ARHEXA's Posts (22)

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Compatibility list of the 6-Position Mode Switch

Compatible at 100% of the purchases !
We finally have some 6-Position mode switch DIY kit, compatibility info for new users !



Tested compatible Transmitters:

  • Turnigy 9x   7 Users
  • Turnigy 9x ER9x Firmware  4 Users
  • Futaba T10CG  (removing the CamPac unit) 1 User
  • Futaba T6J  (physical modification needed) 1 User
  • FlySky FS-TH9B  1 User
  • FlySky FS-TH9X  3 Users
  • Hitec Aurora 9  1 User


Additional user comments received:


> The switch works just like a dream. Thank you for a perfect solution !

> I tried out the switch and definately feel that it is worth my effort to install as now I can use 6 flight profiles and easily switch between them.

> I found the installation easier then soldering on a deans connector, and with my intermediate soldering skills I was able to complete the installation.

> Using this switch has been flawless. Once calibrated I have never experienced any failures with the hardware. It has come to the point that I trust it without a second thought. It has been so essential to my radio setup that I cannot imagine using an APM2 without it.

> Very Easy to set up. I am very pleased with the switch. And easy to mount when I can buy the parts in a kit and with instruction.

> installation was easy. i mounted mine in place of the hover pitch pot. i had to file the body of the "ele" switch a little to get it to fit, but it did -FlySky FS-TH9X

> It surely does make life easy... The big advantage is that now I have all the modes on just 1 switch. No need to look around for combination of 2 different pots...

> i am using it for my NAZA GPS and it made my life easier, one is used for flight mode (Manual/Attitude/GPS/Fail Safe(RTH)) and one for Intelligent Orientation Control  (IOC) (Off/Home Lock/Course Lock)

> Extremely easy to install, even with it being the DIY version.It is perfect! I Could only use 3 modes easily before, so this is a night and day difference.


Where can i get one ?


6-Position mode switch DIY kit



Help us get information !

If you did not participate in the eBay survey, please comment below with your Transmitter model so more users could be aware of the compatibility !


Thank you !





On theFutaba T10CG



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UNIVERSAL 6 position mode switch for ANY TX !

Well, technology is developing fast, but one issue always remains: how to config the TX to allow 6 modes...

Here is a 6 modes switch for ANY Transmitter !

Enter for details

3689464543?profile=originalThe idea is to have 4 trimmers to allow precise setting of the wanted PWM value for every mode, while the first and last modes are directly set automatically.

We have made a package with the smallest mode switch, so it could fit in most transmitters in the market, and four precision trimmers to go along with.

We offer the product in two versions:

DIY version (all parts needed)

Ready made soldered version

They have been tested together to work well, and installed in a Turnigy 9x radio, and gave great results and easy setup with the APM software !


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This voltage protector offers 3,300,000 uF of energy storage in a small and lightweight package.


more powerful multicopters bring us the opportunity to use bigger cameras, very big and complex gimbals, and of course big and powerful servos.

a servo, being a motor, needs a big available "immediate" energy, which means high current, when it starts moving.


capacitors are used to store energy for fast discharge application, and most of us know the "voltage protector" devices for RC, which are usually about 10,000uF capacitors that are plugging in the RC receiver and will give more stability and stored energy,


with the latest developments of EDLC (electric double layer capacitors) and high energy capacitor,

the ability to use them in the RC field is now possible.




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Real strobes for your plane !

I personally don't like these constants LEDs very much,

how cool is that:  a real xenon strobe like in real airplanes - for your RC plane !


I've flown with it last evening - it was AWESOME !  

draws much attention...




can get it here

that's the effect it has +/- :









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Following Chris' post about the dronecell, here is a first use i've made with it.





I combined a GPS, which is being read by a PIC controller, every X seconds, then every 5 readouts it will send the last 5 readings over SMS text message to my cellphone.


The idea is to create a small and compact device, with autonomous battery (that can be optionally charged off the main vehicle's battery) that will help you find your drone in case it gets lost or crashes.


i've not yet tested the battery life, but it should be holding for a good few hours.

i call it the Black box, though it's not the same as the traditional one...




super thin design - only 16mm




I've took apart the stock connector and antenna, both SMA connectors are very heavy !

here they are connected together and heatshrinked:




for a total of 63 grams !





