Once upon a time there was a boy who, despite thirty began, starts his adventure with modeling. Once his first foam model consumed bottle of resin and demanded retirement, Santa brought him for Christmas a real RC glider. Beautiful! The glossy laminate fuselage and veneer wings. Glider required a lot of work: installing servos and towing hook, painting wings, balancing. Once it was finished and could go out into the meadow, the superior excellence rewarded all that work by giving a lot of fun.
At that time, there still wasn't a small and efficient 3-phase motors and Li-polymer batteries. Small fuselage capacity and limited manual skills did not allow rework to electroglider. I had a rubber hall, which allowed haul up the glider on a limited altitude. There was a question on what is the altitude and how to shoot a rubber to pull it higher?
At that time I could feel the almost magical, invisible force pulling the model up - the thermals. With all the invisible stuff is a problem, because it's hard to use something you can't see. Also current is invisible, but can be measured with the multimeter above its voltage and current. With a better tool, the oscilloscope, you can even watch how it to change in time and capture on the screen very briefly changes. Similarly, radio waves, with the receiver you can hear them and having a better tool the spectrum analyzer - you can see on screen power, frequency, width broadcasting. Without the tools, these events are like magic.
The same goes for thermals. You can find out about the fact that there are, like you can check voltage of the LiPo pack using your tongue, but to find thermals, rate them and keep model in it you need the tool, or many years of experience.
One of the weekend spent in home gave as a chance to register video of copters flight. Usually we are flying in bigger field, but on weekend time it was busy with too many people, so we went with son to empty school playground.
First flight was done with Hexacopter
Next we fly with Quadrocopter
In last days we started to sell Autopilots on the local market. After we will collect some more experience and translate user manuals we will start to sell it worldwide.
On the picture is set of the Autopilot and graphical OSD boards. Autopilot contains full IMU (accelerometer + gyroscope + magnetometer + barometer). Can works with PWM, PPM and S-Bus RC signals. Can fly with delta and clasic platforms with T and V tail.
The set works in few modes of operation. In "Stab mode" it stabilize plane in the pilot defined position. In "Auto mode" it fly route defined by waypoints stored in memory.
It has "Return To Home" function allowing automatic return in situation of RC link loss.
All parameters can be displayed and configured via OSD screens without needs to have PC computer on the airfield. PC software is used for firmware actualization, waypoints definition and calibration.
OSD works in languages: english, greman, french and polish. Other languages can be prepared and stored in OSD by users.
In July started to build a quadrokopter. Most peoples does it for fun or for making movies and pictures from air. In my case quadrokopter is needed for testing algorithms in my AutoPitLot on-board computer. Generally I want to use it in UAVs like glider, but making tests on that platform is hard to do. For every test I need take all equipment, pack to the car and go several kilometers away to airfield. Using quadrokopter as a test platform allow me to fly in the city on the grass close to the my home. Also quadrokopter is absolutely not stable in any axis. All stability has to be done by algorithms, not by platform stable by itself.
I started from buy the frame from my friend Jakub http//quadframe.com . It is "Middle size QUADcopter frame".
Hobby King supply it with Turningy Plush 18A ESC and propsavers. RCtimer supply it with BL-2830/14 750kv motors and propellers. I want to buy 10" propellers CW and CCW, but by mistake ordered 12". Will try to fly on it. Utilising some free time I mounted the mechanical part of my kopter looking as on the picture. The set was tested for the presence of vibration and after balancing of propellers looks to be ready for mount the electronics. The FC (Flight Controller) will be of course my AutoPitLot.
In my on-board computer is the possibility of simultaneous insertion of 3 measurement modules. It give a chance of testing many different sensors at a time in the same conditions. Some time ago I made experimental All-In-One digital module containing many sensors new to me, working on the I2C bus. Now is possibility to compare it with previously used analog sensors connected to 16-bit ADC.
On the begining let's test pressure sensors. available are: analog MPXH6115 and digital: BMP085 and HP03SA. Because both digital sensors have the same address on the I2C bus (0xEE) it is hard to test it together. Will test it separatelly in pair with MPXH6115.
Some time ago I had a problem with availability of the accelerometers for my inertial module. One of key features of my on-board computer is modular construction, allowing to be independent from the sensor availability. If one module is not available, another can be used instead. Problem was, because I had not another inertial module, but had newly acquired ITG-3200 gyroscope and new, not tested yet magnetometer MMC3140.
I decided to build another inertial module based on cheap sensors with digital I2C interface. Added to it LIS302DLH accelerometer. It could be enough, but sensors occupied only small part of area on my standard module, so decided to add some more sensors, all on I2C bus. First was added pressure sensor BMP085 and for comparision with it HP03S and MS5803. Also added accelerometer BMA180. The board start to be full. Most of the sensors are new to me, so always is possibility to make an error on PCB, so this module since begining is experimental. In this version will not be manufactured in volumes higher then initial 10 pcs. Next versions will be reduced to necessary amount of sensors.