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Posts posted by Spitfire76

  1. I would start looking at the flight stack software of which there are 2 major open source projects.



    These have large communities and forums so you can get a great deal of support and being open source its free.

    Of course it does mean building your own drone but there are some kits available that use these stacks. 

    Another feature of these stacks is the ability to create a simulation environment which would help evaluating the software without having to initially invest in hardware.

  2. Email that I received from the FAA


    • There are multiple training options, depending on your current status:
      • If you do not hold a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate you must:
      • Current Part 61 certificate holders:
        • Take the Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Initial (ALC-451) online course
        • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost
      • Part 107 remote pilots who are also certificated and current under Part 61:
        • Take the Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Recurrent (ALC -515) online course
        • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost
      • All individuals who hold a Part 107 remote pilot certificate (regardless of currency):
        • Take the Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots (ALC-677) online course
        • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost

    end quote

    Interesting, the last one is titled 

    ALC-677: Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots

    but the course content is 

    Part 107 sUAS Initial –61 Pilots

    Hence my confusion 

  3. What's a bit confusing is that the training keeps referring to "Part 61 Pilot Certification" which if I understood correctly is someone that was certified to fly manned aircraft but is not necessarily current. That's been around since the beginning of Part 107 and allowed part 61 certified pilots to take the online training instead of the part 107 initial test. Of course it may mean that the FAA has simply leveraged from this training/exam and also applied it to non-current Part 107 certified pilots but again not that clear unless I missed something.

  4. 3 hours ago, GaryK said:

    Thank you all! Keep it coming! You have given me much to study. I will keep you informed of progress. It will be slow as we are building a lot of IT infrastructure at the moment and this is but one little piece.

    It looks like an interesting and doable project. Also any further requirement details that you can share would help answer any more questions that you may have.

  5. 1 hour ago, Av8Chuck said:

    They’re using Q-Ground control so I’m guessing PX4.  

    QGC also works with ArduCopter so I can't be sure. Its typically used on Android or IOS tablets since MP, until recently, only ran on Windows.

  6. On 3/17/2021 at 11:45 AM, amontminy said:

    Hello! I've recently been working on a drone project for university and have run into a couple of hurdles that I was hoping some of you may be able to help with.


    To start I've been using a Tarot x-8 frame using the CUAV Nano V5+ as a flight controller.


    A couple of the issues I've run into so far are.

    • The landing gear is in the down position but because the switch shows the up position it will not allow take-off
    • Is there any way to ensure that all of the motors are spinning at the same speed in software? We had a rather unsuccessful test flight that I will attatch.
    • Setting more than a couple flight modes in QGroundControl, I was able to rudimentarily set a couple flight modes but was unable to use the takeoff mode.

    Our first test flight resulted in the drone taking off up and to the left and promptly crashing. I'm not sure if this was my error or the error of how I set the flight modes.

    Here is a video of our first test flight maybe it can give some insights as to what mistakes I've made. 


    I'm hoping someone here can lend me a hand!

    Thanks. Alex

    You don't mention which flight stack you are running but I assume its either PX4 or ArduCopter. From your video the first thing that I would check are the motor directions and associated props (CW or CCW). For ArduCopter 



  7. On 3/14/2021 at 7:28 PM, GaryK said:

    My name is Gary and I know almost nothing about drones. I have a specific project and would appreciate expert guidance.

    We have a bunch of sensors in an area which is relatively flat. We are monitoring the conditions with sensors to look out for the health of animals. The sensors are about 1Km apart which makes IoT WiFi prohibitive.

    What we need is a drone that can be programmed to fly very near these data collection units and hold for a few seconds while the measuring device uploads data, then go to the next spot and so forth. The return "home" to deliver the data.

    The payload is a small WiFi router and a small computer, both powered by a smallish battery. Perhaps the whole thing is 1 to 1.5 Kg

    Could I get some suggestions on what equipment I should be looking for please?





    As suggested by @Av8Chuck a custom built drone would likely be the best solution for this application. There are a couple of open source flight stacks that could be used.



