About

Welcome to the largest community for amateur Unmanned Aerial Vehicles! 

This community is the birthplace of ArduPilot, the world's first universal autopilot platform (planes, multicopters of all sorts and ground rovers). Today the Pixhawk autopilot runs a variety of powerful free and open UAV software systems, including:

  • PX4, a pro-quality open source copter, plane, rover and VTOL software stack from the Linux Foundation's Dronecode Project
  • ArduCopter, open source multicopter and heli UAV software
  • ArduPlane, open source software for planes of all types
  • ArduRover, open source software for ground-based vehicles

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to FPV Drone Racing


Venturing into the dynamic realm of First-Person View (FPV) drone racing promises an unparalleled experience. This detailed primer aims to navigate novices through the thrilling domain of FPV drone flying, covering all necessary aspects to embark on this exciting journey successfully.

Exploring the World of FPV Drone Racing

FPV drone racing is a sport that combines high-speed aerial maneuvers with the cutting-edge technology of drones, offering pilots the experience of flying from the drone's perspective through live video feeds. This unique blend of technology and adrenaline-fueled competition makes FPV drone racing an immersive and captivating experience.

The Unique Attraction of FPV Racing

At its core, the allure of FPV racing is its ability to deliver intense, fast-paced action coupled with the latest in drone technology advancements. The community surrounding FPV drone racing further enriches this experience, providing a welcoming and supportive…

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Implementing FTDI for Firmware Resuscitation


In instances where traditional firmware update methods like Betaflight Passthrough or Wi-Fi encounter disruptions, leading to receivers being rendered inoperative with their bootloaders damaged, the utility of an FTDI programmer for UART flashing becomes indispensable. This alternative proves crucial when you're without a flight controller or Wi-Fi access, providing universal support for ELRS receivers across the 2.4GHz and 900MHz spectrums without relying on proprietary software.

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Essential Equipment

Central to this technique is the use of a USB to serial adaptor, known as an FTDI Programmer. The Radiomaster USB UART Flasher is highlighted for its specific utility in this context. While BetaFPV offers a comparable device, the ExpressLRS Recovery Dongle, the guidance provided herein applies to the Radiomaster variant but is generally suitable for use with…

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Exploring AIO Flight Controllers for FPV Drones


 1 Understanding AIO Flight Controllers

AIO (All-in-One) flight controllers serve as the central nervous system of FPV drones, integrating essential components for seamless operation:

  • Flight Controller (FC): This brain of the drone processes sensor data, stabilizes the aircraft, and executes flight commands with precision.
  • Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs): These modules regulate motor speed, ensuring smooth and responsive control during flight maneuvers.
  • On-Screen Display (OSD): Overlaying critical flight data onto the pilot's FPV feed, including telemetry such as battery voltage, current draw, GPS coordinates, and more.
  • Receiver: Capturing signals from the radio transmitter, the receiver relays commands to the FC for real-time control of the drone's movement.…

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RC Heli-Redesign


I teach at a high school that focuses on Manufacturing and Pre-Engineering in Los Angeles.

We have always used RC to teach design, the size is suitable for machining and 3D printing an over all great lesson in packaging all of the sub systems. (We usually don't fly, for many reasons, my students hate it) I came here to teach my students that finding people that are knowledgeable and willing to share is possible through communinties.

We recently were give a couple of Mikados, Logo 200 and a 400, so that my students can use them as a design study. So far we have documented a 200 and used it as a foundation in a drone concept.

We have a very well equipped machine shop and extensive experience in 3D printing.

We are looking to develop the prototype based on the 200 with MRO components for controls and have the option for a camera system. DJI air unit. Again its a design and packaging lesson, along with sub system integration.

The…

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Latest Activity

Jenny posted a blog post
The march towards adopting higher battery cell counts in the FPV drone industry reflects a relentless drive for superior flight performance and enhanced efficiency. This analysis delves into the growing inclination towards 8S battery setups,…
1 hour ago
chess nut updated their profile
3 hours ago
SADDAM HOSSAIN, Jonathan Duan, johan and 3 more joined diydrones
13 hours ago
Marty Paulk liked Forrest Frantz's discussion Duration World Record for Electric Multicopter Flight Duration 4 1/4 hours--How We Did It
16 hours ago
Marty Paulk liked Forrest Frantz's discussion Build Your Own Copter--Part III
16 hours ago
Jenny posted a blog post
Venturing into the dynamic realm of First-Person View (FPV) drone racing promises an unparalleled experience. This detailed primer aims to navigate novices through the thrilling domain of FPV drone flying, covering all necessary aspects to embark on…
Friday
Jenny posted a blog post
In instances where traditional firmware update methods like Betaflight Passthrough or Wi-Fi encounter disruptions, leading to receivers being rendered inoperative with their bootloaders damaged, the utility of an FTDI programmer for UART flashing…
Thursday
ZagiriL Brown posted a blog post
 1 Understanding AIO Flight ControllersAIO (All-in-One) flight controllers serve as the central nervous system of FPV drones, integrating essential components for seamless operation:Flight Controller (FC): This brain of the drone processes sensor…
Thursday
Brian Buckmaster updated their profile
Wednesday
Bengt Evertsson, Dima Dubina, Tommy Frantz and 1 more joined diydrones
Wednesday
Bernice Berger replied to Donovan Silver's discussion Beginner drone options?
"It's great that you're interested in getting into the drone scene and building one for your film projects. Here are some steps and resources to help you get started:

