In development...

3689412934?profile=originalI have not posted up anything in a month so thought I should give an overview of what I've designed. Unfortunately I have hit a LARGE snag in that BatchPCB is basically broken for international orders as no shipping options appear and so you cannot buy anything (its been like this since January). 5 months of waiting to produce these (no international shipping) and I'm pretty fed up, frustrated, shocked and losing faith so here for at least a quick look are my current plans.

First off I've been designing a quad to be smaller than ArduCopter but still hold everything so I can develop my camera stuff more quickly. It changed from basically a clone of ArduCopter to a slightly bare version to its current incarnation which is basically board holders with arm holders. The entire design has mounts for everything in the ArduCopter kit as well all the extras (pan and tilt, optical flow sensor(s), sonar, magnetometer, telemetry). As I progress with the build (or hopefully finish it with ease) I will update on here but the picture above is the progress so far including the 360° pan and 120° tilt bracket with sonar mount.

Now for my designs that I seem to be perpetually waiting for. All pictures are animated GIFs that ning apparently hates.


Optical flow boards

  1. ADNS - 2610 with ATMega328 for translational and I2C communication with APM
  2. ADNS - 5050 with ATMega328 for translational and I2C communication with APM
  3. ADNS - 5050 with ATTiny85 for translational and I2C communication with APM
  4. ADNS - 3080 with ATTiny85 for translational and I2C communication with APM

5050 seems to be the best sensor for our needs compared with the other two as the 2610 isn't available in the UK and the 3080 is 20 pin rather than 8 and only marginally better.

4 of these on my quad should hopefully stop it hitting walls. I'm hoping to create a library for these so they can be called for navigation easily like the rest of the I2C hardware for APM/ACM.




ACM distribution boards (4in² each).

2x two layer boards

  1. Power distribution below
  2. ESC distribution separating out the BEC 5V supplies to use for other things

Nothing new here but anyone fancying a smaller quad might find it useful.











ArduSlave boards (pictures aligned over I2C pins to compare size).

  1. I2C controlled ATMega328 with PWM outputs only
  2. I2C controlled ATMega328 with all pins broken out
  3. I2C controlled ATMega2560 with all pins broken

I am hoping to get the PWM only board done so it can be used as camera control circuit over I2C. The idea being to offload the computation to the 328 so the APM can do what it does best and keep your plane/copter safe while the ArduSlave will sort your pictures. Of course the other boards could do this and much more given the extra channels.


Synthetic aperture radar system (I did say I was working on a different imager).

  1. Bottom board is the analogue section for it with power regulation, ramp generator and amplication leading to stereo jack to plug into a laptop.
  2. Top board is the RF section using SMD devices instead of coaxial devices to save space.
  3. Combined board to show how it fits.

2.4GHz with 240Mhz bandwidth in a FMCW configuration. Record the "audio" and process with MATLAB.

I intend to record the audio onto an SD card after finding a suitable ADC as described in the picture. I already know this as a coaxial system works but as I'm using SMD I've probably borked something plus having a laptop in an Easystar isn't easy so once I've found a good ADC to save the "audio" that will deal with the laptop problem. I'll just need to develop a system on a different frequency so it won't make my plane crash :D

Interested in SAR? Think I'm mental? Want to see why I think its possible? Follow the links HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Here is an edited version of the MITLL IAP course lecture powerpoint (it now includes the bill of materials).

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  • Hi Ritchie,

    can you give us more details on the SAR? As you say you used a bigger version so probably a processed image? Would be very interesting to know what you can produce with such a device.

    I guess the processing takes some time?

    Anyway, great achievement! This is new (to self-made...)

  • As always Ritchie top work!
  • I love Dorkbot, Laen is a great guy and PCB's have been perfect to date. He has now started some test runs with larger quantites as well.

  • I'm from UK myself, and have tried both Olimex (takes around 2 weeks, £50 delivered for a 160x100mm cut as many times as you want) and the [url=]Dorkbot[/url] pcb order, and I have to say that Dorkbot is much better quality, has more options and is great for smaller runs, although it does take a little longer (but I think I was unlucky and mine got lost in the post somewhere). I think either will end up cheaper than BatchPCB...
  • @Sebastian I have loaded them all on to BatchPCB but being UK I cannot sell them direct from there but I don't know complete prices yet as I'm still waiting for the site to start working (5 months of frustration caused this post otherwise I'd have shown you all the working versions of all of this).

    Yes the gifs worked when creating but don't when posted :S

    @Dany The legs are meant to bendy to soften landing but no doubt I'll break them but as this is the test frame to get it all going before I do the CF version I don't mind :)

    @Justin Thanks for the link but I've looked at them already. If I already had a test batch that I could sign off on and people wanted them I'd say "hell yes" but before others get this I'd like to prove the worth. I am looking at OurPCB and Sunstone which are not too bad but still are not BatchPCB. If Gold Phoenix (the BatchPCB supplier) had a website that was actually coherent rather than a garbled mess I'd try them.

    @rachmat Thanks

  • nice project :)
  • Have a squizz at this lot:
  • Distributor

    nice parts.... :) do you have a picture of the frame all done? these legs looks really ready to break! :) 

    nice job on the electronic! wow... dont really understand it but seems really nice. 

  • you should mention that these are gif animations ;)

    any idea of the price for optical flow 2 and 3?

    great work

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