I will be really liking this one, next time it will find my copter when getting lost,

after i lost a full quad arducopter in a forest, couldn't find it till today....


What i like about it, that it has the autonomous battery, and the quite-infinite range of a cellular network.

it will tell me where it is even when it crashes and the big battery get disconnected and thrown away,

even when it is out of range of my radio, my telemetry etc...

and even if, let's say, it gets stolen !


I just get an SMS on my cellphone with the 5 last points, including exact time longitude and latitude of each point.



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6 POS Mode Switch

Finally a simple and reliable solution.

came out with a 6-way mode switch.

the solution that will make your life easier. REALLY.



First to credits - Max Levine has firstly shown this method here, using 'off the shelf' resistor values, which might work, but keep on reading to find out why exact values are important.


i came out with a small rotary switch, that fits EXACTLY the space in Turnigy 9X.

it is intended for replacing the PIT TRIM knob. top left of your radio.


i calculated and found out the exact values that will give nearest PWM values to these needed by the APM to stay reliable in the middle of the position range, which means no accidental mode switching.



You can get it now - with low cost WORLDWIDE SHIPPING

please check out the 6 position mode switch for ardupilot on ebay


No more mixing and setting for 2\3 way switches of your radio !!!
No more hard-to-remember switch combinations !!




Some theory and explanation:
there are 6 slots for 6 positions.
the PWM value is detected and according to it - the position(and flight modes) are set.
these are the position SWITCHING POINT values: 1230, 1360, 1490, 1620, 1760
which means, we have to target the MIDDLE of the switching points to stay on a certain mode, with the safest margin from the switching point value.
except for the first and last positions (0&5) where we can be even safer, choosing the very first and very last value of range.
you end getting this as IDEAL pwm values for modes:
1085 (or lowest your radio will allow)
1920 (or highest your radio will allow)

Now the catch
mathematically it's easy to calculate the needed resistors, because these are steady steps, and could use the same value resistors.
BUT IN PRACTICE my testing have shown that the resistance scale is not totally linear with the pwm values.
the reason is quite simple - the radio seem to use some resistor on the incoming +5v rail to the voltage divider (the pot trim) - to limit the current going to the ADC reading chip when the pot is set to full 5v side.
thus the center of the pot (or other resistor) won't give the center of the ADC reading needed.
at least that is what i found with the Turnigy 9x which is very popular. i believe other radios are behaving similar.
This is the reason that probably different radio gear will need different resistors values,
and for the same reason I RECOMMEND THE PRODUCT FOR THE TURNIGY 9X RADIO which is the one i used to find the values. I found the best values to use are (from the GND side to 5v side) 3k9,1k3,1k3,1k3,2k2. all 1% tolerance. can't guarantee it will work at exact values with other gear.

What I've done:
since reliability can't be achieved using 'pre-calculated' values resistors,
i have done careful testings for the exact resistor values that gave the nearest possible to the ideal PWM values above.

Why get it ready made ?
- the price is really similar to ordering the parts individually with shipping costs
- I use high precision 1% resistors which are harder to find - which lead to better accuracy on the values.
- I use a switch that FITS the radio for sure. no guessing...
- it's easier, faster, and doesn't require lot of work to install.
- all switches are tested to be working and for correct PWM values








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Hexa project: gathering hardware...


Well it has been quite long since last update...

the project was kinda delayed....




almost all of the hardware arived.

soon all parts will meet each other... to create the greatest of all..... the.. ____ (still looking for a name)





I've been drilling the arms to make the frame lighter...

it was about 470g, now it's ~420g.

i'll keep on drilling the arms from the horizontal side a bit




some stock of composite 12x45



apm, imu, sonar, gps, magnetometer, soon also telemetry



motors and ESC junkyard:



motors and ESC soldered and tested:




and now for the surprise...


a DroneCell with a SECOND GPS.

which are currently under development.

this standalone device will, once completed, send GPS coords over text messages to my cellphone.

this will help to find the copter if it gets lost.




Turnigy nano-tech 4S 6000mAh are on the way,

video TX\RX also on the way,


left to build is the DSLR camera mount... which is basically existing, just need to add the servos.

i'm waiting a 150g 33kg servo. will provide a smooth and powerful movement.



I know,

this is lots of stuff but not many work...

i soon will have more time for this, and i promise a kicking beast.




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DroneCell and 900Mhz Xbee problems ?....


