Scott Fuller's Posts (10)

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Mini Talon


I googled around DIYD trying to find a post on the Mini Talon but couldn't find anything. Not long after the X-UAV Talon the Mini Talon made its debut! So far I've had this backpacked sized drone up for about 30 minutes in a auto mission. Packed with a 4s4000 pack, 8x4.5 prop and a 2216-1250kv Sunny Sky motor it sips about 3 amps. 

After putting my Mini Talon together I ran an autotune. Thanks to the devs for this awesome feature. Makes tuning a whole lot easier. The only thing I had to do was adjust a few things like L1, and touch up on the gains a little bit.


Once I have my airspeed sensor in I'll adjust TECS and start having some fun! 

As part of giving back to the community I've attached my parameter file. 

  • This is for a 1400g Talon Mini, YMMV depending on weight
  • I have about 80/20 Dual Rate / Expo on a switch for manual flying.
  • ArduPlane 3.0.x now introduces AutoTune. I'd HIGHLY suggest using that to tune and then compare to the attached parameters.
  • My Aileron linkages are inside hole (Servo), middle hole (control horn)
  • My Elevator linkages are outside hole (Servo), middle hole (control horn)
  • Check your mode switches and calibrate your radio if you use these parameters.
  • I'm not responsible if the parameters provided crashes your plane


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I just returned from the UAV Day @ The Fleet Center here in San Diego. Quite a few folks swung by the San Diego DUG table and asked about the antenna tracker I built. Joe Aletky from 3d Robotics asked me to share the build of material for the antenna tracker. There's the Antenna Tracker wiki but I wanted something a bit heavy duty for the field! 

The parts list is mostly sourced from ServoCity and cost me about $200 to build at the time. From my understanding the price on the servos has gone up a bit.

You will need:

2 - Aluminum Channels, one for the antenna rail and one to hold the servo where you bolt down to the tripod. I'm running a 15" bracket and a 4-1/2" bracket.

2 - RobotZone channel mount gearbox, I went with 360 degree CLOSED LOOP servos. The ratio I used was 3.8:1. 

2 - Servos. I went with HS-5485HB servos. If you're not good with a soldering iron, let ServoCity do the servos for you.

1 - 90 Degree Hub Bracket A

1 - Channel Bracket C

From Pololu you'll need:

Micro Servo Controller

The rest I'll share in pictures since they describe how I did it better than I can. I will STRESS the same thing that the wiki states. Keep your tracker clean and the wires out of the way. The gears have no mercy when it comes to chomping wires and fingers! 

Back side of the antenna rail. I'm running a 900mhz patch and the BOSCAM 5.8 receiver with TrueRC crosshair antenna. 


The video RX attaching to the Crosshair antenna. The bracket I took off of another antenna. 


3dRobotics 'Ground' module. Soon to be swapped out with a RDF900! Hyperlink is now known as L-Com. 


Here you can see the Pololu servo controller, the Channel C Bracket, the 4-1/2 channel and one of the monster servos. Again keep your wires clear! The servo will eat them! I drilled a hole through the tripod head (It's a cheap one) and bolted the channel down to the tripod head..


Up close of the Servos for Pan and Tilt. Here you can see the 90 degree hub mount bracket. 


I use a regular BEC to power the servos from a 12v battery. Usually I'll draw this power from my lead acid ground station battery. I have two USB cables. One from the Telemetry and the other from the servo controller that plug into a USB hub. Those then plug into my laptop and tie into Mission Planner. From there everything is controlled via Mission Planner and the telemetry coming down from the plane. 

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Four pilots, planes, and APM's

It's not everyday I get a text message asking if I want to fly with two test engineers from 3dRobotics. But who would pass up the opportunity? Joe and Craig wandered down to SEFSD today to tune some of the airframes they were working on. Plus they wanted to check out my X7. Here's some flying with Joe, Craig, and my friend Josh. This is THE most APM's we've had in the air at SEFSD at one time! 

Thanks for coming down guys! Can't wait to fly with you again! 

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Futaba SBUS to PPM? FrSKY to the rescue!


For months now I've been looking for a SBUS to PPM converter for my Futaba Radio. I want to place my Futaba RX out on one wing and my video TX on the other. While surfing FrSKY's page for a SBUS receiver I ran across a SBUS to PPM converter! I've seen plenty of DIY converters but Aloft hobbies had one cheap in the states and ready to go for about $15. 

After reading around in a few forums I was a bit skeptical about it working. After checking things out in Mission Planner things look good! Now I can finally rip the 10 wires out of the wing and narrow it down to three!


Hopefully this helps other folks looking for a SBUS to PPM converter. I won't miss the rats nest of wire I had before. 

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For the longest time I've only been able to get about 500 meters out with my stock 3dR telemetry modules. No matter what settings I tried I couldn't get any further. There's been discussions in the forum about the specs of the radio modems and how far you can go. I've even swapped out telemetry modems thinking I might have fried one. Finally I broke down and ordered some parts from Servo City and built an antenna tracker. Then utilized a 900mhz -8dbi patch antenna I was using for FPV before I switched to 5.8ghz. Today I finally made it out to 1.3km! This is with the patch antenna and a stock antenna onboard the plane. 

I had to reduce my telemetry speed clear down to 2400 baud before I could get a relatively solid signal back to the ground station. Anyone have any suggestions for 3dR telemetry radio settings? I'd love to make it out to 2 km on the 3dR modules and still have a solid telemetry link. I've been eye'ing the RDF900's for quite some time. As much as I'd love to throw more power at my signal I'd like to squeeze what I can out of what I have. 

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Skyhunter Param File


I've been flying the new Skyhunter made by FPV Model with the APM on board. I figured I'd share the param file since I didn't see it listed in the repository.. I've had many comments that the Skyhunter looks like it's 'hunting' when the APM is in full autonomous mode. I'd love to see what other tweaks the community can do to the parameters and the plane! 


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GPS case?


So far 3dR puts out some cases for the APM2.x. However I haven't seen any cases for the GPS. So far I've ripped the battery backup off the newer GPS and ripped the module apart with the older module. Sadly I don't think this is covered under warranty. As much as I'd like to say I'm 'hard' on equipment, this is just normal flying.. Anyone have any suggestions on a GPS case for these boogers?

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I decided to pick up one of those RCTimer APM boards a few weeks ago to help support free trade. This was before 3dR lowered the cost of the APM board. The kit complete comes with their clone of the APM, Radio Modem, and GPS. The kit arrived and I noticed many things are alike. Including the silk screening on the back of the radio modem that says "3d Robotics" that was covered up by the RCTimer sticker. Then again some items are different. One of which is the plug they give you for the radio modem. 

3d Robotics provides the opposite plugging of what RCTimer provides here. This creates a slight problem if you don't have a cable to swap things around. Thinking about the issue I recalled seeing UART silk screened on the bottom of the board. Flipping it over I noticed that UART 0 is labeled on one side.


Sure enough it's labeled UART0 just like the 3dR port you'd normally plug a radio modem into. After moving the wires around in the plug decided to give it a whirl and it works.

Thinking about it I realized something. Does this mean I can plug my regular 3dR modem into the normal UART0/2 port.. Then plug the Mini mOSD into the UART0 TX port on the side? Many folks talk about making a Y-Cable to attach the Mini mOSD AND Telemetry modems. Seems like adding a pin header on the other side and attaching there is cleaner. 


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Slipping trees!

One awesome thing about the APM and FPV is the wind correction check box. When flying through these trees you have about two feet on each wing tip. Usually it's a pretty strong cross wind at the field as well. I've attempted with another stabilization unit, but it's no match..


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