Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blinding leds for shameless dirty race.

With Airgonay wood racing success 2 weeks ago, we've all saw Red Baron rear leds added a big part of the buzz around.
This made the red 5050 leds I used for ages looks like a candle in daylight.

So I've reworked again the Pocket Rocket 3D printed case from the previous post, and added some jet engine type area to fit HK led corns like those.
They have different power, I feel the 6 leds version already sufficient for that, but if you want to blind your opponents, you still can use the 10 leds one.

They will snap-on on the printed case, no need to glue them. Wires goes out inside the frame.

Only the rear part under the led case needs support for printing. 
(Updated STL files will be available shortly here.)

They are really bright, you can't even watch them with your own eyes (and don't even try).
Next step now, building a little circuit to vary strobe speed depending of throttle stick position.

3D printed makeup for Pocket Rocket

Here is a remix from Englishman/DTFUHF Pocket Rocket case.

This one has integrated stand-off, rear space dedicated for video tx and some side holes for airing/loweringweight )

This case is dedicated to use fatshark 600TVL cam.
You can download my stl files here.

I've also took the opportunity to install some 18A Kiss Esc  on the PR.
Still flying baseflight, using looptime=2000 & 500hz refresh rate seems to be perfect.
PIDs need a bit of retweaking, like lowering P for pitch / roll. It sounds logical, those esc are far more responsive, even compared to Simonk.

Maiden was done with 6x4.5" hq props  & 10° tilted motor mounts on 30km//h wind, I have to say, it has never flew so good.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Improve frame drag in FFWD

I'v always reach a kind of speed limit with my miniquads above 70-80km/h. Probably because of the frame beeing so tilted that it create too much drag.

William from Schrediquette project made some wind tunnel test using tilted motors, and results are promising.

I've made some 3D printed mounts for the Pocket Rocket, you can download them on Thingiverse

This also help to see other thing than the grass when you're going fast.

First test yesterday, and I confirm, this is really promising.
Also, those 6x4.5 props are strong drug.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tricopter maiden

First fpv tryout of the printed tricopter showed in previous article.

PID were tuned using newautotune Taulabs feature from Peabody124.
I haven't touched anything and it almost give me really good settings.

Brocopter Y3 250, first maiden.

I still can improve the behavior.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brocopter Y3: 3D printed mini foldable tricopter

So I've bought a 3D printer this summer, best hobby investment I've ever done so far.

To celebrate that I've decided to draw a mini tricopter. But I didn't want to have the yaw mechanic at the tail end.
After many different draws & simulation on Autodesk Inventor 2014 (top notch tool for that task), I've ended with a double ball bearing boom tail.

Here is the 3D assembly of the different parts

Center plates are cut on 1.5mm carbon fiber plates and total weight is under 100g. Weight can still be improved, I will try different filling rate later.

The tricopter have 3x 12A Kiss Esc from Flyduino. I've made a little piece to fill them all tightly and organise power distribution:

Then this plate is sticked to a CC3D case for the flight controller. It's a remix of the official one, using less height. You can find it on the Thingiverse page of this project.

The little black cube on the left is a 5V voltage regulator ( Recom 1A) for powering FC, servo & radio Rx.

It's now time to assemble  all the parts. I've mounted everything hanging up from the top plate. This way I can access the Esc wires, etc by just removing the bottom plate.

Flight controller is protected from water and dust. There's only holes for the servo connectors.

And here is the beast ready to fly:

Once folded

In the air

I've published all the needed STL and DXF to  Thingiverse.
There's also the RCGroups thread that should bring you more informations if you want to make one.

If some peoples are interested, I can have some center plates or complete kit with printed parts. 
Send me a message directly.

Videos are coming. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Some fpv fun with 250 Pocket Rocket

Seems I've finally found the perfect combo for my 250 H-quad.
SunnySky 2204 2300KV with 6x3 props & 1800mA 3S gives me 8mn flight times with plenty enough pops for fun flying.

