Stephen R Mann
  • Male
  • Westford, MA
  • United States

Stephen R Mann's Friends

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  • David Anders
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  • Bill Bonney
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Stephen R Mann's Groups

Stephen R Mann's Discussions

Boston Area - Section 333 partner/collaborator

Started this discussion. Last reply by Stephen R Mann Dec 17, 2015. 2 Replies

I have my Section 333 exemption and am looking for someone in my region who would like to explore joining me as a partner or collaborator to build a business together.steve@mmdv.comContinue

How can a bad compass calibration cause a fly-away?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Stephen R Mann Dec 28, 2014. 4 Replies

In the Wiki, it says that compass calibration errors can lead to a fly-away.  I am curious why?  I thought that a fly-away was because the a/c didn't know where it was.  What does compass calibration…Continue

NASA is providing a half-million-dollar prize for Phase 1 of a challenge to develop technology to help UAV's operate safely in the NAS

Started this discussion. Last reply by Christopher Auger-Dominguez Oct 30, 2013. 1 Reply

NASA is providing a half-million-dollar prize for Phase 1 of a Centennial Challenge that aims to develop technology to help unmanned aircraft operate safely in the national airspace system, the…Continue

Drones in the News

Started this discussion. Last reply by Göran Sandström Apr 16, 2013. 1 Reply

A French newspaper celebrated April Fool's Day with a …Continue

Tags: Fools, April


Stephen R Mann's Page

Profile Information

About Me:
Stephen Mann began flying as a teenager and today holds a commercial pilot's certificate with instrument and flight instructor ratings. Over the years Stephen has flown more than a thousand hours in light General Aviation airplanes and owned a Cessna C177 for 20-years. Stephen has been building and flying small multirotor aircraft, also called drones, since 2010 when his wife bought him an AR Parrott. His favorite personal drone is the DJI Phantom 2 drone because of its amazing stability and reliability.

Stephen is in the process of developing Treetop Academy, a drone ground and flight school. When the FAA Part 107 rules are finalized, the need for qualified training will be huge and Treetop Academy will be ready. Stephen also manages the website, wiki and blog for commercial sUAS operators.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
I am a pilot and photographer, but the best photos are closer to the ground than I can legally fly a Cessna.
Westford, MA

Stephen R Mann's Blog

Drones in the news

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 1:30pm 0 Comments

Drones go mainstream

Click here for the full article.



Prop Clearance

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 8:32am 3 Comments

After a crash, two of the arms on my 3DR Hex shifted slightly.  Enough that the props overlapped.  I didn't notice it for a while, but on a subsequent flight, they prop tips touched.  The hex didn't crash but the noise it made certainly got my attention.

My solution was to add more sonar mounting brackets to beef up the arm placements.  It also gave me more places to mount stuff.  (Copter is upside-down in the photo).…


Prop Removal Tool

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:30pm 3 Comments

I seem to be removing my props often, and I worry that my hand holding the motor while I torque the collett on or off is not strong enough and I certainly don't want to use a steel tool like a Channel Lock.  So, I use a small plumbers strap wrench, pictured below.

This one is overkill because it is made for, well, plumbing.  Specifically for attaching chrome or polished…


Source of 3mm standoffs

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 8:13pm 17 Comments

Here's a source of 3mm standoffs, like the ones under my GPS module.  They are available at any computer store that sells PC parts.  Fry's and Microcenter come to mind.

Comment Wall (3 comments)

At 9:16pm on September 27, 2012,
Bill Bonney

Totally understand, and I agree updating the post to explain the optical illusions, for want of a better term, is a best option in my opinion.

Good work on the other blog posts. I am new drone creator. I have gone the ArduPlane route with a Bixler. Haven't flown it yet, and it's broken. The joys of hobby electronics, though this issue is mechanical and one of the servo couplings for the aileron has broken. :-D 

At 9:21pm on September 27, 2012,
Bill Bonney

PS: to be honest, the wikis could be much better in describing how to set-up these boards, especially, if like me you are just plug and play and not necessarily wanting to look at eagle files and schematics all the time. Maybe you could update the wiki to add the GPS connection for APM2.5?

At 10:04am on July 19, 2015, colin macdonald said…
What happens if the we battery in the gps goes flat

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