October 2009 Blog Posts (110)

That sinking feeling...

Above the Fog from Jason Short on Vimeo.

This is a video of me loosing my plane into the sun and fog for almost 5 minutes. I was just testing my AP that i've been working on over the last month and a half and it was my first flight with working waypoints. I tuned everything way down, but it was working ok so I let it run loops around the T3 course. One… Continue

Added by Jason Short on October 31, 2009 at 6:30pm — 14 Comments

No podcast this week.

We'll be back at our regularily scheduled time next week.

If people want to just hang out in the chat at 9PM on Sunday though, you're more than welcome.

Added by Tim Trueman on October 31, 2009 at 5:56pm — No Comments

ROOF CRASH! (Why XBeePRO 900's suck)

A routine mission to photograph NASA from our day job almost ended in tragedy as our XbeePRO 900's lost contact & the vehicle headed for a roof.

The XbeePRO 900's sucked from day 1. The problem seems to be they only do 50mW compared to the 90mW of the original XBee PRO 2.4Ghz. They also spread the signal more omnidirectionally, making for all around weaker reception.

900Mhz normally had 10% packet loss while… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on October 30, 2009 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

Little X-Plane Pushes the Bottom Edge of the Envelope

Flight test programs at Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center usually are off-limits to outsiders, but we got a peek at one of its coolest programs, the X-48B, when the Air Force recently threw open the gates for an open house.

MORE: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/x-plane/

Added by Matt Fisher on October 30, 2009 at 1:06pm — 7 Comments

Big Roomy EPO Puller for $199

Hobby King released a new platform which might address some of the complaints with easystar - it's larger, has ailerons (and flaps), and plenty of room under the wing for CG neutral payloads.

Added by bGatti on October 30, 2009 at 10:40am — 11 Comments

New Ground Station idea....

Hi there,

I been thinking about create a simple and relative ground station to display information in a more useful way.

Here is my idea:

-Simple reference map, with actual position, distance and heading of the airplane relative to home.

-Display waypoints relative to home.

-Display information more like an… Continue

Added by Jordi Muñoz on October 29, 2009 at 8:00pm — 21 Comments

ArduPilot 2.4 Officially Released!

You can download ArduPilot 2.4 + Ground Station Beta 2 from here.

I didn't get feedback from the community in the unofficial release, so that means that maybe is working fine.. Please tell me if you spot any bug. ;-)

What's new:

-Altitude hold improved for my EasyStar.

-Free running analogs for better performance.

-Now compatible with ArduPilot Shield V2.

-Minor bugs.

-… Continue

Added by Jordi Muñoz on October 29, 2009 at 6:24pm — 13 Comments

3D Robotics
$1,500 for a RC stabilizer IMU!

Looks like it works great, but the price! They're just asking for us to reverse engineer and open source it… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on October 29, 2009 at 6:14pm — 19 Comments

Waypoint firmware for the UAV DevBoard is revised

Sigh....I am going to give Peter Hollands an award for finding the "juiciest bug" in the released waypoint firmware for the UAV DevBoard. The bug has been fixed, and the firmware has been re-released as version 1.8b.

The bug was in the yaw drift gyro compensation calculation. It would only show up for waypoint legs with a heading between 327 degrees and 360 degrees. The result was that the actual heading would slowly vary between…

Added by William Premerlani on October 29, 2009 at 2:48pm — 39 Comments

Orbiting and Turn Prediction

I was wondering if anyone had done any work on orbiting or managing turns? I prototyped an idea I had last night about orbiting waypoints and realized the same algorithm works for turn prediction.

On my autopilot I have running a drift compensation routine that maps the desired location of the plane onto a line connecting the old waypoint and the next waypoint. I simply look ahead 10% farther on that line and steer toward that point instead of the actual waypoint. This helps me… Continue

Added by Jason Short on October 28, 2009 at 1:30pm — 8 Comments

3D Robotics
Happy Halloween!

Creepiest candy holder ever--just watch. Now back to our regular UAV goodness....

(via Trossen… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on October 28, 2009 at 12:40pm — No Comments

CHR-6d Inertial Measurement Unit (6DOF) - with



* IMU weighs less than 1.5 grams

* .8" x .7" footprint

* Customizable FIR digital filter

* TTL UART communication interface

* 16-bit ADC resolution

* +/- 400 deg/s gyro dynamic range

* +/- 3 g accelerometer dynamic range

Sophisticated onboard… Continue

Added by Faisal Shah on October 28, 2009 at 11:02am — 4 Comments

UAS in the NAS

Link to "report" [PDF]:



"In the near future we will see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operating in the National Airspace System (NAS) seamlessly with manned aircraft in all classes of airspace. To achieve this airspace integration issues must be solved in a safe expeditious… Continue

Added by automatik on October 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

3D Robotics
Update and guidance on ArduPilot Mega

We've wanted to be transparent with the community on our plans for ArduPilot Mega to get feedback, but I fear we've also introduced uncertainty and confusion. Here are some tips and pointers that may help you plan your ArduPilot path.

First, don't expect ArduPilot Mega until well into the new year. Second, it will be considerably more expensive than ArduPilot. Third, it won't necessarily work any better than the current ArduPilot for basic autopilot functions--it's just for people… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on October 27, 2009 at 4:30pm — 15 Comments

3D Robotics
T3 Contest, Round 3

First, congratualulations to Brian Wolfe, the winner of the second round of the T3 Contest. Now it's time for Round… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on October 27, 2009 at 4:22pm — 58 Comments

My email to SPARC regarding Sparkfun cease and desist....

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to express my disbelief and disappointment that you have issued a cease and desist notice to Sparkfun in respect of their tradename. I am a customer of Sparkfun and have bought their products in relatively large numbers in recent time. I have never at anytime confused their products with yours and...

Out of interest I went to my search engine (Yahoo UK & Ireland) and searched for 'SPARC'. The first result was "SPARC - Strategic Promotion of Ageing… Continue

Added by Mike on October 27, 2009 at 3:36pm — 3 Comments

ArduIMU code tests/improvements

Hi all, hola Jordi!. I have made some test flights with a modified arduIMU code in stabilization assist mode with good results. Mi test platform is a small swift II wing (this is not an easy plane for an IMU...). See telemetry video

I have been working on an imu and AP code for some months. I have tested it and fly it and works well on normal conditions. When I… Continue

Added by Jose Julio on October 27, 2009 at 10:50am — 11 Comments

Interesting new use of Arduino

Check out this use of the Arduino...I'm not a huge fan of football (Soccer as we Americans call it) - but this is just cool! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmjijvX50FQ

Added by Scott Plunkett on October 27, 2009 at 7:02am — No Comments

"World's First Single Chip 3-Axis Digital Gyroscope"

Check it out:



$3 in mass volume, so that has to mean under $20 single quantity.

16bit digital output using I2C Interface is nice, 16bit is a good start.

Sadly if it's anything like the IDG… Continue

Added by Angus Peart on October 27, 2009 at 12:30am — 5 Comments

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