A brief foray into explosions

Every year, myself, my family and some friends get together on New Year’s Eve, have a lovely meal and at midnight, let off the obligatory fireworks. Their house is surrounded by farmland so we have a huge amount of space, making operation of larger fireworks possible, but we’ve in past years stuck to firing the larger end of garden fireworks (category 2).

This year, tired of the inevitable mucking around with unreliable gas lighters at midnight, we decided to take a look at electronic ignition systems and upgrade to category 3 “display” fireworks. Continue reading A brief foray into explosions

Setting up the Taranis X9D+ and OpenTX

With more complex stuff on my quad comes an increased need for a more complex radio, so I opted to upgrade from an aging Turnigy 9X to a FrSky Taranis X9D+ with an X8R receiver – this nets me not only 16 channels via S.BUS on the receiver and a telemetry link, but a fancy programmable transmitter!

It’s a bit daunting to get it all set up but pretty easy once you get the hang of it. This is going to be a quick writeup of how I went about setting it up, configuring the transmitter for the Pixhawk flight controller and flight modes, and some nice things to know that aren’t that clear from the docs.

Continue reading Setting up the Taranis X9D+ and OpenTX

Going mobile – my quadcopter so far

So over the last year or two I’ve been intermittently doing stuff with unmanned aerial systems. Nothing for work, strictly hobbyist stuff, and strictly for fun, though with a serious goal in mind.

More or less every year now the village I live in floods. The degree to which it does so varies, as does the response from the council and locals. Last year we managed to get aerial photography from some friends with a light aircraft handy which was fascinating to see – we could start to see the bounds and patterns of the flooding in context. Trouble is, it took a while to arrange and we only got one set of pictures.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get more pictures, faster? Here’s my story so far in the wonderful world of multirotors… Continue reading Going mobile – my quadcopter so far