I had the brilliant idea of building a device that will send GPS location over SMS text messages.

this, after i lost my prototype quad Arducopter last week. it felt not too far, i could hear it, but a few days of searching in the forest gave nothing....


R.I.P. dear copter.

here is the last successful flight, in memory..




to the point,


the Xbees are working at 900Mhz,

and the DroneCell is quad band, but the local cell company is using both 900Mhz and 1800.


should there be interference between them ?

and how can one know if the Dronecell will choose 900 or 1800 Mhz ? given the cell company support both...

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DIY HEXA power distribution PCB

Hexa frame adventures continue !


This time I've prepared the power board that will distribute power to all 6 ESC's and to additional devices (video TX, camera controls receiver unit, tracking system TX, LEDs and more...)


Important issues were: Lightweight, simple, high current, fail-proof.





And as we all LOVE pictures:



the view on the following picture is the BOTTOM of the central plate.

yes, the power board will stay under the main plates. it will allow interference free environment for the electronics mounted ABOVE the plate. as well as don't pissing off the magnetometer with high currents flowing nearby.





cutting the stencil paper:




PCB pen drawing:




After a few minutes of dremel-ing:




and... there you go.... nasty copper etching :



in it's final position - with nylon standoffs (mmm... guess why):




a decent layer of tin solder applied:





and a final view with 1/6 ESC's mounted:





We like your comments..... :)





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HEXA frame continues: Anti Vibration Motor Mounts

step by step, the HEXA frame is being constructed.

haven't worked on it for a while, but now i'm done with an interesting part:




I used the original arducopter motor mounts (the plates that come with the motors, which are not used on the official arducopter frame)

to be tied on the square arms, and between the mount and the motor, i've used:

*bling*bling*  RUBBER MOUNTS *bling*bling*


on the video you can see it works perfectly. isolating the motor from the aluminum arm.

with 6 motors working at very high throttle to keep this 4.5-5kg hexacopter, i'll need this vibration isolation to make nice and smooth videos.


and now, some pictures, 'coz we all like 'em !





















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First flight - first (BIG) crash

First enemy: WINDY DAYS.



It was windy but ive managed to find some less windy areas to fly today,

i decided to give it a chance, after checking all's OK in the living room, hovering about 10cm...


GPS hold seemed to work, as at one point it was drifting a lot with the wind and suddenly changing direction back to the launch point (not what you see on the video)



I have no idea what happened, i engaged GPS hold a few seconds after it flipped over,

and anyways, it flipped in the direction of the wind, which means it didn't flipped by trying to compensate and fly against the wind back to the launch point...

my guess is that was slightly unstable because of the wind and finally the wind caught it, gave it a push and it flipped....

have any other idea of what happened ?


I wanted to test some equipment,

here you can see the transmitter of the wireless tracking system mounted on the copter:




Red LEDs strip




The lipo alarm with the camera power supply behind:




the 5v BEC for the APM and receiver:



The wireless pinhole camera:





Didn't get to testing the wireless camera,

but the custom wireless tracking system was working great from about 100m away !


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Heavy DSLR mount - Part I

The tilt (pitch) servo mounted and working in the heavy DSLR mount system:




as followers know, my copter will carry a 1.5kg DSLR system.


I'll be testing the mount with DSLR attached really soon,

so i can figure out if this 13kg servo is enough.

some 'intuitive' tests showed it has great torque, but might be a bit at the edge at certain positions.

I'm ordering 17kg servos anyways...


any other idea for this application ?

actually i think of a worm gear as a perfect solution,

it can have a HUGE torque, and plus it is locking in position (without the motor having to push) which is what i need.

but i'm not going to assemble my own worm gear.

do you know of any ready to buy assembly ? servo-like ?

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construction of the HEXA frame & camera mount

While still waiting for the TX/RX to arrive,

I started to design and build the HEXA frame for upgrade




each arm is made of 14x14mm 1mm wall square tube,

arm length: 40cm from center, 80cm from motor to motor.

center plate is 16cm dia., two 2mm thick plates.



