Saturday, November 5, 2016

Notes on Attacking DSMx with SDR

Here's the original article:
http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/10/drone-hijacker-gives-hackers-complete-control-of-aircraft-in-midflight/

The speaker's notes from the presentation:
https://prezi.com/vh4in2krlaoh/attacking-dsmx-with-sdr-pacsec-2016-english/#

An upcoming course:
https://www.cansecwest.com/dojos/2016/radio_reverse.html

And where he sourced his equipment:
https://1bitsquared.com/

Ernst Rudders for HobbyKing Tundra

Saw this on RCGroups. This seems a better solution than the stock rudder mount.  gravity keeps the Ernst rudders down and will kick up as necessary.  I'm not sure of the exact size.  Note the pull-pull mechanism connecting to the single servo.





Here's a picture of another plane with the rudders mounted on wood at the back.









Part description is:
Water Rudder .40-.60
ERNST MANUFACTURING INC. ERN155

https://www.hobbyzone.com/ernst/ERN155.html





blogodex = {"toc" : "Tundra", "idx" : ["Ernst", "floats", "rudder", "water rudder"]};

Friday, September 2, 2016

Links for Wayne Giles ESR Meter

Wayne is shutting down production himself as he moves on in retirement; I hope somebody picks it up!

Thanks Wayne, and hope you enjoy your retirement!





Here's some random links for posterity.

RCGroups Thread on V2 unit
RCGroups Thread on V1 unit
Unit at Progressive RC
Proof C Ratings are Useless  -- very true!










Four-Wire (Kelvin) Resistance Measurements

Due to the limitations of the two-wire method, the four-wire (Kelvin) connection method shown in Figure 2 is generallypreferred for low resistance measurements because it reduces the effect of test lead resistance. These measurements can be made using a DMM, SourceMeter SMU instrument, or a separate current source and voltmeter. With this configuration, the test current (I) is forced through the test resistance (R) via one set of test leads, while the voltage (VM) across the DUT is measured through a second set of leads (sense leads). Although some small current (typically less than 100pA) may flow through the sense leads, it is usually negligible and can generally be ignored for all practical purposes. The voltage drop across the sense leads is negligible, so the voltage measured by the meter (VM) is essentially the same as the voltage (VR) across the resistance (R). As a result, the resistance value can be determined much more accurately than with the two-wire method.

Note that the voltage-sensing leads should be connected as close to the resistor under test as possible to avoid including part of the resistance of the test leads in the measurement.

and another Explanation of 4 Wire Kelvin Testing.

This video covers the V1 unit:





blogodex = {"toc" : "ESR Meter", "idx" = ["Wayne Giles", "power", "batteries"]};

RC Receiver USB Adaptor

An interesting project from gregnau @ rcgroups:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2714430

gregnau writes:

RC Receiver USB Adapter

Arduino based game controller adapter for regular RC receivers up to 6 channels.
It acts as an USB joystick, dispatching the channels values read from a PWM RC receiver. Aimed to be fast and responsible, though simple to use with automatic calibration function. It can be useful to play simulator wireless from the computer with your favourite transmitter. Compatible withWindowsMacLinuxAndroid,IOS.

Parts-list

Requirements
The .hex file and the supplied installer is only compatible with Sparkfun Pro Micro, do not try to flash it on other Arduino compatible devices. If you want to give it a go on other boards, then compile from source! Source:http://github.com/gregnau/wireless_rc_adapter
Installer should be easy as double-clicking the install.bat while the Pro Micro is plugged in. Everything is detailed to the screen, so if there is any error you can start investigating 

Worth checking before flashing!
hex-file checksum: d7065aed90c259e7ef3d8fe3dad3f1d7

Some jumperwires are needed to connect the receiver to the Pro Micro. Below on the picture you can see an example of wiring and setup in details.

