Paul Marsh's Blog (26)

Free Book Coupon for my DIY Drones Friends

A number of years ago while I was doing research for a little story I was working on I stumbled upon DIY Drones and, later, sUAS News.  Hanging out on the DIY Drones forum, building my own amateur UAV and other life-changing events became distractions to finishing my story.  Well, I finally got around to doing just that, i.e. finishing it.

This has very much been a DIY effort from writing the story, to putting together the simple cover, to self-publishing and on to…


Added by Paul Marsh on March 13, 2013 at 9:43pm — 11 Comments

Rise of the Drones; PBS/NOVA; 1/23/13; 9:00 PM Eastern

Rise of the Drones airing again on PBS/NOVA, January 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM eastern.

Preview can be seen HERE.

Added by Paul Marsh on January 20, 2013 at 11:07am — 4 Comments

"Drones for Hire" Air & Space Smithsonian Magazine

Drone article in January 2013 issue of Air & Space Smithsonian magazine.  Lots of application info in this one.

Click HERE to read article.

Added by Paul Marsh on November 26, 2012 at 6:13am — No Comments

Installing APM2 in a SkyFly Max



I know that this is simply another APM2 installation, but I thought I would post it anyway in case anyone might be looking for suitable airframes for their DIY drone.  Also, this is kind of exciting for me since I am finally doing my DIY drone project and like to share my activity.  While my dedicated UAV build is underway, I'm testing APM2 and its…


Added by Paul Marsh on June 16, 2012 at 7:02am — 8 Comments

The National UAV (sUAS) Debate Continues


The mainstream news stories about UAVs getting into the NAS are almost getting commonplace, and maybe that's partly the idea of this post, i.e. to point that out.  Still, maybe we should stay on top of what's being said.

One problem with these short radio spots, in this case seven minutes with two guests, is that you just can't get into the details.  Not…


Added by Paul Marsh on May 9, 2012 at 4:23am — 2 Comments

DIY Drones & Hobby UAVs in the News

DIY Drones and Chris Anderson in the news yet again.  You're getting around, Chris!  Well done.



Added by Paul Marsh on April 4, 2012 at 4:34am — 4 Comments

UAV Exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum

It's all about expectations, I suppose, but even knowing that I have to admit disappointment.  We just got back from a visit to the National Air and Space Museum on the mall in Washington DC.  If you have never been there, you really need to go.  This isn't about the museum in general--we have been there many times.  One reason I wanted to go this time was to see the UAV…


Added by Paul Marsh on November 6, 2011 at 6:30am — 13 Comments


This post might be a little premature in that I'm just getting started, but after hanging out at DIY Drones for a few years and doing little more than adding editorial comment to other's posts, I'm anxious to share my real DIY Drone project.  Since all of the hard work has already been done by others in this community with regard to the autopilot, this blog will focus…


Added by Paul Marsh on February 13, 2011 at 4:14pm — 18 Comments

Smithsonian Acquires Model Airplane

I thought this article might be of interest to this community.  It starts:

"In September 2010 the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC vetted the TransAtlantic Model (TAM) and selected it as an historic artifact..."

The short article (letter, actually, from Maynard Hill) can be found…


Added by Paul Marsh on December 20, 2010 at 5:57pm — 3 Comments

Latest from AMA on FAA/NPRM

From AMA Today December 2010 (electronic newsletter)

Update on FAA

The FAA process to create regulation for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the national airspace continues to move forward. There's been a lot of speculation about what will…


Added by Paul Marsh on December 8, 2010 at 12:30pm — 19 Comments

Excerpt from Model Aviation Magazine

Just FYI...

Excerpt from "President's Perspective," Model Aviation magazine, November 2010

FAA Ruling May Be Challenging to AMA

Things continue to move forward, albeit relatively slowly, with the FAA regulatory process for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) that will…


Added by Paul Marsh on October 24, 2010 at 5:49am — 63 Comments

Current State of Commercial SUASs (& New(ish) FAA Fact Sheet)

I did a little digging into the current state of affairs with regard to commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (SUASs) and I'm not really sure what it all means. On the one hand, there seem to be quite a few companies developing and/or manufacturing SUASs. Presumably, many of these are for private, commercial use as opposed to pure research, governmental or recreational activity. On the other hand,…


Added by Paul Marsh on October 7, 2010 at 8:29am — 34 Comments

Book Review -- Wired for War

Book Review

Wired for War--The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

P.W. Singer

Penguin (December 29, 2009)

While the mission of DIY Drones is to promote the development of amatuer UAVs in the hobby or even commercial worlds,…


Added by Paul Marsh on August 24, 2010 at 10:10am — 4 Comments

Location Accuracy Within Google Earth

I noticed that my Garmin never says my location accuracy is better than 10 feet. I suspect that's a hard stop--no matter how good it is, nothing better than 10 feet will be reported. I decided to check this by plotting the coordinates given from the Garmin device in Google Maps, then Google Earth, and discovered that if any inaccuracy exists, it's within these two programs. In each case, the program showed my location a good 40-50' from where I actually was. On the other hand, plotting those…


Added by Paul Marsh on August 6, 2010 at 4:46am — 4 Comments

Rudder vs. Aileron

I'm sure this has been discussed here before, but past posts seem pretty well buried now.

I've been giving some thought as to whether rudder or aileron (in isolation of each other) is better for initiating turns via autopilot control. As a bank-and-crank RC flier (it wasn't until relatively recently that I learned that the left stick on my transmitter could be used for more…


Added by Paul Marsh on July 27, 2010 at 4:32am — 9 Comments

On My Way...

Hey Guys! (meant in the most gender neutral of ways),

I have taken my first real step toward building a DIY UAV! This will be boring to most of you, but to someone as far behind the curve as I am, this is HUGE. This community has come so far, and in such a relatively short period of time, that autopilots for RC planes are almost plug-and-play. However, I am determined to learn the basics of process control before moving on to…


Added by Paul Marsh on June 27, 2010 at 3:30pm — 13 Comments

Another 3-Axis Digital Gyroscope

This article was brought to my attention. It might be of interest here. The gyro in the article is made by STMicroelectronics. There is another post (click HERE) about the first-ever 3-axis digital gyro made by InvenSense.



Added by Paul Marsh on April 5, 2010 at 7:00pm — 5 Comments

DIYDrones Gets Nod in IEEE Spectrum Magazine

DIYDrones got a brief mention in an article in Spectrum, the magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The article is about first-person-view (FPV) flying, but the author mentions he read about FPV here and at

DIY Eye in the Sky

Get a first-person view from the air…


Added by Paul Marsh on February 5, 2010 at 6:28am — 1 Comment

Another UAV-specific Job Posting - Systems Engineer

In my own job search, I came across the following post which might be of interest to some here. BTW, I realize that anyone in the job market themselves would most likely find these posts on their own. On the other hand, anyone not proactively looking might see something that would interest them. Still, if the moderators would prefer I not post these when I come across them, just let me know. Thanks.…


Added by Paul Marsh on January 18, 2010 at 7:34am — 1 Comment

BlimpDuino on Steroids

Sky Snake
Flexible blimps are bending the rules on UAV design.
By Michael Klesius, December 18, 2009

Read Air & Space Smithsonian magazine article HERE.

Added by Paul Marsh on December 19, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

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