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Old Feb 01, 2008, 07:44 AM
13brv3's Avatar
Navarre, FL
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New source for UAVP components- UAVP Info thread

Greetings,

It was announced on the UAVP forum today that we have a new source for UAVP components for the US and Canadian markets

http://www.quadroufo.com/index.php?cPath=1

They appear to carry everything from bare pc boards, to complete flight boards with sensors. The ability to buy a complete, tested board will take much of the pain out of building a UAVP.

FWIW, I'm not connected in any way with this business, but I'm really glad to see a new source close to home. I really like the UAVP design, and look forward to it becoming a more popular choice in the US.

Cheers,
Rusty




NOTE- In order to make this general UAVP info easier to find, I'm adding it to the first post. They also changed servers recently, and the old links don't work anymore. I'll try to keep this first post updated as software versions or links change.

The official UAVP forums are at:
http://forum.uavp.ch/index.php

These used to require membership to read, but Amir just posted a note that says they've been opened up to anonymous reading, though you still have to register to post. At the very bottom, there's an international section, which is 95% English. Amir has also just added an icon at the top right to use the Google translator to translate the German pages. Thank you Amir!


Here's the main UAVP info page:
http://uavp.ch/moin/FrontPage


The new site is really well organized. So there you won't need much help finding what you need. The Downloads section has all the software (flight, test, UAVPSet utility). The Documentation has the manuals. Simple as that.

There have been a few revisions of boards, and they tend to be referred to by software version, and color. At the moment, the color refers to the color of the boards that Lipoly.de sold. This becomes a little confusing when you look at the new Quadroufo board, which happens to be green, rather than black like the latest Lipoly.de. Both the Lipoly.de board, and the Quadroufo board are functionally the same. Both require 3.14 or higher software. Just ignore the color.

The latest English builders and operators manual is 3.14. This also includes UAVPSet documentation.

The latest UAVPSet utility is 2.3. There's no English manual that I can find, but the UAVPSet info is included in the English builders and operators manual. It's also a very simple program that you'd figure out without a manual anyway.

Test software will be useful at some point. The current version is 3.15.

Flight software has official released versions, and sometimes beta versions. The current release version is 3.15, and there's no beta version at the moment.

There's a 3.15 beta version of tri-copter software as well, in case you want to build a 3 motor UAVP. I don't know of anyone who's fully tested the tri-copter yet.

Note that you can only have test, or flight software at any one time. UAVPSet allows you to flash/burn the software on the UAVP, assuming the original PIC programming included the bootloader. Some of the chips that came from Lipoly.de did not, but I've heard of no problems from the Quadroufo chips. The flight parameters are not erased when you flash from one to the other via UAVPSet.
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Old Feb 02, 2008, 04:21 AM
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Hi 13brv3,

Thanks for the info. I am contemplating to either purchase a Mikrokopter or a UAVP but am daunted by the complexity of the build & source of purchase. These people seems to have the green PCB for the flight control whereas I have seen black PCB in the European site. Any idea what's the main difference ?

I saw your video on the AP forum & I'm really quite inspired by it. I think I may go down this route. How hard is it to figure out the programming to get the thing stable ?

Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old Feb 02, 2008, 12:34 PM
13brv3's Avatar
Navarre, FL
Joined Mar 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeling
These people seems to have the green PCB for the flight control whereas I have seen black PCB in the European site. Any idea what's the main difference ?
Hi Joe,

According to Wolferl (Wolfgang), the guy who designed the UAVP board, the board is the same, just different color. Here's a note quoted from the Quadroufo site:

A word from the creator of the UAVP :-)

The board offered here is part of the UAVP project here: http://www.uavp.de/index.php/de/
You'll find all manuals and other stuff in the download section.

The PCB is the current 3.1 version, often referred to as "black board", because in Europe (where the project was started) the board is sold with a black coating.
Technically this PCB here is a black board. Quadroufo.com decided to produce them in standard green to get you a better price!

Have fun,
Wolferl


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeling
I saw your video on the AP forum & I'm really quite inspired by it. I think I may go down this route. How hard is it to figure out the programming to get the thing stable ?
Thanks for the comments. I'm really way overdue for another attempt, so maybe I'll try to get out today.