Wiring
(it is attached below to the post, i have no idea how to put it here)
wiring.png

Manual
The Pro Micro boards usually have 2 leds side-by-side, which are the TX and RX status lights. These are used to reflect the state of the adapter:
On every startup these are flashing twice, then one of them is going off, the other one stays on. This means booted up successfully and ready to play.
But if they stay on, that means the adapter is in calibration mode. The calibration data is loaded and verified during setup,
but if these are incorrect/missing than it goes to calibration mode automatically.
Automatic calibration
Calibration process is the same as everywhere, the sticks, pots, switches on all channels must moved to their extents. Preferably more than once and in slow motion.
The leds are lit
During calibration there is no sending of joystick values to the host, there is no feedback at all, except it is in '#DEBUG_ENABLED' mode. Though in debug mode it's only using terminal to send data, there is no hid interface. While in normal operation after the calibration data is accepted and saved it goes directly to play mode. 
Manual calibration
Sometimes it is needed to re-calibrate the adapter, although there is valid calibration data saved. To achieve that just plug in the usb while pushing the attached button. Then everything should be the same as with automatic process.
---
> Still under development so any advice is welcome regarding the code or feedback on use! Only known restriction is the calibration autosave function accepts only if there is 6 working channels calibrated. In case you connect less channels then you always need to push the button to save calibration data.

blogodex = {"idx" : "radio"}

Reverse Engineering a Quadcopter

Michael Melchior has an interesting series of four articles where he reverse engineers a quadcopter, including the radio protocol.  It's really good, and he includes links to his code that listens to the radio.  As they say, read the whole thing!

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4)




blogodex = {"idx" : "reverse engineering", "Michael Melchior"};

Colored Sealing Tape for Covering RC Planes

Here's a nice article on using sealing tape to cover foamies.  Read the whole thing!



http://rcfoamfighters.com/blog/?p=426
http://www.tapeplanet.com/Colored-Carton-Tape-s/149.htm

blogodex = {"toc" : "Foamy Tape"};

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Here's TurboParker's excellent tutorial on setting up the UMX Radian.  It's probably good advice for all planes.  I'm capturing it here because sometimes RCGroups is a bit difficult to search.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blu-Baby Built Up Wing

Here's a nice post on RCG which shows a built-up wing for the Blu-Baby.  Wish I had a laser cutter to print it out nicely!

blogodex = {"toc" : "Blu Baby", "idx" : "Wing"};

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Electronics: $1 555 Doorbell Kit


Saturday Electronics posting... it's a thing!

I'm a big fan of Julian "Yes I have a personalized flashlight" Ilett.  Check out his youtube channel if you're interested in electronics.  The "postbag" videos are great if you like hands-on reviews of cheap ebay components.

He's got a two-part video where he builds and then reverse engineers a cheap doorbell kit.  It's a really clever design. I learned a lot from Julian's explanation!  Check it out and buy a kit if you're interested.












blogodex = {"toc" : "Saturday Electronics", "idx" : ["Julien Ilett", "Doorbell Kit", "electronics"]};

Friday, June 3, 2016

Replacement Hakko 936 Heating Element

Heard on RCGroups, this heating element works perfectly as a replacement for the Hakko 936 heating element.

https://www.fasttech.com/products/1408401

Not bad for $1.55




blogodex = {"toc" : "Hakko 936", "idx" : "soldering iron"};

Thursday, June 2, 2016

New OrangeRX Module

There's a new version (1.2) of the OrangeRX module. Matthew Evans has the fix to bind them to DSMX UMX models if you're having problems.



  • Set transmitter to TAER.
  • Set Channel 6 if you need it (e.g. for SAFE)
  • (Matt recommends forcing the module to DSM2.  Maybe that's only necessary if you've got an old model?)
  • Set External RF to
        Mode: PPM
        Channel Range: 1-12
        PPM Frame:  30.5ms 300u -
  • Bind as usual

blogodex = {"toc" : "OrangeRX Module", "idx" : ["DSM2", "DSMX", "Taranis", "Spektrum"]};

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Khan Academy / Pixar Aerial Video by Me

Spent a couple of hours helping make this video, and got two seconds of screen time.  According to the film people, that's a pretty good ratio!

And of course always sweet to do something to help the Khan Academy.

Anyways, quite proud to have done a real bona fide bit of aerial camera work.