Research and Learning:
Start with some basic research on drone components and…"
Feb 27
Bill Hoover posted a discussion
I'm trying to build a monocopter. It has one wing, one motor and one servo. Show Betaflight setup for a monocopter. Monocopter has one wing. Monocopter has one motor EDF. Monocopter has one servo. Servo moves Hiller flap at 90 degrees to wing axis.…
Feb 26
David Chu, Jerry Lee, OscarRassel and 1 more joined diydrones
Feb 25
Abdoulrahamane Sani, Reynaldo Vesga, Jeevan Roy Jillepalli and 3 more joined diydrones
Feb 22
Gary updated their profile
Feb 21
Ronald Pandolfi replied to Ward Hum's discussion Drone Building Course
"It depends on how deep into autonomy that you want to advance. After you understand propellers, motors, ESCs, Power Distribution, Power Modules, RC Radios, Telemetry Radios, Flight Controllers, GNSS Sensors, etc.; you may want to proceed with…"
Feb 20
James Bragg posted a discussion
I'm new to the drone industry, and I'm more interested in gaming actually. So, if anyone could recommend a few games for a beginner, I would much appreciate it!
Feb 20
James Bragg replied to TOny M's discussion Games to play with your drone
"Hi guys, if anyone can share a few drone games for a beginner, that would be cool"
Feb 20
James Bragg replied to Ward Hum's discussion Drone Building Course
"cool, I have a similar drone and don't really know a lot about it. this video is quite informative"
Feb 20
ColumbusJones, James Bragg and Scott Moore joined diydrones
Feb 19
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Site Rules

"Because $10,000 $5,000 $1,000 is too much to pay for an autopilot, especially one that doesn't do exactly what you want."

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, colloquially known as a "drone") is basically an aerial robot. As we define it, it is capable of both remotely controlled flight (like a regular RC aircraft) and fully-autonomous flight, controlled by sensors, GPS, and onboard computers performing the functions of an autopilot. Our UAVs include airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters and blimps. Most of them are under five pounds, and some of them (especially the blimps) can be used indoors.

We are focused on non-commercial ("recreational") projects by amateurs, although pros are always welcome too. Reasons to make your own UAV range from a fun technical challenge, student contests, aerial photography and mapping (what we call "GeoCrawling"), and scientific sensing. We are primarily interested in civilian, not military, UAV uses here.

If you're new to all this, start here.

DIY Drones is a community based on the Ning social networking platform, and anybody who registers (it's free and easy) can post their own blog entries like this one on the front page, along with starting discussions in the sidebar at left or uploading videos below that. Your registration gives you the ability to do a lot on the site--so feel free to post anything you think will be of interest to this community!

There are other amateur sites out there, from the discussion forums of RC Groups to individual blogs, but DIY Drones is explicitly built as a social network, which means that the community is as important as the content. We're also focused on the most accessible end of the amateur UAV world, with the aim of potentially including high school students.

This means we emphasize amateur UAV projects that are:

  1. Simple: The aim of this project is to create new amateur UAV platforms, including those that could be used for a FIRST-like contest appropriate for students. While we're at it, we'll make amateur UAV development easier for everyone.
  2. Cheap: The target cost of all of our platforms is less than $1,000. You can buy a very good autopilot system for $10,000, but that's not our approach. Cheaper is better, especially with students and schools.
  3. Safe: We follow the current interpretation of the FAA guidelines on small UAVs. Recreational use (non-commercial), under 400 ft altitude, line of sight, "pilot in the loop" and onboard safety systems that always allow for manual control in the case of malfunction. We're building experimental platforms that demonstrate autonomy and the capacity to do real useful UAV work, but we test them in controlled settings. If you want to fly miles out of sight or map cities, we're going to assume you've got the proper FAA clearance or we don't want to know about it.
  4. Participatory: Share and others will share with you. That means that whenever possible, we open source our code and post it online. Everything on this site is published under a Creative Commons "attribution" license, which means that anyone can use or repost it, as long as they give credit to the original author.
  5. Civil: This is a community site of peers helping each other. Bad behavior, from rudeness to foul language, will be deleted. Generosity and kindness is often rewarded with reciprocal behavior and help.