The programming is the good and bad news of the UAVP. It's good of course because you can tailor it to the way you want it to fly, even with all the variables of motors, props, frames size, etc. The bad news is that it does take some studying and testing to figure out what everything does.

At this point, I wouldn't be too intimidated by the programming, because there are more and more folks building these. The parameter files can be saved, and loaded, using a windows program, so you can start with a file that someone else has already optimized for their application. While this might not be perfect, it will be very flyable, and should only need minor adjustments. There's test software that's easy to run as well. The
English translation of the manuals falls about a version behind, but it's pretty self explanatory for the most part.

The UAVP forum has an international section for non German speaking folks, and questions get answered pretty quickly by the people there, including Wolfgang and Amir, who are primary developers of the UAVP.

This is already getting too long, so if you have any other questions, let me know.

Cheers,
Rusty
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Old Feb 02, 2008, 02:17 PM
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Joined Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13brv3
Hi Joe,

According to Wolferl (Wolfgang), the guy who designed the UAVP board, the board is the same, just different color. Here's a note quoted from the Quadroufo site:

A word from the creator of the UAVP :-)

The board offered here is part of the UAVP project here: http://www.uavp.de/index.php/de/
You'll find all manuals and other stuff in the download section.

The PCB is the current 3.1 version, often referred to as "black board", because in Europe (where the project was started) the board is sold with a black coating.
Technically this PCB here is a black board. Quadroufo.com decided to produce them in standard green to get you a better price!

Have fun,
Wolferl




Thanks for the comments. I'm really way overdue for another attempt, so maybe I'll try to get out today.

The programming is the good and bad news of the UAVP. It's good of course because you can tailor it to the way you want it to fly, even with all the variables of motors, props, frames size, etc. The bad news is that it does take some studying and testing to figure out what everything does.

At this point, I wouldn't be too intimidated by the programming, because there are more and more folks building these. The parameter files can be saved, and loaded, using a windows program, so you can start with a file that someone else has already optimized for their application. While this might not be perfect, it will be very flyable, and should only need minor adjustments. There's test software that's easy to run as well. The
English translation of the manuals falls about a version behind, but it's pretty self explanatory for the most part.

The UAVP forum has an international section for non German speaking folks, and questions get answered pretty quickly by the people there, including Wolfgang and Amir, who are primary developers of the UAVP.

This is already getting too long, so if you have any other questions, let me know.

Cheers,
Rusty
Hi, Rusty

This is Old Man Ted from UK
Last summer I had assembled all the gear in order to build the XUFO fom Jast and Co in Germany and left it with a very good friend who is and has been for a number of years versed in the construction of a variety of flying machines.
He was supposed whilst I was on holiday to build this machine (which had all the latest bells and whistles including the XACC accelerometer interface).
When I returned he had built the XCSM frame and fought shy of any further progress.
I myself was somewhat terrified of the project with its downloading of software etc and when I saw Old Man Mikes 1000 mm board I was sold and bought that and sold the XUFO kit although I would like to progress further onto accelerometers and GPS positioning which I believe IS possible with the kit you are describing.

What puts me off is the rather airy fairy way people refer to this project and infer that the people reading the thread are expert, German reading, Computer programmers.

Can you comment to an interested, but normally educated Englishman who wants to send a camera up into the sky, fix it for a limited period, take some photos and bring it down safely.

Ted (UK)
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Old Feb 02, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Navarre, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedrobphoto
This is Old Man Ted from UK
Hi Ted. First, I'd like to thank you and Mike for making me feel young

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedrobphoto
I myself was somewhat terrified of the project with its downloading of software etc and when I saw Old Man Mikes 1000 mm board I was sold and bought that and sold the XUFO kit although I would like to progress further onto accelerometers and GPS positioning which I believe IS possible with the kit you are describing.
Everything is a compromise. On one extreme, you have people who want to just buy something, take it out of the box, and fly it. Not a thing wrong with that. On the other extreme, you have people who want to make their own circuit boards, design all the electronics, etc. We'll refer to them as nutcases I'd say most people probably fall somewhere in between.