Frame is Pocket Rocket from ReadError with exended arms for 6" props.
Really nice little toy so far. :)

Treelanding from KipK on Vimeo.

little rocket in the pocket from KipK on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

3DR cat & mouse play

Yesterday Mission Planner devs had fall back and removed bad otp check that prevent to upload firmware with homebrew boards.
This morning, the protection is back in their git.
WTF is happening in their head, don't they understand this completely deserve their purpose?

Anyway, this fake Open Source mind is tiring me.
I've forked Mission Planner on my github and will maintain a no otp version until they change their attitude on this.

Here is the fork:

and up to date binaries will be maintained here

Please 3DR guys,open your mind, respect open source spirit, improve your communication & marketing skills. Bad buzz is always a no go in business.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Update non 3DR pixhawk using Mission Planner

Edit: Outdated, they've added a new check on MissionPlanner executable.
Grab the forked Mission Planner here:

After the tools posted yesterday, here is another trick.

I was looking in MP sources where's the otp restriction was hidden, in fact this is closed in a binary blob called pix4uploader.exe and source are not provided ( or have I missed'em? ).
I had to rollback to MP 1.2.74 to find one that works.

edit: outdated Download this here  and extract it in the Mission Planner directory.

Then you can use MP to update your clonehawk

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bypass new 3DR OTP "protection" on homebrew Pixhawk clone

Lot of flaming on forums those days about new 3DR OTP policy on mission planner.

To summarize the story, now you can't upgrade your pixhawk clone firmware from Mission Planner anymore. You will get an "OTP error" when trying to upload.
Only legit boards from 3DR works.

Considering this is an open source hardware & software, I don't get the move here.

Anyway, don't cry, there's an easy way to remove your pain.
You can upgrade your board using QUpgrade tool.

 Off course, for whatever reason, all qupgrade binaries have been removed from 3DR/PIX4 website.

You can still find the source from github here.
This compiles with QTeditor.
I've compiled a windows & mac binaries here: QUpgrade tool

With all the fuzz on this, I think they will change their position and make the things different quickly.


In home screen select correct firmware and hit Flash Now button:

FIXED: The Flash Now button in home screen doesn't work,  links have changed on the website. I'll try to fix that. You need to  manually grab the latest firmware following this:

To manually download & flash other builds follow this:

scroll down to All APM Firmware Options
go to stable or latest for current dev branch
Choose correct firmware
Most clones are v2
With latest firmware you don't need to unplug your board, just let it going, board will reset itself.
If not unplug it click ok, plug again.

Monday, March 31, 2014


You are many users asking me for a way to use LTM with other firmware than Taulabs or Baseflight.

GhettoProxy has been added on Ghettostation git just for that task.

It runs on Arduino mini, grabs telemetry from its main serial port, and converts it to LTM trough digital pin 9 (D9) using software serial.

GhettoProxy supports those protocols:

- MAVLink
- UAVTalk
- GPS Ublox

Also I've added Ublox & NMEA support to Ghettostation if needed.


 (Do not wire the arduino TX pad if you're using telemetry for something else at the same time.)

More informations are available on the Wiki

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ground OSD work in progress

So, here we are for ground osd.

It's a fork of minimosd-extra. I've replaced Mavlink support for LightTelemetry.
Ghettostation repack & send LTM packets to the minimosd at 38400 bauds using softserial. ( I don't think going higher baudrate in softserial won't cause problems. )
I had some hard time to make softserial working with servos. It was causing big troubles because of Timer & interrupts problems.
Once I've moved the servo to PWMServo lib it worked like it should.

There's not much things changed in the original minimosd code for now But I will lighten it, there's lot of useless things on it for ground use.

You can see the actual result:


Sorry for the glitches, I have a wiring problem on this little quad.

So we have like 400ms lag when using audio telemetry. I'm still working on tricks to improve this, but it's already far usable.

edit: I've found a bug on my side.
There was a bottleneck in the serial stream at 2400 bauds. Too much data, I've forgotten to count the start/stop bit for each bytes ( we're communicating with 8n2 serial ).
So I've switched the GPS & Sensor frames at 2 hz and here we go :

Far better isn't it. :)

 I'm still fighting on a way to grab the RSSI from the naze32. For now there's no ADC support in baseflight ( I've encountered some bugs by hacking it for analog rssi ) , and pwm rssi only works when not using PPM mode. I hope Dongs will be able to give a look to this.
 No problem with Taulabs btw.

