Kevin Finisterre, DIYDroneSafety and Drone Savant persona

forum PM: "Just know that the 'imaginary' group you represent isn't so imaginary at all. But I guess you already know that" - silent DIYDrones user

This topic was setup in order to move degenerative conversation points away from the "Hex decided to leave and never come back" thread to a more appropriate location.

The original post wording stated that it "should be used as a sounding board to discredit the abrasive  comments made by myself and others that operate the DIYDroneSafety website, twitter feed, and the Drone Savant forum persona. Either take it off list or put it here... It appears as if we need a special topic to discuss WHY some people feel the need to be abrasive around here in order to get critical safety issues fixed. Some claim slander, damage, abusive behavior, libel etc., while others claim simply claim awareness and safety from half truths and lies by omission..."

^--- This was simply a conversation starter which had wonderful results.  Discussing the "need to be abrasive" really was not the point. This comment nails the actual point

I think there are specific and real issues, which Kevin is raising.  Most of his complaints about the code are at least valid, even if not easily solved.  His complaints about the documentation are also valid, and are easily solved.

Traditionally the following topics have produced some contention amongst the ranks of developers, moderators and end users. As such user understanding, vs. documentation, vs. code has been confusing at best and at times unsafe: 

PPM Encoder

Watchdog functionality for code lockup situations

Powering the APM with cheap ESC's via input rail (brownout problems)

These topics are *NOW* being actively investigated in a variety of forms and are producing valuable information. 

Safety Watchdog -

Watch dog added to shutdown motors if main loop feezes for 2 seconds (Randy) - 

Brownouts -

We're going to be shipping a stand-alone power supply (and voltage/current sensor) that will ensure that brownouts never happen. Hopefully in a few weeks. 

PPM Encoder logic explained -

With the discovery that the Turnigy 9x radios using original receivers and firmware, would act in a non-standard way and completely drop the throttle signal during fail-safe (same effect as a broken wire). The detection of single channel loss became a real problem, and a patch was made to detect single channel loss (throttle only) at the expense of some jitter and stick resolution.

New Original Paparazzi & APM PPM (servo2ppm?) logic flaw brought to light

Olivier found and documented some very real and very serious problems with the original Paparazzi PPM Encoder used by APM 1.x. What Olivier found and proved by extensive testing, was that that PWM channel sequences from certain R/C receivers would confuse the Paparazzi PPM Encoder. Resulting in the throttle channel (among others) locking up.

Hats off to developers like R_Lefebvre and people Monroe for stepping up (even if begrudgingly in Monroe's case) to help get to the bottom of these potentially serious safety issues -

When you are "The largest amateur Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) community", it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. "Well they have flyways too" aren't the words of someone leading the head of the pack. Well can do better and deserve it. 

Stay Vigilant. 

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Replies to This Discussion

Drone (Kevin),

It is time to reflect as a Man, you really need to think about the way you are acting here. I do not know how you can sit there and time and time again attack and ridicule so many people involved in this project. Get a life, move on, grow up and honestly wake up. Your behavior is absolutely ridiculous. Kevin, I know who you are in the Security Circles, I am not impressed my friend. So honestly, stop your self-centered Its all about me BS. No one in your world. And I am in your world, thinks much of you. So honestly get a life, grow up and if you don't want to positively contribute then move on!

@Monroe, I wouldn't give this guy another second of your precious time. The door to his cranium is locked and no one is getting in :)

It all kinda feels like this :

John C. Said it, (and although I'm a bit pissed at him for ruining the Walking dead ep I was about to watch!) :)

Most of the people come to his posts for pure Morbid Curiosity, and then get dragged in by the "Jerry Springer Effect" of course he doesn't start many posts, he waits to jump on an defend someone who has had if it's his duty.

Ill quickly pic out 1 of the thousands of examples: 1 person said it's okay to use power from and ESC, and another says BEC is the way forward.   If your using a decent ESC (like most of us are) then it's fine. Whereas running a Quality BEC can help out if the systems noisy, or in several other scenarios.  To most of us, that would be that.

But he is looking at both, Judging the latter to be correct, therefore the first thread was written with Malice. And as he's plainly stated....He will use his methods to bring out the half truths and the lies.

