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Nichols

[WIP] Black Hornet PRS

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So how many of us liked the original Black Hornet Nano UAV mod that was entered into the Make Arma Not War contest? I know I was one for sure and I have used it many times building missions or playing single player stuff over the last few years but always end up removing the mod from my missions because of the following things I wanted to see done a little differently.

 

TO DO LIST

  • Be an inventory item IF at all possible; not have to be a part of the UAV backpack.
  • FLIR, NV and DTV views decided to stick with changing views as normal as it would have been a true pain in the butt creating something entirely new for this little bugger.
  • Fast recharge rate; or automatic recharge to simulate replacement of the battery pack.
  • realistic flight time and distance.
  • Easy to interact with and use the vanilla UAV controller.
  • Ability to adjust the colors of the drone in the Editor for usage in various terrains. (Most likely not going to be a priority at all. So going to scrap this portion entirely.)
  • Finally the most important is to update the model of the drone to be similar to the current V3 version that FLIR offers to military and law enforcement groups around the world.

 

So a few weeks ago I reached out to the maker of the original mod. He gave me permission to modify, tweak and otherwise update the mod as necessary. Thanks to him for allowing us to do these things. We hope we can pull off the things we want to do but without the support that he gave us by giving the source files and his permission we would not be as far ahead as we are now.

 

So as of today I can report that we have pushed into the realm of approaching a first release for limited testing. The plan all along has been to update the drone to use some commands to make it an inventory item, recharge automatically, use the vanilla UAV controller and have the realistic flight time and distance. I was able to enlist the help of @toxicsludge to make a terrific 3D and it has turned out to be AWESOME. We are now on the right track testing wise and have identified a few areas of note that are going to be improved upon as soon as possible. As soon as we can it will be released on the Steam Workshop for all to mess around with and have fun.

 

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16 August 2018:

 

WIP 3D images

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Update 19 August 2018:

Got the completed model and it looks AMAZING. The level of detail he put into it is off the charts good for the size that it will end up being. Our team is excited to get this sucker completed and out the door to you guys to play with.

 

Finished model views:

 

 

EARLY INTERNAL TEST RESULTS ARE IN:

 

How to use the drone: There is no image yet for the drone so it will be a blank spot under miscellaneous items in the editor and you can control it with the vanilla UAV console in game. Use ACE self interaction to place the drone on the ground; then use the UAV console to locate the drone and you can give it waypoints and control that way. Otherwise you will not be able to find the thing in game if you don't use ACE self interact.


Couple of known bugs:

  • Weight seems to be causing a problem with flight; it might be way to light since Arma doesn't like objects that are super light.  
  • Speed is way off and probably tied to the weight of the item. Should be right at 6m/s (~21kmh) as the max speed but I had it up over 25m/s (~90kmh) yesterday in internal testing.
  • Ability to have autonomous flight is most likely tied to weight and therefore not functioning properly as well since it seems that wind speed affects it.

 

Update 13 March 2019

  • Name change of the mod. The Black Hornet PRS is the primary focus; just want to add in a couple of other items that will be extremely helpful for the future as well.
  • Working to get an optic in here and available for use.
  • Working on artwork for a change in the UI for the UAV controller screen. Might be able to have a customized version that looks very similar to real life PRS controller.
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If you make this mod...

Do make sure you add a 'Dragonfly' mod. which randomly spawns this near the UAV when flying low in summertime.

 

For unknown reason Dragonfly's agressively attack this drone on a regular basis sometimes dying by the rotorblades in the proces...sometimes succesfully taking it down!

True story...they seem to hate it.

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13 hours ago, Crielaard said:

If you make this mod...

Do make sure you add a 'Dragonfly' mod. which randomly spawns this near the UAV when flying low in summertime.

 

For unknown reason Dragonfly's agressively attack this drone on a regular basis sometimes dying by the rotorblades in the proces...sometimes succesfully taking it down!

True story...they seem to hate it.

 

Sounds like fun times but we are not going to do that. 

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Wow cool love the idea of using this drone hope the backpack will be realistic smaller then the original mod :P

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On 18/10/2018 at 11:47 AM, skuijs said:

Wow cool love the idea of using this drone hope the backpack will be realistic smaller then the original mod :P

 

There won't be a backpack - they state it's going to be an inventory item (which makes sense; it's tiny).

 

I look forward to this, and may well introduce it into the 16AA's modpack! The British Army apparently withdrew them from active service in 2016/17, but they're nice and sensible, so sod 'em.

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@beazley repeated it correctly. There will not be a backpack for this and either fortunately or unfortunately our recharge rate for is unrealistic...I call it a battery change without changing the battery. Flight times are about what you would expect for something that small being able to fly at up to ~20mph and cover about 2km....meaning its a short legged little bugger and the camera needs to be pointed at your target in order to see it. There is not a swivel turret...which would be TOTALLY unrealistic for something this size. As for when its ready....hopefully sooner rather than later. 

