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John Hestness's Groups

John Hestness's Discussions

Practical Experience with PID tuning

Started Jun 26, 2011 0 Replies

I am in the process of tuning an APM equipped Parkzone T-28.  I have tried the "Easystar default parameters" and found it just lackidaisically wandering around off course, and uncaring about its…Continue

Advice on using APM for ground vehicle?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Darren Mar 6, 2011. 10 Replies


DIYdrones search not working

Started this discussion. Last reply by Ken Jan 3, 2011. 2 Replies

It seems that the search function for the website is not working.Continue

Parkzone T-28 Trojan autopilot platform

Started this discussion. Last reply by Henk Jul 12, 2013. 7 Replies

I decided to use the Parkzone T-28 as the initial plane for my APM.  I picked it beacause it is a straight forward 4 channel foam plane that fits in my trunk assembled and it has a huge removable…Continue

Tags: Trojan, platform, Parkzone, T-28


John Hestness's Page

Latest Activity

John Hestness commented on Roger Sollenberger's blog post 3D Robotics engineering moves to their incredible new space this weekend
"it is somewhat bittersweet to see our exotic fringe hobby going mainstream.  But I wouldn't want to go back and give up the improvements in form, function, and reliability. It looks like a nice big building with room for a serious shipping…"
Apr 6
John Hestness commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Amazing quadcopter prop-loss recovery
"Amazing work."
Mar 5
John Hestness commented on Carlos Orozco's blog post RoboNurse
"So if the goal is just to have a demonstration at a science fair, and not an actual hospital ready robot, then your job is much easier.  One easy way to navigate for a demonstration is to do line-following, the line is just tape stuck to the…"
Mar 1
John Hestness commented on Jack Crossfire's blog post Electromagnetic position sensing
"It is a nice idea.  One possibility regarding the vehicle motor interference problem might be to reverse the system and put the magnetometers around the room and then measure the "interference" from the vehicle to determined its…"
Feb 26
John Hestness commented on UAVStuff's blog post Google gets into 3D mapping with Project Tango
"Gary,   lol,  I feel your pain.   I was planning to try a simple "point cloud" program with the $99 LRF that I got from lightware, but I fear that in the time it takes to get it working (a few days) their will be a $5.00…"
Feb 21
John Hestness commented on FRANCIS NELSON HENDERSON's blog post Suggestions inspired by Andrew Tridgell's "A peek into the future of ardupilot" post
"I enjoyed your comments and learned a few things, especially about the different processors."
Feb 7

Ruwan replied to John Hestness's discussion New CNC website in the group DIYDrones - CNC Project
"Thanks John for the site. :-) spent the better part of y'day and today on that and related sites.. Seems some of the CNC machines are derived from Shapeoko project."
Jan 26
John Hestness added a discussion to the group DIYDrones - CNC Project

New CNC website

I found a CNC related website that seems like a good fit for the DIYdrones culture.  http://www.openbuilds.comSee More
Jan 25
John Hestness commented on Gary McCray's blog post Some MultiCopter Design Thoughts.
"Maybe test should be done a little higher up to eliminate ground effect as a cause."
Jan 22
John Hestness commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Drones should be banned from private use, says Google's Eric Schmidt
" I think that when the founding fathers talked about "the right to bear arms" they were talking about quadcopter arms. A little more seriously, is Schmidt worried that we will be watching him as much as his company is monitoring…"
Dec 7, 2013
John Hestness commented on Joshua Ott's blog post Flying in 25 m/s wind
"56 MPH.  I am impressed.  I wouldn't try it.  Am I correct in thinking that to loiter in that wind also means that on a calm day that copter could fly at least 56 MPH?  Would a commercial jet take off in that?"
Dec 7, 2013
John Hestness commented on Chris Anderson's blog post First civilian drone missions off an aircraft carrier (new vid)!
"Very cool. Did you have to take any precautions or make special adjustments because of the somewhat large pieces of metal in the vicinity? Any problems with compass, GPS, radios, etc? "
Nov 9, 2013
John Hestness replied to Justin Eskesen's discussion Introduction + new rover... in the group ArduRover User Group
"Nice rover.  I have a couple of CMUcam5 on order too. The servo and servo board both sound interesting."
Oct 27, 2013
John Hestness commented on Gary McCray's blog post And Now for Something Completely Different - APM:Bot
"I think there is demand for balance bot code. (that was a hint)  Starting an offshoot of the rover project would be one way to think of it. That is an impressive piece of hardware Gary. I will be following your progress. Keep posting."
Oct 27, 2013
John Hestness commented on Ed Kirk's blog post Documentary Goes Missing
"Wow, unbelievable bureaucratic incompetence.  But also some awesome work getting done anyway."
Oct 26, 2013
John Hestness commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Latest on US vs. Trappy
"Well I think the FAA is slow, wrong, and a poster child for bureaucracy, but that doesn't make Trappy right. With that said, I think I am glad that somebody competent (as opposed to hacks crashing into buildings) is stirring the…"
Oct 9, 2013

Profile Information

About Me:
I started building robots and control panels in grade school. Now I upgrade and maintain industrial control systems. I started flying RC about a year ago and I mentor in the FIRST robotics program.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
I just finished assembling an APM. I want to try it in an airplane, helicopter, quadcopter, and a snow sled that I made last winter. I would like to automate my yard work and house work. Some day I want a light speed star ship, with an autopilot of course.
Minneapolis MN

 kludge "to improvise with a kludge or kludges" and kludgemanship "skill in designing or applying kludges".

A crock that works. 

An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole.

Something that works for the wrong reason.

A kludge is often used to fix an unanticipated problem in an earlier kludge; this is essentially a kind of cruft.


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John Hestness's Blog

Airventure 2013

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 12:30pm 2 Comments

Interesting things I saw at the EAA Airventure event in Wisconsin this week.

Here is former GMA host David Hartman interviewing astronauts Chris Hadfield, Chris Ferguson, Charles Precourt, and Charles Duke.

Hadfield talked about space walking and his youtube video.  …


Lifehacker interview of Chris Anderson

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 9:23pm 20 Comments

Happen to run across this today.  Great interview and a look at the workshop!

Quick and Easy Rover

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 8:21pm 40 Comments

In between aircraft I built this rover.  It is a Traxxas Slash frame with a piece of 1/8" aircraft plywood on top for an electronics platform.  The plywood measures 16.5" x 6.5".  It was super easy to build.  In the next few days I will finish configuring the electronics, update and confirgure the software and test it out. …


Free AI class possibly has Drone applications

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 5:00pm 1 Comment

I am just finishing the Intro to Artificial Intelligence free on-line class from Stanford.  There are probably many helpful things in this wonderful class taught by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun.  But I have to mention the Particle filter algorithm that can locate a vehicle in a previously mapped environment quickly and with minimal computation. …


Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 12:31pm on July 22, 2011, George Tarrant said…


Sorry if this is a stupid question but have you decided the missions you want your planes to perform? Its the missions that will dictate the PID loops you need.

If your question relates more to PID gain values, I'll need a dimensioned 3-view sketch of the plane to begin with.

At 4:37pm on July 22, 2011, John Hestness said…
George, I am using Ardupilot Mega. The mission is just to fly the plane to the waypoints, assuming wind of 0-12 MPH (0-19 KPH). My question is about the gains, and I have linked to a 3 view below. The wingspan is 44 inches (112 cm) AUW is 39 ounces (1.1 kg) Thank you, John

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