Unfortunately, the more affordable off-the-shelf quads are pretty limited. There are also very capable quads available, but they aren't what I'd call affordable. That again leaves us in between (ignoring the nutcases for now )

In the middle ground, we have several options that vary in capability, difficulty, and cost. The new Dammer board, using a cheap frame and motors is probably the most affordable. It's quite capable as well, and also fairly easy to get working properly if you don't too creative As you've seen on the 1000mm thread, already people are wishing for the ability to tune it to any frame size, rather than having to pick one up front. This is just a compromise that Dammer probably made to make it easier for people to use it, and to keep the price down.

To be clear, I don't have any personal experience with the new Dammer board. I have flown, and modified a number of Draganfly's though, and based on that, I don't care for the IR stability system.

The UAVP is the copter I'm most familiar with now. It's a lot more flexible, and requires no per-flight adjustment (Ti calibrations, take off from level surfaces only, etc). It flies as well inside as out, cloudy or sunny, rain or shine (just seeing if you were paying attention ). I have spent hours, upon hours fiddling with parameters, but that doesn't have to be the case. Truth be told, I'm close the the nutbag line myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedrobphoto
What puts me off is the rather airy fairy way people refer to this project and infer that the people reading the thread are expert, German reading, Computer programmers.
This can be frustrating, but in the case of the UAVP developers, they simply chose a language they could all understand. Several of them are quite fluent in English, but others aren't, so German it is. There are English versions of all the important documents, and software programs, so it's really not so bad now.

I also can't say I've seen too much "attitude" in the UAVP folks. Rest assured, they feel they know what works best, but they do seem willing to listen. The UAVP is an open source project, meaning that you're welcome to come up with a better solution, and so far, I haven't

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedrobphoto
Can you comment to an interested, but normally educated Englishman who wants to send a camera up into the sky, fix it for a limited period, take some photos and bring it down safely.
Ted (UK)
You've got a new Dammer quad flying, and that will certainly do what you want. The UAVP will do it just as well, and maybe better when the altitude hold is debugged, and when/if the GPS becomes available. The MK would probably do all that now, but I'm just completely unfamiliar with it. Efforts in the past to figure out what to order, and where to order it from were not successful. I'm also not a believer in the need for I2C motor controllers, which are the only option with the MK.

Getting dark. Gotta go.
Cheers,
Rusty (cold beer for me please)
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Old Feb 03, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13brv3
Hi Ted. First, I'd like to thank you and Mike for making me feel young



Everything is a compromise. On one extreme, you have people who want to just buy something, take it out of the box, and fly it. Not a thing wrong with that. On the other extreme, you have people who want to make their own circuit boards, design all the electronics, etc. We'll refer to them as nutcases I'd say most people probably fall somewhere in between.

Unfortunately, the more affordable off-the-shelf quads are pretty limited. There are also very capable quads available, but they aren't what I'd call affordable. That again leaves us in between (ignoring the nutcases for now )

In the middle ground, we have several options that vary in capability, difficulty, and cost. The new Dammer board, using a cheap frame and motors is probably the most affordable. It's quite capable as well, and also fairly easy to get working properly if you don't too creative As you've seen on the 1000mm thread, already people are wishing for the ability to tune it to any frame size, rather than having to pick one up front. This is just a compromise that Dammer probably made to make it easier for people to use it, and to keep the price down.

To be clear, I don't have any personal experience with the new Dammer board. I have flown, and modified a number of Draganfly's though, and based on that, I don't care for the IR stability system.

The UAVP is the copter I'm most familiar with now. It's a lot more flexible, and requires no per-flight adjustment (Ti calibrations, take off from level surfaces only, etc). It flies as well inside as out, cloudy or sunny, rain or shine (just seeing if you were paying attention ). I have spent hours, upon hours fiddling with parameters, but that doesn't have to be the case. Truth be told, I'm close the the nutbag line myself



This can be frustrating, but in the case of the UAVP developers, they simply chose a language they could all understand. Several of them are quite fluent in English, but others aren't, so German it is. There are English versions of all the important documents, and software programs, so it's really not so bad now.