I'm embedding the YouTube page, and the Khan page is here.  If you wanna skip the boring parts and see my  two seconds of fame (starting at 0:46), go here.




blogodex = {"toc" : "Aerial Photography", "idx" : ["Pixar", "Khan Academy"]};

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Radio Signal Latency

Transmitter-to-Receiver latency is a much-cited metric when discussing radio systems.

Andy Kunz, a member of the Spektrum development team, wrote a couple of posts going into great detail about how latency is measured and what it means.  Because RCG posts get hard to search, I'm capturing them here for posterity.

I've moderately edited from these posts and a couple in between (quoting people asking questions).

Thanks Andy!

Friday, May 20, 2016

DIY FrSky Receiver

Here's how to make a FrSky compatible receiver with an Arduino and CC2500 radio.

It's also sold as the AirWolf models 1 and 2.  I'm ordering one  to test it out.

Tons of technical information at the link.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2124647

blogodex = {"toc" : "AirWolf"};

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Couple of UMX Radian Videos

Here's a couple of videos of my UMX Radian, a really sweet plane.


Quiet morning flying at the Berkeley Marina



Here it is with a wing mod that makes it into a really slow flyer.


And pretty sweet indoors.

blogodex = {"idx" : ["UMX Radian", "Videos"]};

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Taranis Sound File Formatting

Here's the incantation to generate a sound file playable on Taranis.


ffmpeg -i myfile.mp3 -ar 32000 -ac 1 -acodec pcm_s16le myfile.wav

In human being terms:

- 32,000 bps sampling
- mono
- PCM signed 16-bit little-endian

well for a certain type of human being anyway.

blogodex = {"toc" : "Taranis Audio", "idx" : ["audio", "ffmpeg", "deep, dark magic"]};

Monday, May 2, 2016

An interesting RCG note from Springer at Model Plane Foam. They're a pretty cool outfit... they asked the manufacturer of Dollar Tree foamboard for a foam more suited to model building.
Model Plane Foam is available from modelplanefoam.com. it is the same recipe as the latest Dow fff, white, no film or printing or perforations. Shipping to AZ is high, but it is still typically less than Depron.
Here's the thread with the history and info on it: 
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...del+plane+foam
Adams says that the dtf formula is different from the Dow formula which is what we get (less the pigment, of course). A grade MPF has a fine skin with almost a rubbery feel to it that is decently dent resistant. A big part of the difference in both stiffness and durability comes from that skin.When the paper is removed the dtf surface is composed of open cells (no dense skin left at all) which is fragile and dents easily. So the difference in strength/stiffness is a combination of factors. Current A grade MPF is running between .2 and .23" thick, on the low side of the thickness spec.
I'm sure that a big part of the cost difference is shipping (I find it is awfully expensive to ship mostly air!), but process may also be a factor, if I understand correctly, Depron is extruded in flat sheets (probably why it has best flatness) wheras MPF and fff are extruded in a different process that has higher throughput, but sacrifices flatness (sometimes - it varies within a run and is one of the parameters we specifically ask them to control better than they do for fff).
As far as stiffness, density, etc. MPF is targeted at 2lb/cu. ft. From what I have seen of depron, it seems like similar density. Depron is stiffer but more brittle, which I attribute to the formula difference. One customer who made 3d plane kits loved MPF for his planes because a crash that would previously result in a bunch of Depron pieces was a non issue for MPF. He was one of those who milled away foam to make a girder structure in the foam sheet so the increased toughness was important.

blogodex = {"toc" : "Model Plane Foam"};

Saturday, April 30, 2016

SQ8 Hatcam Notes

 Got an SQ8 camera to try as a hatcam.  It has a nice clip system.  I made an adapter out of instamorph,  Even if the camera turns out to be a dud, I'm super impressed with how well the instamorph holds on to the brim of the hat.

I'll try it out "for real" soon and report back on image quality, etc. So far not too bad for $20.

I think I need to get a faster memory card though.  1080p carries about 15 FPS.

Some stats: 720p, about 6Mbps, 29.79 FPS; 1080p, a bit less than 15FPS.

