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If you are looking for the hardware to diy a drone by your own?

If you find it's hard to get the drone parts with competitive cost?

If you are looking for a drone with light weight and long endurance?

T-Drones is here happy to offer the solutions.

T-Drones M690A 0.5-1kg payload, 60-70mins flight time by battery;
T-Drones M690B 1-2kg payload, 50-60mins flight time
T-Drones M690 folding version , 350*320*130mm size to take away.
 

Any query:

Email: t-drones@outlook.com

What's app:+ 86 15070853230

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Drones are eyes in the sky for firefighters. They can serve as an essential firefighting tool for people in the fire services, especially in and around urban centers, where a deadly inferno might occur in a highrise building. 

Drone for fire fighting can equip fire officials with the latest technology, and add complementary capabilities to the existing resources such as fire trucks, ladders, specialized suits, etc. Firefighters can now acquire aerial information in a quick, cost-effective manner. 

In 2016, a tragic fire broke out in a warehouse in Oakland, California. The warehouse had been converted into a living space called Ghost Ship. The fire, which claimed the lives of 36 people, is one of the deadliest in the history of Oakland. Drones, equipped with a thermal camera, were used by firefighters to identify hotspots and search the unsafe-building after the fire was extinguished.

The effectiveness of drones is rapidly catching on, as agencies around the world begin to adopt this technology. In the US, more than 900 state and local agencies related to the emergency services are using drones one way or another; out of them, approximately, 186 is believed to be related to fire and emergency medical services.

Can Drones (UAVs) Put Out a Fire?


This is a common question that people often ask. A short answer is No, drones are more useful in acquiring situational awareness about the fire and its surroundings. Firefighters can use this information to control the fire and ultimately put it off. However, there are a few companies that are equipping drones with water hoses or fire extinguishing materials.

How Are Drones Used During Firefighting?


How Are Drones Used During FirefightingSituational awareness: In a typical scenario where a fire has broken out in a building, firefighters arrive at the spot and begin their operation with limited information about the extent of the fire and damage it has caused to the structure. 

Instead, with a fleet of drones, firefighters can begin with an aerial assessment of the scene and know the extent of the fire before starting their rescue operation.

Reach difficult places: Drones are efficient in going to tight spaces since they are nimble and agile, and deploying them first avoidings putting humans in unsafe situations.

Thermal assessment: In a firefighting situation,  firefighters work against the clock to save the lives and integrity of the structure. That is why it is important to direct their efforts towards the source of a fire.  Drones equipped with a thermal camera can assist firefighters to identify hotspots inside a blazing structure. Accordingly, firefighters can direct their efforts to bring the situation under control. 

Search and rescue:  Firefighters are actively involved in search and rescue missions. A thermal camera drone can do the job of 100 people by scanning a large area and identifying people in distress. During a natural calamity like an earthquake, thermal camera drones can fly over fallen structures and identify trapped individuals, and even identify dangerous leakages.

What Kind of Drones and Payloads are Commonly Used During Firefighting?


Drones come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are suitable for firefighting operations. The more suitable ones are off-the-shelf drones from the likes of DJI and custom drones based on open source stacks mainly PX4 and Ardupilot. Here are some of the drones that are considered fit for such kind of tasks:


Drones are not usable without the appropriate payloads. For firefighting purposes, these are some common payloads that are used:

  • Zenmuse XT2 (a thermal camera for DJI drones) 
  • Zenmuse Z30 (a normal camera with 30x zoom for DJI drones)
  • Zenmuse H20 (A hybrid camera that combines a wide-angle camera, 23x optical zoom camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder for DJI drones)

How FlytNow Can Make Drone Operations a Lot Smarter for the Firefighters

Traditional Challenges in Using Drones for Firefighting


The conventional way of using drones, during firefighting, is a pilot controlling a drone using the remote controller (RC). Here, the pilot becomes the relay point of all the information collected by the drone. This method of using drones may be simple, but is not very effective, since multiple pilots are required to control multiple drones. On top of the human resource requirement, there are several other disadvantages, as follows:

  • It becomes difficult for a drone pilot to share the data with different agencies and ground personnel, which hinders coordination.
  • Difficult to archive flight data, which makes it problematic for the future analysis of an emergency situation.
  • Data collected from multiple drones cannot be stitched together for better situational awareness. 
  • Sharing live data becomes difficult, more so when multiple drones are involved. 
  • Drone response can’t be automated since they can’t be integrated with emergency response systems like the 911 operations centers.

How FlytNow Helps in Overcoming the Traditional Challenges


FlytNow is a fleet management system that helps public safety officials to overcome challenges in using drones for firefighting. 

FlytNow is a cloud-based application that provides a unified dashboard to control a fleet of drones. It has two versions (Business and Enterprise) that cater to two different use cases.

drones for public safetyHow Drones are Connected to the FlytNow Cloud Application


FlytNow is a hardware-agnostic cloud platform meaning it supports different kinds of drones. Users using DJI drones can use the FlytOS mobile app to connect the drones to the cloud application. 

In the case of custom drones, a single board computer loaded with the FlytOS operating system can be attached to the flight controller of the drone, to facilitate communication with the FlytNow application over a 4G/LTE/5G network.

flytcloud

FlytNow Business


FlytNow Business is a standard offering that provides out of the box features in the form of SaaS (Software as a Service). This version is useful in establishing a quick command center, locally, for a particular response to manage the drones in operation. 

Some of the unique features and benefits that it provides are as follows:

  • It provides a web-based dashboard with an integrated map to control a fleet of drones. Using this feature, a single operator can control the movement of multiple drones, thus saving cost and time.drone firefighting operation
  • The dashboard offers live telemetry and visual data from all connected drones, with dual control from both the RC and the web dashboard. This allows for coordinated drone operations where data from multiple drones can be stitched together and shared for better situational awareness. firefighters using drone
  • The Business edition has out of the box support for live video-streaming from multiple drones that can be shared with anyone using their email address.flytnow for remote firefighting operations
  • A viewer can switch between ‘normal’ view (RBG) and ‘thermal’ view (IR) if the drone is equipped with an IR sensor. In the case of DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and DJI M210 V2 Dual, the FlytNow dashboard provides the MSX view that shows the lines and edges, along with the contrast, to differentiate between regions with different temperatures.using thermal camera with drone
  • Along with MSX, FlytNow gives the option to switch between different color pallets like Rainbow, Hotspot, Gray, Isotherms, Hotmetal, and Coldspot for the M2E Dual.using drones for fire fighting
  • Thermal imaging allows firefighters to identify hot spots and see whether they are hitting the fire. In a post-fire situation,  a thermal drone can carry out an inspection of the outer facades of the building, and send the live footage using FlyNow to a structural engineer sitting hundreds of miles away for a better assessment.
  • The business version has out of the box support for DJI payloads (eg. Dual Camera, Spotlight, etc) for drones such as Mavic 2 Enterprise and the Matrice 200 series. These payloads are specially designed for emergency operations.drone payloads for fire fighting
  • Apart from DJI payloads, it supports remote control of the gimbal, on which the camera is attached, via the web dashboard. This allows a remote viewer to control the camera angle for a better visual.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version adds customization and addons to the Business edition. This version is ideal for setting up a drone-based emergency response system with the following capabilities:

  • A system that is integrated with a dispatch system like the 911
  • Integration with a decentralized network of drone stations supported by Drone-in-a-Box hardware, which allows for automated dispatch of drones.
  • A unified dashboard that can be part of a command center, which allows for the control and management of the drones over 4G/LTE/5G. 


With respect to fire fighting, the Enterprise version offers advantages such as:

  • AI-based features like object detection to help identify people trapped under debris or lost in a forest.
  • The ability of public safety officials to maintain detailed flight-record of each and every drone flight, to comply with airspace norms. All these legal requirements and complexities are solved using FlytNow Enterprise’s native support for DroneLogbook (a flight data recording service) and Airmap (a UTM service). 
  • Support for custom maps, so that operators can adjust to the terrain over which drones are flying.

Summary


In this blog, we discussed the importance of drones for firefighting and how they can be used to save time, resources, and lives. We also touched upon the kind of drones and payloads used for fire fighting operations. Finally, we ended by showcasing the benefits that FlytNow provides by allowing the usage of drones at scale with data availability for proper coordination. 

If you (plan to) use drones for public safety, then FlytNow is the right software platform to allow you to leverage cloud technology for better management and transparency of your drone operations. You can get started with our 28 days of a free trial. You can also contact us at https://flytnow.com/contact/

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Hey guys,

Nimbus series planes have a new member: Nimbus Pro. It is a professional VTOL(vertical take-off and landing) fixed-wing plane for mapping, aerial survey, and inspection mission. It comes with four lift motors and one fixed-wing motor, which will allow the mapping VTOL to ascend like a helicopter. For the mapping mission, the fixed-wing motor will make the drone fly like a plane.

Fast deploy
Due to its modular airframe design, Nimbus Pro mapping VTOL can be set up in less than 5 minutes by a single man.

Long endurance
The Nimbus Pro survey drone can fly up to 100 minutes with a 6S 25000mAh lipo battery in a single flight.