I also can't say I've seen too much "attitude" in the UAVP folks. Rest assured, they feel they know what works best, but they do seem willing to listen. The UAVP is an open source project, meaning that you're welcome to come up with a better solution, and so far, I haven't



You've got a new Dammer quad flying, and that will certainly do what you want. The UAVP will do it just as well, and maybe better when the altitude hold is debugged, and when/if the GPS becomes available. The MK would probably do all that now, but I'm just completely unfamiliar with it. Efforts in the past to figure out what to order, and where to order it from were not successful. I'm also not a believer in the need for I2C motor controllers, which are the only option with the MK.

Getting dark. Gotta go.
Cheers,
Rusty (cold beer for me please)
Hi, Rusty
Thanks for that amusing explanation of the way you see things at present.
I was paying attention (but as you can appreciate my mind does wander occasionally!
From your points I glean that (at present ) I may as well carry on with the machine I have as there doesn't seem to be any kit machine with GPS capability until some of the glitches are ironed out. I'm not absolutely sure what the 12 C motor control is although I know that Jast and Co used it in their X3D control mentioning at the time that there was absolute necessity for it's use which meant very high frequency ESC's and certain types of motor.
I like the Dammar board as I feel it a leaves a more open approach and of course does not rely on specific ESC's and motors. Yes, I agree that the accelerometer method of stabilisation is probably better with less adjustment necessary and less restrictions although I am hardly likely to be taking photographs unless the sun is shining with a nice blue sky and as Mike says if I learn to fly the machine without TI enabled when I do finally engage it I should find things improve even more. I think really that my friends look upon me here, though as bordering on the "Nutty" side so as far as the forum is concerned I fit in rather well

Look after yourself.

Cheers Ted
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Old Feb 03, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Navarre, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedrobphoto
From your points I glean that (at present ) I may as well carry on with the machine I have as there doesn't seem to be any kit machine with GPS capability until some of the glitches are ironed out. I'm not absolutely sure what the 12 C motor control is although I know that Jast and Co used it in their X3D control mentioning at the time that there was absolute necessity for it's use which meant very high frequency ESC's and certain types of motor.
Hi Ted,

The only unknown to me is the MK. For all I know, they offer one already built, and ready to fly. Back when I was shopping for a better copter, I simply couldn't find enough info on the MK to consider it. I also liked the UAVP because it could use normal ESC's, as well as I2C if desired.

The I2C (I squared C) bus is a faster communications system than what ESC's typically use. It allows faster corrections to motor speeds, so in theory, this can help stability. I've set my UAVP to use 2ms to 6ms update rates, and can't tell any difference at all in stability. With I2C controllers, I could set it to 1ms, but if I can't tell the diff between 2ms and 6ms, how would I see the diff between 2ms and 1ms?

There's so much focus on the speed of the ESC, that I think people are ignoring the reality that the rotating mass of the motor/prop just can't be changed that quickly anyway. I tried some wood Zinger props, which are MUCH heavier than the EPP1045. With those props, the craft was almost uncontrollable a foot off the ground in turbulence. It was so bad that I was afraid to try to fly it outside

But I digress...

Cheers,
Rusty (should be working on my RV-3)
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Old Feb 03, 2008, 11:04 PM
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Hi 13brv13,

Thanks for your explanation. I should have looked before asking questions. I am warming up to this. I also saw that they have the barometric sensor tested but did not see any availability.

Oh dear, wallet's gonna get thinner again.

Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old Feb 04, 2008, 07:05 AM
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Hi Joe,

The barometric pressure sensor for the UAVP has been designed, and tested, and we're waiting now for a breakout board to become available. The last word was that it would be available very soon.

I've hand-made a board, and tested it with the latest software. The good news is that when it works, it works great. There are still a few bugs in the software though, so Wolfgang is going to be taking another look at that.

Cheers,
Rusty
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Old Feb 04, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Hi Rusty,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 13brv3
Hi Joe,

The barometric pressure sensor for the UAVP has been designed, and tested, and we're waiting now for a breakout board to become available. The last word was that it would be available very soon.

