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

HSTS with nginx and Varnish

SSL is good. It’s not perfect, but it makes life harder for mass surveillance and all websites should be using it. Yes, I know this blog doesn’t – I’ll get around to it.

I upgraded one of my sites to use HSTS, which is an extension to enforce usage of SSL where it’s available. This effectively means that after the first request via HTTPS, the browser should remember that domain uses SSL and should make sure any subsequent requests are HTTPS. HTTP requests get redirected to HTTPS immediately. This is great – not only does it mean that you’re less likely to have clients making requests in the clear when they should be using SSL, but it means that SSL stripping attacks will be foiled. Continue reading HSTS with nginx and Varnish