Paul Mather's Blog (44)

Make your own KickStarter style hexa!

So there have been a few threads about the failed Kickstarter campaign by Kellie Sigler of Failed not because it they didn't collect enough money in the time alotted,…


Added by Paul Mather on February 1, 2012 at 12:00pm — 15 Comments

Pretty amazing footage


NASA captures the earth at night

Added by Paul Mather on November 16, 2011 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

HK GCS 1.3.0 released - With new instruments from Max Levine

A special thanks to Max Levine for his fantastic work on the new instruments. The instruments and 3D model can be set to a "smooth" setting for those of you with processor to spare. This setting can be changed in the File, Settings, Instruments tab. For the best performance, do not select smooth for the instruments and don't select the 3D model instrument. Plus the turn coordinator is…


Added by Paul Mather on June 21, 2011 at 1:00pm — 56 Comments

6 position mode switch for APM - Around $16 total

 My last blog post on this subject was incomplete. Now I have photos I actually built and tested it. …


Added by Paul Mather on June 11, 2011 at 1:00pm — 41 Comments

6 Position Knob for APM mode control - DIY for around $16 total



After reading a recent blog I have decided I REALLY need to get out there and fly this year. I spend far too much time in front of my computer... So thanks to Max Levine's wonderful blog,…


Added by Paul Mather on June 1, 2011 at 1:30pm — 45 Comments

AttoPilot flight using HK GCS

I love to see my GCS in action. The exciting stuff (for me anyhow) starts at 2:30. Great video (as always) Max!


Added by Paul Mather on May 15, 2011 at 11:00pm — 9 Comments

Joystick control on ArduPilot Mega MAVlink via HK's GCS

Just in case you missed it in one of my other posts, joystick control is now working via my GCS. I need to write up a "proper" wiki page on how to use it, but here are the basics.

Download my GCS here:

Edit your APM_Config.h file and add this:


Once you have your…


Added by Paul Mather on April 17, 2011 at 12:00pm — 18 Comments

Most important update to HK GCS for people outside of United States

I have posted the most important HK GCS update for non-United States users...ever. There has been a nagging bug that has caused some serious problems if your regional settings are set to anything other than English (United States). It's not even a comma vs period for decimal place issue. It's an encoding problem. It has literally taken me weeks of effort to finally find a work-around for this… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on April 13, 2011 at 2:00pm — 21 Comments

HK's GCS now compatible with APM MAVlink

Paramater updates and waypoint/mission commands are now included in my GCS. "Control" commands are not available yet because I don't know what's ready to go in the APM MAVlink code yet....

The MAVlink trunk is here:

Download my GCS here:

It took me a… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on February 6, 2011 at 9:00pm — 41 Comments

HK GCS now with Heartbeats and Link Lost Warnings/Alarms

You can now define how much time passes before a warning or alarm is shown on the GCS by clicking File, Settings and selecting the Alarm and Warning Timeout on the General Tab. There is also an associated speech event for both warning and alarm as well. You can use {alarm} and {warning} as replacements in the speech string.

For example:

DANGER! DANGER! Telemetry link has been lost for more than {alarm} seconds

{alarm} is replaced with the… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on January 28, 2011 at 2:30pm — 30 Comments

HK GCS Joystick support for AttoPilot

Ok, the idea of this freaks me out a little. I added support of the new $E and $F commands on AttoPilot via joystick input.

It hasn't been tested in the field yet and only elevator and aileron have any function...right now. I'm hoping to incorporate the $H speed command in as well.

Just as an FYI, you want the numbers to go higher to turn right or go up. Lower for left or down. I also put a hard coded limit of 35 degrees on the pitch and… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on January 20, 2011 at 11:30pm — 37 Comments

HK GCS now with mission planning and set.txt file support for AttoPilot

HK GCS v1.2.0 now has 2-way communication with AttoPilot. Drag n drop with Google Earth. Real time uploading and downloading. Full Set.txt file support (not really a text file anymore)... now all parameters can be edited and uploaded during your flight!

Please contact Chris for the updated firmware to use these… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on January 16, 2011 at 6:00pm — 49 Comments

Antenna Tracking in HappyKillmore's GCS

FPV antenna tracking is now working in HappyKillmore's GCS v1.1.32 and newer.

Are you looking for something to do with your original ArduPilot now that you've got the new ArduPilot Mega? Why not put it to good use! Diego Colonnello and I have come up with an antenna tracker for my GCS. It uses the original ArduPilot, a couple servos and a FTDI cable. Building the actual mechanism to move your patch antenna is up to you...but the code is in there to make it work. You can also… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on January 10, 2011 at 1:30pm — 102 Comments

HK's GCS v1.1.1 is in need of translators

Version 1.1.1 is ready to be translated. There are currently 206 words and phrases in the list. Anyone who can help me out with this task, please respond below. Thank you!!!


Languages Completed So Far:












Added by Paul Mather on December 15, 2010 at 9:30am — 120 Comments

Serial Data Processing in VB.NET - A word about encoding

Perhaps I was missing something in VB6. Life seemed so much easier when using the serial port control. Granted, MSCOMM has some serious limitations (see max limit of COM16). But back then, sending a character from ASCII 1 to 255 was a non-issue. If you sent a &HA0 out the serial port, you got &HA0 out the other end. More specifically, if your hardware was streaming binary data in to your serial port, it was simple enough to decode. In .NET that changed.

In my…


Added by Paul Mather on December 9, 2010 at 9:48am — 12 Comments

MAVlink frustrations--how do I calculate a crc16 checksum in

My most recent challenge has been adding the MAVlink protocol to my GCS project. So far, it has been my experience that one of the most difficult parts of pulling protocol messages apart is cracking the Checksum formula. A quick Google search will return hundreds of examples in C or assembler...but try finding one in Visual Basic. They mostly don't exist. uBlox and MediaTek have one method, SiRF has another, NMEA has it's own....

Then there's MAVlink. Their Comm Protocol page… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on December 2, 2010 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

HK GCS now supports APM binary and UavDevBoard (Matrix Pilot/Serial UDB Extra)

Recent additions to my GCS include the APM binary stream and the UavDevBoard (Matrix Pilot/Serial UDB Extra) data stream plus playback of UDB text file on the Data File tab. Quad model is also a new addition (many more models coming soon). Screen is now resizable and depending upon the instruments size, either the glass cockpit or 3D model can be clicked and selected as the "big" instrument. Minimum screen size is now 800X400 which should work well on older laptops and… Continue

Added by Paul Mather on November 30, 2010 at 6:00pm — 164 Comments

Tiny screen support in HK GCS (down to 800X480)

It seems that some of the other GCS programs out there don't work so well on small display laptops. I went ahead and made mine go as small as 800X480. At that resolution, there are so few pixels to work with

This screenshot is at the minimum 800X480 - additional "Status" tab appears at this resolution which includes all the waypoint, mode, distance, etc data

This image is closer to 1280X800. You'll see how the instruments have moved around a bit.…


Added by Paul Mather on November 21, 2010 at 9:30pm — 20 Comments

First person flight through Google Earth HK - GCS Update

First Person

Chase Cam


I'm still fighting the "range" problem if the user wants to manually zoom in or out after selecting a view.

Added by Paul Mather on November 16, 2010 at 1:00pm — 64 Comments

Swinglet CAM

I know this has been discussed before, but do you think APM could ever get to this level of ease of setup and use?

Arrive at the field, unpack the plane, open your laptop, fly... seems so quick and easy.…


Added by Paul Mather on November 11, 2010 at 10:30am — 16 Comments

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