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RPAs: Designing, Building & Using Them For Business

18 August 2012

SILICON CHIP talks to (while we watch in awe!) two young men who are dedicated RPA hobbyists turned businessmen: they are setting up a company specialising in aerial cinematography for movies and TV using RPAs - one of the first in Australia to do so.

Flying The Parrot AR Drone 2 Quadcopter

16 August 2012

This impressive flying beast sports four rotors and two cameras. You can control it with an iPhone, iPad or Android device and capture 720p video of its exploits. It's quite robust, easy to fly and has multiple control modes to suit different pilot experience levels.

Multi-Rotor Helicopters

09 August 2012

Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) are on the threshold of a major explosion in design, operation and areas of deployment. Leading the way in this revolution is a style of helicopter best known as a Quadcopter or Multi-rotor Copter.

We Drive Nissan's Leaf Electric Car

03 August 2012

On June 15, the much-anticipated Nissan LEAF 100% electric vehicle went on sale in Australia. Not co-incidentally, this was also the day it was introduced to the media - including SILICON CHIP. We had a good look at the LEAF and took it for a reasonable (if all-too-short) drive. Were we a little impressed? No way! We were very impressed!

Modifying CD-ROM Motors For High Power Operation

21 July 2012

Did you know that you can convert the flea-power motors from old CD or DVD-ROM drives to high-power operation - eg, for model aircraft or other demanding uses? While it may seem improbable it is relatively easy to do, the main change being to fit Neodymium 'Rare Earth' magnets. Oh, you also need to find some suitable motors.

The Freetronics "Leostick" USB-Capable Microcontroller

15 July 2012

A powerful 8-bit USB-capable microcontroller board the size of a flash drive! And our publisher was so chuffed that they'd name a board after him...

The Square Kilometre Array: Australian Misses Out

09 July 2012

Most readers will have heard of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project which SILICON CHIP reported on in the December 2011 issue. It was supposed to be a bidding contest between Australia and South Africa. In simple terms, South Africa won and we lost. But that's not the end of the story.

Peter Olsen & His Flashing School Lights

04 July 2012

If you're in NSW, you may have seen those "check speed" signs with flashing lights mounted near the large "school zone" signs which mark the areas around schools where children will be present before and after school. They're the result of a lot of political pressure - and heartache - by Peter Olsen over the past six years. Of particular interest to SILICON CHIP, they're powered by PICAXE microcontrollers.

Review: Agilent's 35670A Dynamic Signal Analyser

17 June 2012

The Agilent 35670A has been around for many years and has become virtually the industry standard for sound and vibration engineers. As well as carrying out audio analysis, it is equally at home with measurement applications in aeronautical, structural, mechanical, civil, automotive and electronics engineering. It can be used for everything from analysing microphones to earthquakes, from examining bridges and beams for metal fatigue to vibration in motors.

WiNRADiO Excalibur WR-G31DDC HF Receiver

13 June 2012

In the legend of King Arthur, "Excalibur" was a sword with magical properties. It is an appropriate name for the latest Software-Defined High Frequency Receiver from WiNRADiO of Melbourne, Australia. Like its namesake, Excalibur is immensely powerful and - dare we say it - almost magical in performance!

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