The way I've got it mounted now holds the camera upside down.  Here's the incantation to flip the image and convert to h.264.  The duplicate transpose items aren't a type.


    ffmpeg -i PICT0002.AVI -vf transpose=2,transpose=2 out22.mov



blogodex = {"toc" : "SQ8", "idx" : ["hatcam", "video", "instamorph"];

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 2016 Shopping List

Here's what you need to get started.

Basic Idea:

  • Transmitter and Receiver
  • Airplane Electronics
  • Body Parts
Nice Starter Plane:
  • EZ-Fly

Transmitter and Receiver.

Get these from Aloft Hobbies, one of the best vendors on the net!


(to be continued)

Airplane Body

Here's the raw materials for the E-Fly Body.  For each body, you will need 3 sheets of foam, 1 carbon tube, and two pieces of steel wire.  I think severlthe shipping won't go


You can also buy the foam pieces pre-cut:

Power System

Supplies

Here's some other stuff you will need




blogodex = {"toc" : "Parts List", "idx" = ["Beginner's Guide"]};

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mini Drake Flying Boat

Got this from Hobby King... comes in a flat pack, gonna have to really glue it up old school!

HK Page
RCG Thread
Manual




Based on the original 1951 Drake.

Recommended bits:
    AeroLite or MicroLite
    Micro Control Horns
    Linkage Connectors
    1811-2900 Motor
    MultiStar 10A ESC (pre-BL Heli) (6A would be fine too)


Random RCG notes:

  • use two (2) #16 rubber bands to hold my wing on.
  • The CG per instructions is on the main spar for the wing. It should balance there when placed on your fingertips. 
  • Construction Notes





blogodex = {"toc" : "Mini Drake", "idx" : ["flying boat"]};

Thursday, April 7, 2016

60 inch OSG - One Sheet Glider

Completely uses exactly one sheet of $Tree foam.

The mighty Springer has a build thread.





















blogodex = {"toc" : "OSG", "idx" : ["One Sheet Glider", "Springer", "DollarTree foam"]};

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arduino Current Sensing

Here's a current-sensing module from Sparkfun.  It's non-invasive, clamping around the wire carrying the current you wish to measure. I'm planning to use it to watch a particular appliance and see when it's on and off.

My initial plans are to attach it to an ESP8266 (Huzzah breakout), upload the measured current to thingspeak via a local wifi, and watch it from there.





Example apps:
(example 1)
(example 2)

blogodex = {"toc" : "current sensing"};


Friday, March 18, 2016

Tiny Shopping List




 $1.25    8x4 props (2)
 $0.00    theraband prop saver bands
 $0.19    JST pigtail, ESC side
 $0.72    2mm bullet plugs, male (3) (motor side)
 $0.72    2mm bullet plugs, female (3) (ESC side)
 $0.00    2.5mm heat shrink tubing
$6.46    9g servos (2)


$0.29    control horns (2)
$13.73    2S/3S balance charger
$14.40    3S 500 mAh LiPo batteries (2)


Monday, February 29, 2016

ReadiBoard EZFly

Over on rcgroups, user balsa or carbon shares some hints on making ReadiBoard EZFlys.  Check out his videos, you can see the great results he gets.

I make EzFlys out of ReadiBoard, both paper on and paper off. Single layer everywhere except the wing's leading edge will be double layer with the KFm, and the nose will be triple layer with the two nose doublers.

For a stronger, faster flying EzFly - I leave the paper on and scotch tape over all the edges. But the exposed paper will be susceptible to moisture. 

For a very lightweight slow and floaty EzFly , I cut out all the parts and then peel the paper off. I also use lightweight electronics and increase the wingspan to 40" for very light wing loading.





His Slow and Floaty model:




blogodex = {"toc" : "EZFly", "idx" : ["ReadiBoard"]};


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Phantom Flash ROG

Here's the Phantom Flash from 1937.  It's an ROG ("rise off ground"), meaning that it takes off and lands, instead of being hand-tossed.

blogodex: Phantom Flash / balsa models;

Saturday, January 30, 2016

OrangeRX DSM2/X Modules

Here's the current state of OrangeRX modules.  There's a lot of discussion that the Devo-compatible module has problems with the Eflight UMX receivers.


