DIY Motion Controller

DIY Drone Gesture Control – DIY Motion Controller

Together with the DJI FPV Drone we, RC and FPV hobby enthusiasts, got a new accessory: DJI Motion Controller.

DJI Motion Controller

It does a pretty obvious thing that we know for years from the Nintendo Wii controller: with this device, you get gesture control over your FPV Drone. You tilt it left, drone turns left. You tilt it back, drone gains altitude. You press the index finger "trigger" and the drone goes forward! There are some problems though. First of all, it works only with the DJI FPV Drone. And second of all, it cost an extra $200!

What if, I could make a similar device that works with any drone or airplane? To be honest, I was thinking about a device like that for a while now, and DJI Motion Controller was just a final argument to sit down for a few days and make an Open Source version of a Motion Controller that can be connected to any OpenTX radio as a Trainer Slave and use gestures to fly!

The DIY Motion Controller is based on ESP32 board with MPU6050 gyroscope and few extra elements like buttons, analog joystick, etc. It can be connected to any OpenTX radio (I'm using Radiomaster TX16S) that allows accepting SBUS signal on trainer port.

Drone Gesture Control Joystick

The exact list of part is:

Drone Gesture Control Joystick

As you can see in the video it works! However, it's not the end of the project as I intend to improve it in at least a few ways:

  1. The wired connection to the OpenTX radio is suboptimal. Next step is to develop a wireless mode to simplify usage
  2. There is still no way to arm/disarm the drone, so at least one switch will have to be added
  3. The analog Arduino joystick is too big and not precise enough. I will try to replace it wit PSP or similar joystick for altitude and yaw control

Drone Gesture Control Joystick

The source code with all the required details is available on GitHub. You will need an access to a 3D Printer to print the joystick, but STL file is available over there as well.

CNC cut stand for Xiaomi Mi Desk Lamp

Having a CNC router at home, even a simple 3018 Pro CNC opens new possibilities for the Do It Yourself projects. You might not be able to cut metal with a $250 CNC machine, but wood, plywood, and different plastics are soft enough to cut and engrave.

Let's go to the project itself. My Xiaomi Led Lamp is cool, but it turned out that it's not tall enough to stand above my LCD screen. Putting it on a box works but does not meet my engineering standards. This is why I took my 3018 Pro for a spin and made this plywood stand.

More in the video!

3D printing with a polypropylene (PP) filament

3D printing does not end on PLA, PET-G, and TPU filaments. Yes, they are great and work just fine for the majority of cases. However, there are more options than just the basic filament types. Polypropylene (PP filament) is one of them.

Strong, but not stiff, can be used to make hinges, enclosures, and boxes. During the impact, it deforms but with less "spring effect" that TPU filament has.

The main problem PP filament has is that it's rather difficult to print. It likes to warp and sticks almost only to other Polypropylene elements. Good luck trying to glue it!

DIY 3D Printing Filament Dryer / Dehumidifier / Dry Box

The wet filament is a bad filament. 3D printers hate them since during melting the filament water that it contains turns into steam, expands and creates holes, bulges and other distortions and problems in a print. So filaments are more sensitive to moisture: TPU or Nylon. But even PLA might absorb water if it is kept in a humid environment for a long time. The solution is simple: DIY filament dehumidifier (also knows as filament dryer or dry box) made from the storage box, hygrometer, silica gel as a water absorbent and some window seals. The results are amazing!

DIY 4S battery pack from 18650 Li-Ion for RC FPV drone

‘ve made me an endurance Li-Ion battery pack for my 7 inch endurance quadcopter. With good quality Sony 18650 VTC6 it is possible to get 20A constant current which is enough for an airplane or endurance quadcopter. Works just fine and with reasoable speed of 40-50 km/h I’m getting more than 15 minutes of real flight. Not hover. Flight. And at the end, it still has some juice inside. Not bad, not bad at all.

Project Dualcopter – worklog #4

More than a year after staring this damn project, I finally decided what goes where. And on top of that, short description how Dualcopters works (or at least should work).

  1. There are two counter rotating propellers on top. They are responsible for thrust and YAW control
  2. When both props turns faster, dualcopter gains altitude
  3. When clockwise propeller turns faster, whole design starts to rotate counter-clockwise. When counter-clockwise propeller turns faster, it rotates clockwise
  4. Roll and Pitch axis control is archived by two flaps at the bottom of the design moved by two servos
  5. Since propellers are always rotating, there is almost always enoughair passing through flaps to have enough force for stability control and maneuvers
  6. To generate enough torque, center of gravity should be far above flaps. This way, even relatively small force on an end of long lever, there is always enough torque for roll and pitch stability

Dualcopter working principle

Keeping above in mind, it will look like this:

Dualcopter what goes where

What is still missing? Place to put battery in and electronics. Next update as soon as I will have any update 😉

QuadMeUp Crossbow LRS: introduction

Few days ago I mentioned that I'm working on my own DIY long range radio system (LRS) that I named QuadMeUp Crossbow LRS. Today I will share some more details about it.

First of all, I'm not creating anything new or "amazing". There are plenty of "DIY" or OpenSource LRS systems. OpenLRS for example. Or QCZEK LRS that is made from almost nothing at all. And amazing commercial systems like TBS Crossfire.

Is there a place for something else? I think there is. For example, I was so pissed of by complexity of OpenLRS. So many options, so hard to understand. Or do you know how much micro RX for Crossfire costs? And that you do not need 2W of power to fly up to 5km? And most of pilots owning Crossfire never flied > 2km?

This is why, my idea for DIY LRS is:

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