Simon's new Xantia V6 and Leaf blog

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Finally and unexpectedly we got our first real snow of the winter over night last night. :) Only a couple of inches, so not the chaos down south a few weeks ago - so enough to look nice but not cause major disruption...

And co-incidentally Santa was kind enough to provide me with a rather cool toy - a Quadcopter with a camera. :-D So of course I had to combine the two. :lol:

I took a couple of videos with it - the first one I launched from my front yard, the second one at a nearby park! :)





After owning 3 different RC helicopters, none of which were particularly stable or easy to fly, and none of which could climb more than about 5-6 metres, this Quadcopter is a revelation, even though it's a relatively cheap and simple one as quadcopters go. (I don't know the price as it was Christmas present, so I didn't want to look it up!) It's a Syma X5C-1.

I'd be interested if anyone else can guess by the video but I'd say it was climbing to between 100-200 metres especially in the second video - from the ground I could only just see it at full altitude and it took quite a while to coax it back down again!

As it's gyro stabilised it hovers almost perfectly with only a slight amount of drift with the controls in neutral, and it keeps its yaw orientation almost perfectly (unless you deliberately turn it) unlike every RC helicopter I've ever flown...

It also seems to be able to auto-rotate if you cut the power at a high altitude and let it free fall - it looks like it would land relatively softly although I didn't have the nerve to let it fall all the way without applying thrust again. When auto-rotating in free fall it stays level and when you re-apply power it stabilises itself to normal horizontal flight again almost instantly. Control is so precise that you can easily fly it in a living room. Lots of fun. :)

Battery life like most RC craft is relatively short at 10 minutes, (5.5 claimed, but I'm getting over 10) and it takes nearly 2 hours to charge again from a USB charger... but the battery can also be quickly slid out and replaced, and you can get a pack of 4 batteries for a reasonable price so I'll be getting that shortly so that when I go somewhere like a park I can go with 5 fully charged batteries. :twisted:

In other news today was the first chance to really give the Quatrac 5's a test in snow/ice - although the main roads around here are all well salted and free of ice and snow, a lot of the residential side roads just off them are a complete mess at the moment with a combination of loose snow, ice and slightly melted and refrozen hard packed snow. Really slippery stuff.

So while I was in search for grit from nearby grit bins I couldn't resist just driving around all these icy/snowy side roads to see how the Ion handled them on All Season tyres. And I have to say, I was very impressed, especially with the traction control. :)

Yes, if I pushed the accelerator too hard I could easily provoke the driving wheels to spin (always the rear left for some reason, even when going straight ahead) but the traction control caught it and kept things nice and stable and kept the slipping to a minimum. I would then know to just ease up on the throttle slightly. The traction control seems to both reduce and modulate the motor power, and also apply differential braking to the spinning wheel if only one of the driving wheels was slipping, allowing you to get good forward motion via the non slipping wheel.

So accelerating in the very slippery conditions was simply a matter of pushing the throttle a small amount which would result in a gentle no fuss take off since the torque naturally ramps up very smoothly from a stand still and you can very finely control it with the accelerator - much more so than a normal car.

With the traction control disabled on the other hand if you pushed the accelerator just a bit too hard the wheel just went into full wheel spin until you eased off, so there's no doubt the traction control makes a huge difference.

When driving reasonably I never once felt like the car was going to slide sideways on me or that I was losing steering control - of course I wasn't going very fast, mostly about 20mph and no more than 30mph but I've certainly had very slippery experiences in the Xantia on summer tyres in similar conditions that were pretty nerve wracking. Even the ABS braking was surprisingly efficient on the slippery road, I tried a few straight ahead full ABS stops, probably much to the chagrin of passers by. :lol:

As it's a light, rear wheel drive car I was expecting it to be a nightmare in icy conditions with poor traction, (and maybe it would be on summer tyres) but the combination of effective traction control, very smooth throttle response and suitable tyres performs far better than I anticipated, and from what I saw tonight I'd much rather drive this car in these conditions than the Xantia with summer tyres and no traction control!
Last edited by Mandrake on 27 Dec 2017, 01:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Skull »

Ohh I can see some great tracking action shots coming in the near future =D>

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Skull wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 00:46
Ohh I can see some great tracking action shots coming in the near future =D>

Of ? :lol:

I wasn't really making an effort to make the videos stable - I was doing a lot of manoeuvring to get the hang of flying it with the video as an afterthought, and as its a fixed (not gimbal mounted) camera it means the camera is pointing all over the place every time I bank or fly forwards/backwards... but if I just go up or down and rotate on the yaw axis it will record surprisingly stable video.

Next things to try are flying forwards in a smooth arc, (banked cornering) and "circle strafing" a stationary target by turning while flying sideways... :)

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by white exec »

Look forward to some aerial footage of the Ion in action . . . . Now there's a challenge! :monkey:
It's one thing to operate a mobile phone while driving, while flying a drone something quite else!