Big inner space for payload
The mapping UAV comes with a big internal space to accommodate various mapping cameras and payload.

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Drones are efficient and cost-effective in capturing visual data, on an object, or an earmarked piece of land. That is why they have proliferated into many industries, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now being used for a variety of monitoring purposes. 

Modern drones are highly capable of monitoring. Powered by intelligent software, drones can be flown over the internet, stream live videos, and cover long distances by leveraging fixed wings.

Using such capabilities, UAV service providers can thus deploy drones to monitor the assets of an airport and even long runways and transmit the live video footage to stakeholders sitting far away. 

Note: Learn how FlytNow powered the very first remote construction site inspection in the city of Lillestrøm, Norway over a 5G network.

Benefits of Using Drones for Airport Asset Monitoring


Drones are a better tool for monitoring than ground-based vehicles, because of the following reasons:

  • Drones are small and agile vehicles that can go in nearly all places, especially those where it might be dangerous for humans to go. 
  • A single drone can cover a large area very easily and quickly.  
  • A drone can be fitted with a thermal camera, which might be used during the night time. 
  • Drones can be made smarter by fitting them with companion computers. For example, an operating system like FlytOS, when installed on a companion computer, provides AI-based features like precision landing, object detection, and collision avoidance.
  • Drone-based monitoring can be automated with the help of cloud-connected platforms such as FlytNow.

How FlytNow Business Enabled Dr-ONE to Monitor One of DronePort's Airports


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHWPPKTr_Fs

The infrastructure of an airport requires periodic monitoring for maintenance purposes. One of our partners, DR ONE is leveraging the FlytNow platform to deploy drones for runway, hanger, and airport vegetation monitoring. Compared to conventional methods, aerial monitoring has the following benefits:

  • Minimum disruption to airport operations while monitoring since no land-based equipment is used. 
  • Data is collected by the drones which can be later processed using standardized software. 
  • Since a drone can carry a variety of sensors, there is richness in the data collected by the drones. 
  • The data produced by drones is traceable and reproducible which eliminates any form of subjectivity that an inspector might have. 


By leveraging the capabilities of FlytNow, DR-ONE was able to perform the following activities during a monitoring-mission of one the runways of DronePort (EBR 62), Belgium:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyDl_33_C1Y

  • Using the advanced mission planning feature of FlytNow, they controlled the flight path of their drones over an area close to 88 hectares.
  • The waypoints in FlytNow support the setting of altitude and speed which DR-ONE used to control the flight behavior of drones so they cause minimum disruption to airport operations. The precision settings of FlytNow allowed them to maintain an average speed of 17 km/h during their mission.
  • The live video streaming capability of FlytNow enabled DR-ONE to monitor the runway, other infrastructures like airplane hangars, and the surrounding vegetation. 
  • FlytNow gave DR-ONE a unified dashboard to monitor the entire operation, including the ability to change views from map view to cockpit view. 
  • The geofence feature of FlytNow allowed DR-ONE to conduct safe operations by restricting the flight area of a drone since only a limited section of the airport had to be monitored.  In addition to geofences, FlytNow’s built-in RTH (Return to Home) function allowed them to call their drone back to the base after completing the mission. 

FlytNow Enterprise for Airport Monitoring


The enterprise version of FlytNow provides a whole host of customizations and features to adjust to situational challenges like operating in an airport. Some of them are as follows:

Integration


Airports operate under severe restrictions for the safety of aircraft and people on the ground. The airspace above and around airports is managed and controlled by the Air Traffic Control. So anyone flying a drone inside or close to an airport would require coordination with the Air Traffic Control.

There are service providers that provide intelligence on airspace and detailed map overlays of restricted airspace. FlytNow Enterprise provides REST API that can be used to integrate with such services, enabling service providers like DR ONE to conduct monitoring activities safely without violating any airspace norms.

Add-ons


Both the enterprise and business version support thermal cameras; coupled that with AI-add-ons, available in the enterprise version,  like object detection, an operator can identify damages to the runway and other assets much more easily.

Fleet Management


One of the reasons why drones are useful is because they can cover a large area quickly. Managing multiple drones is the primary pain point that FlytNow solves. Both the enterprise and business version offers a unified dashboard to manage and control a fleet of drones. In monitoring missions, as the one DR-ONE did, multiple drones are beneficial since airports are spread across a large area.

Apart from Runway Pavement Monitoring What Other Places Drones can be Used? 


Here are some of the use cases where drones are being adopted for aerial monitoring: 

Drones are being used to monitor traffic: London Metropolitan Police are using drones to monitor traffic conditions. They are primarily using drones to pip-point drivers engaging in road-rage. 

Crowd Monitoring: During the recent 2020 COVID pandemic, drones were used to monitor the streets of cities in India for catching unlawful gatherings during the lockdown phase. Learn how an Indian startup established India’s first drone command center using FlytNow

Monitoring of Properties: Both commercial and residential real estates are using drones to safeguard their perimeters. A software solution like FlytNow can automate drone-patrolling around a property to protect its perimeter. 

Wild-life monitoring: Drones are being used by forest officials around the world to keep an eye on forest life, and safeguarding it from dangers like poaching and illegal deforestation.

Summary


In this blog, we primarily discussed how DR ONE used the FlytNow platform for the monitoring of assets of an airport with great advantages. A fleet management system like FlytNow makes complex operations like monitoring less challenging and yields some of the following benefits:

  • Time-saving: Since multiple drones can be deployed and managed easily.
  • Cost-saving: A single operator can control and manage multiple drones from a unified dashboard.
  • Compliant:  Operating in an airport means coordination with multiple agencies; the integration features of FlytNow allows for that.


FlytNow is the perfect tool for drone service providers looking to upgrade their capabilities regarding monitoring either of airport assets or any other use case.

What's Next?

Deploy drones in 5 easy steps and leverage the power of FlytNow to conduct remote monitoring with capabilities for automation and AI. To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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FrSky R9|RXSR Pilot Flight Control

The FrSky Pilot series flight controller is an All-in-One module that supports comprehensive flight control functions with pre-installed powerful INAV (The support of other open-source software like Ardupilot and Betaflight are ongoing.) and F.Port 2.0 software. This control system is targeted towards RC hobby enthusiasts who are looking for a complete system combining power management, a powerful graphic FrSky OSD, and plenty of IOs.

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The R9/RXSR Pilot is comprised of a three-layer stack:

1.A mainboard providing power for servos and for a video system with switchable voltages, current measurement and general connectivity (6 full UARTs, I²C, 12 servo/motor outputs, 2 analog inputs, video input/output)

2.A processing board using a powerful STM32F765 at its core, boasting 1MB of flash memory, and 512KB of RAM capable of running the INAV, Ardupilot and Betaflight flight control software. It integrates an ICM20602 IMU, FrSky’s latest

graphic FrSky OSD

, and an SPL06 high precision barometer. An SPI bus connector allows for optional connection of a second vibration isolated IMU, which can be mounted to the board, or other peripherals. An SD card slot allows for data storage including BlackBox logging. It also includes a piezo audio transducer for system notifications and lost model locating.

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Any FrSky receivers with a standard FPC interface can be connected directly to the processing board (RXSR-FC / R9MM-FC-OTA). All F.Port 2.0 Capable Receivers (Archer and Tandem Series Receivers, etc.), SBUS receivers, and some others with serial ports are also compatible.

FEATURES

 

Supports FrSky

F.Port 2.0

 Protocol

12 Servo/Motor Outputs & Multiple Serial Ports (6 UARTs, I²C, SPI)

Powerful STM32F765 Based Flight Controller is capable Running on INAV / Ardupilot / Betaflight Firmware

Built-in

Graphic FrSky OSD

Supports FrSky S.Port Sensors

Built-in Multiple Sensors

Max 150A Capable Hall-effect Current Sensor

Built-in 3-axis Gyroscope & 3-axis Accelerometer Sensor (ICM20602IMU, ±2000dps, ±16g)

Supports ICM20601/ICM20602/MPU6000 IMU as external gyroscope module with vibration insulated box

Built-in Barometer sensor(SPL06-001)

Adjustable Voltage Output through integrated BEC function

Supports Black Box Data Record Function(via SD card)

Compatible Receiver

Standard FPC Interface on-board receiver with a perfect fit protection box (RXSR-FC/R9MM-FC-OTA, etc.)

All F.Port 2.0 Capable Receivers (Archer and Tandem Series Receivers, etc.)

SBUS Receivers and Some Others with Serial Ports

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 60*45*14mm (L*W*H)

Weight: 35g (Without connector)

Mounting(FC): 30.5*30.5mm with M3 grommets

Mounting(Rx): 13*13mm (R9MM-FC-OTA / RXSR-FC)

Battery Port: XT60 Plug

MCU: STM32F765VG (1MB Flash Memory, 512KB RAM)

IMU: ICM20602 (±2000dps, ±16g)

Barometer: SPL06-001

Graphic OSD:

FrSky OSD

Micro SD Slot

12* PWM Outputs

6* Full UARTs (Any UART can be configured to the S.Port via INAV)

1* I2C

2* Analog Inputs (0-3.3V)

1* Video Input

1* Video Output

1* Piezo Audio Transducer

2* ESC Power Pads

Voltage Range: DC 11.1V~51V (3S~12S Li-Po/Li-ion)

Current Sensor: Max 150A

BECs:

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The ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) has taught us many things. Among those lessons is the realization that drones can be used for operations to save people’s lives.