Monday, February 17, 2014

LightTelemetry v2: en route to ground OSD.

LTM protocol has been extended to prepare the future ground OSD for Ghettostation.
I think I have some pretty good refresh rate of all needed data for that purpose.
We now have 3 different frames:

- GPS frame (G): Latitude, Longitude, Ground Speed, Altitude, Number of sats, GPS fix type

- Attitude frame (A): Pitch, Roll, Heading

- Sensors/Status frame (S): Battery Voltage, Current consumed, RSSI, Airspeed,  Armed state, Failsafe state, Flight mode

1200 bauds 2400 bauds+
G frame 2hz 5hz
A frame 5hz 10hz
S frame 2hz 5hz

GPS frame
0x24 0x54 0x47 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFF
$ T G Latitude
Ground Speed
first 2 bits: Fix
last 6 bits: Sats
xor byte 4 to 15
Start 1 Start 2 Frame ID Payload Checksum

Attitude frame
0x24 0x54 0x41 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFF
$ T A Pitch
xor byte 4 to 9
Start 1 Start 2 Frame ID Payload Checksum

Sensors/Status frame
0x24 0x54 0x53 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFF
$ T S Vbat (mv) Consumed current (ma) RSSI Airspeed
1st bit: armed
2nd bit: failsafe
latest: flight mode
xor byte 4 to 10
Start 1 Start 2 Frame ID Payload Checksum

Ghettostation, Taulabs & Baseflight have all been updated to ltm v2 on my github.

You still can use my TL & BF builds here:  Google drive

There's almost no lag in the attitude data, that's a really good news, I was a bit afraid that such low baudrate would prevent a nice smooth horizon bar. 
Ground base OSD will be a really cool feature. Less cables on air seems better to me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

LightTelemetry for Baseflight (Multiwii 32 bit) & Taulabs

I've updated my GitHub with latest LTM implementation for Taulabs and Baseflight  for those who use LightTelemetry with Ghettostation.



If you need precompiled binaries,you can find up to date ones on my google drive.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Using audio channel for air to ground telemetry

I've decided to pass my UAVs telemetry trough video transmitter audio channel.
There's different advantage on this:
  •  I'm sure I'll have the same range as my video link,  no surprise..
  • no additional antenna to fit on the UAV  &Groundstation
  • no other RF transmitter 
To achieve this, I' ve built some FSK modem based on TCM3105 chips.

PCBs are open and can be downloaded on kh4's Github.
Those modules gives a 1200/2400 bauds serial link over audio channel.
1200 bauds seems retarded in 2014, but in digital RF data transmission, lower the baudrate is, greater the range will be.

Unfortunately native communication protocols implemented in different flight controllers are usually fat babe not suited for low baudrates. They also mostly needs 2 way com ( will be hard with audio telemetry :) )

This is why I've added a lightweight protocol for this on Taulabs and Ghettostation.
I've almost finished the Baseflight implementation too ( Multiwii for STM32 fc like naze32 ).

This is a just first version of LTM ( LightTelemetry ) protocol, it will be improved later with more packet type in order to make a ground OSD too.

For now there's only one packet type sent every 200ms. Each packet has 18 bytes, giving 900bauds min.

STARTBYTE1(0x24)STARTYTE2(0x54),FRAMEID(0x54)LAT(cm,4 bytes)LON(cm,4bytes)SPEED(m/s,1bytes)ALT(cm,4bytes)SATS(6bits)FIX(2bits)CRC(xor,1byte)

There's no need of bitshifting here cause packets size are fixed. Only bytes the after FRAMEID are xored for the crc.

Using this Taulabs branch on my github, there's only need of lighttelemetry module enabled.

Here is what it gives on the audio channel when it work:

Ghettostation seems happy to receive data here:

Next step will needs to extend the LTM protocol, because I want the osd on ground now :)
But first I need to make this work on the Naze32 too.