    These flight stacks provide the stabilization, navigation and guidance for the drone and can be programmed with "missions" consisting of waypoints which in your case would of course be the ground sensors. Configuration, mission planning and flight monitoring is also provided by open source software running on a laptop, tablet or phone.



    The flight stacks are also very customizable and support a "companion" computer communicating via a protocol called "Mavlink". That companion computer potentially could be your small computer/router depending on the OS it runs. One example of a companion computer is the Raspberry pI which has built in WiFi and can operate as an access point so could easily be used to upload data. Also those flight stacks can control both mutli-rotor aircraft and fixed wing and in your case, depending on the required distance to travel, a fixed wing maybe the better option due its prolonged flight time. Of course it also depends how close the aircraft needs to get to the ground sensors but potentially a fixed wing could circle that location while uploading the data.





    • Like 1
  8. 23 hours ago, DataInspector said:

    I am current with my Part 107 Certification until the end of January, 2021. I was planning to take the recurrence exam this month.

    However, with the 12/31/2020 FAA ruling, "Starting in March 2021, drone pilots who are already certified no longer need to take an in-person recurrent exam at a PSI test center. You still have to demonstrate currency every 24 months, but it will now be through a free online training course from the FAA. "

    My question is...should I pay the $150 fee to take the test in 01/2021 to stay current? Or, should I let my part 107 lapse for a month and then re-certify by taking the FREE online course from the FAA?

    If my certification lapses, do I have to start over and take the initial test?  I don't use the Part 107 often, so letting it lapse for a month would not be a big deal for me.

    Thanks for any suggestions or hints on how to work through this...

    My understanding of Part 107 certification is that it never expires but you do need to take the recurrent test in order to be "operational". In other words if after 24 months of passing the initial test you don't take the recurrent test you can not fly commercially until you pass the recurrent test.

    I took my initial test back in September of 2016 and since I did not end up flying commercially I did not bother to take the re-current test in 2018 but would also be interested to know for sure if I can simply take this new free online recurrent test that should be available in March.


    • Like 1
  9. On 12/30/2020 at 11:26 AM, mystical said:

    Hello so I am building a Qwinout F550 hex copter and I am at a point where I'm stuck. I had accidentally ordered without the transmitter, receiver and battery.  After relizing that i ordered the parts needed and thought i had everything. I put everything together and then was able to bind the reciever to the transmitter and the motors were able to spin the smallest amount. But when i went to lift the throttle the motors wouldnt spin. I wasnt sure whats wrong because binded everything and its obvious the motors do work. And is there a way i could get it up and running without having to use betaflight.

    I'm surprised these kits are still being sold as they are realty dated and not good value for money. If you want to build a DIY drone its better to look into these open source projects. There are forums and facebook groups so you get plenty of help if needed.


    I had quick look at that kit and it seems to include the frame, motors, ESCs, props and a flight controller that can run some "2012" software. You might be able to use most of the parts but I would get a more up to date flight controller and install Arducopter although I did not see if that kit included a compass/GPS module.



  10. On 12/29/2020 at 7:21 PM, Grand_Pubah said:

    Just a heads up. I hope this helps someone, cause I know it has helped me, I found out how I can legally fly drones in Roseville, CA with causing any grief.

    The website; http://roseville.ca.us/news/archive_news/2018_archive_news/before_you_fly_a_drone___.

    You can apply for a permit to fly in 3 parks in the city for $5 annually. I know it isn't much, but it's something.

    Thank you and stay safe.



    I've purchased that Roseville Parks drone permit a couple of times and have flown in the designated area (soccer field #2) in Maidu Park on several occasions but not recently as the last several months the entire soccer field was fenced off while new turf was laid. My understanding is that the project should be finished sometime in February. I fly more fixed wing models these days and mainly at a this local AMA club field located between Roseville and Lincoln.


    To fly here you do need to be a member of both this club and the AMA and although I've seen the occasional FPV drone fly there its mainly fixed wing model planes.

  11. 17 hours ago, Janis Taranda said:

    If you know any other ready-to-go programmable drones that I can buy, let me know. 

    Well you might simply want to check out the SDKs on some of the ready built drones like DJI and Parrot to see if they fit your needs. 