Even before the pandemic, at AirWorks 2019, DJI announced that drones saved the lives of 279 people around the world. The number probably represents a small fraction of documented cases where drones were used as a means for public safety. For example, during the lockdown that followed after the onset of COVID-19, drones helped Indian authorities to contain the spread of the virus by monitoring the streets for unlawful gathering. Read the full case study.

We have just scratched the surface when it comes to commercial drone usage - drones have tremendous potential in disaster management alone.

In a report from the United Nations, it has been stated that 1.2 million lives were lost, 1.7 trillion dollars of damage was done and 2.9 billion people were affected due to global disasters that occurred between 2002 and 2012. With economic and human losses of this magnitude, every new technology that promises to save lives has a huge potential, including drone technology.

What Problems do Drones Solve During a Disaster Response?


There are several pre-existing protocols that are supposed to be followed during disaster response. Most of them have been successful so far, but they create their own set of challenges. The main one is the response time, which is of great importance during disaster management. The second one is logistical support.

For example, in 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 devastated the Kathmandu region of Nepal, which claimed the lives of 9000 people. All means of transportation were destroyed which drastically affected the disaster response and relief work. Many people, trapped under the rubble, lost their lives since help didn’t reach them on time.

When the Nepali government appealed for assistance to the international community, help arrived in the form of medical support, food, and relief equipment. Several international agencies came and deployed drones to help better assess the situation and to aid the search and rescue process.

Drones were also used during the 2013 typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. They were mainly deployed to survey the impact of the storm on farmlands and ascertain future risks from similar storms.

Drones help improve the response time, since they can be deployed much faster, as compared to traditional vehicles like a helicopter. Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) drones can cover large distances and assess the situation in an event where all transportation routes have been destroyed or made inaccessible.

Drone Benefits During Disaster Response


The process of disaster management can be broken down into the following stages:

  • Prevention
  • Preparation
  • Reponse
  • Recovery


Using drones for disaster response can add value to all of the above-mentioned stages according to a study from Zurich North America. The study highlights the correlation between a short response during the early phase of disaster recovery with increased success in search and rescue operations.

To better appreciate the benefits of using drones, consider the following:

  • Drones can ensure the safety of people. During the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 2011, drones were used to survey the extent of the disaster without risking the lives of the relief workers.
  • Drones are quite effective as first responders since they can be deployed fast and easily, as compared to manned aerial vehicles.
  • Drones are relatively inexpensive, and with the help of a drone fleet management system, can be deployed in large numbers as autonomous fleets.

Drone Applications for Supporting Disaster Response


Drones are a versatile tool, to be used in various ways, as a critical aid in disaster response.

  • Drones have long been in use for aerial mapping and surveys. The same application can be easily extended to disaster response. For example, drones were used during the landslide of Oso, Washington in 2014 to map the region after the incident.
  • It often happens during an earthquake that a partially damaged building or a civic structure requires a thorough inspection before it can be deemed safe for humans to go there. Drones equipped with sensors like infrared (IR) cameras can do the job safely.
  • Drones can be used for medical delivery. A US-based company called Matternet did its first field trial of medical delivery using drones to camps set up after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
  • Drones can be used for search and rescue operations. In 2005, fixed-wing drones were used to search for survivors after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.

How FlytNow Enables Drones for Disaster Relief


Drones are not just a piece of hardware; they are usually paired with intelligent software to make them truly effective. In a disaster situation of a large magnitude, having multiple drones can be advantageous, but managing a swarm of drones is not easy. FlytNow, with its cloud-based software solution, solves the problem of simultaneously controlling and managing a large number of drones.

In brief, FlytNow works as a cloud application that provides a unified dashboard to manage drones connected to the system. When a request comes for deploying a drone, an emergency response operator can use the advanced mission planner to create a flight path for the drone and initiate the launch. Once in the air, the drone flies with full autonomy as per the mission plan. Below is an illustration of how a drone public safety operation might operate:

drones for public safety

FlytNow is available in two versions, FlytNow Business and Enterprise; the latter offers a host of customization options.

FlytNow Business


This is a standard offering that provides usability out of the box. The offering comes with features specifically designed for disaster response and public safety operations. Here are some of those features and how they benefit disaster relief operations:

  • The ability to control drones over 4G/LTE/5G networks. By combining this feature with VTOL drones, a disaster response team can fly drones for long distances, and conduct surveys and mapping of an affected area.
  • Role-based access to the system. Disaster response teams are multi-faceted and not all require the same level of access to the drones. A relief worker on the ground might require only video access compared to someone who is required to assess the entire situation for planning logistics.
  • A mixed fleet of drones. FlytNow is a hardware-agnostic platform i.e. it supports both off-the-shelf and custom drones based on PX4 and Ardupilot. In a disaster situation, different types of drones might be required. For example, delivery drones are heavy and can carry large packages. Whereas, drones meant for surveys are smaller in size and may even have fixed wings for long-distance flight.
  • Live video streaming and sharing. Video feeds from a swarm of drones flying over a disaster affected area can be streamed onto a single unified dashboard, which is ideal for command center operations.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version includes FlytNow Business as well as customization and add-ons, for operations that need scalability and a high degree of automation. This edition includes an operating system, which is installed on a single-board computer (SBC) - the SBC is then attached to the flight controller of a drone. This configuration allows for add-ons and integration, some of them are as follows:

AI-based features:

  • Obstacle avoidance, also known as FlytCAS, allows a drone to fly over a complex environment. This feature is useful when a drone is flying over or near ruins which can throw unexpected obstacles.
  • Precision landing, also known as FlytDock, allows a drone to land precisely on a machine-generated visual tag. This feature can be used when a drone has to land on a specific location to make a delivery.
  • Object detection, also known as FlytAI, allows a drone to detect objects from its video feed. This feature can be used to detect moving objects or humans on the ground during a search and resume operation.


Support for third-party integrations: The FlytNow application supports integration with third-party applications. During a disaster scenario, it is important to accurately log the drone flights and to make sure the drones don’t interfere with other aircraft. There are service providers like DronelogBook for flight data recording and Airdata for airspace intelligence, which can be integrated with FlytNow easily.

Advanced geofence: For the safety of the drones and compliance with airspace norms, it is necessary to restrict the area of operation during any relief work. FlytNow supports polygon geofences for operators to work on complex geography.

Integration with ground-based hardware: FlytNow has native support for ground-based hardware like charging pads and Drone-in-a-Box systems. By using such hardware, a first-responder system can be set up where the launch and docking of a drone are fully automated. When disaster strikes, such systems can be activated for faster response and expedite the overall relief process.

Some Instances of FlytNow in Use


During the recent lockdown for COVID-19, India's first drone command center was established in Ahmedabad, by Dronelab, using FlytNow, which allowed local drone pilots to launch coordinated operations to monitor the streets for unlawful gathering.

One of our partners in Belgium, DR ONE, is using FlytNow for airport asset monitoring.

History was created in the city of Lillestrøm, Norway, when Droneverkstedet, one of our partners, conducted the very first remote drone construction site inspection using FlytNow over a 5G network.

Summary


In this blog, we discussed the usability of drones in disaster response and the problems they help solve. Then we reviewed the benefits of using drones for use cases in disaster situations. Finally, we ended on the note of how the FlytNow drone fleet management system enables disaster management teams to quickly deploy and manage drones for disaster relief.

Leverage the power of FlytNow to conduct remote public safety operations with capabilities of automation and AI. To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/.

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The 900MHz R9 MM-OTA receiver implements the ACCESS protocol and brings the user improved performance and features. The long range receiver supports wireless firmware updates over the air making binding to receivers even easier. As well as the convenience of checking the current receiver firmware version. The R9 MM’s compact form factor design is also carried over to the OTA version, and the R9 MM-OTA supports inverted S.Port as well.

This receiver works compatible with the new release R9M Lite Pro module,and the other 900MHz modules will also be supported when the ACCESS firmware is available.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 16*10*2.8mm (L×W×H)

Weight: 0.7g (without antenna)

Number of Channels:

Non-LBT Version: 4/16CH (Telemetry)

LBT Version: 4/16CH (Telemetry) / 4/16CH (No Telemetry)

Operating Voltage Range: DC 3.5V – 10V

Operating Current: 100mA@5V

Operating Range: Up to 10km or above

Compatibility: R9M Lite/R9M/R9M 2019 with ACCST firmware

                            R9M Lite/R9M Lite Pro/R9M 2019 with ACCESS firmware

FEATURES:

915MHz (Non-LBT Version)/ 868MHz (LBT Version)

Mini size and super lightweight

Supports OTA firmware update

Supports firmware version check

S.Port enabled and support telemetry data transmission

(Support F.Port, download firmware to support the function)

Inverted S.Port enabled

Low latency and high precision

With RSSI output in SBUS

Battery voltage detection supported

Detachable Ipex connector antenna

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This is going to be the 2nd Part of the Recommended Battery Series for FrSky Transmitter X9D Plus Transmitter. Don’t get confused with the title that FrSky X9D 2019 requires different batteries than x9d plus as you might think there are some changes in the battery compartment of it. But that is not the case. in fact, the battery compartment of X9d 2019 is exactly the same as of old Taranis X9d Plus. 