When someone has (in his words) Created a persona to find the half truths, the lies behind the smoke and mirrors and put them front stage on behalf of a supposed unspoken for group who do not know they are being lied to (which removes the need for there to actually be anyone to defend) making him, in his eyes, a self appointed protector of the unknowingly oppressed

What's scary is all of the bit's of unconnected Information that hes used to assemble against the people hes fighting against, Those who may have received money covertly, or participated in this conspiracy. He has even taken info from Chris and Jordis Facebook pages,(and other social networks) to flesh out who Jordi may be Romantically involved with.. Hell when I saw that I went to my Facebook page and went over the Privacy settings.

I understand the Fine line you walk with Free Speach.... the fact that this has been allowed to go this far is a testament to that. But at this point he has his own website where he can and does speak from.

I think he even drove poor Monroe half crazy! And he is not going to stop. Just look at how far he has drove the whole PPM thing into the ground for proof of that. I want to talk about Drones again. And I don't want to worry about someone using my post as a podium.

probably smoking a bad batch

This is going to be my first and only post in this thread, and is in regard to the DIYDroneSafety articles about ArduPilot and PPM.  I found those articles to be a very funny read btw. Weird in a reality distorted way, but still funny.

Here are some simple facts to keep in mind if/when you read those articles.

- ArduPPM, the current PPM encoder used in all APM2.x boards and APM1.4 board when firmware updated. Does not contain a single line of code from the original Paparazzi PPM Encoder. It is a complete rewrite, using a completely different approach to deal with PWM pulses, interrupts and timing issues.

- The primary goal and origin of the rewrite/recreation was to move the PPM encoder from the APM1.x 328p chip to the new APM2.x 32u2 (8u2 in original Arduino boards) chip used in newer Arduino boards to replace the costly FTDI USB to serial conversion chip. That meant that we could get away with one less chip, since the PPM encoder and USB to Serial conversion would be running on the same processor (32u2). But the design of the Paparazzi PPM Encoder would not play nice together with the Arduino USB-To-Serial code. So a complete redesign was necessary.

- The second reason we did a complete rewrite. Was that Olivier found and documented some very real and very serious problems with the original Paparazzi PPM Encoder used by APM 1.x. What Olivier found and proved by extensive testing, was that that PWM channel sequences from certain R/C receivers would confuse the Paparazzi PPM Encoder. Resulting in the throttle channel (among others) locking up.

So on the one hand we have the Paparazzi PPM Encoder with a confirmed and very real safety issue (throttle channel sporadically locking up during normal flights, with certain receivers).

On the other hand we have the new ArduPPM encoder whose that has been designed from scratch to have less input jitter and handle any sequence of PWM channel inputs. Performance that has been proven with extensive testing over long periods of time.

In fact the only known (and reported) weakness for the ArduPPM, is that it will not enter a "single channel" fail-safe if there is a problem with a receiver wire. If the receiver dies completely fail-safe will active, but a single channel disappearing will not activate fail-safe. Instead the last known position if that channel will be used. This has always been a known weakness, and has to do with how much code we can run in each interrupt and still maintain low jitter and good stick resolution. With the discovery that the Turnigy 9x radios using original receivers and firmware, would act in a non-standard way and completely drop the throttle signal during fail-safe (same effect as a broken wire). The detection of single channel loss became a real problem, and a patch was made to detect single channel loss (throttle only) at the expense of some jitter and stick resolution.

So that's it. The complete history of the ArduPPM and the reason behind the "storm in a glass" regarding PPM.

 and has to do with how much code we can run in each interrupt and still maintain low jitter and good stick resolution.

John, thanks for explaining that.  I have always wondered what the connection was between stick resolution and channel loss.  Makes sense.

Drone Savant said:  "I too was once a 3drobotics / DIYDrones fanboi. I drank the Koolaid, and I told all my friends to drink it too"

DS, as much as I like much of the content of your posts, the above statement is where you loose credibility with me.  Being a "fanboi" and drinking the "koolaid" says to me that at that point you lost all ability to think for yourself.  If you can swing so far to one side that you can't think for yourself and you'll believe anything, this leads me to believe you've now swung to the other side and you can't think for yourself and you won't believe anything.  Swinging so far in either direction is not constructive.

