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Old Feb 22, 2005, 11:38 PM
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United States, MI
Joined Dec 2002
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FMA Co-Pilot to GPS

Has anyone attempted or know how to interface the two so you can program a path for the plane to follow? I know there was someone that did it in the Netherlands 2 years ago, but I don't know squat about programming (yet). Didn't know if there was a cheap solution out there. It would be nice to put the plane into a loop and focus on the taking pics or if the plane got lost it could come back on its own.
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 04:45 AM
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California - Sacramento Valley & foothills
Joined Nov 2004
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I caught a recent high tech report on the Military Channel that showed the launch of the small Marines GPS guided Dragon Eyes surveillance UAV. Neat. The camera continued to the spot it was suposed to land just in time to get it plowing straight into a dense stand of trees. The last scene of them picking up the pieces had a comment something like, "It's also designed for easy repair."

Wouldn't it be cool if Forum RCers could beat 'em to the punch with a system that really works? Yoooo Hooo .... MX are you listening?
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 10:16 AM
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United States, TX, Wimberley
Joined Mar 2004
1,915 Posts
Hey guys,
There are lots of systems that really work... they just dont come cheap!. If you go over to RCAPA.NET and join up, there is a forum that that has lots of links to many of the major Autopilot Systems available.. The FMA will go into a pre programmed circle pattern if you want it to... CentexFlyer just installed one in one of his wings and he is very happy with its performance... Dave Jones has a nice system that can be had with a TX for about 3K.... It all depends on what you want to spend... Not too many guys out there willing to risk a 3K autopilot on a 35 dollar airframe though... Do some searches here for post made "YB2Normal"... He has a neat setup on a SS that uses a GPS,FMA,and a PDC-10 to make the SS fly a specific course...

Myron
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 12:46 PM
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California - Sacramento Valley & foothills
Joined Nov 2004
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Thanks Myron
I didn't know they (soon to be we as between you and Patrickegan WHO could resist?) ... have a forum. Maybe by joining I'll get someone to tell me how to see the contest entry photos too.

I'm interested in learning more about the FMA co-pilot from users so I'll checkout CentexFlyer's posts. YB2Normal's posts already caught my eye so I'll search for more info on his system as it sounds really interesting.

I don't think I'll ever send a plane off on a programmed flight, but with my fascination in computers, mapping, GPS, photography, HAM radio, and now RC flying I find it amazing how it all is coming together.
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 01:14 PM
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United States, MI
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I checked the posts in the RCAPA forum and there isn't much in the way of new posts. I couldn't find anything about this topic either. I did find something about someone making a onboard telemetry system which would be cool too. As I have said before, to get what you want you either have to mortgage your house or do it yourself. I just need to find the time to learn simple programming, such as Basic. Maybe a Basic Starter Kit is in my future.
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 02:40 PM
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Basic as in Basic "Stamp" the microprocessor sort of thing electronics wizzards use for their custom projects? Made me think about innovations that must be going on in the robotics field. They steer wheels instead of rudders, but it's probably being done with the kind of programming I think you have in mind. You might "GOOGLE" in that direction.
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