However, there is a special reason why this article is focused on Taranis X9D Plus 2019 rather than focusing on X9d plus in general. It is because X9D 2019 only supports operating voltage between 6.5v to 8.4v, which is basically a 2S lipo or Li-Ion. But, the older x9d plus (SE also) supports a wide range of operating voltage between 6 to 15V which means it can support even a 3s Lipo or Li-ion. 

FrSky Taranis X9D 2019 has also some other difference with older Taranis X9D when it comes to battery and charging. Older Taranis X9D plus has a Ni-Mh battery charging circuit that allows you to charge the stock battery with a charger that comes with it. Please note that the charging circuit is specifically for 6 cell Ni-Mh batteries and do not try to charge any other batteries like Li-Po or Li-ion in it. It is recommended to use the FrSky Ni-Mh with the charger if you are planning to charge the battery without actually removing the battery from the radio.

When it comes to X9D Plus, it only supports 2S batteries, and you might think about using the Ni-Mh battery with it. Of course, you can the Ni-MH battery in it. But don’t think to charge the battery using the transmitter, DON’T DO IT!!! FrSky X9D 2019 transmitter has a 2S lithium battery charging circuit in it that supports the charging through Mini USB Cable. 

That is specifically made for lithium batteries and above all, only for 2S batteries. Hence don’t charge the stock Ni-Mh battery using the supported USB charging in case you are going to use that battery in the New X9D 2019.  

Hence you can use the batteries that will fit in the Taranis X9D compartment for the FrSky X9D 2019 as well. In the last article, we have discussed FrSky Ni-MH 2000Mah battery, which is actually a good one. I still have a 4-year-old of that battery with me and it still performs well. So let's get our next candidate. 

3000mAh 2s X9D Li-Po

Check out this 3000mAh 2s Li-Po battery that you can find in amazon and Banggood is a great upgrade for the stock Ni-Mh 2000mah 7.2v battery. In Fact, this battery is specifically designed for FrSky X9D 2019 and other X9D radios as well.

When comparing it with stock Ni-Mh 2000mAh battery, this battery is 3000Mah 2 cell Li-Po. According to the theory, this battery should give you a 50% increased performance in battery life. But that is the only case if it got 3000mAh. However, this battery might disappoint you on that.

After running some tests to confirms the capacity, this battery is proved to be only around 2500mAh even though advertised as 3000mAh. Maybe the manufacturer is overstated it to attract buyers? Anyway, 2500mAh is still a good upgrade compared to the 2000mAh battery.

Usually, the capacity of Li-Po batteries is understated by the manufactures to compensate for any loss that might happen if they are stated as true which will basically give a good performance. So technically speaking, if you have a 1500mAh Lipo battery, the true capacity will be more than 1500mAh. It is usually around 50mAh extra for a 1500mAh Battery, So the battery will have an actual capacity of 1550mAh or 1600mAh.

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Speaking of which, I thought this battery might be around 3100mAh or more, But I am disappointed in that point. Well, I am not disappointed with this battery, if that was the case then this battery won't has listed here. 2500mAh will give you a much better backup time than the stock battery. 

You can get around 6 hours of backup time with the stock Ni-Mh battery. With this 3000mAh battery, you can get around 10 hours of backup time which is indeed a worthy upgrade. When comes to the pricing, you will see it is pretty cheap. You can grab one from banggood or amazon for 15$ which is almost the same as of stock Ni-Mh battery.

Charging

How to Charge:

When it comes to charging, it is pretty easy and you don’t even need to take the battery out of it. How cool is that? FrSky X9D 2019 supports USB charging for 2S lithium-ion and polymer batteries. If the balance cable of the battery is plugged into the transmitter for powering it, you are all ready to go. Plugging the mini USB cable will charge it and you can use flawlessly.

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If you are using it with the old Taranis X9D plus, then you will need to use a Balance charger for it. You can buy a JST to XT60 connector and charge it with the charger that you use to charge your regular Li-Po’s or Li-ion’s.

 

Conclusion

We have briefly discussed one of the popular but cheap alternative replacement battery for FrSky X9D. Well, it is not branded, but it will do the job. Hope this article has helped some to know about this replacement battery available for Taranis radio. In the next article, we will come up with another candidate. Stay Tuned!

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Some time ago released smallest motorized lens controller suitable to drive advanced lenses. Is drives opto mechanical lens which in combination with USB camera makes lightweight camera Kurokesu C1 PRO X18 with optical zoom of 5.5~95mm. Posibility to change h.264 on board codec parameters makes it suitable for low bandwidth applications.

 

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FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER

7386894065?profile=RESIZE_710xAll of the Archer receivers are hyper-matched with the ACCESS protocol. They not only feature wireless firmware upgrades, increased range, and telemetry performance, the R4 now supports more functions like configurable telemetry power, S.Port/F.Port switching and FLR output. Additional valuable features are under development to unlock the true potential of the ACCESS protocol.

FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER FEATURES:

ACCESS protocol with Over The Air (OTA)

Tiny and lightweight

Supports signal redundancy (SBUS In)

Full control range with telemetry

S.Port / F.Port

External battery / device voltage detection

 

FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 30*17*6.2mm(L*W*H)

Weight: 3.8g

16/24 Configurable SBUS Channels

4 High-precision PWM Channels

Operating Voltage Range: 3.5 -10V

Operating Current: <60mA@5V

Control Range: Full range* with telemetry

(*Full Range: >2km, range may vary based on local conditions.)

Voltage Measurement Range via AIN2 (External device): 0-3.3V

Compatibility: All FrSky ACCESS transmitters

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What is FrSky Receiver PPM Output?

Let us take a look at what PWM & PPM is, along with FrSky Receiver PPM Output in this article. PWM or Pulse Width Modulation has been the de-facto choice for receiver out for decades and for good reason - it was direct, easy and simple to use. But as the need for more channels came necessary, it wasn’t logical to keep adding PWM channels, each taking an extra pin - enter PPM or Pulse Position Modulation which brings in multiple channels into a single pin.

What is an RC signal?

So, how do the servos on your RC plane or the rotors on your drones get the signal to move the rudder or control rod? Obviously from the receivers. So there must be a standard communication “talk” between the receiver and the servos, right? This is called as the RC signal. It is what enables servos or any peripherals such as Flight Controllers to understand what input the receiver is giving them.

What is a PWM signal?

The first generation of receivers used PWM or Pulse Width Modulation signal. So what exactly is a PWM signal?

A Pulse Width Modulation signal is a way of creating analogue signals from a digital source. Analogue signals are sinusoidal in nature while digital is in binary, ie. 0s and 1s. So to generate an analogue signal(continuously changing signal) from a digital source in a PWM signal, we change the frequency and duty cycle of the signal.

The duty cycle is the amount of time that the signal is HIGH (ON) versus the total time it takes to complete the cycle in terms of percentage. Frequency, on the other hand, is how fast one cycle is completed. For example, 100Hz (Hz or Hertz is the unit of frequency) means that the signal completes 100 cycles per second.

By combining duty cycle and frequency rates we can change how long a signal is in the HIGH state and how long the signal is in the LOW state. By varying these two values, you get an analogue signal (not pure analogue though)

So now that we have got that out of the way, let us talk about why PWM was widely used.

As previously mentioned, PWM just consists of two variables that is needed to be changed, which makes PWM signals extremely easy to be created and decoded by simple devices like your servo.

But as time passed by, pilots started to require additional channels for drones and auxiliary devices. Due to the hardware requirement of an additional PWM pin for each channel, it was quite obviously not feasible to have more than 6 to 8ch via separate PWM signal wires. Hence, there was a requirement to condense multiple channels into a single hardware signal wire.

This is where PPM came into play.

What is a PPM Signal & Why use it?

PPM or Pulse Position Modulation is another scheme used to send signals, but this has the added advantage of sending multiple channels/signals via a single PPM signal wire. How? Read on!

In PPM, each channel is lined up back to back on a single signal train (technically this is not how it works, but for simplicity, we will follow this schema). So, channel 1 is followed by channel 2 which is followed by channel 3 and so on. Once the final channel data is also sent (say channel 8), the pulse train goes back to the first channel and gets refreshed with new channel values.

So with this, we have essentially cut all the extra channel wires down to a single wire thus saving space, hardware pins and complexity of wiring.

So what are its downsides?

The issue is that standard servos do not support PPM signals but rather PWM only. This would not be a deal-breaker for the drone fliers out there but for planes and fixed wings, this could be an issue as they might not be using a flight controller which accepts PPM but rather directly connect receiver outputs to servos and ESCs.

