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Old Jun 21, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Jim, any plans for more multi rotor flight controller?

first off, glad to hear that Mr Cameron did not receive any Guru Meditation messages during his historic trip. congrats!
-------------------
back on topic:

i only ask the question because you mentioned that you were pretty immersed in uav/multirotor industry. and with multirotors just exiting its infancy phase, i am sure you see many deficiencies and room for improvement (as evidenced by your sig wiz). and i know you like to make stuff better if you can...

if not a full fledged flight controller is too much to ask, the multirotor community is in need of other products. at present, we are nothing but a very cool hack using airplane props, escs and motors.

BTW i used your XPS tx/rx for my recent multirotor video

Audio Visionz: Chapter Two (2 min 7 sec)
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 09:39 AM
Xtreme Power Systems
Lake Havasu, AZ
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Guru Meditation messages... that brings back some memories!

Thanks for the video. Is that a NCCC event you were filming? I use to race Corvettes just like those, and I might get back into it again.

The Signal Wizard that I talked about in the multi-rotor forum has been integrated into our channel expander. So, we have the best of both worlds.

I am not sure that making a controller board makes much sense. The open source boards work very well and really inexpensive. I can't buy the parts alone for what those are selling for complete out of China.

If you have any ideas on what you think is lacking, please let me know!
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
Guru Meditation messages... that brings back some memories!

Thanks for the vidoe. Is that a NCCC event you were filming? I use to race Corvettes just like those, and I might get back into it again.
That was an SCCA event. Spec class, I think. stock motors (do you need a corvette to go even faster), only exhaust and suspension mods allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
I am not sure that making a controller board makes much sense. The open source boards work very well and really inexpensive. I can't buy the parts alone for what those are selling for complete out of China.

If you have any ideas on what you think is lacking, please let me know!
Grab a cup of coffee before you read this...
-----------

The chinese boards are "dumb," gyro only, non self-leveling. The other OS boards do work and are cheap, but they do not have the feature set that many want. Good for park flying and what not.

The controller I use for AP is $1k and has a full sensor package (gps, 3 axis accels, barometer, compass/ magnetometer). I programmed my XPS rx failsafe to trigger the GPS/Return To Home feature in case of loss of signal. GPS is not an option for me as I always have to consider public safety. Even for the race video, my ship was in LOS even though I had a video downlink to fly and compose shots. I also had a spotter. The GPS is a feature of last resort, but it does work and will get my rig back to me and away from people and property.

I, and others had to pay the price because there were no other viable offerings. IMO, this should have been $300-$400 board, and at that price the market would have been sewn up. Or make a modular $100-$200 board and plug in what you need/want. There is one arduino based offering with a similar sensor package, but, being open, the coding is too fragmented and quirky. I don't have to tell you that it is an art form and requires a bit of finesse.

I see the problem as mfrs having the HW, but not the SW or devs having the SW but not the HW. And the ones that have come close are demanding some pretty outrageous pricing.

Coming from a single rotor heli background, I see that these contraptions are the future for industrial applications like AP. More agile than planes, robust (almost no moving parts) smaller, lighter and at least an order of magnitude safer than a heli. Look at the RCG forum list and see how many people are in each forum at any given point in time (for example, right now Electric Helis, 19 viewing vs Multi Rotor, 223 viewing).

and that is just the controller part of the industry.
the latest race is for the camera gimbal market. granted, it may seem quite niche, but now hollywood has its ears perked after realizing some geeks with servos and direct drive motors are outperforming a full size helicopter with a $500k Gyron camera stabilization mount. that particular product is $3500 but IMO it is a $1.5k device, but there are no challengers at present. if mr cameron saw what it could do, he would act like 5 year jimmy with a new BB gun and a box of coke cans.

finally, i see you as guy not really out for money, but more of a guy that likes to make cool stuff that also happens to be profitable. otherwise i suspect you'd be at some chip maker instead of making boards that turn amigas into macs and components that keep RCs in the air.

since your new tx is just about done, well, you're gonna need a new windmill to chase...
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 01:52 PM
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The chinese boards are "dumb," gyro only, non self-leveling. The other OS boards do work and are cheap, but they do not have the feature set that many want. Good for park flying and what not.
Have a look at the new KK2 board from HobbyKing. It's cheap, and not dumb. But it's not actually Chinese.

If XPS should devlop such a thing, it should be a combined Rx, flight controller, ESC board in 4/6/8 motor outputs versions.