Here are the full set of Site Policies:
 
  1. Civility is paramount. Treat others with respect, kindness and generosity. Some of our most expert members are people who were once total n00bz but were helped and encouraged by others, and are now repaying the favor with the next generation. Remember the Golden Rule. Don't be a jerk to anyone, be they other members, moderators or the owners. This is not a public park, and you have no constitutionally-mandated right to free speech. If you're creating a hostile or unpleasant environment, you'll be warned, then if it continues you'll be suspended.
  2. No discussion of politics or religion. This is not the place to discuss your views on the wisdom of military use of UAVs, any nation's foreign policy, your feelings about war, or anything else that is inclined to turn into a political debate. It is our experience that the rules for good dinner party conversation--no discussion of politics and religion--apply to online communities, too. DIY Drones aims to bring people together, and we find that discussions of politics and religion tend to polarize and drive people apart. There are plenty of other places to discuss those topics online, just not here.
  3. Ask questions in the discussion forum; inform others in blog posts. Submitted blog posts that are just questions and should have been posted in the discussion forum will not be approved. The moderators may or may not message you with the text so you can repost in the right area. To avoid losing your post, put it in the right place from the start.
  4. Blog posts are for informative topics of broad interest to the community. They must start with a picture or video, so the image appears on the front page on the site and gives a sense of the topic as well as inviting people to click in for more. Videos should be embedded (paste the embed code in the HTML tab, not the Rich Text tab). The post should also include links where appropriate. Don't make people do a Google search for what you're talking about if you can provide a link. 
  5. The Discussion Forum is for questions and tech support. We prefer to do all tech support in public, so that others can follow along. If you have a problem, please describe your particular system setup completely, ideally with a photograph, and pick the right forum tags so that others can find the thread later.
  6. No discussion of military or weaponized applications of UAVs. This site is just about amateur and civilian use.
  7. No discussion of illegal or harmful use of UAVs will be tolerated. Responsible use of UAVs is at the core of our mission. That means conforming with all laws in the United States, where this site is based, and insisting that our members elsewhere follow the laws of their own countries. In addition, we feel that part of our responsibility it to help the relevant authorities understand what's possible with amateur UAVs, so they can make better-informed policies and laws. So we have encouraged all relevant regulators, defense agencies and law enforcement agencies to become members here and even participate to help them do that, and many have. In addition, if we see any discussion of UAV use that we feel is potentially illegal or intended to do harm, we will bring it to the attention to the relevant authorities, and will comply with any legal request they make for information about users (although we don't know much that isn't public; see the next item).
  8. Promote safe flying. Moderators may delete postings that they decide are unsafe or promote unsafe activity. This is a judgement call, since it is also healthy to have public discussion about why certain activities are unsafe, but the decision as to whether to leave a post or edit/delete it is at the moderators' discretion. 
  9. Your privacy is protected, up to a point: This is a social network, so everything you write and post here is public, with certain exceptions: 1) Your private messages are private. Administrators are unable to see them, nor can anyone else other than the recipient. Members must not make private messages public without the explicit permission of everyone involved. 2) Your IP address is private. We are hosted on Ning, which controls the server logs. DIY Drones administrators can only see your username and email address; they cannot see your password and do not have access to your account.
  10. Do not publish personal emails or PMs without permission. This is a violation of expected confidentiality (that's why they're called "personal messages") and is grounds for banning.
  11. Do not type in ALL CAPS. It's considered SHOUTING. Posts in all caps will be deleted by the moderators.
  12. Absolutely no personal attacks. It's fine to disagree, but never okay to criticize another member personally.
  13. Share. Although we are not limited to open source projects, the ones that tend to get the most participation tend to be open source. Don't wait until your code or design is "finished"--post it as it is, and you may find that others will help you finish it faster. The best way to contribute is with your creativity--we love data, code, aircraft designs, photos of UAV projects, videos of flights and build logs. Post early and often!
  14. Keep comments open: Authors of blog posts and discussion threads technically have the option to close their comments or approve them before they appear, but we ask members not to do that. We want to encourage a free flow of conversation and blocking or delaying comments only interferes with that. The Moderators are standing by to ensure the conversation remains on-topic and civil, so please leave your comments open and let them do their job.

Monocopter build

I'm trying to build a monocopter. It has one wing, one motor and one servo. Show Betaflight setup for a monocopter. Monocopter has one wing. Monocopter has one motor EDF. Monocopter has one servo. Servo moves Hiller flap at 90 degrees to wing axis.…

Read more…
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