Doug Weibel's Blog (28)

Proof of Concept test - Extremely accurate 3D velocity measurement with a ublox 6T module.


When the ublox 6 series modules were released, I noted that the 6T and 6P modules provided access to the raw carrier phase measurements, and I started thinking about how to use this capability.  My connections through my university research appointment weren't strong enough to get ublox to sample a dev kit to me (they generally don't sample them at all).  Jordi and Chris from were kind enough to use…


Added by Doug Weibel on December 2, 2012 at 5:30pm — 31 Comments

Annual Public Service Announcement

It is that time of the year when for many of us the furnaces have been turned on for the coming winter and the indoor air is getting dry, so it must be time for my annual ESD Public Service Announcement.


What is ESD?  Electrostatic Discharge!  That little spark you sometimes get when you touch a light switch or some other grounded object.…


Added by Doug Weibel on October 19, 2012 at 4:28pm — 1 Comment

Lemon-RX UART and PPM output

I have had a Lemon-RX (previously known as Orange-RX) DSM2 6-Channel Receiver (PPM + UART)

sitting around for a bit, and finally got around to hooking it up to my logic analyzer and checking it out today.  I was interested in this RX as an inexpensive option if you need PPM output and run Spektrum/JR gear.  I knew from the spec sheet that the channel resolution on…


Added by Doug Weibel on October 19, 2012 at 4:17pm — 5 Comments

Best Quads doing stuff video

In response to Chris' post of the best AP video ever, I have this offering

Added by Doug Weibel on March 21, 2012 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Difficulty with using Ultrasonic Ranging (Sonar) for landing flare control.

A feature frequently requested is to add support to ArduPlane for using sonar to control the landing flare.The answer, unfortunately, is probably no.  Take a look at this graph I obtained yesterday...

This has been on my to-do list for ages as I have never gotten around to getting some real world data to see if this would work.  Finally got the real world…


Added by Doug Weibel on January 29, 2012 at 1:30pm — 51 Comments

Annual Public Service Announcement

We have had our first snow storm here in Colorado, and the furnaces are definitely running, so it seems like a good time for my annual ESD Public Service Announcement.


What is ESD?  Electrostatic Discharge!  That little spark you sometimes get when you touch a light switch or some other grounded object.  Electrostatic discharge is always an issue when working…


Added by Doug Weibel on October 31, 2011 at 8:51am — 4 Comments

Test flight using new Auto Flap feature

I had an excellent test flight with the new Auto Flap feature this morning.



This picture is the end of a fully autonomous flight.  Sorry, I should have had video running....  It is impressive that the Skywalker is sitting within about a meter of the center of the runway.  However, what is really cool about this landing is that there was a 10-15…


Added by Doug Weibel on October 6, 2011 at 12:18pm — 12 Comments

APM automatic flap deployment ready for testing.


I have uploaded a new revision of APM to the trunk repository (r3665) with automatic flap functionality. I am really pressed for time so am hoping some community members can do some flight testing on it and report back.


Flap functionality can be assigned to channel 5 or 6, using the rc_5_funct and rc_6_funct parameters (similar to setting up…


Added by Doug Weibel on August 27, 2011 at 5:08pm — 14 Comments

APM now supports Differential Ailerons

Sometimes APM development goes fast, and sometimes it goes like molasses in winter. After being asked repeatedly (over many months - sorry) I have finally gotten support for multiple aileron channels in place. You can use this if you want to set your airframe up with differential ailerons or if you have separate servos on your ailerons and they don't move opposite…


Added by Doug Weibel on August 21, 2011 at 3:31pm — 26 Comments

On-Board Video from SparkFun AVC - collision with light pole

Here is a video clip from Paul Mather and my last minute entry into the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition.

The day before the competition I realized that the DIYDrones community had an unused entry into the competition and I had a second UAV ready to go, so I recruited Paul Mather as a teammate and we became team "Plan B", flying a SkyWalker…


Added by Doug Weibel on April 24, 2011 at 7:31pm — 7 Comments

Minimal resource RC input/output interface demo

Just thought some of you might like this little demo I put together. Lots of good uses for Spektrum users.