OrangeRX DSMX / DSM2 Compatible 2.4Ghz Transmitter Module (JR/Turnigy compatible)
PRODUCT ID: 9171000302-0 




PRODUCT ID: 9171000536-0 


PRODUCT ID: 9029000274-0 






blogodex = DSM2 / DSM2, DSMX, modules, radios

Friday, January 29, 2016

GoldGuy's Slofly Simple Delta

Looks like a nice slow-flyer to build for beginners.  Based on the late Dekan's Simple Delta.

GoldGuy Says:

Twenty more square inches than my first 22 incher and one ounce lighter for a loading of 3 ounce per square feet at a 6 ounce RTF weight. It's a 8X22X17 with the elevon hinge line at 3 1/2 incher. Start off with the CG at 5 1/2" and then fine tune to taste.

Take your SD to the next level, the SSD will loop, roll, spin, snap, stall turns, harrier, prop hang, torque roll and flies inverted on rails, all this and no pitch sensitivity at any speed. Oh ya, and crazy climbing inverted flat spins the guys call 'the Dilbert' (?????).

Build it light, keep it tight.............

Here's the Simple Delta.  Details here, here, here, and here.

WS is 20"
LE is 7" long
LE to TE (hinge line) is 14.25"
Elevons are 2" wide
Fus is 8.5x1.75"
Try 5" as a CG start point from LE, mine works ok at 6" 
The Fin is 5" tall by 10.5" long.The Fin proper starts 8" from it's front and slopes back 2.5"
There are 3mmx.5mm CF flats on the leading edges....prevents damage from weeds!
There is also a 3mmx.5mm CF spar

blogodex: Simple Delta / GoldGuy, Dekan;



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Laminate recommended on RCG

Premium CP Laminating Film -- 3mm regular, 5mm heavy duty.

Premium clear gloss (CP) roll laminating film is a high-clarity, abrasion-resistant, low-melt, polyester-based film.  CP Laminating Film is a higher quality roll laminating film that activates 20-30 degrees cooler than standard polyester films. CP film is available in 1.7 mil, 3 mil, 5 mil, and 10 mil.  Standard widths are 9", 12", 18", 25", and 27".  The activation temperature is 210-230 degrees.




blogodex: laminate / supplies;

Monday, January 25, 2016

Some Skipper Notes

Courtesy of DrBamBam:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=28540928&postcount=1148

Stock Propeller: APC 6x4
Stock Motor - Turnigy D2826-6/2200kv


EASY GOING SKIPPER
expo: 40% all       travel (up/dn, l/r)
Ail - high rates     60% /  60% (12mm / 12mm)
Ail - normal rates   40% /  40% ( 8mm /  8mm)
Ail - low rates      20% /  20% ( 4mm /  4mm)
Ele - high rates     60% /  50% (19mm / 16mm)
Ele - normal rates   50% /  45% (16mm / 14mm)
Ele - low rates      40% /  35% (13mm / 11mm)
Rud - all rates     100% / 100% (35mm / 35mm)

blogodex: Skipper / The Fleet;

Friday, December 11, 2015

DIY FrSky Rx

RCGroups user midelic has a DIY FrSky D8 compatible receiver, porting PhracturedBlue's Deviation work.

Canonical information page here.
Banggood is selling them here:

Airwolf F801
Airwolf F802

HobbyKing -- same?

AC410

Bonus:
DIY SBUS 16ch decoder






Some Reviews:





blogodex = {"toc" : "DIY Frsky", "idx" : ["midelic"]};

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HobbyKing Wingnetic

EastBay RC went officially crazy at the HobbyKing Black Friday sale.  First up, the Wingnetic!