I've hand-made a board, and tested it with the latest software. The good news is that when it works, it works great. There are still a few bugs in the software though, so Wolfgang is going to be taking another look at that.

Cheers,
Rusty
Thanks for the insight. I'm very close to pressing the trigger on this. In fact, I have written to the shop to ask a few detailed questions on the options available for the flight board like the frame option (normal vs throttle curve ??) etc.

The barometric sensor is rather useful. Not sure if I have mentioned earlier - My ultimate aim is to be able to fly FPV like what u have done. My problem is that I'm very poor at flying & get disoriented easily. So my flight with my homebrew quad & the XBL has so far only been tail-in forward / back / left / right. Not even doing circuits or figure of 8 yet. Funny thing is that I could do those with the mini coax heli in the house though.

Anyway, looking forward to asking a lot of silly & irritating questions on UAVP

Thanks again.

Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old Feb 04, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Sounds good Joe. You can test the new shop for us

Wolfgang just posted a new beta version of flight software that has a potential fix for the baro sensor. He warned that it hasn't been tested in flight, so I may be the designated guinea pig. I'll start rounding up the necessary items for the test, spare arms, props, tether, big net, hardhat...

I made another FPV flight Saturday, but it was a bit too windy, and I was also having trouble with my video feed. I just couldn't get more than a couple hundred yards away without starting to lose the signal. Now that I've done a bit of reading on antenna placement, I see all the things I was doing wrong. If the new arrangement doesn't work out, I know who to talk to (Old Man Mike happens to be an RF expert, along with his many other talents)

There wasn't anything remarkable about the flight video, but later, I got some better pictures of the 4 coyotes that were watching me. Fortunately, they look well fed

Rusty
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Old Feb 04, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Hi Rusty,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 13brv3
Sounds good Joe. You can test the new shop for us

Wolfgang just posted a new beta version of flight software that has a potential fix for the baro sensor. He warned that it hasn't been tested in flight, so I may be the designated guinea pig. I'll start rounding up the necessary items for the test, spare arms, props, tether, big net, hardhat...

I made another FPV flight Saturday, but it was a bit too windy, and I was also having trouble with my video feed. I just couldn't get more than a couple hundred yards away without starting to lose the signal. Now that I've done a bit of reading on antenna placement, I see all the things I was doing wrong. If the new arrangement doesn't work out, I know who to talk to (Old Man Mike happens to be an RF expert, along with his many other talents)

There wasn't anything remarkable about the flight video, but later, I got some better pictures of the 4 coyotes that were watching me. Fortunately, they look well fed

Rusty
Thanks for that. I'm on the verge of testing the new shop. I got answers from them already. I've still got a long way to go b4 the goal though.

I'm pretty keen on the barometric sensor as it allows some stability in the Z axis. Actually, I need stability in all axes as I fly like I drive (can only think in 2D ). The shop says the sensor will be available in 2 weeks from them. All the best in your testing. Don't forget your safety googles & coverall & misc. PPE .

As for the coyotes, wonder who's feeding them ?

Question time : what is the kv of the motors that u use ? There is a 1750kv motor listed from the new shop site but my impression is that a 1000kv motor is more suitable. My homebrew uses a 1000kv, Old Man Mike's kquad uses a 900+KV motor. Any idea ?

Thanks again.

Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old Feb 05, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeling
The shop says the sensor will be available in 2 weeks from them.


Question time : what is the kv of the motors that u use ? There is a 1750kv motor listed from the new shop site but my impression is that a 1000kv motor is more suitable. My homebrew uses a 1000kv, Old Man Mike's kquad uses a 900+KV motor. Any idea ?
Thanks for the news on the baro sensors. I was wondering when we'd actually see them, and it's great to hear the new shop will have them too.

As for motors, I should just buy stock in TowerPro. I use nothing but the TP-2410-09 motors.

Cheers,
Rusty
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Old Feb 05, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Hi Rusty,

I have just made an impulsive purchase ! Anyway, the build is underway & I hope to receive the items in 2 weeks.









Regards,
Joe Ling
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Hi Joe

That frame is so beautiful, I'm not sure I could risk flying it

Cheers,
Rusty
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