Also, i have done weight calculations and measurements:


Frame: 470g

camera mount: 460g

motors: ~500g


DSLR camera: 950g

Lens: 550g

electronics (ESC, pilot, servos): ~500g estimated

For a breathtaking scary total of 3930 GRAMS


well, that scared me a bit, i will consider:

-drilling plenty holes in the arms and everywhere i can to take material off

-using a lighter DSLR (can save max 300g)

-using a smaller swivel plate for the camera mount (though the smaller ones have much smaller center hole, thus heavier)



here are a few pics of the construction:











If the motors will allow this and that beast will take off,

i will use a 8000mAh 14.8v battery, it's around 900gr



Still have to think about / order:

- wireless USB solution for connecting the DSLR to ground

-wireless video and cheap tiny camera

- try out HK's 9050 3-blades props if they are better than the jDrones 12x45

-design landing gear

-design a swivel mount for the camera yaw axis



Comments are appreciated !


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Custom Wireless tracking system

I've came up with a customized development of a battery tracking system.

it is a kind of telemetry that will report voltages, temperatures and more data in the future.



my goals were:

  • to be able to set the alarm at different voltages (sometimes 3.0v/cell, sometimes 3.3v)
  • to be able to use a variety of batteries - different voltages.
  • to be able to report that the signal is lost, - extremely important
  • long range and high reliability -still to be improved:
    the "smart" modem modules are on the way - should do ~1km




Ground tracking unit (RX)




Air tracking TX (on vehicle):






welcome to comment !




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Balancing props

well, that's an annoying thing to do ...!



But definitely rewarding.





My test bench was actually the arducopter arm, on which i mounted the prop to be balanced.

i hesitated how to balance them, as ordering a balancer now and waiting for it to arrive for a month would piss me off....

as i tried to run an un-balanced prop, the vibration were so noticeable that i decided to test it on the frame itself.

the before and after difference is HUGE.


and finally this is the testing setup:







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Copter frame assembly

OK so i got the frame parts and assembled it all...




APM and power distribution board:

the flat rainbow wire (black white gray purple blue) is from the power board, it carries GND, Left, Right, Front, Back.

i just used my own wire to have greater length and flexibility. i wanted the GND too because i will power the electronics with another BEC, not from one of the 4 ESC.




Motors mounted:





In the process of tidying the ESC wiring:





GPS mounted:





And finally the whole thing:





I'm still waiting for a few parts to arrive,

especially the radios, the video TX\RX as well,


and lots of parts for the DSLR camera mount i will just start to build.

soon on the way also - 2 more motors and ESC for the upgrade to a custom HEXA frame, on which the DSLR will be mounted on.


so the next post will probably be the camera mount building,

or maybe the first flight if i get the radio sooner than expected :-)

keep following !




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Electronics arrived - assembly

Finally got my 'Tronics from the store

Up to the assembly work !







The boring work completed after a couple of minutes:





Soldering the magnetometer:




Had to solder the GPS to the header because the store didn't have the GPS cable

GND to GND, 5v to VCC,

TX on the APM to GPS IN

RX on the APM to GPS OUT





that makes a nice sandwich !





checking the reading....






Only the GPS is not outputting data...

I've checked in the terminal sending "S" during flight mode, but all the numbers in the end are 0.0000

the led on the GPS is constantly on after certain time... dont know what this means.

maybe it doesn't get enough satellites from my window ?


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PARACHUTE anyone ?

3689396321?profile=originalMaybe someone has encountered a small scale parachute ?

I'd like to add a safety parachute to the Arducopter !! help me decide....



As part of the project is to use an expensive DSLR on the copter,

My GF said i must have some kind of emergency parachute... after joking at it, i thought deeper -

I'd rather feel much safer having a parachute as backup to all electronics (even though i plan on 6 or 8 motors)


Just imagine an emergency button that will immediately turn off all motors and shoot a parachute.



as parachute takes some time to open (=some free fall height), the benefits are sure and obvious for a 100m fall.

but if i'm around 5m above ground, (which can still be nasty to the DSLR) - would i have enough "falling time" to open the parachute and having enough braking force ?


think i better make one by myself ? is it rather simple as cutting and connecting wires to a cloth,

or it is more complex design that i could hardly achieve and i better get a ready one ?


i came across this as the only parachute i could find:


It looks sturdy and well balanced & stuff... it's totally affordable !

they say the 40" version has 7KG resistance. i'm safe on this side, i dont want a much bigger one.


how about the opening technique ?

i could stuff it in a small plastic tube attached to the top of the dome, using a small solenoid or servo to kick it out...

how do i ensure it opens reliably ? i guess it depends on the folding inside the storage tube...

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