Notes:

  • Build was simple, just glue on the fins.  Double check that the wings are glued on, some people report that they're not completely glued an were loose in flight.
  • CG is 240mm-250mm from the front of the spinner.  The manual says 205mm, which is incorrect.
  • a few clicks of up elevator (about 1mm) helps on launch.
  • Some people report 60% travel with 50% expo for low rates works well.
  • removable fins mod.
  • Demo7 shows how to laminate the wings.



blogodex = {"toc" : "Wingnetic" };



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Review: Aerial Photography and Videography Using Drones

 If you've been involved in drones for any length of time, you're probably already familiar with Eric Cheng's Aerial Photography
work.

He's released a new book called "Aerial Photography and Videography Using Drones" which summarizes a lot of his experiences and is a great introduction to using a drone for aerial photography andvideography.

tl;dr: If you're a beginning drone pilot interested in aerial photography, you should buy this book immediately.  If you're an experienced drone pilot but would like some instruction on the photo/video side of things, it's got useful stuff for you as well.  If you like photo books with beautiful, thoughtfully composed material, ditto.




Contents

  • chapter 1: Equipment
  • chapter 2: Learning to Fly
  • chapter 3: Aerial Stills Photography
  • chapter 4: Aerial Videography
  • chapter 5: Getting the Shot: Real-World Stories
  • chapter 6: Flight, Policy, and Travel
  • appendix A: Resources
  • appendix B: Reference Material

Bonus Online Contents

You can access this material by registering your book on the website.  There's instructions in the book's introduction.

  • Chapter 1: Overview
  • Chapter 2: Exercises
  • Chapter 3: Dronie
  • Chapter 4: Toolkit (and Orbit)
  • Preflight Checklist
  • Resources

Beginning Pilots

Start with chapters 1 and 2.  That will get you into the air, with eight exercises that will quickly build your piloting skills. Be sure and follow along with the video exercises and you can watch Eric fly the moves.









Aerial Photographers

Chapters 3 and 4 are for you.  Eric talks a about the technical aspects, and then (what I found especially useful) lists some of the common camera moves, such as the crane, arc, and point of interest.  In the video supplement he give some hints on how to practice these so that you can use them smoothly and without councious thought, giving your maximum attention to the creative and storytelling aspect of what you're doing.

One excellent point of his presentation: you're telling a story, and the technical aspects of what you're doing are in support of the story you are telling.

Chapter 6 has some practical advice on travelling with and transporting your equipment, and some notes on flying legally.  This is a topic which is being continuously revised by various governments, so it's probably a good idea to check that the guidelines he mentions are still applicable in your location and time.

One interesting note:  he mentions that many people ask him about how high his aircraft will fly, but it's ironic that a lot of the best photography is from relatively low altitudes.

People who love beautiful photography

Chapter 5 is a collection of world-class drone photography.  Some of it's by Eric, and some of it by other photographers, both professional and amateur.  Stunning, Drop-dead gorgeous, etc., It's all splendid!

Note on reading the PDF version

It's obvious Eric has put a lot of effort into the layout of the book.  If you're reading the PDF version, be sure to

  • go into full-screen viewing mode
  • view pages as "side by side" or  as "two pages"
  • ensure that the right-hand page is odd numbered

Fixing your PDF version

Look at pages 142-143 of the ebook.  There should be one picture, with the beginning of chapter 5 .  If you see page 141 (with text) on the left, and page 142 on the right, you need to adjust your view of the pages.

With Adobe reader, this is easy (I'm told) to do... just move one page forward, and the left/right balance will be adjusted.

If you're on a Mac and using Preview, you'll need to do a bit more work.
  • In Preview, File / Save, save as "drone2.pdf".  Don't select "save as PDF" it will remove some of the imagery.
  • Open "drone2.pdf" in Preview
  • View /  Contact Sheet
  • Select the title page (not the cover) and delete it
  • Go back to "Two page" view and you should see the even numbered pages properly displayed on the left.

Book Link:

Aerial Photography and Videography Using Drones


Disclaimer

Eric's a longtime friend of EastBay RC, and provided a complimentary copy of the book for review.




Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Great Micro Connector Resource





Micron Wings is a great resource for all things involving small models.  This page describes the battery and servo connectors to small models, along with details about each one.

The second and third are UMX and Hubsan.














Here's the servo connectors.



















blogodex = {"idx" : ["Connector Mania"]};