and I would worry about the "how" once I had it in hand.

I spent most of the day today trying various shapes and sizes of composite plates, numerous lengths of nylon stand-offs and finally found a good combination. There were a few goals in mind. It had to be easy to swap out (nice to use one gimbal for multiple copters)

1. Mounted to the center of the copter rather than cantilevered 2. Easy to swap out (nice to use one gimbal for more than one copter!) 3. Sturdy and stable (can't have the camera plummeting to the ground) 4. Adjustable (in case I want to run with two battery packs for longer flights)

Using a combination of threaded nylon standoffs, carbon fiber arrow shafts, and composite pre-drilled plates, some double sided foam tape, screws, and threadlock here's what I came up with.

5.6mm x 25mm M3 threaded stand-off 5.6mm x 20mm M3 threaded spacer 5.6mm x 20mm M3 threaded stand-off

all adds up to 55mm when stacked together and female ends on each side.

a 7.5mm O.D. carbon fiber arrow shaft, approximately 5mm I.D. This will yield a tight fit, gently press the assembled nylon spacer into the shaft. This will strengthen the assembly.

4 - 40x40 mm square composite plates, 10mm on center holes 2.5mm dia. 40x40 mm composite - Available at HobbyKing

Using the standoffs/spacers, and carbon fiber shaft, create 4 rods. Then take two of the 40mm square plates and screw them into the the Tarot's mount, for this I used 2.5mm flat head screws and their companion nylon washer and a nylock nut.

I needed to enlarge the holes in the 40x40 plate from 2.5mm to 3mm to accommodate the screws for the tapped spacers.

Putting it together looks like this.

Now, let's check the alignment with the Rotorbits hex base. I'm running a + configuration rather than an X but it works either way. The flight battery will hang between the gimbal mount and the frame base, running perpendicular to the Tarot's mount plate.

Here is the mount, testing fit on the copter.

Some double-sided foam tape on the other two 40x40 plates. This will secure the plate to the Rotorbits frame base. I may drill a couple of holes through the plate to utilize the leg socket holes to secure the top plates more solidly. However, currently the booms are friction fit into the sockets as drilling through the carbon fiber booms weakens them due to splintering of the fibers on the inside. Though I've found that the Dremel attachment for engraving works quite well to "sand" a hole through rather than using a drill bit that uses a shearing/cutting action.

...and here's the final installation, of the gimbal, some cable management is still in order of course! :)

Loto's Character Workshop - Open Source!

It's been awhile since my last update of the Workshop, and I know there are those of you out there that still use it (and I thank you!) It's become difficult to keep up to date due to real life, that and the fact that I haven't played in quite some time that it just made sense to release it to the public. So, public DAoC'ers, you are free to do with it as you please though I'm sure there are many that have moved to other tools like GearBunny, Kort's, etc... if you do end up taking a look or modifying it, let me know :) The project began 7 years ago and was done in Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0. If you're an experienced programmer with serious interest, or just a beginner looking for something to tinker with, there's certainly enough there to peruse.

Here's the link to my github repository, the version that you'll find is 1.110.0 which is the current binary available for download on my site.


Have Fun!

Diskpart Clean! (When USB Stick and ESXi want to part ways)

I've been doing a lot of work lately in virtual environments, trying new hardware, configuring, testing, reconfiguring, testing again. Anyhow, I picked up a few SanDisk Cruzer Fits recently to make the whole test deployment go a bit faster, these things rock by the way 16GB for around $10 on Amazon FTW!

Now that my testing has concluded, I'd really like to use these for storage or some other purpose and remove my demo installs of the latest and greatest ESXi, easy right? pop it in, format...not so fast! If you're running Windows you're in for some fun. You can't format it, you can see the partitions in Disk Management, but you can't delete them, the OS will give you several nasty messages, you're screwed right? Never fear!

  1. Fire up a command prompt as administrator
  4. SELECT DISK # (Where # is the number of the USB disk you want to wipe)
It will take a few minutes, but when it's finished, your USB disk will be squeaky clean and zeroed out. Just format to your desired file system and go play!

ColdFusion 9.0.1 on Java 7u3 by request

Samsung 204B Repair - Part 2

Update! I got all the parts in from Mouser yesterday and performed the repair. A word of advice: if you don't already have desoldering wick, get some! I figured my solder sucker would be adequate...what a piece of junk! I had to resort to the ol' heat and pull method.

Anyhow, the repair went well and the monitor is once again instant-on, bright and crisp. just like when I got it 5ish years ago :)

Time to repair: About 1 hour

Samsung 204B Repair

If you have one of these monitors and it's starting to lose brightness, or flicker, or maybe the power button light is blinking and there's no picture. The cause is likely some blown capacitors on the power board. Good news! You can fix this for less than 10 bones, if you're willing to take apart the monitor and wield a soldering iron for a few minutes.