Of course, you can get around by using a PPM to PWM converter module which is available quite cheaply.

Where does FrSky stand?

FrSky obviously has a vast number of receivers, each capable of outputting different types of data as PWM, PPM or the newer S.Bus. Few examples of FrSky Receiver PPM outputs are:

X8R

X8R-Pro

X4R

XSR

Among others.

In this article, we have seen what are radio receiver signals, what is PWM & PPM and the differences between the two and how FrSky Receiver PPM Output can help you save a lot of wires on your build and how clean the build is with PPM over PWM.

 

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3D Robotics

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I'm a big fan of the Marvelmind indoor positioning system, which is inexpensive, accurate (2cm) and quite easy to use. They've now put together a tutorial page on how to use it with drones, both PX4 and Ardupilot:

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Marvelmind Indoor "GPS" supports PixHawk with ArduPilot and PX4

 

– Marvelmind and ArduPilot – link to ArduPilot.org

 

– Marvelmind and PX4 Integration Manual – step by step guidance with settings and screenshots for Mission Planner, PixHawk and the HW connectivity

 

– PixHawk and Marvelmind Integration Manual – step by step guide for PixHawk, ArduPilot and Marvelmind integration for drones

 

Build indoor positioning system for quadcopters properly

 

There are quite many, but rather basic aspects that have to be taken into account to successfully fly indoor:

 

– Autonomous copter settings manual – basic and practical recommendations for setting up of Indoor “GPS” system for usage with autonomous copters/drones indoor and outdoor

 

– Placement Manual – practical advises and examples of how to mount the Marvelmind Indoor “GPS” system to achieve the best performance in different applications and configurations

– Check the slides about drones

– Check the slides about Precise Z

 

– Help: Z-coordinates for copters – long explanation – YouTube explanation how to place the stationary beacons properly to get good Z accuracy. If you can’t use the advises, because your environment doesn’t let you, use the Precise Z configuration with 4+2 stationary beacons

 

 

Examples of precise indoor positioning and navigation for drones

 

Precisely (±2cm) tracking DJI Phantom quadcopter indoor in 3D (XYZ)

 
 

– Precise tracking in X,Y,Z (XY view + XZ view + YZ view)

 

– Raw data and post-processed data from Dashboard’s Player – notice, that today the same is available not in the post-processing, but in the Real-Time Player

 

– The DJI eco-system is closed, at least, the Phantom and Mavic series. Thus, it is possible to track the Phantom, but not fly autonomously indoor (without deeper hacking)

 

 

 
 

Precisely (±2cm) tracking DJI Phantom quadcopter outdoor in 3D (XYZ)

 
 

– Precise (±2cm) tracking in XYZ (XY view + XZ view + YZ view) – the same as above, but outdoor

 

– In this demo and in the demo above, the same Precise-Z configuration consisting of 4+2 stationary beacons is used. See more in the Placement Manual

 
 

Fully autonomous flight indoor

 
 

– Small copter is flying fully autonomously relying on Marvelmind Indoor “GPS”

 
 

Indoor tracking small and micro-drones

 
 

It is possible to track even micro-drones (less than 100g) with the help of Mini-TX beacons.

 

Starter Set NIA-SmallDrone is specifically designed for these kind of drones.

 

 

 
 

Recommended Marvelmind configurations for drones

 
 

The minimum configuration for the drone tracking would be any NIA set with 3D capability. For example, 3 stationary beacons + 1 mobile beacon + 1 modem and Non-Inverse Architecture (NIA) or Multi-Frequency NIA (MF NIA) would be already OK for the drone.

 

See the Products page for different starter sets options.


However, just 3 stationary beacons would have little resiliency against obstructions. Any occlusion of any stationary beacon – non-line of sight/hearing situation – will lead to no tracking or erroneous tracking. Very much ike in GPS: “no satellites visibility = no GPS coordinates = no tracking”.

Thus, we recommend, at least, N+1 redundancy for stationary beacons. And that is why our starter sets for 3D consist of 4 stationary beacons.

Even better is to have 2N redundancy with fully overlapping 3D submaps. That would be either 3+3 or 4+4 stationary beacons. The system would automatically choose the best submap for tracking. That kind of system is very resilient and with proper placement of the beacons, you can fly even in complex rooms with columns, for example, without issues with tracking.

 

The key for the great tracking is to provide proper coverage at any flight point, i.e. the mobile beacons on the drone must have 3 or more stationary beacons belonging to the same submap with clear direct line of sight/hearing within 30m.

 

Proper placement is the key usually and particularly important to drones, because they require 3D; the drones are fast; and the mistakes may be particularly costly. What to pay attention to?

 

– The single most important requirement for good tracking or autonomous flight – provide clear line of sight/hearing visibility from the mobile beacons on the drone to 3 or more stationary beacons

 

– Don’t rely on magnetometers indoor. Use the Paired Beacons configuration for Location+Direction

 

– Place stationary beacons so that angles from the mobile beacons to the stationary beacons would be 30 degree or more. See a longer explanation in the video

 

– Use the Precise-Z configurations when not possible to achieve proper angles to the stationary beacons otherwise

 

 

 

 

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As drone shows are becoming more accessible to event companies because of the maturing of the technology and the controlling software being even more easier to use, many event companies are considering adding drone shows to their portfolios. Many companies that already have running business in the field of event management, might have the means and technology to do fireworks, laser and other show technologies. Therefore a request to integrate drone shows into the existing ecosystem seems entirely logical.

 

To provide a solution for these requirements, three milestones must be completed:

  • Drone show must be synchronized with the existing hardware like pyro consoles, lasers etc. - this means adding timecode capabilities to drone shows
  • Fireworks must be integrated on the drones themselves
  • The drone movements and pyrotechnical effects must be in sync with the music

 In order to achieve a synchronised start of the drone show and launch of the fireworks and to add a nice celebrating mood to the venue, we decided to add music to the show and sync the movements of the drones and fireworks shots to it.

 As the whole process is complex and involves different industries of the show (like animators, pyrotechnics and drone specialists) we decided to split the work into smaller tasks to ease the planning.

 To achieve the first milestone all the involved parties had to agree on how they would communicate the timecode and what timecode standart will be used.

 The initial Timecode support for Drone Show Software was designed with a specific hardware - FireOne TimeMachine in mind. This industry leading device is fully supported for use with Drone Show Software and can be integrated with other Timecode reliant hardware as well. The most common use for this TimeMachine is in case that a show must be started based on a Clock as the machine features a GPS receiver to get exact time.

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In this case the goal was to synchronise all the involved system launch and exact clock time was not critical. Therefore it was decided to use a PC with a professional audio interface to transmit timecode. A software (ShowSim 3D) on the computer would generate the Timecode and any Timecode reliant hardware could be connected to the multi-output audio interface.

 

The additional benefit of this configuration is that it allows more flexibility - any involved device can get the Timecode in its required format, be it fireworks, drones, lasers, fountains or other.

 

  • It was agreed that the most universal way to provide timecode to all parties is a professional audio interface with several XLR type Line out outputs. And that the timecode would be generated from ShowSim 3D software
  • From the audio interface the timecode would be then passed to the fireworks control unit over one output and to the drone Ground Station PC (Drone Show Software) over another audio output. From a third line output the music would be transmitted to the amplifier and speakers.

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Another task to complete was to decide on exact music that would be played during the show and what the drones would display in the sky. We decided on a celebrative audio track: https://audiojungle.net/item/victory-day/24011338

Meanwhile the animators were doing their job and making sketches of show scenes that would be displayed, the ideas included:

  • A firework as a symbol for the 4th of July celebrations
  • Americal bald eagle
  • The shape of the USA
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • 4TH JULY wording as to be clear what is the show for
  • The US flag


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Once the animation scenes and the music were agreed upon, the animators began to create the animation itself while trying to match the scenes in the animation with the music.

 

Then with the finished animation ready, the fireworks technicians planned the timings and pyro shots that they will use and set up a timecode track.

 

Meanwhile the drone engineers were developing a triggering solution to trigger the electric match igniter from the drone flight controller. It was decided that the easiest way to trigger the charge would be using available PWM based drivers where input would be 4S (14.2V) from drone battery and PWM signal from flight controller servo output and the electronic match would be connected to the outputs.

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To position the fireworks charge on the drone a 3D printed holder was designed to hold the charge. In the picture - neon green pyro holder and on the right is the PWM driver:

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With the holder and triggering system ready, drone team would do a pre-show - fly the whole animation started with the help of timecode to verify the following aspects of the process:

  • Show can be successfully launched with timecode and is in sync with the music
  • The animation is safe to fly and speeds and distances are within safe limits
  • The electronic match can be successfully triggered during the animation

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After a successful pre-show everything is ready for the actual venue. We decided to celebrate the US Independence Day with the show (therefore the symbols and music). And here is the final result:

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What is the FrSky GPS Module?

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In this article, we are going to cover some of the basics about the FrSky GPS Module and sensors. GPS that stands for Global Positioning System has gained its popularity from day to day life applications as well as many industrial applications. Moreover, it has rooted many applications in the Military sector where it is widely used. The applications of GPS is highly useful in RC hobby because of the same reason why it has gained popularity in day to day life.              