Fred
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
Guru Meditation messages... that brings back some memories!

Thanks for the vidoe. Is that a NCCC event you were filming? I use to race Corvettes just like those, and I might get back into it again.

!
One more thing we have in common. I bought my third Corvette in October 1956 and ran it on the beach at Daytona during Speed Week 1957. Blew a fuel pump during the run and only got 111 mph. Could never afford another so I kept that one and restored it in 1998.
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Have a look at the new KK2 board from HobbyKing. It's cheap, and not dumb. But it's not actually Chinese.
hey that looks like a pretty cool board for throwing around. i almost bought one but they were already sold out two days ago. kinda shows how much of a demand there is in the multirotor world.

would not entrust it with a high dollar payload though. I'm not saying HK can't produce quality products, but at $29, i suspect they are not doing much QC, just pumping them out like krispykreme donuts. OTOH, i buy an XPS rx and know it will work until I smash it to bits.

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Originally Posted by flarssen View Post
If XPS should devlop such a thing, it should be a combined Rx, flight controller, ESC board in 4/6/8 motor outputs versions.
yes! but modular to you can replace components that you burn up or smash. xps already has the rx and esc tech and i'm sure jim could whip up a flight controller after pondering some control loop algorithms.

of course, this is all pie in the sky stuff, but makes for interesting discussion at the very least
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Old Jun 23, 2012, 06:42 PM
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another XPS powered video whilst we wait for jim to chime in...

Audio Visionz: Chapter One (2 min 58 sec)
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 11:39 AM
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One more thing we have in common. I bought my third Corvette in October 1956 and ran it on the beach at Daytona during Speed Week 1957. Blew a fuel pump during the run and only got 111 mph. Could never afford another so I kept that one and restored it in 1998.
WOW...that 56' vette brings back some great memories. My brother bought the first 56' vette delivered in the SF-Oakland Bay Area and it was that color. It had dual Carter CFBs..... 137 MPH going north out of Napa He was a founding member of the Corvette Club of Northern Cal....goose bumps !! I'll never forget,... he took me to a shoe store and stopped out front by the door. I walked in and told the sales guy I needed some shoes. The guy said I couldn't have any 'til I told him who made that sports car. When I said Chevrolet, he didn't believe me. My brother is seven years older than me. I never got to dive the vette.

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Old Jun 24, 2012, 12:21 PM
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I raced SCCA for a number of years before going to NCCC racing. I love to race in a nice and safe environment.

I think the MultiWii boards and the Astro32 are just fine. They have auto leveling and can be used for GPS return to home. They just needed some firmware changes, because the hardware is all there (same as the Skookum hardware). You need a 3 axis gyro, 3 axis accelerometer, and 3 axis magnetometer. That gives you the "9 axis of freedom" required for auto-leveling and auto stablization. Add a GPS and now you have the return to home features. The firmware is getting better every week. I would really look into either the MultiWii or the Astro32 - both open source, and the Astro32 is the best hardware having a 100MIPS 32 bit processor.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by old_dude View Post
WOW...that 56' vette brings back some great memories. My brother bought the first 56' vette delivered in the SF-Oakland Bay Area and it was that color. It had dual Carter CFBs..... 137 MPH going north out of Napa He was a founding member of the Corvette Club of Northern Cal....goose bumps !! I'll never forget,... he took me to a shoe store and stopped out front by the door. I walked in and told the sales guy I needed some shoes. The guy said I couldn't have any 'til I told him who made that sports car. When I said Chevrolet, he didn't believe me. My brother is seven years older than me. I never got to dive the vette.

Old_dude
The Vette was one of the first 100 57 Corvettes manufactured and is really a 56 with a 57 285 engine and duel carbs rated at 245 hp. That creasted a real problem finding parts during restoration since lots of 57 parts didn't fit. In 1960, I broke a brake line driving through Georga and stopped at the local Chevrolet dealer for repairs. The shop foreman told me they didn't work on foreigh cars.

Now back to discussion about XPS radios.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
The firmware is getting better every week. I would really look into either the MultiWii or the Astro32 - both open source, and the Astro32 is the best hardware having a 100MIPS 32 bit processor.
Did you mean the Afro32 aka Naze32?
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 07:33 AM
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Did you mean the Afro32 aka Naze32?
that one threw me for a loop too but yeah jim meant timecops board
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 08:11 PM
Xtreme Power Systems
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Correct, that is what I meant.
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