*disclaimer - start* I cannot be held responsible if you electrocute yourself or break anything that wasn't broken before you begin. Unplug the monitor and leave it alone for a few hours (a day if you're paranoid) this will allow any built up energy to dissipate from the capacitors, there's one in there that's a doozy if it bites ya! *disclaimer - stop*

1. Take the monitor off the stand, there's two screws holding it on.

2. Tear down the monitor housing, this can be done with an expired credit card (you will fuck it up, so don't use a live one). Simply slip it between the seams of the black plastic covering of the monitor and slide it from end to end, you should hear clicking/snapping. Work with it for a few minutes and you should expose the juicy innards. Be careful not to rip or otherwise mutilate the ribbon cable running from the control board to the button array on the front of the monitor bezel.

3. Remove the shielding, there's four (4) screws one on each corner, and two black screws. Total of 6, take them out.

4. Gently pull the cover off.

5. You will now see a few more screws, 3 black and 1 fat silver one. Get your screw driver and drive! (them out)

6. Carefully disconnect all the cables you see from their boards. There are two of them, we're interested in the one with the power switch and electrical socket on it.

All the capacitors that I'll be replacing are marked in red.

In the full size image you can see the 3 caps at the lower edge of the picture are bulging. these are definitely bad. I could stop there and only spend about a dollar (before shipping) to fix it. But why stop there!

The board I have is marked as 204B-VE REV0.1

A list of the caps:

680uf 25v (2) 100uf 450v (1) 47uf 50v (1) 330uf 25v (1) 820uf 25v (2)

Mouser Electronics - Cart of items

Total cost of the caps + shipping < $12 (shipping's a mother...)

If you really want to get off cheap you can if your 450v cap looks good, that's about $4 by itself. The only caps of mine that appeared damaged were the 330uf and the 2 820uf. I went ahead and ordered replacements for all of them.

Part 2 coming soon!

Error Occurred While Packaging The Application - Flash Builder 4.5.1 and iOS

This post is for those of you out there that have received this error WITHOUT an error message while trying to compile your Flash Builder mobile app for iOS.

Things to check:

ICONS! in your app.xml file, check the icon configuration, paths, file names, RESOLUTIONS...seriously, just because you tell it to use a 72x72 for a 16x16 icon, doesn't mean it will. They have to be the correct sizes, no trickery or tom foolery (or whatever)

Check your iPhone configuration, by default Flash Builder puts this in it...


comment it out or put valid entries in it.

If you're still experiencing issues, try compiling your ipa from the command prompt, you'll get more meaningful messages from there :)

you will of course need to define your own environment variables and this is assuming you're running the command from within the project directory.

%AIR_SDK_HOME%\bin\adt -package -target ipa-app-store -provisioning-profile %MOBILE_PROV%\myfile.mobileprovision -storetype pkcs12 -keystore %MOBILE_CERT%\mycert.p12 MyApp.ipa bin-debug/mainmobile-app.xml -C bin-debug mainmobile.swf -C bin-debug assets

Loto's Character Workshop 1.110 - Released

I've decided to skip the whole 1.109c since there was nothing going on there anyway, brambles? really? Alrighty then... So yeah, 1.110 Pendragon, now you can see what will be before it actually is. Some of the changes are hawt!

Bards, you can now heal while being beat in the face!

Wardens, you guys get the Bard's old regrowth spec Greater Heals RAWR! and Hib casters - Str/Dex debuffs for all! WOOT! Albs and Mids, you get stuff too, copy/paste!

Makes me want to almost play again, not enough hours in the day. We need to move to another planet where days are longer and...no one needs to sleep!

- Loto

ColdFusion 9.0.1 Running on Java 7

While I was doing some JVM tuning on our ColdFusion servers at work I thought I'd try out upgrading the JVM from 6.0.17 to 6.0.27 on my own server, just in case there were negative consequences :) The upgrade went off without a hitch, I'm still working on some benchmarks but so far the performance seems to have improved noticeably.

But why stop at 6u27? This is an experimental playground after all, Sooo


ColdFusion 9.0.1 is now running on Java 7.

I'm aware of the bugs that have been reported by the Apache group in regards to certain loop scenarios. I wouldn't recommend running out and doing this to mission critical production servers, at least not until a few updates have been released.

Pelican + Data Backup...mmmm

After going through another hair pulling data disaster a few weeks ago, (from which I recovered 100%) I decided to invest in a backup solution. Taking a hard look at all of my data, I concluded that I have just over 1 TB of data that can never be replaced, photos, source code, documents, etc...

My solution? 2x2TB hard drives each containing an exact copy of the other. If you've ever seen my home office, you'd know it would be a bad idea to leave these drives just laying around with the rest of the techno-junk (valuable treasure), as it would only be a matter of time until they were scavenged for one of my projects :) I looked at data vaults, fire safes, and other such items and decided that for the price and ease of portability that a Pelican 1400 case with anti-static foam would fit the bill.

This setup allows for ease of transport to an off-site location, while keeping the drives nice and snug in a water tight, pressure regulated, anti-static environment. If one drive happens to fail for any number of reasons, there's its buddy to save the day.

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