GPS can be highly useful in RC Hobby ranging from RC Airplanes from Drones or even RC Boats. It can be used to locate the precise location of Crafts if they are equipped with a GPS Receiver. If we know the precise location of our rigs at a specific time, it can be used to calculate some other highly useful data as well.

Having the Precise location of our RC craft can be used to retrieve it on the scenarios of crashes or failures. It can be used for autonomous flights or RTH (Return to Home) functions with the help of a Flight controller. Using the coordinates of the location at a specific time interval can be used to calculate the speed at which it is moving. Because speed follows the simple equation, distance divided by time.

When we know the coordinates of the location of our RC plane or other crafts with respect to the time, it is easy to calculate the speed at which it is moving with the simple equation. How cool it will be to know the speed of our rigs to have more excitement? I would really like it. That is how GoPro cameras (not all the GoPro cameras) are able to show the speed data on the videos as the camera has built-in GPS to calculate the speed.

GPS gives x,y,z (and time as well) coordinates which means it just not give the latitude and longitude but also the Altitude. Hence we can know the altitude without having the need for a Barometer sensor. In Short, We can get the location, speed, and altitude with the help of GPS of our RC Crafts. Let's cover more about the Frsky GPS module and sensors rather than talking about GPS and its uses.

FrSky GPS Module

Before getting to know about FrSky GPS Module, we need to understand the difference between a module and sensor in order to have a better understanding of the next section. A module is a part of a circuit or hardware (or software) that can be connected like auxiliary devices. But on the other hand, the sensor is more like a “raw module” which cannot be used like how you can directly use a Module.

The sensor is more like “PNP (Plug & Play)” where the module is more like “RTF (Ready to Fly)”. A module usually has extra circuits in it which makes it easier to use than a sensor where the wiring will need to be figured out.

FrSky GPS Module (or GPS-01) is a very old one released by FrSky. It was released before 2010 and that’s like more than 10 Years technology. I highly doubt if it exists today to purchase. This was supposed to use with the first prototype of telemetry released by FrSky. Smart port might be the first word to come to the mind when thinking about Frsky Telemetry.

But that wasn’t the case before 10 Years. There was no Smart Port telemetry and it required complex wiring to get Telemetry back in those days.  For Example, You will need a sensor hub in order to serve as an information collecting and processing center, monitor the model status, and feedback all data back to the receiver.          

                    

FrSky GPS Module 01 is a small module and its output gives longitude, latitude and speed. The wiring is pretty simple as there is only three wires coming out of it. They are Ground, 5v, and Signal (RX) to be connected to the respective pins on the FrSky receiver that have telemetry. If you want to use other sensors like voltage, accelerometer, or even a temperature sensor, then you will need the sensor hub as they won't work in series.

FrSky GPS Sensor V2 

This is a more developed and advanced version of the FrSky GPS sensor that runs on Smart Port Telemetry. The wiring is pretty simple. You can connect it directly to the smart port of the receiver. Moreover, you don’t need a sensor hub to connect more sensors. Instead, You can connect the sensor in series without having a sensor hub.

This is supposed to be an introduction to the FrSky GPS Module and sensors. Hence we will cover this topic in detail in another article including how to use it.

We have briefly covered the Frsky GPS Module and sensors. The GPS Module (GSP 01) is a very outdated product and the chances are rare you might find it on sale somewhere. Above all, this stand-alone GPS are outdated, and more advanced functions can be performed with the help of a Flight Controller. 

FrSky GPS sensor V2 is a little bit advanced and easy to set up, but we cannot set any RTH functions with it. Hence it is more suited to go for a Flight Controller plus GPS Combo which might be cheaper than the GPS Module and can be used for autonomous flights as well.

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Don’t worry, we haven’t stopped the FrSky GPS Module and sensor series here, We will be covering them in detail in the upcoming articles. Stay Tuned!

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Review: FrSky X8R Pro Receiver

We will look into the FrSky receiver and answer the question as to whether you should get one for your craft or project over any other receiver. We will also look into the feature list, compatibility and other such details of this receiver and compare it with the FrSky X8R Receiver as well from the previous article. 

Hardware & Pin Layout of the X8R Receiver

The FrSky X8R Pro is identical in every way to the X8R receiver, physically.The FrSky X8R Pro is a receiver that is mainly targetted towards planes and larger size quads or crafts where size is not a constraint and where you need pure PWM pins than S.Bus or PPM. The X8R has a plastic cover to protect it from the elements (which you can remove to save space and weight).

The X8R Pro outputs 8 individual PWM channels and also has an S.Bus port if you want to use with modern flight controllers like the PixHawk or micro quad flight controllers. The 8CH PWM is especially useful when you want to control a lot of servos and systems especially on planes and such systems where PWM is mainly used.

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There is also a PWM RSSI output pin for getting Raw Signal Strength Indication for your Flight Controllers.

On the backside of the X8R Pro, there is a Smart Port pinout as well! This is great in case you want to connect external FrSky Sensors or provide telemetry data from your Flight Controller to your FrSky transmitter radio. It is weird that they have chosen to place the Smart Port pins at the antenna side of the receiver than on the right side where all the usual pins are situated; this will bring up an untidy wiring setup. 

Speaking of the antennas, the X8R Pro consists of 2 patch antennas(PCB antennas) instead of the normal dipole stranded wires. What does that have to do with the performance you may ask, quite simply, patch antennas provide more range than dipole antennas. In the case of the X8R, FrSky claims an additional 20% more range! So why not put patch antennas on all receivers? The reason is that patch antennas are highly directional with higher gain than traditional dipole antennas. Simply put, they receive signals very well in a particular direction ( parallel to the antenna orientation ) but have low signal strength in other directions.

This can be useful in some cases where the craft is moving parallel to the transmitter but once it changes its heading, it can lose some signal strength. In most cases, this wouldn’t make much of a difference, so you needn’t worry ;)

On the top side of the receiver, you will find the F/S (Bind) button as well as the two RED/GREEN indicator LEDs.

All the above-mentioned points are exactly as described for the FrSky X8R receiver. The only way to distinguish between the FrSky X8R and the FrSky X8R Pro is by checking for the “PRO” logo next to the R-X8R logo on the top of the receiver.

Connectivity

The R-X8R Pro from FrSky is an ACCST supporting receiver. We have already discussed ACCST & ACCESS in other posts, so we are not diving into that in this one.

The PWM as discussed is 8CH output and the S.Bus pinout would be perfect for stabilizers and flight controllers.

What differentiates between the R-X8R Pro and the X8R is that the FrSky X8R Pro version has higher precision and lower latency. Its deviation of PWM is reduced to 0.5us, and the delay of PWM output is 9ms less than that of the X8R in high-speed mode. A feature that deserves mention is the decreased effect of interference caused by the ignition process.

The Smart Port connector on both the X8R Pro also supports FrSky FBVS from with A2 port for simple voltage monitoring as well as other sensors and telemetry systems from FrSky like the TEMS-01 for temperature monitoring of your craft or engine etc. or another example would be the FSH-01 sensor hub, so you can connect multiple sensors to one board which then relays the data to the X8R Pro receivers for telemetry.

This feature is quite useful in helis and places especially the ones with a petrol or nitro engine where you have to monitor temperature and RPM along with other data.

You can use the S.Bus to output all 16CH from the receiver and in case you need to use 16CH PWM channels, you can get an S.Bus to PWM decoder which will translate the S.Bus signals into individual PWM channels for all your servos.

But that isn't all the FrSky X8R Pro receiver can do. It can also work in the D8 Mode to work with transmitter modules such as the DHT, DJT, DFT and DHT-U. In this mode, you have 8 channels and at the same time, you can use the Smart Port.

Specification:

Dimension: 46.5mm x 27mm x 14.4mm

Weight: 16.8g

Operating Voltage Range: 4V-10.0V

Operating Current: 100mA@5V

Operating Range: >1.5km (Full Range)

RSSI output: analog voltage output (0~3.3V)

Firmware Upgradeable

Servo Frame Rate: 9ms (HS—High-Speed Mode)/18ms (FS—Normal Speed Mode)

All 16 channels require the FrSky Taranis or the XJT module.

For 8 channels in D8 Mode, you can use the FrSky Taranis or XJT, DJT, DFT, DHT and DHT-U modules.

Compatibility:

The FrSky X8R Pro receiver is a great receiver for planes, helis and large drones where you need the full-range capabilities of the FrSky system and breaks out 8 channels of PWM and Smart Port connector with low-latency mode as well.

In the question, whether you need to buy this one, from my experience it is a great receiver with full-range capabilities but since the device runs on the ACCST protocol, I would personally resist from purchasing it, especially if you have the latest FrSky radios with ACCESS firmware. But from legacy builds and testing, this is a great receiver without a doubt!

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Long-range drones are increasingly present on the market, being used in military operations and agriculture, and the range of said drones is connected to its signal frequency, for example, a 900 MHz drone can reach a distance between 7 and 10 km. In general, the higher the frequency, the farther the drone can go. When operated in large centers that have interference from other frequencies, such as radio, TV, and cell phone, this distance can have a considerable drop. 

