T3 Back to the Future


Remember back, way back in autopilot years probably about 20. The year 2009 and the first round of our gentlemens (ladies are allowed just none have ever entered) competition the T3 challenge.

Back then just flying way points was hard and all this gear was expensive. Ardupilots were made at Sparkfun in batches that ran out quick.


Lets try it again I suspect this time the challenge would really be flying it faster than somebody FPV racing.

Read about the first time here for hints and tips. 

As tech has moved on all aircraft types welcome lets make it not above 50m and 5 laps. All of course autonomous. Extra marks if that is from take off to landing.I will count the time from take off to landing so screaming dives to the start will not help. KMLs as evidence please!

UPDATE: Rovers (and boats) are also allowed! There will be a special rover/boat class, and you only have to beat other vehicles in that class. The course for such ground/water vehicles is 100m x 100m. 

I will accept FPV times for the sake of science and should they be much much quicker it will give the pure FPV crowd something to brag about.

An Easystar (yes before HK copied it) made one lap in less than a minute in 2009 so 5 in 5 minutes should be more than possible. 

As ever the time frame is flexible but why don't we all meet back here on August the 1st and find out who won!

Please add your entries and adventures below. Points are always awarded for silliness, just as long as its safe!


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  • Moderator

    @dr0n3droid when you hit that goal, did the machine go through the goal or the other side of the post. Obviously that would carry one more point. 

    Well done everybody, great entries and better still great spirit. 

  • Admin

    Hi All,

    The rain has held off  long enough for me to get in some T3 runs today, but I am still having trouble with the telemetry. Linus is breaking out the Auto Mode portions of the dataflash logs.

    I have verified the telemetry at low speeds over 80m and not within the line of sight. However, one thing I noticed is the telemetry went away right at the start of the course (the Pixhawk has its own battery so battery sag is not an issue) as the NEU motor was ramping up and the telemetry returned when the rover began slowing down near the end of the course.

    Since the telemetry radio is mounted just forward of the NEU motor I suspect that there is enough RF from the brushless motor to possibly drown out the telemetry signal. Therefore I have moved the telemetry radio to the back of the chassis on the rear body tower. Hopefully this will cure the telemetry issue and if it does not rain this afternoon I might be able to get some runs in tomorrow morning.


    Tom C AVD 

  • T3

    Yeah, my time is better but even if I were to get a time faster than a plane, you have to remember they have a 200m x 200m while the rovers and 100m x 100m.

  • Wish I could help. I don't speak code. If you need someone to crash test, don't hesitate to ask. I've got tons of experience with that.
  • Developer

    @dr0n3droid - yes that is also a bug on my list.  Plenty to do.

    Thanks, Grant.

  • @Grant
    I guess you've also noticed that ch.7 doesn't clear the WPs when in manual? It seems to work sometimes.but not others. Haven't tried to narrow down when it works vs doesn't. It's been a bit of a nuisance issue for me.
  • Developer

    @healthyfatboy, your run's look great!  Put a higher voltage battery in to go faster!  Sure you Rover may catch fire but we need to beat the planes!  With regard to your comment

    "I also found that if I am in the middle of a mission and abort by going to MANUAL, it will stop. When I put it back in AUTO, it will resume the mission. However, if I load a new mission . . . . . "

    its a known bug already on my list that I need to fix.  I'll prioritise it.

    Thanks, Grant

  • I expect that Chris is planning the same with his go kart.
  • If I run again, you can expect my final entry to be a Snipe. ;)

  • T3

    Another week...damn that gives Rob and his heli more time to catch up!!! I think the Eaglet will be on standby just in case. 

    The rover guys are starting to look good but where is Chris and his super kart?!

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