I've had problems with 3DR customer service to the point I had to complain on the forum to get service.  I got service and was made whole.  I didn't let my experience blind me to the fact that 3DR and the APM team want to turn out a good product.  Looking back on my complaint, I said something that I now regret.  I implied that Chris was using the "free" services of the community with alterior motives in mind.  For that, I'm sorry.

I've only had one issue with my APM 2.0 so far.  I initiated ALT_HOLD before GPS lock and I my quad lost altitude rapidly.  This was a "bug" in the code and it was also mostly my fault.  I didn't know the quad was going to lose altitude but I had a pretty good idea that initiating a mode that depended on GPS lock without GPS lock would not end well.  I could have let that swing me to the position that the APM sucked or that the DEV team didn't know what they were doing or didn't care.  I didn't do that.  I calmly posted my experience on the forum.  Someone, I can't remember the name at the moment (sorry), answered my post.  They said it was a bug and they had it fixed within days, maybe hours and put it in the next release.

I've very pleased with my APM.  I think it is one of the best autopilots available for the price. I won't, however, let that blind me to future things that could go wrong.

We must realize that some bugs are easy to fix and some are not.  Something that I think should be a high priority feature is not even wanted by anybody else.  Something that many people want as a feature may not be possible for a technical or platform specific reason.  This is an open-hardware and open-source project.  There is nothing stopping anyone from doing it their own way.  There is nothing stopping people from starting there own autopilot from scratch and doing it their own way.

Other than my "alterior motives" comment, which I truly regret, I've never felt the need to be libelous, abusive, or abrasive to get my point across.  I also understand that we are all different.  What might be abusive or abrasive to one is not to another.  For that reason, we must be open about how communication flows.  I would rather the moderators err on the side of openness and not on the side of caution.


Just my two cents.

Monroe, I could go back through the posts and find several in which you've been rude to people and not just DS.  We are all human and we all will fail at civility from time to time.  You will never live in a world in which you can trust all of the people.  If you didn't have bad friends, you wouldn't know what a good friend was.  Even if we could get rid of all of the "bad" people in the world, we would just caste the rest in levels of good in which the bottom are again bad.  Bad people teach us tolerance.

You are not the best person in the world and you are not the worst. You have friends that think you are better than some of their friends and worse than others.  DS is not the best nor worst.  If our friends do bad things, we put up with them because they are our friends.  If we turn our back on them when/if they do something bad, we were never their friend to begin with.

"And really dude... I'm sick because I documented my steps to google the meaning of Jordi & Lorena. Gimme a break!"

I won't go so far to say you are sick but I do have questions when a supposed adult resorts to elementary school level of teasing a guy for having a girl friend.  My wife and I IM each other every day and often times many times a day the following. "I LOVE YOU!!!  XOXOXOXOXOX."  I'm 50 years old, much older than Jordi.  Do you want to make fun of me for showing my girl how I feel about her?  I'd do the same thing if I was Jordi.  It's nothing for someone to make fun of.

I agree that he is on a vendetta against Chrs and Jordi.  The reasons for a vendetta don't need to really exist, they can start from perceived injustices.  Chris has been more patient with Kevin than I would have been.  What is sad is that Kevin has many valid points and good ideas.  I've learned much from many of his posts.  If he turned his negativity towards Chris and Jordi into positive action, APM could be much better or He could have even started his own AutoPilot and done his own thing.  The only other time I've seen such behavior,  the actions were due to jealousy.  This is only speculation on my part so take it with a grain of salt.  I gave my opinion of the Easter Egg thing in another post. 

Banning is never the answer.  The banned person will just come in other another handle.  You'll end up with banning as a high priority process.

Just my opinion.

I found everything I needed to know about the APM to fly in the documentation. It wasn't easy though.  It took several hours.  I know Chris is working on this.  Maybe we could have a place where we can post suggestions.  A "what could make the documentation better" area.  I would like it if when I'm readying about ArduCopter, I don't end up in ArduPlane because I clicked a link.  ArduPlane, ArduCopter and ArduRover need to be distinct areas even though some of the info overlaps.



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