December 2009 Blog Posts (92)

EZ* fly in May 14-17 2010

A lot of people on the EZ* forums are coming to my fly-in here in NM on May 14-17.

I would like to invite all the DIY Drones to join us as a lot of you use the EZ* as a platform.

160 acres, nearest neighbor 2 miles, nearest town 3.5 miles.

2 n/s e/w dirt runways with no trees too close. (crop circle runways !)

Plenty of RV/Tent space and good hotel/motels in town.

Draw X on state of NM and fly-in is at center.

For more info, email

Earl in snowey… Continue

Added by Earl on December 31, 2009 at 11:30pm — 8 Comments



After 3 weeks, finally got USB on the 18F14K50 to work. Turns out the load capacitors on the crystal need to be symmetric. Asymmetric traces worked with everything else except USB.

Also 4 U assembly language freaks, some of the USB registers are not in the special function register access bank so you need BANKSEL calls.


Next came getting the radio to work… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on December 31, 2009 at 8:30pm — 5 Comments

Waiting to test new EZSTAR landing code!

Here in Boston, we have snow and wind. Not good for testing landing code. I hope to have some time in a few weeks to test and post the results of my new landing code. The old landing code can be seen in this video. Unfortunately coming in for a single approach like this has the EZ-STAR touching down at 28mph, and taking about 800 feet to land. The new landing code which I flew a few weeks ago does it in 300 feet.

The new idea is to circle in a radius of 125… Continue

Added by Tj Bordelon on December 31, 2009 at 1:44pm — 15 Comments

3D Robotics
New IMU from Sparkfun; soon to be an AHRS with DIY Drones

Sparkfun has just released an "9DoF" Razor IMU board ($125) with an Atmega328, three flat gyros, a three-axis accelerometer and a three-axis magnetometer (no GPS input). This is basically similar to the ArduIMU+, but designed for indoor use or other… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 31, 2009 at 10:30am — 27 Comments

Testing of the CHR-6D IMU and DCM in a quad-rotor

For those of you that have a CHR-6D IMU, I thought that you might be interested on the testing I have done on a quad-rotor. I basically took the open source software that comes with the IMU and implemented Bill's DCM algorithm on the on-board STM32 MCU. Then I interfaced the IMU with the quad-rotor controller (I had this done a while ago) and was able to have a fairly stable flight. It is not perfect but definitively usable. To reduce the effect of vibration on the… Continue

Added by Vassilis on December 31, 2009 at 9:00am — 8 Comments

3D Robotics
Sneak peak of new AttoPilot Ground Station software

Ios has a cool post on RCG with some preview images of the forthcoming AttoPilot Ground Station. Here's a teaser:…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2009 at 7:00pm — 4 Comments

Community Help: Magnetometer Board Design

I have dumb and obvious question (this is the cover my ass step) but i would like to hear the opinion of everybody. I really need it.

This is the picture of new magnetometer for ArduIMU V1 and Flat version or any platform. It uses the HMC5843 and i2c translator that make it compatible with 3.3V and 5V uControllers (jumper selectable), that… Continue

Added by Jordi Muñoz on December 30, 2009 at 2:30pm — 11 Comments

3D Robotics
Awesome UAV cutaways from FlightGlobal

The year-end wrapups reminded me to check out FlightGlobal's excellent UAV cutaways. We're highlighted a few in the past, but it's worth checking them all out.

Here's a selection (click… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2009 at 10:30am — 9 Comments

3D Robotics
This is why we picked Arduino--it's taking over the world!

A fun analysis by Sparkfun on the world domination of Arduino over the past couple years. More people are searching for it than even the once-dominant Microchip (maker of the PIC chips). No wonder that Sparkfun reports that: "Microchip wanted to meet… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 30, 2009 at 1:00am — 22 Comments

ArduPilot Ground Station - basic GPS / KML logging example

Hi all,

attached is example of ArduPilot Ground Station that logs KML data, as well as displays plane path during flight. (plane icon is current position and flight path is yellow with green bars, but I have lot's of data packed so it's hard to see green in the attached pic).