The combo with the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module and FrSky R9 MX Long range receiver is the best on the market for building a 900 MHz drone. The quality of these products, pioneers in the industry, provides long-range and more efficient flights when compared to other modules and receivers.

Both the FrSky ACCESS R9M 2019 Long Range Module System and the FrSky R9 MX can be purchased at HorusRC’s online shop (horusrc.com) for just $29.99 and $19.99, respectively.

Transmitter Module

The FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 consists of a module system with 4 RF power outputs, the R9M can also be used together with another receiver, which provides greater safety for the flight of your aircraft.

The different power output ports allow you to choose the ideal power for each flight situation. The RF power can be 10mW, 100mW, 500mW, and 1W, and at all levels, the use of telemetry is supported. An intelligent port is used for the transmission of telemetry data.

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Long Range Transmitter Module FrSky R9M 2019 900MHz

Long-range, low latency, and high precision are the characteristics of the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019. R9M's power supply is 6.5 ~ 13V. Modulations can be PXX or CPPM, being detected automatically. The R9M is compatible with all R9 series receivers. The frequency varies between 868 ~ 900 MHz. The operating range reaches 10 Km, perfect for the 900 MHz drone used on long distances.

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Pin-in and Pin-Out overview of the R9M 2019.

The Smart Port (S. Port) present in the 900MHz R9M is a digital transmission interface developed especially by FrSky. In all products that contain Smart Port, user data from the serial port and other user input and output devices can be connected without limitations for numbers or sequences at high transmission speed, which is very important for a 900 MHz RC drone. 

Fail-Proof

The module works with 3 failsafe modes: No Pulse, Hold, and Custom. In the first mode, when a signal loss occurs, the receiver does not produce pulses on any channel. The Hold function consists of making the aircraft maintain its last position after the loss of signal (when the failsafe mode is activated). In custom mode, the aircraft will move to the predefined position after a signal loss.

Receiver

The FrSky R9 MX, another product of great relevance for the construction of a 900 MHz drone, consists of an enhanced version of the other receivers in the R9 MM series, making it compatible with more external devices, providing an inverted S.Port output and supporting the use with other receivers. In addition, it has solder points to connect 4 PWM channels.

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FrSky R9 MX.

The improved design proves to be more robust, compact, and durable and, together with synchronization with the latest ACCESS firmware, can be used to the true potential of ACCESS. The frequency varies between 868 ~ 915Mhz. Its dimension is 18 x 12 x 3.2mm and its weight is only 3.2g. The operating voltage is 3.5V ~ 10V and the operating current is 100mA at 5V. The R9 MX also supports OTA functions.

The MX differential for other FrSky receivers, in the SX and Stab line, is in the inverted S.Port output, signal redundancy, and super low latency. The range of control and telemetry can reach an impressive 10 km. The compatibility of the MX is confirmed with the receivers R9M Lite, R9M Lite Pro, and R9M 2019 with the firmware ACCESS. This receiver can be obtained together with the R9M module or individually at horusrc.com!

Final Considerations

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Investment in these products is recommended. The combined use of the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module with the FrSky R9 MX receiver will provide a safe, long-range flight and will bring an upgrade to your drone. The installation does not require any secrets and its use is very intuitive. These products stand out among others found on the market.

Quality technology, very well-developed features, and fail-safe are some of the benefits found in the FrSky 900MHz R9M 2019 transmitter module combo with the FrSky R9 MX receiver. If your goal is to build a 900 MHz drone for large ranges, these two items cannot be missing. FrSky is a brand of extreme quality and trust and its products can be found at horusrc.com!

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3D Robotics
From Hackster
 
 

A team of researchers from Japan and Vietnam have published a paper detailing a novel image processing algorithm capable of reading floor features accurately enough to allow drones to navigate autonomously indoors using a simple low-resolution camera.

There's nothing new about the concept of autonomous drones, but technologies which work well for navigation outdoors — in particular GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSSes) — don't always translate well to indoor use. "We considered different hardware options, including laser rangefinders," explains lead author Chinthaka Premachandra of his team's work. "But rangefinders are too heavy, and infrared and ultrasonic sensors suffer from low precision. So that led us to using a camera as the robot's visual sensor. If you think of the camera in your cell phone, that gives you an idea of just how small and light they can be."

The prototype developed uses a Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computer and a low-cost low-resolution camera fitted to a small off-the-shelf quadcopter drone driven by a Holybro Pixhawk 4 flight controller. The camera takes an 80x80 resolution snapshot of the floor underneath it, then analyses it to infer its movement. "Our robot only needed to distinguish its direction of motion and identify corners," Premachandra notes. "From there, our algorithm allows it to extrapolate its position in the room, helping it avoid contacting the walls."

 

There's a catch, of course: While the prototype proved effective, it was keying on the edges of tiles used in the test room's flooring. As a result, the work isn't immediately transferable to rooms with other types of flooring — particular carpeting without a repeating, reliable pattern. Nevertheless, Premachandra's predicts that the technology — or a future variant using infrared cameras — could be useful "in warehouses, distribution centers, and industrial applications to remotely monitor safety."

The paper has been published under open-access terms in the IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

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Drone-on-demand refers to a service that provides a drone solution for a specified time or perpetually to accomplish certain business objectives. Such services exist because we have reached a point where there is reliable, off-the-shelf hardware and software available to create enterprise-grade drone solutions.

Enterprises who avail such services see business value in the easy availability of aerial data at a reasonable price, which was not possible a few years ago. Apart from aerial intelligence, drone-based delivery is another segment that has seen a jump in demand in recent times.

Companies that operate drones have to abide by regulatory requirements, which include airspace norms that ensure security, safety, and privacy. While there remain challenges around technology (e.g. battery life, fail-safes), this commercial drone segment is quite lucrative; according to the market research firm, Markets-and-Markets, the drone services market is estimated to reach 63.6 billion dollars by 2025 at a CAGR of 55.9% from 2019 to 2020.

Use Cases for a Drone-on-Demand Service Provider


While these services are relatively new, and people are still discovering new ways to use them, there are immediate use cases where such services are yielding tremendous commercial benefits. Some of them are listed below.

Roof Inspection of private and commercial estates: Roof inspection is a popular application of drones because aerial inspections can do the job quickly, versus manual ones, at a lower cost. Drones also bring in a level of data sophistication in the entire inspection process. With technologies like thermal and 3D imaging, a drone combined with intelligent software can automatically detect things like water damage, insulation issues, structural damages, etc.

While a property owner/caretaker may not wish to own drones and find skilled pilots to operate them, services provided by drone-on-demand companies can be a practical and economical solution.

Aerial inspection of construction sites: Inspections are common at a construction site. But with a drone, a pilot can inspect the outer facades of such structures without the need of manpower and heavy equipment. Since operations like this require skilled pilots, specialized drones, and sophisticated software, a drone-on-demand service, customized for construction applications, can make a lot of business sense.

drone on demand for construction

Emergency Response: There are several drone solution providers that are specialized in emergency response projects. For example, a US-based company called Phirst Technologies, LLC has developed a drone-based first responder system called First iZ, using FlytBase’s technology, that integrates with the CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system which powers the 911 emergency services in Tyler, Texas, USA. This system allows emergency operators to dispatch drones from a unified dashboard to gather information on an emergency situation and pass on the information to human responders who can arrive later, better informed, and prepared.

Public Safety: Drones are extensively used in operations like search and rescue, crowd control, disaster assessment, etc. In an event, Airworks 2019, DJI had announced that drones saved the lives of 279 people. There are service providers who specialize in public safety operations.

drone on demand for public safety

Industrial inspection: Drones are an important tool in the energy and utility sectors. Drones are used for inspecting refineries and gas pipelines to detect damages such as corrosion and cracks. They are also flown over wind turbines to inspect the blades. Such activities require a fair amount of specialization in aerial navigation, which is why there are sector-focused service providers for such drone applications.

Live Video Streaming From Drones

Security and surveillance: There are numerous companies that provide turnkey, drone-based security solutions for some of the following use-cases:

  • Event surveillance
  • Crown monitoring
  • Intrusion detection
  • Border security


drone security operations

Drone delivery: The concept of using drones for last-mile delivery has been around for almost a decade. Since the technology involved is challenging, service providers in this space are highly specialized and tend to focus on a specific kind of package deliveries. For example, Zipline is a company that provides an autonomous drone solution for medical deliveries.

drone delivery operations infographics

Note: Download our comprehensive guide on how to set up a drone delivery operation using Flytnow.

How FlytNow Business/Enterprise Enables a Drone-on-Demand Service


A drone-on-demand service provider brings the hardware and software together to deliver a turnkey solution for a particular use case. FlyBase, an enterprise drone automation software company, offers FlytNow to such companies. FlytNow is a cloud-based video-streaming and fleet management solution that also provides edge-level intelligence to conduct a variety of drone operations.

How FlytNow works?