    You mentioned in your initial post that your target area for flying is in woods so collision avoidance is important. I know that DJI has collision avoidance on most of their mid to high end drones but not sure about Parrot. There is also Skydio as they have what looks like great collision avoidance technology but not sure if they have an SDK and currently only ship to USA and Canada and since you mentioned you budget in Euros I assume you are not in those countries. 


    There is also Altel and Yuneec but I haven't been following those companies lately. 



    I should point out that I don't own any of the above drones so can't really recommend any particular one. 


  12. 58 minutes ago, Janis Taranda said:

    How do I figure out all the hardware I need and find the stores? I'm good at programming but total zero about how to build a actual drone from parts. "off the shelf" sounds good, but I found nothing like that in page. Could you elaborate, please?

    This is just an example and may or may not be the type of drone that you need but a drone development kit like this would avoid you having to source parts.


    Looks like you would need to contact Holybro for pricing and availability but their email is provided in the above link.

    Here is another from NXP. 


    It would help if you could provide some more details on exactly what you want to achieve.

  13. 10 hours ago, Janis Taranda said:

    I want to buy a programmable drone (c++, Python preferable). Fly zone is in the woods, so max flight time is important as well sensors for obstacle avoidance. I must be able to code & process the camera input and do pretrained object recognition (like with openCV lib.). Any suggestions? Budget is 500EUR max :/

    There are 2 open source flight stacks that you may want to consider that run on a variety of hardware. Also they have simulation tools so you can get to know them without hardware to start.



    I am more familiar with the first one and have built several drones with that stack. The second one though is often used in some "off the shelf" drones so that could be better if you don't want to assemble the hardware. Both provide a SDK for several languages including C++ and Python. The core software mainly handles the flight control functions and typically a companion computer is required for video processing. I often thought about using one of these but have not got around to it.


    Hopefully this helps.

  14. 1 hour ago, Muritadha said:


    I want to learn how to make my own FC with raspberry pi from scratch 

    Ok, I understand but that's quite a task. For a start you need to add sensors to the Pi. The basic sensors would be a gyro and accelerometer but then you might want to add a barometer or range finder for altitude and compass and GPS for direction and positioning. As I previously posted there is a "HAT" for the PI than makes it easier to add these sensors. 


    Even though you need to develop the software from scratch you may want to leverage from existing open source software like 


    The software, which will run on the Navio boards, can also be run without the hardware in a simulation environment which could be a good way to start.


  15. On 5/21/2020 at 6:50 AM, marouane said:

    I choosed APM 2.8 as an autopilot

    That's too bad. That hardware has been "end of life" for awhile now and the last version of ArduCopter that will run on it is 3.3 and the latest is 4.x. That being send APM and 3.3 should still work.

    On 5/21/2020 at 6:50 AM, marouane said:

    would it be possible to power the APM using the ESCs and use a power module to power the raspberry ?

    If you have a 3DR type power module then it will pass battery power to the ESCs and also supply +5v to the APM but you should have a separate BEC for the raspberry pi. Some ESC have a built in BEC but I see that the ones you are using are "opto" and don't have a BEC. 

  16. 2 hours ago, Rahul said:

    Can someone help??

    Have you calibrated the ESCs ?. If not you do this by connecting a ESC directly to the receiver's throttle channel. Do one ESC at a time without the the flight controller involved.

    First make sure that the props have been removed. 

    • Turn on the transmitter and move the throttle to full.
    • Connect the battery so the ESC and RX are powered on.
    • You should hear some beeps and then move the throttle to minimum. You may hear some more beeps.
    • Disconnect the battery.
    • Reconnect the battery and check that when you move the throttle up the motor RPMS increase.

    The above procedure sets the min and max range for a ESC.

    If you already did the above and its still not working then

    what happens when you change that motor with one that's working ?. Does the problem move or stay with the ESC ?

    what happens when you connect that ESC to another port on the flight controller ?. Again does the issue move or stay with the FC's port ?

    If the issue follows the same ESC its possible that the configuration has changed or was not set like the others - what make and model of ESC are you using and what firmware is loaded ?.