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DJI Mavic Pro

I just got my first DJI drone, the Mavic Pro. Coming from the miniquad scene, the features on the Mavic are amazing. This article will walk through the unboxing and setup. I hope that an absolute beginner can use this as an easy walk through to get everything needed to setup and get flying.

Unboxing

Once you get it unboxed, go out and capture some awesome footage!

What's Included

I bought just the Mavic Pro, not the "Fly More" combo which costs a cool $299 extra. In the box with...

Falcon 120

The Falcon 120 is a micro, brushless x-configuration quadcopter. This is a review and setup guide.

The Eachine Falcon 120 is similar to the BeeRotor 160, but ready to fly.

Parts

When ordering the Falcon 120, you'll have a choice of what flight controller to order with it. I got the SPRacing F3 flight controller. To run BetaFlight, you'll want at least an F3 flight controller. The SPRacing F3 is not quite as nice as the OmnibusF4, but it'll do the job.

You'll also need a battery. I also ordered...

Easy 3D Printer Upgrades

I recently made some improvements to my Geeetech Prusa i3 3D Printer. These quick and easy upgrades provide a massive improvement in build ease and quality.

PEI Plastic Build Platform

By far, the biggest, single ~$20 improvement you can make to your machine is switching from the included aluminum print bed to a PEI sheet.

Since the aluminum plate deforms as it heats, to get that perfectly flat print surface, you'll also want to get a glass plate as well.

If your PEI sheet didn't come with...

FPV All the things!

It's cold outside. It's winter and days with flying weather are few and far between. However, that doesn't mean we need to pack up our goggles and wait for spring.

Here's how I put FPV cameras on all the things!

Vortex 1/18th Scale Truck

This little truck is super fast and super fun. It works great out of the box, so there's not much to say. Let's take it apart.

Turns out that the whole electronics bay is epoxied, which makes it waterproof, but really hard to add a camera.

It comes...

The Taranis Q X7 is Real

The Taranis Q X7 has hit the FCC Database. It's real and from the features below, it looks awesome!

From the manual, there are a plethora of 3 position switches:

Features include speech output, logging (via SDCard) and nice gimbals (at least on paper):

Here is the SDcard port, along with a smart port and USB port:

There is an integrated XJT module, which can be turned off in software so an external module can be used:

According to the documentation, there will be three models:

...

Running Ardupilot Mission Planner with Mono on Mac OSX

This is a guide to running Ardupilot's Mission Planner on Mac without a virutal machine. We'll use Mono instead.

Setup Steps

  • Download both the latest Mission Planner (zip file) as well as the Mono installer.

  • Install Mono

  • Create the required directories and set the permissions by running the following in a terminal:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/Mission\ Planner
sudo chown `whoami` /usr/share/Mission\ Planner
  • Unzip the Mission Planner zip file you downloaded and in your terminal cd into this directory...

SiFive Risc-V Development Setup

Risc-v is the new hotness and the SiFive FE310 is the first open source risc-v hardware SOC. This is a guide to start developing for this chip or FPGA.

Ubuntu Build

I'm using 16.04

Install the dependencies

sudo apt install -y build-essential texinfo gawk bison libmpc-dev libtool automake libusb-1.0-0-dev

Make it

Mac Build

Note, building on OSX is not supported yet. I tried anyway, but couldn't get it to build

On a mac, you'll want homebrew and then install the dependencies:

brew install...

RunCam Owl Plus Teardown

This is an unboxing and tear down of the RunCam Owl Plus.

Unboxing

It comes in this nice box. Looks like RunCam is trying to prevent clones with this "Scratch and Check" the authenticity sticker.

Two back-plates for the camera case are included along the appropriate brackets and standard AV cables.

Teardown

Looks like it uses a Nexchip NVP-2040 chip as the main processor.

Here is the front of the camera.

And the sensor, if anybody has tips on identifying this, I'm all ears.

Flash BLHELI_S with DSHOT using BlHeli-Configurator

The BlHeli configurator by @diehertz is here! And so is the beta version of DSHOT for BLHELI_S. In this guide I'll tell you a little bit about what I've learned from diehertz about BLHELI_S and how to flash your own ESCs.

What is BLHELI_S? DSHOT?

The BLHELI_S description basically says that it's meant to be an easy to use version of BLHELI, however that's not why I'm really interested in it. I'm interested, because Steffen, the creator of BlHeli, has been working on DSHOT support! beta hex...

