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

As drone shows are becoming more accessible to event companies because of the maturing of the technology and the controlling software being even more easier to use, many event companies are considering adding drone shows to their portfolios. Many companies that already have running business in the field of event management, might have the means and technology to do fireworks, laser and other show technologies. Therefore a request to integrate drone shows into the existing ecosystem seems entirely logical.

 

To provide a solution for these requirements, three milestones must be completed:

  • Drone show must be synchronized with the existing hardware like pyro consoles, lasers etc. - this means adding timecode capabilities to drone shows…
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What is the FrSky GPS Module?

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In this article, we are going to cover some of the basics about the FrSky GPS Module and sensors. GPS that stands for Global Positioning System has gained its popularity from day to day life applications as well as many industrial applications. Moreover, it has rooted many applications in the Military sector where it is widely used. The applications of GPS is highly useful in RC hobby because of the same reason why it has gained popularity in day to day life.              

GPS can be highly useful in RC Hobby ranging from RC Airplanes from Drones or even RC Boats. It can be used to locate the precise location of Crafts if they are equipped with a GPS Receiver. If we know the precise location of our rigs at a specific time, it can be used to calculate some other highly useful data as…

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Review: FrSky X8R Pro Receiver

We will look into the FrSky receiver and answer the question as to whether you should get one for your craft or project over any other receiver. We will also look into the feature list, compatibility and other such details of this receiver and compare it with the FrSky X8R Receiver as well from the previous article. 

Hardware & Pin Layout of the X8R Receiver

The FrSky X8R Pro is identical in every way to the X8R receiver, physically.The FrSky X8R Pro is a receiver that is mainly targetted towards planes and larger size quads or crafts where size is not a constraint and where you need pure PWM pins than S.Bus or PPM. The X8R has a plastic cover to protect it from the elements (which you can remove to save space and weight).

The X8R Pro outputs 8 individual PWM channels and also has an S.Bus port if you want to use with modern flight controllers like the PixHawk or micro…

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Long-range drones are increasingly present on the market, being used in military operations and agriculture, and the range of said drones is connected to its signal frequency, for example, a 900 MHz drone can reach a distance between 7 and 10 km. In general, the higher the frequency, the farther the drone can go. When operated in large centers that have interference from other frequencies, such as radio, TV, and cell phone, this distance can have a considerable drop. 

The combo with the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module and FrSky R9 MX Long range receiver is the best on the market for building a 900 MHz drone. The quality of these products, pioneers in the industry, provides long-range and more efficient flights when compared to other modules and receivers.

Both the FrSky ACCESS R9M 2019 Long Range Module System and the FrSky R9 MX can be purchased at HorusRC’s online shop…

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RT @MarvelmindMaxim: Helping PixHawk folks to fly autonomous quadcopters using PX4 and ArduPilot. https://marvelmind.com/drones/ Equally suitab…
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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.

Battery Failsafe

Is it necessary to use low mah FS if I am using a Low Volt FS? I have my low volt failsafe set but the drone comes back and lands long before reaching low voltage. I think the low mah failsafe could be the cause. I would like to know if there is a downside to using only the low volt failsafe.

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Hex with ESC's in motor booms

I'm currently building a Tartot X6 and using Hobbywing 40A slim ESC's. They are a little too long to mount under the motor mount and I would like to place them in the carbon arm. Hobbywings website shows the same ESC placed in a carbon tube. I'm just wondering if they will get too hot?Xrotor-PRO-40A-a_776x.jpg

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Innovative Interesting UAVs

The next “big thing” is always in the spotlight in today’s society.  Many companies now prioritize how their devices will stand out among the standard items in the market, so there is an abundance of innovative UAVs for consumers.We will explore some of these new and interesting drones that break conventional styles. These drones may be in the market or still in production.Mini RC Folding Ball DroneThese drones are in the shape of a basketball or football, and they unfold while flying.  They…

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FrSky VANTAC Swoop SQ130 BNF 130mm

 FrSky VANTAC Swoop SQ130 BNF 130mm Wheelbase FPV Racing RC Drone.It is the latest FrSky multirotor to emerge from our team of pilots. No corners were cut when putting together this ready to fly 3-inch machine.F.PORT 2.0 PROTOCOL Running the latest low-latency F.Port 2.0 connection allows for a clean single signal cable for all your control and telemetry needs, and parameters are fully adjustable through flight controller and Lua Script via F.Port 2.0. QUALITY, COMPATIBILITY &…

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FrSky Taranis X9E 2.4GHz ACCST Transmitter

FrSky transmitter X9E 2.4GHz ACCST Transmitter Full CNC Arm with X6R Receiver Carton and Eva Package.The most important aspect for any transmitter is maintaining a rock solid connection with the receiver. FrSky is well known for the frequency hopping ACCST technology taking advantage of the entire 2.4GHz band resulting in excellent range and reliability. FrSky knows many things can affect the connection between Transmitter and receiver so RSSI (receiver signal strength indication) is…

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First-time setup: FBWA pitch extremes

I played with APM way back when, but none of that experience seems relevant now. I'm a first time builder for practical purposes.My setup should be pretty straightforward:Bixler 2Holybro Pix Hawk MiniArduPilotMission PlannerFrSky Taranis / XM+The plane flies fine in manual mode. But as  soon as I switch to FBWA, the plane either dives vertically, or attempts to climb vertically. It actually does a surprisingly good job trying to hang on the prop, but I'm just looking for straight-and-level…

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3 Replies · Reply by Ari Krupnik on Tuesday

Dual GPS

I'm using Pixhawk and added 2 GPS receivers however, only one of them is receiving signals. The first is pluged into the Serial 3 (GPS) port and the I2C port. The second is plugged into the serial 4 and 5 port. GPS_AUTO_CONFIG is set to 1. GPS_AUTO_SWITCH is set to 2. SERIAL3_BAUD is 57 and SERIAL3_PROTOCOL is 5. Same setup for serial 4 & 5. The second one works but the first does not. It has flashing lights but no sat sig. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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1 Reply · Reply by Doug Leith Jul 25

Which is the best Frsky Receiver for your Racing Drone

In this article, we are going to dig out the pros and cons of various Frsky Receivers to find out the Best Frsky receiver for your Race Rigs! A receiver is an important and basic component in racing drones as without it the signal sent from Radio or Transmitter cannot be processed by the Flight Controller. But the question arises when choosing a Receiver for your Taranis or Horus Radio as there are plenty of receivers to choose from.Frsky XM+Frsky XM+ is a Small Size Reciever that Frsky Mainly…

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