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  • Chatel-sur-Montsalvens, FR
  • Switzerland

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  • Ludwig Färber
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  • John
  • David Low
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  • dincer hepguler

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Comment Wall (18 comments)

At 1:46am on February 3, 2009, kitemaker Ken said…
Hi Reto,
As soon as I read your posting and read the specs I decided to buy some, which arrived in the mail today, nice service! Thanks for the tip about soldering this 3.3V Dc/Dc board. I see what you mean. I am amazed that this tiny board can handle 5 amps.

In my experience 5V to 12V Dc is more challenging. Do you know the mA load of the camera? Have you looked that the Dimension Engineering AnyVolts? Also read their application note on filtering, if you have any video quality problems

If you need more power there are some boost or switching converter chips to consider, if you will make the Dc/Dc board yourself. Take a look at the low noise Linear Technology LT1533, National LM2623 or LM2700.

Because Lipo batteries are made in so many sizes now, sometimes it is easiest to just have another 3S lipo battery for your video down gear! Also the camera and video transmitter will be better isolated from the electrical noise that the ESC and motor will cause.
At 8:38am on February 3, 2009, christina Belfiore said…
I saw these mylar alphabet shaped balloons on the Internet I looked for the o's of course the company also has lettershapes the zeros are nice. I am working on finding a way to mount a motor dead center in the hole of one of these for a type of thru-hull propulsion to include the battery and receiver would be nice but I'm have to make sure its not too heavy.micro motors cannibalized from micro mini heli perhaps
At 12:04pm on February 10, 2009, Fionn said…
Hi Reto,
I saw you mentioned in one of your posts that you got a Locosys LS20032 GPS unit from Sparkfun. I'm looking for one but couldnt find it on their site, was wondering if you could help?
At 12:29pm on February 10, 2009, Fionn said…
Hi Reto,
Thanks for that, it's actually the LS20032 that I'm interested (with RS232 output), but perhaps it was a typo in your original post on the DC converter.
Thanks for your help,
At 4:55pm on March 8, 2009, John said…
Any progress on the filtered output on you headtracker?Im working on a similar project but cant get the i2c to update regularly,,,
At 2:56pm on April 4, 2009, jaron said…
Salut Reto

Thanks for the message. You can contact me at jarontec gmail com if you'd like.
At 11:19am on April 22, 2009, jaron said…
Reto, dshop in Switzerland has the differential gas pressure sensor (PHID1126) for CHF 48.00.
At 3:47am on May 2, 2009, dincer hepguler said…
yes i agree with u about emerging problems to a diy'er... im working on a complex project with solar backup powered UAV, Nunchuck Acc stabilization like your head tracker and long-range x-bee telemetry... the spare Ardupiot board im using as stabilizer will also be used for autonomous landing in the future... i carried some promising tests with Ez1 ultrasonic rangefinder for low-altitude ranging and planning to add a pressure sensor for speed ( testing with mpx200a diff sensor but not promising at the moment)...
At 5:28am on May 2, 2009, dincer hepguler said…
im making promising tests with 2 boards, one APV1 and one Arduino clone ( a Funnel IO perhaps, very light and has a x-bee port on it but works with 3,3v and very weak connectors, very cheap @25usd) my test prg is around 10300bytes now and consisting of 3stage auto landing. first checks whether UAV is lower than 6mt alt to take over, then 2nd stage prepare for land and disable AP lower aircraft and decrease speed, 3rd stage check whether UAV is lower than 1mt, lower plane to 50cm and keep stabilization, decrease speed and cut motor below 50cm... controlled crash landing... this will work of course on a predefined smooth runway ...
At 4:36am on July 2, 2009, Nick Trimborn said…
Hi retro,

Just had a look at your comments in this thread and i am very impressed. I am trying to implement something similar but i am having trouble getting the network link to work correctly, How did you link to a local file in the network link? is it possible to just give it the path of the local file or is it necessary to host the file on a local server and stream it that way? also does you're approach require an internet connection once all the map data has been cached?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated,


