Philip Giacalone's Posts (2)

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3689601933?profile=originalAn interesting investigation into 400 crashes by military drones:

More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

Since the outbreak of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military drones have malfunctioned in myriad ways, plummeting from the sky because of mechanical breakdowns, human error, bad weather and other reasons, according to more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained by The Post under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Hello,I've been silently following the progress of the UAV Dev Board team for a while now, and want to congratulate Bill Premerlani and his great team for their amazing accomplishments.This is my first posting, so please let me introduce myself. I'm relatively new to RC flying, and have very little experience with micro programming, but do have some background in aerospace and software engineering. Anyway, after crashing a few planes, it's exciting to see that such a capable and inexpensive auto pilot has been developed. I've just started digging into all the UDB technical details, so I'm green behind the ears, but hope to contribute in some small way to the team eventually.I hope you won't mind if I also ask a technical question. I'm having a problem and could use some advice.At this point I've got the UAV Dev Board setup, programmed with MatrixPilot 2_0_3, and connected to Spektrum servos in an aileron/elevator configuration. BTW, getting to this point is due to the terrific UDB instructions and tips, as well as Pete Hollands' excellent videos, so thank you!However, I am having an issue getting the UDB to switch modes from my transmitter/receiver. The UDB remains in manual mode (Green light on, Red light off). My apologies if my question is silly, or has already been answered.The Troubleshooting page ( has the following note."Sometimes the board starts ignoring manual controls, or switches back to RTL mode unexpectedly. This is a problem with some receivers that output servo signals at slightly low voltages. This causes the UAV Dev Board to not be able to see them. One solution is to change to a receiver that sends out stronger signals. Another option is to lower the voltage at which the UAV Dev Board runs from 5.0V to 4.5V. This makes the low receiver voltages look stronger relative to the UAV Dev Board's voltage."I'm wondering if this might explain my problem. If the signal voltage is too low, what voltage is recommended?Here's my setup:Red UAV Dev BoardMatrixPilot 2_0_3Spektrum DX 7 transmitterSpektrum AR7000 receiverUDB Spektrum AR7000---------- ---------------radio ch 1 --- AILEradio ch 2 --- ELEVradio ch 3 --- THROradio ch 4 --- AUX 1 (for mode control)gps --- No gps connected (yet)UDB Servos & Power---------- ----------------servo ch 1 --- Aileron Servosservo ch 2 --- Elevator Servoservo ch 3 --- ESC/BEC measured at 5 voltsI've verified that AR7000 AUX 1 output voltage is effected by the 3 way 'Flap Mix' switch on the transmitter. The AUX 1 signal voltage is 0.25, 0.20, or 0.15 volts, depending on switch position. Are these voltages too low? Regardless of switch position, the UDB board does not change modes.Here's what's observed during testing.1) Turn on Spektrum Transmitter1) Connect power to the ESC/BEC:AR7000 lights turn onUDB Green light turns onUDB Red light turns on2) UDB Red light blinks 6 times3) UDB Red light turns off4) UDB Green light remains on5) Change the position of the 3-position 'Flap Mix' switch on Spektrum transmitter- this has no effect on UDB modes6) UDB Green light remains on and Red light remains off7) UDB provides auto pilot servo control and also allows manual control from the transmitterOne other observation. If the transmitter is turned off, the mode remains the same (Green light remains on, Red light remains off).The options.h file is currently set to the default values. Do these need to be changed?#define MODE_SWITCH_THRESHOLD_LOW 2600#define MODE_SWITCH_THRESHOLD_HIGH 3400It's not clear to me what values the AR7000 (AUX 1) is producing, or how best to measure them.Thanks in advance for any advice, and sorry for the long-winded first posting.Phil
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