BeeRotor u130 UltraWhoop Micro Racer

In this article, I walk through the iterative design process of building my ultimate micro racer. I took a BeeRotor u130 and custom printed some parts (links below) to turn this into a bigger, faster TinyWhoop that I'm calling the UltraWhoop. Here is is next to it's smaller counterpart, the eWhoop.

I went through many iterations of this project, first building it with the u130 part kits, then with the ducts and a OMNIBUSF4. I tried a Spektrum satellite receiver, then the FrSky X4R SBUS. Normally...

OmnibusF4 and the BFOSD

This is an overview of the OMNIBUS F4 flight controller and BetaFlight OSD (BFOSD).

Review

The OmnibusF4 is a STMF4 based flight controller with an integrated BetaFlight OSD. Like the OmnibusF3, it has an integrated BetaFlight OSD and voltage regulator. Instead of an F3 processor, it has a faster F4 processor and instead of an SDCard slot, it has onboard flash.

Update Nov 2016: There is now a version of the OmnibusF4 with an integrated SDCard instead of flash, so you can choose which you...

Grasshopper F210 RTF Quadcopter Review

This is a review and setup guide for the Grasshoper F210 Quadcopter.

Here's how it flys on BetaFlight 3.0, as noted below, I decided to move the antennas out of the view of the HD camera later:

That video is on a 4s High Voltage (4.3v / cell) Lipo.

It flys equally well on the included 4s battery:

Unboxing

It comes in this fancy looking case.

Inside the case is:

  • A simple balance charger.

  • An "Ideafly" branded 1300MAH 4s battery.

  • Some zip ties, sticky sided velcro...

Omnibus F3 Pro

This is an overview of the new OmnibusF3 Pro from Airbot.

It even has an LC filter. Awesome!

Overview

The OmnibusF3 Pro has all the awesomeness of the OmnibusF3 including the integrated OSD, SPI MPU6000 and SDCard. The Pro version adds more features such as the barometer, current sensor, integrated PDB and LC Filter!

Read the full OmnibusF3 review and setup guide in the Omnibus Flight Controller and Airbot Typhoon 180 Miniquad Build article.

Pinouts

Bridge two of these pads to pick...

DIY 4 in 1 Module with ER9X

This is a setup guide for the 4-in-1 radio module from banggood.com

This radio module can speak almost every protocol on the market today. You can find the details of each protocol along with the full documentation and the firmware on the github page here: https://github.com/pascallanger/DIY-Multiprotocol-TX-Module#protocol-selection

Prepare the multi-module

When you get the multi-module, it comes without a case.

So I went ahead and printed this case by nebbian, download it here one from...

The Ultimate Micro Quadcopter Guide

This article is an intro to the awesome world of micro quadcopters. I've tried out a few and share some thoughts below.

Eachine EX100

The Eachine EX100 is a ready to fly micro FPV racing quad. It's a fun little quad with a 4 to 5 minute flight time. It comes basically ready to fly, just flash BetaFlight and you're ready to go. I also really like how you can have your normal BetaFlight acro mode!

Judging by the video, I to brush up on my pilot skillz :)

Perfect for indoor flying, on...

Geeetech Prusa I3 X Build Guide

I just got my first 3D printer, the Geeetech Prusa I3 X. This post details my experience as a 3D printing noob: unboxing, assembling and using this 3D printer. First, let me show you what this printer can do.

Here, I'm printing an Atlas statue to hold up my colleague's monitor.

Safety tips

  • Never plug or unplug cables from the controller board while the board is powered. This can damage the board or motor controllers.

  • This thing gets HOT, don't let little kids touch the build...

BetaFlight Kiss Flight Controller

This guide will show you how to install BetaFlight on your Kiss FC.

When I told flyduino.net we were interested in supporting the KissFC in BetaFlight, the were kind enough to mail me one. At the same time, I wasl talking to Joshua and he also send me a KissFC! Thx guys. Y'all are the best. I'm going to pass one of the KissFC's on, so we have some more developer's with one in their arsenal.

Pinout

Motor order

BetaFlight Motor Number -> KISSFC PAD LABEL
1 -> 3
2 -> 2
3 -> 4
4 -> 1
5...

J-Link Getting Started Guide

These are my notes on J-link debugging, mostly for ARM.

Software

Head over to the jlink downloads page to grab the latest software for your platform.

Install the package then connect your debugger.

Pinout

I just used some Dupont jumper cables to connect the SWD lines. You could get one of these breakout boards, but that seems unnecessary.

You would connect the Dupont cables like this. Note that when using the grey 20 pin Jtag cable, the pinout should be viewed from the "back".

SWD

...