There were mentions in couple of… Continue

Added by automatik on December 29, 2009 at 12:48pm — 7 Comments

Barometric altitude sensor equations

I have attached an Excel sheet that I made with the equations needed to design a barometric altitude sensor.

For lower altitudes and for small altitude deltas, one can assume that there is a linear relationship between pressure and altitude. Please see the attached Excel sheet for more details.

The SCP1000 pressure sensor seems like a very good candidate for a pressure sensor:…


Added by UFO-MAN on December 29, 2009 at 5:00am — 53 Comments

For Atto users

This gets ever more grown up, well worth a look......

Here is our unofficial and unauthorized Attopilot-compatible GCS. It is free and open source, and features:

Standard "T" flight instrument layout.

Standard aviation industry units.

Over twice as fast as the official GCS replaying log files, and a similar level of performance improvement with live telemetry.

Integrates with Google Earth to provide realtime UAV tracking.

Generates time-stamped KML… Continue

Added by Gary Mortimer on December 29, 2009 at 4:01am — 6 Comments

3D Robotics
Ten tips for getting your Makerbot to work

So, my Makerbot is now working. It took some doing. My first complete build is shown--a Darth Vader helmet, which worked pretty well for a first try. But as you can see, I've still got some tuning to do.…


Added by Chris Anderson on December 28, 2009 at 10:30pm — 6 Comments

Alpha-Beta Sensor Probe w/o Pitot tubes or Vanes

Working as a BYU electronics shop tech, I occasionally get to help out the guys at the MAGICC lab. A PhD student came in a few weeks ago with a problem: He wanted to make an Alpha-Beta probe. Encoders of the accuracy he wanted are too heavy and too expensive to put on a 5 pound flying wing, and the multiple Pitot-tube option was not his game to play either, so he was wondering if we could make encoders like the big expensive ones he was looking… Continue

Added by Stephen Carlson on December 28, 2009 at 2:31pm — 7 Comments

3D Robotics
No podcast/livechat tonight

Due to our guest being under the weather, we won't have our live podcast tonight. But join us next Sunday at the regular time for a podcast with NASA UAV team leader Chad Frost. Should be a good one!

Added by Chris Anderson on December 27, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 6

New in Ardupilot 2.5 is mission simulation/debugging. First load a mission using the config tool and make sure you select "Set Manually" in the home info area on the left.

Then, in the header, set the value of Debug to 1 and upload 2.5. The mission will begin as if it's already in the air and will start outputting telemetry. If everything is OK, the plane should make each waypoint and end up back at home in a Loiter pattern.

This is also a 3d simulator, so altitude will be… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 27, 2009 at 4:00pm — 12 Comments

3D Robotics
New Open Source brushless motor controller

Here's a new open source brushless ESC project, designed for quadcopters. Uses an Atmega processor. More on the creator's blog… Continue

Added by Chris Anderson on December 27, 2009 at 11:34am — 15 Comments



Had the best weather ever on an XMas. Totally clear, no wind & warm inland.

Being the only day you can traverse the MacArthur maze in 1 day, took some snaps above Emeryville.

Moon over… Continue

Added by Jack Crossfire on December 25, 2009 at 10:54pm — 5 Comments

Ardupilot 2.5 preview part 5

Merry Christmas everyone.

I wanted to talk about a new aspect of 2.5 that enables coders to easily program missions through a simple API. The main idea is that many common events are sent to functions in the event.pde file to be handled by you in any way you see fit. You can do anything and access any variable in the system - within reason. The events.pde file can be swapped out with a different mission and uploaded to the the hardware.

The first and most important event… Continue

Added by Jason Short on December 25, 2009 at 12:23am — 8 Comments

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