• DIY camera slider with ESP32 and Arduino

    If you go into the video production, even as simple as short videos for YouTube, you will discover that to shoot better B-rolls and add some dynamics to usually static shots (if you do not work with a real cameraman), one could use a camera slider!

    You can buy one. That is always an option. But if you want a motorized slider with remote control, you might discover that they are not cheap. You will need at least a few hundredths dollars to buy something useful.

    The other option is to build one yourself. This is the option I have chosen.

    Arduino & ESP32 motorized camera slider

    My motorized camera slider uses ESP32 with Arduino. ESP32 provides both WiFi Web interface for the slider and drives a single NEMA17 stepper motor with a TMC2209 step stick driver.

  • Bitcoin mining, AWS, Wordpress and security leaks

    A few weeks ago, my AWS (Amazon Web Services) account was hacked, someone got access to AWS Console, created a bunch of EC2 instances, Lambdas, and started mining cryptocurrencies. I realized what is happening only a few hours later. The price was high and low at the same time. It was $500. So not too shabby. But if I would not react, it could go up in thousands of dollars quickly.

  • INAV 3.0 Final is finally here

    Almost exactly six months after the previous major release and four weeks after releasing the first test version, the INAV team is proud to announce that INAV 3.0 is ready! INAV 3.0 is almost here

    The full list of changes in INAV 3.0 is very long, and it was already covered here and here. Instead of repeating myself again, let me just write down the ten most important changes! Bear in mind, it’s a subjective list, and everybody might find something beneficial to them!

    1. Turtle mode
    2. DSHOT beeper
    3. D-term processing for airplanesBrand new fixed-wing autotune
    4. New defaults for fixed-wings that will give better performance out of the box
    5. MAVLink v2 support
    6. RC over MAVLink
    7. Greatly improved and simplified compass setup. Right now “Default” means 270FLIP, which is the actual default for the majority of GPS units.
    8. Prearm mode
    9. Smoother waypoint missions with nav_mc_wp_slowdown = OFF
    10. F3 target deprecation. Sorry, INAV no longer supports F3 boards. Finally!

    Where to get INAV 3.0?

  • NVIDIA Broadcast is awesome but not so much

    NVIDIA Logo

    Everybody wants NVIDIA RTX series graphic cards. OK, not literally everybody, but gamers and cryptocurrency miners want to have at least RTX 3060. Add high demand to low supply and prices will skyrocket like crazy. Now, NVIDIA wants to make one more group of people crave for RTX series graphic cads: streamers.

    Yes, those streamers from Twitch, YouTube, and other video platforms. Plus, other people that are into audio and video processing. How NVIDIA wants to achieve that? By putting AI (?) on the RTX GPU to process audio and video and apply effects like noise removal, background removal, or background replacement. You know, having a green-screen and chroma key without a real green-screen behind your back.

  • INAV 3.0 is ready for early adopters

    Like every six months or so, it’s my great pleasure to give you the next release of INAV flight controller software. The INAV 3.0 is the next major release that brings multiple new features to the table. And this time, both multirotor and fixed-wing pilots will find something interesting for sure.

    INAV 3.0 is almost here

    The full list of changes is very long, so let me just list the ones that I find the most interesting.

  • GitHub Actions changes to fight cryptocurrency miners

    GitHub actions are a great CI/CD setup for every open-source project. Of course, as long, as the project is hosted on GitHub. It turned out, however, that cryptocurrency miners started to take advantage of that and propose abusive pull requests that were mining cryptos using GitHub computing power.

    This changed somehow. Yes, if you really, really want to, you can propose a PR that will mine for you, but now, if you are a first time contributor, Actions will not run until someone approves it.

  • LILYGO T5 4.7-inch E-paper ESP32 development board

    One of the biggest advantages of ESP32 development boards (without even counting the speed, flash size, WiFi, Bluetooth, and two cores) is that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes: bare boards, with OLED, with color LCD, with LoRa chipset, with GPS modem, etc., etc. And finally, you can get them with an e-paper display.

    LILYGO T5 4.7-inch E-paper ESP32 development board

  • The State of the RC/FPV Hobby Q1 2021 - The results

    A few months ago I aske the RC/FPV community a series of questions what they use and how they fly. Today, it is time to announce the results!
    In total, I got answers from 1739 people. I will not lie: the number is like 10 times higher I expected it to be. So that you! I appreciate the effort!

    Let's go through the question one by one, with a short commentary.

    In the last 3 months I've been flying...

    In the last 3 months I've been flying...


  • Pirx Seven vs DJI FPV

    Pirx Seven 7-inch FPV frame

    I designed the Pirx Seven 7-inch FPV frame when the DJI Digital FPV System was something as a novelty. Truth to be told, back then I have not believed it will so popular as it is today. Turned out, I was wrong on that and the DJI Digital FPV System is incredibly popular. Luckily, the Pirx Seven turned out to be future-proof and it accepts both DJI Airt Unit and Caddx Vista without much effort.

  • How to generate PPM signal with ESP32 and Arduino

    The PPM protocol for encoding Remote Control channel values is now a legacy. Still, it is widely accepted by different hardware and when tinkering with Arduino, remote control, and working on own accessories for flight controllers, PPM is still a valid option.

    A few years ago I presented a code that allows generating PPM stream using Arduino and AVR hardware. That solution is very hardware-specific and works only with ATMega microcontrollers.

    During my work of ESP32 DiyMotionController I stumbled on a problem: if ESP32 is not compatible with AVR when timers are a concern, how to generate a PPM stream on ESP32?

    PPM signal on an oscilloscope

Paweł Spychalski

If you have any comments or questions, or just want to say "Hi, Pawel, good job!" you can always drop me a tweet!