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Skull »

Mandrake wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 00:51
Skull wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 00:46
Ohh I can see some great tracking action shots coming in the near future =D>

Of ? :lol:


I was thinking of your cars or maybe some sledging :roll:

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by MikeT »

I urge caution on breaking CAA flying rules as they do prosecute and the media like to demonise "rogue" pilots, giving us all a bad rep. https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanne ... nd-drones/

Regarding altitude, it's difficult to guess with various camera lenses and distortion of fish-eye etc. If it helps get a perspective, this is a test video where I'd programmed it to climb to 100metres, hold position, yaw through 360degrees twice (against a strong wind) then auto-land where it launched from.


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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by CitroJim »

That video is really quite impressive Mike!!!

Saw a picture on the BBC News website today of a drone being attacked and captured by a golden eagle...

It's in here... The BBC's top pictures of 2017

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-42083213

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by MikeT »

CitroJim wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 16:45
That video is really quite impressive Mike!!!

Saw a picture on the BBC News website today of a drone being attacked and captured by a golden eagle...


The reason I chose self-build is the programmability of the flight controller. It's got more bells and whistles than I could ever make use of and after losing £100-worth of kit to a previous "fly-away", made sure the next one at least had the capablitiy to "Return To Base" automatically.

Yes birds of prey will attack at risk to their talons getting sliced, unfortunately. I've had a young buzzard take a too-close interest once so I just landed until it lost interest and flew off. I'm not sure I agree to them being trained to attack multi-copters, to be honest.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

The idea about the trained eagles is mainly (but not just) to capture drones attempting covert deliveries to prisons and similar establishments. Another system being trialled was a gun that fired a form of netting (similar to that used in the film "The Running Man" to bring down Arnold Schwarzenegger's character).

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

MikeT wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 14:55
I urge caution on breaking CAA flying rules as they do prosecute and the media like to demonise "rogue" pilots, giving us all a bad rep. https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanne ... nd-drones/
Am I breaking some rules in the two videos I posted or are you just warning me not to ? I kept it in sight all the time, stayed away from any people and when I launched it from my lawn I tried to keep it directly above me. The park I took it to was huge (a couple of miles long) and was mostly deserted at the time. The nearest people to me were probably at least 50 metres away.

I'd also point out this is not a large "drone" that would cause injury if it fell - it's entirely plastic, weighs 100 grams and about the size of a dinner plate... :lol: I specifically tested cutting power (above an empty field) to see how rapidly it would fall if it did run out of power and it seems to auto-rotate (you can hear it in the second video where it starts spinning as it falls) and descended relatively slowly and I was easily able to regain control. It seems to have very good free fall aerodynamics, which many drones I've seen videos of don't.

As far as I can see I've taken all reasonable steps to fly it safely.
Regarding altitude, it's difficult to guess with various camera lenses and distortion of fish-eye etc. If it helps get a perspective, this is a test video where I'd programmed it to climb to 100metres, hold position, yaw through 360degrees twice (against a strong wind) then auto-land where it launched from.
According to the guy in the following video, the RF range of the remote is about 80 metres: (although he doesn't say how he measured it)



So from that and comparing your video to mine I reckon it was probably reaching 80-100 metres at most. I could tell by the flashing lights that the altitude ceiling was it beginning to loose RF comms, but when I did this maximum height test I deliberately did it directly overhead so that if it fell it would fall back into comms range and resume flying again. 80-100 metres is more than high enough for me - as it's so small its relatively hard to see the orientation at that height even with the orange and green lights...

I think there's two main ways I would want to fly this quadcopter - one is to fly directly up to near its height limit and then gradually rotate around to capture a panoramic view, and the other would be to fly it horizontally at about 10-20 metres in a large area like a park, away from people of course.

One thing is for sure - even this cheap one is a huge step above any of the cheap RC helicopters I've flown. :)

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

When there were mutterings about getting drone owners to take lessons the weight limit cutoff was, I believe, 250 grams. Any person flying a drone smaller than this did not require tuition.

Last Christmas I gave a couple of drones as presents. They went down really well. My cousin lived in a nice old building (that had been converted to flats), and there was a problem with the guttering. Once he had got used to the drone he used it to inspect said guttering (and took photographs for the building people).

https://www.micro-drone.co.uk/product/w ... t-battery/

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by CitroJim »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 12:09
They went down really well.


Hope they went up just as well too ;) And sideways and forwards and backwards...

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

:rofl2:

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by MikeT »

Mandrake wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 11:27

Am I breaking some rules in the two videos I posted or are you just warning me not to ?

According to the guy in the following video, the RF range of the remote is about 80 metres: (although he doesn't say how he measured it)

So from that and comparing your video to mine I reckon it was probably reaching 80-100 metres at most.

One thing is for sure - even this cheap one is a huge step above any of the cheap RC helicopters I've flown. :)


As I say it's difficult to tell from video, Simon. IMO the lawn launch may have infringed one or two rules and you thinking you may have achieved up to 200m altitude could have been another. My urging caution was purely intended as friendly advice for you to get aquainted with the rules. And don't forget to check out the local by-laws too. Ours forbids rc flying in all parks unless specifically allowed by notice and even then they only grant permission to existing members of a specific rc flying club.