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On 25.10.2018 at 12:00 AM, Nichols said:

There is not a swivel turret...which would be TOTALLY unrealistic for something this size. 

Not true. My father builds drones as a hobby (quadcopters and fixed-wing, for most part, but knowing him he'll eventually go into helos as well), and you can definitely mount a gimballed camera on something that small. Those cameras can be tiny, and you only need a pair of high-angle servos and a mount. Two-axis gimbaled cameras in general aren't very practical on copters (single-axis movement can be useful to a degree), but if you wanted that for some reason you could do it. That said, Black Hornet doesn't look like it has it.

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 7:03 AM, Crielaard said:

Can't wait for a working version, we use this IRL

 

Going to PM you some questions if you don't mind.

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Not much left @S. Bacon just have to get some final config work sorted out and then get it packaged up for the release. We are not going to release until it at least has SOME semblance to the real deal in performance. Thanks to @Crielaard we have some ideas on real world working knowledge and as such we want to be as close as we can without being too feature perfect. This is a tool; not unlike a hammer but certainly not something that will kill everything. It will be something that will give your team an edge in case the other guys don't have it available.

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@Nichols and Task Force Red,

Thank you for hard work on rebooting this mod. My friends in my group and I are looking forward to the release.

I have one simple (and probably obvious) request: Please make sure that this mod is compatible at release with Linux designated servers. Make all file and folder names completely lowercase, and do not use any spaces or special characters (other than underscores). For example, the mod's parent folder should be called something like "@black_hornet_prs" rather than "@Black Hornet PRS," and an example of a .pbo file would be "black_hornet.pbo" rather than "Black Hornet Nano PRS 2.0."

If you would like to partner with another community for testing, please let me know. We run small to medium group, PMC-style operations that would be perfect for the new Black Hornet Nano PRS, and we have our own designated server.

Cheers.

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@Eutyches Thanks for the heads up. We honestly had not thought about that side of it and I didn't realize that lower case versus upper case made a difference in how the mod worked on the different server types. I will be sure to pass along the information and get it pushed to be a cross platform setup. Also will go about working on my other faction mods to make them more appealing to Linux community's for same reason.

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Just now, Nichols said:

@Eutyches Thanks for the heads up. We honestly had not thought about that side of it and I didn't realize that lower case versus upper case made a difference in how the mod worked on the different server types. I will be sure to pass along the information and get it pushed to be a cross platform setup. Also will go about working on my other faction mods to make them more appealing to Linux community's for same reason.

@Nichols, what most of us Linux server administrators do is run simple terminal commands to convert every file name to lowercase automatically. Normally, it is not a problem, but it would be nice to see a little line in your release posts such as "Tested and working in both Linux and Windows designated servers." That is an example of the sort of final polish that can make a great mod even more attractive to us end users :smile_o:

By the way, since I have your attention anyway, do you have an estimated release date in mind?

Thank you again, and please do keep up the great work. The mockups look terrific. We hope to use this soon!

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@EutychesNo idea on the release date; real life is slowing a bunch of us down at the moment for work and family. We are actively working on it when we get a chance which is about once a week but the final config work is all we lack and that is taking the longest time. Once we get a version we think is ready for final testing I will drop you a PM about it.

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Well we weren't quite successful with our anticipated release by the end of the year. Our first attempt to edit the configs was a little bit confusing due to the size of the 3d model. Let's just say that a certain triangular shaped starship that is from a series of wars in the stars was smaller in scale than the model. Kinda hard to get it in a backpack, but it's all good now.

 

So while we finish up we just wanted to let you all know that the goal is in reach and we hope to have a quality product finished soon. And have it out to you all soon after final testing is done.

 

We hope you will continue to be patient with us as we work to get the little bugger out the door. 

 

We hope you all had a great time in 2018 and that 2019 will treat you even better. 

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Take your time to not only produce the quality mod you’re looking to produce but also enjoy life!!! Never more poignant that now, the eve of a new year:)

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On 12/31/2018 at 9:11 AM, Rich_R said:

Take your time to not only produce the quality mod you’re looking to produce but also enjoy life!!! Never more poignant that now, the eve of a new year:)

Agreed. Also, I’m sure that many of us would not mind a “beta” release. Of course, there is something to be said for releasing a polished product in its final form — the old-fashioned way of doing things. Regardless, thank you for your hard work on this mod, and we look forward to using it soon.

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@Nichols just wondering what the progress of the mod is, the unit I am in is looking for this exact thing and I was just wondering how it was going?

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As I mentioned....its being worked on and as soon as it is ready we will be glad to get it out to a few communities to do some testing for us. Timeline....before the end of time is what we are shooting for; sorry but that is the best I can do.

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