I decided that I’m going to try to post one of these “What’s Pat Up Been To?” blogs once a month. The last one showed up at the very end of July, and that was only two weeks ago. The last update required 1,300 words to cover four topics.

I am going to try to employ more brevity this month. Do you think I will succeed?

I started posting on Instagram!

I haven’t been shouting about this too much. I figure it isn’t all that exciting until there’s some content to look at. I’ve posted 20 photos or videos so far, so I guess there’s something to look at now!

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I was wary of adding another social media account to my workload, but Instagram seems like it is a good fit for me. It sounds like it is common for people to post one photo a day, and I enjoy photography, so this sounds like fun!

I’d sure appreciate it if you follow me on Instagram!

I’m making progress on my open-source freestyle miniquad frame!

I wrote about my Falcon miniquad frame in last month’s update. At that point, I had the prototype frame cut, I’d migrated the components from one of my other quads to the new frame, and I only had a chance to fly it one day.

I’ve flown the Falcon prototype quite a few times since then. It is flying great. I’ve corrected a few problems with the design, and I’ve made some small improvements. I also came up with a reasonable way to make extra room for the new DJI FPV Air module.

The Falcon is an open-source, parametric freestyle miniquad frame. The source code and CAD files are available on Gitlab. I’ve been cutting the prototypes of my Falcon and Kestrel frames on my Shapeoko XXL in the garage.

My first Patreon freebie

I set up a Patreon account ages ago. I’m doing a bad job of utilizing it. What do you get if you subscribe to me on Patreon? Do you get early access to content? Do you get some sort of exclusive content?

Nope. Not really. I am an open book. I don’t keep secrets. I publish everything. I publish often. I publish blogs while I’m in the middle of working on things. My minor successes and failures are immediately available on Twitter. It sure seems to me like this isn’t the way to do a good job at Patreon!

I’ve been thinking that I need some sort of freebie for my Patrons. It should be something I make, but what should it be?

I finally had an idea. I designed a little carbon fiber prop-removal tool. It isn’t quite ready yet. The prop tool works well, but the M3 wrench on the end is too loose. The M3 wrench might not be doable, and I may drop it.

I’m looking for a way to engrave my website on the side. Engraving is easy. An easy, durable way to make an engraving in carbon fiber stand out is hard. I have an idea, though, and I’ll be trying it out in a few days!

The TinyHawk Freestyle is awesome!

The original, indoor TinyHawk and the new, stupidly fast, stupidly powerful TinyHawk Freestyle are both fantastic! Neither are the fastest, most powerful, or lightest FPV quads in their respective classes, but they don’t need to be. They’re both nearly the perfect mix of simplicity, durability, performance, and price.

I’ve had a lot of fun with my indoor TinyHawk, and I’m having a blast with my TinyHawk Freestyle. The truth is, though, they are the least exciting quadcopters I own. I’m much more excited about what the EMAX TinyHawks mean to you.

My TinyHawk Original and TinyHawk Freestyle

I use my TinyHawks with my $200 Taranis X9D+ radio, my $300 FatShark Dominator goggles, and my $160 RapidFire module. That’s $660 worth of equipment that I use with all my quadcopters. You don’t have to spend that much.

EMAX has a TinyHawk Ready-To-Fly kit for $165. This includes the original, indoor TinyHawk, a battery, a 6-port charger, goggles, and a radio. That’s everything you need to get in the air and practice in a simulator for $165–though I would spend $25 on an additional 6-pack of batteries!

When you’re ready to fly outside, the amazing TinyHawk Freestyle is only $105. The Freestyle uses the same batteries as your first TinyHawk, and it will work with the same goggles and radio.

I can’t help but be excited about this. Sure, you’ll outgrow the Ready-To-Fly kit’s goggles and radio, but it doesn’t matter. Being able to start properly flying FPV for under $200 just blows my mind.

This section about the TinyHawk is ruining my attempt at brevity. I’m just too excited about it to be properly brief!

Thinking about inexpensive mechanical keyboards

I am a mechanical-keyboard enthusiast. I used an IBM Model M keyboard almost exclusively from the late nineties up until a couple years ago, and today, I have a Razor Blackwidow on my desk.

I made a decision a while back that I was going to start posting deals to Butter, What?! I prefer not to recommend any products or services that I don’t personally use. I figured it would be OK to push past that a little bit, so I am posting deals that I would consider buying if I needed them. Maybe. That’s a bit fuzzy, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

I quickly realized that I was wanting to post a lot of mechanical keyboard deals. There are tons of nice-looking $20 to $30 keyboards popping up. They all use knockoffs of Cherry’s switches; a patent or two must have expired!

Chris's Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

We wound up buying one of those $25 keyboards for my wife. Buying that keyboard and all the thinking I’ve been doing about the ethics of recommending keyboards I hadn’t actually tried myself encouraged me to write a blog post about what I think about inexpensive mechanical keyboards.

Here’s the tl;dr. From my sample size of one keyboard, they sure do seem to be well made. Time will tell, though. They don’t cost much more than a basic membrane keyboard, so they seem like a fantastic way to test the waters. Do you want a mechanical keyboard, but you’re not sure you want to spend $120? Buy a $20 one with the switches you think you’ll like, and see how that goes first!


I said I would be brief, but I seem to have failed. I haven’t even written my conclusion yet, and I’m already up over 1,200 words! I have one more section in this update compared to last month, though, so maybe I didn’t do too bad of a job?

How am I doing? What should I be working on next month? Tell me about it in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!