Friday, May 31, 2013

EastBay RC Analysis of the Texas Drone Bill

Here's my brief summary and analysis of new Texas "Drone Bill".

There's been a lot of odd ("botched") reporting on this, so I'm hoping that this will help clear things up a bit.  Why it's so difficult for reporters to actually read five pages of surprisingly clearly written text is beyond me.  It took me about two hours to go through and type this up.  NY Times, give me a call!

Later I'll do the same for the California bill (much less clearly written!).  As always, leave me some comment or corrections if you've got them!

I've highlighted some important parts of the text concerning civilian or hobbyist use.  Scan down and read those and you'll have a reasonable idea of how the law applies.

tl;dr: If you're flying over public property, private property with permission of the owner, or not intending to surveil a particular person, you're good to fly by this law.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brushless Gimbal Configuration and Operation

Here's the followup to this post where I promised to cover the setup and operation of proper setup and operation of a brushless gimbal.

Right now it's a work in progress, as I'm just starting to fiddle with the thing.  Like most postings here, this is just a journal of my continuing ignorance, so feel free to leave questions and comments below.

When I'm finished with this, I'll probably split this into two posts: one for building the software, getting the drivers installed, and getting the GUI running, and one on actually using the GUI to tune the gimbal.

Monday, May 27, 2013

RC Control of Canon Cameras

If you've got a CHDK-enabled camera, here's a nice instructable that shows how to control it with an RC radio. It uses an Arduino Pro Mini to interface between the receiver and the camera USB.

Chris A. chimed in in the comment section noting that this functionality is now built into the APM software, and that there is a MAVLink command to trigger the camera shutter.

I have to say, even though as a practical matter I would use the APM to control this, it's interesting seeing the more bare-bones approach in this instructable.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Awesome drone picture.

Anybody know where this is from?

Keychain Camera Notes

The good one these days is the 808 #16 V2.  Here's an ebay link.  The 120 degree lens ("lens D") is the good one.

Blue Sky RC MicroQuad

Nicely reviewed microquad from Blue Sky.    RCG thread. Shopping list.  Recommendations for using a Lemon Flip controller.

Commenters note that it doesn't have the Turnigy microquad's propensity to snap off arms.

Here's a video, there's lot's more in the RCG thread.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Simple GPS Guide Autonomous Robot

Thulana Vimukthi is an engineering student in Sri Lanka.  He just uploaded an autonomous rover to GarageLab.

It looks like a nice platform for learning some basics due to it's simplicity.  I've been contemplating some time of rover, and I think this might be the one.

Here's the video, which I had some trouble embedding.  Click through the link below for a better view.

EastBay RC on All Things That Fly Podcast!

When I first started messing with RC planes, the All Things That Fly podcast was my online flying club.  They're smart guys, and also nice and funny.

So, you can imagine how pleased I was to appear on their show #267, talking about our experiences with Brushless Gimbals.  The best part is that when you get bored of hearing me talk, you can skip ahead until it gets interesting!

The direct link is here, but if you're at all interested in radio controlled flying things you owe it to yourself to go to their main page and subscribe.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

EastBay RC on KBS "World Today" show

A couple of weeks ago KBS sent a crew from their "World Today" news show to the US to report on the current state of civilian drone technology. Andreas and I demoed both fixed wing and multirotor craft, and took them for an FPV ride. They also talked to 3DRobotics and the ever-awesome Roswell Flight Test Crew. Lawyers, Protesters, Law Enforcement and Activists are also featured, blessing the Korean population with their views on the current state of American dronism.

The broadcast is of course in Korean. This clip from "World Today" is used by permission of KBS.

The videography was really good.  Here's some shots from the EastBay segment.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

RC Timer Brushless Gimbal Build Log

Andreas just received his new RC Timer Gimbal and Martinez controller.  I went over to assist with the build and take some pictures.  Here's the parts as they came from RC Timer.  Note that you need to order the motors in addition to the gimbal and controller.  The motors are included as part of the gimbal kit.  There's an RCG thread.
 Here's everything out of the package.  There was one bolt missing.  Be careful with the bag that contains the grub screws and C rings.  They're really tiny.