September 2012 Blog Posts (121)

3D Printed Quad Copter

I finally received my Makerbot Replicator ( and I am VERY impressed. After printing a handful of objects off of Thingiverse and dialing in my printer I promptly began work on my version of 3D printed quadcopter. I had a fair bit of practice using Google Sketchup from time is spent designing a handful of tricopters so naturally I started there.…


Added by Mike Bristol on September 30, 2012 at 8:30pm — 69 Comments

Voltage and Current monitoring for a South Carolina Arducopter


Using EC3 connections on my quad was a good idea...except when it applied to the AttoPilot 90A sensor from SparkFun. The goal for adding this sensor to the system was to be able to remove it cleanly if needed. The sensor pcb design was changed (from earlier pics in the Wiki) to provide a…


Added by R. D. Starwalt on September 30, 2012 at 12:24pm — 13 Comments

3D Robotics
New issue of IEEE Robotics journal does deep comparison of ArduCopter, other open source FCs

Doug Weibel writes:

I just got the most recent issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation magazine, which has a theme of quadcopters as robotics research platforms.  There is a large article describing the various attitude estimation and control algorithms used in Arducopter, OpenPilot, Paparazzi, Pikhawk, Mirokopter, KK muticopter, Multiwii, and Aeroquad.  If…


Added by Chris Anderson on September 30, 2012 at 6:22am — 9 Comments

Parallella: A Supercomputer For Everyone (Kickstarter)

I just want to give a shout about a Kickstarter project that I think deserve some attention.

Basically a well established…


Added by John Arne Birkeland on September 29, 2012 at 10:50am — 11 Comments

DIY Carbon H-Frame Quadcopter

(More construction photos in link below)



Added by Graham Dyer on September 29, 2012 at 8:00am — 23 Comments

Switching between X-Mode & Plus-Mode using Transmitter sticks only

HefnyCopter Firmware works in KKv2.1 as in the demo

can switch between X-Mode & Plus-Mode.

there is also HefnyCopter2 that works on KK2 it has more new features:



Added by MHefny on September 29, 2012 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Hi tech shock absorber legs for multicopters.

I made up these hi tech shock absorber legs for my grandsons quad we are building.  Considering the hours I often spend to find a better design for making copter legs that don't disintegrate on every hard landing, It took me about 10 min to stop laughing from the simplicity of the brilliance of this light bulb moment..…


Added by John Campen on September 29, 2012 at 12:30am — 10 Comments

T-Rex 450 Test flight -- Loiter / Guided / RTL and Alt Hold

T-Rex 450 Test flight -- Loiter / Guided / RTL and Alt Hold

APM 2.0   firmware 2.7.3

MediaTek MT3329  and barometer


After replacing the hidden Torque Tube Bearing in my T-Rex 450 the shifts in attitude are gone.

Everything changed to the…


Added by Manfred Dickgiesser on September 29, 2012 at 12:00am — 13 Comments

3D Robotics
3DR Distributors

We sent out an email today to all our distributors, if you did not receive it please contact . We are trying to make sure we have all of you in our distributor mailing list.



Added by Alan Sanchez on September 28, 2012 at 5:49pm — 1 Comment

Nice video for those who want to start and don't know the basics !

Hi, I just watched this video, and it seems to me a good ground base for those who want to start with multicopters and don't know what's the best platform.

Added by Rui Manuel Cravo Marques on September 28, 2012 at 5:06pm — 6 Comments

Prop Removal Tool

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…


Added by Stephen R Mann on September 28, 2012 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

Tail pusher FTP

Foam Tail Pusher

Range check is always a god idea, especially when using an new rx!

Do not think there will be any more flight test this week due to bad whether, plans are to scale up the frame to host APM.   

My Hitec minima range is horrible 15 m at Aurora 9 Tx at full power I…


Added by Patrik Ekblad on September 28, 2012 at 6:25am — 5 Comments

Source of 3mm standoffs

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.

Added by Stephen R Mann on September 27, 2012 at 8:13pm — 17 Comments

Inexpensive cover for my APM stack

I accidentally discovered a perfectly fitting cover for my APM stack:

Yup - a cold-cuts box.

I am using a set of thumbscrews to hold my stack to the hexacopter frame , and the cold cuts plastic box fits over the thumbscrews perfectly.  The cover doesn't budge in a hard landing or while carrying the hexacopter.…


Added by Stephen R Mann on September 27, 2012 at 8:11pm — 7 Comments

Flying Robots Cooperate, Throw and Catch Balls


New video from ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena, you can read more on Robohub

PS. …


Added by IKE on September 27, 2012 at 3:50pm — 17 Comments

3D Robotics
Using lasers to keep a UAV in the air indefinitely

We've covered this before, but Hackaday has a good update on the latest ground-based power techniques:

Lasers can no be used to keep a…


Added by Chris Anderson on September 27, 2012 at 11:44am — 8 Comments

3D Robotics
New UAV game for Google Earth


The Google Earth blog reports:

Over the years we've seen quite a few games that use Google Earth as their platform including gems such as ShipsGoogle Earth War and the …


Added by Chris Anderson on September 27, 2012 at 11:27am — 6 Comments

ArduPilotMega V2.0 Green

Green doesn't mean that this version is lower power consumition, it is the board color in that series of clones of our ArduPilot …


Added by Miguel Martín Mateo on September 27, 2012 at 8:30am — 24 Comments

Steps toward ESC feedback using SimonK

Most of the pro multicopter set-ups have feedback from the ESCs so the controller knows the status of the motors.  This is useful for all kinds of reason including:

    1. debugging the causes of crashes - the controller could log when a motor has stopped running.

    2. allows faster and better reaction to a motor failure perhaps saving you from a crash at least for…


Added by Randy on September 26, 2012 at 9:43pm — 23 Comments

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