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

Tinkering with the RFµ-328

The RFµ (or RFu, for the purposes of people being able to Google this without trying to type µ) 328 is a really neat little board from wireless vendor Ciseco. I picked one up for a project I’m doing where I need a low power microcontroller and some way to talk to a base station with power. This is basically what this board is – an integrated ~896MHz radio module and microcontroller. The radio module works as a serial link so it’s really easy to work with, and the microcontroller is the Arduino compatible ATmega 328 chip, complete with the Arduino Uno bootloader.

There were some stumbling blocks I figured I’d document here, though, to get to the point where you can throw code at this thing and have it work, entirely over the air. Continue reading Tinkering with the RFµ-328