Dusty Starbucks
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  • San Jose, CA
  • United States
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  • Blaine Hoyt
  • Rick Stewart

Dusty Starbucks's Discussions

Evil Drones doing Evil

Started this discussion. Last reply by Rory Paul Feb 16, 2012. 3 Replies

I know this has been covered, but things seem to be picking up quickly on the subject.Here is last night's Nightline report on drones and all of the negatives of putting them in the hands regular…Continue

Tags: spy, hummingbird, enforcement, law, Regulations

Back in the Air

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dusty Starbucks Mar 6, 2012. 8 Replies

So,  last weeks episode ended with me with my head hanging low and the contemplation that hard drugs and hard alcohol could possibly act as a substitute for my obsession to get into multicopters.(See…Continue

Tags: XAircraft, Hexa

Things that go up........(sniff, sniff, tears)

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dusty Starbucks Feb 12, 2012. 17 Replies

Prior to it's last flight, my hexa, which I am thinking of naming after some sort of bug like the queen bee, was finally flying.  I had taken it out three times to see how it did.  Used a couple…Continue

Tags: Hexa, Crash

Bucket Legs Landing Gear

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dusty Starbucks Feb 4, 2012. 2 Replies

While learning how to fly my bird, I have given up on the crappy little legs provided by jDrones as they were broke, repaired and broke again.  Time to go to Lowe's and see if they have something to…Continue

Tags: Legs, Building


Dusty Starbucks's Page

Profile Information

About Me:
Positions held since 1980
VP, Global IT
Sr Director, Business Process Eng
Director, Manufacturing Development
Sr Product Design Engineer (communications)
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
As an executive, I haven't been using all of the capabilities I once enjoyed and have been looking for something that involves elec engineering, mech eng, programming and looks like a whole lot of challenge and fun. This looks like this will fit the bill!
San Jose, CA

Comment Wall (7 comments)

At 11:14am on March 9, 2012, Blaine Hoyt said…


Thanks for the replies!  I went ahead and actually modified the carbon fiber just a bit so I could use the existing holes on the pcb.  Our jDrones also took a dive (<5 ft.) and after that, we realized the frame was a pile of junk (especially the aluminum arms).  I'm just about to make my first test fly on the new frame after making some modifications (having problems with wobbling on lift off).  I'm pretty excited about this frame, it seems like a much sturdier option than the jDrones frame.

Thanks again,

Blaine Hoyt

University of Arkansas CSCE

At 1:13am on March 10, 2012, Dusty Starbucks said…

Yes, it should be a lot more solid.  Looks good too.  :)  I saw your video.  Double check that all of your motors are connected correctly.  By that I mean in the right order.  The one thing that I can think would cause what you are seeing is motor order being out of whack.  It is so easy to get them wrong, just double and triple check that.

When the motors are not correct the correction circuitry goes batty.  Thinking it is making an adjustment to correct, only to make it worse.  I miswired them so many times I can't even count.

As a side note, I did get that Naza controller and have incorporated it into the copter.  Placed the Aducopter brain aside for the time being.  It is way more stable and predictable.  I am now ready to get the gimble and camera ordered.  I couldn't get enough confidence in the Arducopter to feel anywhere near comfortable putting expensive gear on it.  I don't want to knock those guys too much, I respect what they are trying to do, but to me it is a massive engineering experiment.  Which, in turn produces a massive amount of options.......none of which are perfected.  My humble opinion based on managing engineers for many years.  I like to call it inventing science.


But good luck with the copter.  If you need anything, my email is gerry.kinder@gmail.com.  That might work better than this to get hold of me.




At 12:04pm on March 13, 2012, Blaine Hoyt said…

No, I haven't got them fixed yet.  I'm just sitting here in the lab fiddling with stuff on the copter hoping for some sort of breakthrough, but it doesn't look very promising right now....

I started a topic on the subject to try to reach out to the community though: http://diydrones.ning.com/forum/topics/hexacopter-take-off-problems


At 6:09pm on March 14, 2012, Blaine Hoyt said…

Could I possibly get a copy of your PID settings?

At 6:54am on March 15, 2012, Dusty Starbucks said…


I never got to the point of changing the default PIDs with Arducopter.  I had other issues that took precedence over the finer things.  My problem was that I couldn't trust it, after it flew off into the wild blue yonder leaving me without control.  That may have been a fluke but I was really afraid of putting it in the air after that.

It is very strange that you can't take off correctly.  Do you have anything that the IMU is resting on to dampen vibration? I had a piece of foam I usded and then I used two tie wraps to attach the board to the top of the foam just above the plate it was attached to.

Looking at the control outputs on missioon planner, do you see anything drifting when it shouldn't?  I had seen that before.  The other thing that fixed some strangeness for me was to erase the eeprom and reset, then reload and start the code fresh.

Its frustrating being grounded, I know.  If you have $200 laying around, you could do what I did and get the Naza controller.  I totally trust it to this point.  Haven't had a lot of airtime with it, but I haven't had any trouble with it so far. I figure I will get better at flying and let the Arducopter guys get further along before I jump back in to that.

At 7:05am on March 15, 2012, Dusty Starbucks said…


One more thing.  What transmitter are you using?  The biggest factor to help me fly was to set my sticks to non-linear values.  I use a DX8 and am able to tone down the control commands via the radio.  If I didn't I would have exactly what you are seeing in the video because it's just too sensitive.  That is probably why I never had to adjust PIDs.

I set the throttle to an exponential curve something like this;

0 throttle =0% output

25 throttle =15% output




I did the same with Rudder and with pitch and roll I did an exponential setting with a max limit of 50% output.  If you can do that, it looks like your bird is very flyable. 


At 11:23am on April 17, 2012, Blaine Hoyt said…

Hey Dusty,

Looks like I fell off the face of the planet for about a month... Anyway, I'm using the DX7se controller, and I have the controls set non-linearly (It makes the flying on my MikroKopter incredibly easy). Also, are you flying in stabilize mode or what?  


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