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About Me:
Hi. I'm a graduated archaeologist. In RC model building for 2 years for now and in the process of building (kit) and equiping an electric SIG Kadet Senior (6s 9000mAh lipo, 560RPV outrunner brushless, 14x7 prop) with remote video, high res aerial photography, autopilot and probably OSD. Goal is to survey for archaeological sites in my region, taking archaeologically relevant aerial pictures (digs, sites, monuments) and eventually extending this for other potential clients. Having fun at it is important too, of course! Professionally, I am much into GIS and stats applied in archaeology. Well, that's it for short.
Châtel-sur-Montsalvens, FR
Flying Models
In RC model building since 2007, I have assembled or built some ARF and kits, of course smashed some, repaired quite often, and had fun doing it all.
My first plane maiden was a Robbe Mirage... short maiden in fact and quite logic and predictable event succession until I gave what was left of it to my son as free flight glider!
After that, I've flown a GWS Focke Wulf. It had 2 motors andf 5 cowls until now, the present cowl being a TupperWare I stole to my wife! The Wulf is still there waiting for more action.
A Graupner Spirit of St. Louis came next as my first wooden structured ARF. Not so many flights because I was afraid to crash it, so it is still completely intact.
Then came some home made Depron foamies: a nice and light SE5A bipe slow flyer with plank wings, an acrobatic slow flyer with very large control surfaces which spent a night with a wing struck into a 20m high tree branch, a kind of Lingcat pusher jet which made very sharp and unexpected vertical dives (into the ground) , a large mirage which never flow and on which I finally jumped with both my feet, etc. I spent nice evenings building, preparing and repairing, and liked it as much (maybe even more) than flying.
The ThunderTiger Velocity with the HET inrunner was the fastest delta I've flown with success. Really a pleasure to draw straight vertical lines in the blue sky with that one. An what a scream it made! It is certainly the model with the longest airborne time I had. but an accident came at some point when pulling little late after a vertical dive. Too bad, I miss it much now. Some repairs were possible, but it still lacks a bit of wing to fly again and is a little too crooked for a reliable "speed champion".
A friend of mine got a MPX FunJet at about the same time I had the Velocity. After 1 1/2 minute "flight" time (in 3 launches, though), he told me: "take it or I smash it by hand! I know he was serious, so I took it. I gave him his electronic back and stuffed it with mine. After a first flight, shaky but ok, my friend's spell came back to the FunJet and I couldn't make it fly anymore. Three crooked noses later it doesn't look like a bird that wants to fly! When I see the guys flying it in the extremes of the arctic Swalbard Islands, I wonder why I am such a bad pilot! Well, maybe some planes are just not adapted to anyone.
forgot to mention a nice chinese Extra 330. Brought back to life after my most spectacular crash: I burned an E-Plane! Lost control, vertical dive into the ground, 3s 2200mAh lipo continued its way down into the back protruding outrunner shaft, and then a large grey smoke and some flames! The fiberglass coil didn't melt too much, but the ply structure was turned to ashes in the front. So I shaped a new fuse front (I mean the front half of the fuselage) out of Depron sheets and balsa, iron covered it and I've flown the Extra many times since then.
The MPX EasyGlider Pro is also here, just waiting for the next successful flight. I like that one for its simplicity. It is my first E-glider and it runs well also for slope flying.
Well there are a few others around, ready to take off or on the working bench. But my most important project comes last.
I am currently building (from a kit) and equiping an electric SIG Kadet Senior (6s 9000mAh lipo, 560RPV outrunner brushless, 14x7 prop) with Xbee/Nunchuck remote pan&tilt camera, intelligent Flight video Tx/Rx, digital still camera for vertical snapshots, ArduPilot autopilot, additional ArduPilot board for pan&tilt and Xbee serial processing, LocoSys LS20031 GPS, Inspire OSD and probably also Maxbotics ultrasonic range finder for autolanding. Goal is to survey for archaeological sites in my region, taking archaeologically relevant aerial pictures (digs, sites, monuments) and eventually extending this to other potential missions. I'm having a lot of fun building, tweaking and certainly flying this UAV since I started the project. I hope to be finished and ready sometime end of spring or early summer 2009.

Reto's Blog

Recent drone documentary on Swiss TV

Posted on March 11, 2010 at 3:05pm 0 Comments

Hi all,

Maybe of interest for some of you, the Swiss national TV channel 1 (TSR1) broadcast a short doc on military drones, in french.

Happy watching and cheers

High tech bird watching: small is beautiful

Posted on November 25, 2009 at 2:38pm 10 Comments

Hey, for those interested in miniaturization, tech and flying things, here's the smallest complete long term GPS logger I've found around and developed for tracking peregrinations of living birds:

1.5 grams and 30x13.5x5mm in dimension, including: GPS, antenna, 512KByte Memory for 25,000 x 20 bytes locations, no microprocessor, battery + solar cell. No photo is yet available.

It can be implemented on a living bird as light as 30 grams (the logger shouldn't exceed 5% body… Continue

A new ready made UAV platform made in Germany

Posted on September 13, 2009 at 4:52am 21 Comments

Following ready made EPP foam platform made by Borjet Aeromodels could be of interest for some of us. It's called Maja and seems to cost around EUR 200.--, EUR 600 RTF, and EUR 1000 RTF set including Tx and lipos.

See demo video here

If anybody has experienced that airframe,… Continue

Adding RSSI signal monitoring for Xbees

Posted on July 5, 2009 at 3:18am 3 Comments

In my SIG Kadet Senior "near future" UAV, I've a nice feature in my video OSD: there's a RSSI connector to which one can apply a 0-5V tension and the OSD then displays a graph bar with RSSI signal strength.

On Xbee side, I knew I had a RSSI output in form of a PWM signal on pin #6. I configured the Xbee RSSI/PWM0 timer to 99 (which translates in the Xbee to retain the last valid Signal Strength measure for 99 x 100ms, ie approximately 10 seconds. I also activated the PWM0/RSSI pin with the… Continue


Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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