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Trevor Seaman

Hanging out with the sheep

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About six months ago a friend Sam (not his real name) at my local Men's Shed  somewhere in the central wheat belt of Western Australia told me the story of how his daughter was flying her drone in Wylie (not the real name but close)  when it apparently was starting to get out of control and just as she was losing sight of the craft, she pressed the RTH button with the expectations of the machine magically returning to her and landing at her feet, but NO! ~ The Drone stopped, raised up, then flew toward White Elephant Dam (it's real name -31°09'52.4"S 117°21'53.0"E), flying somewhere over the mulga trees before vanishing among the vastness of a paddock of wheat. After a lot of searching around the drone was written off as lost, missing in action; could've been anywhere.

Months later around harvest, a truck driver found the missing drone and returned it to the owner's father, it wasn't in good shape having sat out in the open for months next to a dam (not White Elephant), where the sheep stood around pondering its existence and finally trying to trample it to death for trying to drink from their waterhole. I offered to try and fix the toy quadcopter as I occasionally pick up a soldering iron and like the smell of soldering flux fumes burning the lining of my nasal passage.

I opened her up a Kaiser Baas Delta Drone,  what I first thought was sheep urine around her circuit boards ended up being mostly pure rainwater so it hadn't done much damage to the boards, but after getting everything dry and testing the motors, two weren't working. 

I measured the resistance across the winding and found one of them to be an open circuit ( a broken wire?) Cut the motor out of the drone and pulled it to pieces and found wrong length mounting screw had crushed the windings and probably gone open circuit after being exposed to water via electrolysis of the different metals in contact with each other ( no sign of corrosion).

Got hold of some new motors and boards from Kaiser Baas and after some tinkering had her flying again, I pulled the old APM to pieces and discovered it had an Atmel inside, connected it to Arduino IDE and opened the serial communication to the computer where it spat out a pile of jibberish to my computer screen.

After opening "Pandora's Box" I now have a keen interest in learning to program APMs in C++ repairing and applying the technology to Agriculture.

Baa, so that's why I'm here.

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8 hours ago, Trevor Seaman said:

After opening "Pandora's Box" I now have a keen interest in learning to program APMs in C++ repairing and applying the technology to Agriculture.

Welcome to the forum Trevor and what a great story. I'm a keen UAV DIYer myself and a big fan of open source flight controller software

http://www.ardupilot.org

cheers Richard, Northern California. 

Edited by Spitfire76

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You certainly get the award for most original introduction.  

If you want to learn more about APM/Ardupilot you should look up Tridg.  He's one of the founders and lives in your neck of the woods.  That is if your really in Australia (not a real country)...

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Great story trevor. Not a common experience for all of us. But in case if this happens again, I would suggest that you should attach a gps tracking device into the drone so you can keep track of it wherever it may take off. :)

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Great story trevor. Not a common experience for all of us. But in case if this happens again, I would suggest that you should attach a gps tracking device into the drone so you can keep track of it wherever it may take off. :)

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1 hour ago, ryanolivas said:

Great story trevor. Not a common experience for all of us. But in case if this happens again, I would suggest that you should attach a gps tracking device into the drone so you can keep track of it wherever it may take off. :)

i agree. having backup gps in case drone's own gps malfunction is a somehow a safe way to play

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On 4/13/2018 at 11:47 AM, ryanolivas said:

exactly. its always necessary to attach a gps tracking device in case of fly aways. 

and not heavy that to make sure not the drone wouldn't crash and be urinated by another sheep again haha

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10 minutes ago, Donna Eastman said:

and not heavy that to make sure not the drone wouldn't crash and be urinated by another sheep again haha

lol exactly. if you want to use a light tracking device, try using trackimo

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23 hours ago, Donna Eastman said:

what are its features?

Using proprietary Patented technology + 3G coverage, others use only 2G. 4 tracking modules, indoor and outdoor: GPS, A-GPS, GSM, Wi-Fi. Faster more expensive CPUs, newest GPS chip drain 50% less battery. Latest technology ceramic antennas and robust hardware and software.

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On 4/20/2018 at 1:16 PM, ryanolivas said:

Using proprietary Patented technology + 3G coverage, others use only 2G. 4 tracking modules, indoor and outdoor: GPS, A-GPS, GSM, Wi-Fi. Faster more expensive CPUs, newest GPS chip drain 50% less battery. Latest technology ceramic antennas and robust hardware and software.

priced at?

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23 hours ago, Eric Morgan said:

here is everything you need to know about trackimo -> https://trackimo.com/

 

33 minutes ago, ryanolivas said:

Device price is $138.90. It has 12 months worldwide cellular service which is $60. A total of $198.90. Not bad for a gps tracker. visit this link for more information https://store.trackimo.com/products/3g-trackimo-guardian

okay thank you. i'll give it a look

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On 4/24/2018 at 1:35 PM, Donna Eastman said:

 

okay thank you. i'll give it a look

I highly recommend you get one. You have any regrets ;) 

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On 4/26/2018 at 1:25 PM, ryanolivas said:

I highly recommend you get one. You have any regrets ;) 

Done! Great thanks Ryan, it's a useful tech

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19 hours ago, Donna Eastman said:

Done! Great thanks Ryan, it's a useful tech

Nice! very useful indeed. 

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