While nobody wants their collar felt just for having what seems like harmless fun, the worst part of it I find is from the public that have already had the irrational fears brainwashed into them from the media. They will call the authorities just because they think you shouldn't be flying in public without a license and/or because it's camera can overlook their gardens/bedroom windows etc. I've read a couple of first-hand accounts of pilots getting a knock on the door that upset them, even though they were shown to be in the right.

Anyway, glad you're having fun with your new toy. 8-)
I too have a micro-quad, probably a third the weight of yours and it's an excellent practice tool to hone the skills, especially as it can be flown indoors too.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Have had a couple of minor scares with the brakes on the Ion recently... It has taken to the brakes trying to bind when almost stationary. :shock:

For a while now (well before I touched the front brakes) it has had a very intermittent problem where when you are rolling very slowly and apply the brake slightly to come to a rest the car suddenly stops dead as if you had slammed on the brake hard - it seems WAY too sensitive and stops way too abruptly for a gentle press of the pedal. And yet on a following application it will often feel normal.

This has got a lot worse recently, and I noticed it in particular with the snowy/icy weather we've had where I'm trying to stop gently on a slippery road and occasionally the slightest press of the brake pedal was locking one or both front wheels hard causing a brief skid. :?

Then a couple of times I've come to a stop at a traffic light, released the brake and it has not crept forward as it should, when I've pressed the accelerator it's then suddenly let go with a creak/groan.

Finally a few days ago I was stopped at the lights, took my foot off the brake and pressed the accelerator and nothing! I couldn't move forward with full throttle! After it's recent behaviour I knew immediately that the brake was binding and at a green light with a car right behind me I was forced to put it into reverse and move backwards slightly with the brake creaking and letting go and then drive forward. [-X :evil: (I bet the driver behind me thought I was about to reverse into them!)

It would have only been jammed a little but on the Ion the initial torque when stationary is severely limited until you start rolling - if you happen to stop with the wheel at the curb for example - even a dropped curb, it will not climb it from stationary. So even a modest amount of binding could cause it to fail to start moving. I was lucky that going into reverse broke it free as I was stopped in a really bad place to break down...

It seems to be the front right brake and I'm not entirely sure what's going on - either there is a bump in the outer rust lip of the disc that is "snagging" the edge of one of the pads if you happen to apply the brake just at the right point in it's rotation, (thus freeing it by going into reverse) or the swollen sleeve in the bottom guide pin is getting stuck and not allowing the pad to retract a normal amount - or maybe a bit of both!

In any case I can't delay replacing the front discs, pads and pins much longer! As well as brakes locking on when stationary potentially being a safety issue, I'm sure that front right brake is dragging slightly and causing me a significant loss of range that I can ill afford in winter! [-X

The good news is that the Disc/Pad set arrived a couple of days ago so I have that ready to go, and it looks the business. :) However I still need to get the pins, and some high temperature silicone grease to lubricate them as the disc/pad set didn't come with any.

Looking on Service box I'm not entirely sure how much I should be getting... See below:
Ion Brakes.png
Items 7 and 8 are the upper and lower pins, and are £5.56+ vat each so £13.35 for two inc VAT, and this would seem to be the minimum I need. But if I'm interpreting the diagram right, the outer concertina boots for the pins are only available as part of kit 15, which is £11.85 a side. Also it appears that the rubber sleeve on pin 8 is supplied both with pin 8 and as part of kit 15 ?

The outer rubber concertinas have been exposed to mineral grease so I'm slightly worried that they might be damaged (although they seemed OK when I checked them) in the same way that sleeve D has gone soft, but I'm not sure if I'm worried to the tune of an extra £23 to get a kit of seals just for those boots.

On the other hand I could get this seal kit 15 in place of pins 7 and 8, which still gives me the rubber sleeve that I need to replace and that is probably all I need, but in that case I'm not replacing the pins themselves - and if they're worn causing the rattle then I may fix the binding but not the rattle!

Another point of confusion is item 14 which is a "Disc pad noise prevention kit" for £10.30, but it's not clear from the picture whether I'd need two of those to do both sides of the car, also there don't seem to be any noise reducing plates like this currently fitted! :?: Again, I'm not sure I want to add another £23 on the bill for something I may not really need.

When I put plenty of grease (the wrong grease admittedly) on the pins last time it 100% silenced the rattles, and when I cleaned the grease out again on the second go at the brakes the front right one started rattling again, so it does seem to be the pins that rattle and does seem like it needs grease to quieten it down.

Thoughts ? I'm dropping the car in to get the air bag replacement done tomorrow so I thought I'd order the parts from the service department while I'm there, hence trying to figure out exactly which bits I do and don't really need...

Regarding the grease - does anyone have a recommendation or link to a tube of high temperature silicone grease that would be suitable for using on the slide pins without damaging the rubber ?