Added by Doug Weibel on November 9, 2010 at 8:50pm — 16 Comments

ArduPilot Mega v1.0.3 alpha ready for public release

OK - After working with a small group of Alpha testers, I guess we are ready to open the flood gates and make a public release of ArduPilotMega!

Here is what you need to know:

  • This is an Alpha release - expect there to be bugs. If you don't want to deal with bugs, wait for the Beta. There will still…

Added by Doug Weibel on August 25, 2010 at 11:00am — 123 Comments

ArduPilot Mega v1.0 Alpha 1 release

The ArduPilot Mega development team is pleased to announce the public release of ArduPilot Mega v1.0 Alpha 1 test firmware. It is located here

If you are ready please feel free to test the code. The best place to start is with the manual which is located here… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on July 14, 2010 at 2:05pm — 27 Comments

ArduPilot Mega moves off the bench and into the air

Progress report: The ArduPilot Mega v1.0 firmware has reached a flyable state!

There is a lot of work left to do before v1.0 is ready for its beta release, but things are progressing. At present STABILIZE and FLY_BY_WIRE_A are working well. Full 4 channel control has been implemented. On board data logging is really making me smile.

Jason Short and I are working closely together and working through the… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on June 28, 2010 at 8:25pm — 9 Comments

Sparkfun announces new robotics competition.

Sparkfun has announced a new robotics competition - ANTIMOV.

We want you to build a robot that completes a trivial task in the most inefficient and laborious way possible. Oh yeah, it needs to destroy itself doing so. Intrigued? We thought so!…

Added by Doug Weibel on June 12, 2010 at 11:30am — 10 Comments

Team "Death by Pine Tree" renamed (again)

Following on with Chris' humerous submission today, and the bit of storytelling we have been enjoying in recent blog posts, I figured I'd post my latest tale of woe. Hopefully you will find it entertaining!

So, this past Saturday I competed in the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition using an ArduPilot with 2.6 firmware and ArduIMU. My airframe was the SkyFun from…


Added by Doug Weibel on April 21, 2010 at 8:16pm — 14 Comments

Altitude sensing - Ublox versus SCP1000

I got a SCP1000 absolute pressure sensor and have been looking at the relative performance versus ublox.

Here is the data from my first flight test - ublox is blue, scp1000 is pink. The data was taken while manually flying a SkyFun "pusher jet" in somewhat gusty wind conditions.

There are several things…


Added by Doug Weibel on April 9, 2010 at 1:30pm — 23 Comments

Want to use ArduIMU with EM406 or NMEA? Code ready to test.

Like the title says, I've got code ready to test. PM me if you want to test ArduIMU with either an EM406 or a NMEA gps.

Added by Doug Weibel on March 24, 2010 at 5:47pm — 16 Comments

ArduPilot 2.5.1 alpha test video

I have been busily testing ArduPilot 2.5.1 with ArduIMU and correcting bugs in the basic functionality. I now have all MODEs working well in my primary airframe configuration and will now work on verifying other configurations (radio types, shield versions, thermopiles, etc.)

If you want to help test climb aboard. There is an active thread in the…


Added by Doug Weibel on March 22, 2010 at 12:00pm — 10 Comments

What is the preferred elevator & throttle control laws for Fly By Wire

Poll - how do you want FBW to work?

Jason Short came up with a great flight mode, FLY BY WIRE, in ArduPilot 2.5. This mode differs from STABILIZE. In STABILIZE the autopilot constantly tries to return the plane to 0 pitch and roll, while you give stick inputs that tell the plane to do something else. It feels a bit like you are arm wrestling against the autopilot sometimes. With FLY BY WIRE if you move the right(*) stick half way to the right then the plane will… Continue

Added by Doug Weibel on March 21, 2010 at 6:30pm — 25 Comments

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