FlytNow is a cloud-based application that has a dashboard, which can be accessed from a web browser. A user can connect a drone with FlytNow either using our FlytOS mobile app or the SBC cloud connect software kit. Below is an illustration that explains the setup.

drone software

Note: we have the enterprise version that supports the integration of ground-based hardware as well.

There are two versions of FlytNow that are suitable for drone solution providers: Business and Enterprise.

FlytNow Business


The Business version is an out-of-the-box solution, with the following features:

Live video streaming from the drone to the FlytNow dashboard: Video can be streamed from multiple drones on a single screen with the ability to share them with anyone via an email. This feature is useful for commercial providers who offer services related to:

  • Remote roof inspection.
  • Construction site inspection (read our case study).
  • Surveillance.
  • Delivery.
  • Emergency and public safety.
  • Industrial inspections.


With FlytNow, a drone operator can fly a drone over a roof/construction site/inspection site and live-stream the video to stakeholders sitting hundreds of miles away. Similarly, during an emergency response or a delivery operation, live streaming can be used to gather situational information.

drone software for on demand services

Video archiving: FlytNow supports the integration with an Amazon S3 instance, which is used to store incoming video feeds. The videos are automatically stored, and the feature is useful in:

  • Surveillance.
  • All forms of inspection.
  • Emergency and public safety.


All archived videos can be accessed from the FlytNow dashboard with time and date stamps.

flytnow for drones

Thermal Camera Support: FlytNow supports streaming from a thermal camera. The feature is useful in:

  • Detecting water damage during a roof inspection.
  • Spotting structural damages during a construction site inspection.
  • Spotting leakages during refinery or pipeline inspections.
  • Intruder detection during night time.
  • Identify trapped/lost victims during search and rescue operations.


Learn how FlytNow can enhance night time surveillance.

drones for search and rescue

Map annotation: FlytNow dashboard has a built-in map that shows the real-time location of drones that are online. The map also supports adding a description in way-points. The feature can be used to record information during.

  • An inspection of a roof/building.
  • Pipeline/refinery/wind-turbine inspections, to record useful findings.
  • Surveillance.
  • Record situational information during an emergency mission.


Mission Planner: It is an advanced feature that allows an operator to define a route from point A to point B with waypoints for a drone to follow. This feature can be useful in:

  • Surveillance operations, where a drone can be made to go on a patrol on a predefined path.
  • Public safety and emergency operations, where a drone can be programmed to go to a location and monitor the situation.
  • Industrial inspections, where a drone can complete a pipeline inspection autonomously over a predefined path.
  • Defining a delivery route for drone delivery.


Support for custom drones: FlytNow supports enterprise DJI drones and custom drones based on PX4 and Ardupilot. Custom drones are required for specific tasks like delivery which requires long-range and heavy payload carrying capabilities. This means a service provider using FlytNow is not restricted to a particular drone hardware platform.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version covers everything that the Business version has to offer, plus customized modules for large scale deployment of drones with extensive flight automation. These include:

AI-based features: FlytBase provides an operating system (FlytOS) that is installed in a single-board computer, which is fitted on a drone. This makes the drone capable of performing the following things under the Enterprise plan:

drone in a box solution

  • Precision landing: Allows the drone to land on a machine-generated tag.
  • Object detection: Allows the drone to classify ground objects using the on-board camera.
  • Obstacle avoidance: Allows the drone to navigate around obstacles automatically.
  • Custom payload integration: Allows remote operation of custom made payloads as well as payloads from DJI for Mavic 2 Enterprise.


Integration with ground-based hardware: The enterprise version comes with the option to integrate with various ground-based hardware like:

drone in a box

  • Charging pad: A platform that charges a drone when it lands on it. The Enterprise version can be easily integrated with charging pads from Skysense.
  • Drone-in-a-box hardware: A docking station that completely houses a drone and keeps it fully charged.


Integration with third-party software: The Enterprise version also supports integration with third-party applications for the following:

  • UTM Intelligence: It is required to acquire airspace information so the drone does not interfere with manned aircraft and complies with legal norms. FlytNow Enterprise has native support for Airmap.
  • Logging applications: Such applications capture the flight data for a drone. FlytNow Enterprise has native support for Dronelogbook.


Advanced flight planning: FlytNow Enterprise has features to precisely control drone flights and ensure the safety of drones around human populations. Some of those features are:

  • Advanced geofencing: Precisely defines the area of operation of a drone with the help of polygons.
  • Custom NFZ integration: It is the ability to define No-Fly-Zones for drones.
  • Advanced failsafes: It refers to the ELP (Emergency Landing Point) feature that allows a drone operator to define emergency landing points alongside a predefined route. ELPs come in handy when a drone in a BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) mission has to do an emergency landing.


The Enterprise version is ideal for service providers who are into making systems where drones can takeoff autonomously after receiving a command, automatically go to a location and perform their mission and come back safely after complete the mission. In a nutshell, it provides customization, automation, and scalability.

Summary


In this blog, we learned about drone-on-demand services and the use-cases they are relevant. We also learned about FlytNow Business and Enterprise editions, what each has to offer, and how each can enable drone service providers.

Deploy drones in 5 easy steps and leverage the power of FlytNow to create a network of drones for On-Demand-Drone services with capabilities of automation and AI.  To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/

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Essential RC Airplane Telemetry Technology

 

When trying to perfect their performance, RC hobbyists, pros, and even amateurs will frequently rely on RC Airplane Telemetry devices and systems, since a capable pilot should learn to better use his/her physical abilities and available technology, searching for ways to not only develop their own skills with practice but also to get as many as possible useful information about their vehicle’s behavior while flying.

With that in mind, one telemetry essential yet basic product that is highly recommended is the FrSky Smart Port RPM and Temperature Sensor. Like many other sensors from FrSky, this one also works with the Smart Port interface and, when installed properly in association with an S.Port enabled receiver, it can send the acquired data to its respective transmitter ‘s digital Telemetry Radio System.

Get yours now for just $18.20 at horusrc.com and improve the safety and performance of your flights!

FrSky Smart Port System

So… what is Smart Port? For those of you that don’t have a clue or never even heard about it in the first place: the S.Port (Smart Port) is a signal wire full-duplex digital transmission interface provided by FrSky Electronic Co., Ltd. and it was developed for the 2nd generation of FrSky systems.

Every S.Port enabled device - sound modules, display modules, sensors (such as the one we are talking about here), and any other device that works with a data interface that is in line with FrSky S.Port protocol - can be directly plugged in and arranged however the user desires, making RC components/device setup much easier than conventional multi-wire looms.

To sum it up, the Smart Port system offers this flexible and superior possibility of daisy-chaining several different components with high precision and without the need of a sensor-hub or other dataset. It is smaller, easier, and faster (approximately 6 times more than a conventional “hub system”), perfect for RC Airplane Telemetry.

RPM and Temperature Sensor

The FrSky Smart Port RPM and Temperature Sensor is a two-in-one telemetry device for RC Airplanes that can measure the RPM of brushless motors and also read the temperatures of other components besides the motor itself, such as ESCs and BECs, glow and gas engine cylinder heads, batteries, mufflers, voltage regulators, tailpipes and even ambient air!

Considering how important it is to know your RC airplane’s motor’s RPM and the temperature of critical components (for performance and safety reasons), the functions in the sensor will prove to be very useful. The RPM reading range (for a 2-pole brushless motor) is 1,000-30,000 rpm and the temperature can range from -20°C to 250°C (degrees Celsius) - 4°F - 482°F (degrees Fahrenheit).

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One can notice in the image above that the sensor is small and lightweight (only 8g), which is ideal since it is a device that will not necessarily be used in every flight. 

Mounting and Setting up

As expected from a product made by FrSky, its users will find it straightforward and easy to install by following these steps:

Attach one end of the Temperature Sensor (TEMS-01) to your ESC and the other end to one of the two corresponding sets of pins (T1 or T2) that are mounted on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

Next, connect the sensor to any couple of wires from the brushless motor using the supplied JST connector.

Finally, connect the RPM sensor to the receiver (and/or other FrSky sensors) via Smart Port, then turn it on by linking your battery to the receiver.

Now to finish setting up:

Check the number of Pole Pairs in your brushless motor.

Enter Pole Pairs setting mode long-pressing the key until the Red LED is on.

Then, push the key repeatedly until you’ve got the correct number (in Binary) set on the little 4-digit display (0 to 3).

Power off the receiver after set.

Thus, as you can see, this entire installation and setup procedure is indeed quite simple and relies only on the push button and LED status indicator. For more detailed instructions and schematics, check the product manual on FrSky’s website.

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Operation Specifics

Do bear in mind that this technology was designed to work with FrSky’s Smart Port interface, meaning that it is only compatible with Smart Port enabled receivers, such as the X8R, X6R, and X4R. Also, before using, please consider that although it can work with motor wires’ voltage range of 7.4 - 44.4V, that is, motors that run on 2S to 12S LiPo batteries, this sensor was made to operate at 4 -10V.

 

This RPM/temperature sensor can also be used simultaneously with other FrSky Smart Port enabled sensors, including the variometer, airspeed, GPS, lipo voltage, and current sensors, since all of those can daisy chain with each other through their Smart Port.

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